Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/462

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446
INSTEAD OF A BOOK.

sorting to their own erroneous methods and thus indefinitely postponing the objects we have in view, then the wild beast must have its prey. Nothing requires us to sacrifice that which is dearest to us to save misguided men from consequences which we did nothing to bring upon them. Those who think this cruelty may make the most of it. "Call me brute, call me coward, call me "kid-gloved Anarchist," call me what you will, I stand to my post. I have yet to learn that it is any man's duty to sustain his reputation for bravery at the cost of his loyalty to truth. By my attitude upon that day—which, if its coming was inevitable, will come the sooner now—when I in turn shall find myself at close quarters with the wild beast, I consent to have my courage judged. For that day I wait. And while I wait I work.

 

 

THE LESSON OF THE HOUR.

[Liberty, September 24, 1887.]

Unlike some of my friends, I have never entertained any hope that the supreme court of Illinois would overturn the verdict against the condemned Socialists of Chicago ; and so, terrible as the recent news from that city is, I was not disappointed at it. But my heart grows heavier as the resources of defence diminish and the day approaches on which the brutal State proposes to execute upon these rash but noble men a base and far more rash revenge. To avert this act of madness and the unspeakable terrors to which it very possibly will lead, there remain but two cards yet to play in that game of statutory "justice" in which there is a percentage of chances in favor of the State that, if possessed by the backer of the games at Monte Carlo, would ruin him by driving all his victims to suicide. One of these cards is appeal to the supreme court of the United States; the other is appeal to the governor of Illinois. Now, as experience teaches us that the ascending scale of judicial "supremacy" generally registers a corresponding increase of stupidity and cold-bloodedness, there seems little reason to expect more fairness from Washington than Ottawa; and, unless Governor Oglesby is far less a tool of capital than the average Republican governor seeking political advancement, appeal to that quarter will be equally useless. Still no stone should be left unturned. Let ample funds flow

in, in order that all that can be done may be done, regardless