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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (April 26, 1901)
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torested in reform ought to know the means
resorted to "by our opponents.
The second reason for calling attention to
this letter is that it suggests what might hap
pen if voters generally were as illiberal and as
partisan as some of the so-called business men.
There is as much reason why the ordinary citizen
should refuse to patronize a store owned by a
political opponent, or to purchase an article
manufactured by one differing from him in
political opinion, as there is for a business man
to refuse to advertise in a paper which antag
onizes his views on public questions. No prin
ciple is sound which is not capable of general
application. The principle adopted by the cor
poration whoso letter is quoted would inject
strife and bitterness into every business com
munity. Bankers have sometimes refused loans to,
or threatened to withdraw loaus from, persons
holding opposite political views, without seem
ing to realize that the application of the same
principle by depositors would bankrupt the
As a rule, however, mon mingle together in
business, in society, and at church without re
gard to their political opinions. It is not
because they lack convictions, but because they
have a proper conception of the privileges and
duties of citizenship, and recognize the right of
each person to have and to express his views, on
all subjects. It is fortunato that narrowness is
the exception rather than the rule.
A Lesson to Rulers.
Lord Macaulay, in his history of England,
describes the growth of trusts and monopolies
three hundred years ago. Ho tells how the
people at last arose and demanded redress, and
how the queen, seeing that she could no longer
resist public opinion, gracefully yielded. The
historian points to her example as a lesson to
rulers. In the hope that the lesson may not be
lost upon those now in power,. the description
"It was in the Parliament of 1C01 that the op-'
position which had, during forty years, been
silently gathering and husbanding strength, fought
its first great battle and won its first victory. The
ground was well chosen. Tho English Sovereigns
had always been entrusted with the supreme direc
tion of commercial police. It was their undoubted
prerogative to regulate coin, weights and meas
ures, and to appoint fairs, markets, and ports. The
lmo which bounded their authority over trade had,
as usual, been but loosely drawn. They therefore,
as usual, encroached on tho province which right
fully belonged to the legislature. The encroach
ment was, as usual, patiently borne, till it became
serious. But at length the Queen took upon herself
to grant patents of monopoly by scores. There
was scarcely a family in the realm which did not
feel itself aggrieved by tho oppression and extor
tion which this abuse naturally caused. Iron, oil,
- vinegar, coal, saltpetre, lead, starch, yarn, skins,
leather, glass, could be bought only at exorbitant
prices. Tho House of Commons met in an angry
and determined mood. It was in vain that a court
ly minority blamed the Speaker for suffering acts
of the Queen's Highness to be called in question.
Tho language of tho discontented party was high
and menacing, and was ecnoed by tho voice of the
whole nation. The coach of tho chief minister of
the crown was surrounded by an indignant pop
ulace, who cursed the monopolies, and exclaimed
that tho prerogative should not bo suffered to
touch tho old liberties of England. There seemed
for a moment to bo some danger that the long
and glorious reign of Elizabeth would have a
shameful and disastrous end. She, however, with
admirable judgment and temper, declined the con
test, put herself at the head of tho reforming party,
redressed the grievance, thanked the Commons, in
touching and dignified language, for their tender
care of tho general weal, brought back to herself
the hearts of the people, and left to her successors
a memorable example of the way in which it be
hoves a ruler to deal with public movements
which ho has not the means of resisting."
He Takes No Chances.
A California reader of This Commoner has
sent in a bank note which is used by a Califor
nia bank. It must be signed by two persons
and guaranteed by a third.
The rate of interest usually charged is 10
per cent, and, according to the wording of the
note, principal and interest draw interest at the
rate of 24 per cent a year after maturity.
It is evident that the banker who uses this
note is determined to take no chances. The
ordinary farmer or business man is unable to
protect himself in this way, and this may ac
count for the fact that the banker, on an aver
age, is more prosperous than any other mem
ber of the community. Such cases show the
necessity for an usuary law.
Below will be found a copy of the note:
$ Cal., 190...
days after date, at three o'clock p. m.
of that (lay (no grace) for value received, I prom
ise, to pay to the order of ".
at the .., with interest, payable monthly,
at the rate of per cent. per........ until
paid. If said interest be not paid when due, it
shall bo added to the principal, and bear interest
at the same rate as the principal, and the whole
amount of principal and interest shall thereafter
be due and payable at the option of the payee.
Principal and interest payable in Gold Coin of the
United States; and should this not be paid at ma
turity it shall thereafter bear interest at the rate
of two per cent per month.
Gov. Bradley's Testimony.
In the trial against Ripley, one of the men
charged with complicity in the assassination of
Governor Goebel, Governor Bradley gave tes- .
timony which will effeotually close the mouths
of those who have attempted to defend ex
Governor Taylor. Bradley is a republican in
politics, and a man whose general reputation
for truth and varacity has never been ques
tioned. He testified that Ripley reported to
him a conversation which he, Ripley, had had
with Taylor, then Governor, in which the lat
ter declared that Goebel would be killed within -a
day. The language used by Taylor was
"My God!" Havn't you brought your men yet?
Bring them at once! Goebel can't live another
day," or "won't live another day."
Governor Bradley also testified that he
learned of a plot to assassinate Goebel, and
sent for the parties who had the matter in
hand, and told them that it must be stopped,
or that ho would apprise Goebel of the plot,
and escorte him from the capital grounds him
self. 'The testimony of Governor Bradley, taken
in connection with the other circumstances in
the case, makes it clear that Tayor was aware
of tho plot to assassinate Goebel. It will shock
the public at large to know that there is con
clusive testimony connecting tho executive of
a state with a scheme to assassinate his po
litical rival. So long as there was no positive
proof, the friends of Taylor might excuse them
selves for refusing to believe him guilty, but
in tho presence of such testimony as that fur
nished by Governor Bradley, and corroborated
by Judge Yost, even the most extreme parti
sans of Taylor will be silenced.
Aspirations Pure and Impure.
Captain Lara of the Manila Police was
assassinated sometime ago, and his widow has
been granted, m by the American authorities,
"exclusive cockpit privileges." It is explained
in the dispatches that this is in the way of
"compensation for the murder of her husband,
who was commander of the native police." , It
is also said that this is the first time the Ameri
can authorities have granted permission for
cockiighting in Manila. But this being tho
national sport of the Filipinos, there "will
probably be legislation in regard to it."
It is very touching, indeed, to see on tho
part of the American authorities such zealous
concern for the ' 'national sport" of the Fili
pinos. It is good also to be told that there
will probably be legislation in regard to
this., No doubt, it will be provided that tho
"national sport" shall not be interfered with.
It was also very touching to see the widow .of
this police captain granted ah exclusive cockpit
privilege. Perhaps it was not much in the way
of "compensation," but the good woman doubt
less accepted it as part compensation and part
tribute to the habits and customs of the Filipi
But if we are to manifest so lively a con
cern for cockfighting becauso it is the "national
sport" of the Filipinos, would it not be well
for us to manifest some concern for tho purer
aspirations of those people? If cockfighting
is to be defended and upheld because of a re
luctance to interfere with the Filipino aspira
tions, should we not be somewhat reluctant to
stamp out the Filipino aspirations to liberty
and a government based on the consent of tho
The Representative's Duty.
A reader of Tnis Cojbioner has asked
whether a representative should give expres
sion to his own convictions or be governed by
the wishes of his constituents. There are two
theories on the subject. The first is that tho
people think for themselves and select repre
sentatives to give legislative effect to their
wishes; the other thooiy is that the people are
incapable of thinking for themselves and choose
representatives to do the thinking for the rest
of the people.
The former is the democratic theory. There
is more intelligence and integrity among the
people than ever finds expression through rep
resentatives. The fact that constitutions are
referred to the people for adoption is evidence
of this, as is also the fact that the voting of