Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 117 pages of information about Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays.

But there are people assisting him, people like the Duchess of Marlborough, who know not their right hand from their left, and to these we may legitimately address our remonstrance and a resume of some of the facts they do not know.  The Duchess of Marlborough is, I believe, an American, and this separates her from the problem in a special way, because the drink question in America is entirely different from the drink question in England.  But I wish the Duchess of Marlborough would pin up in her private study, side by side with the Declaration of Independence, a document recording the following simple truths:  (1) Beer, which is largely drunk in public-houses, is not a spirit or a grog or a cocktail or a drug.  It is the common English liquid for quenching the thirst; it is so still among innumerable gentlemen, and, until very lately, was so among innumerable ladies.  Most of us remember dames of the last generation whose manners were fit for Versailles, and who drank ale or Stout as a matter of course.  Schoolboys drank ale as a matter of course, and their schoolmasters gave it to them as a matter of course.  To tell a poor woman that she must not have any until half the day is over is simply cracked, like telling a dog or a child that he must not have water. (2) The public-house is not a secret rendezvous of bad characters.  It is the open and obvious place for a certain purpose, which all men used for that purpose until the rich began to be snobs and the poor to become slaves.  One might as well warn people against Willesden Junction. (3) Many poor people live in houses where they cannot, without great preparation, offer hospitality. (4) The climate of these picturesque islands does not favour conducting long conversations with one’s oldest friends on an iron seat in the park. (5) Halfpast eleven a.m. is not early in the day for a woman who gets up before six. (6) The bodies and minds of these women belong to God and to themselves.


Something has come into our community, which is strong enough to save our community; but which has not yet got a name.  Let no one fancy I confess any unreality when I confess the namelessness.  The morality called Puritanism, the tendency called Liberalism, the reaction called Tory Democracy, had not only long been powerful, but had practically done most of their work, before these actual names were attached to them.  Nevertheless, I think it would be a good thing to have some portable and practicable way of referring to those who think as we do in our main concern.  Which is, that men in England are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by brutes who refuse them bread, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern, and therefore wish to enslave.

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Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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