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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8

Wendell Phillips

Wendell Phillips,

Thinker, orator, agitator, abolitionist, prohibitionist, inflationist, friend of the workingman, tribune of the people, alarm-clock of this century, has been denounced as 'a visionary enthusiast, if not absolutely insane, since I can first remember; yet, periodically, every ten years, the politicians catch up with him, steal part of his platform and damn the balance. In fact, say what you please, this nation loves courage, hates cowardice, and at last will show its appreciation of the man who thinks out and acts out the faith that is in him. Whence then comes this evasion, timidity, indirectness which emasculates our public life and has given a new and sinister meaning to the strong old English word politic? Shakespeare said—

"This land was once enriched

With politic grave counsel."

But such expression would scarcely fit our degenerate speech. The politic of today is that which creeps and burrows. This is shown signally in the changed relation of the press which has almost lost control over politics. The newspapers of widest circulation scarcely claim a morganatic page 11 Party connection. Day by day the able editor is ceasing to be a factor in shaping our representative system. The machine is run by the bummers and inspired by the dramshops. Where it will all end no one dare predict. I can see no further along, if the present state of things shall continue, than Freedom Drunk, and