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-But always he stopped most reverently
Constantia often longed, in vain,
To Nicomedia then she went
Again and again did words like these
“You wish," he writes, " that myself should send
“ Nor do I think that image meant
“Who, therefore, by colors so dead and cold,
“If, then, His figure, when here on earth,
"I do not send you the likeness, then.
And here Baronius turns the page
OUR CIVIL SERVICE.
THERE are many weighty problems Cabinet, and other legislative and execubefore the country in connection with tive authorities might rise at least in the reconstruction and the regeneration public estimation in proportion to the of the Southern States, and with finan- additional prize-money exacted from cial and fiscal affairs; but these, and the country for their retainers. other questions, are all subordinate in But these satellites of the executive importance to that relating to the or- and legislative planets are not only paid ganization of the civil service of the by the state, instead of being paid by United States.
the luminaries around whom they reAt present there is no organization volve, but they rob the state ; they missave that of corruption; no system save manage public business, and bring free that of chaos; no test of integrity save institutions into disrepute by proclaimthat of partisanship; no test of qualifi- ing to the world that representative cation save that of intrigue.
government can only be maintained by The consequence is, that the revenue subsidizing organized bands of mercelaws are not executed, for the want of nary office-holders, and by securing the faithful officers; and these and other boon of political liberty at the cost laws are imperfectly applied, for the of morality and of the culture and want of competent functionaries. attainments requisite for the public
In local, general, and Presidential service. elections, the whole country is thrown If republican institutions cannot be into convulsions; and who would im- maintained except by holding out agine that these demonstrations of pub- bribes to voters, it would at all events lic liberty are converted into engines of be more economical and respectable for public demoralization ? But in the pres- the United States Government to make ent chaos of the civil service it is so. a bargain with each person elected to Every man elected to State or national, legislative and executive offices, paying executive or legislative positions, prom- him a certain amount for his expenses ises offices to a number of citizens who at the poll or in the State legislatures, vote for him, and the great majority and reserving to itself the power of of the hundreds of thousands of office- appointing public officers who have holders of the United States are virtu- undergone examinations and passed the ally nothing else than political merce- tests prescribed by Mr. Jenckes's Civil naries, who are paid by the state, in- Service bill. But to pay the gentlemen stead of being paid by the individual who help the honorable Representatives whom their votes lift into power.
from the different States to their respecIf one hundred thousand mercenaries tive seats, or eminent politicians to secwere actually paid in cash by the state retaryships, collectorships, and foreign at the average rate of two thousand missions, by conferring upon them pubdollars, the country would know that it lic offices, allotted geographically or is bled annually to the extent of two indiscriminately, and then to incur the hundred million dollars; and resign risk of their robberies, blunders, and itself by adding this amount to the mismanagements of every kind, is not general cost of representative govern- only intolerable upon the score of total ment; and Congressmen and Custom- deprayity, but also upon that of total house Directors, and members of the stupidity, and one of two things is sure
to happen: either the Republic must inspired by the traffic in public offices break up this systematized demorali- was quelled by the greater indignation zation, or it will break up the Repub- aroused by the supremacy of the slave lic.
oligarchy. As long as this demoralization lasts, That the traffic in public offices bethe Republic will be so only in name. came the most formidable auxiliary of In fact, it will be a species of crapulous, this supremacy, and that the most undemocratic imperialism, which ransacks enlightened elements of the European the gutters of the land for the purpose importations of population were conof enlisting mercenaries, who, in reward trolled by it, almost despotically, refor their services, prop up the Presiden- quire no demonstration at our hands. tial throne and the legislative pillars, The facts are matter of history. The and then, with the true instinct of free- politicians of the Tory and slavery booters recruited under the piratical school would never have had such a banner that to the “victors belong the long lease of power, if they had not spoils,” rob and disgrace a nation which been able to hold out the bait of office is foolish enough to believe that liberty to their most unscrupulous camp-folcan thrive when its standard-bearers lowers. To talk to them of a reform in are reeking with ignorance and venal- the civil service, would have been reity.
garded as stark insanity: they would Foreign nations need not be startled have scouted the idea of dispelling a by this frank statement of ugly facts. chaos that fostered their designs, and If they had not introduced African of introducing a system of culture and slavery into the North American conti- integrity which would have blasted nent, and if they had not fastened upon their hopes. this country the noble but irksome task Conscious as every thoughtful citizen of educating into manhood and freedom was of the abuses of political life, he European paupers and the children of was equally conscious of the futility these paupers, the American people of attempting to reform any of its might have found leisure and oppor- branches as long as the fountain head tunity to devise measures for purging of political liberty and morals was poitheir public service from ignorance and soned by the abettors of the slavery corruption, and for making the tests of power. moral and mental qualification more While the country was struggling stringent in proportion to the increase against the progress of slavery, it was of population and territory, and the at the same time engaged in the civilicorresponding increase of public ofi- zation of its new territories, and in the
education of its new European streams But as it was, we had no breathing- of population. To have converted the time. Slavery stared us in the face at American wildernesses into prosperous the very dawn of our national existence. cities, and marshalled gigantic armies The slavery question so distracted the for the overthrow of the old Tory and country, that even those who were ap- slave power, and at the same time kept palled by the growing demoralization our civil service and political machinery of the public service shrank from lay- free from those abuses, which had such ing hands upon the monster, because it an immense scope, we would have been was overshadowed by the still greater superhuman. monster, slavery.
We have been only human and could It may be asserted that, during the not carry out a series of vast transforwar of independence, the curses against mations and reforms at one and the slavery were bushed by the necessity of
same time. unanimity in throwing off the British It is because we have accomplished yoke, and that, since the achievement such great deeds within a few generaof our independence, the painful feeling tions, that we can afford to lay bare the
evils which still gnaw the heart-life of postmastership, he may desert his post the Republic. Weak nations may feel and saddle upon the country the addiconstrained to gloss over the defects tional expense of sustaining Jones's of their systems of administration, but shadow or deputy; when in the Treasstrong nations need not stoop to con- ury, he may connect himself with rings, cealment of national blemishes. In our and betray the secrets of his office; he case, frankness is a token of power, may commit all sort and manner of It is, moreover, a great relief to follow irregularities and delinquencies, but as the practice of the English race, in long as he clings to the political church, calling things by their names, and in there is a chance at least of political taking the bull by the horn. We have, salvation, and in most cases also of therefore, not scrupled to present the escape from justice, and of shelter darkest aspect of our political spoil- against exposure and removal. Or, traffic theories. But baving said thus without being positively criminal and much, we have to put in what French unfaithful, he may be altogether inlawyers would call pleas of extenua- competent for the discharge of his tion. They consist in this : that in duties, or revel in sinecures, as thouour country but few, if any, persons
sands of Joneses do all over the councan afford or are inclined to work for try, and in foreign offices; but he adnothing. Hence, if Jones works for the heres to the tenets of the political election of Brown, Jones expects to be church, and Brown, his high priest, compensated in some way or other. bestows upon him absolution for all his Not only that Jones must live, and that sins. Mrs. and the Misses Jones must be able Now, what the Browns fear in voting to make a decent figure in society, but for the adoption of the Jenckes Civil Jones is also imbued with a certain Service Bill, which provides for tests rough sense of dignity. Self-sacrifice of examination and qualification, so as being superseded, in the current of to purge the service from all incompemodern ethics, by self-elevation, Jones tent and dishonest persons, is that they claims his reward not only as due to will be lost by losing the support of the Jones in the concrete, but also to Jones
Joneses. in the abstract; to the man as well as And here we are at issue with the to the citizen; to his individual wants Browns. We contend that there are all as well as to his civic claims. In medi. kind and manner of Joneses. There are æval times Jones would bave got his incompetent, dishonest Joneses, and pay, and there would have been an there are well-qualified and perfectly end of Jones. But at the present day honest Joneses. All Brown has to do, Jones claims that his emotions as well is to shift his base. He must turn his as his pockets are involved in the back upon rascals and loafers and igtransaction. He sympathizes with the noramuses, or resign bimself to private political church of Brown, and, long life, if he cannot select his sponsors for after having received his compensation his public life from the honorable and in the shape of a postmastership, or å able members of the community in the clerkship in the Treasury or the Custom- midst of which he lives. Brown may house, or an assessorship, he uses his promise to give to Jones the benefit of influence, whatever that may be, in the his patronage, provided that Jones posinterest of the common political church. sesses the requisite moral and intellecBrown has to sustain him accordingly, tual qualifications for the office to which and to vote for an increase of his salary, he aspires. The Jenckes bill does and even to oppose the reform in the not do away with political patronage. office in which Jones is employed, in It only makes it subject to certain conthe event of such reform threatening to ditions of fitness, which are of greater submerge Jones. Jones may steal; he importance to the state than the rise may blunder; when appointed to a of Brown or the fall of Jones, and