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A TWENTIETH CENTURY BANK PARLOR (Mr. Edward Bellamy's latest volume, "Equality," is an expansion of the industrial theories and prophecies which found expression in his earlier book "Looking Backward." The framework of the former story is utilized as the starting-point of the new one; and the book describes in detail the conditions of life and industrial activity which Julian West found around him in the year 2000, in the Boston of that period, to which he had been mysteriously transferred from the Boston of the nineteenth century. The following chapter shows how banking operations were carried on in the millennial republic.)

The formalities at the bank proved to be very simple. Dr. Leete introduced me to the superintendent, and the rest followed as a matter of course, the whole process not taking three minutes. I was informed that the annual credit of the adult citizen for that year was $4,000, and that the portion due me for the remainder of the year, it being the latter part of September, was $1,075.41. Taking vouchers to the amount of $300, I left the rest on deposit precisely as I should have done at one of the nineteenth-century banks in drawing money for present use. The transaction concluded, Mr. Chapin, the superintendent, invited me into his of


"How does our banking system strike you as compared with that of your day?" he asked.

"It has one manifest advantage from the point of view of a penniless revenant like myself,” I said “namely, that one receives a credit without having made a deposit; otherwise I scarcely know enough of it to give an opinion."

"When you come to be more familiar with our banking methods," said the superintendent, "I think you will be struck with their similarity to your own. Of course, we have no money and nothing answering to money, but

the whole science of banking from its inception was preparing the way for the abolition of money. The only way, really, in which our system differs from yours is that every one starts the year with the same balance to his credit and that this credit is not transferable. As to requiring deposits before ac counts are opened, we are necessarily quite as strict as your bankers were, only in our case the people, collectively, make the deposit for all at once. This collective deposit is made up of such provisions of different commodities and such installations for the various public services as are expected to be neces sary. Prices or cost estimates are put on these commodities and services, and the aggregate sum of the prices being divided by the population gives the amount of the citizen's personal credit, which is simply his aliquot share of the commodities and services available for the year. No doubt, however, Dr. Leete has told you all about this."

"But I was not here to be included in the estimate of the year," I said. "I hope that my credit is not taken out of other people's."

"You need feel no concern," replied the superintendent. "While it is astonishing how variations in demand balance one another when great populations are concerned, yet it would be impossible to conduct so big a business as ours without large margins. It is the aim in the production of perishable things, and those in which fancy often changes, to keep as little ahead of the demand as possible, but in all the important staples such great surpluses are constantly carried that a two years' drought would not affect the price of non-perishable produce, while an unexpected addition of several millions to the population could be taken care of at any time without disturbance."

"Dr. Leete has told me," I said, "that any part of the credit not used by a citizen during the year is cancelled, not being good for the next year. I suppose that is to prevent the possibility

of hoarding, by which the equality of opera, all sorts of postal and electrical your economic condition might be un- communications, transportation, and dermined." other things too numerous to detail." "Since you furnish so much on public or common account, why not furnish everything in that way? It would simplify matters, I should say."

"We think, on the contrary, that it would complicate the administration, and certainly it would not suit the people as well. You see, while we insist on equality we detest uniformity, and seek to provide free play to the greatest possible variety of tastes in our expenditure."

Thinking I might be interested in looking them over, the superintendent had brought into the office some of the books of the bank. Without having been at all expert in nineteenth-century bookkeeping, I was much impressed with the extreme simplicity of these accounts compared with any I had been familiar with. Speaking of this, I added that it impressed me the more, as I had received an impression that, great as were the superiorities of the national co-operative system over our way of doing business, it must involve a great increase in the amount of bookkeeping as compared with what was necessary under the old system. The superintendent and Dr. Leete looked at each other and smiled.

"Do you know, Mr. West," said the former, "it strikes us as very odd that you should have that idea? We estiImate that under our system one accountant serves where dozens were needed in your day."

"But," said I, "the nation has now a separate account with or for every man, woman, and child in the country."

"It would have the effect to prevent such hoarding, certainly," said the superintendent, "but it is otherwise needful to simplify the national bookkeeping and prevent confusion. The an nual credit is an order on a specific provision available during a certain year. For the next year a new calculation with somewhat different elements has to be made, and to make it the books must be balanced and all orders cancelled that have not been presented, so that we may know just where we stand."

"What, on the other hand, will happen if I run through my credit before the year is out?"

The superintendent smiled. "I have read," he said, "that the spendthrift evil was quite a serious one in your day. Our system has the advantage over yours that the most incorrigible spendthrift can not trench on his principal, which consists in his indivisible equal share in the capital of the nation. All he can at most do is to waste the annual dividend. Should you do this, I have no doubt your friends will take care of you, and if they do not you may be sure the nation will, for we have not the strong stomachs that enabled our forefathers to enjoy plenty with hungry people about them. The fact is, we are so squeamish that the knowledge that a single individual in the nation was in want would keep us all awake nights. If you insisted on being in need, you would have to hide away for the purpose."

"Have you any idea," I asked, "how much this credit of $4,000 would have been equal to in purchasing power in 1887?"

"Somewhere about $6,000 or $7,000, I should say," replied Mr. Chapin. "In estimating the economic position of the citizen you must consider that a great variety of services and commodities are now supplied gratuitously on public account, which formerly individuals had to pay for, as, for example, water, light, music, news, the theatre and

“Of course,” replied the superintendent, "but did it not have the same in your day? How else could it have assessed and collected taxes or exacted a dozen other duties from citizens? For example, your tax system alone with its inquisitions, appraisements, machinery of collection and penalties was vastly more complex than the accounts in these books before you, which consist, as you see, in giving to every per

son the same credit at the beginning of the year, and afterward simply record ing the withdrawals without calculations of interest or other incidents whatever. In fact, Mr. West, so simple and invariable are the conditions that the accounts are kept automatically by a machine, the accountant merely playing on a keyboard."

"But I understand that every citizen has a record kept also of his services as the basis of grading and regrading."

"Certainly, and a most minute one, with most careful guards against error or unfairness. But it is a record having none of the complications of one of your money or wages accounts for work done, but is rather like the simple honor records of your educational institutions by which the ranking of the students was determined."

"But the citizen also has relations with the public stores from which he supplies his needs?"

"Certainly, but not a relation of account. As your people would have said, all purchases are for cash only that is, on the credit card."

"There remains," I persisted, “the accounting for goods and services between the stores and the productive departments and between the several departments."

"Certainly; but the whole system being under one head and all the parts working together with no friction, and no motive for any indirection, such accounting is child's work compared with the adjustment of dealings between the mutually suspicious private capitalists, who divided among themselves the field of business in your day, and sat up nights devising tricks to deceive, defeat, and overreach one another."

"But how about the elaborate statistics on which you base the calculations that guide production? There at least is need of a good deal of figuring."

"Your national and state governments," replied Mr. Chapin, "published annually great masses of similar statistics, which, while often very inaccu

rate, must have cost far more trouble to accumulate, seeing that they involved an unwelcome inquisition into the affairs of private persons instead of a mere collection of reports from the books of different departments of one great business. Forecasts of probable consumption every manufacturer, merchant, and storekeeper had to make in your day and mistakes meant ruin. Nevertheless, he could but guess, because he had no sufficient data. Given the complete data that we have, and a forecast is as much increased in certainty as it is simplified in difficulty."

"Kindly spare me any further demonstration of the stupidity of my criticism."

"Dear me, Mr. West, there is no question of stupidity. A wholly new system of things always impresses the mind at first sight with an effect of complexity, although it may be found on examination to be simplicity itself. But please do not stop me just yet, for I have told you only one side of the matter. I have shown you how few and simple are the accounts we keep compared with those in corresponding relations kept by you; but the biggest part of the subject is the accounts you had to keep which we do not keep at all. Debit and credit are no longer known; interest, rents, profits, and all the calculations based on them no more have any place in human affairs. In your day everybody, besides his account with the state, was involved in a network of accounts with all about him. Even the humblest wage-earner was on the books of half-a-dozen tradesmen, while a man of substance might be down in scores or hundreds, and this without speaking of men not engaged in commerce. A fairly nimble dollar had to be set down so many times in so many places, as it went from hand to hand, that we calculate in about five years it must have cost itself in ink, paper, pens, and clerk hire, let alone fret and worry. All these forms of private and business accounts have now been done away with. Nobody owes anybody, or is owed by

anybody, or has any contract with anybody, or any account of any sort with anybody, but is simply beholden to everybody for such kindly regard as his virtues may attract."

From "Equality" by Edward Bellamy. Copyright by D. Appleton & Co. Price $1.25.



Early in the seventeenth century we find the author of that immortal little classic, the "Religio Medici," out-Heroding Herod in his scorn of women. "The whole world," says Sir Thomas Brown, "was made for man, but the twelfth part of man for woman. Man is the whole world and the breath of God: woman the rib and crooked piece of man." And George Herbert, genuine saint, high-bred gentleman and enchanting poet, includes, about the same time in his "Jacula Prudentum" the disparaging aphorism: "Words are women: deeds are men:" a saying, by the way, which has many variants in different writers and countries.

Later in the century Otway makes one say in "The Orphan:"

What mighty ills have not been done by woman?

Who was't betrayed the Capital? A woman!

Who lost Mark Anthony the world? A woman!

Who was the cause of a long ten-years'


And laid at last old Troy in ashes? Wo

man! Destructive, damnable, deceitful woman!

Pope's epigrammatic sneers are almost too hackneyed to bear quotation, but two of them may be recalled.

Men some to business, some to pleasure take,

But every woman is at heart a rake.

Woman's at best a contradiction still.

Gay in the "Beggar's Opera," runs him close.

'Tis woman that seduces all mankind: By her we first were taught the wheedling


"Love me!" says Don Ferdinand in Sheridan's "Duenna," "I don't believe she ever did . . . . or is it that her sex never know their desires for an hour together?"

"Sir," remarked Dr. Johnson, with, as it seems to us to-day, a singular lapse of the penetrative insight characteristic of him, on hearing that Boswell had to "a meeting of the people called Quakers:" "a woman preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all." At another time the sage thus delivered himself in the presence of a company including several ladies: "A lady will take Jonathan Wild as readily as St. Austin, if he has threepence more: and, what is worse, her parents will give her to him. Women have a perpetual envy of our vices: they are less vicious than we, not from choice, but because we restrict them: they are the slaves of order and fashion."

Among Byron's gibes, one only need be given from "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers':"

Believe a woman, or an epitaph,

Or any other thing that's false, before You trust in critics.

And one from Moore:

Friend of my soul! this goblet sip, "Twill chase that pensive tear: 'Tis not so sweet as woman's lip, But oh, 'tis more sincere. Like her delusive beam, "Twill steal away thy mind: But like affection's dream It leaves no sting behind.

Scott was not freer from the prevalent disease than other people. A chance dip into the first of his novels that came to hand,-"Kenilworth"-resulted in the almost instantaneous discovery of the subjoined passage. The speaker is Giles Gosling, the landlord of the Black Bear at Cumnor, a "good fellow," and a man of probity and integrity. "Be not so rash, good sir," he

admonishes Tressilian, "and cast not yourself away because a woman-to be brief-is a woman, and changes her lovers like her suit of ribands, with no better reason than mere fantasy."

Hurrying on to our own day, we are, of course, overwhelmed by the mass of material at our disposal. Let us glance at two novelists only out of the modern throng, not because they are offenders more than others, but from simple motives of convenience. Being a devoted admirer of what, for me, is perhaps the most delightful romance of our time, Mr. Blackmore's "Lorna Doone," the book is often in my hand and in my thoughts. Unhappily, it is disfigured throughout by what I can only call an incessant series of backhanded blows aimed at women-little parenthetical, perfectly good-humored hits, which, however, do not hurt the less that they are delivered with no more malice than could lurk in the composition of honest, true-hearted, gigantic John Ridd. Turning to my "Lorna Doone" for the purpose of this essay, I remarked to a friend that I had very little doubt of finding a passage appropriate for quotation on the very first page my eye chanced to light upon. When, entirely at haphazard, it did light on the middle of the first page of the thirtieth chapter, I could not but feel that my quarrel with a favorite author had received fresh and rather striking justification. Here is the passage in question:

"What are you doing here, Annie? I enquired rather sternly . . . . 'Nothing at all,' said our Annie shortly. And indeed it was truth enough for a woman."

"Right glad they were to see us again,-[two horses] not for the pleasure of carrying, but because a horse (like a woman) lacks, and is better without, self-reliance."

Of this practice women themselves are not infrequently guilty. It is infectious; it is inevitable; it is one of the accepted conventions of the literary art, We all do it, or we all have done it. I have not the slightest doubt that in the times of my ignorance I did it

A very few other examples must suf- myself. Taking up the last woman's fice. book I have been reading, "Guenn," by Blanche Willis Howard, I find the following:

"So madame, being granted wisdom beyond most of her sex, deplored the situation, but held her peace and went her way, never worrying or alienating Guenn with anxious advice."

"It has always appeared to me that stern and downright honesty upon money matters is a thing not understood cf women: be they as good as good can be."



"But women, who are (beyond all doubt) the mothers of all mischief, also nurse that babe to sleep, when he is too noisy."

"But when I told Lorna-whom I could trust in any matter of secrecy, as if she had never been a woman”"I do not understand,' I said, falling back with bewilderment: 'all women are such liars.'"


Is it fanciful to suppose that the everrecurring burden of scorn and dispraise of woman in this one book alone, however playful and paternally indulgent, may have had an appreciable effect In hindering her moral and spiritual progress? Mr. Blackmore's fascinating story, unsurpassed for poetry, purity, and quaint, romantic charm, has recently, I believe, gone into a forty-second edition. It has been calculated that it has had a circulation, in England alone, of about half-a-million copies, and when we add its American and colonial readers to its British ones, we are confronted with a goodly company indeed. Have no women and girls amongst them been pained and humiliated, damped in spirit and numbed in effort by its attitude toward their sex? Have no men and boys been strengthened by it in their contempt for women-at least in their mental aloofness from them, and inveterate habit of regarding them as a separate, if not inferior race?

Enough, I trust, has been said, to demonstrate the need for eradicating the habit-at least in so far as it has

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