Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/365

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Brilliant Eulogy on. General W. it. Payne.

now to be admitted. The States (if they are not already, are to be devoured by the Frankenstein of their own creation. Rulers who are isolated from the sympathies of the ruled, holding themselves splendidly aloof from the pain and problem of life, holding the breadth and depth of life around them as a foreign land, a land of aliens; they, the alien government, in common parlance irreverently entitled "government of the gang" are not candidates for reverence. The riches of violated trust, how can any human being revere that? At the time of the disclosure under oath of the criminal use of the fund insured to "the fatherless and the widow;" bought, as one might say with the heart's blood. Cardinal Gibbons (if correctly reported) was moved to lament what he termed "the putridity of private character." But this was illustration not exception.


So it comes to pass we have them, who from the official pinnacle are branded as "the criminal rich." Anarchy answereth to anarchy, lawlessness at the bottom to lawlessness at the top. The grand triumph of our universal suffrage would seem to be a rediscovery of the ways and means whereby banded capital can hurl as the abject instrument of power, a servile proteletariat. Benjamin Harrison was entitled to know whereof he spoke, when on the 22nd of February, 1898, referring to the speech: "A house divided against itself cannot stay half slave and half free," he gave as present paraphrase; "This country cannot stay half taxed and half free." This is the reality: the other has done yeoman service to accomplish the reality. This creates the ruling class, whose reason for existence is, in place of reciprocal welfare, to ordain a reciprocal rapine; of which the ultimate promise is the Asiatic system, whereunder the tax-payer shall have no rights which the tax consumer will be bound to respect. It is the old eternal conflict between government as a trust and government as a spoil. Magnitude has taken root as magnanimity. As conclusion of the whole matter, the Washington Post of August 14, 1906, has this to say: "Let us be frank about it. The day the people of the North responded to Abraham Lincoln's call for troops to coerce sovereign States, the republic died, and the nation was born."