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science.” I was made to take care of my looking at the whole nature and circumown body and mind, and not another man. stances of the creature addressed, to say But “be not drunk with wine, wherein is which system, in this respect--that of an abexcess.”' But this laying down of the law for solutely prohibitive Maine liquor law, or others—this enforcing by penalty--this one in which the use is sanctioned by predrilling of men into morality—is what I ob cept and example, but the abuse denounced ject to. And I cannot help saying that | as a fearful crime-is the better system. this straining of the obvious meaning of The friends of Prohibition would not dare passages to meet the requirements of a fore- to say that they think the Mohammedan gone conclusion, cannot but prove very system the best; but remove the offensive damaging to the minds of those who em word, and, flounder as they will, they do say ploy it. The further, too, they proceed, the it. But more they get entangled in a deeper thicket of difficulties, from which they vainly try
'A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. to escape. Christ and Paul, and human Again, says Fidelis, Premises 9th and rights and human nature, confront them at ioth must be equally disavowed, at least,' every turn of their embarrassed course, | &c. And yet they are a necessary corollary and command them to reconsider the pre- from her doctrine. But I had lived too mises from which start. Paul knew that long under a so-called paternal government wine made men drunkards, just as meat | not to feel how the iron heel of despotism, makes them gluttons, and yet his command under the name of Paternality, could crush was not, don't use, but don't use in 'excess.' out the very soul of a people, and, absorbing Anything beyond this by legislative enact to itself the whole substance of liberty, ment is simply folly, and wherever attempt leave to the governed little else than the ed will prove so, too.
empty name. I am therefore jealous of all Again, says FIDELIS, 'Premises Nos. 5, 6, encroachment on the liberty of the indiand 7 are of Mr. Ailen's criticism, not of my vidual, and of all interferences with our article. And yet she had said (CANADIAN natural rights. Such are simply usurpations, Monthly of April, p. 369): 'Sweden, hav whether the usurper be a despot or a numing tried her Gothenburg system for more ber of despots calling itself a majority, or than ten years in some parts of her domi the State. nions, is now, encouraged by the success My itth premise is met by an appeal to which seems to have attended it there, en- | the many philanthropic institutions of the deavouring to extend its operation through day of an almost universally recognised out the kingdom. But when I showed useful character. I had thought it questhat 'the consumption of spirits in Gothen tionable if ‘natural selectionthe survival burg had risen in ten years from 66,000 of the fittest-ought to be cheated in its gallons to 329,000 gallons,' and that, by | operation by a universal artificial system of the testimony of the English Consul there, preserving the constitutionally weak, to Mr. Duff, the system had proved a fail- | propagate their weakness and uncontrol, ure,' I am told that the premises are of instead of endeavouring—by appeals to Mr. Allen's criticism, not of FIDELIS's arti- reason, to the sense of right, to the affeccle.' But this is of little consequence. tions, to self-interest—to rouse the sluggish
Again, says FIDELIS, ‘Premise No. 8, will and invigorate self-control; and, thus, also, the writer [FIDELIS] is compelled to constituting this the test of their improvadisavow. I had there said that to prove bility and of their title to survive. , Prohibition she would have to admit 'lhat This I said, not so much because it bethe Mohammedan system, which puts at longed to my direct argument, but because once a strait waistcoat on the will, far tran- | I thought that sympathy towards and inscends the Christian, which leaves the will terest in the weak, the drunken, and the free to use, but not to abuse. Of uncontrolled, was leading us to overlook course, I was speaking of the one point at some very grave and momentous processes issue, Prohibition. Now, the command of Nature for the improvement of man, in of Mohammed, thou shalt not use, was in no which (to use the words of Fidelis) 'the other sense legislative than the command of relentless forces of Nature which cry Christ, thou shalt not abuse; and it is for us, ! væ victis and drive the weakest to the
wall,' are eventually destined to work out by the rest, inevitably bring on the rest the highest good to the race; and that extra exertion ... hence are they subject if her whole course were to be reversed | to an overdraw on their energies . . . tendand her penalties, through artificial inter | ing to arrest the increase of the best and vention, set at defiance by a universal to deteriorate their constitutions. ... systematized course of things by which the Fostering the good-for-nothing at the expense best would be mulcted in the interest of of the good is extreme cruelty. It is a delithe worst, it might be found, in the long berate storing up of miseries for future genrun, that Nature-old, hard, and heartless erations. There is no greater curse to stepdame as she may be-blundered in her posterity than that of bequeathing to them moral ends far less than we. For has she an increasing population of imbeciles and not nursed us through the thousand ages of idlers and criminals. To aid the bad in our savage infancy, and by selecting the multiplying, is, in effect, the same as malistrongest traits and rejecting the weakest, | ciously providing for our descendants a taught us by many a hard and stern, but multitude of enemies. It may be doubted wise, lesson, to become what we are to-day, whether the maudlin philanthropy which, in this transition period of our nonage? | looking only at direct mitigations, persistAnd what may she not have in store for us | ently ignores indirect mischiefs, does not in the future if we submit to her laws. inflict a greater total of misery than the ex
But I must introduce the reader to one tremest selfishness inflicts.* ... How far of the master-builders of the world, who the mentally-superior may, with a balance 'builds for aye.' 'If any one denies,' says of benefit to society (and to himself, as Mr. Herbert Spencer, that children bear below), shield the mentally-inferior from the likenesses to their progenitors in character evil results of their inferiority, is a question and capacity—if he holds that men whose too involved to be here discussed at length. parents and grandparents were habitual Doubtless it is in the order of things that criminals, have tendencies as good as those parental affection, the regard of relatives, of men whose parents and grandparents and the spontaneous sympathy of friends, were industrious and upright, he may con- and even of strangers, should mitigate the sistently hold that it matters not from what pains which incapacity has to bear. ... families in society the successive generations Individual altruism, left to itself, will work descend. He may think it just as well, if | advantageously wherever, at least, it does the most active, and capable, and prudent, not go to the extent of helping the unand conscientious people die without issue; worthy to multiply. But an unquestionable while many chihiren are left by the reckless injury is done by agencies which undertake and dishonest. But whoever does not in a wholesale way to foster good-forespouse so insane a proposition, must ad nothings, putting a stop to that natural mit that social arrangements which retard process of elimination by which society conthe multiplication of the socially-best, and tinually purifies itself.' facilitate the multiplication of the mentally So speaks this great thinker. It is a worst, must be extremely injurious.
subject needing great caution and great For if the unworthy are helped to increase, knowledge in its treatment, and is fraught by shielding them from that mortality which with much painful perplexity from whatever their unworthiness would naturally entail, standpoint we view it, and can only be the effect is to produce, generation after approached safely by those who unite in generation, a greater unworthiness. From their natures the tenderness of the philandiminished use of self-conserving faculties thropist with the far-seeing of the philosoalready deficient, there must result, in pos- pher; so that I fear majorities cannot do terity, still smaller amounts of self-conserv- , much for its solution. Two seemingly ing faculties.* ... Such members, too, opposing interests have to be reconciledof a population as . . . are taken care of the alleviation of present misery compatibly
with the interests of posterity. We have
only to look to the disastrous effects of the * So that the relentless forces of Nature which
working of the English poor-law to be concry va victis and drive the weakest to the wall,' have at least no venom in them, and in the end
vinced of the difficulty of dealing with any prove even beneficent,
question from the standpoint of the emotions only, and that an evil may be aggra ment, and I think with benefit to the indivated and new evils engendered by looking vidual and the race. But-Rome was not too exclusively to the direct, while ignoring built in a day-weare not sufficiently evolved the indirect consequences of any measure. for the stimulus of the conditions of life to
It must be borne in mind, too, that all be a sufficing stimulus to the mind. We uncontrol—the prolific parent of a wide- still crave something additional, and shall do, spread family of miseries—is the result of a so long as the harmony—more nearly apwant of consensus between the organism and proached by some than by others—is not its mundane conditions, and that the ab- perfect. Is it too much to expect--for is sence of such consensus implies a failure of not the past the prophecy of the futuredevelopment or a degeneration of nerve- that the man of the long future will have structure ; so that the uncontrollable indi finer and keener sensibilities, his nervous vidual, instead of having made a step in system be such as to be more readily stimuadvance to meet the increasing complexities lated, that his more civilized and highof life which can only be met by increasing toned nature will find delights and pleasures complexity of organization, has dropped in matters which to us look tame and uninbehind a step-it may be, many steps- teresting, and that he will be disgusted with which, if he could realize, is marked by | and shrink from things which pain general nerve degeneration, that is, by physical de humanity now as little as the scalping and generation, which degeneration is inheritable the cannibal feast did our ancestors of old ? by his offspring. Hence the great caution How many are there even now, whose needed in dealing with the problem of the | more specialized and advanced organizamiseries and moral and mental weaknesses tion enables them to respond pleasurably of mankind : for the fatal hereditary cra- to the myriad slight ictuses of mental, ving' (p. 186) is itself the result of nervous moral, and ästhetic beauty presented to degeneration—a sort of descensus Averni them everywhere, of which the duller and ingrained in the constitution, and which, less differentiated brains of their fellows are while claiming our sympathy and help, de | almost wholly insensible. Let us only be mands more wisdom in dealing with it than patient. Give the thing time enough and I think any of the rough-and-ready would all may yet go well. But of this we may be doctors of humanity have generally rest assured, that our unwise haste and attained to : for it is, indeed, a most per restrictive measures, commencing with palplexing problem.
pable injustice, will only aggravate the evil Why do men drink? Human nature, tenfold. though it has made great progress through the | In my 12th premise I had said that ages, has not yet so far advanced-her motto FIDELIS was bound to prove that a governbeing festina lente—as to be reduced to har- ment possessed rights of a kind quite dismony with its circumstances. The adapta tinct from those possessed by individuals.' tion has not yet been carried far enough. To this FIDELIS replies, that they have The human creature, therefore, often gets rights of a kind distinct,' for that it is a ennuied ; a feeling of restlessness, of dis- principle on which we act in all other matsatisfaction arises in the mind ; he is ill at ters.' This, of course, proves nothing. It ease and craves excitement of some kind, only means, it is done because it is done, and to allay the wearing and wearying feel- or, they do it in one case, and so may do ing, one has recourse to the stimulus of it in another. alcohol, another of opium or Indian hemp, | Now though this premise is only an adanother of tea or coffee, another of gambling, junct, not a necessity, of my argument, I or money-making, or politics, or novel thought it best to introduce it, believing reading, etc., etc.; for human life is not yet that the time will come when the question fully adjusted or specialized to its special with the legislator will be, not is this law I conditions, but is only on the way towards am about to propose expedient, but is it that adjustment. The stimulus of war and | just; a time when there will be a convicof murdering and scalping and hunting | tion in men's minds — which at present down one another, and of feasting on the there seems not to be that what is just is fallen and tortured foe, has been exchanged always expedient in the long run. It is so to some extent for the above-named excite- | difficult, too, to decide on what is expe
dient; the circumstances are so many, the and beautiful, and worth living for in the interests to be reconciled so diverse, that world. in almost every case a compromise has to | But we restrict the liberty of the smallbe effected by striking, in a clumsy way, a pox patient for the sake of others, and why kind of average never altogether quite not prevent one from taking or from satisfactory. But with the question of right, selling a glass of wine for the same reason? it is quite different. And here I call to But the cases are not parallel. The glass mind a short story from the Cyropædia of of wine won't injure me, but the smallpox Xenophon. I quote from memory and may would. Because the wine is exposed for possibly prove verbally inaccurate. His sale, I am not obliged to take it ;. my will is grandfather, the king, had told Cyrus that not forced. But in the case of the smallhe must go back to Persia to learn justice. pox patient at large, in the market and But, grandfather, said the boy, I have a | public thoroughfares, I am obliged to take most exact knowledge of justice. How so, it; I can scarce avoid taking it; and since said his grandfather. Thus, said the boy. I have no right to injure another, another A big boy at our school with a little coat, has no right to injure me, and therefore I took a big coat off a little boy and gave the am justified in seeing thai he secludes himlittle boy his own small coat. Of this the self for a short period. little boy complaining, the master called on But if governments have' exclusive rights, me to act as judge. Whereupon seeing whence do they derive them? They are that the small coat of the big boy fitted the either usurped rights, over the people, or little boy, and that the big coat of the little they are rights delegated to them from the boy fitted the big boy, I gave my sentence people; but, if the latter, I can only say, for the big boy's retaining the big coat and that water cannot rise higher than its founthe little boy's retaining the little coat. | tain-head. But for this, added Cyrus, I got whipped, But the whole thing hinges upon this, my master adding that, if called on to judge whether right or expediency is to be recogwhich coat fitted each boy best, my decision nized as the basis of human government. was a good one; but that that was not the I maintain that the individual has rights point at all, but a quite different one, to wit, that are inherent and inalienable. FIDELIS of right and belonging. So you see, grand maintains that the individual holds his father, I have a strict knowledge of justice. rights by sufferance, and may rightfully be
Oh, for such schoolmasters and such deprived of them whenever a majority depupils! With such instructors we should cides that it is for the good of society that make short work with Dunkin Bills and these rights be escheated. In short-for Prohibitions. This grand old Pagan school it comes to this — there are no rights master, how much might he not teach us that may not rightfully be voted away and in Christian Canada to-day. What a clear, extinguished by a numerical majority, and, discriminating judgment. Everything stood therefore, no rights at all: for the caprice rounded to him in its just proportions, and of the voters constitutes our only real no confusing haze of the emotions blurred entitlement. Yet once admit this, once the clear, calm eye of the judgment. When touch with the unhallowed finger of expethe claims of right and expediency jostled, diency the sanctity of right, and we put the fine, true instincts of the man never everything in jeopardy. But, in spite of hesitated for an instant, and he punished | all reactions to the contrary, we are, I conthe poor little boy as though it were a dis ceive, working upward towards a state of grace for even a child not to see that, in a belief that the highest crimes against man collision of right and expediency, right are "TRESPASSES UPON HIS INDIVIDUALITY'; must triumph ever, and that the battle-cry | and, unless this be regarded as the very corin every encounter ought to be-Fiat jus ner-stone of our liberties, 'new democracy titia ruat cælum.
is but old despotism differently spelt.' For, But why make such a fuss about indi- | as Herbert Spencer further says, “the worvidual liberty ? My reply is that by touch ship of the appliances of liberty in place of ing this, you touch the apple of the eye of liberty its if, needs continually exposing. every human interest, of all that is grand, | There is no intrinsic virtue in votes. The
| possession of representatives is not itself a
benest. These are but means to an end; footsteps of our race from the very first, and the End is the maintenance of those though ever in a decreasing degree. “And,' conditions under which each citizen may adds FIDELIS, with a candour beyond all carry on his life without further hindrances praise, this is the best, the writer sincerely from other citizens than are involved by their believes, that we can hope to do with the equal claims. This is a very weighty sen | Temperance Problem ; and if Prohibition tence- the summation of one who has stud do not prove the best solution, we may, ied the principles and laws of human na- amid our seeking, find something better on ture, and the histories of human societies, the way.' And we may find the North as no other man, dead or living, ever has. Pole and mermaids disporting themselves The best education you can give a man is in that open sea and—we may not. But a sound and thorough saturation of his one thing we certainly shall find at the end whole nature with a sense of his rights and of each experiment-our own terrible misof human rights; but it is impossible to take. For a system born, cradled, nursed uphold human rights and human freedom in wrong can never end in right; nor, wrigif you commence by destroying them. A gle out of or twist it as we will, can it ever government or a majority has no right to do be made to appear that the proper office me a wrong, and can have none. I possess of a government is to curtail the rights of the right to take a glass of wine. To de | any member of the body corporate, but prive me of this right would be plain injus rather to so reconcile the rights of all as to tice; it would not be right, but the exercise | afford the fullest play to the individuality of might to set right aside. This all is of each. involved in Prohibition. Prohibition, then, But people are not very likely to be won begins in wrong ; builds on wrong; and no over from the error of their ways by anything edifice built on wrong as its foundation can I may have to say, if not already convinced be stable. But this is not all : I am like. by the clear and manly and powerful reasonwise to be forced to pay with a view to the | ing of the author (see CANADIAN MONTHLY upholding of this system of wrong-doing for August) of ‘CURRENT EVENTS'—a writer knocked down and punished for falling. whose every page sparkles with brilliancy,
It is a strange idea, a grotesque-looking toned down and tempered by profound argument, which if FIDELIS has been able to thought and masculine sense, and whose make nothing out of, no one else need at- style is so crisp and fresh and vigorous, and tempt. And what says she upon the sub- his mode of treating his subject so entirely ject — At the best' (page 185, the italics his own, while at every turn we are encounhere and hereafter, as likewise in the quota tered by surprises of novelty or originality, tions from Mr. Spencer, are mine)—' at the that where obliged to disagree with him, we best, and in our best efforts, we are but | feel that we do so reluctantly, and always groping through the dark-feeling our way with the respect due to a writer and thinker amidst unknown quantities, making attempt | of no ordinary powers. after attempt, and experiment after experi- If the Maine Liquor Law be the blessment, and by-and-by, perhaps, hitting, after | ing to the world which its advocates rea blundering fashion, on something which present it to be, why is it that so many of succeeding ages at least, if not the present, the States of the American Union-Rhode will recognize as a great step in human pro Island, Massachusetts, &c.—which once
adopted it with rejoicings, have fallen And for the sake of all this 'groping from their first love and reject it now? Is through the dark' and 'blundering' on in it that, having had experience of its effects, the vain hope that at last some remedy may they can now judge of its merits? Or if it
perhaps' be stumbled on, I and the rest of be said that those who voted for it at first us are to be deprived of innocent, if not had meanwhile become deteriorated, then, useful, enjoyment, and to be taxed into the I say, the former system of non-prohibition bargain for the support of our experimental- | had produced a moral character which proists while seeking for the philosopher's stone hibition-times have so lowered or not susby which to convert the baser metal of hu tained, that they now reject the good they manity into precious gold, and to relieve once rejoiced in. men of the misery which has dogged the ! And, in regard to the Dunkin Bill, it is