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Chapter 3 LECTURE III.

  • Let me now return to Professor Julian West's diary, continuing it from wher_e last left off, under date of September 30th.
  • > " After breakfast," writes Professor West, " Edith informed me that she ha_ut in a requisition for a young man and a young woman from our ward-house, and that she purposed, with their assistance, to devote the first half of th_ay to putting my study in order. This I took as a notice to absent mysel_ntil dinner time; and accordingly having seen that my more important paper_ere securely locked up, where they could not be disarranged, I wended my wa_o the college buildings. I found my lecture-room all newly-swept, an_melling somewhat of fresh paint and varnish, so after chatting a little whil_ith such of the other professors as happened to be in the building, I went t_he library and spent the rest of the morning there.
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  • > " We dined, as usual, at one, and I returned home in time to go with Edit_nd the children to our ward eating-house. After our meal was finished.
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  • > " Edith went back to her house-cleaning, while I went down town to the Stat_ouse to learn what had been the outcome of the meeting of the heads of ou_ocal guilds. They had adjourned for dinner as I had expected, and wer_eassembling when I arrived. As I was personally acquainted with most of them, and as my position was to a great extent a public one, I was invited to remai_nd listen to the debates, and I gladly accepted the invitation. We remaine_n consultation until darkness warned us that the supper hour was near, an_hen adjourned to meet again later in the evening.
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  • > " The measures agreed upon, were, practically, as follows : It had bee_greed that ten per centum of the active force should be released from thei_ccupations, and proceed, at once, to arm and drill and act as a loca_ilitary force. This ten per centum was to be selected from the various trade_y their respective Superintendents, who were given plenary powers o_election. They were to meet on the following morning and select the officers, who were to be subject to the commands of a Committee on Military Affairs, composed of members of the Municipal Council.
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  • > " Three of our most distinguished architects, and two civil engineers ha_one down the bay to examine the coast defenses, and the guild yacht clubs ha_een ordered to hold their various boats in readiness for instant service. _ommittee of the Superintendents of the female guilds had been appointed t_evise a uniform for the military, and was given authority to call upon th_ailoring department for the necessary number of uniforms. Another committee, called the Committee on Munitions of War, was appointed and directed t_rocure at once as large an amount of powder and shot as possible, and wa_iven authority to levy requisitions on the various machine-shops and chemica_actories for these materials. The hours of labor were ordered to b_engthened in those trades from which the military were taken, so that ther_ight be no decrease in the production corresponding to the decrease in th_umber of producers.
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  • > " The transaction of this business had consumed the hours of the day'_ession, and when the adjournment was ordered, I went home to supper.
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  • > "Arrived at home, I found awaiting me a message from the President o_hawmut College, which recited an order received from the Committee o_ilitary Affairs and desired me to at once select ten per centum of th_tudents in the Historical Section and to notify them to meet on the Common a_ine o'clock the next morning to be mustered into the military service.
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  • > "A very hastily-swallowed supper sufficed me after I had read thi_ommunication, and then I hurried to the President's house, I was not his onl_isitor. The heads of every section of the college had received notice_imilar to mine, and, being perplexed as I was, had hurried to the President'_ouse for consultation. Most of us were bothered in the same way; to each o_s there was an incoming class of new students whom we had never met and who_e knew of only because their names were on the college lists; how could w_ntelligently select, as best fitted for soldiering, a percentage of a clas_hich we had never seen. Besides there, was a point, which had not occurred t_e, but which I found that a majority of my colleagues in the faculty wer_orrying over, and that was this: we were required to select ten per centu_rom our sections — did this mean that we were to select the ten per centu_rom the section as a whole, or a quarter of it from the senior, junior, sophomore and freshman classes, each, respectively? With these question_efore us our chance meeting at the President's house resolved itsel_ractically into an informal meeting of the faculty — some of my students wer_lso in the classes of Professor Smith, Lecturer on Biology, and I was i_oubt whether Prof. S. or myself should count such among our quotas.
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  • > "But when I got home, feeling quite satisfied that our deliberations ha_ettled all matters so far as the college was concerned, I showed my list t_dith (who was sitting up for me) and was annoyed to find that she at onc_isapproved of it — because I had put down as the quota selected by me onl_en and had ignored the women who formed nearly half my classes."
  • I cease now for a time my quotations from Professor West's diary, because _an more succinctly narrate to you, in my own words what followed. I hav_uoted from his diary enough to show you how utterly unprepared for invasio_our country was under the Nationalist system, and how entirely unsuspectin_our governing people were of what was to follow. When Professor West wrote i_is diary those entries which I have just read to you, the rulers of th_nited States were unanimously of the opinion that the first attack of Chin_ould be on the Pacific ports ; and no one had any idea that New England o_he Middle or Southern States would ever be the scene of battle.
  • The preparations for simultaneons attack which we had made had passed utterl_nnoticed by your rulers. This lamentable ignorance could never have existe_f there had been a diplomatic corps abroad, or if there had been newspaper_n any way resembling those published by your ancestors during the latter hal_f the nineteenth century. But such newspapers had been exterminated upon th_niversal adoption of the Nationalist system. Government became the sol_anufacturer and distributor of goods; advertising was at an end. As Professo_est justly remarks in a letter dated A. D.
  • 2001,[[8]](footnotes.xml#footnote_8) your general news you receive_fficially, all alike, as it was given you ; and the official bulletins me_ll demands that arose, and gave all news which for public safety and moralit_t was deemed wise to publish. The theory of the Nationalist government, tha_ man who did not labor with his hands was an idler, prohibited th_aintenance, in foreign countries, of a diplomatic corps or consular syste_hich might have advised you, and surely would, of the contemplated attack o_he Chinese; and as you had no navy and no standing army, you could have n_ilitary or naval agents abroad to report to their respective departments wha_ther nations were preparing to do. Hence, as I say, you were in utte_gnorance that great preparations had been made by China to attack som_ation, and equally unaware that we contemplated a simultaneous invasion upo_he east, west and south coasts of the United States.
  • I have been asked what the real cause of this war was. As I have already tol_ou, it was in reality a defensive war undertaken by China to crush out th_ationalist theory of government. When a strong nation desires to go to wa_ith a weak one, any pretext, no matter how trivial, serves as excuse for th_eclaration of hostilities. In this case I believe that the cause given wa_hat a Chinese of high rank had been hooted in the streets of San Francisco, but the real reason was that China was so strong and you were so weak.
  • The United States rested in false security. Having become accustomed t_elieve war a thing of the past, you took no measures to preserve your power_f self-defense. You were soon, however, to be undeceived.
  • On the 1st day of October a fleet of vessels was spied off the coast of Maine.
  • Spy-glasses were at once brought to bear on it, and as it approached, it wa_een to consist of war vessels. The news was at once telegraphed to Boston an_he other coast cities and to Washington.
  • The day had been cloudy, and night fell earlier than usual, but not before th_trange vessels had approached near enough to show that they flew the nationa_nsign of China. That night, for the first time, the Bostonians awoke to _ealization of the threatened danger. Let me quote from some pencilled note_hich I found among Professor West's papers. He says:
  • > " We had been all sound asleep, when we were awakened by a tremendou_nocking upon our front door. My wife heard it first, and aroused me, and _ent to the window and looked out. It was a dark night, and at first I coul_ee no one, but on calling out I was answered by a voice, which I recognize_s belonging to one of the college janitors, and which said to me, as nearl_s I can recollect the words, 'There's a Chinese fleet off the Cape, Professor, and the President wants you to meet him and the other professors a_he State House right away.' To be startled from sleep by such a summons a_his was not conducive to calm reflection. I dressed rapidly, and taking _asty leave of Edith, hurried to the State House, where I found the Municipa_ouncil and the larger part of the college faculty.
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  • > " The danger that confronted us was so sudden and unexpected that we coul_evise no way to meet it. There were indeed many plans proposed, but none, when examined, seemed to promise practical relief or protection. For the firs_ime then I realized that we were practically unprotected. It was easy to cal_pon all citizens to arm, but they were undisciplined, and there were n_eapons for them. It was easy to fasten cans of dynamite on the bows of ever_essel in the harbor, but for such puerile attacks the invading forces woul_are nothing. And when we telegraphed to Washington for advice we were onl_old to do the best we could, and informed that similar fleets had been see_n the Gulf and at the entrance of Puget Sound.
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  • > " ' _Do the best you can_ ,' that was all the help we got from the much- praised government at Washington."
  • There was a tendency in those days to hold the government, and by th_overnment I mean the functionaries at Washington, responsible for th_eclaration of war and all the trouble that followed; but, as I have alread_uggested to you, it was your system of govern meut rather than your ruler_hat was responsible.
  • The fleet was seen off the coast on the afternoon of the 1st of October, a_aybreak on the 2nd it was at the entrance to Boston Harbor and the city la_t the mercy of its guns. At nine o'clock a torpedo boat, flying a flag o_ruce from her bow, came steaming slowly up the channel, feeling her wa_autiously as if fearful of torpedoes or submarine mines, for here let m_bserve that, although we in China were aware of your unprotected condition, we could not for one moment flatter ourselves that you were utterly unaware o_ur preparations for your invasion nor believe that the arrival of our fleet_ould find you so utterly unprepared for resistance.
  • Well, as I said, the torpedo boat came slowly up the harbor. It was seen as i_tarted and its approach was telephoned to the State House, so that _ommittee of the municipality met it at the wharf. It bore, as had bee_ightly conjectured, an officer from the fleet with a summons for th_mmediate surrender of the city and a demand for a ransom equal to about fift_illions of dollars. The refusal, of either of these demands, it was stated, would be followed by a bombardment of the city.
  • The sensation, which followed the arrival of this messenger, may be bes_escribed by an eye witness. I quote from an anonymous manuscript, now in th_ollege library, the writer of which, though his name is not known, was one o_hose drafted from the unclassified grade of common laborers. He says:
  • > " I was on the Common much earlier than was called for, but I was by n_eans alone.  Men and women, who had been drafted from the other trades, wer_here also, and the air was fairly noisy with talk. The arrival of the flee_ff the mouth of the harbor was known to most of us and was the principa_opic of conversation, though there was also much discussion as to th_niforms we were to wear and many guesses hazarded whether the women, who ha_een selected, would be mustered in as a separate force or be apportioned wit_he men to different regiments.
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  • > " At nine o'clock, promptly, our Superintendents appeared upon the scene, and the quotas from the various guilds gathered around them and the lists o_he selections were read, those present answering 'here,' and the few who wer_bsent being marked accordingly. We had expected to be mustered into servic_mmediately, but were told that the municipal authorities did not fee_ompetent to decide the propriety of enrolling women, and had telegraphed t_ashington for instructions on that point. We were told, therefore, to wai_here we were until this point had bieen decided.
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  • > " About ten o'clock we received news of the torpedo boat's approach, an_lmost immediately afterward of the envoy's landing. Our Superintendents the_ppeared clearing a way for the committeemen and the envoy.
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  • > " The crowd by this time was very great. Every window in the neighborhoo_as packed thick with heads, but I was fortunately agile enough to climb _ree beneath which the envoy passed, and so I had a full view of him. He was _ood-looking, well-made Chinaman of probably thirty-five years o_ge,[[9]](footnotes.xml#footnote_9) dressed in loose trousers of dark blu_ilk and a loose, flowing robe or shirt of yellow flowered damask, belte_round his waist with a sword belt. He was accompanied by a guard of fou_ierce-looking sailor-men, armed to the teeth, but the things that struck u_ll as most curious were the long tails of hair that hung down their back_rom underneath their helmets. They passed through the crowd into the Stat_ouse, where the Municipal Council was assembled.
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  • > " In about an hour the envoy came out again, escorted as before, an_isappeared in the direction of the wharf, whence in a little while we hear_he sound of cheering — though what there was to cheer at none of us on th_ommon knew.''
  • Now let me tell you what happened in the State House. His Excellency, Lieutenant Hi, delivered his demands, amid the most profound silence. He wa_mpowered, he said, to allow one-half hour for deliberation, at the end o_hat time he should expect an answer. Having thus delivered himself he retire_nto one of the adjoining committee rooms. The perplexity of the Municipa_ouncil was very great. Without special authorization from the centra_overnment it had no authority to grant the demands of the invaders, and _efusal to grant them meant the destruction of the city. To telegraph t_ashington was a matter of course but no reply could be obtained from tha_ity. This silence which added so much to the perplexities of the council w_ow know was owing to the confusion that reigned in Washington. Chinese wa_hips had appeared off the mouth of the Potomac, and the government archive_ere being hastily packed for removal and the officials were preparing fo_light.
  • Telegrams from New York and Philadelphia showed a similar state of affairs.
  • Boston could evidently expect no outside aid.
  • The half hour was extended by the Chinese envoy to an hour, but the more th_ouncil debated, the more inevitable and unavoidable seemed compliance wit_he Chinese demands. Every instinct prompted a refusal. To yield so readil_as an offense to patriotism and self-respect — and yet to resist meant t_esist hopelessly, meant the destruction of thousands of human lives and acre_f art and architecture.
  • Reason pointed out clearly the folly of resistance; pride showed plainly th_hame of yielding.
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  • Note.—The letter by Professor West referred to in the preceding lecture is a_ollows:
  • A Journalist's Confession,
  • Boston, A. D., 2001.
  • (Communicated through Dyer D. Lum.
  • Published by permission of the Open Court.)
  • > You will be surprised, my dear Dr. Leete, to learn that I have severed m_onnection with the _Trumpet of Liberty_ , but such is the fact. Your kindnes_n the past, your earnest zeal in laboring to secure sufficient subscribers t_eimburse the executive power for expense incurred, as well as your unfailin_ptimism even when circumstances looked dark, all alike convince me that _ould be derelict to favors received were I not to lay before you the reason_hich have actuated me in this final step.  Nor are the reasons purel_entimental, though I know that if I should place them upon that ground _ould at once command the tender sympathies of your generous and trustin_eart. And if my private criticisms herein as to the wisdom of our mode o_onducting newspapers should seem to lean toward treason, I can but simpl_hrow myself upon your good nature.
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  • > The imperative necessity of first securing enough subscribers to guarante_ost before permission to publish could be obtained, necessarily made th_enture in a large degree local. To the circulars sent out, the replies from _istance were, as we expected, not very encouraging; the utter lack o_dvertising, if I may be permitted that antique word, prevented the fact fro_eing widely known, as well as the character and scope of our work, and at th_ame time deprived us of means to collect names. In fact, my dear doctor, while in no wise depreciating the calm security we now possess of knowing tha_ur material wants will be easily gratified, it still seems to me, but withou_ndorsing Carlyle's allusion to "pig's wash," that this security of th_tomach tends to confine our efforts within narrower circles and restrict ou_ntellectual horizon within the boundaries of personal intercourse. Withou_eans to reach unknown inquirers, our work and progress has been largel_etarded.
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  • > But the _Trumpet_ , fortunately, having a goodly subscription list, and _eing elected editor, these difficulties were surmounted, even if it prevente_ material reduction in terms or increase of attractions. But here a greate_ifficulty arose. You remember the biting sarcasms in works of a former age i_hich the clergy were assailed for being necessarily subservient to the pew_hence arose their support. I fancy I can put myself in the place of _lergyman under those semi-barbarous conditions prevailing before governmen_indly relieved us of the care of overlooking our own morals. For even unde_ur resplendent liberty, which I have done so much to trumpet, I have foun_yself continually treading on tender corns and drawing forth indignan_rotests from my constituency. Our beloved institutions have not fostere_riticism; on the contrary, the tendency is plainly toward its repression.
  • Though our presses continually issue books, they, like papers, find grea_ifficulty in reaching beyond a merely local market, which while heightenin_ost necessarily limits-circulation. To write for the "pews" only, so t_peak, restricts independence; while independence either curtails my list o_eaders or changes its personnel, in either case depriving the paper of a_ssured and solid bads.
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  • > To antagonize those within immediate reach, whom everything tends to rende_xtremely conservative toward speculations relative to wider personal liberty, and without means to reach others at a distance to whom such thoughts might b_elcome, is but one of the many difficulties I have encountered. Individua_nitiative having long since gone out of fashion, in the collapse of th_ncient system of political economy, it becomes more and more difficult t_ssert it in the economy of intellect. I am aware that the field of journalis_s regarded as exempted from the general rule of authoritative direction and, like the clergy, left to personal merit to win success; still the universa_endency of all our institutions to militant measures and direction largely- invalidates the theory. This tendency to centralization, which has become th_rowning glory of our civilization, is strikingly manifest even in journalism, despite its theoretical exemption.
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  • > The subscribers being, so to speak, stockholders, and persons whose every- day occupations and mode of living tend to disparage individual initiative, the first effect of any thing blasphemous to the sacred shrine of th_ommonplace is the appointment of a committee, or board of directors, by th_ubscribers whose chief functions consist in promoting solidarity among th_nrolled subscribers. Theoretically, I had become convinced that this was th_lower of our civilization and frequently elucidated its philosophy at Shawmu_ollege, but my later experience has not led me to be enraptured with it_ragrance. Each one, in so far as individuality has survived, to howeve_light a degree, feels not only competent but authorized to express himsel_ditorially; for those most fervent in presenting the superiority o_ollective wisdom are equally convinced that they are its organs.
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  • > When I accepted the position as editor I believed that this reservation o_ournalism from collective control was wise, but what was excluded in theor_eappears in practice. If you could but look over the articles I have receive_rom the stockholders whom I represent, the "pews" to whom I preach, you migh_e tempted to change the name of the paper to the _Scrap-Book_ , or face th_roblem of reducing material cost without increasing intellectual costiveness.
  • You see my dilemma; if I insert them I am publishing contradictory principles, if I exclude them I am flying in the face of our great and gloriou_nstitutions by looking backward to outgrown conditions, wherein some of you_emi-barbarous forefathers were wont to prate of the inseparableness o_ersonal initiative and responsibility.
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  • > That our social system can be criticised by writers for its compulsor_nlistment for three years to secure ample supply for social demand for sewer- ditchers, night-scavengers, domestic service, etc., you would undoubtedl_gree with me in regarding as only coming from those in whom our beneficen_nstitutions had not eradicated as yet the hereditary taint of being " bor_ired," a complaint of which we read in some ancient authors. Yet, whateve_ts source, such criticisms are received, though generally concealed i_llegory. Thus, recently, I had to reject a story of considerable literar_xcellence, wherein was described a fancied society where parity of condition_endered free competition equitable, and remuneration for work was determine_n open market by intensity and degree of repugnance overcome, thus unsociall_ffering the highest inducements to disagreeable labor. I saw at once th_narchistic character of the work, and promply suppressed it as treasonous.
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  • > I have also come to the conclusion, my dear Dr. Leete, that the newspaper i_bsolete. For current gossip and small talk we already have abundant vehicles; for criticism on public polity there is no room, even if there were need, no_ould it be wise to tolerate it in a community where individuality i_ubordinated to general welfare and protection constitutes the genius of al_nstitutions. Our general news we receive officially, all alike, as it i_iven to us, and the official bulletins meet all demands that may arise whic_ublic safety and morality deem wisdom to publish. Titles of heavier treatise_han the ephemeral requirements of newspapers may always be found in th_fficial record of publications distributed among our purchasing agencies, t_hose who have time to search through their voluminous bulk, and even if _itle should prove misleading, a common misforturne for which I can suggest n_dequate remedy, our material prosperity is so well assured that credit s_asted will not injure any one.
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  • > Finding, therefore, that our present legally instituted scheme of journalis_s incompatible with our social constitution, to preserve which all else mus_e sacrificed, in that it cannot be successfully conducted without individua_nitiative, control and responsibility, I gladly cease the struggle, to retur_o my chair of philosophy of history at Shawmut College. My own opinion i_hat the collective direction now so simplified over production and exchang_n material fabrics, should be logically extended to the production an_xchange of the more subtle fabrics of the brain if our glorious institution_re to permanently remain on a solid and immovable basis. To admit anarchy i_hought, and insist on artificial regulation of relations which are born o_hought, is plainly illogical and dangerous to collective liberty. A socia_ystem once instituted must be preserved at all hazards; to preserve is a_ssential as to create; and this is the more evident when we are the creator_nd know the result to be to our social well-being.
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  • > Happily, the compulsory solidarity to which civilization has now attained i_aterial wealth, and the moralization of militancy a century ago, effected b_olitical high-priests, already gives every indication of being dominant i_he intellectual sphere before the close of this newly-opened century. Havin_rganized liberty, having brought the spirit of freedom down from abstrac_eights to add a local habitation to its name, by excluding individua_nitiative and personal responsibility in economics, having substituted th_ind fraternalism of direction for the wild freedom of competition, let u_asten the rapidly-nearing day when intellect will also reject these survival_f a ruder age — a day wherein we will reach the culminating point of ou_ivilization, where looking forward will be synonymous with looking backward!
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  • > Yours for organized and instituted liberty,
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  • > Julian West.
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  • > P. S. — Edith sends love; the baby is well.
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  • > J.W.
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