Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/483

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

in 1881, has in its agitation of twelve years been the chief agency at work in combating the claim that "to the victor belong the spoils." To-day one fourth the offices in the gift of the Federal Government are subject to reform rules, with promise that at no distant day "the aristocracy of 'pull' shall make way for the democracy of merit." Mr. Curtis and Mr. Schurz, in their stirring addresses from the chair of the association, have reached audiences a thousandfold greater than those within sound of their voices; the press has made the Rocky Mountains their back benches. Against another iniquity battle was waged, in 1883, when the Copyright League took form. The league began as a handful of men, few of them rich or influential, attacking a compact and well-armed pirate crew and a solid mass of unsound public sentiment. Within eight years the people were brought to preferring to a cheap book a book honestly come by, Congress passing a bill declaring that literary property is property still, even when a foreigner creates it. The league in its series of authors' readings given in the principal cities of the Union had a magnet of uncommon power, evoking vastly more interest in the cause of international justice than any set arguments could have done. It is only fair to say that the agitation which the league inherited dated back to 1837; it may be worth while to add that the money cost of the league's work was but ten thousand dollars.

Not the least of the attractions which Chicago offers her visitors this year is her programme of congresses. Associations educational, industrial, scientific, and philosophical are assembling in the Western metropolis in rapid succession and under circumstances in which the art of their management can easily be carried a step further than in any past achievement in America. The local committees for the reception of visiting bodies will have more or less permanence, and will therefore through experience grow proficient, an exceptionally large number of the well informed and inquiring can be drawn upon from the throngs attending the fair, and the manifold departments of the exhibition will furnish in profusion illustrative material of rare quality, Hon. C. C. Bonney, chairman of the World's Congress Auxiliary, is in permanent charge of the congresses convened during the Columbian Exposition. He supervises the working details of each special committee; and his chief aim in his work is that relations among the leaders of thought and action which hitherto have been only local, shall henceforth become international.

To those whose duty it is to attend meetings, scientific and other, remarkable contrasts in their management are familiar. The success of a meeting is earned only by a business-like control, which makes thorough preparation months beforehand. The