Such double currents, like the Rhone flowing through the Lake of Geneva, and yet refusing to intermingle, probably did exist, and had an important significance in the Low Countries of the fifteenth century, or between the privileged cities and the unprivileged country of Germany down to the Thirty Years' War; but, for us, they are in the last degree fabulous distinctions, pure fairy tales; and the social economist or the historian who builds on such phantoms as that of a rustic aristocracy still retaining any substantial grounds of distinction from the town aristocracies, proclaims the hollowness of any and all his doctrines that depend upon such assumptions.
Nor is it a matter for astonishment that parties and factions have often prevailed in Florence, and that one man has arisen to make himself the chief, when we reflect that the city is very populous, that many of the burghers desire to share in its advantages, and that there are few prizes to distribute: wherefore one party always must have the upper hand and enjoy the honors and benefits of the state, while the other stands by to watch the game. He then proceeds to criticise France, where the nobles alone bear arms and pay no taxes, and where the administration of justice is slow and expensive; and Venice, where three thousand gentlemen keep more than 100,000 of the inhabitants below their feet, unhonored, powerless, unprivileged, oppressed.
Like all unprivileged classes before them, they will have their full recognition as citizens and men when they have vindicated their title to be an estate of the realm, and not before. Let us, then, take the world as we find it, and try this people accordingly.
At the outset, on which so much depended, the peoples as distinguished from the governments appeared to be in general sympathy with his principal aim, and it seemed at the time that if appealed to on a clear issue they would have given him their whole-hearted support, provided always that, true to his own principles, he pressed these to the fullest extent and admitted no such invidious distinctions as privileged and unprivileged nations.
Ancient of days was Rehua, with streaming hair. The lightning flashed from his arm-pits, great was his power, and to him the sick, the blind, and the sorrowful might pray. It was not the upper world of Ao or Light, but an under world of Po or Darkness, to which the spirit of the unprivileged Maori must take its way. Nor was the descent to Te Reinga or Hades a facilis descensus Averni.
Last, but not least, was the law, that made it sacrilege to speak in terms derogatory to the emperor. A gladiator, though the crowd might almost deify him, was a casteless individual, unprivileged before the law, whom any franchised citizen would rate as socially far beneath himself.
There are even now only four men who own as many as ten thousand shares of the stock of the central company. This Bell System stands as the life-work of unprivileged men, who are for the most part still alive and busy. With very few and trivial exceptions, every part of it was made in the United States. No other industrial organism of equal size owes foreign countries so little.
Meanwhile he listened with interest to discussions on taxation, irrigation, and such economic problems as might safely be aired in his presence. These talks brought vividly before him the political corruption of the state and the misery of the unprivileged classes.
Young men and unprivileged persons are forbidden to touch it, on pain of severe penalties, which are strictly enforced. The emus are generally found, like the kangaroos, in tolerably fertile spots, and like them, also, are fast disappearing from the neighbourhood of the haunts of Europeans.
The spell of the past, the spell of custom and tradition, which had enchained the minds of men was roughly broken. The supremacy of the warrior in a world of war, the severance of privileged from unprivileged classes, no longer seemed the one natural structure of society.