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The Public Pedagogue
by [?]

Of course Carlyle may have been mistaken; still the fact that since he uttered his warning the world has not produced one man of genius except in the department of mechanics–that intellectually the last half of the present century is to the first half as “moonlight unto sunlight and as water unto wine”; that religion is becoming even more materialistic, patriotism passing and poetry dying or already dead; that millionaires are multiplying while the legion of idle labor grows larger, suggests that important inferences may be drawn from this ever-increasing organization of powers spiritual and material; and, like Quintius Fixlien, I “invite the reader to draw them.”

If “the English race” be indeed “rising to the mastery of the globe,” there is no cause for immediate alarm, for, at his present rate of progress, it will be some ages yet before John Bull succeeds in stealing it all. Nations, like individuals, have their youth, their lusty manhood and their decline; and there is every indication that Britain has passed the meridian of her power, while Russia and America, her equals in the arena of the world, still find their shadows falling toward the west. Persia, Assyria, Rome and Spain have aspired to the lordship of the world; and each in turn has been brought low by that insidious power that for a century has been draining the iron from the blood of England–the love of luxury, the subjection of Glory to Greed. If history be “philosophy teaching by example,” the lion of Britain is senescent, if not already dead and stuffed with sawdust; but let the world look well to that savage brute known as the Russian bear. No: England is not “master of the globe,” nor can she ever be; for her home territory is trifling and distant provinces are a source of weakness in war.

It were idle to discuss with a confirmed Anglomaniac the respective merits of the British and American governments. It may be that the former is “cheapest,” despite the maintenance of an established church, a great army and navy and a sovereign who, with her worthless spawn, costs the taxpayers $3,145,000 per annum, while our president requires less than one-sixtieth of that sum. England does not pension the adult orphan children of men who sprained their moral character in an effort to dodge the draft, nor does Queen Victoria sell government bonds to banker syndicates on private bids; hence I will have no controversy with the learned Theban on the question of economy. The British subject may enjoy greater “individual liberty” than does the American sovereign, for aught I am prepared to prove. True, he is taxed to support a church founded by that eminent Christian Apostles Henry VIII, and whose next fidei defensor will be the present worshipful Prince of Wales; is represented in but one branch of Parliament and has no voice in the selection of his chief executive officer. If the sovereign and hereditary house of lords refuse to do his bidding, he must grin and bear it, while we can “turn the rascals out”–even if we turn a more disreputable crew of chronic gab-traps and industrial cut-throats in. He enjoys one privilege which is denied us, much to the dissatisfaction of our Anglomaniacs, that of purchasing titles of nobility; but we can acquire a life tenure of the title of Judge by arbitrating a horse-trade or officiating one term as justice of the peace, while by assiduous bootlicking we may, like Rienzi Miltiades Johnsing, obtain a lieutenant-colonelcy–or even a gigadier-brindleship–on the gilded staff of some 2 x 4 governor, and disport in all the glorious pomp and circumstance of war at inaugural balls or on mimic battlefields; hence honors are easy.

. . . . . .

That the Irish race is deficient in the organizing faculty is a great discovery, and I would advise President Winston to apply for a patent. John Bull will prove himself ungrateful indeed if he neglects to pension him for having demonstrated that those Irish organizations which, for half a century have kept his public servants looking under their beds o’ nights for things neither ornamental nor useful, were mere Fata Morganas, Brocken specters or disease of the imagination. Winston has evidently been misled by a mere than Boeotian ignorance blithely footing it hand-in- hand with a vivid anti-Celtic imagination. He does not know that Ireland was the seat of learning and the expounder of law, both human and divine, when the rest of Europe was a wide-weltering chaos in which shrieked the demons Ignorance and Disorder. He was oblivious of the fact that the American people–the master organizers of the age–are far more Irish than English. You can scarce scratch an American babe of the third generation without drawing Celtic blood. Strange that the only Federal regiment which did not go to pieces at the Battle of Bull Run, though occupying the hottest part of the field–was composed of these very Irishmen who are incapable of organization! McClellan, the greatest military organizer of modern times– though by no means the ablest commander–was of Celtic extraction, as was the Duke of Wellington, as are the men at the head of the British and American armies to-day.