Pictures of the Socialistic Future

Richter, Eugene
(1838-1906)
BIO
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Editor/Trans.
Henry Wright, trans.
First Pub. Date
1891
Publisher/Edition
London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., Ltd.
Pub. Date
1907
Comments
Introduction by Thomas Mackay.
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Chapter XIII
A VEXING INCIDENT.

XIII.1

OUR Chancellor is not made so much of as he used to be. I am sorry to see this, because it is impossible to find anywhere a more capable, energetic, and active State leader, or a more thorough and consistent Socialist. But, then, it is not everybody who is as unbiased as I am. There are a great many people who don't quite care for the new order of things, or who are somewhat disappointed in their expectations; and all these persons lay the blame on the Chancellor. This is especially the case with women since the universal removals and the introduction of the State cookshops. There is even talk of a party of re-action being formed amongst women, but I am thankful to say my wife is not of this number, and I hope to goodness that Agnes is not.

XIII.2

The report has been assiduously circulated against the Chancellor that he is at heart an aristocrat. It is even said that he does not clean his boots himself, that he suffers a servant to brush and clean his clothes, that he sends someone from the Treasury to fetch his meals from the State cookshop of his district, instead of going there himself. Such things would, indeed, be grave offences against the principle of equality; but it is a question, after all, whether the charges are true.

XIII.3

Anyhow, this dissatisfaction which has clearly been nourished by the Younkers, a party composed mainly of flighty youths for whom nothing is good enough, has just culminated in an outburst of public feeling which was manifested in a very blameworthy and ugly spirit. The unveiling of the new allegorical monument in commemoration of the great deeds of the Paris Commune of 1871, took place yesterday in the square, which was formerly Palace Square. Since then the square has been continually beset by crowds anxious to view this magnificent monument. Returning from a carriage-drive, the Chancellor had to pass the square. He had almost reached the entrance to the Treasury, when all at once, from the neighbourbood of the Arsenal, hissing, shouts, and general tumult ensued. In all probability the mounted police (which is now re-instated), had shown rather too great zeal in procuring a passage for the Chancellor's carriage. The tumult increased in fury, and there were cries: "Down with the aristocrat; down with the proud upstart; pitch the carriage into the canal! The crowd evidently felt greatly irritated at the now rare spectacle of a private carriage.

XIII.4

The Chancellor, with ill-concealed anger, nevertheless bowed courteously in all directions, and gave orders to drive on slowly. All at once, however, he was saluted by a lot of mud and dirt which emanated seemingly from a group of women, and I saw him free himself, as far as possible, from this dirt, and noticed, too, that he forbade the police to attack the women with their truncheons. Scenes such as this, and which are totally unworthy of Socialism, certainly ought not to occur. And I have been glad to hear to-day, from various quarters, that it is intended to prepare great ovations for the Chancellor.

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