old Hindoo saw, in his dream, the human race led out to its various fortunes.
First, men were in chains which went back to an iron hand; then he saw them led by threads from the brain which went upward to an unseen hand.
The first was despotism, iron, and ruling by force.
The last was civilization, ruling by ideas.
Agitation is an old word with a new meaning.
Sir Robert Peel
, the first English leader who felt he was its tool, defined it to be “the marshalling of the conscience of a nation to mould its laws.”
was the first to show and use its power, to lay down its principles, to analyze its elements, and mark out its metes and bounds.
It is voluntary, public, and aboveboard,--no oath-bound secret societies like those of old time in Ireland
, and of the Continent to-day.
Its means are reason and argument,--no appeal to arms.
Wait patiently for the slow growth of public opinion.
is angry with his government; he throws up barricades, and shots his guns to the lips.
A week's fury drags the nation ahead a hand-breadth; reaction lets it settle half-way back again.
As Lord Chesterfield said, a hundred years ago, “You Frenchmen erect barricades, but never any barriers.”
An Englishman is dissatisfied with public affairs.
He brings his charges, offers his proofs, waits for prejudice to relax, for public opinion to inform itself.
Then every step taken is taken forever; an abuse once removed never reappears in history.
Where did he learn this method?
Practically speaking, from O'Connell
It was he who planted its corner-stone,--argument, no violence; no political change is worth a drop of human blood
. His other motto was, “Tell the whole truth;” no concealing half of one's convictions to make the other half more acceptable; no denial of one truth to gain hearing for another; no compromise; or, as he