James Philip MacCarthy.

The rise of Dennis Hathnaught; life of the common people across the ages as set down in the great books of the world online

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Online LibraryJames Philip MacCarthyThe rise of Dennis Hathnaught; life of the common people across the ages as set down in the great books of the world → online text (page 1 of 15)
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The Rise of Dennis

To My Wife,

Who Assisted Me in Gathering


and Who Typed the Manuscript^

This Book Is Inscribed.


Life of the Common People

Across the Ages as Set

Down in the Great

Books of the



Author of "The Newspaper Worker"

Brooklyn— New York

Copyrlgrhted for the Author
by the Writers' Fnbllshlng;
Co., Brooklyn^— New York,
TJ. S. A., 1915. Application
for British Copyright pend-

Set np and Blectrotyped.
First Edition of 1,000 Print-
ed In September, 1915. The
Writers' Fabllshing Com-
pany, Brooklyn— New York,
V. S. A.






Chapter I. page

Dennis Hathnaught's Lowly Origin;
His Biological Ancestry; Primi-
tive Man; Ancient Contempt for
Labour, EflFects of Evolution and
Suggestion on Human Progress... 1
Chapter II.

Dennis Hathnaught Early Assumes
the Hod; Account of Ancient

Labour and Slavery 13

Chapter III.

Dennis' Iron Collar — "Servus Sum."
Slavery in the Roman Republic and

Empire 27

^ Chapter IV.

— ' The World's Midnight— Hathnaught

as Serf; Feudal System, its Rise
and Decline; Misery of the Corn-
el mon People in the Middle Ages;
If) Debt of Modern Times to Mediaeval

CM Thinkers and Doers 33

o Chapter V.

When Dennis Hathnaught was a
Saxon; Life Under Manorial Sys-
tem and the Peculiar Saxon Laws
t which form the Basis of all Good

g Modern Laws. Effects of the Nor-

^ man Conquest 44

f> Chapter VI.

\ The Black Death Emancipates

Dennis; By making Labour Scarce,
this Pestilence led to Wage System
and Growth of Class Conscious

Working Class 55

"* Chapter VII.

Dennis Hathnaught Becomes a
Citizen; Rise of Cities in Middle
Ages and Struggle of Hard Work-
ing Burghers with the Lawless,
LTseless and Ignorant Nobility 64


Chapter VIII. page

Dennis Founds the Hanseatic
League; Weary of Being Robbed
by Thieving Barons, Common Men
Unite in Great Trade Confederation
and Become More Powerful than
Nations 81

Chapter IX.

Fritz Hathnaught and the Peas-
ants' War; Struggle of German
Labour in Sixteenth Century to
Emancipate Itself from Feudal Op-
pression, and Unspeakable Manner
in which Nobles put the Rising
Down; Belgium Had a Precedent 90

Chapter X.

Dennis in Sixteenth Century Eng-
land; Remarkable Prosperity of
English Hathnaughts in this Age as
Shown by Froude; Guilds and Lon-
don Companies 9.5

Chapter XI.

Dennis in Seventeenth Century
England; Macaulay's Graphic Pic-
ture of the Times; Degradation of
the People; Lack of Sympathy with
Suffering; Brutality of Sports and
of the Nobility lOG

Chapter XII.

Dennis and the Industrial Revolu-
tion; Domestic Labour gives way
to Factory System ; Misery of Child
Labour before Enactment of Fac-
tory Laws Ill

Chapter XIII.

Jacques Bonhomme, French Hath-
naught ; Causes that led a Degraded
and Enslaved People to Turn Upon
their Oppressors and Annihilate
them in the French Revolution.... 12S

Chapter XIV.

Dennis the Ploughman in Politics;
Conditions that led to Emancipation
of English Agriciiltnriil Labourers
and their l.'.iifranchiscincnt in 1884. 1S8

Chapter XV. page
The Right Hon. Dennis Hath-
naught, M.P. ; Account of Recent
Socialistic Legislation in England
under Leadership of Lloyd George
and of tiie Labour Party; Curb-
ing the Lords 149

Chapter XVL

Patrick Hathnaught, Home Ruler;
True Cause of Modern Irish Dissen-
sion is Religious Differences; Two
Races in Ireland, Protestants and
Catholics; Signs of Better Times.. 169

Chapter XVII.

Slavic Hathnaughts, Ivan and
Michael; Extraordinary Power of
Nobles and Church over the People;
Emancipation of the Serfs ; Struggle
toward Freedom 170

Chapter XVIII.

Brother Jonathan and Uncle Sam;
Brief Sketch of American Industry;
Rise of the Trusts; Tariff Reform;

- Effect of Slavery on Southern
Character 180

Chapter XIX.

Dennis Setting His House in Order;
Economic Reform; Socialism; Syn-
dicalism and Sabotage; What is to
Follow Socialism? Feminism; Trade
Unions 193

Chapter XX.

Dennis Inquiring into Land Titles;
Henry George's Single Tax; The
Physiocrats; Malthusian Laws of
Population; Unearned Increment.. 211

Chapter XXI.

Dennis Becomes a Literary Hero;
Summaries of Books Touching upon
Certain Peculiar Phases of the
Labour Movement 217

Chapter XXII.

Hathnaught versus Have-and-Hold ;
Barbarism of People and Nobles
of Olden Times; Whim being Re-
placed by Responsibility; Dennis
Approaching Real Freedom 226


"The Rise of Dennis Hathnaught" was
not written with an eye to obtaining a
university degree. It is therefore chatty
and informal, rather than painfully sci-
entific and academic. We should not
brood too much over the miseries of a
dead past when there is so much to be
done in the living present. But man
may be taught to judge more intelligent-
ly of his own time and its problems if
he has some idea of past times and their
institutions. In this spirit Dennis Hath-
naught takes the platform for a short
address to his "Fellow Citizens." He
will be grateful for any applause he may
receive, and hopes that adverse critics
will put cotton batting around the bricks
they may throw.

Yeoman service for human liberty has
been done by persons with a sense of
humour. No man who understands the
wholesome effect of laughter ever throws
a bomb or tries to reform the world by
assassination. If the fool that shot J. P.
Morgan had brooded less and laughed
more, he would not have taken himself
so seriously. There has been great in-
justice in the world, but we have now

reached the age of adjustments, when the
better elements of Capital and Labour
are working earnestly to bring about a
more equitable social system.

The Golden Age will not be ushered in
by dividing the accumulations of tho
rich among the poor. It is a question if
the vicious, idle, proletariat, who works
only under compulsion of economic pres-
sure, is not a greater menace than the
unscrupulous capitalist who exploits hu-
man labour. It is decreed by the courts
eternal that in the sweat of his face man
shall earn his bread, and this applies
equally as well to John D. Rockefeller as
it does to Dennis Hathnaught. The
Standard Oil Company would not last a
year if Rockefeller dawdled away all his
time on the golf links. That is his recre-
ation, just as that of Dennis Hathnaught
is bending the elbow with his cronies at
Casey's little place on the corner. Every
man to his taste.

We cannot reform overnight a world
that has been millions of years in the
making. There Is good basis for the argu-
ment that we might lessen the distance
to the Millennium if we Improved our
manners. There is nothing so discourag-
ing as the spectacle of a loud-mouthed
economic reformer, whose vocal rearing
of the ideal Republic keeps pace with
bad manners that find vent in dental
archaeology — the excavating of a ruined
molar, with a young sapling — and the
editing of fingernails with a pair of
pocket scissors.

Let us have patience. Progress Is an
eternal and an ordered law, and it is

written in the stars that we shall not go
backward. Every man has his day. The
castle and the hut are interchangeable
residences. Emerson summarizes the so-
cial history of the ages in a stanza:

The lord is the peasant that was.
The peasant the lord that shall be;
The lord is hay, the peasant grass.
One dry, and one the living tree.

This ' unceasing struggle operates
through the laws of Evolution and Sug-
gestion. A thing that has had no begin-
ning can never have an end. The seem-
ing zenith is but the nadir of new
heights. The Ultimate beckons to us
bvit never waits. We are on our way.
Whither, only the Fates may tell, and
Destiny is not loquacious.



Man, that fleck of dust in the Infinite,
swelling with pride before the altar of
iDls Ego and indulging his fancy in self-
worship imagines himself a Chantecler,
Lord of Creation, Master of Woman and
Summouer of the Sun. Engaged as he
is in the pursuit of the useless, and eter-
nally struggling for selfish preferment or
meaningless pleasure — a spendthrift of
time as well as of money — we might im-
agine the world a great Cosmic Bloom-
ingdale, were it not that here and there
one sees the thinker and the doer — the
student busy with his experiments, the
worker labouring in shop or field.

Eons ago, more years than mind can
reckon, this old world of ours was plung-
ing aimlessly through the night of
Chaos, and intellectually, it would be
plunging through it yet, were it not that
in every age, and at intervals almost
cyclic there arose men of vision with the
teaching and preaching instinct strong
within them — in China a Confucius, In
Greece a Socrates, in Italy a Savonarola,
in Germany a Luther — men with that
sublime courage and touch of divinity


that gives them kinship with Christ
and puts the fire of inspiration upon
their words. When such men are abroad
in the land, tyranny and injustice flee
as from a wrath that is overwhelming.

Prom the time the first man was agi-
tated by the first thought, we have heard
much of Good and of Evil, forces repre-
senting some sort of a contest for the
mastery, constantly going on in the
world. Yet there are very few really
good people and very few bad ones. All
men bear the mark of caste, the stigmata
of environment, example and habit, and
the numerosity of the race constitutes a
mediocrity, obsessed by the fetish of
prestige and eternally aping the manners
and pattering the words of other men.
It is a physiological-biological phenome-
non that the vast majority of men and
women come into the world with still
born brains — from the cradle to the
grave exhibiting in their lives, the static
monotony of unchanging sameness. One
cannot be said to be truly good, unless
his whole course of action is character-
ized by sacrifice and disinterested living,
with never a tho jght of approbation, ap-
preciation or emolument. No one that
shows remorse can be said to be truly

Rational and normal man may be di-
vided into three classes — the Progressive,
the Lack-alert and the Dumbwit.

The Progres.sive has the instinct of
per.^onaI leadership and acts upon his
own initiative. His only authority is ex-


perience. He is like the Monad of Leib-
nitz, the universe in miniature.

The Lack-alert does well under in-
struction, but must always be directed.
He reverences authority, even in the face
of his own experience and better judg-
ment. Tradition, Father's politics and
Mother's religion are all sufficient for
this simple child of nature. There isn't
the cream of an idea on the top of his
bottle; he is a skim-milk thinker. Par
excellence he is the Conventionarian.

The Dumbwit acts only under orders
and must be driven to his task like the
g-alley slave. Trying to get ideas into
his head is like signalling to Mars. He
is the backbone of the Caste system —
thinks men are born into classes and
that they must always remain so. With
the Lack-alert, he is the great breeding
ground of true snobbery, despising his
own kind and deferential to those whom
he looks upon as of the better classes.
He laughs lonpv and 'ondly when the
Man with the New Idea finds his way
to King Ignorance barred by the two
trusty guardsmen, Prejudice and Bigotry,
and is subjected to the badgering of the
King's impish children. Little Pooh-Pooh
and Taint-so.

Intelligence is as rare as radium and
man, all but mummified by acquiescence
in traditional authority, grows slowly into
fullness of the Spirit ana-»an understand-
ing of the higher life and its significance.
What is popularly called intelligence is
more often cunning, shrewdness, saga-
city. True intelligence is vision that lifts


one above the clouds where the sweep
of sky is unbroken. There is an ig-
norance of culture as well as of illiteracy.
One may find ignorance in academic halls
quite as readily as in the haunts of the
day labourer. When you realize the
depths of your own ignorance — the in-
iquity of race and religious hatreds, so-
cial snobbery, and industrial injustice,
you have reached the foothills from
which you may view the heights it is
necessary to climb to get in communion
with true knowledge. Aesculapius re-
storing the sight of the Aristophanic
Plutus, typifies the meaning of education
which is simply the effort to make the
blind see.

It is the ground idea of modern think-
ers that the chief aim of existence is
race culture and that progress is an
eternal and an ordered law. When we
walk abroad in the world of Imagination
and Memory, we see everywhere, wrecks
and ruins and pulled-down things; but
through an opening in the trees we may
see the rebuilding in the land of To-
morrow, of things that will be after we
are gone.

Progress, the battle of Today with
Yesterday for the possession of Tomor-
row, operates through two great forces
^Evolution, which is biological or phys-
ical; and Suggestion, which is psycho-
logical or mental.

In tracing the biological or physical
history of man, we find that his needs
and his primitive struggles with nature


to gain subsistence, made work a neces-
sity. Through successive a,e:es he gradu-
ally gained knowledge, and through Sug-
gestion improved the implements of
labour. Hunger made it necessary to
get food. The cold suggested shelter and
led him to protect his body by a cover-
ing, usually of skins, the beginnings of
clothing. Primitive man dwelt in trees,
in lakes, and in caves. It was a strug-
gle for existence with little idea of co-
operation. Every man's hand was raised
against his brother and war and blood-
shed were the universal rule. Painfully
man went through successive stages — the
stone age, the age of bronze or metals,
etc. Uncounted ages must have passed
before the suggestion of soil cultivation
came to mankind, and Agriculture gave
the first impetus to Civilization.

In the Bible we are told that the first
man was named Adam and that he start-
ed perfect — sort of armed cap-a-ple for
the struggle of life, which in Eden, was
no struggle at all until Eve had that
apple discussion with the serpent. It was
a golden age such as poets, among others
the pagan Hesiod, loved to picture. But
science pretty conclusively proves that
friend Adam might better be called Den-
nis and surnamed Hathnaught. Par from
having fallen from a state of pristine in-
nocence, he is on the ascending scale,
working painfully toward the land of
better things. It has been a hard jour-
ney, and it is a far cry from the flg leaf
to the dress suit.


You will find ample evidence of this
In Sir John Lubbock's "Prehistoric
Times," and "Origin of Civilization";
Drummond's "Ascent of Man"; Darwin's
"Origin of Species" and "Descent of
Man"; L. H. Morgan's "Ancient Society";
Winwood Reade's "Martyrdom of Man";
the various works of Sir Henry Sumner
Maine; Edmund B. Tylor's "Early His-
tory of Mankind," and "Primitive Cul-
ture"; Frazer's "Golden Bough."

In the view of Science man's progress
is upward, and out of an original state
of barbarism and savagery, he is working
toward culture and the higher life. Brief-
ly, theology holds that man, through the
sin of Adam degenerated, and can only
be redeemed through the grace of re-
ligion. Science holds that barbarism was
a stage of evolution or progress and in
no sense the result of degeneration.

"Primitive Man" is also ably discussed
in a work of that name by Louis Figuier,
in which not only is it shown that man
harks back to an immense antiquity, but
that he has had to fight for every ad-
vantage he has gained. He goes into
full discussions of the "Stone Age" and
the "Age of Metals," and shows man
dwelling in caves and hollows, dressed in
skins, and limited to a few implements
of wood and stone.

Early society originated in the family
under the rule of the father or patriarch;
an aggregation of families formed the
clan or tribe under a chief, and as au-
thority spread, a confederation of tribes


became the nation under a King. Au-
thority is designed to establish internal
order and external security. It originated
in Suggestion and its development has
been constantly along the lines of Evolu-
tion. In a primitive combat one brute
overcomes another, and victory naturally
suggests the idea of domination.

All living creatures from ants to man
have more or less of the gregarious spirit
and gather in communities. In the fam-
ily relation, however primitive, the au-
thority of the parents is established over
the children, and some investigators be-
lieve that in the very earliest of times,
the family circle constituted a matri-
archy, gynecocracy or metrocracy, with
the mother supreme over all. As man
began to acquire a knowledge of the sex
relation and its significance, the father
became all powerful and gradually there
developed the subjection of woman which
still obtains in the world with such force,
buttressed as it is with tradition and a
so-called religious sanction, that millions
of foolish virgins and matrons, gladly
subscribing to the convention that they
are a weak and inferior lot, become the
most venomous opponents of sex equality
and "Woman's emancipation.

Lawlessness and absence of restraint
breed discomfort and insecurity, and au-
thority grew in proportion as the leaders
that had won the right to command
through brute power and strength of will
and mind, gained adherents. It is natural
for authority, unrestrained by external


forces or internal opposition to drift to-
ward absolutism, and so finally through-
out the world the old freedom of the in-
dividual will disappeared and tyranny-
was established with the power of life
and death over subjects, vested in the
rulers. This tyranny in time took on a
kind of sacerdotal function and gradually
in men's minds grew a belief in the
divinity of Kings and the custom of in-
vesting them with power through elab-
orate and ornate symbolism and cere-

Human proji-ress has l)eeh greatly ad-
vanced by man's efforts to mitigate the
miseries of existence. In an age of cold
and lack of comfort we may well believe
that fire came into the life of man as a
great blessing. This will always be asso-
ciated with the wonderful story of Pro-
metheus. Taking pity on man, Prome-
theus stole fire from Heaven and gave it
to humankind whereupon he incurred the
wrath of Zeus, and was condemned to be
bound on a rock of the Caucasus with a
vulture continually gnawing at his liver.
On this myth Aeschylus based his great
tragedy of "Prometheus Bound," which
is supposed to be the only existing part
of a trilogy unfolding the whole story.

Hesiod, who was approximately a con-
temporary of Homer, also tells the Pro-
methean myth in his "Works and Days,"
and it will always be to his honour that
although he lived in an age when labour
was despised, he sang of the dignity of


God himself, we are told in the Bible,
indorsed labour \/heu he said that in the
sweat of his brow, man should earn his

According to Herodotus, an important
business among- the Thraeians was the
sale of their children for exportation.
But industry was not held in high re-
pute. Thus: "To be idle is most honour-
able; but to be a tiller of the soil, most
dishonourable; to live by war and rapine
most glorious." Handicrafts were little
esteemed in those early ages of war and
the exploitation of man. Says Herodotus:
"Whether the Greeks learned the custom
from the Egyptians I am unable to de-
termine with certainty, seeing that the
Thraeians, Scythians, Persians, Lydians,
and almost all barbarous nations hold
in less honour than their other citizens,
those who learn any art and their de-
scendants, but deem such to be noble as
abstain from handicrafts, and particular-
ly those who devote themselves to war.
All the Greeks, moreover, have adopted
the same notion, and especially the Lace-
daemonians; but the Corinthians hold
handicraftsmen in least disesteem."

There were many honourable exceptions
to this general contempt for labour that
characterized the upper classes of an-
tiquity. Everybody is familiar with the
story of Cincinnatus, who when called
to become dictator of Rome was at the
plough, according to Livy. Plutarch In
his life of Philopoemen, called "the last
of the Greeks," relates that a woman of


Megara, mistaking that distinguished
man for a servant desired him to assist
her in the business of the kitchen, where-
upon he set about to cleave some wood.
English story tellers relate a similar tale
of King Alfred, with the exception that
the Saxon was put to watching cakes to
prevent them from burning.

While on his estate Philopoemen slept
as one of the labourers and he worked,
according to Plutarch, with his vine
dressers and ploughmen. Thus, one of
the greatest men of his age touched el-
bows with the humblest, and ennobled
labour by example.

Theognis has many a fling at those
that toil, and Aristotle had a contempt
for labour as a mere manual phase of
existence. He held the barbarian to be
an inferior breed, born to obey, as the
Greek was to command, and assigned
him as slave, the duty of doing work
with hand.s, leaving the citizen time for
politics, social enjoyment and the pursuit
of the beautiful as reflected in art, letters,
music, philo-sophy, and the gymnasium,
where he developed symmetry of body.
Woman he regarded as merely a race
propagator, in every way inferior to man
and subject to him.

Aristophanes, to some extent, shared
with Aristotle and other ancients, this
contempt for labour, for we see him hurl-
ing at his enemy Euripides the taunt
that his mother had gained a livelihood
as an herb woman.

Curiously enough, too, Socrates, as re-


ported by Xenophon in his "Economics,"
takes largely the same view of woman as
a domestic labourer that Aristotle did, al-
though his great disciple Plato, in his
"Republic," would elevate her position
and improve her education.

In the so-called suffragette comedies
of Aristophanes — the Thesmophoriazusoe,
the Eccleziazusoe, and the Lysistrata, we
find ancient woman's revolt against the
intolerable domestic slavery to which
custom had condemned her, a demand
akin to that of the suffragette of to-day.

Industrial pursuits among the ancients
were often hereditary, son following
father. In discussing the Spartans or
Lacedaemonians, Herodotus says: "In
this respect also the Lacedaemonians re-
semble the Egyptians: their heralds, mu-
sicians, and cooks succeed to their
fathers' professions; so that a musician
is son of a musician, a cook of a cook,
and a herald of a herald; nor do others
on account of the clearness of their voice
apply themselves to this profession and
exclude others; but they continue to
practice it after their fathers. These
things, then, are so."

In this little book, we shall endeavour
to trace the history of the Hathnaughts
through all its stages — compulsory la-
bour or slavery; serfdom and feudalism;
rise of the cities; trade development;
crafts; wages; factories; trade-unionism;
socialism; syndicalism; feminism — as re-
flected in the works of historians, phil-
osophers, novelists, economists, poets, of


all ages and nations. Naught shall be
set down in malice, yet while we hope

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Online LibraryJames Philip MacCarthyThe rise of Dennis Hathnaught; life of the common people across the ages as set down in the great books of the world → online text (page 1 of 15)