little resemblance to that contemplated at the outset of your political life. Manifestly, those who framed your constitution never dreamed that twenty thousand citizens would go to the poll led by a "boss." America exemplifies, at the other end of the social scale, a change analogous to that which has taken place under sundry despotisms. You know that in Japan, before the recent revolution, the divine ruler, the Mikado, nominally supreme, was practically a puppet in the hands of his chief minister, the Shogun. Here it seems to me that the "sovereign people" is fast becoming a puppet which moves and speaks as wire-pullers determine.
Then you think that republican institutions are a failure?
By no means! I imply no such conclusion. Thirty years ago, when often discussing politics with an English friend, and defending republican institutions, as I always have done and do still; and when he urged against me the ill-working of such institutions over here; I habitually replied that the Americans got their form of government by a happy accident, not by normal progress, and that they would have to go back before they could go forward. What has since happened seems to me to have justified that view; and what I see now confirms me in it. America is showing on a larger scale than ever before, that "paper constitutions" will not work as they are intended to work. The truth, first recognized by Mackintosh, that "constitutions are not made, but grow," which is part of the larger truth that societies throughout their whole organizations are not made but grow, at once, when accepted, disposes of the notion that you can work, as you hope, any artificially-devised system of government. It becomes an inference that if your political structure has been manufactured, and not grown, it will forthwith begin to grow into something different from that intended—something in harmony with the natures of citizens and the conditions under which the society exists. And it evidently has been so with you. Within the forms of your constitution there has grown up this organization of professional politicians, altogether uncontemplated at the outset, which has become in large measure the ruling power.
But will not education and the diffusion of political knowledge fit men for free institutions?
No. It is essentially a question of character, and only in a secondary degree a question of knowledge. But for the universal delusion about education as a panacea for political evils, this would have been made sufficiently clear by the evidence daily disclosed in your papers. Are not the men who officer and control your Federal, State, and municipal organizations—who manipulate your caucuses and conventions, and run your partisan campaigns—all educated men? and has their education prevented them from engaging in, or permitting, or condoning, the briberies, lobbyings, and other corrupt methods which vitiate the actions of your administrations? Perhaps party newspapers exaggerate these things; but what am I to make of the testimony of your civil-service reformers—men of all parties? If I understand the matter aright, they are attacking, as vicious and dangerous, a system which has grown up under the natural spontaneous working of your free institutions—are exposing vices which education has proved powerless to prevent.
Of course, ambitious and unscrupulous men will secure the offices, and education will aid them in their selfish purposes; but would not those purposes be thwarted, and better government secured, by raising the standard of knowledge among the people at large?Very little. The current theory is that if the young are taught what is right, and the reasons why it is right, they will do what is right when they grow up. But, considering what religious teachers have been doing these two thousand years, it seems to me that all history is against the conclusion, as much as is the conduct of these well-educated citizens I have referred to; and I do not see why you expect better results among the masses. Personal interests will sway the men in the ranks as they sway the men above them; and the education which fails to make the last consult public good rather than private good, will fail to make the first do it. The benefits of political purity are so general and remote, and the profit to each individual so incon-