i\^f-y^ V .Civ
THE LATE MR EDWARD BELLAMY'S
T. FISHER UNWIN
[A/^ Rights reserved.']
I. A Visit to the City, .... 9
II. Mrs Mauser's Funeral, with some Account
of the Cock-Robin School, . . -35
III. A Prandial Misadventure, . . -55
IV. Parleyings with Certain People, . . yy
V. I Make a Brilliant but Impracticable Sugges-
tion, and Learn how War was Abolished, . 98
VI. ' The Chrysochronosceptic ' : a Novelette, with
an Introduction by Berryan, . . .115
VII. The Dustmen At Home, . . .168
VIII. I ask Certain Questions and get Strange
Answers, . . . . .194
IX. A Presidential Election, followed by a Scan-
dalous Synthesis of Opinions, . . 207
X. I am Allotted a Calling, , , .218
XL The Awakening, .... 230
XII. Conclusion, ..... 240
It is now some years since the late Mr
Edward Bellamy published his well-known
and successful work Looking Backward,
a work in which are recorded, with char-
acteristic lightness and delicacy of touch,
the curious experiences of myself, Julian
West. That the facts I communicated to
Mr Bellamy do not embrace the whole
story must often have occurred to a large
proportion of the thousands of readers
whose generous appreciation of his efforts
was ever a source of satisfaction to my
friend. And, indeed, the suspicion is a
well-founded one ; for the sequel, fraught
as it was with a most painful episode, has,
from motives which everyone will respect
and sympathise with, hitherto been with-
held from the public eye. The memory of
2 My Afterdream
that episode having become dim with efflux
of time, and the rough edges of tragedy
besetting it having worn themselves away,
I now resolve to take the world into my
further confidence, and, since the hand of
death has unhappily stricken down the
chronicler to whose skill I am indebted for
celebrity, to continue the narrative myself.
This determination is, it must be admitted,
a rash one ; for my pen has but little skill,
and comparison between Mr Bellamy's work
and mine could be drawn only to the dis-
advantage of the latter.
For the assistance of any reader whose
memory may require refreshing, I have
thought it advisable to subjoin a brief out-
line of the story to which the following is
a sequel. In the spring, then, of the year
1887, I was living in Boston, a wealthy
young man of thirty summers engaged to
be married, at an early date, to a lady
named Edith Bartlett. For some time
previously I had been suffering from in-
somnia, and to allay my malady had been
accustomed to retire at night to an under-
ground chamber, whither sounds from the
outside world could not penetrate. This
precaution failing, recourse was had to a
mesmerist, by whose means I was enabled
to procure the sleep I so much ueeded.
Calling in my dispenser of slumber one
night, I passed into oblivion under his
treatment, and when I again woke, the
world as I knew it had passed away.
It was in the year a.d. 2000 that a certain
Doctor Leete had set workmen dio-oinor the
foundations for a laboratory he intended
building close to his own house. While
the excavations were in progress my under-
ground chamber had been discovered, and
the doctor had succeeded in his efforts to
resuscitate me from my long trance. Be-
sides his wife, Doctor Leete's family comprised
an only daughter, Edith, who proved to be
the great-granddaughter of the very lady to
whom I had been betrothed. At the hands
of these good people I received every possible
kindness, and Doctor Leete spared neither
time nor trouble in enlightening my ignorance
of the wonderful new world into which I had
so strangely been introduced. Ultimately
a marriaore was arrang"ed between Edith
Leete and myself.
During the time I had lain in the trance.
4 My Afterdremn
enormous social changes had taken place.
Such of those changes as bear upon my
narrative I will now briefly recapitulate.
I discovered that the whole of society was
organised into a vast industrial army, each
trade and profession having its guild, with
a body of governing officials arranged in
grades according to relative merit and length
of service. Education was universal ; it
began at six years of age and lasted till
the pupil was twenty-one, when he or she
was mustered into the industrial army. The
first three years in that army were devoted
to unskilled labour ; and upon their expiry
the labourers passed to other employments,
every effort having been made by the Admin-
istration to foster, during the educational
period, any choice in the matter of a calling
the pupil might evince, preference in the
selection of their future career being the
privilege of those who had already proved
themselves possessed of most ability. Any
person could change his profession until he
was thirty-five ; at forty-five he retired,
though for ten years thereafter he was
liable to be summoned in an emergency.
The hours of labour were regulated accord-
ing to the number of applicants for employ-
ment, in such a way that the disadvantages
of dangerous and uncongenial work were
counterbalanced by the exaction of only a
short day, and conversely, an excess of
volunteers for a pleasant calling was pre-
vented by increasing the length of the daily
The State was the only employer of labour,
and the various nationalities of the world
were united in a loose federation. Money
was unnecessary, as every person received
an annual credit-card of a certain nominal
value, the same in every case. From this
card the value of goods received, house rent,
etc., were pricked off. The amount of this
credit-card was fixed on a liberal basis so as,
with economy, to leave a surplus which the
recipient was at liberty to spend in any way
he chose ; for instance, in the publication of
a book he had written. For more expen-
sive publications, such as newspapers, it was
necessary to secure subscribers whose com-
bined subscriptions ā pricked off their credit-
cards ā should be sufficient to ensure the
State against loss in production ; this con-
dition being complied with, the State had
6 My Afterdi^eam
no power to refuse publication of any work
submitted to it.
Social inequalities were thus no longer
known, and as every man enjoyed a com-
petency, incentives to theft had been removed,
and crime of any kind was rare.
International commerce was conducted on
the same lines as internal commerce, all dis-
putes that might arise as to the quality of
the goods exchanged being submitted for
decision to a Grand International Council.
Every ward of a city had its own dining-
house, one of the rooms in which was re-
served for the exclusive use of each house-
holder living in that ward. Goods were
distributed from a large central store, whence
they were conveyed by tubes to the various
houses in the ward.
The State had for its head a president
who was general-in-chief of the industrial
army, through all the grades of which he
must have passed. Moreover, he was
eligible for election only after retirement from
Justice was administered by judges whom
the president appointed on the expiry of
their industrial duties. Law having become
an obsolete science, there were no lawyers,
and the judges were consequently without
legal knowledge. An accused person, if he
had committed a crime, pleaded guilty in most
instances, and with this plea the case was
usually at an end. If a plea of not guilty
was entered, the judge appointed to try the
case called to his assistance two colleagues,
by each of whom one side of it was stated,
and unless these two advocate-judges agreed
that the verdict found was just, the case had
to be tried over again. There was no jury.
Immense economies had been effected by
simplification of the distributing agencies,
this having set free for productive service
the masses of people who would otherwise
have found employment in shops and stores.
The industrial army was further strength-
ened by the abolition of war and of domestic
drudgery. By these means the world's
wealth had so greatly increased that every
citizen was enabled to live in comfort ; he
enjoyed a good education, had easy hours
of work, and could retire long before his
appreciation of the good things of this world
had lost its edge.
Such in brief outline is the scheme as
8 My Afterdream
communicated to Mr Bellamy ; at least, the
above are the main features of it which it
will be necessary for the reader to bear in
mind. And with this brief preface he is
invited to follow my further adventures.
A VISIT TO THE CITY
In a mood of unspeakable happiness I
went down to breakfast on the morning after
that most precious of days when, almost
overmastered by the presumption of the
act, I had offered my heart's homage to
Edith Bartlett's great-granddaughter, Doctor
Leete's charming and dearly - loved child.
Marvellous to me, indeed, had been the
effect upon her of the announcement of my
passion. Instead of giving me to know,
though in the kindest and most sympathetic
way, that a maiden of the Golden Age was no
proper mate for me ā the derelict of a semi-
barbarous civilisation ā instead of this, I had
had the rapture of seeing a rosy flush spread
over the sweet girl's face, while, with heav-
ing breast and downcast eyes, on whose long
lashes hovered a glistening tear, she had
completed my happiness by letting me know
that my love was returned. And yet, how
lo My Afterdream
natural would it have been had she refused
me! For, remember, I had but just obtained
a glimpse of the new and perfect world
around me, and my movements in it were
as awkward as those of a yokel in a
drawing-room. Indeed, I must confess that
my great joy was somewhat tempered by
dread lest Edith might regret her decision,
when she noticed ā as notice she must ā the
many solecisms I was bound to commit upon
being called to mix with people for whose
society I had enjoyed no previous training.
I should, in fact, have been plunged in de-
spair but for the hopeful assurance that the
love my dearest girl had so frankly acknow-
ledged would prove of sterner stuff than to
be dissipated for reasons which, I was fully
determined, should have only temporary
As I entered the breakfast-room, I saw
Edith, a celestial vision indeed, arranging
flowers for the table. There was about her
a something ā for want of a proper word I
will call it a radiance ā that I instinctively
recognised as due to the tender consciousness
of loving and being beloved. She looked up
at me with a roguish smile, and in a most
bewitching manner blew me a kiss.
A Visit to the City 1 1
I took the little white hand in mine.
' Darling, and is that all the morning- greet-
ing a lover is allowed in the golden age ? '
In an instant the eyes were cast down as
she gently disengaged her hand. Evidently
the Marshal Niels were troublesome to ar-
ranoe that morning-.
* Well ? ' I asked, after a pause.
'Certainly,' she replied; 'that is ā if he is
I will not say what happened. It must
suffice to ask my reader, if a man, whether
he would have been satisfied ā if a woman,
whether / ouoht to have been ?
' And now, Julian,' said Doctor Leete,
when breakfast was over, * if it would be
agreeable, I propose this morning to take
you round the city. I am sure you must be
dying with impatience to get a nearer view
of the great changes you tell me Boston has
undergone since the latter part of the nine-
I replied it would give me much pleasure
to accompany my host.
' Before we start, however,' said the doctor,
' it will be necessary to put on anticlasts.'
* Anticlasts ? ' I exclaimed ; ' and, please,
what may they be, doctor ? '
12 My Afterdream
Doctor Leete looked at me in surprise.
Then he answered, ā
' Oh ! ah ! ā of course ā pardon me, but the
question seemed such a strange one. I was
forgetting that your previous journeys have
been only short ones, to dinner at the Ele-
phant, and so forth, where there happened
to be no delivery-tubes in the way. This
morning we shall have to thrid the mazes
of the delivery-tubes.'
' Delivery-tubes ! ' I said in astonishment,
for you must know that although Doctor
Leete had explained the system of conveying
goods from the central warehouse of the
ward to the purchaser, I had never set eyes
on the distributing apparatus.
* Yes, my dear boy, delivery-tubes,' was
the answer. ' Didn't I tell you the other
night about our improved method of deliver-
ing goods } Indeed, I remember now, I did
' Certainly, doctor,' I replied, ' you were
good enough to explain that matter, but ā '
' But what, my dear fellow ? ' said Doctor
Leete, somewhat hastily ; doubtless I was
making myself just a trifle ridiculous. 'You
see the goods have to reach the houses of
the purchasers. We can't rain them down
A Visit to the City 13
from the clouds ā even we have not reached
such a stage of perfection yet ; neither can
they be transmitted underground without
being hauled out of deep shafts by the
householder, though that plan was proposed
some time ago, but only to be abandoned as
impracticable. Our houses being, as you
have seen, of all sizes, and necessarily situ-
ated at various distances from the warehouse,
it follows that the tubes must cross the streets
at varying heights. Some of the tubes will
fortunately be above our heads ; but a large
number we shall have to dodge or climb
All this seemed very queer to me, and I
suppose my looks must have betrayed the
wonder I felt, for Doctor Leete hastened to
' There is nothing extraordinary in what
I have just told you, if you think for a
moment. People cannot traverse the streets,
at least those of them where the tubes are in
any number, without some protection for the
head. For this reason the anticlast has been
invented, which, from its original form of a
rough head-guard, has been improved into
the beautiful and efficient instrument I will
now show you.'
14 My Afterdream
He immediately returned with two helmet-
like objects, each provided with a slender
arm about four feet in length.
'Here they are,' he said, 'and I think
this one should fit you admirably. You see,
this upper part or helmet covers the frontal
and lateral regions of the cranium : the arm
or nozzle, as it is called, should, if the thing
suits you, be exactly at the level of the nose.
You will perceive it is riddled with holes for
the admission of air, and, instead of being
horizontal, is tilted distally, as anatomists
say, so that the apex is at a slightly higher
elevation than the top of the head. At the
end of the nozzle there is a sort of valve
capable of playing upon a soft cushion ; the
object of that is to minimise the effect of
blows, and, I may add, is the invention of
Barnwell, one of our greatest scientists.
Just try the thing on ā that is right ; the
eye-holes seem to be in the proper position,
and now all you have to do is to fasten the
apparatus on by means of the chain ā no, not
like that ; the chain goes under the chin,
like that. There, now let me have a look
at you. I declare, Julian, it fits as if you
had been measured for it. I hope it is
A Visit to the City 15
I said it did not feel very uncomfortable,
and asked of what material it was made, as
it seemed surprisingly light.
'Aluminium,' said the doctor, 'There is
a national anticlast factory, with an annual
turnout of several hundred thousand.'
'Dear me,' I observed, 'all this is very
wonderful ; ' but happening just then to turn
round, I saw myself reflected in a mirror.
Of course it was atrociously rude, but for
the life of me I could not restrain myself
from falling into a paroxysm of laughter.
Oh, that laugh ! I thought it would have
been fatal, and what made me worse was
that Doctor Leete did not see the joke, but
was all the time busy putting on his anticlast
with the solemn face of a man preparing to
attend his mother's funeral. For a few
seconds I was literally doubled up ; then,
unfortunately, as I suddenly rose to relieve
my aching muscles, I collided with the doctor,
and my nozzle came into violent contact
Great heavens ! The effect of that shock
I shall never forget. I had a terrible pain
across the forehead, and it seemed as if my
nose had been wrenched off
' Heigh-ho ! that was a smack ! ' exclaimed
1 6 My Afterdream
my host, and he immediately unfastened his
anticlast, and ran into an adjoining room,
while I hastened, as fast as my unaccustomed
hands would allow me, to divest myself of
the cause of the trouble.
'Here, Julian,' he said, while I, thoroughly
crestfallen, began muttering apologies for my
gaucherie. * Never mind apologies ; try
some of this,' he continued, handing me a
box of ointment from which he had already
taken a small portion. ' Rub it in, rub it
in well, as I am doing ; it is an infallible
I did as directed, and to my inexpressible
relief, in a few seconds the pain was gone.
That the cure was as efficacious in Doctor
Leete's case was proved by the sudden
cessation of the grimaces he had been
*That is clastanodyne,' he remarked, 'one
of the most valuable inventions of the ag-e.
And now, my dear boy, I am sure you will
pardon my saying that the anticlast is not
a thing to be played with.'
I entreated forgiveness, and promised to
be more careful in future. The doctor good-
humouredly put the matter by ; nay, he
was kind enouoh to observe, now that the
A Visit to the City 17
pain was over, that the episode was a little
At length our anticlasts were adjusted,
and we set off on our expedition. Just
beyond Doctor Leete's house I noticed that
the digging of the foundations for my host's
laboratory had ceased ; neither were any
' By-the-bye, doctor,' I said, 'work on
your laboratory seems to be suspended. If
you would not think me too inquisitive,
I should much like to know the reason.'
'Want of means, Julian,' said my com-
paniori7"smiiring. ' Was such a cause ever
operative in the nineteenth century, I
wonder?' he added, not without a sugges-
tion of irony in the tone.
* In the nineteenth century,' I replied,
'people who wished to build did not, as
a rule, begin until they saw their way to
carry the matter through.'
' That was a consequence of defective
social organisation. Under our system it is
impossible for a private individual to spend
much in one year on a hobby. You will,
perhaps, remember that each person receives
an annual credit-card of a certain amount,
and from this is priqked off the value of the
1 8 My Afte7^dreain
various goods he requires. Each man's
allowance is large enough to meet all the
demands of modern luxury, and, with a little
care, at the end of the financial year there
will be a surplus of several hundred dollars.
If this surplus is not wanted, it is returned,
as I told you, to swell the general fund of
the nation. My last year's surplus would
also have gone thither, had I not already
devoted it to that excavation, in the course
of which you were so fortunately rescued
from your underground chamber.'
* The work will not be resumed till next
year ? '
' And how lono" w ill the laboratory take to
~*'About thirty-five years ā that is, if I am
able to continue saving at the proposed
rate ; though should that be impossible, in
consequence of the increasing necessities of
age, another five, or perhaps ten years must
elapse before the last touches are given.'
It seems a rather slow business,' I re-
' Doubtless ; but you forget the example
of quiet, steadfast perseverance it will fur-
nish, and to a couple of generations too.
A Visit to the City 19
Your children and Edith's ā I hope you
may have a quiver-full, my dear boy ā will
watch, year after year, their grandfather's
laboratory growing, without waste, without
haste, as though ordained by the decree of
some inexorable though tardy Destiny. I
assure you, we consider such an experience
of the utmost value as an educational factor.
But there is_the Elephant yonder ; you have
not had a good view of the dining-house
before. What do you think of it ? '
I looked in the indicated direction, and
saw a building I can only describe as
stupendous. A deep inspiration was the
sole answer I could give to the inquiry.
'You are surprised at the size, I suppose,'
said Doctor Leete.
' Indeed I am. What an extraordinary
structure ! ' for instead of being constructed on
the lines of an ordinary building, it was a
representation on a huge scale of the animal
whose name it bore. ' Why, bless my soul !
I had no idea of its being like this. And
where is your dining-room, pray, doctor?' I
' In_the left fore-leg,' gravely answered my
host ; ' but the whole is occupied by rooms,
even the trunk, ears, tusks and tail.'
20 My After drem7i
' And every house has its own dining-room
there, I think you told me.'
* Quite right, I see you have an excellent
' I am afraid you will find me very in-
quisitive ; but how many houses may there be
in the ward ? '
'How many houses? Let me see ā just
' So there are three thousand rooms in the
Elephant ? '
' More,' was the smiling reply. * You for-
get the kitchens, sculleries, pantries, store-
rooms, offices, and what not. Add three
hundred to your estimate, and it will be
'And pray,' said I, 'what is that great
object to the left of the Elephant? It looks
like the head of some animal poised on a long
and slender neck.'
'That is the Giraffe,' replied the doctor,
'the dininsf-house of the next ward.'
' Then, do all the ward dining-houses take
the form of some animal ? '
' Yes ; the object is educational.*
' In the nineteenth century,' I observed,
' wild animals were confined in houses or large
cages in zoological gardens and menageries.'
A Visit to the City 2 1
' Were they really ? ' replied the doctor.
'Well, that is very interesting. Do you
know Storiot, our great writer on the nine-
teenth century, conjectures that your wild
animals were secured by stout ropes to the
trees in your parks, his main reason being
the discovery of marks on the trunks of
ancient trees for which no other possible
meaning was forthcoming } '
' No, does he indeed .-* ' I said, laughing.
* What an ingenious person Storiot must be !
But what do you do with your wild animals,
the living ones, I mean, of course ^ '
Doctor Leete smiled.
ā¢ ' We have none. The last, a superannuated
tiger; was killed in the Sunderbunds about
thirteen years ago.'
'Well, the present age is to be congratu-
lated upon that,' I replied. ' But you just
now said something about education.'
' I merely observed that the dining-houses
had educational value, for though they can-
not enjoy the advantage of visiting zoological
gardens, yet, by strolling round the city and
travelling from place to place through the
States, our youth get an excellent impression
of the earth's recent fauna. In fact, so much
value is ascribed to the system that a new
22 My After dream
departure is announced from Baltimore,
where two dining-houses, representative of
more ancient animals, are in course of erec-
tion. As I have plenty of friends there, we
shall doubtless some day be entertained at
the Mastodonsaiirus and the Megatherium.'
Meanwhile, we had been walking down
the broad road in which the Elephant was
situated. We now came to a side street,
whereupon Doctor Leete said, ā
'This is the way, Julian. Now please be
very careful and do not talk much, otherwise
your attention might be distracted, and a
nasty knock be the result.'
I promised compliance in as cheerful a
voice as I could assume, though the view of
the delivery-tubes that now burst upon my
sight filled me with strange dread, for there
they were, tubes of all heights and sizes,
some severely plain, some decorated with
gargoyles, grinning apes, griffins, and other