Skip to main content

Full text of "The human harvest;"

See other formats







i'r£. 

■« : ’ * • -a ' 


;;v ; : . r> 

■ . - ■ = ■, .. . 1 V' ' - ' . 

;< V . t&y ' r . • , 

; 

‘ 






i i 

mm .«■— . / ■>:?" -r 

, - ■ ;. ■ ■ ■ 

*r£;,l ' ' ' > ' - : ■■■'■■ ... - ■ •: ■ " ■. 

ft"-: >' - v ^ ' ■ ; ; k. : ■■•- _ 




M 

'M'; ■ - v . ■: -' ■-.- ' .. ■ . , •' • '■ 


'■ ■■? t r -<: .■ ■ '- ".v . 

-.'A' .) ’. •' ' ■ .* ' V V V- r 1 V • \ -:•• ", v - • 

T 


l Wy.^rT--- - 'y-i ~ . '■> 

\ 

. 'J v-jr. - > • *.-?a 





THE 

HUMAN HARVEST 

ii 

A STUDY OF THE DECAY OF FACES THROUGH 
THE SURVIVAL OF THE UNFIT 

BY 

DAVID STARR JORDAN 

Chancellor of 

Leland Stanford Junior University 

'‘La guerre a produit de tout temps une selection a rebours." 

(novicow) 



BOSTON 

THE BEACON PRESS 

25 BEACON STREET 


Copyright, ipo/ 
The Beacon Press, Inc. 





\^"C 


TO THE 


MEMORY OF MY BROTHER 

RUFUS BACON JORDAN 

(1838 - 1 862) 

OF THE 

“ HUMAN HARVEST” 

OF 1862 


x b 4 0 s. 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2017 with funding from 
Duke University Libraries 


https://archive.org/details/humanharvest01jord 


PREFATORY NOTE 

F | ^HIS little book contains the substance 
of two essays on the same subject , the 
one originally delivered in Stanford Univer- 
sity in l8gg, and reprinted by the Ameri- 
can Unitarian Association with the title of 
“The Blood of the Nation,” the other read 
at Philadelphia in igo6, at the two hund- 
redth anniversary of the birth of Benjamin 
Franklin, with the title, “The Human 
Harvest.” This was printed in the Pro- 
ceedings of the American Philosophical So- 
ciety. D. S. J. 

Stanford University, California 


T T OW long will the Republic endure ? So 
1 long as the ideas of its founders remain 
dominant. How long will these ideas remain 
dominant ? Just so long as the blood of its foun- 
ders remains dominant in the blood of its people. 
Not the blood of Puritans and Virginians alone , 
the original creators of free states, but the blood 
of free-born men, be they Greek, Roman, Frank, 
Saxon , Norman, Dane, Celt , Scot, Goth or Sa- 
murai. It is a free stock that creates a free na- 
tion. Our Republic shall endure so long as the 
human harvest is good, so long as the movement 
of history , the progress of science and industry , 
leaves for the future the best and not the worst 
of each generation. 


TABLE OF CONTENTS 

The Human Harvest 

PAGE 

i3 


A Dream of Fair Horses 

x 3 


A Dream of Swift Horses 

1 9 


The Story of the Vires 

21 


Reversal of Selection in Rome 

24 


Rise of the Mob in Rome 

2 5 


Words of Franklin 

27 


W ords of Otto Seeck 

28 


The Fall of Rome 

29 


Vir and Homo 

3 1 


History Repeats Itself 

35 


The Field of Novara 

3 6 


A French Cartoon 

38 


Blood determines History 

39 


History determines Blood 

41 


Men and Beasts under the same Laws 

42 


Selective Breeding 

44 


Meaning of Progress 

45 


Illustrations from France 

46 


Heredity repeats what she finds 

5° 


The Man of the Hoe 

5 1 


The Sifting of Men in France 

53 


The Nobles and the Peasantry 

54 


Effects of Primogeniture 

56 

[7] 


Contents 

Reversed Selection in the Reign of T error 

58 


The Chronicle of the Drum 

59 


Reversed Selection through Repression and 


Intolerance 

60 


Reversed Selection through Monasticism 
Reversed Selection through Abuse of 

6 1 


Charity 

62 


Saved from the Army 

6 5 


Alcoholism in Race-Selection 

Reversed Selection through the Rush to 

66 


Cities 

69 


Reversed Selection through War 

70 


Wiertz's Painting of Napoleon 

7 i 


Napoleon s Campaigns 

72 


The Fall of Greece 

7 6 


The Case of Germany 

77 


Effects of Emigration 

What does he know of England , who only 

78 


England knows ? 

80 


The Case of Switzerland 

80 


The Case of Spain 

82 


The Greatness of Japan 

83 


What of England ? 

85 


“ There' s a Widow in Sleepy Chester ” 

86 


Testimony of Kipling 

88 

[8] 

“ The Widow at Windsor " 

89 


The Revelry of the Dying 

90 

Contents 

The Band in the Pine-Wood 

9 1 


The Song of the Dead 

92 


Ave Imperatrix 

93 


Tommy Atkins 

99 


The Survival of the Fittest in W ar ? 

101 


What of America ? 

102 


Significance of“ Sons of the Revolution ” 

103 


War sometimes inevitable 

104 


Brownell's Roll of Honor 

106 


The Phantom Army 

1 12 


How long will the Republic endure ? 

JI 5 


Like the Seed is the Harvest 

11 6 


War as a Source of National Strength 

117 


War one Influence among Many 

118 


Advantages of Civil War 

120 


The best Political Economy 

121 




[ 9 ] 



T he HUMAN HARVEST WAS BAD ! ” 
Thus the historian sums up the 
conditions in Rome in the days of 
the good emperor Marcus Aurelius. 

By this he meant that while population 
and wealth were increasing, manhood had 
failed. There were men enough in the 
streets of Rome, men enough in the camps, 
men enough in the menial labor or in no 
labor at all, but of good soldiers there were 
too few. “Vir had given place to homo,” 
Roman men to mere human beings. For 
the business of the state, which in those days 
was mainly war, the men were inadequate. 

In the recognition of this condition we 
touch the overshadowing fact in the history 
of Europe, the effect of military selection 
on the breed of men. This lesson, in such 
fashion as I may, I shall try to set forth in 
these pages. 

In beginning this discussion I must bring 
forward certain fragments of history, stories 
told because they are true, and one parable 
not true, but told for the lesson it teaches. 
And this is the first : Once there was a man, 
strong, wealthy and patient, who dreamed 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


A Dream 
of fair 
Horses 


[n] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

of a finer type of horse than had ever yet 
existed. This horse should be handsome, 
clean-limbed, intelligent, docile, strong and 
swift. These traits were to be not those of 
one horse alone, a member of a favored 
equine aristocracy, they were to be “ bred in 
the bone ” so that they would continue from 
generation to generation the attributes of a 
special common type of horse. And with 
this dream ever before his waking eves, he 
invoked for his aid the four twin genii of 
organic life, the four by which all the magic 
of transformism of species has been accom- 
plished either in nature or in art. And these 
forces once in his service, he left to their con- 
trol all the plans included in his great am- 
bition. These four genii or fates are not 
strangers to us, nor were they new to the 
human race. Being so great and so strong, 
they are invisible to all save those who seek 
them. Men who deal with them after the 
fashion of science give them commonplace 
names, — variation, heredity, segregation, 
selection. 

M 

Because not all horses are alike, because 
in fact no two were ever quite the same, the 


first appeal was made to the genius of Vari- 
ation. Looking over the world of horses, 
he found to his hand Kentucky race-horses, 
clean-limbed, handsome and fleet, some 
more so and others less. So those which had 
the most of the virtues of the horse which 
was to be were chosen to be blended in new 
creation. Then again, he found English 
thoroughbred horses, selected stock of Ara- 
bian ancestry, hardy and strong and intel- 
ligent. These virtues were needed in the 
production of the perfect horse. And here 
came the need of the second genius, who is 
called Heredity. With the crossing of the 
racer with the thoroughbred, all qualities of 
both were blended in the progeny. The next 
generation partook of all desirable traits and 
again of undesirable ones as well, some the 
one, and some the other, for sire and dam 
alike had given the stamp of its own kind 
and for the most part in equal degree. But 
again never in a degree quite equal, and in 
some measure these matters varied with each 
sire and each dam, and with each colt of all 
their progeny. It was found that the pro- 
geny of the mare called Beautiful Bells ex- 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[* 5 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

celled all others in retaining all that was good 
in fine horses, and in rejecting all that a no- 
ble horse should not have. And like virtues 
were attached to the sires called Palo Alto, 
Electricity and Electioneer. 

But there were horses and horses; horses 
not of the chosen breed, and should these 
enter the fold with their common blood it 
would endanger all that had been already 
accomplished. For the ideal horse mating 
with the common horse controls at the best 
but half the traits of the progeny. If the 
strain were to be established, the vulgar 
horseflesh must be kept away, and only the 
best remain in association with the best. 
Thus Segregation, the third of the genii, 
was called into service lest the successes of 
this herd be lost in the failure of some other. 

[ 1 6 ] 

Under the spell of Heredity all the horses 
partook of the charm of Beautiful Bells and 
of Electricity and of Palo Alto, for firmly 
and persistently all others were banished 
from their presence. There were some who 
were not strong, some who were not sleek, 
some who were not fleet, some who were 
not clean-limbed, nor docile, nor intelligent. 


At least they were not so to the degree which 
the dream of fair horses demanded. By the 
force of Selection, all such were sent away. 
Variation was always at work making one 
colt unlike another; Heredity made each 
colt a blend or mosaic of traits of sire and 
of grandsires and granddams ; Selection left 
only good traits to form this mosaic, and 
the grandsire and granddam, sire and dam, 
and the rest of the ancestry lived their lives 
again in the expanding circle of descent. 

Thus, in the final result, the horses who 
were left were the horses of their owner’s 
dream. The future of the breed was fixed, 
and fixed at the beginning by the very fram- 
ing of the conditions under which it lived. 
It is variation which gives better as well as 
worse. It is heredity which saves all that has 
been attained — for better or for worse. It 
is selection by which better triumphs over 
worse, anditis segregation which protects the 
final result from falling again into the grasp 
of the general average. In all this, selection 
is the vital, moving, changing force. It 
throws the shaping of the future on the in- 
dividual chosen by the present. The horse 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 17 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[18] 


who is left marks the future of his kind. The 
history of the steed is an elongation of the 
history of those who are chosen for parent- 
age. And with the best of the best chosen 
for parentage, the best of the best appears 
in the progeny. The horse-harvest is good 
in each generation. As the seed we sow, so 
shall we reap. 

And this story is true, known to thousands 
of men. And it will be true again just as 
often as men may try to carry it into experi- 
ment. Anditwill betrue not of horses alone, 
for the four fates which guide and guard life 
have no partiality for horses, but work just 
as persistently for cattle or sheep, or plums 
or roses, or calla or cactus, as they do for 
horses or for men. From the very begin- 
ning of life they have wrought untiringly 
— and in your life and in mine — in the 
grass of the field, the trees of the forest — 
in bird and beast, everywhere we find the 
traces of their energy. 

And this brings me to my second story, 
which is not true as history, but only in its 
way as parable, forever trying to become 
true. 


There was once a man — strenuous no 
doubt, but not wise, for he did not give heed 
to the real nature of things, and so he set 
himself to do by his own unaided hand the 
work which only the genii can accomplish. 
And thisman possessed alsoastudof horses. 
They were docile, clean-limbed, fleet, and 
strong, and he would make them still more 
strong and fleet. So he rode them swiftly 
with all his might, day and night, always 
on the course, always pushed to the utmost, 
leaving only the dull and sluggish to remain 
in the stalls. For it was his dream to fill 
these horses with the spirit of action, with 
the glory of swift motion, that this glory 
might be carried on and on to the last gen- 
eration of horses. There were some who 
could not keep the pace, and to these and 
these alone he assigned the burden of bear- 
ing colts. And the feeble and the broken, the 
dull of wit, the coarse of limb, became each 
year the mothers of the colts. The horses 
who were chosen for the race-course he 
trained with every care, and every stroke of 
discipline showed itself in the flashing eyes 
and straining muscles, — such were the best 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


A Dream 
of swift 
horses 


C J 9] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

horses. But the other horses were the horses 
who were left. From their loins came the 
next generation, and with these there was less 
fire and less speed than the first horses pos- 
sessed in such large measure. But still the 
rush went on — whip and spur made good 
the lack of native movement. The racers 
still pushed on the course, while in the stalls 
and paddocks at home the dull and com- 
mon horses bore their dull and common 
colts. Variation was still at work with these 
as patiently as ever. Heredity followed, re- 
peating faithfully whatever was left to her. 
Segregation, always conservative, guarded 
her own, but could not make good the de- 
ficiencies. Selection, forced to act perversely, 
chose for the future the worst and not the 
best, as was her usual fashion. So the cur- 
rent of life ran steadily downward. The 
herd was degenerating because it was each 
year an inferior herd which bred. Each gen- 
eration yielded weaker colts, rougher, duller, 
clumsier colts, and no amount of training 
or lash or whip or spur made any perma- 
nent difference for the better. The horse- 

[20] 

harvest was had. Thoroughbred and race- 


horse gave place to common beasts, for in 
the removal of the noble the ignoble always 
finds its opportunity. It is always the horse 
that remains which determines the future of 
the stud. 

In like fashion from the man who is left 
flows the current of human history. 

This tale then is a parable, a story of what 
never was, but which is always trying to be- 
come true. 

Once there was a great king — and the na- 
tion overwhich he bore rule lay on the flanks 
of a mountain range, spreading across fair 
hills and valleys green and fertile across to 
the Mediterranean Sea. And the men of his 
race, fair and strong, self-reliant and self- 
confident, men of courage and men of ac- 
tion, were men “who knew no want they 
could not fill for themselves.” They knew 
none on whom they looked down, and none 
to whom they regarded themselves inferior. 
And for all things which men could accom- 
plish these plowmen of the Tiber and the 
Apennines felt themselves fully competent 
and adequate. Vir, they called themselves 
in their own tongue, and virile , virilis , men 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


The Story 
of the 
Vires 


[ 21 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

like them are called to this day. It was the 
weakling and the slave who was crowded to 
the wall ; the man of courage begat descend- 
ants. In each generation and from genera- 
tion to generation the human harvest was 
good. And the great wise king who ruled 
them ; but here my story halts — for there 
was no king. There could be none. For 
it was written, men fit to be called men, men 
who are vires , “ are too self-willed, too inde- 
pendent, and too self-centred to be ruled by 
anybody but themselves.” Kings are for 
weaklings, not for men. Men free-born con- 
trol their own destinies. “ The fault is not 
in our stars, but in ourselves that we are 
underlings.” For it was later said of these 
same days : “There was a Brutus once, who 
would have brooked the Eternal Devil to 
take his seat in Rome, as easily as a king.” 
And so there was no king to cherish and con- 
trol these men his subjects. The spirit of 
freedom was the only ruler they knew, and 
this spirit being herself metaphoric, called 
to her aid the four great genii which create 
and recreate nations. Variation was ever at 

[22] 

work, while heredity held fast all that she 


developed. Segregation in her mountain 

The 

fastnesses held the world away, and selec- 

Human 

tionchose the best andfor thebestpurposes, 

Harvest 

casting aside the weakling and the slave, 


holding the man for the man’s work; and 


ever the man’s work was at home, building 


the cities, subduing the forests, draining the 


marshes, adjusting the customs and statutes, 


preparing for the new generations. So the 


men begat sons of men after their own fash- 


ion, and the men of strength and courage 


were ever dominant. The Spirit of Freedom 


was a wise master, cares wisely for all that 


he controls. 


So in the early days, when Romans were 


men, when Rome was small, without glory, 


without riches, without colonies and with- 


out slaves, these were the days of Roman 


greatness. 


Then the Spirit of Freedom little by little 


gave way to the Spirit of Domination. Con- 


scious of power, men sought to exercise it, 


not on themselves but on one another. Lit- 


tie by little this meant banding together, 


aggression, suppression, plunder, struggle, 


glory, and all that goes with the pomp and 

[ 2 3] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

circumstance of war. The individuality of 
men was lost in the aggrandizement of the 
few. Independence was swallowed up in 
ambition, patriotism came to have a new 
meaning. It was transferred from the hearth 
and home to the trail of the army. 

Reversal 
of selec- 
tion in 
Rome 

It does not matter to us now what were 
the details of the subsequent history of 
Rome. W e have now to consider only a sin- 
gle factor. In science this factor is known 
as “reversal of selection.” “ Send forth the 
best ye breed ! ” That was the word of the 
Roman war-call. And the spirit of Domi- 
nation took these words literally, and the 
best were sent forth. In the conquests of 
Rome, Vir , the real man, went forth to battle 
and to the work of foreign invasion; Homo , 
the human being, remained in the farm and 
the workshop and begat the new genera- 
tions. Thus “Vir gave place to Homo.” 
The sons of real men gave place to the sons 
of scullions, stable-boys, slaves, camp-fol- 
lowers, and the riff-raff of those the great, 
victorious army cannot use but does not 
exclude. 

C^4] 

The fall of Rome was not due to luxury, 


effeminacy, corruption, the wickedness of 
Nero and Caligula, the weakness of the 
train of Constantine’s worthless descend- 
ants. It was fixed at Philippi, when the spirit 
of domination was victorious over the spirit 
of freedom. It was fixed still earlier, in the 
rise of consuls and triumvirates and the fall 
of the simple, sturdy, self-sufficient race who 
would brook no arbitrary ruler. When the 
real men fell in war, or were left in far-away 
colonies, the life of Rome still went on. But 
it was a different type of Roman which con- 
tinued it, and this new type repeated in Ro- 
man history its weakling parentage. 

Thus we read in Roman history the rise 
of the mob and of the emperor who is the 
mob’s exponent. It is not the presence of 
the emperor which makes imperialism. It is 
the absence of the people, the want of men. 
Babies in their day have been emperors. A 
wooden image would serve the same pur- 
pose. More than once it has served it. The 
decline of a people can have but one cause, — 
the decline in the type from which it draws 
its sires. A herd of cattle can degenerate in 
no other way than this, and a race of men 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Rise of 
the mob 
in Rome 


[ 25 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

is under the same laws. By the rise in abso- 
lute power, as a sort of historical barometer, 
we may mark the decline in the breed of 
the people. We see this in the history of 
Rome. The conditional power of Julius 
Caesar, resting on his own tremendous per- 
sonality, showed that the days were past of 
Cincinnatus and of Junius Brutus. The 
power of Augustus showed the same. But 
the decline went on. It is written that “the 
little finger of Constantine was thicker than 
the loins of Augustus.” The emperor in the 
time of Claudius and Caligula was not the 
strong man who held in check all lesser men 
and organizations. He was the creature of 
the mob; and the mob, intoxicated with its 
own work, worshipped him as divine. 
Doubtless the last emperor, Augustulus 
Romulus, before he was thrown into the 
scrap-heap of history, was regarded in the 
mob’s eyes and his own as the most super- 
human of them all. 

[ 26 ] 

What have the historians to say of these 
matters ? Very few have grasped the full sig- 
nificance of their own words, for very few 
have looked on men as organisms, and on 


nations as dependent on the specific char- 
acter of the organisms destined for their re- 
production. 

So far as the writer knows, the first one to 
think of man thus as “an inhabitant,” a 
species in nature among other species and 
dependent on nature’s forces as other ani- 
mals and other inhabitants must be, was 
Benjamin Franklin. 

“All war is bad,” said he, “some wars 
worse than others.” Then, once again, in 
more explicit terms, referring to the dark 
shadow of war cast over scenes of peace, the 
evil of the standing army, Franklin said to 
Baynes : 

“ If one power singly were to reduce its 
standing army it would be instantly over- 
run by other nations. Yet I think there is 
one effect of a standing army which must 
in time be felt so as to bring about the ab- 
olition of the system. A standing army not 
only diminishes the population of a coun- 
try, but even the size and breed of the hu- 
man species. For an army is the flower of 
the nation. All the most vigorous, stout, 
and well-made men in a kingdom are to be 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Words of 
Franklin 


07 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

found in the army, and these men in gen- 
eral cannot marry.” 1 

What is true of standing armies is far more 
true of armies that fight and fall ; for, as 
Franklin said again, “Wars are not paid 
for in war times : the bill comes later.” For 
“in all times,” as Novicow observes, “war 
must reverse the process of selection.” 2 
Similar observations as to the effects of 

Views of 
Otto 
Seeck 

military selection are recorded by Herbert 
Spencer. 

In his great history of “The Downfall of 
the Ancient World” (Der Untergang der 
antiken Welt), Professor Otto Seeck, of the 
University of Greifeswald, finds this down- 
fall due solely to the rooting out of the best 
(“die Ausrottung der Besten”). The his- 
torian of the “ Decline and Fall of the Ro- 
man Empire,” or any other empire, is en- 
gaged solely with the details of the process 
by which the best men are exterminated. 
Speaking of Greece, Dr. Seeck says, “A 
wealth of force of spirit went down in the 

[28] 

1 Parton’s “ Life of Franklin,” II, p. 572. 

2 La guerre a produit de tout temps une selection a 
rebours” (Novicow). 


suicidal wars.” “In Rome, Marius and 
Cinna slew the aristocrats by hundreds and 
thousands. Sulla destroyed the democrats, 
and not less thoroughly. Whatever of 
strong blood survived, fell as an offering to 
the proscription of the Triumvirate.” “The 
Romans had less of spontaneous force to 
lose than the Greeks. Thus desolation came 
to them sooner. Whoever was bold enough 
to rise politically in Rome was almost with- 
out exception thrown to the ground. Only 
cowards remained , and from their brood came 
forward the new generations. Cowardice 
showed itself in lack of originality and in 
slavish following of masters and traditions.” 

The Romans of the Republic could not 
have made the history of the Roman Em- 
pire. In their hands it would have been still 
a republic. Could they have held aloof from 
world-conquering schemes, Rome might 
have remained a republic, enduring even to 
ourown day. The seeds of destruction lie not 
in the race nor in the form of government, 
nor in ambition, nor in wealth, nor in luxury, 
but in the influences by which the best men 
are cut off from the work of parenthood. 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


The fall 
of Rome 


[ 2 9 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

“The Roman Empire,” says Seeley, “per- 
ished for want of men.” Even Julius Caesar 
notes the dire scarcity of men (Beivrjv oXi- 
'yavdpoTriav). And at the same time it is 
noted that there are men enough. Rome 
was filling up like an overflowing marsh. 
Men of a certain type were plenty, “ people 
with guano in their composition,” to use 
Emerson’s striking phrase, but the self- 
reliant farmers, “ the hardy dwellers on the 
flanks of the Apennines,” the Roman men 
of the early Roman days, these were fast 
going, and with the change in the breed 
came the change in Roman history. 

“ The mainspring of the Roman army for 
centuries had been the patient strength and 
courage, capacity for enduring hardships, in- 
stinctive submission to military discipline 
of the population that lined the Apennines.” 

With the Antonines came “a period of 
sterility and barrenness in human beings.” 

“ The human harvest was bad." Bounties 

[30] 

were offered for marriage. Penalties were 
devised against race-suicide. “ Marriage,” 
says Metellus, “is a duty which, however 
painful, every citizen ought manfully to dis- 


charge.” Wars were conducted in the face 
of a declining birth-rate, and this decline in 
quality and quantity of the human harvest 
engaged very early the attention of the wise 
men of Rome. 

“ The effect of the wars was that the ranks 
of the small farmers were decimated, while 
the number of slaves who did not serve in 
the army multiplied ” (Bury). 

Thus “Vir gave place to Homo” real men 
to mere human beings. There were always 
men enough such as they were. “A hen- 
coop will be filled, whatever the (original) 
number of hens,” said Benjamin Franklin. 
And thus the mob filled Rome. No won- 
der the mob-leader, the mob-hero rose in 
relative importance. No wonder that “/£<? 
little finger of Constantine was thicker than the 
loins of Augustus.” No wonder that “ if Tibe- 
rius chastised his subjects with whips, Val- 
entinian chastised them with scorpions.” 

“Government having assumed godhead, 
took at the same time the appurtenances of 
it. Officials multiplied. Subjects lost their 
rights. Abject fear paralyzed the people 
and those that ruled were intoxicated with 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Vir and. 
Homo 


[ 31 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

insolence and cruelty” (Zumpt). “The 
worst government is that which is most wor- 
shipped as divine.” “The emperor pos- 
sessed in the army an overwhelming force 
over which citizens had no influence, which 
was totally deaf to reason or eloquence, 
which had no patriotism because it had no 
country, which had no humanity because it 
had no domestic ties.” “There runs through 
Roman literature a brigand’s and barbari- 
an’s contempt for honest industry.” “Ro- 
man civilization was not a creative kind, it 
was military, that is, destructive.” What 
was the end of it all? The nation bred real 
men no more. To cultivate the Roman 
fields “ whole tribes were borrowed .” The 

[32] 

man of the quick eye and the strong arm 
gave place to the slave, the scullion, the 
pariah, the man with the hoe, the man whose 
lot does not change, because in him there 
lies no power to change it. “Slaves have 
wrongs, but freemen alone have rights.” So 
at the end the Roman world yielded to the 
barbaric, because it was weaker in force. 
“The barbarian settled and peopled the em- 
pire rather than conquered it.” It was the 


weakness of war-worn Rome that gave the 
Germanic races their first opportunity. And 
the process is recorded in history as the fall 
of Rome. ' 

“ Out of every hundred thousand strong men , 
eighty thousand were slain. Out of every hun- 
dred thousand weaklings ninety to ninety-five 
thousand were left to survive .” This is Dr. 
Seeck’s calculation, and the biological sig- 
nificance of such mathematics must be evi- 
dent at once. Dr. Seeck speaks with scorn 
of the idea that Rome fell from the decay 
of old age, from the corruption of luxury, 
from neglect of military tactics or from the 
over-diffusion of culture. 

“It is inconceivable that the mass of Ro- 
mans suffered from over-culture .” 2 “In 
condemning the sinful luxury of wealthy Ro- 
mans, we forget that the trade-lords of the 

'“Die Ausrottung der Besten, die jenen schwa- 
cheren Volken die Vernichtung brachte, hat die starken 
Germanen erst befahigt, auf den Triimmern der anti- 
ken Welt neue dauernde Gemeinschaften zu errichten.” 
— Otto Seeck. 

2 “ Damitsprechend hat man das Wort ‘ Ueberkultur’ 
iiberhaupt erfunden, als wenn ein zn grosses Maass von 
Kultur iiberhaupt denkbar ware.” — Otto Seeck. 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 33 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were scarce- 
ly inferior in this regard to Lucullus and 
Apicius, their waste and luxury not consti- 
tuting the slightest check to the advance of 
the nations to which these men belonged. 
The people who lived in luxury in Rome 
were scattered more thinly than in any mod- 
ern state of Europe. The masses lived at 
all times more poorly and frugally because 
they could do nothing else. Can we con- 
ceive that a war-force of untold millions of 
people is rendered effeminate by the luxury 
of a few hundreds?” 

“Too long have historians looked on the 
rich and noble as marking the fate of the 
world. Half the Roman Empire was made 
up of rough barbarians untouched by Greek 
or Roman culture.” 

“Whatever the remote and ultimate cause 
may have been, the immediatecause to which 
the fall of the empire can be traced is a phy- 
sical, not a moral decay. In valor, discipline 
and science the Roman armies remained 

[ 34 ] 

what they had always been, and the peas- 
ant emperors of Illyricum were worthy suc- 
cessors of Cincinnatus and Caius Marius. 


But the problem was, how to replenish those 
armies. Men were wanting. The Empire 
perished for want of men” (Seeley). To say 
that nations die of “old age ” is the veriest 
nonsense. Nations fail only when they cease 
to breed men. 

“Severe,” “austere” are good old Roman 
words, and to other emperors besides Septi- 
mius Severus they were applied with jus- 
tice. “Luxurious,” “uxorious” are also 
Roman words, and for some emperors these 
were used also. But for the most part these 
were no more characteristic than the others. 

Does history ever repeat itself? It always 
does if it is true history. If it does not we 
are dealing not with history but with mere 
succession of incidents. Like causes pro- 
duce like effects, just as often as man may 
choose to test them. Whenever men use a 
nation for the test, poor seed yields a poor 
fruitage. Where the weakling and the cow- 
ard survives in human history, there “ the 
human harvest is bad,” and it can never be 
otherwise. 

Not long ago I visited the city of Novara, 
in northern Italy. There, just to the south 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


History 

repeats 

itself 


[ 35 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

of the town, in a wheat-field, the farmers 
have ploughed up skulls of men till they 
have piled up a pyramid ten or twelve feet 

The field 
of Novara 

high. Over this pyramid some one has built 
a canopy to keep off the rain. These were 
the skulls of young men of Savoy, Sardinia, 
and Austria, — men of eighteen to thirty- 
five years of age, without physical blemish 
so far as may be, — peasants from the farms 
and workmen from the shops, who met at 
Novara to kill each other over a matter in 
which they had very little concern. Should 
Charles Albert, the Prince of Savoy, sit on 
his unstable throne or must he yield it to 
some one else? This was the question, and 
this question the battle of Novara tried to 
decide. It matters not what this decision was. 
History records it, as she does many matters 
of less moment. But this fact concerns us, 
— here in thousands they died. Farther on, 
Frenchmen, Austrians, and Italians fell to- 
gether at Magenta, in the same cause. You 
know the color that we call Magenta, the 
hue of the blood that flowed out under the 

[36] 

olive-trees. Solferino, once that battle-field 
gave its name to scarlet ribbons, the hue of 


the blood that stained her orange-groves. 
Lodi, Marengo — all these names call up 
memories of idle carnage, of wasted life. Go 
over Italy as you will, there is scarcely a 
spot not crimsoned by the blood of France, 
scarcely a railway station without its pile of 
French skulls. You can trace them across 
to Egypt, to the foot of the Pyramids. You 
will find them in Germany, — at Ulm and 
Wagram, at Jena and Leipzig, at Lutzen 
and Bautzen, at Hohenlinden and at Aus- 
terlitz. You will find them in Russia, at 
Moscow; in Belgium, at Waterloo. “A boy 
can stop a bullet as well as a man,” said 
Napoleon ; and with the rest are the skulls 
and bones of boys, “ere evening to be trod- 
den like the grass.” “ Born to be food for 
powder ” was the grim epigram of the day, 
summing up the life of the French peasant. 
Read the dreary record of the glory of 
France, the slaughter at Waterloo, the 
wretched failure of Moscow, the miserable 
deeds of Sedan, the waste of Algiers, the 
poison of Madagascar, the crimes of Indo- 
China, the hideous results of barrack vice 
and its entail of disease and sterility, and 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 37 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

you will understand the “ Man of the Hoe.” 
The man who is left, the man whom glory 
cannot use, becomes the father of the future 
men of France. As the long-horn aborigi- 
nal type reappears in a neglected or abused 
herd of high-bred cattle, so comes forth the 
aboriginal man, the “ Man of the Hoe,” in 
a wasted race of men. 

In the loss of war we count not alone the 
man who falls or whose life is tainted with 
disease. There is more than one in the man’s 
life. The bullet that pierces his heart goes 
to the heart of at least one other. For each 

A French 

cartoon 

soldier has a sweetheart ; and if she remain 
single for his sake, so far as the race is con- 
cerned, the one is lost as well as the other. 

A recent French cartoon pictures the peas- 
ant of a hundred years ago ploughing in a 
field, hopeless and dejected, a gilded mar- 
quis on his back, tapping his gilded snuff- 
box. Another cartoon shows the French 
peasant of to-day, still at the plough, and 
equally hopeless. On his back is an armed 
soldier who should be at another plough, 
while on the back of the soldier rides the sec- 

[38] 

ond burden of Shylock the money-lender. 


more cruel and more heavy even than the 
dainty marquis of the old regime. So long 
as war remains, the burden of France can- 
not be shifted. 

In the evolution of races and of nations we 
find at the outset two general laws, the one 
self-evident, the other not apparent at first 
sight, but equally demonstrable. The blood of 
a nation determines its history. This is the first 
proposition. The second is, The history of a 
nation determines its blood. As for the first, no 
one doubts that the character of men con- 
trols their deeds. In the long run and with 
masses of mankind this must be true, how- 
ever great the emphasis we may lay on indi- 
vidual initiative or on individual variation. 

Equally true is it that the present character 
of a nation is made by its past history. Those 
who are alive to-day are the resultants of the 
stream of heredity as modified by the vicis- 
situdes through which the nation has passed. 
The blood of the nation flows in the veins 
of those who survive. Those who die with- 
out descendants can not color the stream of 
heredity. It must take its traits from the 
actual parentage. 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Blood, de- 
termines 
history 


[ 39 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

The word “ blood ” in this sense is figura- 
tive only, an expression formed to cover the 
qualities of heredity. Such traits, as the 
phrase goes, “run in the blood.” In the ear- 
lier philosophy it was held that blood was the 
actual physical vehicle of heredity, that the 
traits bequeathed from sire to son as the 
characteristics of families or races ran literal- 
ly in the literal blood. We know now that 
this is not the case. W e know that the actual 
blood in the actual veins plays no part in 
heredity, that the transfusion of blood means 
no more than the transposition of food, and 
that the physical basis of the phenomena of 
inheritance is found in the structure of the 
germ-cell and its contained germ-plasm. 

But the old word well serves our purposes. 
The blood which is “thicker than water” 
is the symbol of race unity. I n this sense the 
blood of the people concerned is at once the 
cause and the result of the deeds recorded in 

[40] 

their history. For example, wherever an 
Englishman goes, he carries with him the 
elements of English history. It is a British 
deed which he does, British history that he 
makes. Thus, too, a Jew is a Jew in all ages 


and climes, and his deeds everywhere bear 
the stamp of J ewish individuality. A Greek 
is a Greek ; a Chinaman remains a China- 
man. In like fashion the race-traits color all 
history made by Tartars, or negroes, or Ma- 
lays, or Japanese. 

The climate which surrounds a tribe of men 
may affect the activities of these men as in- 
dividuals or as an aggregate, education may 
intensify their powers or mellow their preju- 
dices, oppression may make them servile or 
dominion make them overbearing; but 
these traits and their resultants, so far as 
science knows, do not “run in the blood,” 
they are not “ bred in the bone.” Older 
thanclimateor training or experience are the 
traits of heredity, and in the long run it is 
always “ blood which tells.” 

On the other hand, the deeds of a race of 
men must in the end determine its blood. 
Could we with full knowledge sum up the 
events of the past history of any body of 
men, we could indicate the kinds of men 
destroyed in these events. The others 
would be left to write the history of the 
future. It is the “ man who is left” in the 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


History 

deter- 

mines 

blood 


[+ 1 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

march of history who gives to history its 
future trend. By the “ man who is left ” we 
mean the man who remains at home to be- 
come the father of the family, as distin- 
guished from the man who in one way or 
another is sacrificed for the nation’s weal or 
woe. If any class of men be destroyed by 
political or social forces or by the action of 
institutions, they leave no offspring, and 
their like will cease to appear. 

“ Send forth the best ye breed.” If we were 
to accept this advice literally and complete- 
ly, the nation in time would breed only 
second-rate men. By the sacrifice of their 
best, or the emigration of the best, and by 
such influences alone, have races and na- 
tions fallen from first-rate to second-rate or 

Men and 
beasts 
under the 
samelanxis 

third-rate in the movement of history. 

For a race of men or a herd of cattle are 
governed by the same laws of selection. 
Those who survive inherit the traits of their 

[42] 

own actual ancestry. In the herd of cattle, 
to destroy the strongest bulls, the fairest 
cows, the most promising calves, is to allow 
those not strong nor fair nor promising to 
become the parents of the coming herd. 


Under this influence the herd will deterior- 
ate, although the individuals of the inferior 
herd are no worse than their own actual par- 
ents. Such a process is called race-degener- 
ation, and it is the only race-degeneration 
known in the history of cattle or men. The 
scrawny, lean, infertile herd is the natural 
offspring of the same type of parents. On 
the other hand, if we sell or destroy the 
rough, lean, or feeble calves, we shall have 
a herd descended from the best. It is said 
that when the short-horned Durham cat- 
tle first attracted attention in England, the 
long-horns which preceded them, inferior 
for beef or milk, vanished “ as if smitten 
by a pestilence.” The fact was that, being 
less valuable, their owners chose to destroy 
them rather than the finer Durhams. Thus 
the new stock came from the better Dur- 
ham parentage. If conditions should ever 
be reversed and the Durhams were chosen 
for destruction, then the long-horns might 
again appear, swelling in numbers as if by 
magic, unless all traces of the breed had in 
the meantime been annihilated. 

In selective breeding with any domesti- 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 43 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

cated animal or plant, it is possible, with a 
little attention, to produce wonderful 
changes for the better. Almost anything 
may be accomplished with time and 

Selective 

breeding 

patience. To select for posterity those in- 
dividuals which best meet our needs or 
please our fancy, and to destroy those with 
unfavorable qualities, is the function of arti- 
ficial selection. Add to this the occasional 
crossing of unlike forms to promote new 
and desirable variations, and we have the 
whole secret of selective breeding. This pro- 
cess Youatt calls the “ magician’s wand ” by 
which man may summon up and bring into 
existence any form of animal or plant use- 
ful to him or pleasing to his fancy. 

Among the greatest triumphs of the ap- 
plied science of our times is the creation of 
new plants, of new fruits, and new flowers, 
by the use of known laws of heredity and 
variation by the skilful hand of Luther Bur- 
bank. There is nothing magical or myste- 
rious in all this. “ Like the seed is the har- 
vest.” The art lies in choosing the right 
seed. 

[ 44 ] 

In the animal world, permanent progress 


comes mainly through selection, natural or 
artificial, the survival of the fittest to be- 
come the parent of the new generation. In 
the world of man similar causes produce 
similar results. The word “progress” is, 
however, used with a double meaning, in- 
cluding the advance of civilization as well 
as race improvement. The first of these 
meanings is entirely distinct from the other. 
The results of training and education lie 
outside the scope of the present discussion. 
By training the force of the individual man 
is increased. Education gives him access to 
the accumulated stores of wisdom built up 
from the experience of ages. The trained 
man is placed in a class relatively higher 
than the one to which he would belong on 
the score of heredity alone. Heredity car- 
ries with it possibilities for effectiveness. 
Training makes these possibilities actual. 
Civilization has been defined as “the sum 
total of those agencies and conditions by 
which a race may advance independently of 
heredity.” But while education and civili- 
zation may greatly change the life of indi- 
viduals, and through them that of the nation, 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Meaning 
of P^g- 

ress 


[ 45 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

these influences are spent on the individual 
and the social system of which he is a part. 
So far as science knows, education and train- 
ing play no part in heredity. The change 
in the blood which is the essence of race- 

Illustra- 
tions from 
France 

progress, as distinguished from progress in 
civilization, finds its cause in selection only. 

To apply to nations and races of men the 
principles we know to be valid in cattle- 
breeding we may take a concrete example. 
Let us look for a moment at the alleged 
decadence of France. 

Noblest of Roman provinces was Gallia, 
the favored land, in which the best of the 
Romans, the Franks and the Northmen 
have mingled their blood to produce a na- 
tion of men, hopefully leaders in the arts 
of peace, fatally leaders also in the arts of 
war. 

To-day we are told by Frenchmen that 
France is a decadent nation. This is a con- 
fession of judgment, not an accusation of 
hostile rivals. It does not mean that the 
slums of Paris are destructive of human life. 

[46] 

That we know elsewhere. Each great city 
has its great burdens, and these fall hard on 


those at the bottom of the layers of society. 
There is degradation in all great cities, but 
the great cities are not the whole of France; 
they are not even typical of the life of France. 
It is claimed that the decadence is deep- 
seated, not individual. It is said that the 
birth-rate is steadily falling ; that the aver- 
age stature of men is lower by two inches 
at least than it was a century ago ; that the 
physical force is less among the peasants at 
their homes. Legoyt tells us that “it will 
take long periods of peace and plenty before 
France can recover the tall statures mowed 
down in the wars of the republic and the 
first empire.” What is the cause of all this? 
Intemperence, vice, misdirected education, 
bureaucracy, and the rush toward ready- 
made careers ? These may be symptoms. 
They are not causes. They are signs of in- 
herited deficiencies in the people themselves. 
Edmond Demolins asks in that clever vol- 
ume of his : “ In what constitutes the supe- 
riority of the Anglo-Saxon ? ” Before we 
answer this let us inquire in what consti- 
tutes the inferiority of the Latin races? If 
we admit this inferiority exists in any de- 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 47 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

gree, and if we answer it in any degree, we 
find in the background the causes of the fall 
of Greece, the fall of Rome, the fall of Spain. 
We find the spirit of domination, the spirit 
of glory, the spirit of war, the final survival 
of subserviency, of cowardice and of steril- 
ity. The man who is left holds in his grasp 
the history of the future. The evolution of 
a race is always selective, never collective. 
Collective evolution among men or beasts, 
the movement upward or downward of the 
whole as a whole, irrespective of training or 
selection, is never a fact. As Lepouge has 
said, “ It exists in rhetoric, not in truth nor 
in history.” 

Demolins finds the answer to his question 
in the false standards of French life, in de- 
fects of training and of civic and personal 
ideals ; but the real cause lies deeper than 
all this. Low ideals in education are devel- 

[48] 

oped by inferior men. The school of “hand- 
painted science,” of which Dr. MaxNordau 
is the ablest exponent, finds France a nation 
of decadents, — a condition due to the in- 
herited strain of an overwrought civiliza- 
tion. To Nordau the word “degenerate” 


is found adequate to explain all eccentrici- 
ties of French literature, art, politics, or 
jurisprudence. 

But in fact we have no knowledge of the 
existence of such a thing as nerve-stress in- 
heritance. In any event, the peasantry of 
France have not been subjected to it. Their 
life is hard, no doubt, but not stressful ; and 
they suffer more from nerve-sluggishness 
than from any form of enforced psychical 
activity. The kind of degeneration Nordau 
pictures is not a matter of heredity. When 
not simply personal eccentricity, it is a phase 
of personal decay. It finds its causes in bad 
habits, bad training, bad morals, or in the 
desire to catch public attention for personal 
advantage. It has no permanence in the 
blood of the race. The presence on the 
Paris boulevards of a mob of crazy painters, 
maudlin musicians, drunken poets, and sen- 
sation-mongers, proves nothing as to race 
degeneracy. When the fashion changes, 
they will change also. Already the fad of 
“strenuous life ” is blowing them away. Any 
man of any race withers in an atmosphere 
of vice, absinthe, and opium. The presence 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 49 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Heredity 
repeats 
what she 
finds 

[ 50 ] 


of such an atmosphere may be an effect of 
race decadence, but it is not a cause of the 
lowered tone of the nation. 

Evil influences may kill the individual, but 
they cannot tarnish the stream of heredity. 
The child of each generation is free-born so 
far as heredity goes, and the sins of the 
fathers are not visited upon him. If vice 
strikes deeply enough to wreck the man, it 
is likely to wreck or kill the child as well, 
not through heredity, but through lack of 
nutrition. The child depends on its parents 
for its early vitality, its constitutional 
strength, the momentum of its life, if we 
may use the term. For this a sound parent- 
age demands a sound body. The unsound 
parentage yields the withered branches, the 
lineage which speedily comes to the end. 
But this class of influences, affecting not the 
germ-plasm, but general vitality, has no re- 
lation to hereditary qualities, so far as we 
know. 

In heredity there can be no natural or nec- 
essary tendency downward or upward. Na- 
ture repeats, and that is all. It is not what 
parents actually are, — but what they might 


have been, which determines the course of 
inheritance. From the actual parents actual 
qualities are received, the traits of the man 
or woman as they might have been, with- 
out regard, so far as we know, to the way 
in which these qualities have been actually 
developed. 

No race as a whole can be made up of 
“ degenerate sons of noble sires.” Where 
decadence exists, the noble sires have per- 
ished, either through evil influences, as in 
the slums of great cities, or else through the 
movements of history or the growth of in- 
stitutions. If a nation sends forth the best 
it breeds to destruction, the second best 
will take their vacant places. The weak, the 
vicious, the unthrifty will propagate, and in 
default of better will have the land to them- 
selves. 

We may now see the true significance of 
the “ Man of the Hoe,” as painted by Mil- 
let, and as pictured in Edwin Markham’s 
verse. This is the Norman peasant, low- 
browed, heavy-jawed, “the brother of the 
ox,” gazing with lack-lustre eye on the 
things about him. To a certain extent he is 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


The man 
of the Hoe 


[ 51 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

typical of a large portion of the French 
peasantry. Every one who has travelled in 
France knows well his kind. If it should be 
that his kind is increasing, it is because his 
betters are not. It is not that his back is 
bent by centuries of toil. He was not born 
oppressed. Heredity carries over not op- 
pression, but those qualities of mind and 
heart which invite or which defy oppression. 
The tyrant harms those only that he can 
reach. The new generation is free-born, and 
slips from his hands, unless its traits be of 
the kind which demand new tyrants. From 
cc thebeaten members of the beaten races” we 
cannot count on breeding free-born men. 

Millet’s “ Man of the Hoe ” is not the 
product of oppression, whatever may be the 
case of the hoe-man imagined by Markham. 
He is primitive, aboriginal. His lineage has 
always been that of the clown and swine- 
herd. The heavy jaw and slanting forehead 
can be found in the oldest mounds and 

[52] 

tombs of France. The skulls of Engis and 
Neanderthal were typical men of the hoe, 
and through the days of the Gauls and Ro- 
mans the race was not extinct. The “ lords 


and masters of the earth ” can prove an alibi 

The 

when accused of the fashioning of the terri- 

Human 

ble shape of this primitive man. And men 
of this shape persist to-day in regions never 
invaded by our social or political tyranny, 
and their kind is older than any existing 
social order. 

Harvest 

That he is “chained to the wheel of labor” 


is the result, not the cause, of his impotence. 
In dealing with him, therefore, we are far 
from the “ labor problem ” of to-day, far 
from the workman brutalized by premature 
strain and by unequal competition with ma- 
chinery, and from all the wrongs of the poor 
as set forth in the conventional literature of 
sympathy. 


In our discussion of national decadence 

The sift- 

through reversed selection we turn to 
France simply as a convenient illustration. 
Her sins have not been always greater than 
those of other lands, nor is the penalty more 
significant. Her case rises to our hand to 
illustrate a principle which applies to all 
human history and to all groups of plants 
and animals as well as to man. Our picture, 

ing of men 
in France 

such as it is, must be painted with a broad 

[53] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


The nobles 
and the 
peasantry 


[ 54 ] 


brush. We have no space forexceptionsand 
qualifications, and these again when under- 
stood would only prove the rule. To 
weigh statistics is impossible, for the statis- 
tics we need have never been collected. The 
evil effects of “military selection” and allied 
causes have long been recognized by stu- 
dents of social evolution ; but the ideas de- 
rived from the application of Darwinism to 
history have not penetrated our current lit- 
erature. 

The survival of the fittest in the struggle 
for existence is the primal cause of race- 
progress and race-changes. But in the red 
field of human history the natural process of 
selection is often reversed. The survival of 
theunfittest is the primal cause of the down- 
fall of nations. Let us see in what ways this 
cause has operated in the history of France. 

First, we may consider the relation of the 
nobility to the peasantry, — the second to 
the third estate. 

The feudal nobility of each nation of Eu- 
rope was in the beginning made up of the 
fair, the brave, and the strong. By their 
courage and strength their men became the 


rulers of the people, and by the same token 
they chose the beauty of the realm to be 
their own. 

In the polity of England this superiority 
was emphasized by the law of primogeni- 
ture. On “ inequality before the law ” Brit- 
ish polity has always rested. Men have tried 
to take a certain few, to feed these on “ roy- 
al jelly,” as the young queen-bee is fed, and 
thus to raise them to a higher class, distinct 
from all the workers. To take this leisure 
class out of the struggle and competition of 
life, so goes the theory, is to make the first- 
born and his kind harmonious and perfect 
men and women, fit to lead and control the 
social and political life of the state. In Eng- 
land the eldest son is chosen for this pur- 
pose, — a good arrangement, according to 
Samuel Johnson, “because it insures that 
there shall be only one fool in the family.” 
F or the theory of the leisure class forgets that 
men are made virile by effort and resistance, 
and the lord developed by the use of“ royal 
jelly ” has rarely been distinguished by per- 
fection of manhood. 

The gain of primogeniture came to the na- 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 55 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

Effects of 
primoge- 
niture 


[ 56 ] 


tion, though not to the individual. It lies 
in the fact that the younger sons and the 
daughters’ sons were forced constantly back 
into the mass of the people. Among the peo- 
ple at large this stronger blood became the 
dominantstrain. The Englishmen of to-day 
are the sons of the old nobility, and in the 
stress of natural selection they have crowded 
out the children of the swineherd and the 
slave. The evil of primogeniture has fur- 
nished its own antidote; for primogeniture 
begat democracy. The younger sons in 
Cromwell’s ranks asked on their battle-flags 
“Why should the eldest receive all and we 
nothing?” Richard Rumbold, whom they 
slew in the Bloody Assizes, “could never 
believe that Providence had sent into the 
world a few men already booted and spurred, 
with countless millions alreadv saddled and 
bridled for these few' to ride.” Thus these 
younger sons became the Roundhead, the 
Puritan, the Pilgrim. They swelled Crom- 
well’s army, they knelt at Marston Moor, 
they manned the “ Mayflower,” and in each 
generation they have fought for liberty in 
England and in the United States. Studies 


in genealogy show that all this is literally 
true. All the old families in New England 
and Virginia trace their lines back to nobil- 
ity, and thence to royalty. Almost every 
Anglo-American has, if he knew it, noble 
and royal blood in his veins. The Massa- 
chusetts farmer, whose fathers came from 
Devon or Somerset, has as much of the 
blood of the Plantagenets, of William and 
of Alfred, as flows in any royal veins in Eu- 
rope. But his ancestral line passes through 
the working and fighting younger son, not 
through him who was first born to the pur- 
ple. The persistence of the strong shows 
itself in the prevalence of the leading quali- 
ties of her dominant strains of blood, and 
it is well for England that her gentle blood 
flows in all her ranks and in all her classes. 
When we consider with Demolins “what 
constitutes the superiority of the Anglo- 
Saxon, ”we shall find his descent from the old 
nobility, “ Saxon and Norman and Dane,” 
not the least of its factors. 

On the continent of Europe the law of 
primogeniture existed in less force, and the 
results were very distinct. All of noble blood 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 57 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

were continuously noble. All belonged to 
the leisure class. All were held on the backs 
of a third estate, men of weaker heredity, 
beaten lower into the dust by the weight of 
an ever-increasing body of nobility. The 
blood of the strong rarely mingled with that 
of the clown. The noblemen were brought 
up in indolence and ineffectiveness. The 
evils of dissipation wasted their individual 
lives, while casting an ever-increasing burden 
on the villager and on the “ farmer who must 
pay for all.” 

Reversed 
selection 
of the 
Reign of 
Terror 

Hence in France the burden of taxation led 
to the Revolution and its Reign of Terror. 

I need not go over the details of dissipation, 
intrigue, extortion, and vengeance which 
brought to sacrifice the “best that the na- 
tion could bring.” In spite of their lust and 
cruelty, the victims of the Reign of Terror 
were literally thebest from the standpoint of 
race development. Their weaknesses were 
those of training in luxury and irresponsible 
power. These effects were individual only ; 
and their children were free-born, with the 

[58] 

capacity to grow up truly noble if removed 
from the evil surroundings of the palace. 


In Thackeray’s “ Chronicle of the Drum,” 
the old drummer, Pierre, sunning himself at 
the city gate, tells the story of the Reign of 
Terror : — 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

The glorious days of September 

Saw many aristocrats fall ; 

’Twas then that our pikes drank the blood 

In the beautiful breast of Lamballe. 

Pardi, ’twas a beautiful lady ! 

I seldom have looked on her like ; 

And I drummed for a gallant procession 

That marched with her head on a pike. 


The 

Chronicle 
of the 

Drum 

Then they showed her pale face to the 
Queen, who fell fainting to the floor. 

The old drummer goes on with the story 
of the new ruler of France, “ La Mere Guil- 
lotine”: — 



Awful, and proud, and erect, 

Here sat our republican goddess. 

Each morning her table was decked 

With dainty aristocrats’ bodies. 

The people each day flocked around 

As she sat at her meat and her wine : 
’Twas always the use of our nation 

To witness the sovereign dine. 


[59] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Reversed 
selection 
through 
repression 
and intol- 
erance 

[6o] 


Young virgins with fair golden tresses, 

Old silver-haired prelates and priests, 
Dukes, marquises, barons, princesses, 

Were splendidly served at her feasts. 
Ventrebleu ! but we pampered our ogress 
With the best that the nation could bring , 
And dainty she grew in her progress, 

And called for the head of a king ! 

Thus the slaughter went on until the man 
on horseback came, and the mob, “alive 
but most reluctant,” was itself forced into 
the graves it had dug for others. 

And since that day the “ best that the na- 
tion could bring,” those who fell in the 
Reign of Terror, have been without de- 
scendants, — the men less manly than the 
sons of the Girondins w r ould have been, the 
women less beautiful than the daughters of 
Lamballe. The political changes which 
arose may have been for the better ; the 
change in the blood w 7 as all for the w r orse. 

Other influences which destroyed the best 
were social repression, religious intolerance 
and the intolerance of irreligion and un- 
science. It was the atheist mob of Paris 
which destroyed Lavoisier, wdth the sneer 


that the new republic of reason had no use 
for savants. The old conservatism burned 
the heretic at the stake, banished the Hu- 
guenot, destroyed the lover of freedom, si- 
lenced the agitator. Its intolerance gave 
Cuvier and Agassiz to Switzerland, sent the 
Le Contes to America, the Jouberts to 
Holland, and furnished the backbone of 
the fierce democracy of the Transvaal. 
While not all agitators are sane, and not all 
heretics right-minded, yet no nation can 
spare from its numbers those men who 
think for themselves and those who act for 
themselves. It cannot afford to drive away 
or destroy those who are filled with religious 
zeal, nor those whose religious zeal takes 
a form not approved by tradition nor by 
consent of the masses. All movements 
toward social and religious reform are signs 
of individual initiative and individual force. 
The country which stamps out individual- 
ity will soon live in the mass alone. 

A French writer has claimed that the de- 
cay of religious spirit in France is connected 
with the growth of religious orders of which 
celibacy is a prominent feature. If religious 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Reversed 

selection 

through 

monasti- 

cism 

[6t] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Reversed 
selection 
through 
abuse of 
charity 


[62] 


men and women leave no descendants, their 
own spirit, at least, will fail of inheritance. 
A people careless of religion inherit this 
trait from equally careless ancestors. 

Indiscriminate charity has been a fruitful 
cause of the survival of the unfit. To kill 
the strong and feed the weak is to provide 
for a progeny of weakness. It is a French 
writer, again, who says that “Charity creates 
the misery she tries to relieve; she can never 
relieve half the misery she creates.” 

Unwise charity is responsible for half the 
pauperism of the world. That pauperism 
has become perpetual is due in part to the 
charity that, in aiding the poor, helps pau- 
perism to mate with pauperism. It is the 
duty of true charity to remove the causes 
of weakness and suffering. It is equally her 
duty to see that weakness and suffering are 
not needlessly perpetuated. 

Startling results may follow from the se- 
lective breeding and preservation of pau- 
pers. In the valley of Aosta in northern 
Italy, and in other Alpine regions, is found 
the form of idiocy known as cretinism. What 
is the primitive cause of the cretin , and what 


is the causal connection of cretinism with goi- 

The 

tre, a disease of the thyroid glands which 

Human 

always accompanies it, I do not know. 

Harvest 

It suffices for our purpose to notice that 


the severe military selection which ruled in 


Switzerland, Savoy, and Lombardy for many 


generations took the strongest and health- 


iest peasants to the wars, and left the idiot 


and goitrous to carry on the affairs of life 


at home. To bear a goitre was to be exempt 


from military service. Thus in some regions 


the disease has been a local badge of honor. 


It is said that when iodine lozenges were 


given to the children of Savoy in the hope 


of preventing the enlargement and degen- 


eration of the thyroid gland, mothers would 


take this remedy away from the boys, pre- 


ferring the goitre to military service. 


In the city of Aosta the goitrous cretin has 


been for centuries an object of charity. 


There is a special hospice or asylum de- 


voted to his care and propagation. The idiot 


has received generous support, while the 


poor farmer or laborer with brains and no 


goitre has had the severest of struggles. In 


the competition of life a premium has thus 

[63] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[64] 


been placed on imbecility and disease. The 
cretin has mated with the cretin , the goitre 
with the goitre, and charity and religion 
have presided over the union. The result is 
that idiocy is multiplied and intensified. The 
cretin of Aosta has been developed as a new 
type of man. In fair weather the roads about 
the city are lined with these awful paupers 
— human beings with less intelligence than 
the goose, with less decency than the pig. 
The asylum for cretins in Aosta is a veri- 
table chamber of horrors. The sharp words 
of Whymper are fully justified: — 

“ A large proportion of the cretins who will 
be born in the next generation will undoubt- 
edly be offsprings of cretin parents. It is 
strange that self-interest does not lead the 
natives of Aosta to place their cretins under 
such restrictions as would prevent their il- 
licit intercourse; and it is still more surpris- 
ing to find the Catholic Church actually 
legalizing their marriage. There is some- 
thing horribly grotesque in the idea of sol- 
emnizing the union of a brace of idiots, and, 
since it is well known that the disease is 
hereditary and develops in successive gen- 


erations, the fact that such marriages are 
sanctioned is scandalous and infamous.” 
(Whymper: Scrambles among the Alps.) 

T rue charity would give these creatures not 
less helpful care, but a care which would 
guarantee that each individual cretin should 
be the last of his generation. 

The causes of goitre are obscure, perhaps 
depending on poor nutrition or on mineral 
substances in the water. The disease itself 
is not hereditary, so far as known; but sus- 
ceptibility to it certainly is. By taking away 
for outside service those who are resistant, 
the heredity of tendency to goitrous swell- 
ing is fastened on those who remain. 

Like these mothers in Savoy was a mother 
in Germany. Not long since a friend of the 
writer, passing through a Franconian forest, 
found a young man lying senseless by the 
way. It was a young recruit for the army 
who had got into sometroublewith his com- 
rades. They had beaten him and left him 
lying with a broken head. Carried to his 
home, his mother fell on her knees and 
thanked God, for this injury had saved him 
from the army. 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Sawed, 
from the 
army 


[ 65 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

Alcohol- 
ism in 
race- 
selection 


[ 66 ] 


The effect of alcoholic drink on race-prog- 
ress should be considered in this connec- 
tion. Authorities do not agree as to the final 
result of alcohol in race-selection. Doubt- 
less, in the long run, the drunkard will be 
eliminated ; and perhaps certain authors are 
right in regarding this as a gain to the race. 
On the other hand, there is great force in 
Dr. Amos G. Warner’s remark, that of all 
caustics gangrene is the most expensive. 
The people of southern Europe are rela- 
tively temperate. They have used wine for 
centuries, and it is thought by Dr. Archdall 
Reid and others that the cause of temper- 
ance is to be found in this long use of alco- 
holic beverages. All those with vitiated or 
uncontrollableappetiteshavebeendestroved 
in the long experience with wine, leaving 
only those with normal tastes and normal 
ability of resistance. The free use of wine 
is, therefore, in this view, a cause of final 
temperance, while intemperance rages only 
among those races which nave not long 
known alcohol, and have not become by 
selection resistant to it. The savage races 
which have never knowm alcohol are even 


less resistant, and are soonest destroyed by 
it. 

In all this there must be a certain element 
of truth. The view, however, ignores the 
evil effect on the nervous system of long 
continued poisoning, even if the poison be 
only in moderate amounts. The temperate 
Italian, with his daily semi-saturation may 
be no more a normal man than the Scotch 
farmerwith his occasional sprees. Thenerve 
disturbance which wine effects is an evil, 
whether carried to excess in regularity or ir- 
regularity. We know too little of its final 
result on the race to give certainty to our 
speculations. It is,moreover, true that most 
excess in the use of alcohol is not due to 
primitive appetite. It is drink which causes 
appetite, and not appetite which seeks for 
drink. In a given number of drunkards but 
a very few become such through inborn ap- 
petite. It is influence of bad example, lack 
of courage, false idea of manliness, or some 
defect in character or misfortune in environ- 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

ment which leads to the first steps in drunk- 
enness. The taste once established grows 
of itself. In earlier times, when the nature 

[ 67 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

of alcohol was unknown and total absti- 
nence was undreamed of, it was the strong, 
the boisterous, the energetic, the apostle of 
“ the strenuous life,” who carried all these 
things to excess. The wassail bowl, the 
bumper of ale, the flagon of wine, — all 
these were the attribute of the strong. We 
cannot say that those who sank in alcohol- 
ism thereby illustrated the survival of the 
fittest. Who can say that, as the Latin races 
became temperate, they did not also become 
docile and weak ? In other words, consider- 
ing the influence of alcohol alone, un- 
checked by an educated conscience, w r e 
must admit that it is the strong and vigor- 
ous, not the weak and perverted, that are 
destroyed by it. At the best, we can only 
say that alcoholic selection is a complex 
force which makes for temperance — if at 
all, at a fearful cost of life which, without 

[68] 

alcoholic temptation, would be well worth 
saving. We cannot easily, with Mr. Reid, 
regard alcohol as an instrument of race- 
purification, nor believe that the growth of 
abstinence and prohibition only prepares 
the race for a future deeper plunge into dis- 


sipation. If France, through wine, has grown 
temperate, she has grown tame. “New Mi- 
rabeaus,” Carlyle tells us, “one hears not of; 
the wild kindred has gone out with this, its 
greatest.” This fact, whatever the cause, is 
typical of great, strong, turbulent men who 
led the wild life of Mirabeau because they 
knew nothing better. 

According to Mr. John O. Varian, in the 
earlier days of Ireland, before the reasons 
for temperance came to be better under- 
stood, it was always the strong and active 
among the young men who were first de- 
stroyed by alcohol. The impulse to lead 
carried these into the greatest excesses, with 
the nervous disintegration and personal de- 
cay which is the natural result of extreme 
nerve-stimulation. 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

The concentration of the energies of 
France in the one great city of Paris is again 
a potent agency in the impoverishment of 
the blood of the rural districts. All great 
cities are destroyers of life. Scarcely one 
would hold its own in population or power, 
were it not for the young men of the farms. 

Reversed 
selection 
through 
the rush to 
cities 

In such destruction, Paris has ever taken 

[69] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

the lead. The education of the middle 
classes of France is almost exclusively a 
preparation for public life. To be an official 
in a great city is an almost universal ideal. 
This ideal but few attain, and the lives of 
the rest are largely wasted. Not only the 
would-be official, but artist, poet, physician, 
or journalist, seeks his careerin Paris. A few 
may find it. The others, discouraged by 
hopeless effort or vitiated by corrosion, faint 
and fall. Every night some few of these cast 
themselves into the Seine. Every morning 
they are brought to the morgue behind the 
old Church of Notre Dame. It is a long 
procession and a sad one from the provin- 
cial village to the strife and pitfalls of the 
great city, from hopeand joy to absintheand 
the morgue. With all its pitiful aspects the 
one which concerns us is the steady drain 
on the life-blood of the nation, its steady 
lowering of the average of the parent stock 
of the future. 

Reversed 

selection 

through 

vuar 

[70] 

But far more potent for evil to the race 
than all these influences, large and small, is 
the one great destroyer, — War. War for 
glory, war for gain, war for dominion, war 


for freedom, its effect is the same, whatever 
its real or alleged purpose. 

In the Wiertz gallery in Brussels is a won- 
derful painting, dating from the time of 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

Waterloo, called Napoleon in Hell. It rep- 
resents the great marshal with folded arms 
and face unmoved descending slowly to the 
land of the shades. Before him, filling all 
the background of the picture with every 
expression of countenance are the men sent 
before him by the unbridled ambition of 
Napoleon. Three millions and seventy 
thousand there were in all — so history tells 
us, more than half of them Frenchmen. 
They are not all shown in one picture. They 
are only hinted at. And behind the millions 
shown or hinted at are the millions on mil- 

Wiert% s 
painting 
of Napo- 
leon 

lions of men who might have been and are 
not — the huge widening human wedge of 
the possible descendants of the men who fell 
in battle. These men of Napoleon’s armies 
were the youth without blemish, “the best 
that the nation could bring,” “l’elite de 
l’Europe,” chosen as “food for powder,” 
“ere evening to be trampled like the grass,” 
in the rush of Napoleon’s great battles. 

[71] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

These men came from the plow, from the 
workshop, from the school, the best there 
were — those from eighteen to thirty-five 
years of age at first, but afterwards the older 
and the younger. “ A boy will stop a bullet 
as well as a man.” “ The more vigorous and 
well born a young man is,” says Novicow, 1 
“ the more normally constituted, the greater 
his chance to be slain by musket or maga- 
zine, the rifled cannon and other similar en- 
gines of civilization.” Among those de- 
stroyed by Napoleon were “the elite of 
Europe.” “Napoleon,” says Otto Seeck, 
“in a series of years seized all the youth of 
high stature and left them scattered over 
many battle-fields, so that the French peo- 
ple who followed them are mostly men of 
smaller stature. More than once in France 
since Napoleon’s time has the military limit 
been lowered.” 

Napo- 
leon s 
campaigns 

I need not tell again the story of Napo- 
leon’s campaigns. It began with the first 

[ 72 ] 

1 “ La Guerre et ses Pretendus Bienfaits,” by J. 
Novicow, Paris. 1894. This little book contains a 
specially strong arraignment of the theory and practice 
of war. 


consulate, the justice and helpfulness of the 

The 

Code Napoleon, the prowess of the brave 

Human 

lieutenant whose military skill and intre- 

Harvest 

pidity had caused him to deserve well of his 


nation. 


The spirit of freedom gave way to the spirit 


of domination. The path of glory is one 


which descends easily. Campaign followed 


campaign, against enemies, against neutrals, 


against friends. The trail of glory crossed 


the Alps to Italy and to Egypt, crossed 


Switzerland to Austria, crossed Germany to 


Russia. Conscription followed victory, and 


victory and conscription debased the human 


species. “ The human harvest was bad,." The 


first consul became the emperor. The ser- 


vant of the people became the founder of the 


dynasty. Again conscription after conscrip- 


tion. “Let them die with arms in their 


hands. Their death is glorious, and it will 


be avenged. You can always fill the places 


of soldiers.” These were Napoleon’s words 


when Dupont surrendered his army in Spain 


to save the lives of a doomed battalion. 


With all this came more conscription. Af- 


ter the battle of Wagram, we are told, the 

[73] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 74 ] 


French began to feel their weakness, the 
Grand Army was not the army which fought 
at Ulm and Jena. “Raw conscripts raised 
before their time and hurriedly drafted into 
the line had impaired its steadiness.” 

On to Moscow, 1 “amidst ever-deepening 
misery they struggled on, until of the six 
hundred thousand men who had proudly 
crossed the Niemen for the conquest of 
Russia, only twenty thousand famished, 
frost-bitten, unarmed spectres staggered 
across the bridge of Korno in the middle 
of December.” 

“Despite the loss of the most splendid army 
marshalled by man, Napoleon abated no 
whit of his resolve to dominate Germany 
and discipline Russia. . . He strained every 
effort to call the youth of the empire to 
arms . . . and 3 50,000 conscripts were prom- 
ised by the Senate. The mighty swirl of the 
Moscow campaign sucked in 150,000 lads 
of under twenty years of age into the de- 
vouring vortex.” “The peasantry gave up 
their sons as food for cannon.” But “many 

1 These quotations are from the “ History of Napo- 
leon I,” by J. H. Rose. 


were appalled at the frightful drain on the 
nation’s strength.” “In less than half a year 
after the loss of half a million men a new 
army nearly as numerous was marshalled 
under the imperial eagles. But the major- 
ity were young, untrained troops, and it was 
remarked that the conscripts born in the 
year of Terror had not the stamina of the 
earlier levies. Brave they were, superbly 
brave, and the emperor sought by every 
means to breathe into them his indomitable 
spirit.” “Truly the emperor could make 
boys heroes, but he could never repair the 
losses of 1812.” “Soldiers were wanting, 
youths were dragged forth.” The human 
harvest was at its very worst. “To fill hell 
with heroes,” — in these words some one 
has summed up the life-work of the great 
Napoleon. 

And the sequel of it all is the decadence 
of France. In the presence of war — of war 
on such a mighty, ruthless and ruinous scale 
— one does not have to look far to find in 
what constitutes the superiority of the 
Anglo-Saxon. And we see the truth in 
Franklin’s words, the deeper truth of their 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 75 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

deeper wisdom : “ Men do not pay for war 
in war time; the bill comes later.” 

Greece died because the men who made 

Fall of 
Greece 

her glory had all passed away and left none 
of their kin and therefore none of their kind. 

“ ’Tis Greece, but living Greece no more”; 
for the Greek of to-day, for the most part, 
never came from the loins of Leonidas or 
Miltiades. He is the son of the stable- 
boys and scullions and slaves of the day of 
her glory, those of whom imperial Greece 
could make no use in her conquest of Asia. 
“Most of the old Greek race,” says Mr. W. 
H. Ireland, “ has been swept away, and the 
country is now inhabited bv persons of Sla- 
vonic descent. Indeed, there is strong 
ground for the statement that there was 
more of the old heroic blood of Hellas in 
the turkish army of Edhem Pasha than in 
the soldiers of King George, who fled before 
them three years ago.” King George him- 
self is only an alien placed on the Grecian 
throne to suit the convenience of the out- 
side powers, which to the ancient Greeks 
were merely factions of barbarians. 

[76] 



Earth, render back from out thy breast 
A remnant of thy Spartan dead ! 

Of the three hundred grant but three 
To make a new Thermopylae ! 

But there were not even three — not even 
one — “to make another Marathon,” and 
the Turkish troops swept over the historic 
country with no other hindrance than the 
effortless deprecation of Christendom. 

In the fall of Greece, as in the fall of Rome, 
the primal elements we may easily find. 
The extinction of manly blood, the extinc- 
tion of freedom of thought and action, in- 
crease of wealth gained by plunder, loss of 
national existence. 

So fell Greece and Rome, Carthage and 
Egypt, the Arabs and the Moors, because, 
their warriors dying, the nation bred real 
men no more. The man of the strong arm 
and the quick eye gave place to the slave, 
the pariah, the man with the hoe, whose lot 
changes not with the change of dynasties. 

Other nations of Europe may furnish il- 
lustrations in greater or less degree. Ger- 
many guards her men and reduces the waste 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


The case 
of Ger- 
many 

[ 77 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

of war to a minimum. She is “military, but 
not warlike”; and this distinction means a 
great deal from the point of view of this 
discussion. In modern times the greatest 
loss of Germany has been not from war, 
but from emigration. If the men who have 
left Germany are of higher type than those 
who remain at home, then the blood of the 

Effects of 
emigra- 
tion 

nation is impoverished. That this is the 
case the Germans in Germany are usually 
not willing to admit. On the other hand, 
those competent to judge the German- 
American find no type of men in the Old 
World his mental or physical superior. 

The tendency of emigration, whether to 
cities or to other countries, is to weaken the 
rural population. An illustration of the re- 
sults of checking this form of selection is 
seen in the Bavarian town of Oberam- 

[78] 

mergau. This little village, with a popula- 
tion not exceeding fifteen hundred, has a 
surprisingly large number of men possessing 
talent, mental and physical qualities far 
above the average even in Germany. The 
cause of this lies in the Passion Play, for 
which for nearly three centuries Oberam- 


mergau has been noted. The best intellects 
and the noblest talents that arise in the 
town find full scope for their exercise in this 
play. Those who are idle, vicious, or stupid 
are excluded from it. Thus, in the long run, 
the operation of selection is to retain those 
whom the play can use and to exclude all 
others. To weigh the force of this selected 
heredity, we have only to compare the 
quality of Oberammergau with that of other 
Bavarian towns, as, for example, her sister 
village of Unterammergau, some two miles 
lower down, in the same valley. 

The effects of emigration run parallel with 
the effects of war, but with this enormous 
difference: the strong men who emigrate 
are not lost to the world. The loss of one 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

region is the gain of another. But the losses 
in war can yield no corresponding gain. 

The effects of emigration can be well 
studied in England. From Devon and 
Somerset arose the colony of Massachusetts 
Bay. From the loins of Old England arose 
our New England, and from the germ of 
self-governing New England arose the 
United States. The counties of Devon and 

[79] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


“ What 
does he 
know of 
England 
who only 
England 
knows?" 


Ehecaseof 

Switzer- 

land 


[8o] 


Somerset have no importance in the Eng- 
land of to-day comparable with the part they 
played in the days of Queen Elizabeth. 
Their influence is over the seas, with the 
young men who carried with them the 
names of Plymouth and Dartmouth, of Ex- 
eter and Taunton, of Bristol and Bath and 
Barnstaple. 

If we could imagine this New England 
stock in all its ramifications restored to its 
old home in Devon and Somerset, what a 
wonderful storehouse of active life these 
sleepy old counties would become ! From 
every county of England strong men have 
gone out to conquer and populate the world. 
The influence of this greater England on 
the movement of civilization in our day far 
exceeds that of the England at home. 
“ What does he know of England who only 
England knows?” 

No stronger line than this was ever written 
in definition of England’s greatness. 

Switzerland is the land of freedom, the 
land of peace. But in earlier times some of 
the thrifty cantons sent forth their men as 
hireling soldiers to serve for pay under the 


flag of whomsoever might pay their cost. 

The 

There was once a proverb in the French 

Human 

court, “ Pas d' argent, pas de Suisses” (No 

Harvest 

money, no Swiss); for the agents of the free 


republic drove a close bargain. 


In Lucerne stands the noblest of all mon- 


uments in all the world, the memorial of the 


Swiss guard of Louis XVI, killed by the 


mob at the palace of Versailles. It is carved 


in the solid rock of a vertical cliff above a 


great spring in the outskirts of the city, — 


a lion of heroic size, a spear thrust through 


its body, guarding in its dying paws the 


Bourbon lilies and the shield of France. 


And the traveller, Carlyle tells us, should 


visit Lucerne and her monument, cc not for 


Thorwaldsen’s sake alone, but for the sake 


of the German Biederkeit and Tapferkeit, 


the valor which is worth and truth, be it 


Saxon, be it Swiss.” 


Beneath the lion are the names of those 


whose devotion it commemorates. And 


with the thought of their courage comes the 


thought of the pity of it, the waste of brave 


life in a world that has need for it all. “Sons 


of the men who knelt at Sempach, but not 

[81] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

to thee, O Burgundy.” Switzerland has 
need of more such sons. It may be fancy, 
but it seems to me that, as I go about in 
Switzerland, I can distinguish by the char- 
acter of the men who remain those cantons 
who sent forth mercenary troops from those 
who kept their own for their own upbuild- 
ing. Perhaps for other reasons than this 
Lucerne is weaker than Graubiinden, and 
U nterwaldenless virile than little Appenzell. 
In any event, this is absolutely certain : just 
in proportion to its extent and thorough- 
ness is military selection a cause of national 
decline. 1 

'The case 
of Spain 

Spain died of empire centuries ago. She 
has never crossed our path. It was only her 
ghost which walked at Manila and Santiago. 
In 1630 the Augustinian friar La Puente 
thus wrote of the fate of Spain: “Against 
the credit for redeemed souls I set the cost 
of armadas and the sacrifice of soldiers and 
friars sent to the Philippines. And this I 
count the chief loss; for mines give silver, 

[ 82 ] 

1 “Lors de la guerre de Paraguay la population virile dis- 
parut presque completement, et il ne resta que les malades 
et les infirmes ” (E. Reclus). 


and forests give timber, but only Spain gives 
Spaniards, and she may give so many that 
she may be left desolate, and constrained to 
bring up strangers’ children instead of her 
own.” “This is Castile,” said a Spanish 
knight; “she makes men and wastes them.” 
“This sublime and terrible phrase,” says 
Captain Carlos Gilman Calkins, from whom 
I have received both these quotations, 
“sums up Spanish history.” 

The warlike nation of to-day is the deca- 
dent nation of to-morrow. It has ever been 
so, and in the nature of things it must ever 
be. 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


In his charming studies of “Feudal and 
Modern Japan,” Mr. Arthur Knapp, of 
Yokohama, returns again and again to the 
great marvel of Japan’s military prowess 
after more than two hundred years of peace. 
This was shown in the Chinese war. It has 
been more conclusively shown on the fields 
of Manchuria since Mr. Knapp’s book was 
written. It is astonishing to him that, after 
more than six generations in which physi- 
cal courage has not been demanded, these 
virile virtues should be found unimpaired. 


The 

greatness 
of Japan 


[ 83 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

We can readily see that this is just what we 
should expect. In times of peace there is 
no slaughter of the strong, no sacrifice of 
the courageous. In the peaceful struggle for 
existence there is a premium placed on these 
virtues. The virile and the brave survive. 
The idle, weak, and dissipated go to the 
wall. “What won the battles on the Yalu, 
in Korea or Manchuria,” says the Japanese, 
Nitobe, was the ghosts of our fathers guid- 
ing our hands and beating in our hearts. 
They are not dead, these ghosts, those spir- 
its of our warlike ancestors. Scratch a Japa- 
nese, even one of the most advanced ideas, 
and you will find a Samurai.” If we trans- 
late this from the language of Shintoism to 
that of science we find it a testimony to the 
strength of race-heredity, the survival of the 
ways of the strong in the lives of the self- 
reliant. 

If after two hundred years of incessant 
battle Japan still remained virile and war- 
like, that would indeed be the marvel. But 
that marvel no nation has ever seen. It is 
doubtless true that warlike traditions are 

[84] 

most persistent with nations most frequently 


engaged in war. But the traditions of war 

The 

and the physical strength to gain victories 

Human 

are very different things. Other things be- 

Harvest 

ing equal, the nation which has known least 


of war is the one most likely to develop the 


“strong battalions” with whom victory 


must rest. 


As Americans we are more deeply inter- 

What of 

ested in the fate of our mother-country than 

England P 

in that of the other nations of Europe. 


What shall we say of England and of her 


relation to the reversed selection of war ? 


Statistics we have none and no evidence of 


tangible decline that Englishmen will not 


indignantly repudiate. When the London 


press in the vacation season fills its columns 


with editorials on English degeneration, it 


is something else to which these journalists 


refer. Their problem is that of the London 


slums, of sweat-shops and child-labor, of 


wasting overwork and of lack of nutrition, of 


premature old age and of sodden drunk- 


enness, — influences which bring about the 


degeneration of the individual, the ineffi- 


ciency of the social group, but which for the 


most part leave no trace in heredity and are 

[85] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

therefore no factor in the degeneration of 
the race. Such degradation is at once cause, 
effect and symptom, — a sign of racial inad- 
equacy, a cause of further enfeeblement and 
an effect of unjust and injurious social, po- 
litical, and industrial conditions in the past. 
But with better training the child of the 
slums rises to normal conditions. Given a 
fair chance in his youth, and he will show 
his normal British heritage. 

But the problem before us is not the prob- 
lem of the slums. What mark has been left 
on England by her great struggles for free- 
dom and by the thousand petty struggles to 
impose on the world the semblance of order 
called “ Pax Britannica,” the British peace ? 

To one who travels widely through the 
counties of England some part of the cost 
is plain. 

There' s 
a <wido<w 
in sleepy 
Chester 

There’s a widow in sleepy Chester 

Who mourns for her only son ; 

There’s a grave by the Pabeng River, — 

A grave which the Burmans shun. 

[86] 

This is a condition repeated in every vil- 
lage of England, and its history is recorded 


on the walls of every parish church. Every- 
where can be seen tablets in memory of 
young men, — gentlemen’s sons from Eton 
and Rugby and Winchester and Harrow, 
scholars from Oxford and Cambridge, who 
have given up their lives in some far-off petty 
war. Their bodies rest in Zululand, in Cam- 
bodia, in the Gold Coast, in the Transvaal. 
In England only they are remembered. In 
the parish churches these records are num- 
bered by the score. In the cathedrals they 
are recorded by the thousand. Go from one 
cathedral town to another — Canterbury, 
Winchester, Chichester, Exeter, Salisbury, 
Wells, Ely, York, Lincoln, Durham, Litch- 
field, Chester (what a wonderful series of pic- 
tures this list of names calls up ! ), and you 
will find always the same story, the same sad 
array of memorials to young men. What 
would be the effect on England if all of these 
“unreturning brave” and all that should 
have been their descendants could be num- 
bered among her sons to-day? Doubtless 
not all of these were young men of charac- 
ter. Doubtless not all are worthy even of 
the scant glory of a memorial tablet. But 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 87 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

most of them were worthy. Most of them 

were brave and true, and most of them 

looked out on life with “frank blue British 
>> 

eyes. 

This too we may admit, that war is not 
the only destructive agency in modern so- 
ciety, and that in the struggle for existence 
the England of to-day has had many advan- 
tages which must hide or neutralize the 
waste of war. 

In default of facts unquestioned, we may 
appeal to the poets, letting their testimony 
as to the reversal of selection stand for what 
it is worth. 

Testimony 
of Kipling 

Rudyard Kipling is the poet of imperial- 
ism ; and as to the cost of it all, we may well 
heed his testimony. This he says of the rule 
of the sea : — 

[88] 

We have fed our sea for a thousand years, 

And she calls us, still unfed; 

Though there’s never a wave of all her waves 
But marks our English dead. 

We’ve strawed our best to the waves’ unrest, 

To the shark and the sheering gull. 

If blood be the price of Admiralty, 

Lord God, we ha’ paid it in full! 


There’s never a flood goes shoreward now 
But lifts some keel we have manned; 

There’s never an ebb* goes seaward now 
But drops our dead on the sand, 

But slinks our dead on the sands forlore, 

From the Ducies to the Swin, 

If blood be the price of Admiralty, 

Lord God, we ha’ paid it in! 

We must feed our sea for a thousand years, 

For that is our doom and pride, 

As it was when they sailed with the Golden Hind 
Or the wreck that struck last tide; 

Or the wreck that lies on the spouting reef 
When the ghastly blue-lights flare: 

If blood be the price of Admiralty, 

Lord God, we ha’ bought it fair! 

Again, referring to dominion on land, Kip- 
ling warns the British soldier: — 

Walk wide o’ the widow at Windsor, 

For ’alf o’ creation she owns: 

We ’ave bought ’er the same with the sword 
an’ the flame, 

An’ we’ve salted it down with our bones. 
(Poor beggars! — it’s blue with our bones!) 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


The 

Widow at 
Windsor 


[ 89 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

Older and more intense is “The Revelry of 
the Dying ” of Bartholomew Dowling, — a 
bit of burning verse which was sung at the 
banquet of death in which Dowling himself 
was one of the first that died : — 

The 
Revelry 
of the 
Dying 

We have met ’neath the sounding rafter, 

But the walls around are bare: 

They ring to our peals of laughter, 

But we know that the dead are there. 

So stand to your glasses steady, 

We drink to our comrades’ eyes: 

Here’s a cup to the dead already, 

And huzza for the next that dies! 

There’s a mist in the glass congealing, — 

’Tis the hurricane’s fiery breath; 

And ’tis thus that the warmth of feeling 

Turns cold in the grasp of death. 

[90] 

Cut off from the land that bore us, 

Betrayed by the land we find, 

When the brightest are gone before us, 

And the dullest are left behind. 

So stand to your glasses steady, 

Tho’ a moment the color flies; 

Here’s a cup to the dead already, 

And huzza for the next that dies! 


In the same vein is the dirge sung in Lee’s 
Army in Virginia when General Pelham 
died: — 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

Oh, band in the pine-wood, cease! 

Cease with your splendid call! 

The living were brave and noble, 

The dead were bravest of all! 

They throng to the martial summons, 

To the loud triumphant strain, 

And the dear bright eyes of long-dead friends 
Come to the heart again. 

They come with the ringing bugle 

And the deep drum’s mellow roar, 

Till the soul is faint with longing 

For the hands we clasp no more! 

Oh, band in the pine-woods, cease! 

Or the heart will melt in tears, 

For the gallant eyes and the smiling lips 

And the voices of old years! 

Through all this we have the same refrain, 
the minor chord of victory, the hidden lesson 
of war. 

The Band 
in the 

Pine- 

Wood 

1 By John Esten Cooke. 

[91] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

The brightest are gone before us , 

The dullest are left behind. 

The living are brave and noble , 

The dead were bravest of all ! 

The kindly seasons love us, 

They smile over trench and clod; 

Where we left the bravest of us 

There’s a deeper green of the sod. 

The Song 
of the 
Dead 

Once more Kipling: — 

Hear now the Song of the Dead in the North 
by the torn berg-edges: 

They that look still to the pole asleep by their 
hide-stripped sledges. 

Song of the Dead in the South, in the sun by 
their skeleton horses, 

When the warrigal whimpers and bays through 
the dust of the sere river-courses. 

[92] 

Song of the Dead in the East, in the heat- 
rotted jungle hollows, 

When the dog-ape barks in the kloof, in the 
brake of the buffalo-wallows. 


Song of the Dead in the West, in the barrens, 

The 

the waste that betrayed them, 

Human 

When the wolverene tumbles their packs from 

Harvest 

the camp and the grave-mound they made 


them. 


And these lines of Mrs. Browning : — 


Dead, one of them dead by the sea in the 


East, 


And one of them dead in the West by the 


sea ; 


Dead both of my boys, and ye sit at your feast, 


And you want a new song for your Italy 


free, — 


Let none look at me ! 


In the stately “Ave Imperatrix” of Oscar 

Ave 

Wilde there are very noble lines which ought 

Impera- 

trix 

not to be forgotten, whatever our feeling to- 


ward the wretched life of their author : — 


Set in this stormy northern sea, 


Queen of these restless fields of tide, 


England! what shall men say of thee , 


Before whose feet the worlds divide? 


The earth, a brittle globe of glass, 


Lies in the hollow of thy hand, 


And through its heart of crystal pass, 


Like shadows through a twilight land, 

[93] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

The spears of crimson-suited war, 

The long white-crested waves of light, 

And all the deadly fires which are 

The torches of the lords of Night. 

The yellow leopards, strained and lean, 

The treacherous Russian knows so well, 
With gaping, blackened jaws are seen 

Leap through the hail of screaming shell. 

The strong sea-lion of England’s wars 

Hath left his sapphire cave of sea, 

To battle with the storm that mars 

The star of England’s chivalry. 

The brazen-throated clarion blows 

Across the Pathan’s reedy fen, 

And the high steeps of Indian snows 

Shake to the tread of armed men. 

And many an Afghan chief, who lies 

Beneath his cool pomegranate-trees, 
Clutches his sword in fierce surmise 

When on the mountain-side he sees 

[94] 

The fleet-footed Marri scout, who comes 

To tell how he hath heard afar 

The measured roll of English drums 

Beat at the gates of Kandahar. 


For southern wind and east wind meet 

Where, girt and crowned by sword and fire, 
England with bare and bloody feet 

Climbs the steep road of wide empire. 

O lonely Himalayan height, 

Gray pillar of the Indian sky, 

Where sawest thou in clanging fight 

Our winged dogs of Victory? 

The almond groves of Samarcand, 

Bokhara, where red lilies blow, 

And Oxus, by whose yellow sand 

The grave white-turbaned merchants go: 

And on from thence to Ispahan, 

The gilded garden of the sun, 

Whence the long dusty caravan 

Brings cedar and vermilion; 

And that dread city of Cabool, 

Set at the mountain’s scarped feet, 

Whose marble tanks are ever full 

With water for the noonday heat; 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

Where through the narrow straight Bazaar 

A little maid Circassian 

Is led, a present from the Czar 

Unto some old and bearded khan — 

[95] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

Here have our wild war-eagles flown, 

And flapped wide wings in fiery fight; 

But the sad dove, that sits alone 

In England — she hath no delight. 

In vain the laughing girl will lean 

To greet her love with love-lit eyes; 

Down in some treacherous black ravine, 
Clutching his flag, the dead boy lies. 

And many a moon and sun will see 

The lingering wistful children wait 

To climb upon their father’s knee; 

And in each house made desolate, 

Pale women who have lost their lord 

Will kiss the relics of the slain — 

Some tarnished epaulet — some sword — 

Poor toys to soothe such anguished pain. 

For not in quiet English fields 

Are these, our brothers, lain to rest, 

Where we might deck their broken shields 
With all the flowers the dead love best. 

[96] 

For some are by the Delhi walls, 

And many in the Afghan land, 

And many where the Ganges falls 

Through seven mouths of shifting sand. 


And some in Russian waters lie, 

And others in the seas which are 
The portals to the East, or by 

The wind-swept heights of Trafalgar. 

O wandering graves! O restless sleep! 

O silence of the sunless day! 

O still ravine! O stormy deep! 

Give up your prey! Give up your prey! 

And t-hou whose wounds are never healed, 
Whose weary race is never won, 

O Cromwell’s England! must thou yield 
For every inch of ground a son? 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Go! crownwith thorns thy gold-crownedhead, 
Change thy glad song to song of pain; 
Wind and wild wave have got thy dead, 

And will not yield them back again. 

Wave and wild wind and foreign shore 
Possess the flower of English land — 

Lips that thy lips shall kiss no more, 

Hands that shall never clasp thy hand. 


What profit now that we have bound 

The whole round world with nets of gold, 
If hidden in our heart is found 
The care that groweth never old? 


[ 97 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

What profit that our galleys ride, 
Pine-forest-like, on every main? 

Ruin and wreck are at our side , 

Grim warders of the House of Pain. 

Where are the brave , the strong , the fleet? 

Where is our English chivalry? 

Wild grasses are their burial-sheet, 

And sobbing waves their threnody. 

O loved ones lying far away, 

What word of love can dead lips send! 

O wasted dust! O senseless clay! 

Is this the end! is this the end! 

Peace, peace! we wrong the noble dead 

To vex their solemn slumber so: 

Though childless , and with thorn-crowned head , 
Up the steep road must England go. 

Yet when this fiery web is spun, 

Her watchmen shall decry from far 

The young Republic like a sun 

Rise from these crimson seas of war. 

[98] 

We have here the same motive, the same 
lesson, which Byron applies to Rome : — 

The Niobe of Nations — there she stands, 
Crownless and childless in her voiceless woe, 


An empty urn within her withered hands, 

Whose sacred dust was scattered long ago! 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

It suggests the inevitable end of all em- 
pire, of all dominion of man over man by 
force of arms. More than all who fall in bat- 
tle or are wasted in the camps, the nation 
misses the “fair women and brave men” 
who should have been the descendants of 
the strong and the manly. If we may per- 
sonify the spirit of the nation, it grieves 
most not over its “unreturning brave,” but 
over those who might have been, but never 
were, and who, so long as history lasts, can 
never be. 

Against this view is urged the statement 
that the soldier is not the best, but the 

'Tommy 

Atkins 

worst, product of the blood of the English 
nation. Tommy Atkins comes from the 
streets, the wharves, the graduate of the 
London slums, and if the empire is “blue 
with his bones,” it is, after all, to the gain 
of England that her better blood is saved 
for home consumption, and that, as matters 
are, the wars of England make no real drain 
of English blood. 

[99] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

In so far as this is true, of course the pres- 
ent argument fails. If war in England is a 
means of race improvement, the lesson I 
would read does not apply to her. If Eng- 
land’s best do not fall on the field of battle, 
then we may not accuse war of their de- 
struction. The fact could be shown by 
statistics. If the men who have fallen in 
England’s wars, officers and soldiers, rank 
and file, are not on the whole fairly repre- 
sentative of “the flower of England’s chiv- 
alry,” then fame has been singularly given 
to deception. We have been told that the 
glories of Blenheim, Trafalgar, Waterloo, 
Majuba Elill, werewon by real Englishmen. 
And this, in fact, is the truth. In every na- 
tion of Europe the men chosen for the army 
are above the average of their fellows. The 
absolute best doubtless they are not, but 
still less are they the worst. Doubtless, too, 
physical excellence is more considered than 
moral or mental strength; and certainly, 
again, the more noble the cause, the more 
worthy the class of men who will risk their 
lives for it. 

[100] 

Not to confuse the point by modern in- 


stances, it is doubtless true that better men 
fell on both sides when “Kentish Sir Byng 
stood for the King” than when the British 
arms forced the opium trade on China. No 
doubt, in our own country better men fell 
at Bunker Hill or Gettysburg than atCerro 
Gordo or Chapultepec. The lofty cause de- 
mands the lofty sacrifice. 

It is the shame of England that most of 
her many wars in our day have cost her very 
little. They havebeenscrambles of the mob 
or with the mob, not triumphs of democ- 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

racy. 

There was once a time when the struggles 
of armies resulted in a survival of the fit- 
test, when the race was indeed to the swift 
and the battle the strong. The invention of 
“villainous gunpowder” has changed all 
this. Except the kind of warfare called 
guerilla, the quality of the individual has 
ceased to be much of a factor. The clown 
can shoot down the hero, and, in the words 
of Charles F. Lummis,he “doesn’t have to 
look the hero in the face while he shoots.” 

The Sur- 
vival of 
the fittest 
in vuar 

The shell destroys the clown and hero 
alike, and the machine-gun mows down 

[ ioi ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

What of 
America ? 


[ 102 ] 


whole ranks impartially. There is little play 
for selection in modern war save what is 
shown in the process of enlistment. 

America has grown strong with the 
strength of peace, the spirit of democracy. 
Her wars have been few. Were it not for 
the mob spirit, they would have been still 
fewer; but in most of them she could not 
choose but fight. Volunteer soldiers have 
swelled her armies, men who went forth of 
their own free will, knowing whither they 
were going, believing their acts to be right, 
and taking patiently whatever the fates 
might hold in store. 

The feeling for the righteousness of the 
cause, “with the flavor of religion in it,” 
says Charles Ferguson, “has made the vol- 
unteer the mighty soldier he has always 
been since the days of Naseby and Marston 
Moor.” Only with volunteer soldiers can 
democracy go into war. When America 
fights with professional troops, she will be 
no longer America. We shall then be, with 
the rest of the militant world, under mob 
rule. “It is the mission of democracy,” says 
Ferguson again, “to put down the rule of 


the mob. In monarchies and aristocracies it 
is the mob that rules. It is puerile to sup- 
pose that kingdoms are made by kings. 
The king could do nothing if the mob did 
not throw up its cap when the king rides by. 
The king is consented to by the mob be- 
cause of that which in him is mob-like. The 
mob loves glory and prizes. So does the 
king. If he loved beauty and justice, the 
mob would shout for him while the fine 
words were sounding in the air; but he 
could never celebrate a jubilee or establish 
a dynasty. When the crowd gets ready to 
demand justice and beauty, it becomes a 
democracy, and has done with kings.” 

It was at Lexington that “the embattled 
farmers” “fired the shot heard round the 
world.” To them life was of less value than 
a principle, the principle written by Crom- 
well on the statute-book of Parliament: 
“All just powers under God are derived 
from the consent of the people.” Since the 
war of the Revolution many patriotic soci- 
eties have arisen in the United States. 
These may be typified by the association of 
the “Sons of the Revolution,” and of the 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Signifi- 
cance of 
“ Sons of 
the Revo- 
lution ’ ’ 


[ 1 ° 3 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

“Sons of American Wars,” societies which 
find their inspiration in the personal descent 
of their members from those who fought for 
American independence. The assumption, 
well justified by facts, is that revolutionary 
fathers were a superior type of men, and 
that to have had such names in our person- 
al ancestry is of itself a cause for thinking 
more highly of ourselves. In our little pri- 
vate round of peaceful duties we feel that 
we might have wrought the deeds of Put- 
nam and Allen, of Marion and Greene, of 
our Revolutionary ancestors, whoever they 
may have been. But if those who survived 
were nobler than the mass, so also were 
those who fell. If we go over the record of 
brave men and wise women whose fathers 

War 

sometimes 

inevitable 

[ 1 ° 4 ] 

fought at Lexington, we must think also of 
the men and women who shall never be, 
whose right to exist was cut short at this 
same battle. It is a costly thing to kill off 
men, for in men alone and the sons of men 
can national greatness consist. 

Butsometimes there is no other alternative. 
War is sometimes inevitable. It is some- 
times necessary, sometimes even righteous. 


It happened once in our history that for 
“every drop of blood drawn by the lash an- 
other must be drawn by the sword.” It cost 
us six hundred and fifty thousand lives to get 
rid of slavery. And this number, almost a 
million, North and South, was the “best that 
the nation could bring.” North and South, 
the nation was impoverished by the loss. 
The gaps they left are filled to all appearance. 
There are relatively few of us left to-day in 
whose hearts the scars of forty years ago are 
still unhealing. But a new generation has 
grown up of men and women born since 
thewar. They have taken the nation’s prob- 
lems into their hands, but theirs are hands 
not so strong or so clean as though the men 
that are stood shoulder to shoulder with the 
men that might have been. The men that 
died in “the weary time” had better stuff in 
them than the father of the average man of 
to-day. 

Those stateswhich lostmostof theirstrong 
young blood, as Virginia and South Caro- 
lina, will not recover forcenturies — perhaps 
never! 

Read again Brownell’s rhymed roll of hon- 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[105] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

or, and we shall see its deeper meaning: — 

Of little the storm has reft us 

Bronxi- 
neW s 
“Roll of 
Honor ’ 

But the brave and kindly clay, 

(’Tis but dust where Lander left us, 

And but turf where Lyon lay). 

There’s Winthrop, true to the end, 

And Ellsworth of long ago, 

(First fair young head laid low!) 

There’s Baker, the firm, staunch friend, 
And Douglas, the friendly foe: 

(Baker, that still stood up 

When ’twas death on either hand: 

“ ’Tis a soldier’s part to stoop, 

But the Senator must stand.”) 

The heroes gather and form: 

There’s Cameron, with his scars, 

Sedgwick, of siege and storm, 

And Mitchell, that joined his stars. 

Winthrop, of sword and pen, 

Wadsworth, with silver hair, 

Mansfield, ruler of men, 

And brave McPherson are there. 

[106] 

Birney, who led so long, 

Abbott, born to command, 


Elliott the bold, and Strong, 

Who fell on the hard-fought strand. 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Lytle, soldier and bard, 

And the Ellets, sire and son, 

Ransom, all grandly scarred. 

And Redfield, no more on guard, 

(But Alatoona is won!) 

Reno, of pure desert, 

Kearney, with heart of flame, 

And Russell, that hid his hurt 
Till the final death-bolt came. 

Terrill, dead where he fought, 

Wallace, that would not yield, 

And Sumner, who vainly sought 
A grave on the foughten field, 

(But died ere the end he saw, 

With years and battles outworn). 
There’s Harmon of Kenesaw, 

And Ulric Dahlgren, and Shaw, 1 
That slept with his Hope Forlorn. 

1 Compare John Hay’s reference to Colonel Shaw : — 


With an eye like a Boston girl’s ; 

And I saw the light of heaven that shone 
In Ulrich Dahlgren’s curls ! 


[t°7] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

Bayard, that knew not fear 
(True as the knight of yore), 

And Putnam, and Paul Revere, 

Worthy the names they bore. 

Allen, who died for others, 

Bryan, of gentle fame, 

And the brave New-England brothers 

That have left us Lowell’s name. 

Home, at last, from the wars, — 

Stedman, the staunch and mild, 

And Janeway, our hero-child, 

Home, with his fifteen scars! 

There’s Porter, ever in front, 

True son of a sea-king sire, 

And Christian Foote, and Dupont 
(Dupont, who led his ships 

Rounding the first Ellipse 

Of thunder and of fire). 

There’s Ward, with his brave death-wounds, 
And Cummings, of spotless name, 

And Smith, who hurtled his rounds 

When deck and hatch were aflame; 

C Io8 l 

Wain wright, steadfast and true, 

Rodgers, of brave sea-blood, 


And Craven, with ship and crew 
Sunk in the salt sea-flood. 

And, a little later to part, 

Our Captain, loved and dear — 
(Did we deem thee, then, austere ? 

Drayton! — O pure and kindly heart! 
Thine is the seaman’s tear). 

All such, — and many another 
(Ah, list how long to name!) 

That stood like brother by brother, 
And died on the field of fame. 

(But, a little from the rest, 

With sad eyes looking down, 

And brows of softened frown, 

With stern arms on the chest, 

Are two, standing abreast, — 

Stonewall and Old John Brown). 

But the stainless and the true, 

These by their President stand, 

To look on his last review, 

Or march with the old command. 

And lo, from a thousand fields, 

From all the old battle-haunts, 

A greater Army than Sherman wields, 
A grander Review than Grant’s ! 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[x°9] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

Gathered home from the grave, 

Risen from sun and rain, — 

Rescued from wind and wave, 

Out of the stormy main, — 

The Legions of our Brave 

Are all in their lines again! 

Many a stout corps that went 

Full-ranked from camp and tent, 

And brought back a brigade; 

Many a brave regiment, 

That mustered only a squad. 

The lost battalions 

That, when the fight went wrong, 
Stood and died at their guns, — 

The stormers steady and strong. 

With their best blood that bought 

Scarp and ravelin and wall — 

The companies that fought 

Till a corporal’s guard was all. 

[no] 

Many a valiant crew 

That passed in battle wreck, 

Ah, so faithful and true ! 

They died on the bloody deck, 

They sank in the soundless blue. 


The shattered wreck we hurried, 

In death-fight, from deck and port, — 
The blacks that Wagner buried, 

That died in the Bloody Fort! 

Comrades of camp and mess, 

Left, as they lay, to die, 

In the battle’s sorest stress, 

When the storm of fight swept by: 

They lay in the Wilderness — 

Ah, where did they not lie ? 

In the tangled swamp they lay, 

They lay so still on the sward ! — 

They rolled in the sick-bay, 

Moaning their lives away; — 

They flushed in the fevered ward. 

But the old wounds are all healed, 

And the dungeoned limbs are free, — 

The Blue Frocks rise from the field, 

The Blue Jackets out of the sea. 

O tenderer green than May 

The Eternal Season wears, — 

The blue of our summer’s day 

Is dim and pallid to theirs, — 

The Horror faded away, 

And ’twas heaven all unawares ! 1 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

'“Abraham Lincoln,” by Henry Howard Brownell. 

[in] 


1 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

In the same vein Bret Harte tells us of 
the phantom “ Last Review of the Grand 
Army of the Republic”: — 

The 

Phantom 

Army 

I saw a phantom army come 

With never a sound of fife or drum, 

But keeping time to a throbbing hum 

Of wailing and lamentation. 

The martyred heroes of Malvern Hill, 

Of Gettysburg and of Chancellorsville, 

The men whose wasted figures fill 

The patriot graves of the nation. 

And then came the nameless dead, the men 
Who perished in fever-swamp and fen, 

The slowly starved of the prison-pen ; 

And, marching beside the others, 

Came the dusky martyrs of Pillow’s fight, 
With limbs enfranchised and beaming bright ; 

I thought — but perhaps ’twas the pale moon- 
light — 

They looked as white as their brothers ! 

[II2] 

And so all night marched the nation’s dead, 
With never a banner above them spread, 

Nor a badge nor a motto brandished : 

No mark save the bare uncovered head 

Of the silent bronze Reviewer. 


With never an arch save the vaulted sky, 
With never a flower save those that lie 
On the distant graves — for love could buy 
No gift that was purer or truer. 

“ The remnant just eleven ; 

The bayonets one thousand were 
And the swords were thirty-seven.” 

All the names that history has saved from 
the Civil War, as from any other war, are 
in the list of the officers. But no less worthy 
were the men in the ranks. It is the para- 
dox of democracy that its greatness is less 
in the ranks. “Are all the common ones 
so grand, and all the titled ones so mean ?” 1 

North or South, it was the same. “Send 
forth the best ye breed” was the call on 
both sides alike, and to this call both sides 
alike responded. As it will take “centuries 
of peace and prosperity to make good the 
tall statures mowed down in the Napoleonic 

1 Is there never one in all the land. 

One on whose might the cause may lean? 

Are all the common ones so grand 
And all the titled ones so mean?” 

— Edmund Clarence Stedman, 1862. 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


[ 1 1 3 ] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

wars,” so like centuries of wisdom and vir- 
tue are needed to restore to our nation its 
lost inheritance of patriotism, — not the ca- 
pacity for patriotic talk, for of that there 
has been no abatement, but of that faith and 
truth which “ on war’s red touchstone rang 
true metal.” We can never know what 
might have been. We can never know how 
great is our actual loss, nor can we know 
how far the men that are fall short of the 
men that ought to have been. 

The gap in our picked and chosen, 

The long years may not fill. 

[”4] 

An English University professor on a late 
visit to America told me that his most vivid 
impression came from a casual reference to 
the one hundred and fifteenth (or some sim- 
ilarly numbered) regiment of Massachu- 
setts volunteers — that a little district like 
Massachusetts should contribute 115,000 
men to the Civil War gave an impression of 
the mightiness and the cost of that strug- 
gle he had gained in no other way. 

It may be that the vexing problems of to- 
day, the problems of greed and lawlessness, 


would be easier if we had the men who 
ought to havebeen to help us in their settle- 
ment. “ The hencoop is always full, what- 
ever thenumber of hens.” Our country fills 
up like an overflowing marsh ; but the men 
that are are not all of the same lineage with 
the men who might have been. 

To some extent, at least, Vir has given 
place to Homo in our American cities and in 
our public life. Among us, perchance, there 
might have been many a Brutus who would 
have brooked the Eternal Devil to take his 
seat in the Republic as easily as some of the 
tyrants to which we adjust ourselves in hope- 
less uncomplaint. 

It is related that Guizot once asked this 
question of James Russell Lowell: “How 
longwill the Republic endure?” “So long as 
the ideas of its founders remain dominant,” 
was the answer. But again we have this ques- 
tion: “How longwill the ideas of its found- 
ers remain dominant ?” Just so long as the 
blood of the founders remains dominant in 
the blood of its people. Not necessarily the 
blood of the Puritans and the Virginians 
alone, the original creators of the land of 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Ho-uu long 
<will the 
Republic 
last ? 


[ 1 1 5 ] 



The 

Human 

Harvest 


Like the 
seed is the 
harvest 


[116] 


free states. We must not read our history 
so narrowly as that. It is the blood of free- 
born men, be they Greek, Roman, Frank, 
Saxon, Norman, Dane, Celt, Scot, Goth, or 
Samurai. It is a free stock which creates a 
free nation. Our republic shall endure so 
long as the human harvest is good, so long 
as the movement of history, the progress of 
science and industry leaves for the future 
not the worst but the best of each genera- 
tion. The Republic of Rome lasted so long 
as there were Romans ; the Republic of 
America will last so long as its people, in 
blood and in spirit, remain what we have 
learned to call Americans. 

By the law of probabilities as developed 
by Quetelet, there will appear in each gene- 
ration the same number of potential poets, 
artists, investigators, patriots, athletes and 
superior men of each degree. 

But this law involves the theory of con- 
tinuity of paternity, that in each generation 
a percentage practically equal of men of su- 
perior force or superior mentality should 
surviveto take theresponsibilitiesof parent- 
hood. Otherwise Ouetelet’s law becomes 


subject to the operation of another law, the 
operation of reversed selection, or the bio- 
logical “law of diminishing returns.” In 
other words, breeding from an inferior stock 
is the sole agency in race degeneration, as 
selection natural or artificial along one line 
or another is the sole agency in race prog- 
ress. 

And all laws of probabilities and of aver- 
ages are subject to a still higher law, the 
primal law of biology, which no cross-cur- 
rent of life can overrule or modify: Like the 
seed is the harvest. 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

Ruskin once said that “ war is the foun- 
dation of all high virtues and faculties of 
men.” As well might the maker of phrases 
say that fire is the builder of the forest, for 
only in the flame of destruction do we real- 
ize the warmth and strength that lie in the 
heart of oak. Another writer, Hardwick, 
declares that “ war is essential to the life of 

War as a 
source of 
national 
strength 

a nation ; war strengthens a nation morally, 
mentally and physically.” Such statements 
as these set all history at defiance. War can 
only waste and corrupt. “ All war is bad, 
some only worse than others.” “War has 

C 1 x 7] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

its origin in the evil passions of men,” and 
even when unavoidable or righteous its 
effects are most baleful. The final effect of 
each strife for empire has been the degra- 
dation or extinction of the nation which led 

War one 
influence 
among 
many 

in the struggle. 

Itwill,no doubt, be said by those whoread 
this little book that all this is exaggeration, 
that war is but one influence among many, 
and that for each and all these forms of de- 
structive selection civilization will find an 
antidote. This is very true. The antidote 
is found in the spirit of democracy, and the 
spirit of democracy is the spirit of peace. 
Doubtless these pages constitute an exag- 
geration. They were written for that pur- 
pose. I would show the “ ugly, old, and 
wrinkled truth stripped clean of all the ves- 
ture that beguiles.” To see anything clearly 
and separately is to exaggerate it. The 
naked truth is always a caricature unless 
clothed in conventions, fragments taken 
from lesser truths. The moral law is an 
exaggeration: “The soul that sinneth, it 
shall die.” Doubtless one war will not ruin 

i — i 

00 

M 

HH 

a nation. Doubtless it will not destroy its 


vitality or impair its blood. Doubtless a 
dozen wars may do all this. The difference 
is one of degree alone ; I wish only to point 
out the tendency. That the death of the 
strong is a true cause of the decline of nations 
is a fact beyond cavil or question. The “ man 
who is left ” holds always the future in his 
grasp. One of the great books of our cen- 
tury will be some day written on the selec- 
tion of men, the screening of human life 
through the actions of man and the oper- 
ation of the institutions men have built up. 

It will be a survey of the stream of social 
history, its whirls and eddies, rapids and 
still waters, and the effect of each and all of 
its conditions on the heredity of men. The 
survival of the fit and the unfit in all degrees 
and conditions will be its subject-matter. 
This book will be written, not roughly and 
hastily, like the present fragmentary essay, 
the work of one whose business of life runs 

The 

Human 

Harvest 

in wholly different lines. Still less will it be 
a brilliant effort of some analytical imagi- 
nation. It will set down soberly and statis- 
tically the array of facts which as yet no one 
possesses; and the new Darwin whose work 

[ JI 9] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


Advanta- 
ges of civ- 
il voar 


[ 120 ] 


it shall be must, like his predecessor, spend 
twenty-five years in the gathering of “ all 
facts that canpossibly bear on the question.” 
When such a book is written, we shall know 
for the first time the real significance of war. 

If any war is good, civil war must be best. 
The virtues of victory and the lessons of 
defeat would be kept within the nation. 
This would protect the nation from the 
temptation to fight for gold or trade. Civil 
war under proper limitations could remedy 
this. A time limit could be adopted, as in 
football, and every device known to the 
arena could be used to get the good of war 
and to escape its evils. 

For example, of all our states, New York 
and Illinois have doubtless suffered most 
from the evils of peace, if peace has evils 
which disappear with w T ar. They could be 
pitted against each other, while the other 
States looked on. The C£ dark and bloody 
ground ” of Kentucky could be made the 
arena. This would not interfere with trade 
in Chicago, nor soil the streets of Baltimore. 
The armies could befilledupfrom the ranks 
of the unemployed, while the pasteboard 


heroes of the national guard could act as 
officers. All could be done in decency and 
order, with norecriminations and no oppres- 
sion of an alien foe. We should have all that 
is good in war, its pomp and circumstance, 
the “ grim resolution of the London clubs,” 
without war’s long train of murderous evils. 
Who could deny this ? And yet who could 
defend it? 

If war is good, we should have it regard- 
less of its cost, regardless of its horrors, its 
sorrows, its anguish, havoc, and waste. 

But war is bad, only to be justified as the 
last resort of “mangled, murdered liberty,” 
a terrible agency to be evoked only when 
all other arts of self-defence shall fail. The 
remedy for most ills of men is not to be 
sought in “whirlwinds of rebellion that 
shake the world,” but in peace and justice, 
equality among men, and the cultivation of 
those virtues we call Christian, because they 
havebeenvirtuesever since man and society 
began, and will be virtues still when the era 
of strife is past, when false glory ceases to 
deceive, and when no longer 


The 

Human 

Harvest 


The best 
political 
economy 


[ 12 !] 


The 

Human 

Harvest 

The redcoat bully in his boots 

Shall hide the march of man from us. 

It is the voice of political wisdom, the ex- 
pression of the “ best political economy,” 
which falls from the bells of Christmas-tide : 

“ Peace on earth, good will towards men !” 

[i 22] 





















Date Due 


Qct22’>4* 








K: '35 





r 



^nv2i : , • - 




higizm^ 




Ui<r* 




30 ’40 




BESERV 








— r RV ED 




p& 2 7 5C 




"If -i 

he 4 




1 





Jnr/v ■ ■ 







* 











Library Bureau Cat. no. 1137 


DUKE UNIVERSITY 
LIBRARY 



DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA 
27706