UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
A SOCIAL VISION BY
CHARLES S. DANIEL. PUBLISHED
BY MILLER PUBLISHING COMPANY
Copyright 1892, by Chas. S. Daniel.
I. The Amalgamation of Forces.
II. The Philosophy of the Man.
III. A College Sett'lement.
IV. A Thinking Man at Work.
V. A Working Man A-Thinking.
VI. A Little Leaven.
VII. A Feast of Reason.
VIII. Earth to Earth.
IX. An Election That Was Also a Choice.
X. The Modern Crown of Thorns.
XI. The Real Consecration.
XII. Was It All a Dream?
XIII. The Leaven at Work.
XIV. Ways and Means.
XV. Was He Intrusive?
XVII. A Chapter Thrown in.
XVIII. Concerning the Suppressed Chapter.
XIX. A Wedding Dance.
XX. A Report of Work.
XXI. A Day Oft'.
XXII. A Day of Judgment.
XXIV. A Conception of Truth.
XXV. The Ancient Landmarks.
XXVI. At Home.
XXVII. Another Day Off.
XXVIII. A Confessional.
XXX. Concerning Past Days.
XXXI. An Intellectual Anvil.
XXXIII. A Victory.
XXXIV. A Life Worth Living.
THE AMALGAMATION OF FORCES.
O Romeo, Romeo ! wherefore art thou Romeo ?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name ;
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
THERE was a ripple of excitement in what con
stituted the fashionable circle of Philadelphia,
when it leaked out that the Hamilton girls had
gone off and married the Burr brothers. Alice
and Enid Hamilton were twin sisters, and were
great favorites among the ultra fashionable. They
had a long pedigree of honorable associations,
were blessed with an abundance of worldly goods,
and their personality was bright and attractive, so
that they had hosts of admirers, among whom they
numbered some worthy of being counted friends.
They were, known as the pretty Hamilton girls.
Their coming to any resort in their summer wan
derings was considered the event of the season,
and the most was made of it on both sides ; society
sought profit by them, and they in a sweet,
helpful way sought to give all the pleasure within
their power. "Those sensible Hamilton girls,"
they used to say, " nothing seems to spoil them.
They are the same to-day they were two years ago,
when they first stepped upon the stage of fashion
able life, and yet their experience would have
spoiled all of less genuine material." They were
considered by some as a little highstrung, but by
those who knew them best they were not so much
highstrung in the offensive sense, as girls of inde
pendent spirit ; they could not be made to stoop
and cringe to anything they considered base,
mercenary, selfish and mean. So .that when Enid
was informed that a husband had been selected
for her, she replied in her sweet, respectful manner
that she had already paid attention to that matter,
and no selection was necessary. The matter, of
course, was discussed, but the outcome was. a
foregone conclusion ; it was simply a choice be
tween a man she did not love, whom she could not
even respect, and the man who was everything to
her, and against whom nothing could be urged,
who was honorable, bright and energetic, but had
his fortune yet to make. In the same interview,
in order to get the matter out of the way in one
sweeping, the intelligence was also conveyed that
Alice had done the same ; that they had concluded
not to spread into too many families, and therefore
they were to marry the Burr brothers, twins like
themselves. The whole matter was said so inof
fensively, so respectfully, but so firmly, that it was
seen at once by the astonished parents that to
argue the matter was useless ; they nevertheless kept
up the appearance of offended parental dignity,
although they had secretly concluded to let the
matter take its course. Enid, however, to cut off
all possibility of retreat, proposed to her sister to
accede at once to the importunities of the brothers,
and they were accordingly married three days after
wards. One of the happy brothers was building
up for himself a little business that prospered, in
the way of importing choice tropical fruits; the
other was an electrician, and was really the origi
nator of many of the leading ideas which have given
us our excellent system of underground wires.
The brothers, plain, practical men of action,
proposed that the matter be done without parade.
The day after the girls became of age, they met
the brothers at Earle's gallery after business hours,
on a half holiday, slipped quietly into the church
of Gloria Dei by the Swanson street entrance, and
It is said they plucked their bridal roses as they
passed through the grounds. The dead presented
them with their wedding bouquets, and they in turn
will perfume the world long after they shall have
returned to the same earth.
After the ceremony in the quaint little church,
they were met by a telegram requiring the im
mediate presence ot the electrician. Some unfore
seen accident had happened to the wires and must
be attended to before lights were needed. Busi
ness before pleasure, agreed the practical quartette;
and the electrician went about his work, while the
brother took both the brides to Camden to witness
the last rites at the grave of Walt Whitman.
It was a free, unconventional, happy and serious
If they had listened they might have heard a
voice from the grave :
All things are good ; flowers from the grave
As well as those in sunny window ;
Work is good;
The sweet spontaneous yieldings of love
Are good ; so also
The firm resistance to insincere and
And death itself is good also.
There were of course the usual breezes, disap
pointments, comments and criticisms, following
this little escapade of the Hamilton girls ; but
they would all be forgiven at their setting up of
housekeeping, when two more houses should be
added to the circle dispensing charming hospi
tality and adding to the amenities of social life.
All was marked out for them ; their friends had
even so far interested themselves as to select two
roomy houses on Rittenhouse square, which had
recently been rebuilt with antique fronts, and were
in every way suited to the young people, who
should certainly become the leaders of fashion.
The husbands, of course, some whispered, would
for a time be only appendages; but still, as noth
ing decidedly could be urged against them, and as
they were bright and really interesting on close
acquaintance, they would gradually*be admitted,
and would finally be forgiven for this inroad and
capture they had made. No one seemed to know
them except a few of the young men of fashion;
and this only through business relations, in which
the Burrs had outstripped them by their solid worth
and genuine business capacity. They were ac
knowledged to be men who were slowly climbing
to the top ; and this not by any other methods
than the most honorable and by the inherent quali
ties of strictest integrity.
But they had never been met in fashionable cir
cles, and how it all came about was the thing that
puzzled everybody. The girls kept their own
Mrs. Airy had it all planned.
"Of course, Enid, you will take it; it has
been charmingly refitted, everything in the most
elegant manner ; there are sixteen rooms, and the
rent is only fifteen hundred dollars a year, very
cheap for that house; and, besides, the other
house, exactly like it, will do for Alice; and you
will all be near me, and we will all be together,
and it will be charming."
"But," replied Enid, "we can buy the house
we have selected for fifteen hundred dollars ; my
husband has saved that, and the deed is ready for
signatures. We will then have our own home,
and fifteen hundrd dollars a year will keep house.
Besides, our income is not more than that; for
we are just beginners, you know, and while
things are getting better every day, yet for the
present we must not live beyond our means. Of
course, I have an income ot my own, and
father would give me all I asked for, but I
have a good, manly man, proud and sensitive,
and I would not wound his pride by my offers
of help ; I will stand by him, accepting such
as he by his own energy and labor can pro
"I do not understand. Where can you buy a
house for fifteen hundred dollars ? You can live
in a few rooms upstairs ; but you are not going
to do that; you puzzle me, Enid," said Mrs.
"The matter is arranged; as I said, the deed
is about being signed ; you must come and see
us when we get settled."
"Indeed I will; but, Enid, where are you
going ? This is becoming interesting ; out of
town, I suppose? "
" No; on Congress street."
" On Congress street ? "
" I never heard of it. So you are going to
your own house ; that will be nice, and we will
certainly come to see you," remarked Mrs. Airy,
after meditating a moment.
Congress street is a little by-street, running
west off Front, below Bainbridge. On the south
side, and quite close to Front street, can be seen
two squarely built brick houses, exactly alike,
with massive chimneys, and the gables facing the
street. They were once separated by a narrow
strip of ground, and had evidently stood in a con
siderable tract before the street was cut through.
They are now close by the street. On one of the
gables can be seen the letters C. M. , and on the
other house the date 1748. These inscriptions
are formed of black glazed brick, built into the
When these young people were out house hunt
ing, these twin cottages had already stood there
one hundred and forty-four years, and had sheltered
five generations. They had once been owned by
an ancestor of the Hamiltons, members of the
family having lived there for a hundred years.
Of recent years the houses had been lived in
by various families of boatmen and laborers in
the adjoining mills and docks.
The sight of these quaint twin houses with their
odd inscriptions, so closely nestled to each other
on this quaint street of industrious poor, rilled the
twin sisters with a sense of family pride. In their
sunny, youthful ardor, they saw in those two little
houses, two little homes, where they ought to nestle
and be happy. It was an opportunity not to be
neglected, and they would see to it at once.
When the houses were secured, as said before,
they were separated by a narrow strip of ground.
This was altered and the improvements seen to
day date from the time when they took possession.
A builder was engaged to make certain improve
ments. Nothing of the old structure was in the
least disturbed, but the improvements were by way
of additions, and a careful plan of the original
was preserved. Brick arches span each end of the
space separating the houses, and the whole was
converted into a spacious veranda, which was
occupied in common. It was a cool, shady place
in summer, and in winter afforded a dry and con
venient way of communication. The view through
the two arches obtained from the street, was a
tempting one to passers-by, for they had erected
in the rear an elevated garden, filled with bloom
ing plants, that made the sight a fairy scene and a
constant source of delight to the neighborhood.
The old fireplaces were restored as in the da)S of
cranes, and the old stairways were exposed. The
walls were cleaned and scraped- of many layers of
paper, down to the original layer of the solid and
genuine mortar of pre-Revolutionary days. Drain
age and ventilation were looked after, and all was
made comfortable and bright. But the original
structure was undisturbed. The doors and shut
ters were mended and braced and joined together,
and every fragment was preserved and restored.
And then came the question of furnishing.
The modern carpet, with its capacity for holding
dust, was not to desecrate this abode of free and
healthful existence. The waxed floors of the past,
with abundant rugs, easily handled, were to make
beautiful and comfortable this home of rational
souls. One of the young wives, who was quite an
architectural genius, superintended all of the im
provements, and was somewhat of a terror to the
workmen on account of her exactions with regard
to following plans which she furnished. One day
she made a carpenter tear out half a day's work.
"You might have known," said she, "that such
battens ought to be nailed together only with
wrought-iron nails, having broad, spreading heads,
and neatly made by hand by a blacksmith. Screws,
glue and paint, what an idea ! Look at the plan
there the heads are plainly marked. ' '
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE MAN.
We do not take possession of our ideas, but are possessed by them.
They master us and force us into the arena, where, like gladiators,
we must fight for them. Heine.
THE social regeneration of old Philadelphia came
about through a variety of influences, and by a
complex mixture of forces which wrought upon
one another, each force potent by itself, but which
still would have been insufficient to accomplish
anything, or at least not much, if left working
The men and women who figured in it were a
multitude ; in fact, it was the whole of the con
glomerated mass that was set leavening, which
grew and grew into the ripeness and the propor
tions you see it to-day.
It concerns us to know only the leading facts
and to learn the main outlines of the influences ;
to become acquainted with the few leading person
ages who constituted the leaven which was put
into the meal.
That there has been a regeneration no one will
fail to see who can remember or learn the condi
tion of things half a century ago, and then see the
vision that presents itself to the social philosopher
in this year 1950. To be more explicit, one need
but single out any of those sections which were
once known to men still living as the slums, but
which to-day stand improved and purified out of
existence, to estimate the degree of the changes
wrought. Men who saw the past condition of things
must whip their memories to recall, and the youth
of to-day regard as Munchausen tales, the descrip
tions that some old man with keener recollections
may give of the times and condition of things so
long ago. Those sections of the city, once a great
care to the police, would scarcely be recognized ;
just like some old house rebuilt, such are its
porches and gables, its windows and chimneys, its
roofs and drainage, as to make it next to impossi
ble even to imagine how it looked originally.
One does not care to go back and wade those
streets, breathe those gases, drink that water, bat
tle with that filth, revel in those noises, see those
sights and die under those conditions. One tries
to forget some things, and if one never knew, it
scarcely is wise to learn. Any prurient taste is
therefore to be ungratified. But when the loaf
sweet and brown is seen, one may be excused for
revealing the process and method of leavening;
when the home of beauty and of comfort appears,
one is justified in telling the name of architect and
Perhaps the heart and sinew of the work was my
friend Ai, whom I never consulted with reference
to the publication of these facts. They can scarcely
be called publications, as they have been known
and seen for half a century, and become household
words ; so that while they have already been pub
lished they have never been recorded, and this it
has seemed to many ought to be done. Ai, so
thoughtful, so sensitive, so straightforward, so
sympathetic, so daring, and withal so modest,
thought of the matter so constantly that it was the
perpetual theme of his conversation whenever we
He regarded society as a brotherhood, a family
of children; but this family had become scattered,
partly on account of want of sympathy, partly
on account of strife and clashing interests.
The members were at war, there was internal
strife, there were factions and unworthy plays and
by- plays. It was all too bad, and something
must be done to bring the members of this family
together; these boys must be gotten to touch
hands and see that their flesh is of the same text
ure, and that the same blood warms each heart.
Matters are out of joint ; that is all ; we must
bring them together and adjust the parts. It may
require a little force and strength, and withal a
little pain may result, but it will soon be over,
and the limb will become useful. In our walks
he went over the whole ground of the constitution
of society, its social life, its institutions, gov
ernment, laws ; and the whole weighed upon him
like the thought of an anxious mother for an ab
sent child. He felt intensely; he saw corruption
and wrong-doing, the ulcers and sores of society;
but it was in no spirit of pessimism. It can all
be changed. The forces of the stream can be
diverted and then utilized. The conditions can
be adjusted so as to bring out the highest and
most desirable results. "And we must do it;
no, I must do it," he used to say, "every man
in his place must take a part in this upheaval and
"Now look at that section," he said one day;
" there is nothing wrong with it, the wrong lies
with the men and women who are not there. You
speak of the slums ; what makes them slums but
your faithlessness ? You speak of the morally
diseased ; what makes them so but the taint which
others have left ? The neighborhood has men and
women who only need readjustment ; they have
broken down under strain, and need only the
lifting hand of superior strength. I never see
that section but I think of it as a bay, once as
quiet a harbor for ships as ever was seen, but the
waters have been withdrawn ; the tide has gone
out and left the ships stranded and useless ; and if
it stays out too long, stench and disease will result.
What I must do is to do my part in bringing
about a return of the tide ; we must float those
ships, we must reach those havens, and bring life
and activity where is now stagnation and decay.
We want a readjustment in the thought of society,
so that men will come to see themselves as waters
necessary to ships, and ships that can only float
in waters. We have not yet learned that the dif
ferent classes of society are necessary to one an
other; that one can scarcely tell which is the
most important the ship, the water, or even the
deep mud or shifting sands that hold the water.
We need a sense of sympathy; we must join
hands, and say we are brethren."
One day I saw a great sore on Ai's hand, which
grew and festered and became feverish, and
seemed stubborn and unyielding. I recommend
ed excellent poultices and plasters. "Ah, that,"
said he, "is just what we are doing, what I am
doing, with this business of society. I apply the
plaster on the outside and get a little temporary
relief, but it only breaks out somewhere else.
What really is necessary is purification of the
blood ; men need purifying from within. The
remedy is not the plaster applied on the outside,
but the trouble lies deeper than that, and when
we have learned the seat of the disease we have
gotten to the bottom of things."
To elucidate what he meant he would go into
particulars and cite facts and bring forth instances.
" Now look at it, it is all wrong. There is another
church for sale, and the congregation about mov
ing west, where the pastor says his, flock has gone.
What he means by that I scarcely know, for I fird
the neighborhood a bee-hive. Soon you will hear
this same church in its new comfortable quarters,
talking of doing benevolent work, and proposing
to operate upon the slums. It is the same story
over again. It is applying the blister, the plaster
or the poultice on the outside, while the seat of
the disease and the blood are untouched. We
operate upon the outside, I operate upon the out
side, in my philanthropic intentions, instead of
going deep down and bringing health and purity
from within. The churches have ceased being a
leaven hidden in the meal." And thus he would
talk. Our mutual friend, Impey, who frequently
joined us in our walks, added to this last observa
tion that the work of the churches reminded him
more of grease than leaven, which the baker
spread over the hard and indigestible loaf, to
make it shiny and presentable. Impey was no
churchman, but this operating upon the slums
from without always seemed to him the most in
sidious error with which the church had ever been
One matter which entered largely into his
philosophy, Ai loved to dwell upon. It grew into
an enthusiasm, as he sought to give it practical
shape. It was not all a wild dream, but the mat
ter rested upon a foundation deep down in the
constitution of society. The evidences that this
was sound philosophy are now so plainly seen all
about us that attention need but be called to it to
convince us of the farsightedness of his opinions.
The history of it, how it all began and was
brought about, this may interest us, and with this
we are more direc.tly concerned.
He maintained that society will never be regen- %
crated until each will come to regard himself
as a part of it ; the jparts must be adjusted ; now
they lie apart ; they must be brought together.
The rivets, the screws, the glue and the braces
must bind this machine together, that it may do
its work. The separation of the classes lies at the
foundation of our troubles. The rich are getting
richer, the poor are getting poorer, and with this
change in fortune comes a separation in abode,
and a loss of that sympathy which close proximity
carries with it. We have our classes, and they
are known by the quarter they live in. Men
are drifting not only in their abodes, but are be
coming separated in feeling. There 'are those
who are moving north and west and those who are
drifting east and south ; and as they drift apart
and cross each other's paths they view each other
with feelings of suspicion. One class hates the
other, and the other simply despises in return.
"Now there will be a change in all this when
there is a return of the ghosts of the grandfathers
to the old homesteads, and I will live to see it."
As he dwelt pn this, his eyes brightened and his
whole frame quivered with pleasurable excitement.
" I believe there will be a literal coming back of
the tide, a real infusing of health and strength into
the blood itself. Young men and women will
come and live where their ancestors lived. Maid
ens will walk those halls and dance in those rooms
where once their grandmothers danced. There
has been enough of this false philosophy; men
will live naturally and humanely ; rich and poor
will dwell together like brethren. It all means
the ushering in of a happy era of sane humanity
"Are you not sanguine?" I sometimes sug
gested. " Yes, but I have a right to be ; for there
is an awakening to a realization of the worth of
things, and this will work out this phase of the
regeneration I am alluding to."
" What do you mean ? Please explain."
" Perhaps a single allusion will cover the prin
ciple. The other day I strayed into one of those
old residences on Front street, and saw one of the
numerous old homesteads scattered all through
that section of old Philadelphia, lying along the
Delaware. My attention was attracted to the
quaint shutters and their locks and hinges ; the
beauty and elaborateness of the doorway tempted
me into the hall, a glimpse of which I had. Once
inside, the arches and stairways and architectural
marks of bygone days were examined, and the
whole afforded an hour's keen enjoyment. Now
this taste for the antique alone will be a strong
factor in bringing back the social tide. There is,
of course, the stronger motive, that feeling of
humanity and sense of brotherhood, the mellowing
of the kindly heart, that is slowly but surely
going on all around us among the younger people.
All this will aid to work out the problem ; but the
love of the old and substantial, the historical asso
ciations of the past, this will bear no mean part
in this social regeneration. Things are just in
their formative state. Up to this date it has been
a fad ; it has been surface work and shallow, this
worship of the antique ; but its foundation rests
upon a base deep down, and we are getting to it,
and then will begin to build ; mark my word.
We have brought out the spinning-wheel and have
gilded it and decorated it ; we will now move back