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COMPARISONS ARE ODIOUS

ARISTOCRATS AND DEMOCRATS IN T H 1-: RATTLE LINK. [By Simon- .Mem.] I have just been reading an article in a New Zealand journal by a New Zealand journalist, which, being a sheer ami' Unrestrained eulogy of the splendid, patriotism of the arisiei racy of .England and of the services ol the young aristocrats during the present- war. has given me furiously to think. For 1 know the English aristocracy lar better than this soidier-jonmal-ist from New Zealand can ever hope to know, just, ton, a.s 1 know the English Democracy. And 1711111', like him. J pa.v full tribute to the iinperi.shp.blo deeds of heroism or our ai tistocratic warriors, 1 cannot avoid a. resentful l;:olin>g that such a ealogv as Ins serves, perhaps nnwittiiigly, as a conijiavison lietween our Demo- : era Is and aristocrats m the. lighting line, and awards tin* palm In the latter. Comparison* arc- odious at any time. At a time like the. present, when, under the stress -ami surge of a common danger, class distinctions are obliterated, thev are particularly hateful, and my intention hero is to show that there, are, reasons, valid and irrefutable, why the artistocrut should, always be tin* patriot and warrior, lie . has shown the world his ij nudity during I 1-lie present war. and the, world pays him i honor, m which 1 heartily join. But, ■ having paid, him honor. 1 turn to the humble ami undistinguished democrat who agios Cviut fails oy Ins side. \\ hat honor . .-Halt wo pa\ to thj s unknown ami uni named hero, who,- llouied ami buffeted through the ccnuirie:; widlc ids ari.stocra- ; tie leilow-soldior was being pampered am! | p-At-cd. has lor gotten sui.li injustices and I indignities, ami stood to the breach just j because, the iehabihly m his character lias ; withstood, all the storms, aim! be lias rei ma.ineil true io his blood and breed? Spleuuid soldiers aio tine sons of the Bri-i-'o-li race, be. they born in the purple or , swaddle-;! in lags; but let this be said | t'lainly and dispassionately ; tbo aristocrat ' v ' ’ IO would to-day prove a craven and a i shirker to the Empire that has tilled his i liio witii all lho best, ibing> that life can ! give is far beneath the power of words :to contemn. lie has been having the [ k'O'-'ds t-lirmij'hcmt the, centuries, and if he i attempts '-j evade the footing of the- bill ■ h y is a, scoundrel and a fraud' When the ■ bid. min evci. is presented to the shimi «}ve!!o", \vin> lias been ground in the hell of poveny irom the cradle upwards, and lie is asked to pay exactly-the-same amount |as the aristocrat, lie- might, refuse, and I l ir ' :,v o Uie justice of his refusal. He has I nor I'etusod. Rather has he, with an alaci r:;y mid dieerfulncss which have ast-on- ; ished tin- world “id shown ir how much I <,i tliero is in Unman nature, sprung 1 loiwaro to oiler to shoulder his proportion. I he ar.isuvral, in lighting and dying, is simply paying a Dll] which was certain to be presented some dav. He and his have had lull value, and when He- bill is discharged they will receive tall value again. But tin* democrat- lens never had any such value. He has. been allowed, to live and build np the wealth and power of the State, b;u, he has b; an rigidly excluded from any fair participat ion in such wealth and power, and now at the last lie goes to ili-e sbam!i!cs toe ns and -dies- there uncomplainingly, Surely to him should lie awarded e 1 1., c 1 hoiio)-! 1 1 1 1 ran-cress bv again ■seeming to insi ifcnte com par icons, let it be. remembered in extenuation that truth demands iha.fc a matter 0 f this sort should

lie pi,-mod 01 the prop.-s. p-.-rspectivo, • and tnai- t-lmre ha.- he--n. I.i.m h'n- \e'.y outbreak of war. far too mm p of him -dori!iouiiori of lim .oih im'ais, w ilk a eon-es-!">nding indip io oi 'dm honor of hie ninneie.-; li.-i.m. who have mot. ch ith and from. niiclim.Uai, nid.n-nm gravvs", mt OH aeonnt of c.nm l..fy mmily (mdiiion, o! - ior lim -id;; 1 -d on;.- ;.|,l I'ar.iina! i-.de clo’tdin-fd m Knrli- ii n cm. but ship.iv !„■>. wnse hiov were nu-o >■- ,nh! imi piove i-m-e I (1 lh. sk 'p n;n t >l j and hie ea 11 o; t lie b; I. i. Till' UAdTldlK OK KlT.iiidY. b. ..-m.. o; |' :t . aaplai iis p.ni.als op this cmiiia.! wan an - ioa; mdlsi, wdli; liom. : ; . i ■; 1 1 to in id . 1 i 1 i.-, . 111,1 an, I beyond 11m f.n i imu. in' hm m.uirn! io ■ doaniaec and edm aimn up m hm- inaiipi,e|,:;i, ami -up.': iima 1 on nr.--•• -n s p,., 1 li. during ;t. Jiving vi-*i? to Kncnnd. liies 1„. i 1 nia. Xe v X- - la ad ; kin n do New Zaaiaad .1 ..\ve to V. .11 IU-h-.al 1 1 c; a. I nf; e 11 , i—-:;oa -VI I; a lie. to io.lir, lali aia n- b hie hm-l . ni fl, j K i;, '-M fi-hoiej a. - t hi tnai lh; i'o'd. -nh hn -l I ani v hm; ,ndv Mi. - : ir ; .h tie and lawns, and jvv , an anal ■ y‘ am a land i i. : - m ■ i ill.--.. . f p; a, •'hoym 11 . ine man!', hr ms p; f-' x.-s, nno i a yc- ;: i -■ u u a j van d,- h<--. z ' M 1 11 "in in :■ 11 ;an mo . and n w , r ’ 1 11 a m-' a c tv, -m i:d. ; , , ( ■yhil yo ■ , - : d.- of ds mho i- I, I:. i Ida i hj n.-ssi n a-- ,n 1 s '.eotii.ai, v In. an • mo-ad 1 d t !l-> a 1 -d a lid a.- : . f ic 1,1 : ; 1... | ; r ._-i on! dad has '■ a. :n.,i!n. : . j,, a, !;;v Av rn do- (dm;, ii, a'ld nmPdm v !,-■ ;i 'hid ■ na I in .nidi " ■ M.admnl tL:;i !l :! ■ ; I 11 y -s in ds famnv ... d la, ; •■■■"von - . a Mud pv ,-v. a:a .1., a v . mid had; I hj ■• ’■■ aim- I m-■ : . ... : ... I I'-'hry ! ... n i, . ;>J ; a. : : rp jh'.; l!l -o ’dam in m, ji; . , ;i t , ... p _ onmmns, vv k.. icd ifm, t-i * t \V; id i.S ill '-ii-.'ii' - ; : m- , ; ~,.1 ....^ ■dim a,, i c.;,:, • IVV,. ; ', m' ■ "o; o " h'mmnd m a 0... . . i dmm b, i. M .o' f |... a.- - - n ',-■ m : ipotor-; hum ha- si-n o-n ; dm id.,.m. Vbat, s,iis aoi, Imir m tii 1 -- mh'm. talcs to dm for his . ouio !--, , a ,{ j,,, ::z Ins M-hmiar aU-di I ■: dn A ~,ij 'dv of ! laid mn mikiio, m, d ; ' fooh d-d so, Id ■ i, a . iduo M -‘ rl •' ? f * * ■ r i u;-,-.’-i .••.• ••• l! d' kaiaio.-'i aaisf. f;d , Mi .. inisin-di i-.-i--i,l : vj.,;. |\ . ..pis mm vmtim M'hdm-r.-ii.r do not arnic- hi-o. d 'ds,n;ih tlihig c. s.-mi i}: o 1,,.- l -■ f un, ! 1 bmy an oim!dam, p.m 1;: .. lutroimlcy, .n- a. i.inin, nnih: | imm,.' : some bi.m-i-a- id.ml in m hj m :! - . d.,m < X' l.nms a. . ,oil ;dn | a : ’ •\'a'i ! .h".‘n arc tlm j pi.. .... ; m.dmnml by h.<. 1.-dkcis \ ry . , n,0,. : tocinuy. th- i(ii.■ pnrtrin'ne l.!-c,..d..m ; ""d oof . apimiiA., , v 'a, lire mi j iu ' "V'i hloo.l ii;.-.. m-isms, and oo not- jusfipv ilmir ex:-d .ni., c. . . 1 <l! _ tim m-o-t im|n ndv.Jnligiuiiii, u.ia! one o; I hr hnesl te-ii-inonies t,, i-lnnh!mi's gi niness is rim chapel hh.im. ('•litem.. . . , AK’moha Olds to the. nxmorv of ..id r.’-onnni.s who imvo died in' U.k al: d I other wars cover the walks. Hut I nriM drew km lh-„. ;m< | wi in : f ' K , ;nt . has been .)noted to di,ma ’dm sm-l o’ cfliunvo luiorinioii whirl, lias thus keen i pmd by a sou of donmeratn- Xew Zsaiiaml -o thatp sok’t-t- ami elm-f in tim, l-im--Msb social system which neither A'm.v Zeelaiw nor any or the other vouuger S;:ii,. s i vcoukl toilwrite in tlieir rvUvnis for oim j moiimnt—wherein tit' voung.-r States «’n..w ; titeir wisdom and sagacity.' i -fHE OTHKII ftIDE OF a'HE SHIELD, i hot the eulogy stain,! for what it is worth. For mo, pioud tu cuJI myscif a roii of tno people, 1 prefer to be “ mi nillul of the uabonored deaiid’ and to set

| against this glorification of the aristocracy I la plain, bare history of the soldiers-of the people who constitute quite another Engi ! land to the Kngla.nd of pageantry and : luxury depicted above. In depicting it I : may ho permitted to play the “sedulous apu" to this laureate of the aristocracy. ! My England, too, is a warm-hearted Eng- , Maud, tho England of the shun tenement, { i where - j City children soak and blacken soul and 1 ' sense in city slime. J | There among tho gloomy alloys Progress I halts on palsied feet; ' j Crime and hunger cast out maidens by ■ | the thousand on the street. ! There the master scrimps his haggard ; _ teamstress of her daily bread. . | There the single sordid attic holds the '■ _ living and the dead : £ : There tho smouldering fire of fever t ! creeps across the rotted licor. ' And the crowded couch of incest, in the ; warrens of the pool 1 . , ; Tim England that knows nothing of trees - : or lawns or ivy beyond what it can learn i j on single-day excursions that come rarely, 3| as angels’ visits; the England that in s ■ times of peace wages am eternal warfare - ; with poverty and want, and does not s really know what tho enjoyment of life 1 : means; the England that lias a brother I |in the mine and another in the factory a and another in the workhouse; tho Engi , land that has never seen tho “ wide oak i | hall, - ’ and. that is too poorly clad to at~ , (tend, church to hear prayers read there; i i the England that dines when and where } i it can, upon what it can get, with the r j spectres of anee.stors or relatives who have - i died of want and privation looking down; 1 ! Ihe England to whom the espouses -: of a cricketing club or fox hunt ! ‘would appear fabulous wealth that I ■ L tin- England of which I would remind t : Xow Zealanders. Thank God they have s nut such an England hero; but there is - : stich mt England in the Homeland, and ? ! that is the England which stands to-day - ; for us u bulwark and a shield, doing work ‘‘ \ quietly, and uncomplainingly which ari.-.to--1 ; vJTilic England could never do, for it numl- i hers only tens where my poor England i j numbers thousands. And from this hardi | working and despised England go forth i j the soldiers who die and are buried and 5 j forgotten, with no chapel to bear brass > : tablets to their memory, no eulogist to i i sing their praise. They have deliberately 1 ; faced j!«uUh not to pay a- debt of years of ) ; ease and luxury, as the aristocrate may - i ha ve done. Neither have they gone forth exI ■ peeling that their prowess was to win for 1 | them ui iheir children the life of comfort t | and pleasure which only the aristocracy I ; and the wealthy have hitherto enjoyed. 5 ; They went simply because it was -Iheir ■ | duty : yet. if an awakened conscience tires - j iiar iaee when the tide of battle recedes, i j surely it will lie seen to that in the future f 1 there will be no further distinctions of . ; caste and aristocracy—an outrage to our s j common sense, a scandal upon onr name - | for justice. • | J have, not raised this matter with any 1 | desire to slsr up the bitter waters of class 1 | prejudices. But- such a eulogy as 1 have - j here cited requires correction or reprohai j lion. Lei ns look matters squarely in the i lace, and break once and for all time, from 3 Hie shackles of absurd traditions that have r the sanction neither of sanity nor reason- • ableness. Lei, us no longer honor any ■ aristocracy simply because it is an aristoc- - racy. j The rank is but the guinea stamp, .. The man’s the gowd, for a’ that*, i I am neither a Enciaiisl who hates tho 1 aristocracy nor the servile toady who

i bii-ic- him.-clf with genuflection: lo rank I ami wealtii. bul. steering a. middle coui.-c. ; 11 " h■’ v e with wi-e old Richard Kmnbold ilia! I’iiivideuc, l ha- not -oil a lew men i tnlo rlio world ready, booted and -purred, i to ndc, and million: rea«i\ . -addled and j bridled, to be ridden." Tim rider-, love : done gloiion-lv in this war, ami I honor i them tor it : Iml I give greater honor .-till j ,:1 the 1 imn-ands of the ridden, who. with p:a-1 lavoi-s to inspire them and no | Pili."e lavoi- to encourage lliem, have j iaced lien, and Deal in im us a, a simple i mailer of dulv. And one dream 1 have. I ’'lnch i -hall i.oi lire to rea’i.-ed. i- ; hat ot a gii.,-,i.iw British r.’umiiv v, Inch. : "ih be as lo e limn the mil -e i.f caste as ; • v " ’ v /hj aland i- (o-day : when aristocracy ! ’ iV i ; l I'' 1 ’ ever im e.i-i, , ,|j jmin our Imnejial I •> -lem, .a- a oa’a-ile ~-r vampire that has i o.iiteim.i upon ii for far too long.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19170127.2.56

Bibliographic details

COMPARISONS ARE ODIOUS, Evening Star, Issue 16333, 27 January 1917

Word Count
2,232

COMPARISONS ARE ODIOUS Evening Star, Issue 16333, 27 January 1917

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