Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/509

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493
MISCELLANEOUS.

had previously struggled, he ever showed himself the faithful soldier of Absolute Individual Liberty.

Resolved: That, while he fought this good fight and kept the faith, he did not finish his course, for his goal was in the eternities; that, starting in his youth in pursuit of truth, he kept it up through a vigorous manhood, undeterred by poverty, neglect, or scorn, and in his later life relaxed his energies not one jot; that his mental vigor seemed to grow as his physical powers declined; that, although, counting his age by years, he was an octogenarian, we chiefly mourn his death, not as that of an old man who had completed his task, but as that of the youngest man among us,—youngest because, after all that he had done, he still had so much more laid out to do than any of us, and still was competent to do it; that the best service that we can do his memory is to take up his work where he was forced to drop it, carry it on with all that we can summon of his energy and indomitable will, and, as old age creeps upon us, not lay the harness off, but, following his example and Emerson's advice, "obey the voice at eve obeyed at prime."




ON PICKET DUTY.

"Every man's labor," says the New York Nation, "is worth what some other man will do it equally well for, and no more." That is to say, if one man demands for his labor the whole product thereof, he cannot have it because some other man is satisfied to perform the same labor for half of the product. But in that case what becomes of the other half of the product? Who is entitled to it, and what has he done to entitle him to it? Every man's labor is worth what it produces, and would command that, if all men were free. "There is no natural rate for telegraphers any more than for bookkeepers or teamsters," continues the Nation. No more, truly; but just as much. The natural rate of wages for ten hours of telegraphing or bookkeeping or teaming is as much money as will buy goods in the market for the production of which ten hours of equally tiresome and disagreeable labor were required. And this natural rate would be the actual rate if unlimited competition were allowed in everything. That competition is a potent factor in the regulation of wages we admit, but what we further assert is that, if com-