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have more than enough to live on. Persons in this enviable situation can save money without privation and invest it as capital, adding the interest thereon to their incomes and so being able to save still more. Thus a large income acts on saving just as nitrouis oxide acts on dentistry. For a millionaire saving is a positive pleasure. For the man of more moderate resources, who is conscious of denying himself a carriage, or a yacht, or an extra servant for the sake of his children, the privation is just sensible enough to impart a delicious and morally invigorating consciousness of virtue. To the most fortunate sort of factory operative, if he has no great appetite for enjoyment, and rather exults in saying No! continually to the petitions of his wife and children, saving is difficult and unpleasant; but it is possible to the extent of about ten pounds a year; so that an industrious and disagreeable man will have £400 of his own after working forty years for nine or ten hours a day : that is to say, about one five-thousandth part of what one of our great landlords can save in a single year without doing a stroke of work or inflicting the faintest appreciable privation on himself or anyone about him. But this factory operative belongs to the aristocracy of labour. The ordinary labourer, who enjoys the distinction of being that famous figure, “ the average Englishman,” makes himself and his family most miserable by his efforts to save enough to tide him over his next spell among the unemployed. As to the agricultural labourer, with his eleven to thirteen shillings a week (mostly eleven), even Mr. John Morley, the most intelligently ignorant of our Liberal politicians, nearly scuttled the Liberal ship the other day by admitting that to preach " thrift " to agricultural labourers was but to fill their bellies with the east wind. In the presence of the woman at the East End, who earns from four to six shillings a week by working sixteen hours a day, a recommendation to save money is ferocious, heartless, criminally thoughtless : when some wretched duke or bishop is guilty of it one's gorge rises; one's blood boils; one turns with relief even to Mr. Gladstone prescribing the same remedy to the railway workers with their sixteen to twenty-three shillings.
But I am forgetting that my concertina is not the big drum. I shall be reminded presently of that £200,000,000 which the working
classes have saved during the last half century. Being inept at figures, I could never get the calculation quite up to those round numbers; but I will not quarrel over an odd twenty millions or so. I will turn my drumstick into a slate-pencil and try the question that way. Mr. Gladstone gives us (from Mr. Giffen) the capital of the country at £10,000,000,000. The Giffen of 1840, Porter estimated the capital then at £4,000,000,000. Consequently, the well-to-do have saved £5,800,000,000 whilst the wage-workers have been saving £200,000,000, which helps to explain why the Lancashire co-operators have secured only £80,000 of the capital of the Manchester Ship Canal for the factory operatives, whilst the balance of £5,920,000 has fallen into the hands of their landlords and masters. Evidently the great thrift solution of the social problem, by which everybody is to get up on everybody else's back and live by sweating dividends out of him will not do for the English people: it is too Utopian, too carelessly thought out, too flagrantly impracticable. Yet, for those who can afford to save, it presents itself as so feasible, so wholesome as a moral discipline, so incontestable a certificate of righteousness, that nothing but a very considerable progressive Income tax will ever shake their faith ; and I should not be at all surprised to hear of the London School Board proposing to relegate that precept about taking no thought for the morrow to the Apocrypha along with the Book of Amos.
Still, it must not be supposed that the work of making all things possible to the man with more than enough to live on was an easy one.
Think of all the chains in which the Tory Lucifer had the Whig Mammon bound up at the beginning of the century. Mammon wanted to make England the workshop of the world : Lucifer intercepted the raw material with his protective duties. Mammon was often a Jew or a Dissenter: Lucifer would not let him into Parliament without swallowing Christian formulæ, nor give him all the opportunities of a gentleman if he would not join the Established Church. Mammon wanted to be qualified for Parliament by cash and scrip: Lucifer would hear of nothing but land, which he called "a stake in the country.” Mammon wanted his son to enter the Civil Service : Lucifer kept all the good berths in his gift, and would turn a deaf ear to the pleadings of honest
merit backed by money's worth in education ; for he saw nothing in the public service but a great relieving institution for the county family cadet, and the needy but highly connected generally. Mammon wanted the vote for the people in order that they might vote for him against Lucifer; and he wanted the ballot to protect them from Lucifer's intimidation at the polling booth. Mammon came even to want some sort of education for his factory
« hands” to enable them to compete with the State-educated foreign “ hand”; and Lucifer stood in the way because he wanted his agricultural labourers to know no more than how to drive a straight furrow and touch their hats, book-learning being ominous for Lucifer. Now against all this opposition Mammon has fought and triumphed : his enemy is in the dust : he is putting off his armour with a sigh of relief, confident that his warfare is accomplished, and that all that remains of human policy is the policy of gratitude to the great Liberal party. He found England existing only for an aristocracy to which nothing but the accident of birth could procure admission. He has left it existing only for a plutocracy open to every man, however modest his ability, who has money to spare. Such a one can now invest that spare money and make the most of it under Free Trade; he can go into Parliament without any property qualification beyond a thousand pounds loose cash and an independent income; he can become richer and richer without working ; he can equip his son with the education that opens the door of the Home Office, the War Office, the Colonial Office, the Indian Civil Service, and what not; he can, within human limits, do what he pleases. Can his devotion to the party that has done this for him be carried too far?
Imagine now the disgust of the Liberal party at the fickleness and ingratitude of human nature, when its triumphant revels are interrupted by the disgusting drone of my friend's concertina in the street outside. It is not even a sixteen-guinea English, concertina, but a German one, cheap and nasty. Why will not this man go away, buy presentable clothes, get into the Civil Service avail himself of Free Trade by investing capital in Lancashire, stand for Parliament, return a self-made man and a good Liberal ? Because, he says, he has not a farthing over and above what is
barely sufficient to keep him in his present condition, and never had, neither he nor his father before him. And he excuses his discreditable predicament by pointing out that all that his and his father's heavy labour produced over and above the subsistence wage has been taken from him to make up the incomes of the Liberal plutocrats inside. A most insufferable indiscretion this: take him away, police, there ! It is as bad as the stoker on the Rhine steamboat in Freiligrath's poem, who suddenly shoves his hideous grimy head up through the beautiful clean deck, among the flags and flowers, and impudently says to the King :
Above my head you gaily walk, Whilst down in labour's den below, where all the air is reeking hot, Within the sultry forge of Need I hammer out my heavy lot ; Nor mine alone-thine also, King; for who could make the wheels go
round, Unless the stoker's sturdy fist had plied the poker underground ?
Verses of this sort were well enough when directed at kings; but in the reign of the plutocrat, Longfellow's “Village Blacksmith " is in far better taste; for they raise the question whether, now that the great work of making everything possible to the possessors of money is done, any further steps are to be taken to secure that the money shall find its way into the hands of those who earn it. If not, then clearly the election triumphs of the Liberal party are no more to the workers than a rise in the dividend of a tramway company is to the horses that drag the cars, who would rather have fewer passengers and lighter loads. If so, on the contrary, then what is to become of all the fruits of “abstinence,” the great fortunes which Free Trade built up, the houses which it founded, the "success" which would have no meaning if there were no misery to give relative value to it? Must Mammon, having with great travail wrested the kingdom from Lucifer, hand it over to Labour before he has had time to fairly taste its delights? Perish the thought! If the dogs are on that scent, then drag something across it. Ireland, Scotch Disestablishment, “ Free Breakfast Table,” “Free Land” (popular expression,"free"!) Lords'Abolition, Registration Reform, anything that will lead to nothing. Above all, draw off the crowd from that fellow with the concertina, even
if it costs a fight (no street orator can compete with a fight) to do it. Let all Europe fight, if necessary. Payment of members we Liberals have denied to the mob all through the century : deny it still; and when the London Radicals will stand no further flat denial, humbug them by "recognising the principle" in an empty resolution outside the House of Commons. Keep that House free from “political adventurers ” by reserving it for financial ones, for the sweaters, and for the landlords. With payment of members and election expenses the mob would fill our Parliaments with proletarian monsters, who would send our tax-collectors, backed by our brokers, our policemen, our soldiers (then, alas ! their collectors, their brokers, their policemen, their soldiers),with unheard of Incometax papers, containing only one abominable Schedule A, on Unearned Incomes, twenty shillings in the pound, or as much of it as the municipalities (also equipped with proletarian monsters) are ready to capitalise in the public organisation of industry. We should have the State, which now interferes in industry only to keep up shop rents about Trafalgar Square, or to save Messrs. Baring from bankruptcy, or to see Mr. Livesey's blacklegs safely into the gasworks—we should have this very State going into business on the people's account, expressly to cut out that private enterprise which is the sole support of the struggling professional man's widow and orphan, not to mention persons less apt to provoke sympathy. Thus far, Mammon, in great anguish of mind.
But you, review-reader, know all about these things from Fabian Essays, my part wherein cost me a sustained effort to be what the English people call serious, of which I nearly died. I shall not repeat that effort here: this is not the time nor the place. But if some staunch Liberal of sufficient importance to make it worth my while, would only talk these matters over quietly with me, on a platform, before a working class audience—or, indeed, any other audience, for what I care—how sweetly I would play the concertina to him ! Or one of my friends, with a deeper sense of responsibility and a finer moral tone,would be happy to take my place. This would give us such a tremendous advertisement that the plutocracy would realise its danger and rally round the Liberal party with its eyes open and its nerves strung for the combat. But, bless you, no official Liberal will do VOL. IV.-NO. 20.