I have drawn no laws and no illustrations from the twin civilizations of hell and Russia. To have entered into that atmosphere would have defeated my purpose, which was to show a great and genuine progress in Christendom in these few later generations toward mercifulness—a wide and general relaxing of the grip of the law. Russia had to be left out because exile to Siberia remains, and in that single punishment is gathered together and concentrated all the bitter inventions of all the black ages for the infliction of suffering upon human beings. Exile for life from one’s hearthstone and one’s idols—this is rack, thumb-screw, the water-drop, fagot and stake, tearing asunder by horses, flaying alive—all these in one; and not compact into hours, but drawn out into years, each year a century, and the whole a mortal immortality of torture and despair. While exile to Siberia remains one will be obliged to admit that there is one country in Christendom where the punishments of all the ages are still preserved and still inflicted, that there is one country in Christendom where no advance has been made toward modifying the medieval penalties for offenses against society and the State.
A TRIBUTE TO HENRY H. ROGERS
(See Chapter cc and earlier)
April 25, 1902. I owe more to Henry Rogers than to any other man whom I have known. He was born in Fairhaven, Connecticut, in 1839, and is my junior by four years. He was graduated from the high school there in 1853, when he was fourteen years old, and from that time forward he earned his own living, beginning at first as the bottom subordinate in the village store with hard-work privileges and a low salary. When he was twenty-four he went out to the newly discovered petroleum fields in Pennsylvania and got work; then returned home, with enough money to pay passage, married a schoolmate, and took her to the oil regions. He prospered, and by and by established the Standard Oil Trust with Mr. Rockefeller and others, and is still one of its managers and directors.
In 1893 we fell together by accident one evening in the Murray Hill Hotel, and our friendship began on the spot and at once. Ever since then he has added my business affairs to his own and carried them through, and I have had no further trouble with them. Obstructions and perplexities which would have driven me mad were simplicities to his master mind and furnished him no difficulties. He released me from my entanglements with Paige and stopped that expensive outgo; when Charles L. Webster & Company failed he saved my copyrights for Mrs. Clemens when she would have sacrificed them to the creditors although they were in no way entitled to them; he offered to lend me money wherewith to save the life of that worthless firm; when I started lecturing around the world to make the money to pay off the Webster debts he spent more than a year trying