Francisco Ferrer: His Life, Work and Martyrdom
Leonard Abbot, editor
Published by FRANCISCO FERRER ASSOCIATION. 241 Fifth Ave., New York.
Francisco Ferrer was born at Alella, near Barcelona, in 1859. His parents, well-to-do farmers, were devoted Catholics, but he, as soon as began to think for himself, became a Freethinker.
In 1879 he proclaimed himself a Republican. He took part in an abortive revolution led by General Villacampa, was compelled to flee to Paris, and there became secretary to the Spanish Republican leader, Ruiz Zorrilla.
While in Paris, Ferrer supported himself by giving lessons in Spanish. A lady by the name of Mlle. Meunier became his pupil and his confidante. He told her of a hope he had conceived of a new Spain freed from the stifling grip of Roman Catholicism, and regenerated by education and progressive ideals. She sympathized with his vision, and when she died left him a large bequest.
Ferrer returned to Spain, and in 1901 started the first of his Modern Schools. He used as text-books some of the greatest radical and scientific works of the day, by Kropotkin, by Elisée Reclus, and others.
From the first the Roman Catholics were bitterly hostile to the Modern Schools. They looked for an excuse to suppress them, and in 1906 their opportunity came. Mateo Morral, who had been connected with the schools, threw a bomb at the King and Queen of Spain. Ferrer was charged with complicity in the act, and held in prison for a whole year. But nothing could be proved against him.
The second opportunity of the clericals came in July, 1909, when an uprising inspired by indignation against an unjust war in Morocco took place in Barcelona.
Ferrer was arrested again, this time on the charge of having been the head and chief of the Barcelona uprising. The second charge was as false as the first one.
He was condemned to death by a court-martial, and was shot at Montjuich fortress on October 13. His last words were: "Long live the modern school!"
For every ruler broken
A million men shall live.
One Bourbon heart bereaving,
Crushed out the black Pope's ban,
And lo, a world's heart heaving
To the general heart of man!
FERRER AS HIS FRIENDS SAW HIM
By Renato Rugieres.
IT IS almost impossible to write or to speak of a loved friend when the wound of his death is still fresh in our heart, and our eyes full of tears. But, in spite of all, I feel it my duty to consecrate some lines to the martyr's memory.
The last long chat I had with him was in "Mas Germinal," near Mongat, on July 3, 1909, viz., some days before the general strike protesting against the war, which strike ended in an unexpected manner.
I had received a letter inviting me to spend a day with him. I well remember him. It seems as though I see him now at the Mongat station waiting for me. It was ten o'clock. He was wearing a simple linen suit and a straw hat, like an ordinary farmer. He received me with his accustomed amiability, and embraced me very affectionately. On the road to "Mas Germinal" he spoke to me about his stay at his brother's.
"You know," he said, "that my dear niece died, and on account of her illness I am here. I intended to stay in London some months more in order to improve my knowledge of the English language, and search for something good and useful for our schools. In England there are many thinkers, and although their writings are intended for their own people, we can use them by making a few explanations in the translations of them. When we reach home, I will show you a book I have already read, and I should like to publish it. Have the kindness to translate it into Spanish, if you consider it in accordance with our aims. The passages marked with blue pencil, and others with ink, you may take out; they touch upon religious matters, and our books are for laic teaching."
The good man who politely begged for my opinion and my help, was helping me by giving me that work of translation!
The "dangerous" book, which I had no time to finish before I left Barcelona, was "The Children's Book of Moral Lessons," by Gould; printed by a publishing firm in Fleet Street, London. English people should know the book so that they may be able to judge the "terrible evil" the educationist Ferrer was doing in the land of Maria Santisima.
On arriving at the farm "Mas Germinal," I met Soledad Villafranca, also wearing the plain country dress, and managing the house; in the garden I encountered Ferrer's brother bending over his beloved soil, gathering his strawberries to carry to Barcelona market early next morning; his wife was also busily employed. Everybody producing something, and I wondered if the martyr was really rich.
The house was a modest one, built in the old-fashioned Spanish style; and the furniture was certainly neither choice nor expensive.
The happiness of those people, who, instead of living in the stupid manner of the riches cochons, preferred to be useful to their fellows by enlightening their minds --- I marvel now that it could be destroyed, and in the name of justice!
Before dinner we chatted incessantly about "our" schools --- as he called them --- encouraging me to take charge of a small one, to make my initiation or debut, because I had never made special pedagogic studies.
"Don't worry about those trifles," he said to me kindly; "the aims of the modern teacher ought to be to teach the child how to use his brains; to form from every child a being with his own will, able to know by his own conscience what is wrong and what is right. We do not intend to make lawyers or physicians; we desire only to give the first instructions, free, absolutely free, of religious and some social prejudices. It is a fact," he continued, "a thousand times proved, that the greatest educationists were not professional teachers. You are still young, and maybe some day you will become one of my best collaborators," he finished, smilingly, putting his hand affectionately on my shoulder.
Our unfortunate friend, indeed, is a proof of the truth of his opinions, because he was in his country one of the pioneers of the mode of instruction in the future.
At dinner-time on the table was a hlsi; dish containing rice and chicken --- chickens are cheap in the Spanish country --- and Ferrer said to me laughingly. "Let me help you well, because there are no more dishes besides this one."
The conversation during dinner was chiefly carried on by his brother José, about the farm, potatoes, onions, etc. Then I understood quite well the origin of the saying of their friends. Francisco's friends said, "He is a fanatic about his schools"; José friends said, "He is a fanatic about his ground and his potatoes." Certainly they were two fanatics, but their fanaticism could never be like that of the capitalists and priests, who only desire money and power.
Nevertheless, one brother has been dispossessed of his farm, and the other martyred by the blind vengeance of priest and capitalist.
In the afternoon we went to the cultivated piece of land, and again the conversation turned on "our" schools. Ah! this noble fanatic, always thinking of the welfare of others.
"I have an idea," he said suddenly, taking me by the arm, "merely a dream, even Soledad does not know it. You know," he added, "that I intend to extend my publishing business, and to establish in Barcelona another 'Modern School,' better than that which was closed years ago, furnished with the most modern material and with a staff who have improved their knowledge in Paris. Afterwards, and this is my dream, I should like to build here a country house, where the teachers of our schools could enjoy their last years. Do you think the place is nice? Look at these beautiful views, the trees, the sea, and over all plenty of sun. It is only a dream," he said sadly; "I do not know if it will be possible or not. One finds so many difficulties in carrying out educational work in a country where the priests are in power!"
At five o'clock we entered the cottage to take tea, an English tea, which reminded me of my first stay in this country last year.
The brother José and his wife were in Australia for many years, and therefore they speak English like natives. Soledad was trying to compete with me in my broken pronunciation of English, and they were all very much amused at our efforts.
When about six o'clock my regretted friend and I reached Mongat station, he pointed out to me a man of repulsive appearance on the platform, and in a low voice, and smiling, said to me, "That is 'my man' " --- this was the name he gave to the secret policeman ordered by the Government to follow him everywhere when in Spain. "Do you not think it is a funny affair? Happily, this one is very lazy, and he does not like to disturb himself to follow me up to 'Mas Germinal.' Only when I go to Barcelona, he accompanies me."
The train arrived; we shook hands, and I entered a second-class car of the Spanish "tortoise railway." The train departed. Once more my feelings of admiration and love for that noble man increased. In his private life and in his public affairs he was the same. He practiced his ideals. No wonder he lost his life for them!
This is the "terrible criminal" who, according to Maura's Cabinet, was at that time arranging the burning of the convents and the profanation of the graves!
One of the most frequent, and at the same time unjust, charges made against him by the Jesuits and the rotten Catalonian capitalists of the so-called "Liga Religionalista," is that in the laic schools dangerous doctrines were taught against the "pure" society, home life, order, holy jingoism, and so on.
I was in one of the best Rationalist schools in Barcelona for some months, serving what one may call my "apprenticeship" at the modern teaching; therefore I am able to testify that not a word was said there which the most strict and severe judge, if honorable, could call law-breaking. No incitement to violent methods, no insults against the priests. Nothing, absolutely nothing which was not perfectly within the limits of justice and truth. . . .
The Jesuits, the Catalonian capitalists of the "Liga." Maura and his friends, I am almost sure know as well as I what kind of instruction was given in the schools which caused the murder of the noble founder and supporter; but they were anxious to crush Ferrer at any cost, because his scliools might destroy the power of that black confederation of tyrants. Therefore they were, and are, trying to confound the educationist Ferrer with the "Apaches" who have been given the very much caluminated name of Anarchist.
Truth will shine some day, and those who now approve the murder of Ferrer, because they did not know him personally or his work, will be the first to render homage to this martyr of modern civilization. The man whose death can cause tears even to those who only knew him by his work and good deeds, and can arouse an almost international protest against the murderers, certainly was not an "Apache."
Rest in peace, beloved friend ; thy memory will always live in my heart and in the hearts of all those who in any way fight for freedom. --- From London Freedom.
FERRER'S EARLY LIFE
Translated From the French of G. Normandy and E. Lesueur By Helen Tufts Bailie.
FRANCISCO FERRER was born, in 1859, at Alella (not Abella, as it has been so often misprinted), a village eighteen miles from Barcelona. He belonged to a family of vine-dressers, tenant-farmers, in rather easy circumstances. He received a strict Catholic education. His first years were passed quietly among the vines, where he worked during the week, and on Sunday at church, whither he accompanied his grandmother.
Of unusual intelligence and independent and vigorous character, he chafed under the severe discipline of work in the field. He completed his education alone, as well as he could, and was very soon at variance with his parents, who were peasants and rigidly conservative. In 1879, at the age of twenty, he announced himself a Republican, with such candor and enthusiasm that he was obliged to leave the vineyards of Alella and the paternal roof. Fate befriended him. He became a railroad inspector, a satisfactory post to a young man of his age, assuring him freedom from mental and material worry. But Ferrer's character forbade his thus sinking into an unruffled egoism. He regarded his employment simply as a necessary means for providing him with subsistence, thanks to which he could the better labor for the triumph of that ideal which he ever bore within his soul, and from the first he mingled actively in political life.
He took part in the insurrectionary attempt of Santa-Coloma de Fames, and followed the movement directed by General Villacampa, after the failure of which he took refuge in Paris. There he became secretary to Ruiz Zorilla, leader of the Spanish Republican party (1834- 1895), Zorilla could not pay for Francisco's work, and he had to cast about for means of livelihood. With the courage which never forsook him, whether he faced material difficulties or the storm of bullets that ended his life, he engaged in various undertakings, among other things becoming a dealer in wines. He even returned to Spain, where for a short time he lived an unsettled life, at Madrid especially. Then he discovered his vocation: he decided to be a teacher.
Very young he had suffered from the want of an education, and so, when he had succeeded in filling the gaps --- through his own indomitable efforts and despite the hostility of his superstitious and illiterate village neighbors, the resistance of his family, and poverty itself in many forms --- he longed to share with his compatriots what he had learned. His kind heart made him an excellent mentor, an educator of the first rank, an apostle of modern scientific instruction.
He could not hope to put his ideas into execution for a long time to come in his own unhappy country. Paris attracted him, and thither he returned, to become a teacher in the Cercle Populaire d'Enseignement Laique, where he very favorably impressed MM. Bourgeois and Ledrain; then in the Association Philotechnique; then in the Grand-Orient, in the Rue Cadet, where he taught every evening through 1897. He also gave private lessons, which afforded him a modest competence.
Little as he had, Ferrer found that he had more than enough for his own wants. So indifferent was he to everything outside the work upon which his mind was concentrated, that during that time he partook of but one meal a day. Some of the habitues of the unpretentious Blond eating-house, in the Rue du Faubourg-Montmartre may still remember their fellow boarder --- a man of medium height, quite vigorous in his manner with glistening, coal-black eyes, a pointed beard, hair brushed straight up -- rather bohemian in aspect. He gave one the impression of mental strength, --- composed inflexible, penetrating. The saving he effected by going without his dinner enabled him to assist countrymen of his who were poorer than he. There were many among the Spanish exiles in Paris who often owed a breakfast to the silent devotion of Ferrer.
Lessons multiplied rapidly, for this last victim of the Jesuits showed himself from the first a teacher of exceptional endowments. His strong voice which retained somethinf of the harsh Catalonian intonation, carried far and carried well. He expressed himself fluently and aptly. The subjects for his lectures were drawn from the works of progressive writers, such as Reclus, whom he admired greatly. and better than any one else he knew how to make his conclusions understood and assimiliated.
He lived at this time in two rooms, at No. 47 Rue Richer, paying a rent of 420 francs ($84) a year. It was there he wrote his highly esteemed work "Espagnol Pratique, which was published by Garnier, and which made him known to a very select French circle. It was through this volume that Mlle. Ernestine Meunier became interested in Ferrer.
It is shameful --- not to use a stronger expression --- how certain individuals with sordid interests and dirty political work to do have sought to stain the memory of the founder of the Modern School. ... One story is that Mme. Ferrer, who was a devout Catholic, left her husband because she could not longer identify herself with a man who was an avowed Freethinker; another, that the sympathetic regard entertained for her teacher by Mlle. Meunier irritated Mme. Ferrer and led to scenes between husband and wife; still another, that she tried to kill him with a pistol, and that he refused to take any legal action. None of these tales can affect Ferrer's reputation. We do know that he and his wife separated according to the French law --- for divorce is forbidden in Spain. And we recall that at the time of the Morral proceedings, in 1907, she desired to testify in favor of her former husband.
FERRER AND MADEMOISELLE MEUNIER
Translated From the French of G. Normandy and E. Lesueur By Helen Tufts Bailie.
M. MEUNIER pére was a modern incarnation of one of those bourgeois heroes dear to the pen of Balzac. This worthy contractor had by his energy and thrift accumulated a fortune in the building trade during the improvement of the city of Paris under Napoleon III. To the day of his death this man's wife and his daughter --- who was to become Ferrer's pupil --- were completely ignorant of the amount of his fortune. They lived very frugally, Mme. Meunier doing the cooking and Mlle. Meunier attending to household duties. When M. Meunier's will was opened the astonished women found that they had inherited over 3,000,000 francs ($600,000).
Mlle. Ernestine Meunier loved music and the modern languages. Both she and her mother had cherished longings to travel. From her childhood the daughter had dreamed of Italy and of Spain. These tastes she could now satisfy.
Mother and daughter rented apartments in the Rue Ventadour. The walls were covered with the portraits of great Italian composers. A harp and two pianos stood ready to the hand of Mlle. Meunier, who became a talented virtuoso and an excellent linguist, and also, to make the description complete, a pious dispenser of charity.
Constant residence in Paris became monotonous. They had ventured timidly upon innovations in their mode of living; it was their longing to travel that shook them out of the rut. One day they left for Italy.
It was while they were staying in Milan that they heard of the outrage in the Rue des Bons-Enfants by the bomb-thrower Henry. This incident and the general perturbation reported by the daily newspapers had such an effect upon them that they determined to remain in Italy for an indefinite time, the charm of their surroundings holding them so effectually that they invested in real estate there. They already owned a great deal --- one lot, it may be noted in passing, being the land then occupied by the Eden Theatre.
The meeting with M. Coppola.
During: these travels an adventure befell them --- only one, but it lasted a long time. They became acquainted with M. Coppola, an excellent man, on whom fortune had not smiled, yet who, with his courageous wife, smiled cheerily out upon the world from the little shop where they sold souvenirs and postcards. What was more natural than that the Coppolas should gossip with their customers? Mme. and M. Coppola became so intimate with Mlle. and Mme. Meunier that the two French travelers, won by the many good qualities of these Italian shopkeepers, soon put honest M. Coppola in charge of the estate they had recently acquired in Milan. Mme. Meunier was so well satisfied with the way in which her agent performed his services that she asked him to take over the management of the whole property belonging to herself and her daughter.
M. Coppola took to the task very seriously. He possessed the full confidence of the two ladies, and he fulfilled his new duties with rare prudence and sagacity. Hitherto, the harshness of his lot had failed to accord him the opportunity to reveal the talents which his noble face and dome-like forehead proclaimed him to possess.
DEATH OF MADAME MEUNIER.
Mme. Meunier died. The daughter, in part carrying out her mother's last wishes, and in part only too glad in her unworldliness to be able to rely upon the services of M. Coppola, begged the latter to continue in the management and administration of her property. But her enthusiasms, both artistic and religious; the noble longings of a timid and reserved woman, her natural generosity, her pious charity, her love for travel and for costly trifles, sometimes led her into such extravagance that M. Coppola, ever sensible of his duty, had to remonstrate with her to prevent the partial destruction of the fortune accumulated by M. Meunier and till then carefully preserved intact.
Mlle. Ernestine, appreciating the wisdom of his reproofs --- which had to be repeated over and over --- but quite unable to curb her impetuosity, felt that she must have at command an independent capital. Without the knowledge of M. Coppola she sold to a religious body some building lots then lying idle which she owned in Paris. This brought her a capital of about 75,000 francs, which she immediately converted into railroad bonds, purposing to use them as she pleased and without incurring reproof --- as she had a perfect right to do.
Meanwhile she was beginning to age. She had had more than one proposal of marriage, but she was con- tent with her comfortable albeit unpretentious mode of life and, ever fearful that she was sought for her wealth rather than for love, she repulsed all suitors. She died unmarried, but unfettered and highly respected, as happy as a lonely woman could be.
When Italy, which she came to know so well, began to lose interest, she turned to Spain --- that chosen land of Catholicism and of art --- and so looked about for a Spanish teacher able to instruct her not only in the language, which she already knew quite well, but more particularly in the literature, the art, and the point of view of the land beyond the Pyrenees. She engaged Ferrer.
THE FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN FERRER AND MLLE. MEUNIER.
It was a long time before the natural reserve between teacher and pupil melted, but as the years passed a friendship sprang up between Mlle. Meunier and her teacher. She was at that time fifty-four years old. Though she had never been able to overcome the defects of her early training, nor entirely to cast off the beliefs of her youth, as a mature woman she was capable of admiring Ferrer and what he stood for. During the conversations they had together, Ferrer opened up new prospects to the marvelling soul of this excellent lady. She was a Catholic when she asked the founder of the Modern School to give her lessons, yet she was a person of independent views, for, in spite of her religion, she was not opposed to Dreyfus, whose case was then filling all minds, and the day she finished Zola's "Labor" she espoused the cause of Dreyfus with that headlong sincerity which was one of the leading traits in her character. Having once taken this stand, which suited perfectly with her aspirations toward the pure and the beautiful, she did not stop.
Frequently she questioned her teacher about the future of Spain. Ferrer, ever faithful to his ideals of education emancipated from clericalism, laid before her his own views upon the possible regeneration of his unhappy country through methods of popular instruction in accordance with modern thought. No one who heard him can fail to recollect the noble pas- sion with which he unfolded his plans --- for whose triumph he has shed his blood --- nor the enthusiasm which possessed him as he predicted the possible and probable results. His constant desire being to found schools in Spain conforming to his ideas, he naturally spoke of this in his talks with Mlle. Meunier, --- as, indeed, he spoke of it perpetually to every one he met. One day his pupil inquired : "To carry out your great idea, M. Ferrer, what sum do you think it would require?" To which Ferrer replied, word for word: "I think that with 12,000 francs a year a model school could be established." And the subject was dropped.
Some time after Mlle. Meunier told Ferrer, with a kindly smile, that she had just made provision for the future of his educational projects by the addition of a new clause to her will --- that she had left him for life an amount which would yield an income of 12,000 francs. This was glorious news indeed to Ferrer.
DEATH OF MLLE. MEUNIER.
Several years passed. In 1901, during a sojourn in the Riviera, at Nice, and at Mentone, Mlle. Meunier was attacked with influenza. She was hurried back to Paris in a very dangerous condition, and died on the 2nd of April.
Then occurred two events, the first of a somewhat comical nature. A horde of relatives more or less dis- tantly connected rose up from every quarter and, after a decent show of mourning, proceeded to claim the property of this kind and wealthy kinswoman. The opening of the will,* which took place on the 11th of April, 1901, soon disillusioned them all, not- withstanding the sudden resurrection of family sentiment and the apparent sincerity of their grief. Mlle. Ernestine Meunier left her fortune deliberately to individuals entirely outside her kindred. Among other bequests, whereby she testified her passion for music, she left a sum for the annual purchase of a harp to be awarded by the Conservatoire to the winner of the first prize in the contests at the end of the year. The one who inherited most was naturally the worthy M. Coppola. Mlle. Meunier's was certainly a royal recognition of valued services. The honest manager declared himself quite satisfied. Nevertheless, he was far less satisfied when he learned, with an astonishment equal to Ferrer's, that instead of bequeathing to the latter the promised life income of 12,000 francs. Mlle. Meunier, by a change in her will unknown to any one, had left her teacher the entire interest in a Maison de Rapport, in Paris, No. 11, Rue des Petits-Ecuries. This property yielded 36,000 francs annually. To Ferrer this was a sudden, overwhelming good fortune. But it was the Modern School that profited by it, rather than its founder.
* This will, written by herself, in French, in a fine, clear hand, covers three sheets of commercial note-paper. It is dated January 21, 1901. It is filed with the deeds of the Notary, Giacomo Galii, in the Registry of Deeds at Milan.
M. Coppola, as might be expected of a business man who knew the value of money and the reprehensible extravagance of theorists, at once undertook to assume control of Francisco Ferrer's inheritance. He very quickly discovered that he had exceeded his rights as administrator and heir, and readily yielded when he found that Mlle. Meunier had shrewdly inserted a codicil to the effect that every beneficiary who attacked her will would be disinherited. So M. Coppola returned to Milan, laden with his good fortune, and there he lives in peace and comfort, the due reward of an energetic, conscientious and honest career.
As to Ferrer, he went back to Barcelona and organized his Modern Schools.
SOME SIDE-LIGHTS ON FERRER'S
By William IIeaford.
Little is known, except to a limited few, of the personality of Ferrer, apart from his work as seen in the full blaze of publicity during a brief period of three and a half years. During that period, dating from May 31, 1906, to October 13, 1909, he sufifered fifteen months of detention in prison, with death by torture, garotte, or shooting hourly awaiting him; he passed through a civil and a military trial for his life; he saw the seizure of his fortune, the wanton destruction of his private estate, the exile and banishment of his colleagues, relatives, and dear ones; and after physical and mental tortures, which alone constituted a purgatory of agony, passed from his vermin-haunted cell amid the scowls of exultant priests to that moat at Montjuich which, for countless generations, will be remembered as the place where the first martyr of Freethought in the twentieth century sacrificed his life for the cause of Rationalist teaching.
The materials for sketching the outlines of Ferrer's personality, as it unfolded itself long before the public with a big "P" knew of the work and worth of the man, are not at present as ample as could be desired. Those who can tell us most of Ferrer as he was in the early days are either to-day in the grip of a great bereavement, or reticent for fear of creating a new idol for the worship of the curious many.
"I CANNOT CONCEIVE LIFE WITHOUT PROPAGANDA."
Those who, like ourselves, wish to lift the veil that hides in large measure the personality of Ferrer should read the article, dated June 15, 1906, written by Ferrer himself during his incarceration at the Carcel Modelo at Madrid, and published the next day in España Nueva. In that most interesting chapter of autobiography, the full text of which is before me as I write, he tells us that, having been compromised in the rising at Santa Coloma de Fames, but still more on account of his conjugal difficulties (on which I shall presently have new light to shed), he voluntarily emigrated to Paris in 1885, in which city, thanks to the recommendations of D. Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla, he lived as a marchand de vins until the end of 1889. "Having," he says, "more taste for intellectual questions than for commercial matters, I began to give lessons in the Castelan, congratulating myself on my change of profession," which, as he states, was more congenial to his tastes. "I cannot conceive life without propaganda. Wherever I go, in the street, in places of business, in tramways, in the train, with whomsoever comes my way, I have need of propagating something. I have exposed myself to rebuffs, and have received them sometimes; but I cannot help that --- that is to say, I do not want to help it. I prefer to appear indiscreet rather than refrain from a word or an observation which I would consider useful in order to get people into habits of reflection."
In this article Ferrer tells us the romantic story of his relations with one of his pupils, a Catholic lady. Mademoiselle Meunier. As she was convinced of Christianity even to the point of fanaticism, Ferrer deferred speaking to her of religion for more than a year. Thanks to the confidence which his society inspired, and to a certain affinity of tastes on questions of art, travel, and manners generally, he was able at last to seize the opportunity so much desired of broaching the religious question.
As the fortress of conviction which he desired to capture was formidable (as far as possible I am throughout putting into the third person Ferrer's own personal narrative), he could not undertake the assault alone. He accordingly called Volney to his aid, whose "Ruins of Palmyra" he placed in her hands for reading. "Naturally such a book made a breach in the defence, as was only to be expected of any person who, though being a fanatic, was so in good faith."
Such was his anxiety to propagate scientific ideas that when Malvert's work, "Science et Religion," appeared in France he paid out of his own savings for the rights of translation, and committed to his friend Nakens the translating and publishing of the work in Spanish. The first copy of the work, when received from Madrid, was intended for his pupil, already less fanatic than before, but far from being immune from the influence of bigotry, even after reading such a book. This was proved when, a few days afterwards, he received a letter reproaching him for his gift, and terminating his engagement. Shortly afterwards, however, she resumed her lessons, but requested that religion should be tabooed. To this condition he acceded; but (Ferrer adds) "few lessons were given without the disputatious question presenting itself again on the tapis."
At that time, as we shall see later on, Ferrer was a convinced Dreyfusard, active in defending the cause of this earlier victim of the Church. As he says : "I lost pupils, and created enmities. But was there a house where fathers and sons and brothers were not in conflict?" He finally conquered not only Mademoiselle Meuner's hatred of Dreyfus, but most of her lifelong convictions as to religion, except that "from fear" she was unable to relinquish the idea of the world beyond the grave, the other life, the soul, and God.
Shortly after this change occurred she wished to pay a visit to Spain in Ferrer's company. With another lady serving as travelling companion, the three were soon en route for Barcelona, Madrid, Andalucia, etc. The lessons between pupil and professor continued, and so year after year did the pleasure trips during the vacations. We learn that they went once to Portugal and once to England. The final journey was to Italy and Spain, where, on August 24, 1900, he told her that he had no desire to continue living this selfish kind of life, with no higher aim than that of giving mutual satisfaction, "there being so much to do for the benefit of ignorant and suffering humanity. She quite concurred, and offered to do whatever might be proposed."
AT THE CRADLE OF THE ESCUELA MODERNA.
It appears that during these travelling days he had expounded to her his plan of "education based solely on the natural sciences, by means of which the true origin of all things may be explained to the child and the young man." The result was that she approved his plan, and "placed at my disposal the money necessary for such a venture." These material resources were secured to Ferrer by certain dispositions in his favor made in her will. The final paragraph of this glimpse into Ferrer's soul is worth recording:
"What will be most surprising is to know that between the two of us there was nothing more than profound fraternal friendship, based purely on personal sympathy and similitude in our humanitarian sentiments. Not even on New Year's Day did we bestow a kiss on each other --- and that in France where people who most detest each other will on that day exchange kisses. Strange though this may appear, it is pure truth-, and this fact gives me the more strength to exalt and magnify the principles that the Escuela Moderna represents: the preparation for a free and happy humanity, without wars, or other collective or personal dissensions."
Here, apart from the philosopher and the educationalist, we can see the fervid idealist, the active propagandist, fired with enthusiasm for a cause already living in embryo in his brain. No doubt, as he said, he created enemies; but a man of that type is equally certain to gain --- as we know Ferrer did gain --- an ever-widening circle of friends and admirers.
Those were the days when the springs of his greatness ran in unobserved channels. For that reason the student has to dig and delve in scattered regions for the materials for forming an all-round estimate of Ferrer's character. I have been fortunate enough to read two of the earliest and most important of Ferrer's letters, as preserved for us in an Italian translation, which appeared in La Ra- gione. These letters are addressed to Mario Gibelli, and belong to a period (1898) anterior to the foundation of the Escuela Moderna. For that reason they shed new and unsuspected light upon his opinions at that date on the sexual relationship. He writes thus:
"I am not yet married, because it is not possible for me to get a divorce in any country. For all that, my wife and I remain friends and wait."
THE DREYFUS CASE.
In the same letter Ferrer refers to the Dreyfus case, which was then stirring France to its depths, and naturally Ferrer's sympathies were with the victim of the Church:
"Don't talk to me about what is happening to-day in France ! What a tragic teaching it is for us! What a wonderful opportunity for the study of the human soul. Do you remember still all the bad things I told you one day about the Jesuits in particular and of all the religions in general, without, however, omitting mention of the big part of responsibility belonging to the governments? At this moment everything I told you is being verified. Yes, iny dear friend, Captain Dreyfus is innocent --- take my word for it, if you still entertain any doubt on the subject. But the great majority of French people, whose eternal destiny it would seem to be to wax mad always about something --- either about God, or for country, or for the army --- are not yet able to regain their tranquillity and become reasonable. I have frequent and animated discussions with them, but it is like hammering cold iron. However, I do not doubt that the truth will ultimately triumph even if, at the outset, torrents of blood may flow. At the beginning the generous souls, the innocent, and the just will sufifer --- it matters not; sooner or later reason must triumph."
This firm faith in the vindication of truth, this radical, essential optimism of Ferrer's character, never deserted him even when the prison gates had claimed him as victim and death stood visibly before his eyes.
THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR.
The other letter was written shortly after the preceding, while he was journeying over the ocean to Australia, with his two little girls, on a visit to his brother José. The Dreyfus question and his unsatisfied desire for divorce still form in part the subject-matter of his thoughts. He was apparently anxious for Gibelli's opinion as to remarrying. He stated: "I have not succeeded in remarrying because, as a Spaniard, divorce is an impossible release for me. I am going forward with my present bonds, and must wait." But apparently the chief question which preoccupied his mind was the Hispano-American war. According to the letter, as translated Ferrer states that for two years then passed he had been working with all his might with the intention of putting an end to the war with Cuba:
"When the last 60,000 soldiers had been embarked for Cuba, I had proposed the proclamation of the Republic in Spain and the concession to the Cubans of a very large measure of autonomy not differing much from complete independence. The great mass of the Republicans had decided to support my project; but the chiefs --- those dreadful chiefs --- had no desire to compromise themselves. I wasted more than two months in Spain in the hope that some great event would happen, but have had to leave the country disheartened. The Jesuits have thus rendered themselves undisputed masters of our unhappy country."
These letters belong to the final years of the revolutionary stage of Ferrer's life preliminary to the final definitive period into which his educational experiences soon ushered him when, as Naquet tells us, Ferrer had "arrived at the conclusion that the employment of violence is useless; that, despite its apparent swiftness, it is the slowest method in the end."
FERRER'S VIEW OF EDUCATION.
Ferrer never swerved from his firm faith in the curative social efficacy of education as soon as that idea once rooted itself in his mind. In a letter to Mademoiselle Henriette Meyer, dated May 11, 1902, an exact reproduction of which, in the (to me) familiar handwriting of Ferrer, is preserved in the invaluable work cited below, he states:
"It seems to me that to labor at this moment for the abolition of capital punishment or for the general strike without knowing how we shall train up our children is to begin at the wrong end of the stick and waste time.
HOW FAR FERRER WAS AN ANARCHIST.
In the light of documents and declarations like the foregoing, it is preposterous to speak of Ferrer as a firebrand and an incendiary. Unfortunately, there is much mischievous confusion and delusion abroad --- both among Ferrer's friends and foes, but especially and naturally among his foes --- concerning Ferrer's connection with Anarchism. By his foes, it seems to be imagined that it suffices to call a man an Anarchist to leave him to the tender mercies of the base, brutal, and bloody. Luckily, I am in a position to render this service to Ferrer's name and fame --- that I can produce his own authoritative "profession of faith," in which it is made perfectly clear, first, that he in his later years --- in all the years of his educational activities --- had abandoned revolutionary propaganda, and, secondly, that he was totally opposed, in principle and in action, to the doctrine of demolition by dynamite and brute force.
Let me, therefore, conclude this paper with a reference to an article by Ferrer himself in Españna Nueva of November 14, 1906 (a copy of which is before me as I write), entitled "Profession of Faith," in order to render it inexcusable for friend or foe hereafter to say, or pretend, that Ferrer . . . favored the blood-spilling, property-destroying doctrines which are commonly ascribed to Anarchism. Ferrer says:
"All the labor of the prosecution [he is, of course, referring to the 1906 prosecution] has been spent on the task of ascertaining whether or no I am an Anarchist?
"For what reason. What is the motive underlying the inquiry whether or no I am an Anarchist?
"Do they, perhaps, think that the work of the Escuela Moderna would be prejudiced if it should appear that its founder is an Anarchist?
"I made this matter very clear on the day of my arrival at Madrid, during the course of my first examination, on June 6, 1906, when I said: 'I detest all party names, from Anarchist to Carlist, because all of them are obstacles to the educative work undertaken by the Escuela Moderna.'
"Experience has taught me that even as religion divides mankind into sects which hate each other, which fight between themselves, provoking war and making impossible the reign of peace between mankind, so the names with which individuals fighting in the ranks of political parties brand each other are the cause of division, of hatred, and bloodthirsty wars.
"How many times have I seen men holding the same ideas warring in a different party camp!
"How often have I seen people together in the same party who, nevertheless, differed completely in their political and social appreciations !
"The point on which there never has been discord, so far as concerns the people that I have met, is this, that society is badly organized; that it is necessary to find a remedy for the evil from which it suffers; and it is agreed that there is a more or less ardent desire to contribute towards its amelioration.
"Every cultivated person of my acquaintance has agreed with me as to the best means to be employed in order to make men and create strong and good types of humanity, and of these means education and instruction were those most à propos.
"Being convinced of the foregoing principles, I ceased to fight in any political party after the death of the chief of the Progressist Republican party, in order to dedicate all my activity to education, the only solid basis of human regeneration, according to my humble opinion.
"I have always denied before the Magistrate that I was an Anarchist. I made this denial because the idea formed here of an Anarchist is that of a being hungry for blood, the enemy of humanity, and a partisan of evil by means of evil --- and I am none of these things.
"On the contrary, I detest the shedding of blood; I labor for the regeneration of humanity, and I love the good for the good's own sake.
"But if people choose to classify me as an Anarchist because they have read a phrase of mine in which I have spoken of ideas of demolition in men's brains, I will reply that there --- there! in the collection of books and 'Boletines' published by the Escuela Moderna --- will, indeed, be found ideas of demolition. But, understand clearly, these are only ideas of demolition in men's brains --- that is to say, the introduction into the brain of the rational and scientific spirit for the demolition of all prejudice. Does this mean being an Anarchist? If this be so, I declare at the outset that I never knew it; but that, in this case, I should be an Anarchist insofar as Anarchism adopts my ideas of education, of peace, and love, but not to the extent that I would have adopted any of its particular proceedings. . . .
"It is, moreover, absurd to suppose that, holding the faith I hold in the fruits of education in achieving the emancipation of the conscience --- a work to which I dedicate my fortune, my time, and my whole life --- I could dedicate myself to any other task. I am a man full of passion. Wherever I place myself, I put the whole of my being --- and I give it all to educational work for the people, because it is from education that I hope everything." This singular document, in accord with all we know of the opinions of Ferrer in every accessible writing to which his hand and heart were set --- this manifesto in which the whole soul of Ferrer cried out its passionate paean of praise of education --- is dated from the Carcel Modelo, at Madrid, November, 1906. But it is more than a "profession of faith" ; it is a revelation of the man in all his unquenchable idealism, his enthusiastic optimism, and his boundless faith in human nature. --- From the London Literary Guide.
THE BEST BOOKS ON FERRER
The Martyrdom of Ferrer. By Joseph McCabe. Watts & Company,
London. Handled in America by E. C. Walker, 244 West 143d Street, New York.
Francisco Ferrer, His Life and Work. By Rudolf Rocker. The Worker's
Friend Group, 163 Jubilee Street, London, East.
Francisco Ferrer, Sein Leben und Wirken. By Pierre Ramus. Klosterneuburg
b. Wien, Kierlingerstrasse 183 (Niederösterreich).
Ferrer, L'Homme et Son Oeuvre. By G. Normandy
and E. Lesueur. A. Mericant, Paris.
Un Martyr des Pr&ecap;tres; Francisco Ferrer. Schleicher, Paris.
Pour la Revision du Procès Ferrer. By Jean Jacques Kaspar,
avocat &agravae; la Cour de Paris. Schleicher, Paris.
L'Affaire Ferrer devant la Conscience Universelle. By A. Juve de
Buloix. 4 Rue Cassette, Paris.
THE SOCIAL STRUGGLE IN SPAIN
By Hippolyte Havel.
In HIS imortal "Caprichos" the celebrated Goya has left us an unsurpassed characterization of the Spanish rulers. Bold attacks against the whole political and social order, especially against royalty; severe arraingnment of the ruling clericalism, hypocritcal religion and its dogmas; merciless critique of the Inquisition, priestcraft, and superstition; biting satire of the court, nobility, and ministry characterize the great work, --- an ethical panborama of powerful irony alternating with phantastic dreams. In this work the artist is submerged by the free thinker and critical observer of his social and religious surroundings.
A century has passed since Goya has given "Caprichos" to the world Yet the character of Spanish rule has not chnaged. Its spirit is to-day as brutal, bloodthirsty and destructive as a hundred years ago The modern descendants of Torquemada rule not only Spain but the whole Catholic world; one of them, Merry del Val, is carrying out, as the Pope's secretary, the policies of the Holy See. The proverb y á Roma por todos (to Rome for everything still applies in its full sighificance.
Notwithstanding, the world moves. While clerical dommion did not change, the life of the Spanish people has undergone a tremendous transformation, a great spiritual evolution, so much indeed, that to-day we are witnessing a social struggle for emancipation which for determination finds nowhere its equal save in Russia.
Russia and Spain --- the farthest North and South. What contrast, and yet what striking similarity in the political and social aspirations of the two nations. At the same time, what ignorance abroad in regard to both countries.
To the superficial observer modern Spain is like New Russia, terra incognita. The average man of to-day knows Spain only as the land of Inquisition and bull fights; a country which once indeed had mastered the world, produced great artist like Velasquex and Murillo, dramatists like Calderon and Lope de Vega as the im mortal author of Don Quixote de la Mancha, --- a land which to-day is on the road to complete decay. Such works as George Borrow's "Bible in Spain" --- a pitiful translation of a drama by José Echegaray --- or the exhibition of Ignazio Zuloaga, more French than Spanish, and perhaps the latest novel of Maurice Hewlett are about the sole sources of information of the ordinary man. He is entirely unaware of the tremendous struggle carried on in the Iberian peninsula, during the last half century, between the feudal powers and the legions of modernity; that the struggle has given birth to great thinkers, brilliant writers, and powerful organizers; that in the last decades thousands of revolutionists have bravely held aloft the banner of progress, and that innumerable martyrs have laid down their lives on the altar of humanity, and that, finally, Catalonia is the centre of the most intelligent and revolutionary proletariat of Europe --- all this is quite unknown this side of the Pyrenees.
If we acquaint ourselves, however, with the views on modern Spain expressed by well-known investigators, literateurs, and revolutionists like Havelock Ellis, Tarrida del Marmol, Bart Kennedy, Enrico Malatesta, Charles Malato, and others who have personally studied the life and customs of the Spanish people, we shall behold a picture that must fill one with respect and admiration for the intellectual and revolutionary aspirations of the men and women of that underestimated nation.
* * *
No previous economic system has understood so well as capitalism to identify itself with the existing political form of a given country. In republican America it allies itself with corrupt politics; in autocratic Russia with Tsarism; in militaristic Germany with the aristocracy; in Spain with clericalism.
The Socialist movement in Spain, in its essential modern form, dates from the time of the old Internationale. Yet even prior to that period Spain possessed a Socialist movement. The workingmen of Catalonia had already in the 50's of the last century an organization numbering ninety thousand members. At the forcible dissolution of the organization by General Zapatero, in 1855, about fifty thousand workmen quit their factories, thus initiating the first General Strike in Europe.
In no countrd did the Internationale gain a firmer foothold than in Spain, where all the members of this revolutionary body held Anarchist views. The social uprisings of the 70's, in which Michael Bakunin played such a prominent part, are a matter of history.
With the spread of the revolutionary labor movement, repression on the part of the masters grew ever more inhumane and tyrannous in proportion to the greater energy displayed in the war against the capitalist régime. The names of Mano Negra, Alcala del Valle, and Montjuich are written in letters of fire in the martyrology of the Spanish proletariat.
Now, what happened in the summer of 1909 in Barcelona? The international stock gamblers were preparing for new pillage, namely in the Riff district, situated in the Spanish sphere of influence in Morocco. The natives resisted, rising in the defence of their fatherland. The camarilla in Madrid, participant in the intended capitalist robbery, arranged a campaign against the rebellious natives. Mobilization orders called out the reservists, consisting exclusively of workingmen and poor peasants unable to buy their freedom from active military service, as do the sons of the rich. Not satisfied merely to exploit the people at home, the rulers of Spain were planning to use them as cannon fodder. Heartbreaking scenes were witnessed when the Catalonian reservists gathered in the port of Barcelona preparing to be shipped to Africa. Old parents sobbed for their luckless children about to be sent to certain death; women cried over the loss of their husbands, and poor children faced the miserable fate of poor orphans. Many reservists refused to go aboard, and numerous riots followed.
Witnessing these terrible scenes, the organized workmen of Barcelona became aroused. They decided to do what the so-called friends of peace à la Carnegie failed to do, too mindful of their financial interests. The Solidaridad Obrera, the revolutionary federation of the trade unions of Barcelona, called a special meeting of its delegates to consider the situation, with a view of organizing a national protest against the war. The Governor of Barcelona prohibited the meeting. That happened on the 23d of July. Three days later a spontaneous General Strike broke out in Barcelona and other Catalonian cities. The industrial life of that large province suddenly came to a standstill. The railroads ceased operations, and the postal and telegraph service was suspended.
Had the Catalonian uprising received sufficient aid from the workers of the other provinces, the result would have been different. Unfortunately, however, the labor bodies of those districts are under the influence of parliamentary Socialists, who lacked the courage to advise their followers to join the General Strike. Still, the real purpose of that revolt was achieved. The government was paralyzed, and the embarkment of the troops could not take place at Barcelona.
The rage of the authorities transcended all description. They bent all their energies to master the situation, employing toward that end the usual governmental methods of slaughter. The result is well known. But though the popular uprising was thus mercilessly strangled, the General Strike had achieved its aim: the mobilization of reservists had to cease.
The camarilla at Madrid could not forgive the Catalonians this significant defeat. It thirsted for revenge. The terrible scenes that followed the Paris Commune were now to be repeated in Spain. About fifteen thousand persons --- men, women, and children --- were arrested in Barcelona, Mataró, Manresa, Sabadell, Gerone, and Anglés; among the prisoners were the most prominent labor leaders and many veterans of the revolutionary movement, like Anselmo Lorenzo, Christobal Litran, as well as Francisco Ferrer, the founder of Escuclas Modernas.
* * *
No other country, except possibly Russia, possesses a greater percentage of illiteracy than Spain. Among its seventeen million inhabitants only five milion are able to read or write. In most of the government schools priests and nuns are the instructors; the lay teachers are sworn to defend and support the Catholic Church. The first attempt to broaden the scope of popular education was made in the 70's of the last century by the free-thinkers and republicans. They organized a number of secular schools in various parts of Spain --- chiefly in Catalonia --- financing them in spite of their poverty and in the face of of great opposition and persecution. In 1883 these schools became federated into one organization, under the general supervision of Bartolomeo Gabarro, a former priest. But the new body failed to surmount the difficulties of the situation, with the result that it soon became disintegrated, owing to governmental persecution on the one hand, lack of means and proper methods of instruction, on the other.
The factor which brought new life into the educational movement of Spain was Francisco Ferrer. . . . --- From Mother Earth.
THE HISTORY OF THE MODERN SCHOOLS
By William Heaford.
FROM its own point of view --- that of the bigot morbidly afraid of Freethought --- the Spanish Government was guided by a sure instinct in attempcing to suppress the schools founded by Francisco Ferrer. The Escuela Moderna sprang Minerva-like from the fertile brain of one man, and the destruction of that man --- by fair means or foul --- would preserve intact the faith of Catholic Spain, at least for another generation. But the work initiated by Ferrer had rooted itself in the very fibres of the Spanish democracy, and its activities had become an invaluable asset of Freethought in its wider international implications. It thus happened that the prosecution of Ferrer ministered to the success of the pedagogic purposes which the founder of the Escuela Moderna had in view. From the Carcel Modelo itself, where already he had been incarcerated for more than seven months, Ferrer, with absolute indifference to his fate, but watchful of the interests of the schools, wrote to me in the following terms: "Everybody thinks I am bound to be acquitted, but Becerra del Toro (the Public Prosecutor) declares that he wants my head, because he believes I must have been acquainted with Morral's intentions. Who can say which will conquer: the truth or Becerra del Toro with his Jesuits? In the meantime I do not complain, because the longer I remain in prison the stronger will grow the movement in favor of the Escuela Moderna; and I prefer that it should be so." In the same letter (it is dated February 10, 1907) he told me that every day he was encouraged by receiving, fresh demands for professors, and renewed orders for books, from the founders of the new schools everywhere springing into existence. Amid the educational darkness fostered by a bull-fighting, bigoted Government, Ferrer was a light shining in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended the necessity of extinguishing the new light. The bigots failed, and their failure revealed the sombre blackness of the school problem in Spain when left for settlement in the hands of a regime controlled by priests and wire-pulled by reactionaries.
The horrible condition of affairs which Ferrer sought to remedy, and which called for the installation of happy, hygienic, and ethical centres of child-culture of the type of the Escuela Moderna, may be gathered from the terrifying picture which a Spanish educational organ, Le Escuela Española, presents of the dilapidated and disgraceful state of public education in Spain when abandoned to priestly tutelage. It appears that in July, 1907, there were in Spain 24,000 defective Governmental schools, "without light and without ventilation --- dens of death, ignorance, and bad training." Every year fifty thousand children die, it is stated, from the diseases contracted in these non-hygienic schools, and 250,000 grow up injured in health owing to confinement in these cages. Besides this, 480,000 boys and girls wander about the streets without schooling and exposed to habits fatal to the child's best interests and those of the community. No less than 30,000 blind, consisting of children and young people, 37,000 deaf mutes, 67,000 sufferers from mental diseases, and 45,000 morally deformed either from physical or psychological causes, are living in the most absolute state of neglect for want of educational institutions for their treatment and relief. To worsen all this there are some 24,000 elementary schoolmasters so wretchedly ill-paid that in the majority of places their salaries are inferior to the earnings of an ordinary day laborer. The number of illiterates in Spain amounts to ten millions. Fiity thousand of the conscripts who annually swell the military ranks are unable to read or write. The contemplation of this picture fixed in Ferrer's mind the resolve to implant the Escuela Moderna as a challenge and an example to a supine and superstitious Government. How well he succeeded we shall presently see.
The Escuela Moderna was started at Barcelona in May, 1901, It soon absorbed and remodelled a number of the schools established in Catalonia and elsewhere in Spain; so that already in the fourth year of its existence forty schools have copied its methods and adopted its textbooks. At the same period its influence had begun to penetrate in other lands. For example, at San Paulo, in Brazil, at Lausanne (Switzerland), and at Amsterdam, the books published by Ferrer were adopted by the schools in those places started on the principles of the Escuela Moderna. When the cataclysm of May, 1906, occurred, about fifty schools were actually in existence. Owing to Governmental persecutions about a dozen of these institutions were suppressed, consisting principally of the weaker schools on Ferrer's list; but newer and stronger institutions sprang, phoenix-like, from their ashes. One of the most notable of these was the Nueva Humanidad at Valencia, founded during Ferrer's incarceration as the result of the enthusiastic labors of Professor Samuel Torner. The school, which in December, 1907, had 150 scholars of both sexes and a list of forty fresh candidates for admission --- since admitted on the installation of new and larger premises during the past year --- was furnished with all the latest requisites of modern hygiene and pedagogy. The school was enriched with an ample collection of specimens in botany, mineralogy, physiology, physics, etc., specially obtained from Paris; and provision was made that each scholar should work at his or her separate desk. The system here, as in the other schools, was that of co-education of the sexes, and excellent results have been realized by the adoption of the system. At Valencia, as at Barcelona and elsewhere, the parents were participants with their children in the beneficent work of education provided by the school; courses of Sunday lectures by university professors on hygiene, and various other branches of science, being organized for both young and old. Furthermore, the experiment at Valencia induced twelve non-Governmental schools to bring themselves into line with the methods and principles of the school. Further, Professor Torner issued on behalf of the school a high-class illustrated monthly review of twelve full quarto pages, called after the school itself, Humanidad Nueva, which enjoys a circulation of 3,000 copies.
I have before me a full list of about fifty schools dating back six months prior to the prosecution. Later particulars, furnished me by the late co-editor of the Boletin, Señor Colominas Maseras, indicate that some fifty additional schools had already been founded up to February, 1908, and that most of them were in a flourishing condition. The statistics of ten schools alone in Barcelona show a school-roll of 1,000 pupils, in addition to the school at the Casa del Pueblo, with its 100 pupils, three professors, and modern equipment.
In anticipation of a possibly renewed attempt upon the life of the Escuela Moderna and upon the very existence of Rationalist education in Spain, an "International League for Promoting the Rationalist Education of Children" was formed, with Ferrer as its president and Professor Haeckel as one of its vice-presidents. The League had the support of a number of well-known Rationalists, including Prince Kropotkin, Professor Sergi, and Alfred Naquet. In order to widen the interest in Rationalist education the League issued a weekly eighteen-paged review (in French), edited by Ferrer himself --- L'Ecole Rénovée. A special monthly edition was issued in Spanish from Barcelona, and in Italy a review on similar lines in aid of the same general movement --- La Scuola laica --- was also published. The object of the League and of the foregoing reviews expressive of its principal aim was to discuss the general ideas concerning the physical, intellectual, and moral education of children on the lines indicated by modern science; to study the child and the development of its faculties both from the physiological and psychological side; and to elaborate a rational plan of education that shall seek to coordinate the physical and intellectual organization of the school. The Ecole Rénovée was the international extension of the work of the Escuela Moderna of Barcelona, and national committees for the purpose of implanting its principles in the school life of other lands are proposed to be formed. Already at Paris, Brussels, and Frankfurt national committees have been launched, with a number of eminent educationalists and scientists at the head. Among these figures Professor Haeckel, who, in addition to his Vice-Presidentship of the International Committee, gladly accepted the Presidentship of the German section formed at Frankfurt. The Escuela Moderna and the League received support from a totally unexpected source --- viz., from the authorities of the Independent Church in the Philippines. The Chief Bishop, writing to Ferrer from Manila, under date of March l0th, 1909, states that, "having received the magnificent works" edited by the Escuela Moderna, "the Supreme Council of our Bishops, composed of twenty-four Prelates," and the Chief Bishop Gregorio Aglipay himself, has adopted some six or seven of its publications as text-books in the seminaries and schools controlled by the Church, merely "rectifying or explaining the atheistic or irreligious tendencies" of the works named. The full text of this remarkable letter is publishd in the Boletin for June 1, 1909. Verily, Ferrer has not striven in vain. --- From the London Literary Guide.
ELISÉE RECLUS'S "MAN AND THE EARTH" ---
ONE OF THE GREAT TEXT-BOOKS OF THE
ELISÉE RECLUS has been described as the most generally respected Anarchist of the nineteenth century. He was admired by persons of all parties and all creeds. He lived a life so simple that it bordered on asceticism. He was a great scholar, and the master of a style which has been compared with that of the great naturalist, Buffon.
His two masterpieces were "La Géographic Universelle," a colossal work of nineteen quarto volumes, and "L'Homme et la Terre" (Man and the Earth), a history of man, of nations and of races from the beginning through the centuries. The latter work was selected by Ferrer for translation into Spanish, and was used by him, in abbreviated form, in the Modern School.
"L'Homme et la Terre" consists of four grand divisions, four gigantic panels, so to speak, labelled respectively: I. Ancestors. II. Ancient History. III. Modern History. IV. Contemporaneous History. In the fourth of these divisions and, more particularly, in the last chapter, entitled "Progress," the author formulates his philosophy, which has been strengthened by the patient study, during half a century, of millions of facts. He expresses it in terms at once so large and so gentle that only the initiate will recognize therein the philosophy of Anarchism. In this chapter, he fuses, as it were, his works of pure scholarship with his works of propaganda, and harmonizes his ethnography with his humanitarian aspirations. It is a confession of religion (using the term in a broad sense), a message of love and of cheer, couched in the language of reason, of concord and of pity, a veritable hymn of enlightened altruism, of hope and of fraternity.
Elisée Reclus, with all his noble confidence in the future of humanity, is not dazzled by the showiness of modern life. He discerns clearly the seamy life of contemporaneous civilization. Several epochs of the past, he points out, have produced individuals --- geniuses --- unsurpassed in modern times and in all likelihood unsurpassable. Furthermore, in the history of humanity, several primitive tribes (styled "barbarous" because they were inferior to us in their intellectual comprehension) have approached closely the ideal of mutual help and mutual love. Simple in their social organization, naïve in their general conception of the universe, they have achieved a state of serene justice, of well-being and of happiness far surpassing anything that has been achieved in the same line by the most advanced of our so-called civilized societies. Our present vaunted civilization, Reclus argues, is merely a semi-civilization, because only a minority enjoy all its benefits. The development of industry has created a proletariat, the development of commerce has corrupted or exterminated whole races of aborigines. The modern laborers are totally devoid of personality; all have the same faces, livid from their youth up, the same stolid, expressionless gaze. The slums of our cities are more repulsive than anything to be found among the so-called savage tribes. Hundreds of thousands, millions probably, beg bread at the doors of churches and barracks. Accidents, diseases, deformities and congenital defects of every sort, complicated more often than not by the random application of bogus remedies, aggravated by poverty, by the lack of indispensable care, by the absence of gaiety and of hope, produce decrepitude long before the normal period of old age. The success of some involves the failure of others in contemporaneous society and in all the countries called civilized. The moral abyss between the manner of life of the privileged and of the pariahs has widened. The unfortunate have become more unfortunate, because their physical sufferings have been irritated by hatred and envy and because their destitution has been aggravated by the consciousness of forced abstinences. The rate of suicides has been increasing steadily for decades.
On the other hand, Reclus continues, modern society, however much it may suffer by comparison at certain points with the best of the primitive or ancient communities, is the result of a remarkable transformation from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous, from the rudimentary to the highly organic, from the simple to the complex --- an avatar analogous to that by which a seed becomes a tree, an egg an animal. "It is, then," to employ the exact language of the author, "by the greater complexity of the elements of which it is composed that modern society can claim to have advanced beyond the societies which preceded it; it has more amplitude, has constituted itself into a richer organism by the successive assimilation of juxtaposed organisms." Furthermore --- and this is of equal importance --- this transformation has gradually become a self-conscious operation. Pure instinct belongs to the remote past. Evolution is now self-conscious evolution. If modern society, to pursue the argument, is to prove itself really superior, ethically speaking, it must win back the lost virtues of the best of the primitive peoples without sacrificing its complexity. It must gather up all the energies which have been scattered by the lapse of ages and also prevent the diminution of materials and forces in the present. It must focus and harmonize within itself, as it were, the results of the labor and the thought of all the ages and the results of the labor and thought of to-day.
Reclus thinks that modern society should show the same determination to provide all its members with an abundance of bread (a condition realized by many primitive communities) as it does to provide all its members with instruction; and this reign of plenty, he says, can no longer be regarded as an impossible dream, since it has been conclusively demonstrated that the resources of the earth would be more than sufficient for all its inhabitants if accord instead of competition presided over their distribution.
It is another of the primal duties of modern society, he holds, to endeavor to restore the sane ethical code which dominated the best of these same primitive communities. For this task Christianity has proved to be totally unfit. The pagan philosophers are helpful, but they are not sufificient. "The writers of antiquity," remarks Rcclus in this connection, "have bequeathed us admirable treatises of ethics and of philosophy for the education of the man who knows how to seek wisdom and at the same time happiness in governing his passions, in steadying his character, in elevating his ideas, in restricting his needs. The words of Lucretius, of Zeno, of Epictetus, of Seneca, of Horace even, are immortal words which will be repeated from age to age and which will help to exalt the human ideal and the value of indi- viduals. But the task of to-day is no longer this purely personal acquisition of stoical heroism; the task of to-day is to conquer for society as a whole, by education and by solidarity, that which the ancestors sought for the individual alone."
Again, if it be true (as seems to be established) that the average man of the primitive or ancient peoples surpassed the average man of our day in force, in agility, in bodily health, in beauty of visage, modern society must look to it that we equal these peoples in this respect.
All these things, Reclus claims, are possible. This ideal of reacquiring the qualities of the ancestors, without losing the modern qualities, is perfectly realizable. It is not a chimera. The force of comprehension, the increased capacity of the modern man, which permits him to reconquer the past of the savage and to fuse it with his most refined ideas, will eventuate in a definitive and normal reconquest on condition that the new man embraces all other men, all the men of all countries and of all times in one and the same ensemble; on condition, in other words, that he substitute accord for existence in place of struggle for existence. To quote again:
"Humanity has already made much real progress in this direction. It would be absurd to deny it. What is called the incoming tide of democracy is nothing more nor less than the increasing sentiment of equality between the members of the different castes, erstwhile adversaries. Beneath the thousand shifting appearances of the surface, this work is being accomplished in the depths of the nations, thanks to the increasing knowledge which man is acquiring of himself and of his fellows. More and more, we succeed in discovering the fundamental matters in which we resemble one another, in disengaging ourselves from the thicket of superficial opinions which have kept us separated."
A transformation analogous to that which is going on within communities and within nations is going on in the relations between nations.
"In our time the various ethnical groups are so penetrated with the idea of the unity of humanity that they are rendered immune, so to speak, against the decadence and against the death to which peoples were formerly liable. . . . True, political trespassings, akin to the trespassings of the sea upon the shore, will occur upon the frontiers of states and these frontiers themselves will disappear in many places, in anticipation of the day when they shall disappear altogether: divers geographical names will be effaced from the maps, but this will not prevent the peoples included in the domain of modern civilization from participating in the material, intellectual and moral progress of one another. They are in the period of mutual help, and, even when they collide in bloody shocks, they do not cease to share the results of the common endeavor. . . . France and Germany seem like rivals and enemies, it is true, but, at bottom, most intimate friends, since they are toiling strenuously together at the general work which is bound to profit all men. Already, a historical period has merited the appellation of 'Humanism,' because it united all the men polished by the study of the Greek and Latin past in the common enjoyment of lofty thoughts expressed in beautiful languages. How much more is our epoch entitled to an analogous appellation, since it associates in a solidaire group not only a confraternity of the erudite, but entire nations, issuing from the most diverse races and peopling the extremities of the globe! In reality, all the nations, including those which call themselves enemies, constitute, in spite of their chiefs and in spite of the survival of hatreds, only one nation, the local progresses of which react upon the whole and constitute general progress. Those whom the unknown philosopher of the eighteenth century called 'the men of desire,' that is to say those who yearn for the good and who labor to realize it, are already numerous enough, active enough and harmonious enough to guarantee that their work of progress will prevail over the elements of retrogression and of disintegration produced by the hatreds that remain. . . . The great fatherland has expanded to the very antipodes, and it is because it is conscious of itself that it feels the necessity of giving itself a common tongue."
If Elisée Reclus has discarded revealed religion, he has not been able to discard the religious temperament which he inherited from his father, who was a worthy Protestant pastor in the Gironde. A mighty faith, which it is worse than idle for him to attempt to disguise under a scientific terminology, informs his farewell message to the world. The concluding words of this message are these:
"Happiness, then, as we understand it, is not simple personal pleasure. It is individual, of course, in the sense that 'each one is the artisan of his own happiness,' but it is true, real, profound, complete, only in extending itself to all humanity. It may well be that sorrows, accidents, diseases, death even, cannot be escaped; but man, by associating himself with man for a work of which he comprehends the significance and of which he knows the effect, possesses the certainty of helping to direct toward the best the great human body of which his own individual cell is only an infinitely small part --- a millionth part of a millionth part, if one counts past generations and not merely the actual inhabitants of the earth enumerated by the censuses. It is not such or such a standard of personal and collective existence which constitutes happiness; it is the consciousness of advancing toward a definite goal, a goal desired and partially created by the will. Thus the will of man constructs and re-constructs the world. To make the most of the continents, the seas and the enveloping atmosphere, to cultivate our terrestrial garden and so regulate environment as to favor each individual life of plant, of animal and of man, to acquire a definitive consciousness of the solidarity of our humanity with itself and with the planet, to embrace in a single view our origins, our present, our immediate aims, our remote destiny, this it is which constitutes genuine happiness and genuine development. All resistance to this ideal will yield, and even yield without a struggle. The day will come when evolution and revolution, succeeding each other immediately --- from the desire to the deed and from the idea to the realization --- will mingle and be fused in one and the same phenomenon.
"However short our lives may be as compared with the slow evolutions of humanity, several among us will assist perhaps at these great changes, and all of us, with a little attention, may decipher the fore-running signs."
OTHER TEXT-BOOKS OF THE MODERN SCHOOL.
RÉSUMÉ OF SPANISH HISTORY. Bv Nicholas Estévanez.
COMPENDIUM OF UNIVERSAL HISTORY. By Clemencia
THE UNIVERSAL SUBSTANCE. By A. Bloch and Paraf Javal.
SUPER-ORGANIC EVOLUTION. Bv Enrique Lluria.
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. Bv Odon de Buen.
MINERALOLOGY. By Odon de Buen.
FIRST STAGES OF HUMANITY. By Georges Engerrand.
ETHNICAL PSYCHOLOGY. By Charles Letourneau.
A FREE WORLD. Bv Jean Grave.
MIESRY; ITS CAUSE AND CURE. By Leon Martin.
THE BANQUET OF LIFE. By Anselmo Lorenzo.
WAR. Bv Charles Malato.
ANARCHIST MORALITY. By Peter Kropotkin.
PRIMERS FOR CHILDREN.
William Heaford describes one of the most interesting features of the Modern School as follows: "In the first school section --- composed of little children --- the primary elements of literary and scientific knowledge are taught. In this, as in each of the three sections, the class-books adopted and put into the children's hands are those published by the school itself.
"The first reading book is at the same time a speller, a grammar, and an illustrated manual of evolution. By a marvelous feat of exposition which the pedagogues of other countries might well envy and endeavor to imitate, the majestic history of cosmic evolution, from the atom up to the thinking being, is related in language very simple and easily comprehensible to the child.
"A passage from the preface to the second edition is worth quoting:
" 'In publishing this new edition, and in passing in review the results which we have obtained, we are more than satisfied, for our hopes have been more than realized. The teachers' staff is improving, and, as we had foreseen, the children learn to speak, to know, and to think at the same time. They are engraving upon their minds by the two means of observation and of listening not only those conventional things which remain in the memory, but graphic representations of ideas which serve to infuse life into the mechanism of the language.'
"Already, in this section, the children learn habits of observation and reflection upon the physical objects which surround them, including the ordinary phenomena of daily life. Among the subjects of study, grammar, zoology, geometry, geography, physics, and chemistry are found side by side with subjects as widely different as French, solfeggio, manual training, and botany. The manuals upon which this instruction is based were, for the most part, written specially for the school, and with full recognition of the specifically rationalist ptirpose for which it had been foiuided.
"The names of the authors, which comprise, for anthropology, Dr. Engerrand; for evolution, Dr. Letourneau; for geography, physics and mineralogy, Dr. Odon de Buen, will give an idea of the value and authority of the publications which serve as the intellectual basis for the instruction given in the schools."
THE first number of Ferrer's educational monthly, L'Ecole Rénovée, appeared in Brussels in April, 1908. Nine months later the journal was moved to Paris and transformed into a weekly. At Brussels it had remained somewhat philosophic and theoretical, both in its editorials and general tendencies. In Paris it took up more with practical matters. It was not only the organ of rationalist instruction, but it also gave a good deal of space to the syndicalist movement.
Ferrer could not but sympathize with the movement which unites all the functionaries of education for the defense of their material and moral interests and for the perfection of educational methods. He realized that if it was always necessary to establish, in addition to the State public schools, free schools which should be wholly unhampered and should be qualified to serve as models, it was useful that the State authorities themselves should cause the new methods to penetrate into official education. L'Ecole Rénovée was the result of these two endeavors.
Following are the chief passages in the program which appeared in the first Paris number:
"Our starting-point is the principle that each worker should endeavor to obtain technical perfection.
"The duty of every educator conscious of his social role should be the study and the use of the best methods of instruction.
"Now, there are two ways of teaching: One which stultifies the child and may forever rob him of all intellectual curiosity. The other which gives him the taste for knowledge, instils into him love of nature and enthusiasm for life, and withal strengthens his faculties.
"We will investigate and study all ideas, theories, observations, and experiments which tend to further this second way of teaching, which is the only good way.
"We will not consider the reform of the school and its methods merely in the abstract or merely in general principles. We will try to pursue it into the minutest details of application. L'Ecole Rénovée will thus endeavor to be of true use to each in his daily task.
"Whatever the question under discussion, we will try not to forget the practical point of view.
"For instance, we will give the greatest amount of space to the differences that ought to be made between teaching in cities and teaching in the country.
"But, we must hasten to say, all this would not be of much account if we did not at the same time investigate --- this is extremely important --- the material and moral circumstances of the educator which influence his fitness for giving a good education.
"For it is not enough to say to a teacher: 'Go, do this.' You must ask him: 'Can you do it?'
"To every man informed in regard to school matters it is clearly apparent that a public school teacher can do almost nothing unless he has been freed from a triple restraint, the restraint of the administration, the restraint of politics, and the restraint of conventional morality.
"In that way we associate ourselves with our comrades, who, grouped in their syndicats, struggle for their own emancipation,
"The bulletin of the Féderation des Syndicats d'Instituteurs proclaims this motto: 'Be a man, since you are to make men.' That will be our motto also.L'Ecole Rénovée will write in favor of two things: the right of a worker to perfect himself technically and the struggle of union labor.
"As a matter of fact, the two things, in our opinion, are inseparable. Our ideal would be, from now on to form a group of those educators who would be the most conscientious teachers and the least docile functionaries. Our ideal would be to form a group of those men who, in accord with the producers at last become masters of production, would one day organize good schools free from all trammels.
"We may add that L'Ecole Rénovée will not occupy itself solely with education in France, but will carefully keep abreast of everything that has been and will be accomplished for the improvement of schools in other countries.
"We will address not professionals alone, but also the public at large, that the people may occupy themselves with questions in which hitherto they have not been sufficiently interested."
TO FRANCISCO FERRER
By J. William Lloyd.
O Hero of the Unbound Brain!
From thy great heart the bullets tore,
From thy great agony of pain.
There conies to us, forevermore,
The sign of courage, faithfulness
In faee of death to human need;
And tho these hounds thy flesh possess
Thy soul goes sowing Freedom's seed
Eternally. They murdered thee,
But on the black cloud of their shame,
Where all mankind for aye must see,
In blood and fire they ivrote thy name.
THE TRIAL OF FERRER
By Helen Tufts Bailie and Leonard Abbott.
FRANCISCO FERRER was tried by court martial in Barcelona on October 9, 1909. The trial has been fully reported. Not only has the Spanish government published a collection of trial documents, but the newspapers of Europe were represented at the proceedings by reporters. It is from the ofificial documents, as well as from the newspaper reports, that the following facts are set forth.
Imagine a man trapped in the midst of his enemies; confronted with the testimony of a multitude of soldiers, spies and weak-kneed radicals who had turned "State's evidence;" undefended except by an army captain whom he had been compelled to choose at the last moment. This was the plight of Ferrer.
Every influence was hostile to him. The presiding officers who constituted his judge and jury were military men who had themselves taken an active part in suppressing the people's anti-militarist revolt in July. No less than sixty witnesses had been persuaded, or bribed, to testify against him. Many obviously testified to save their own skins, and several were allowed to testify anonymously. Not a single witness was heard on Ferrer's side.
THE OPENING OF THE TRIAL.
Pale from his prison confinement and clad in rough hoodlum cap and clothes which the prison authorities had provided as part of his punishment, Ferrer's first act in court was to apologize for his personal appearance. He was curtly interrupted. The reading of the indictment was called for.
Thereupon the magistrate who had been engaged in collecting evidence against Ferrer pointed out that among the articles seized during the inquiry were documents relating to a proposal for a Spanish Republic, various Masonic writings, letters from Free-thinkers, and documents relating to a universal society of the proletariat. He stated that these articles proved that Ferrer had had dealings with the revolutionary elements for several years past.
DEPOSITION OF THE CHIEF OF POLICE.
The Barcelona Chief of Police was then permitted to make a deposition in writing. "Ferrer," he said, "is an ardent Anarchist, a propagator on a large scale of radical ideas, which he seeks to inculcate in our youth through his Modern Schools. At Paris he was one of the most active agents of the Confederation of Labor. At London he associated with well-known revolutionists and Anarchists."
One phrase in this deposition recalls the charge against Socrates. Ferrer, like the old Greek teacher, was accused of "corrupting the youth." If to inculcate higher ideals and aspirations in the minds of the young is to corrupt them, then Ferrer was guilty; but only then. As to the other accusations of the Chief of Police, one, that Ferrer was an active agent of the well-known French "Confederation of Labor." is entirely false, and the rest are inconsequential. It is no crime to be "an ardent Anarchist;" nor is it a crime to associate with "well-known revolutionists and Anarchists."
THE FORMAL INDICTMENT.
After the deposition of the Chief of Police had been read, the Fiscal, or public prosecutor, proceeded to his formal indictment. By a strange irony of fate, the name of this man was Jesus --- Jesús Maria Rafales. This is what he said:
"We prosecute Francisco Ferrer y Guardia as chief of a military rebellion. To state our charge precisely, we must explain in what sense we use the word chief. By chief we mean the commander, the superior, the head; the one whom the mob seeks and recognizes, who incites and directs the others, who alone raises his voice, proclaims the aim of the rebellion, and finds, apportions, and distributes the means for accomplishing it."
It is well that we have the main charge of the Government so clearly stated. Everyone recognizes now that it was an absolutely untruthful charge. We know positively that Ferrer was not the head or the chief of the July uprising in Barcelona. We know it from his own statements, from the statements of his friends, and --- most important of all --- from the statements of the men who actually planned and led the July revolt, so far as it had any plan or leading. Mario Antonio, delegate of the Socialist group, Moreno, delegate of the Workmen's Federation, and Miranda, delegate of the Anarchists, all three of whom were forced out of Barcelona into France because of their revolutionary activities, agree in stating that Ferrer had nothing whatever to do with the insurrection. Antonio wrote to the Paris Socialist daily, Humanité:
"I have never conversed with Ferrer, have never even seen him. Upon my honor I assert this, and no honest man has the right to doubt my word. I was one of the three members of the Strike Committee at Barcelona, was of the Committee which declared the strike, which took the leadership of the movement and which followed closely its different developments. I affirm that neither I nor any one of the fighters who were in touch with us during the events of that tragic week saw Ferrer participate in the movement."
No more direct or specific statement than this could be conceived. If the object of the court-martial in Barcelona had been to discover the truth, such testimony would have come before it. But no such evidence was heard or desired by the coterie of military officials who tried Francisco Ferrer. Instead, they listened to the irrelevant, rambling and misleading statements of sixty witnesses governmentally inspired.
These witnesses were not heard in court. Their depo- sitions, like that of the Chief of Police, were read. This in itself was a grave injustice, and, it should be added, a grave violation of Spanish law. The Spanish Government must have been conscious of irregularity, for it allowed false reports to be sent out to the newspapers conveying the idea that the witnesses had actually been heard. It was only through dispatches in the London Times that the truth leaked out.
The evidence against Ferrer may be conveniently divided into two parts. The first part bears on his alleged complicity in the Barcelona riots; the second on his alleged insurrectionary activities in the neighboring villages of Masnou and Premia.
Following are some of the stories told by witnesses who tried to prove that Ferrer was one of the leaders of the anti-militarist uprising which broke out in Barcelona on July 26:
TESTIMONY OF THE BARBER DOMENECH.
Domenech, a barber of Masnou --- a Figaro was needed for this tragic drama! --- testified that he accompanied Ferrer across the city of Barcelona. They went to a cafe and met Litran, the manager of the Modern School Publishing House, and others of Ferrer's friends. They all together, according to Domenech, prepared a manifesto appealing to the Government and threatening to let loose the dogs of revolution if it did not disembark the troops bound for Morocco. But the radicals refused to join in this move. Ferrer tried to get Moreno, of the Workmen's Federation, whom he met later, to go to the office of the Republican journal, El Progreso, and make one more attempt to arouse the radicals. Moreno replied that these last named were already compromised. Then he added: "And woe to him who would betray us now, for we should do to them what is done to traitors in Russia."
Such was Domenech's story. Some points he had to retract, but even if the truth of all he said is conceded, what does it signify? Simply this: Ferrer was, in spite of himself, the witness of events in Barcelona. He took an interest in what was going on around him, and made propositions that were not accepted. Certainly that is not the attitude of a leader.
TESTIMONY OF LORENZO ARDID.
Lorenzo Ardid, a Republican, testified that he took coffee at the People's Palace in Barcelona. Ferrer accosted him, and this conversation took place between them, accordinor to Ardid :
"I have something particular to say to you," Ferrer began.
"I'm at your service."
"What do you think of to-day's happenings?"
"I think everything is over. In my opinion it is nothing more than a mere protest, and will not extend beyond Barcelona."
Then Ferrer asked him: "Do you really believe it cannot go any further?"
The witness affirmed energetically, and Ferrer remained silent a long time.
This accusation made such an impression on the public prosecutor that Ardid was brought face to face with the accused --- one of the very few that Ferrer saw throughout the proceedings --- and Ferrer admitted that he had remained silent a long time!
OTHER TESTIMONY BEARING ON BARCELONA.
Francisco de Paule Colldeforas saw on one of the main streets of Barcelona on the evening of July 26 a group of people commanded by an individual. And that individual seemed to him to be Ferrer whom he knew beeause he had seen his photograph.
Two soldiers of the Santiago regiment solemnly deposed that on the evening of the 26th, they told an individual whom they met on the streets to "move on." He was reading a proclamation on the wall, and he retorted angrily: "Can't a man read that?" And that individual was Francisco Ferrer!
There was much more of the same kind of testimony. Soldiers, detectives, the barber, the treacherous Republicans, all had their say. Captain Galceran. Ferrer's defender, summed up their testimony in a neat phrase: "May it please the Court to reflect that this magnificent testimonial proof resolves itself into suppositions based on rumors."
HOW FERRER SPENT JULY 26.
Ferrer wrote to his friend Malato in Paris exactly what he did on July 26:
"The 26th I was surprised, like most of the people, by the general strike. I knew not a word of it before. I went to Barcelona, where I had made an appointment at my office, Cortes 536, with the persons who were to compose the prospectus for the 'Great Revolution,' by Kropotkin, which I was to publish with illustrations and de luxe, like Reclus' 'Man and the Earth.' I had spent the morning at the printer's, at the paper dealer's, in a book shop, and at my office; the afternoon with the stereotyper, with another paper manufacturer, and again at the printer's. At six o'clock I was going to leave for Mongat [the neighboring village where he lived] when I found the gates closed at the station. As I was tired, I went and dined, and then I left for Mongat on foot, where I remained until noon."
TESTIMONY BEARING ON MASNOU AND PREMIA.
Ferrer was accused of inciting the people of Masnou and Premia on the days folloAving the rebellion in Barcelona.
Domenech testified that on July 28, Ferrer came from his home at Mongat to Masnou to be shaved. Then he asked the barber (according to the latter's story) to try to find Juan Puig Ventura Llarch for him. He had not seen Llarch for twenty-five years. Yet he proposed to Llarch that the people of Masnou be aroused. They were entirely too calm, he intimated; they ought to set to work burning convents! Juan Puig's virtue was outraged by this proposition. He was a Republican, and it is not by burning convents that the Republic will be established,
Domenech went on to assert that Llarch accompanied Ferrer to Premia del Mar, and stayed there for two hours.
Nineteen witnesses testified that they saw Llarch walking along the highroad accompanied by a man who, they were told, was Ferrer. Llarch and Ferrer, it was said, had an interview with prominent Republicans in the Republican Fraternity rooms in Premia.
The Republican Mayor of Premia. who had himself been arrested for complicity in the July uprising, testified that "an individual calling himself Ferrer" incited him to rebel.
WHAT FERRER ACTUALLY DID IN MASNOU AND PREMIA.
Ferrer wrote to Malato the following detailed account of his movements in Masnou and Premia:
"On Wednesday, the 28th of July, I went to Masnou, a village two kilometers distant from Mas Germinal [his home] to get shaved, as I was in the habit of doing twice a week. As soon as I reached the barber's, the shop filled up with people to see me, as the rumor was current that I was directing the movement at Barcelona --- a circumstance of which I was not aware. I quickly made those people understand that I had nothing to do with it at all, --- but, on the contrary, was wanting to get news from Barcelona, to learn if the shops were open, as I wanted to go see my book shop as soon as the strike was over. Just then a towboat passed, with some people belonging in Masnou who were coming from Barcelona and who were to land at Premia, a village two kilometers beyond Masnou, they not being allowed to land at Masnou. Then I asked a certain Puig Llarch, --- who had just stated that he had succeeded in calming a crowd that had wanted to go to excess in its demonstration, on which account he had been congratulated by the mayor of Masnou, --- if he cared to go to Premia with me to learn something about the state of things in Barcelona from some of the people just arriving from there. This Llarch is the president of the Republican Committee of Masnou. He accepted, and we went to Premia; but the people had not yet landed, and we returned, he to Masnou, and I to Mongat. Naturally, during the five or ten minutes that we remained in Premia, we were surrounded by a good many persons who asked us for news, and we them, as one does in such circumstances, anywhere. Very well! They want to make a big thing out of this visit, because this Puig of Masnou declared to the authorities that I had proposed to him to further the Barcelona movement and to burn the convent and the church at Masnou --- which is not at all true. Afterward, the Republican mayor of Premia, one Casas, who appears to have been among the people that came around us, comes and declares that I had proposed to him to proclaim the republic at Premia and to burn the convent and the church --- which is also false. The judge confronted me with these two scoundrels, who persisted in what they had said despite my protests in which I reminded them that we had simply exchanged the usual words of the day: 'What is going on? What do you know about, here or there? What are the people saying?'"
DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE AGAINST FERRER.
Ferrer was questioned concerning two violent incendiary circulars alleged to have been found during a search of his house. He disclaimed knowledge of these. The circulars were in fact "found" by the police during a search when competent witnesses --- witnesses required by law --- were not present, and the documents were not mentioned in the search warrant as having been found. No copies of them were ever found elsewhere, though the houses of scores of suspects were ransacked. One of the circulars had three letters changed in ink. Experts stated that these might have been changed by Ferrer's hand. The Fiscal falsified this into a positive declaration that the experts believed Ferrer must have done it. The contents of these two circulars found their way to the public press before they were submitted to the judges, and were reprinted in newspapers far and wide, creating a formidable prejudice against Ferrer. Another document which bore upon Ferrer's beliefs twenty years previous and which had been barred out at the time of Ferrer's trial in 1907, was actually used by the Fiscal in this trial and was received in evidence.
CAPTAIN GALCERAN'S DEFENSE.
Captain Galceran made a heroic effort to save Ferrer's life. He tried to bring into court the whole collection of books used in the Modern School. Having confiscated these, the Government could and did refuse to allow this request. Letters and documents of the most vital consequence, explaining as they did, Ferrer's presence in Barcelona, and other matters bearing on the case, were actually sent to Captain Galceran by Ferrer's friends in France and England, but were "lost" in the Spanish mails. On October 2, Galceran wrote to Madame Soledad Villafranca --- then imprisoned with several of Ferrer's associates in the town of Teruel, asking for an affidavit signed by all of them and setting forth the facts as they knew them concerning Ferrer's movements during the rioting in Barcelona. This letter was four days in reaching Madame Villafranca. The affidavit was prepared and posted immediately (October 7). It should have reached Captain Galceran the next morning. It did not arrive, and was never heard from.
In open court Ferrer's advocate eloquently pleaded for the prisoner's life. He showed that Ferrer's ruin was sought by the corrupt interests menaced by the Modern Schools. He had encountered, he said, in the preparation of his case so much "fraud" and "vile passion" in a single week that he was "completely overwhelmed."
FERRER'S CONCLUDING WORDS.
The animus of the judges and prosecuting officers was by this time so pronounced and violent that Ferrer must have reahzed that nothing could save him. He contented himself, in his concluding speech, with a quiet protestation of innocence. He said:
"With the consent of the presiding officer, let me ask the Court to judge me only upon the facts connected with the events of the last week of July or of the days immediately preceding, during which certain persons incited or prepared the general strike of July 26. If this is done, you must find me innocent, for I had no part whatever in the inciting of that event.
"Let me say also that it would be wholly unjust to condemn me to-day for my political opinions or utterances during the last twenty years of the nineteenth century, with none of which have I ever been officially reproached or called to account for. Nor should my work during the present century in connection with the Modern School be brought up against me; for the publications of that school are either translations of classic authors, whose names are accepted and glorious, or else the work of modern authors of world-wide reputation, of acknowledged wisdom, of humane sentiments. Let me close by affirming that those who criticize the works published by the Modern School either have not read them, or else, as the result of the prejudice which they entertain, are incapable of judging them."
A few hours later the sentence of death was decreed.
So the hideous drama was enacted. So this brave man went to his doom. Francisco Ferrer, the founder of the Modern Schools, was condemned before he was tried.
TWELVE HOURS OF AGONY --- HOW FERRER
AFTER the sentence of death had been decreed, Francisco Ferrer was taken from his cell to the chapel of the Montjuich fortress. The governor of the prison came to him there, accompanied by two black-hooded monks, and informed him that he was to be shot the next morning, and that the orders were to place him in the chapel all night so that he might prepare for his death.
With perfect self-possession Ferrer threw away the cigarette he was smoking, and said, "It is unnecessary to place me in the chapel, for I do not believe in your religion and do not require its ministrations."
But the governor replied that orders must be obeyed, and two warders came forward to robe the condemned man in a long black gown and hood, on the breast of which was a great white cross. He refused to wear it, however, and was allowed to remain in the chapel as he was.
THE NIGHT IN THE CHAPEL.
The six yellow candles on the altar feebly lightened the gloom. The monks at once began to offer Latin prayers, turning every now and then to offer their services to Ferrer, only to be gently waved away.
The prisoner was visited by a Jesuit and by a representative of the Bishop of Barcelona, who spoke to him of the repose of his soul, and begged him to confess.
Ferrer replied, "Leave me to die in peace. I have my ideas and I am as firm in my convictions, as you are in yours. If you wish to argue we will talk, or otherwise you may go."
Ferrer asked to see his counsel. Captain Galceran, and maintained perfect serenity until the latter arrived. Then he was greatly agitated.
He gave a farewell message to his daughters. "Tell them," he said, "that their father dies with a clear conscience and that his only crime is that of trying to break the blackness of superstition and ignorance in which his country is enshrouded."
As his counsel, who was deeply moved, prepared to say farewell, he embraced Ferrer, who at this point broke down and wept violently.
Ferrer next expressed a desire to dictate his last will to a notary ; and they fetched Ricardo Permanyer, who remained with him for more than seven hours. When the lawyer thought he had finished the last clause of this testament, Ferrer suddenly recollected that he had omitted an important clause; and Permanyer was recalled, and the dictation resumed.
Ferrer, who would not kneel down, had to stand up all the time in the chapel where he was obliged to spend the last hours of his life, and all the night he walked up and down with a rapid step in the limited space left to him between the rows of priests and monks telling the beads of their rosaries.
Throughout the night there were signs of sinister preparations in Barcelona. The left side of the city was closely patrolled, and at five in the morning two companies of infantry and two mounted squadrons could be seen defiling in the Colon district. Curious persons or passers-by were compelled to accompany the patrols, in order that they might not spread abroad the news that an execution was approaching.
Later, as the dim light of day entered the chapel window, a priest came in to say mass and to urge Ferrer to make his confession and receive holy communion. He refused firmly.
At last the death bell of the chapel began to toll. It might have been seven o'clock when the inhabitants of the neighborhood saw with a shudder two Brothers of Peace and Charity walking slowly up to Montjuich, carrying with them the coffin for the condemned man.
When, at eight o'clock, General Escrin arrived, who was to command the shooting party, some fifty persons at the most had been able to gain the heights overlooking the moats of Montjuich, and could see the squadrons of cavalry take up their position in the moat of Saint-Eulalie, surrounding the two companies of infantry who were to do the honors and --- shoot.
It was a quarter to nine exactly when they came to apprise Ferrer that he must prepare to march to his death. He had been in the chapel since eight o'clock the previous evening!
He at once declared that he was ready.
But he had to still wait while the castle authorities went carefully through the operation of casting lots. It is thus that priests and soldiers who assist at an execution are selected.
THE WALK TO THE MOAT.
At last all was arranged. The escort formed, and, placed in the middle, Ferrer marched in step with the soldiers.
The chaplain of the castle walked by his side, murmuring no doubt the words of peace and supreme consolation. Ferrer's voice could be heard clearly, begging him to withdraw. But the priest replied that duty commanded him to remain at his post.
"Very well, then," responded Ferrer.
And those two men, so far in spirit from each other, marched side by side, and spoke no more.
The way was long. It was necessary to traverse a vast stretch of the precincts of the castle before reaching a postern which opened on the moat Saint-Eulalie.
At that postern Ferrer was received (an adminisitrative irony!) by the governor of Montjuich, who awaited him as a distinguished guest. He was surrounded by all the other functionaries who were present out of duty or curiosity.
FERRER'S LAST REQUEST.
Ferrer continued to walk forward firmly with head erect. Arriving before the governor, where the escort paused, he looked at him and awaited his questions.
"Have you any last request to make, or any wish to confide to me?" the governor asked.
Ferrer looked him straight in the face and replied: "I only wish, if it is possible, that I may not be forced on my knees and bandaged."
A long colloquy took place among the ofificers. Could he be permitted to die in that way? After an exchange of opinion in undertones, the governor decided the question by granting Ferrer the right to meet his death standing, but it was absolute that his eyes should be bandaged.
"I thank you," Ferrer said.
He was then conducted to the end of the moat, by the wall, near which the infantry were drawn up in lines behind the two rows of the execution party,
"LONG LIVE THE MODERN ---"
Ferrer's hands were tied behind his back; his eyes were bandaged; and he was left alone. At the moment when the commanding officer of the firing party drew his sword, Ferrer cried with a strong voice:
"Aim carefully, my children. It is not your fault. I am innocent. Long live the Modern ---"
The word "School" was lost in the crack of the rifles.
The officer approached him with a doctor. It was seen that Ferrer breathed no longer. Death had been instantaneous.
The prisoner's death being certified, the troops defiled slowly before the corpse, then marched off in order, and disappeared at the angle of the moat.
Then the Brothers of Peace and Charity approached the corpse. The coffin was lifted on four shoulders, and the procession returned along the road to the castle.
THE BURIAL OF FERRER.
It was by a very special favor that the relations of the victim were allowed to be present at his burial. Ferrer remained visible in his open coffin, according to the Spanish custom, until the last moment. The modest coffin of blackened pine was brought down in the night. Ferrer was stretched out in the same gray garments which have been seen in his latest photographs. His head was wrapped in blood-stained bandages, but this sinister turban did not conceal the broken bones and the fragments of his oozing brain. His right cheek-bone was broken in, and an open wound stretched up to his temples. His throat was bleeding a little, and had been stopped up with a handful of chalk. In the middle of his forehead a small orifice revealed the passage of a bullet, which had gone out at the top of his skull. His face was bloodless; but his hands were swollen and black, and added to the sinister horror of the spectacle. When the coffin was lifted for burial, it was noticed that it had been standing in a big pool of blood, and all through the funeral procession the horrible box left traces of its passage along the road. The authorities would not allow burial in a private tomb, and the remains were consigned to the common ditch. The family, however, was permitted to put a stone to indicate where he had been buried. His mother was taken ill during this painful ceremony. It is related that this poor old woman came to the office of the Castle of Montjuich the previous evening asking to see her son, not knowing that he had already been shot. Permission was refused without any explanations being given.
As soon as the outrageous execution was known in Europe, the indignation of the people became boundless.
Two of the radical papers of Paris, L'Humanité and La Guerre Sociale, sent out special editions calling the people to make demonstrations before the Spanish Embassy. The Parisians answered by the thousands. About 20,000 persons were assembled in the Boulevard de Courcelles and the Boulevard Malesherbes. They could not reach the embassy, as it was strongly guarded by a considerable force of police. The great Socialist leader Jaur`es, and other members of Parliament were present. The immense crowd were incessantly shouting: "Long live Ferrer! Death to Alfonso! A bas I'Espagne monarchique! Vive Ferrer! Assassins! Assassins! And from time to time they sang the "Internationale."
By a unanimous vote the Paris Municipal Council has decided to provide for the support of Ferrer's daughters and grandchildren. These latter, however, refused to accept the proffered help. When Trinidad Ferrer heard of her father's doom she indignantly renounced her native country and became naturalized as a French citizen. Paz Ferrer, another of his daughters, who was utterly overcome, issued some heart-broken and vehement defenses of her father. Both were devoted to him.
Over fifty towns and cities in France named streets after him.
The committee of the Rights of Man Society in Paris resolved to raise a statue to his memory.
In many cities of Italy there were general strikes for twenty-four hours or less, as a token of respect. In Rome, the mayor, interpreting the universal feeling, caused to be posted a black-edged manifesto protest- ing against the "barbarous deed."
The municipal council of Genoa adjourned out of respect for Sefior Ferrer.
The municipal officials of Florence decided to re-name the Via Arcivescavado, calling it instead the Via Ferrer.
In Germany the Socialist, Liberal and Conservative press strongly condemned the "brutal deed."
In Brussels a great international committee was formed for the purpose of raising funds for a statue.
Spanish goods were boycotted, and for a time Spanish ships could not be unloaded at luiropean ports.
Radicals in England, the United States, South America and Cuba organized demonstrations of protest. Even Australia, India, Japan and Persia were heard from.
FERRER'S LAST LETTERS FROM PRISON
The last letters of Ferrer, written, respectively, to the Spanish Republican paper. El Pais, to his friends in Paris, Charles Malato and Madame Charles Albert, and to Soledad Villafranca, are given herewith:
Celular Prison, Barcelona,
October 7, 1909.
To the Managing Editor of El Pais.
Dear Sir : --- Though my incoymniinicado'* was withdrawn six days ago, it was not until yesterday that I was
allowed to read the papers --- a thing I had demanded
from the very first. On reading the monstrous falsehoods printed about me, I hasten to address this rectification to you and ask you to do me the great honor of pub-
lishing it in your worthy columns.
* A rule prohibiting a prisoner from any communication with the outer world by personal intercourse or letter.
"IT IS UNTRUE "
I shall begin by declaring it is untrue that I took any part whatsoever, either as leader or otherwise, in the events of the last week in July (there is no charge against me in the documents of my case).
Nevertheless, the Judge has not lost any time trying to find proofs of my culpability. In the first place, he questioned the 3,000 prisoners taken, it seems, from throughout Catalonia, to find out if they knew me or had received any money or orders from me. None could reply in the affirmative.
Very soon after, a detailed investigation was made at Mongat and Premia, where, it is said, I had overthrown everything. The authorities there were questioned, also a number of persons who might be in a position to help justice. They were asked what part I had taken in the events. In the inquiries there is a great deal of talk of an armed band, of shooting, dynamite, an explosion, of a carriage that went back and forth between Mongat and Premia, and of some cyclists who constantly kept carrying Ferrer's orders to the insurgents. Everybody says this, but nobody can swear to the Judge that he saw the armed band, the carriage, the cyclists, or heard the shooting and explosions. All merely repeat that they heard these things spoken of.
Not finding any proof against me, the court ordered a search of my home at Mongat, though two had already been made --- one on August 11 by about twenty police and the guardia ciznl, which lasted twelve hours ; another on August 27 by six police, which lasted three days and two nights. According to disclosures made by the police, the minister sent more than 400 telegrams ordering the latter search, and there will be much to say about it. The last time the court had the search made by two engineering officers and some engineering soldiers, who sounded the walls of the main house and outhouses, and destroyed whatever it seemed necessary to them to destroy. They made plans of the house and explored the water pipes. As on the previous occasions, however, they could find no proof of what they were hunting for.
When the Judge did not know where to discover the proof he wanted, he had the happy idea of calling upon Ugarte, since Ugarte had gone to Barcelona to make an investigation by order of the Government, The attorney of the Supreme Court replied, like the people of Premia, that he had heard that I was the director of the entire movement, and that he was only echoing a rumor general in Barcelona. This was the last step the Judge took.
What do you think of that ?
Is it serious and worthy of Spain?
What will be said of us in view of such facts ?
I should add that I strongly protest against the conduct of the police, which during my trial at Madrid three years ago behaved in an inadmissible fashion, lowering itself to falsify documents in the hope of ruining me. Now it is doing even worse things, which will come to light at the trial.
I also protest against the seizure of my clothes. They have taken everything, from my underdrawers to my hat, and have made me wear wretched things, in which I must appear before the Judge of the private examination and the prison officers. The last time I saw the Judge I asked him in vain for a suit of my own to wear at the trial. He replied that all my effects had been confiscated. I could not even get a few pocket handkerchiefs.
I must also protest against my detention during the month of the incomuiunicado in one of those dungeons called "rigiiroso castigo;' in which the sanitary conditions are so dreadful that if I had not always enjoyed splendid health and did not possess a will which lets me rise above these human ills, I should have died before the incommunicado ended.
I beg every editor, not only Republican and Liberal editors, but also all who rise above political passion and possess a feeling of justice, to reproduce this protest, in order, in a degree, to dispel the vile atmosphere by which I have been encompassed, and so facilitate my lawyer's task with the tribunal that is to try me.
Celular Prison, Barcelona,
October 1, 1909.
To Charles Malato.
Dear Charles. --- The incommunicado in force for a month has just been withdrawn, but I have not been allowed to read a thing yet, not a letter or a paper. Instead of putting me in the department for political offenders, they have put me in a cell for criminals, in which I have been locked up all day without being able to get news of myself to any one at all. It is night now, and it is by the kindness of an employee that I can write to you.
"WHO SET THE RUMOR AFLOAT?"
I will try to tell you about my case. From my letter of August 1O-12 you are aware that I had not the slightest knowledge of the project for a general strike on July 26 to signify the protest against the Moroccan campaign. And I do not know how the rumor could have gotten about that I was the promoter of the strike. Who set the rumor afloat? Was it the Lerrouxist Republicans, because the movement, according to L'Humanite, had its roots in the Workmen's Federation? The Lerrouxists are eager to make it appear that I am their enemy, since, according to them, I protected the Workmen's Federation, which was fighting them.
Was it the clericals, who saw in the strike a fine occa- sion for calling me over the coals again? I think both sides were interested in hurting me. However that may be, I did not take any care in the matter, as I knew I had had no share in the movement and thought I should be let alone. But a member of my family came home one day thoroughly frightened. She had been at Alella and had heard a girl say I had been at Premia engaged in burning a convent at the head of a band of incendiaries. The girl did not give this information second-hand. Not at all. She said it was with her own eyes she had seen me setting fire to the convent. Who is that girl? Is she the servant at a school conducted by monks in Alella (my native village, very near Mongat), or is she the servant of one of the numerous clergy at Alella? This gave me food for thought. You will re- member that no convent at Premia was burned, and that at the time I was not in Premia.
For this reason I prepared to leave my home the next day to go to friends for several days and let the excitement blow over. Several days later I wanted to appear before a Judge who had summoned me, but the friends with whom I was dissuaded me. They told me to wait awhile, since the Judge gave me twenty days' time. But on August 29 I read in the paper that Ugarte, the Attorney-General, who had been at Barcelona to conduct an investigation and had returned to Madrid, had said on leaving the palace after he had read his report that I was the organizer of the revolutionary movement at Barcelona and the coast villages. I could no longer contain myself, and, contrary to my friends' advice, I decided to go to the authorities to protest against the rumors and assertions, no matter how high the source from which they sprang. I left my friends' home the night of August 31 to take the inland railroad. I am not known on that line, and I thought I should be able to reach Barcelona without hindrance and give myself up freely. But I did not reckon with the somaten* of my village. I had to walk twelve kilometers to the railroad station, and on my way there the somatcn arrested me. and despite my entreaties to take me to the Judge who had summoned me, he took me to the Governor of Barcelona. Those peasants, all of whom knew me, were disgustingly savage, especially one of my own age, Bernadas Miralta, with whom I had played as a child. He tied my wrists tight with a rope, and several times he threatened to shoot my brains out, because, he said, I was the wickedest man on earth. So he had heard everywhere, he said, and that is what he had read in the papers.
*The somaten is an armed guard, an institution of the villagers to protect their property against thieves. At need the somaten places himself at the service of reactionary governments in the capacity of a policeman.
They stood guard over me for six hours in the town hall. Once I asked for a drink. I had been talking the whole time. They brought me a botijo of fresh water, but Bernadas would not untie my hands to let me help myself. He offered to pour the water down my mouth himself. I refused, and he had the water taken away. I did not get a drink. I tell you this just to give you an idea of the state of mind of the clericals with regard to me.
"THEY DEPRIVED ME OF ALL MY CLOTHES."
In my interview with the Governor of Barcelona, when I declared my innocence, he replied that the reading of the books of the Modern School might very well have been one of the prime causes of the rebellion. Therefore I was responsible. At the Jefatura of the police I was made to pass through the Bertillon system. Then they deprived me of all my clothes, underwear and all, from my hat to my shoes, and, to the astonishment even of the employees, since it was the first time they had seen such a thing, they gave me newly-bought clothes. The entire outfit cost fourteen francs. Some of it was too small. I couldn't get the waistcoat to button, while the trousers were fifteen centimetres too long. The cap could have done for an Apache Indian. In this disguise I was sent to the Judge and to prison! Two policemen accompanied me in the closed wagon in which I was taken to prison. The wagon jolted so much and so often that the policemen wondered what was the matter. Finally they opened a little window to ask the coachmen why they were going so fast, and where they were going. The coachmen answered that they had been ordered to make a wide detour in order not to meet the workmen who were leaving the factories just then (it was noon). They had also been ordered to drive the horses at a swift trot without stopping for anything.
THE FIRST EXAMINATION.
Now, as to my first examination by the Judge, the Commandant Vicente Llivina y Fernandez. It took place the evening of the day I was arrested, September 1st. He asked me how I had spent the 24th, 25th and 26th of July. I replied that on the 24th and 25th I had not left Mongat, and I told him in detail about my stay in Barcelona on the 26th (just as I wrote about it to you in my letter of August 10-12).* I spoke of my surprise when I learned that a general strike had been declared. Then he asked me to say if I thought the strike and revolt had been managed and led by anybody, and, if so, by whom. I explained what I had read in L'Humanité (the first fortnightly issue in August). I advise you to read it if you haven't as yet. I advised the Judge to read it. The account seems to me to have been written by one of three or four persons who initiated the movement, he so thoroughly explains everything that happened. The Judge then asked me about many more things. I had the impression that he was animated by the spirit by which every Judge should be, by the desire to get at the truth and nothing but the truth. So I said to myself I should not remain in prison long. But the 2d and the 3d and the 4th and the 5th passed, and the Judge did not visit me again. That perplexed me. The 6th came, and I was called to an interview. There was a different Judge, also a commandant, a very correct man, Valerio Raso, in whom I soon detected a Bccerra del Toro of infamous memory. Polite, very gentlemanly, apparently a good man, but too much taken with his office, too inquisitorial in his treatment of the accused. Such qualities make those men forget that they are judges who must seek the truth on all sides, not on one side alone.
* Following is the version of Ferrer's account of the way he spent the 26th of July as it appears in the prosecutor's report : "He declares that after he was acquitted in the case relating to Morral's attempt, he was kept under constant and close surveilance by the police ; which did not trouble him. That he did not leave Mongat either on July 24th or 25th, or four or five days before, but that he did leave it on July 26th, at 8 o'clock, to go to Barcelona, where he had various matters to attend to. That among other things he wanted to find out how much a new work would cost him. That then he went to his office in Barcelona, where he found the engraver awaiting him. That next he left his office and went to all the other places on foot. That he entered the Cafe Suisse intending to lunch there, but did not, because the waiter gave him an unpleasant reception. That he ordered a ])ox with a dress in it for his wife to be sent to the station before ten minutes past six, because he thought he would leave by the 6.10 train. That lie could not leave, the road having been cut off, and that he decided to return to Mongat on foot ; which he did, after having dined. That he reached Mongat at five o'clock in the morning, and did not leave it until July 29 in the morning, when he went to live with some friends, in the hope that the peoples' feelings would have calmed down. For he had heard that a girl of Alella had said that he had put himself at the head of revolutionaries, who had burned a convent at Prcmia. He added that he did not wish to mention the name of the family that had harbored him, and that he had been arrested by the somaten of Alella on the road from Masnon."
EXAMINATION BY A SECOND JUDGE.
Valerio Raso began by having two army physicians examine my body for any traces of a recent bruise, or wound, or scar. He recalled to the physicians their oath to tell the truth, and they went at the examination of me from head to foot with such particularity that if by ill chance I had hurt myself in some way at home, if I had had the least scratch, nothing would have availed me. I should have been shot to death without delay. Since they could find nothing suspicious on my body, they took to searching my head, as if they intended to count my hairs. The same with my hands. They examined each nail, one by one. They were looking to see if my hair or nails had been scorched. That would have been proof that I had been present at the conflagration of the convents. Suppose I had burned myself while smoking or while lighting a fire at home. At the end of the visit the Judge sent me back to my cell.
The new Judge questioned me on the 9th. He asked me if I had been at the People's Palace in Barcelona on the 26th (the Peoples' Palace is the Lerrouxist centre), and at Masnou and Premia on the 26th, and why I had gone there. I told him the truth. He did not seem to attach much importance to this, but paid a good deal of attention to a brief biography of myself which I had sent to Furnemont in 1907 upon his request. Furnemont wanted it for publication in the Almanach of the International Federation of Free Thought issued that year. Since I had previously told the Judge that I took no part in the activity of any political or revolutionary party, but devoted myself solely to a rationalist education, he thought he had caught me in a contradiction, because in my biography I had made revolutionary statements. I showed him his error. I had spoken of my revolutionary ideas in 1885, and had added that now I had faith in nothing but education, etc. Then he laid stress on a letter I wrote to Lerroux in 1889, asking him to become the leader of the Republican movement in Spain. I told him that then I had not yet been entirely cured of active interest in political questions. The next significant thing, in his opinion, was a letter from Estevanez in 1906, answering Morral about a book he had asked for and a receipt for making a certain mortar. I told him all that had been discussed and passed upon at my trial in 1906-1907. The last thing he trumped up was something awful, a revolutionary leaflet that the police had found in my home, a leaflet I had never seen. It looked old. The Judge told me the leaflet had been found in the presence of my brother, my sister-in-law, and Soledad. I told him that if what he said was so, I did not know how the leaflet had gotten into my house, but I could assure him I had never seen it. The writer of the leaflet spoke of burning the convents, wiping the churches out of existence, and destroying the banks and everything else. You see, my friend, that this leaflet was the very thing. If I could have been proved to have been the author of it and to have distributed it myself, as the Judge maintained he knew I had, that would have been all they wanted. I realized they wished at all costs to make me responsible for everything, though I had done absolutely nothing.
FERRER'S PROTEST AGAINST THE LEAFLET.
After the Judge left I had plenty of time to think about that cursed leaflet, for ten days passed before the Judge returned. When I saw him on the 19th, at my second examination, I protested against the presence of that leaflet in my case. I said it was a mistake on the part of the police or the Judge to say that the leaflet had been found in my family's presence. I knew it had not, since the search made at Mongat on August 11 in my family's presence, in the presence of a lieutenant of the guardia civil, and of two persons in authority in the locality, though twelve hours were spent reading all my papers, had brought out only three things which were seized: a letter from Qiarles Albert to my brother, a letter from Anselmo Lorenzo speaking of a loan of 900 pesetas I had made to the Workmen's Federation when it rented its quarters, and a key several years' old belonging to Lerroux. That is to say, they found nothing. The Judge promised me to file my protest, but I have heard nothing about it since.
"HE WENT AWAY LEAVING ME IN GREAT ANGUISH."
The questioning that day, the 19th, turned on the draft of a revolutionary appeal I made in 1892 during the Free Thought Congress at Madrid. The Judge would see in it a great coincidence between what I wrote then and what happened in July, 1909, seventeen years later. It was in vain that I called his attention to the fact that there was no coincidence at all, that the draft had never been printed, and I had not thought of it since. He stuck to his notion, saying he had spent nights until three o'clock in the morning studying the draft word for word and searching for its true meaning. What was I to do? He went away leaving me in great anguish of spirit. I promised myself that at the next examination I should protest with all my might against that desire to find proofs in my past to account for present events. I also made up my mind to protest against the accusations made against me by Lerrouxist Republicans in Masnou and Premia, about which I will tell you immediately. I could not carry out my purpose. To-day the Judge came only to announce that he had finished his report of my case, and that one of these days I should be tried by the military tribunal. He asked me to choose a defender from among the list of officers, none of whom I knew. I protested in vain. I told him I had much to say against the actions of the police, who had offered money to a person that knew me to make her state something against me, and I had much to say about the motives that had impelled the Lerrouxists to declare against me. The Judge allowed me nothing, saying that the military law is not like the civil law. Then all's over! I am going to be tried. Tried (?) some fine day, by men, I greatly fear, whose minds are not sufficiently unprejudiced calmly to judge of the deeds with which I am charged.
Here, according to the Judge, is the serious thing against me:
AT MASNOU AND PREMIA.
On Wednesday, the 28th of July, I went to Masnou, a village two kilometers distant from Mas Germinal, to get shaved, as I was in the habit of doing twice a week. As soon as I reached the barber's the shop filled up with people to see me, as the rumor was current that I was directing the movement at Barcelona --- a circumstance of which I was not aware. I quickly made those people understand that I had nothing to do with it at all, --- but, on the contrary, was wanting to get news from Barcelona, to learn if the shops were open, as I wanted to go see my book shop as soon as the strike was over. Just then a towboat passed with some people belonging in Masnou who were coming from Barcelona and who were to land at Premia, a village two kilometers beyond Masnou, they not being allowed to land at Masnou. Then I asked a certain Puig Llarch, --- who had just stated that he had succeeded in cahning a crowd that had wanted to go to excess in its demonstration, on which account he had been congratulated by the Mayor of Masnou, --- if he cared to go to Premia with me to learn something about the state of things in Barcelona from some of the people just arriving from there. This Llarch is the president of the Republican Committee of Masnou. He accepted, and we went to Premia; but the people had not yet landed, and we returned, he to Masnou and I to Mongat. Naturally, during the five or ten minutes that we remained in Premia, we were surrounded by a good many persons who asked us for news, and we them, as one does in such circumstances anywhere. Very well! They want to make a big thing out of this visit, because this Puig of Masnou declared to the authorities that I had proposed to him to further the Barcelona movement and to burn the convent and the church at Masnou --- which is not at all true. Afterward, the Republican Mayor of Premia, one Casas, who appears to have been among the people that came around us, comes and declares that I had proposed to him to proclaim the republic at Premia and to burn the convent and the church --- which is also false. The Judge confronted me with these two scoun- drels, who persisted in what they had said despite my protests, in which I reminded them that we had simply exchanged the usual words of the day : "What is going on? What do you know about, here or there? What are the people saying?"
I shall continue with my account to-morrow if I can. I am too tired to keep on now. All I shall add is. that the month of the incommunicado was very hard. In an infected place, without air or light and convicts' fare to eat, one must be very strong indeed to have pulled through.
Regards to all, all, all.
October 6, 1909.
To Madame Charles Albert.
Dear Madam Albert: --- Please tell Charles that, as proof of the ill will the Judge or his superiors bear toward me. I have just been told that the Judge withdrew the authorization he gave the prison superintendent to place fifty francs at my disposal for my personal needs --- stamps, writing paper, telegrams, etc. What is more astonishing, he refused to allozv my counsel to present a collection of the works of the Modern School, for which I had asked, that he might he able to account for the bad faith of the clericals in fighting the Modern School. Thus they altogether withdrew my counsel's means of defence.
In yesterday's letter addressed to Mme. L.* I made a list of the papers in my case, in which there is no charge. The Judge searched everywhere, but could find nothing against me. Finally he was obliged to turn for proofs to the Attorney-General, who had said that I was the leader of the rebellion. The Attorney-General, in his turn, was compelled to admit that he had no proofs, but that he had heard people say so.
*This letter never reached its destination.
My counsel is sure of my acquittal so far as the facts are concerned, but he is afraid the court may permit itself to be influenced by the evil atmosphere created about me. Liberty is confined to the reactionary press, which writes against me. As for the liberals, they cannot say a word in my favor. Well, then?
My counsel ought to be helped by the publication of these facts.
With regards to all, F. Ferrer.
As late as October 8th Ferrer assured Soledad in a letter that he would surely be set at liberty. He shared the fate of all idealists --- absolute inability to comprehend the gravity of reality.
"No reason to worry," he wrote in a letter dated October 2nd, "you know I am absolutely innocent. To-day I am particularly hopeful and joyous; it is the first time I can write to you, and the first time since my arrest that I can bathe in the rays of the sun streaming generously through my cell window. You, too, must be joyous: I will be free." Eleven days later he was dead.
Education is always imposing, violating, constraining; the real educator is he who can best protect the child against his (the teacher's) own ideas, his peculiar whims; he who can best appeal to the child's own energies. --- Francisco Ferrer.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FERRER'S DEATH
By Emma Goldman.
NEVER before in the history of the world has one man's death so thoroughly united struggHng mankind.
Never before has one man's death called forth such a universal cry of indignation.
Never before has one man's death so completely torn the veil from the sinister face of the hydra-headed monster, the Catholic Church.
Never before in the history of the world has one man's death so shaken the thrones of the golden calf, and spread ghastly fear among its worshippers.
One solitary death, yet more powerful than a million cringing lives. More powerful even than that black spectre which, for almost two thousand years, has tortured man's soul and poisoned his mind.
Francisco Ferrer stretched in the ditch at Montjuich, his tender, all-too-loving heart silenced by twelve bullets --- yet speaking, speaking in a voice so loud, so clear, so deep. . . . Wherein lies the secret of this wonderful phenomenon?
Francisco Ferrer, the Anarchist and teacher? Yes, but there were other Anarchists and teachers, Louise Michel and Elisée Reclus, for instance, beloved by many. Yet why has their death not proved such a tremendous force?
Francisco Ferrer, the founder of the Modern School? But, then, the Modern School did not originate with Francisco Ferrer, though it was he who carried it to Spain. The father of the Modern School is Paul Robin, the latter-day Dr. Pascal. --- old in years, with the spirit of Spring, tender and loving, he taught modern methods of education long before Ferrer. He organized the first Modern School at Cempuis, near Paris, wherein children found a home, a warm, beautiful atmosphere.
Again, there is Sebastian Faure and his Beehive. He, too. has founded a Modern School, a free, happy, and harmonious place for children. There are scores of modern schools in France, yet no other man's death will act as a fertilizing force as that of Francisco Ferrer.
Was Ferrer's influence so great because of a lifetime of devoted effort? During eight years his heroic spirit strove to spread the light in the dark land of his birth. For eight years he toiled, ceaselessly, to rescue the child from the destructive influence of superstition. One hundred and nine schools with seventy thousand pupils crowned the gigantic efforts of our murdered comrade, while three hundred and eight liberal schools sprang into being, thanks to his beneficial influence. Yet all this and more fails to account for the tremendous volcano that swept the civilized world at Francisco Ferrer's death.
His trial was a farce. The evidence against him perjured. But was there ever a time when the State hesitated to resort to perjury when dealing with opponents? Was there ever a time when it exercised justice toward those who endangered its stronghold? The State is the very embodiment of injustice and perjury. Some make a pretence at fairness: Spain was brazen; that is all.
What, then, is the secret of the phenomenon?
Driven from its omnipotent position of open crime by the world's progress, the Catholic Church had not ceased to be a virulent poison within the social body. Its Borgia methods merely became more hidden, more secret, yet none the less malignant and perfidious. Cowed into apparent submission, it had not dared since the days of Huss and Bruno to openly demand a noble victim's blood. But at last, blinded by arrogance and conceit and the insatiable thirst for martyrs' blood, the Catholic Church forgot the progress of the world, forgot the spirit of our age, forgot the growth of free ideas. As of old, it was the Jesuit hand that stretched forth its bloody fingers to snatch its victim. It was the Archbishop of Barcelona who, in a statement signed by the prelates of the Church, first denounced Ferrer and demanded his life. As of old, Inquisition methods were used in the incarceration and mock trial of Ferrer. No time was to be given the progressive world to check the premeditated murder. Hastily and secretly was the martyr assassinated. Full well the Church knew that the dead cannot be saved.
In vain the frantic efforts of Church and State to connect Francisco Ferrer with the uprising at Barcelona. In vain their delirious cries defaming the character of the dead. In vain the scurrilous attacks of their harlots upon the ideas and comrades of Ferrer --- attacks which have now reached even the American press.
Before the awakened consciousness of mankind the world over the Catholic Church stands condemned as the instigator and perpetrator of the foul crime committed at Montjuich. It is this awakened human consciousness which has resurrected Francisco Ferrer.
Therein lies the secret of the force of one man's death, of one solitary man in the ditch of Montjuich.
THE IMMORTALITY OF FERRER
By W. M. van der Weyde,
Secretary Francisco Ferrer Association.
THE most vital figure, the strongest force and the greatest personality in the world of radicalism to-day is that of the man who at Montjuich calmly "sleeps the sleep that knows no waking."
Until that fateful morn one year ago when Francisco Ferrer, educator, idealist, liberator, stood in the trench behind the gray walls of the Spanish dungeon at Montjuich and faced --- with never a flinch --- the bullets of a company of Spanish soldiers, the world at large knew little of this heroic soul and his noble work in humanity's behalf.
But the shots from the Bourbon rifles were shots whose reverberations were heard 'round the world. Every corner of the universe gave echo to the horrid voice of the muskets. And the rifle blaze that struck Ferrer struck, too, each ardent human heart that beats for truth and liberty.
None who knew of Ferrer and of his work believed for an instant that the conspiracy of church and state in Spain dared kill the great educator on charges that were without foundation, charges that were not only false and mendacious, but that were actually founded on atrocious forgeries.
When the horrible news came to us that the dastardly conspiracy had seen fruition and that Ferrer was murdered, was a corpse in the Montjuich trenches, the world stood aghast --- stunned --- almost unbelieving.
The church and state joined hands in this bloody pact, and Ferrer was slain as a rebuke to progress and civilization. The conspirators were so lacking in any element of foresight as to believe that the killing of the man would effectually put a stop to the Modern School and its work. They gave no thought, apparently, to the fact that an idea cannot be killed --- a thought cannot be annihilated.
Ferrer had an idea, a great idea. It will live forever.
Francisco Ferrer is alive to-day --- very much alive. More alive is he now than was he before his execution. Only the body of the great educator was slain. His spirit will have life everlasting.
Byron, himself a great revolutionary spirit, beautifully expressed this thought in the following words, which might very well have been prophetically written of our twentieth-century martyr :
"They never fail who die
In a great cause: the block may soak their gore;
Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
Be strung to city gates and castle imlls ---
But still their spirit walks abroad. Though years
Elapse, and others share as dark a doom,
They but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts
Which overpower all others, and conduct
The world at last to freedom."
The brutal assassination of Ferrer, far from crushing his work, has given it great stimulus. A dozen American cities are planning Modern Schools on the lines of Ferrer's educational work. In several cities here, among them New York, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City, Ferrer schools have already been started and give promise of great success.
A great revival of radicalism has taken place both here and abroad as a result of the Montjuich tragedy. Every branch of radical thought has been stimulated. Free-thought has received a tremendous impetus the world over.
In Spain (Ferrer's own country) the death knell of the rule of Rome has already been sounded. The nation is openly in revolt against papal authority. There is now an evident determination to oust the clergy and educate the people. All this within one year of the assassination of Ferrer and as a direct consequence of it! Ferrer gladly would have laid down his life for such a result. Rome trembles to-day, and the Pope feels his throne crumbling beneath him.
When the Papacy is but a memory --- a foul-smelling recollection of barbarity and superstition --- the world will be honoring the immortal name of Francisco Ferrer.
The last words of this twentieth-century martyr, an ardent expression of hope that his educational work would long survive, are being fulfilled :
"Long live the Modern School!"
ANATOLE FRANCE'S WARNING
Just previously to the death of Ferrer, Anatole France, the greatest living Frenchman of letters, wrote to Alfred Naquet : "If Francisco Ferrer be condemned, either by a civil or military tribunal, there is not a soul in the wide world that will not insist that his judges were not free agents, that they acted under orders in sacrificing a just man to the hatred of the Party which can never forgive him for having consecrated his life to the education of the young. For everybody knows full well that Ferrer's sole crime consists in this: He founded schools. If he is condemned it will be for this offence."
ALFRED NAQUET'S TRIBUTE
Alfred Naquet, of the Paris Committee of Defence of the Victims of the Spanish Repression, wrote, in The Nineteenth Century, of the Ferrer tragedy as follows: "I do not weep for him ; we are all under sentence of death from the moment of our birth, and to die, like Ferrer, sacrificed for the most exalted sentiments of humanity, is to escape death in order to enter into immortality. Ferrer will live forever enshrined in history like all those who have fallen for the enfranchisement of human thought --- the men like Giordano Bruno, Etienne Dolet, John Huss, and all the martyrs of the Inquisition of which he is the last in order of date, but not in glory."
TRIBUTES OF EMINENT MEN TO FERRER
THE Francisco Ferrer Association wrote several weeks ago to eminent radicals in Europe and America for messages to be published in this brochure on the first anniversary of Ferrer's death. Replies were received from the following:
"I send you an expression of my warmest sympathy with your plan to commemorate the first anniversary of the martyrdom of Francisco Ferrer by a great public meeting on October 13.
"I admire in the great Spanish martyr not only an excellent Freethinker and founder of the Modern Schools, but also one of those heroes of humanity who devote their whole lives and forces to the free development and progress of the human race.
"My late illustrious friend, Professor Ernst Abbe, of Jena, the celebrated founder of the Carl Zeiss Institute at Jena, who was also a talented physicist, monistic philosopher and social reformer, had quite the same ideas and aims as our much-lamented Francisco Ferrer.
"I hope that the commemoration of these venerable benefactors of true humanity and liberators from superstition and clerical tyranny will be of great advantage for the propagation of true natural religion."
Jena, Germany, July, 1910.
"When the dark power of fanaticism kills before our eyes a man for the reason that he honestly and humanely labored for the good of humanity, we are all equally guilty in that murder.
"Is not the work of Ferrer familiar and is it not dear to us all, the work which aims to increase the number of honest and reasoning men in this world?
"Should we not be close to one another, and give support in the moments of dejection and weariness, help in the work, and protect one another in danger? We live solitary lives, divided not by space, but by the absence of an idea that would unite us into a strong army of honest men.
"We are too individualistic ; we esteem one another too little ; we often criticize the work of friends, and so our enemies murder us one by one.
"When one of us is killed we complain and we weep. It is endless.
"We would have done better if we had defended the living, if we had kept up with his activities from day to day, had guessed in advance the danger that could threaten him, and had surrounded him with the close embrace of friendship and esteem."
Capri, Italy, August, 1910.
"I never met Ferrer or came in contact with his work, and can, therefore, say little about him, but I am glad to be allowed to associate myself with the Ferrer commemoration.
"We are told by distinguished Spaniards whose opinion is entitled to respect that Ferrer was by no means a man of great intellectual distinction. It is possible that they are right and that we are scarcely entitled to class him among those supreme teachers with whom he is sometimes grouped.
"But the evidence of those who knew him best seems to show conclusively that he was not only a man of great character, but that he possessed a clear vision of the special needs of his country at the present time. He realized, I take it, that what Spain requires at present is not a violent political revolution, but a sound educational system on non-clerical lines, with, it seems, a stress on the moral side of education.
"Against immense difficulties, Ferrer devoted himself with persistency and success to the establishment of such a system of education. His death was due to his devotion to this cause.
"I think, therefore, that, whatever Ferrer's limitations may have been, he deserves to rank not only among the Spanish heroes who have always known how to die, but also among those great men who by their inspiring example have deserved well of humanity all over the world. He is rightly revered as a martyr."
Carbis Bay, Cornwall, England, August, 1910.
"It is high time indeed that the mass populations of modern lands should be able to look around, take intelligent reckoning of their position, and set about the management of their own affairs --- instead of being kept under, in a state of chronic fear and ignorance, by the threats of armed Property and the incantations of Religion.
"This liberation is already rapidly taking place in America, but in the old countries of Europe it goes slowly. In Spain it has gone very slowly hitherto, but in the future it will move more rapidly; and the death of Ferrer will become the signal of a new era to that country and to the world."
Sheffield, England, August, 1910
"Had the noble Ferrer been killed in any other century than this, he would have been but one of the host of martyrs. But to be killed as he was killed, by a modern state, at the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, is to make his martyrdom not only an anachronism, but a startlingly conspicuous historical event.
"It were as if New England had, in the twentieth century, resumed her ancient practice of burning witches.
"This killing of Ferrer is inconceivable and monstrous. And yet it happened. And we stand aghast and cannot quite believe. We know it did happen, and yet it is too impossible to believe."
Glen Ellen, Cal., September, 1910.
"Capitalism is a hideous thing in all its aspects, and hateful in all the methods by which it seeks to perpetuate itself, but it becomes especially hateful when it employs superstition and bigotry in its aid and seeks to turn the religious instincts of the ignorant people into engines of cruelty and oppression. It is doing that to-day in Russia and in Spain, and it is well that we who live in America should bear in mind that if it does not do so in our country, it is simply because it does not dare to. We have here many millions of ignorant and helpless foreigners who have been its victims abroad. They bring their priests and their ideals with them, and if we preserve the institutions of freedom in America it will only be because we make it our business to free these people from the shackles of superstition and guard against the slightest attempt at the introduction of repression. Such attempts are being made to-day in every part of our country, and this, it seems to me, is the lesson which we have to learn from the martyrdom of Ferrer. The Roman Catholic Church is here, and here, as everywhere in the world, it is the enemy of civilization."
Arden, Del,, September, 1910.
"Heinrich Heine wrote that throughout his life he had been possessed by two passions --- for fair women and for the French Revolution. Francisco Ferrer wrote: 'To love a woman passionately; to have an ideal which I can serve; to have the desire to fight until I win --- what more can I wish or ask?'
"No one but the poet knows the deeper luxury. Many of those men and women we call martyrs are poets about human society. As such, they know the deeper luxury of life. Ferrer was a martyr. He was a martyr because he was a poet of a certain kind. He saw the transcendent beauty of which human nature is capable, and he devoted himself to help us realize that beauty. What life could be more luxurious than this? Devotion to fair women ; devotion to human liberty and free understanding? Is there any greater success than this? How many men are there to-day in this 'successful' country of ours who are as truly successful as Ferrer? Certainly not many, perhaps none."
Spring Lake, New Jersey, September, 1910.
All the value of education rests in respect for the phsyical, intellectual, and moral will of the child. Just as in science no demonstration is possible save by facts, just so there is no real education save that which is exempt from all dogmatism, which leaves to the child itself the direction of its effort, and confines itself to the seconding of that effort. --- Francisco Ferrer.
THE CHILDREN WITHOUT A TEACHER
By Jaime Vidal.
FOR a whole year the poor children of Barcelona have been without their proper teacher; during twelve long months the sons of the workingmen, the sons of poverty, have been in darkest ignorance and in danger of falling into the clutch of the religious teachers, the faker educators, who are in charge of the corrup- tion of the young generation.
The Sons of the Social Revolution are begging for their teacher; the boys of Barcelona are thirsting for knowledge and starving for light and truth. And they ask for their father of the "Escuela Moderna," calling in vain for Francisco Ferrer, the great educator, the brilliant man, so pitilessly assassinated on October 13th for the crime of trying to regenerate the youth of Spain. And the little boys and girls who were so splendidly educated by the immortal Ferrer are lost in despair, crying because of the departure of their generous benefactor and kind teacher.
They cannot read the books of the Modern School any more, nor take delight in beautiful histories and interesting lessons in geography, grammar and arithmetic.
They don't go any more in vacation time with their dear Ferrer to the country to learn the phenomena of nature and science, to see the beauty of the scenery from the high peaks of the Pyrenees.
They don't go any more on Sundays to the Temple of Knowledge to hear the lectures of kindly professors, explaining the laws of nature and the uselessness of wars and exploitation.
The Modern Inquisition succeeded in its plans. It wanted to stop the teaching of the Modern School because it realized that young people were shown there the absurdity of religion, the unjust oppression of the State, the murderousness of militarism, and the illegal exploitation of capitalism.
The Spanish authorities knew that Ferrer was not the type of a popular revolutionist, but they knew he created revolutionists for the future, and he was killed because he was the teacher of the truth, the educator of poor children, not because he took part in the Revokition of July.
How long will these children be without their proper teacher? Has nobody the courage to take up the task of Ferrer?
It is time, comrades, to start in helping the cause for which Ferrer died, and if you want to commemorate with dignity the anniversary of the assassination of the great martyr, you should agitate in behalf of reopening the Modern School in Barcelona, and compelling the restoration of Ferrer's property and books, now confiscated by the Spanish authorities.
This is the real and practical way to honor the memory of the founder of rational teaching and the disseminator of light and wisdom.
The Spanish tyrants are proud and insolent. Their rule is oppressive, and they still control the education of the workingman's child.
The latest news we have from Barcelona is revolting and intolerable. A Barcelona comrade writes as follows:
"I am pleased to know that you are going to commemorate in America the anniversary of the sad event, the horrible assassination of our beloved friend, Francisco Ferrer, and I like to think he will be commemorated throughout the entire world.
"Here in Spain we will do what we can on the tragic date, October 13th, but the repression from the tyrants is so strong and heavy that we can hardly breathe."
Agitate, comrades; raise your voice against the injustice and crimes of the Spanish reaction, compelling, in the name of civilization, the education of the young people in order that Spain may become a country of culture and progress like the rest of the civilized world.
We must show that the innocent blood of Francisco Ferrer is fermenting in strong protest against his assassins, and that we are not going to permit the continuation of the reign of terror and the closure of the Modern School in Barcelona.
Ferrer is dead; his generous ideals are alive and it is our duty to keep them in our hearts, and to work, like him, for the prompt and complete emancipation of humanity.
A TRIBUTE TO FERRER
By G. H. B. Ward.
[Mr. Ward is a Sheffield workingman, a correspondent of The Labour Leader, who took a leading part in the agitation in England which followed Ferrer's death.]
Upon a piece of rising ground on French soil at Cerbere, near to the Spanish frontier, there will soon be laid a pedestal of shaped stone. On it will stand the carved figure of a man, and every Spanish reactionist will grind his teeth and every sunburnt Son of Hope will raise his head and salute the monument of Francisco Ferrer Guardia as he passes by train from Spanish to French soil.
Ferrer died a martyr's death, and for Spain his martyrdom signifies the dawning of a brighter day.
Not to luxury, but to light did he dedicate his life. And we who knew and loved him strove to wrest him from the murderers' hands.
Three years ago Ferrer remained for twelve months untried in a foulsome cell. When liberated at last there came on the wire to some of us his words: "Free. I embrace you." That was on the 12th of June, two years ago, and at half-past one in the morning, and never did I awake to receive a more welcome birthday gift. Soon Ferrer was with us, to the joy of us who knew and loved him. Then back to Spain he went to resume his life's work of educating the tender mind.
Then, Christmas time twelve months ago, in Paris, that blizzard fight on the Montmartre; the friendly gathering in Ferrer's domicile, with much converse on his work; and his kindness to a sufifering friend, who never will forget his timely aid.
And, again, four months ago, when Ferrer was with us for a brief while. "They will kill you," we urged. "Don't go back to Spain." "I must go to my sick ones," he replied. "I must see to my work. Why should they harm me? I have done no wrong."
And back to Spain he went for the last time. They arrested him, and his soldier-defender tried to save him, but in vain. Then came the bitter mockery of the trial, and at the end they slew him.
Henceforth October 13 is Ferrer's Day.
Sheffield, November, 1909.
LESTER F. WARD ON SPAIN AND FERRER
Prof. Lester F. Ward, of Brown University, one of the most distinguished sociologists in this or in any country, addressed the Sunrise Club, New York, on the subect of Ferrer's death, on the evening of December 27, 1909. After expressing "the sense that we all feel that civilization has been assassinated," he went on to say:
"The question is, why should such an event have happened in Spain when we imagine that it could not have happened in any other European country? There are two European countries in which such events do sometimes now happen. One is in the extreme northeast and the other in the extreme southwest. The causes seem to be to some extent the opposite, in the sense that in Russia the political power is calling upon the spiritual power to support it in its autocratic or despotic rule; whereas in the Iberian peninsula the spiritual power is calling upon the political power to aid it in keeping back human progress. It seems to me that there is an antithesis here which is very clear.
"What is it then that makes such a thing possible in Spain? I have before me one simple fact, expressed in half a line, which is almost sufificient in and of itself, to explain it. It is this : 'Sixty-eight per cent, of the people of Spain cannot read.' You have all read that beautiful passage of X'ictor Hugo in which he describes the philosopher meeting on the street in the time of the great barricades of Paris a man who was breaking the street lamps and doing all the damage he could. The sage expostulated with him in the most eloquent terms, telling him how these modern scientific advances had been brought about, explaining the progress of science and invention. He said, 'Have you never read history?' and gave him a long and eloquent lecture. The man gave his answer, and you will all remember what it was, 'Je ne sais pas lire!' (I cannot read.)
"Now, imagine a country in which only every third man you meet can read a newspaper? What kind of a country would that be? It would be one in which just such phenomena as the one we are here to consider tonight would be possible. In a country where the percentage of illiteracy is relatively small, such phenomena are impossible. That, in and of itself, would perhaps be a sufficient answer to the general historical question of what are the causes that have made it possible for Spain to commit such a barbarity in the twentieth century.
"There is one other element, however, which enters strongly into it, quite notably in Spain, perhaps more so in Russia, and that is the enormous inequality in intelligence of the different classes of the people. If all the people were unintelligent, a whole country where no one could read, things of this kind would not occur, or only to a very slight extent. It is the vast contrast between a highly intelligent class in a country and a great mass of leaden ignorance --- it is that, perhaps, more than the illiteracy alone. In Russia the students of the universities, the poets and literary men, and the artists are on the side of human progress and opposed to despotism. In Spain it is the same. It is the intelligent classes, the well-informed, who are opposed to those spiritual influences, mainly, the Catholic church in Spain, which hold back civilization. Now it is the dread which this spiritual power has of this intellectual power, small as it is, which rouses passions and makes these things possible. . . .
"The special interest in this particular event lies in the fact that Ferrer was a martyr to the principle of education. There have been martyrs to religion, and to science, but never before was there a martyr to education. . . .
"What is education? My idea of it is totally different from that which prevails in our highest institutions to-day. From what I know of Ferrer I mean very nearly the same thing by education that he meant by it. I define intelligence as 'intellect plus knowledge,' and I embody in the word 'knowledge' the whole of education. That education which does not give knowledge is not education. The whole educational problem in this country and all other countries is in a state of utter chaos. Education means 'the diffusion of knowledge among men,' to quote the celebrated phrase of James Smithson. It is knowledge that is going to regenerate the world. There is only one kind of knowledge, a knowledge of this world, of the universe, of our environment, of our race --- its origin, development, history, and evolution. And that is exactly wdiat Ferrer tried to impress upon the students of the Modern School."
THE SLAIN PROPHET
By Prof. Thaddeus B. Wakeman.
"Render, therefore, unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things which are God's." --- Matt, xxii, 21.
WHAT great men are worth becomes known by the great message which they deUver to the world by their death. What their contemporaries are worth is measured and shown by the way they receive and benefit by such messages.
The atrocious way in which the martyrdom of Francisco Ferrer has been made a fact, the all-important message which was the glory of his life, the cause of his martyr-death, and his legacy by his last words and his will and testament to his survivors, impose a solenm duty upon them which they cannot escape. His murder by the powers of darkness is a direct challenge to the powers of progress and light which must be met in such a way that such atrocities shall be absolutely impossible in the future. Unless this is done, and done effectively, the free-minded people of civilization, indeed the whole modern world, will pass down through the ages under an indelible stigma of disgrace --- a disgrace which touches every intelligent person now living and which can never be effaced!
What then was this life-object of Ferrer which brought to him death, and to us the first and main duty of life? It was the fact that the human children of this earth are its heirs and possessors, and that their highest duty is to administer its and their affairs so as to secure the highest liberty, welfare and progress of "each and all" in every succeeding generation. To this end, like the ideal Christ of old (Matt, xxii, 21), he spent his life in teaching that the selfish greed and power of old Rome should be separated, and receive no tribute from the only God, the ALL that is. And this separation of the Romish church and "Spiritual Power" from the temporal state must begin by the education of all of the children of mankind into a general knowledge of the laws and processes of this world into which they have been born, and of the laws and principles of social, moral and economic well-being of the state, republic, or community of which they are born as parts. This secular, scientific, human, practical education of the Spanish people, commencing with the young, was Ferrer's enthusiasm, religion, and object, and because it was, the powers of darkness hunted up, made up, and bore "false witness" against him and slew him after the mockery of a trial --- a trial which that reported of the ideal Christ of old puts to shame.
What was the head and front of his offending? It was that his Modern Secular Schools were succeeding. There grew up out of his efforts "An International League for the Rational Education of Children," of which Ferrer was made president, and Professor Haeckel, of Germany, and Professor Sergi, the great Italian anthropologist, were among the vice-presidents. We read of these schools of his and of the republican model exceeding ninety in number, and of school festivals attended by 1,700 children. Care was taken to avoid all matters offensive to the government. Nothing tending to disorder or violence was allowed or thought of. What was taught in ways suitable to the advance of the pupils was this curriculum or program of subjects and illustrated studies:
1. The Evolution of Worlds.
2. The Story of the Earth.
3. The Origin of Life.
4. The Evolution of Living Things.
5. The Factors of Organic Evolution.
6. The Origin and Development of Man.
8. The History of Civilization.
10. Laws and Morals.
11. Social Organizations.
12. Economic Systems.
13. The Evolution of Technics and Art.
14. The Factors of Social Evolution.
15. Man and the World.
The first word of this program, "Evolution," meant anathema and death to the teacher as soon as the Romish church in Spain could get him in its power. This was done by charging him with participation in the uprisings' of the people in Barcelona; first in 1906, when Ferrer was acquitted, and in 1909, when a court-martial under church domination refused to hear his defense and ordered his execution. The old Inquisition used to say, "Without the shedding of blood," which meant death by fire. Ferrer was shot. He was to kneel with bandaged eyes. He asked to stand and receive death with open eyes. He was allowed to stand, but not unbandaged. He dared to face death unflinching. But did his executioners fear to have their instruments look him in the eye? Fortunately their bullets through his brain meant instant death.
From every civilized people there rose at once cries of horror and indignation ! Here is the tragedy of Bruno reenacted in our era of science and humanity! What can we, what can humanity do that it may never happen again ? What it can and must do is to stand together so that, by union of peoples and their nations, Spain and its church shall learn that the lesson and message of Ferrer is the condition that humanity noiv imposes upon rulers who would continue to govern or to exist! There must be a real practical separation of church and state, and the state must do the work that Ferrer began, of making known to each rising generation the world of which it is really a part, and the conditions of a happy lot, fate, and duty in it. --- From The Truth Seeker.
H. PERCY WARD'S TRIBUTE
Mr. H. Percy Ward, Rationalist lecturer in Chicago and author of a brochure, "Why Spain Shot Ferrer," writes us as follows
"On August 15, 1907, it was my pleasure and honor to preside over a meeting of welcome to Ferrer held under the auspices of the Liverpool Secular Society (England), of which I was the lecturer and organizer. He was brimful of enthusiasm, and refinement shone through his every feature, word and act. It will ever be one of the proudest recollections of my life that I was privileged to grasp the hand and listen to the voice of this noble martyr for Freethought.
"How can Freethinkers best avenge the murder of Ferrer? With the bomb or bullet, the dagger or dynamite of the assassin? No! But with the bomb of education, the bullet of agitation, the dagger of organization, and the dynamite of Freethought. These are the weapons which, sooner or later, will send priestly tyranny and religious superstition to their everlasting doom."
Ferrer's will, written in the chapel of Montjuich fortress on the night before he was shot, opens as follows:
"I protest with all possible energy against the unexpected position in which I have been placed, declaring my conviction that my innocence will be publicly acknowledged in a very short time. I desire that on no occasion, whether near or remote, nor for any reason whatsoever, shall demonstrations of a political or religious character be made before my remains, as I consider the time devoted to the dead would be better employed in improving the condition of the living, most of whom stand in great need of this.
"As for my remains, I regret that there is no crematory in this town, as there is in Milan, Paris, and so many other cities, as I should have asked that thev should be incinerated there, while expressing the hope that at no distant date cemeteries will disappear for the benefit of health, and be replaced by crematories or some other system that may even better admit of the rapid destruction of corpses.
"I also wish my friends to speak little or not at all about me, because idols are created when men are praised, and this is very bad for the future of the human race. Acts alone, no matter by whom committed, ought to be studied, praised, or blamed. Let them be praised in order that they may be imitated when they seem to contribute to the common weal; let them be censured when they are regarded as injurious to the general well-being, so that they may not be repeated."
Then follow elaborate instructions as to the disposition of his money and the furtherance of his educational plans. Ferrer's last thoughts were all of his schools. He appointed as his executors Christobal Litran and William Heaford. To Soledad Villa franca he bequeathed most of his personal property, and to Lorenzo Portet his publishing house and business. Sehor Portet, who has been living in Liverpool. England, was designated as, in a special sense, the successor of Ferrer, and he has lately gone to Barcelona to take up his dead chieftain's work.
MESSAGES THAT FERRER WROTE ON THE PRISON WALL
When Ferrer was imprisoned in Madrid in 1907 on a charge of complicity in Mateo Morral's attempted assassination of the King and Queen of Spain, he wrote the following expressions of his faith on the prison walls:
"As long as a nation harbors a body of men authorized to inflict punishment, as long as there are prisons in which such a body can carry out those punishments, that nation cannot call itself civilized."
"If we pass from the prisoner to the jailers who guard him, from them to the judges who condemned him, from them to the policemen who arrested him, and to the police authorities who held him, from them to all who brought complaint against him, and to what is called society in general ; if we do this and study the conscience of each, we shall find, in all probability, that the conscience of the prisoner is the most serene of all."
"Every one of us is partially responsible for every crime that is committed ; and in the total number of those responsible each of us bears a guilt greater than does he who commits it."
In a long series of aphorisms, headed "The Rationalist Doctrine," Ferrer says:
"Never hope to get anything from others. Remember that the wise and the powerful, even if they give you the most beautiful things, make slaves of you at the same time."
"To seek to establish the accord of all men in love and fraternity, without distinction of sex or class --- that is the great task of humanity. To it we have all devoted our- selves in the rationalistic schools, where we teach our pupils only that which is based on scientific truths."
"These same truths, vouched for as such by experience and by the teachings of history will eventually point out to the disinherited classes the road to victory."
"And here is another truth for them : The working classes will emancipate themselves from slavery when, convinced of their strength, they take the direction of their affairs into their own hands without trusting any more to the favored classes."
"If men were reasoning creatures, they would not allow injustices against themselves or against their fellow-men, nor would they feel any desire to inflict such injustices."
"Let no more gods or exploiters be worshipped or served ! Let us all learn instead to love each other!"
"My ideal is teaching --- teaching that is rational and scientific --- teaching like that of the 'Escuela Moderna,' which humanizes and dignifies."
"To love a woman passionately; to have an ideal which I can serve; to have the desire to fight until I win --- what more can I wish or ask?"
On another wall is a second long string of inscriptions, the gist of which is this:
"From the days of Quevedo and Montjuich, scribes, judges, and other officials have been savagely satirized and very justly execrated ; but never, through mere reading about them in books, did I get the remotest inkling of what, through no wish of my own, I have found them in reality to be."
"It is, indeed, sad to observe on every hand fellow-creatures abandoned to their fate ; it is sad to reflect on the inhuman end that awaits aged workmen; but is there in existence anything more barbarous, more revolting, to men of honest conscience, than to see human life and liberty dependent on the whim of worthless beings?"
Elsewhere appears this :
"So long as there is no change in the system which has obtained until the present time ; so long as no efforts are made to avoid, at any cost, the crimes which are now liable to punishment, by introducing a fraternal organization of society based on love; so long will everybody, condemned in the name of justice, be unjustly condemned."
The school imprisons children physically, intellectually and morally, in order to direct the development of their faculties in the paths desired. The education of to-day is nothing more than drill. I like the free spontaneity of a child who knows nothing, better than the world-knowledge and intellectual deformity of a child who has been subjected to our present education. --- Francisco Ferrer.
FERRER AND THE TWO ORPHAN BOYS
Jaime Vidal, who knew Ferrer in Barcelona, tells a story of how the founder of the Modern School went to Montjuich prison a few years ago, after a wholesale shooting of radicals there, to take charge of two children whose father had been killed. On his way back to Paris he saw in a station of Port-Bon, on the French border, Lieutenant Portas, the man who inflicted tortures wath redhot irons on the bodies of the Montjuich prisoners.
Ferrer placed the two orphan boys face to face with the lieutenant, saying : "Look at this man ; he is the murderer of your father." It is needless to say that a sensation was created among the travelers at the station, and the lieutenant, with shame reddening his face, attempted to attack Ferrer, throwing one of his gloves in the professor's face as an invitation to fight a duel.
Ferrer serenely accepted the challenge, saying that he would wait for the lieutenant on the France-Belgian border. The officer never appeared at the appointed place, and Ferrer continued his journey to Paris, where the boys were placed in school, receiving from the friend of their father both education and affectionate care.
IN COMMEMORATION OF FERRER
Ten thousand people took part in a recent demonstration in memory of Ferrer, organized in connection with the Free-Thought Congress in Brussels. At half-past ten on August 23, 1910, the foreign delegates took up the places reserved for them in the Maison du Roi. Later representatives of about 60 of the Belgian Freethought Societies --- which to-day number some 290, representing some 20,000) members --- marched into the Grand Place, each with its banner flying and with numerous bands. When the groups were assembled in the square, a large marble slab let into the pavement at the foot of the steps of the historic liaison du Roi was unveiled, bearing a suitable inscription. The presence of Mme. Soledad Villafranca, a beautiful woman, but a pathetic figure in her simple black dress, lent additional interest to an impressive ceremony.
A MODERN SCHOOL IN AMERICA
THE prospectus of the Modern School established in Salt Lake City under the leadership of William Thurston Brown, who lately resigned from the Unitarian pulpit, has been issued. The preamble to the prospectus says :
"The time has come for a definite, concerted movement in which open-minded, free-thinking people can heartily unite for the spread of modern scientific knowledge as applied to the problems of personal and social life.
"The greatest enemy of human life is ignorance --- its greatest friend is knowledge.
"The difference between Germany and Spain, for ex- ample, is the difference between knowledge and ignorance. Germany leads the world in science --- and in the growth and power of its democracy. Spain is the most illiterate nation in Europe --- and its population is the most en- slaved.
"Ignorance is the mother of tyranny, corruption, moral decay and slavery. Knowledge is the only key to power, freedom, justice, solidarity.
"Never before have men faced such menacing problems as we are facing : the problems of poverty, graft, moral indifference, and the sinister forms of tyranny --- moral, political, and economic. Unless we destroy these evils, they will destroy us.
"Francisco Ferrer, the Spanish educator and martyr, saw clearly that the only way to justice and freedom for the people of Spain is through popular knowledge. Ignorant Spain must remain enslaved Spain. Enlightened Spain will be free Spain. So he started the Modern School, whose sole purpose was to give to the common working people of Spain the facts and teachings of modern science.
"To a church that lives by superstition and a state based on ignorance and exploitation the Modern School was a capital crime, and its founder was shot.
"The problems of America are as critical for America as those of Spain are for Spain. At bottom, they are the same. And here, as there, the only road to justice and freedom is through popular knowledge of evolutionary science."
THE ORGANIZATION OF THE AMERICAN FERRER ASSOCIATION
The Francisco Ferrer Association, planned in January, 1910, and discussed at a preliminary meeting held at the home of Dr. Edward Bond Foote, on Lexington avenue, New York, May 20, was regularly organized at an open meeting, Friday evening, June 3, to which all interested in Ferrer had been invited, and which was advertised in advance in the newspapers. The announcement called for a gathering at the Harlem Liberal Alliance rooms, on West ii6th street. The hall was well filled when the temporary chairman, Harry Kelly, called the meeting to order.
The necessity of a Ferrer Association in America was explained by Mr. Kelly, who also elucidated the aims and scope of the proposed organization.
Jaime Vidal. a personal friend of Ferrer, told of his acquaintance with the martyred teacher, explained the workings of the Modern School in Spain and described Ferrer's personal work in educating the new generation. He told, too, of the work already accomplished by a little group of Ferrer enthusiasts in New York, who have been for several months gathering material for a competent biography of the Spanish educator, a work that shall tell everything about him, much of which the public does not yet know, but is eager to learn.
Leonard Abbott, one of the editors of Current Literature, and president of the Thomas Paine National Historical Association, then spoke. Mr. Abbott expressed the opinion that Ferrer was in the line of historic succession with the world's greatest martyrs --- Socrates, Christ, Bruno, Huss and others. The killing of Ferrer was one of the most dramatic of all of the memorable martyrdoms of history. Mr. Abbott said:
"It was a crime against civilization, in an era when such things were supposed impossible. The world stood aghast, and the world protested. That Ferrer was chosen as the Spanish government's victim proved his immense importance. The government and the Catholic church conspired to put him out of the way. The government knew exactly what it was doing, but perhaps underestimated the aftermath."
Mr. Abbott told of the work now going-on abroad for perpetuating Ferrer's name and his labors in humanity's behalf. "The most eminent European scientists, literary men and notables in various pursuits," Mr. Abbott said, "have lent their names to the great Ferrer movement abroad. In Brussels a monument to the radical martyr is to be unveiled. Other memorials in other European cities are planned.
"This American meeting is the first effort made in this country to establish an organization to honor Ferrer and promulgate his ideas and work. It is time that this work was undertaken in America."
Mr. Abbott was succeeded on the platform by Alexander Berkman, founder and teacher of the Ferrer Sunday School for children in New York. Mr. Berkman spoke very interestingly on Ferrer's Modern Schools in Spain. He said that he felt sure Ferrer would wish no granite or marble shaft as a monument to perpetuate his name, that what would best please Ferrer, could he but guide our thoughts, would be a perpetuation in America of the "Modern Schools." Ferrer's whole life, Mr. Berkman said, was centered in and devoted to the rational education of children, the educating of children on such broad lines that no knowledge is forced upon them, no ideas crammed into their heads, but the children allowed to intelligently educate themselves, forming their own ideas and imbibing natural notions of everything about them. Mr. Berkman said that it seemed to him extremely important that before modern schools for children were established in America, normal schools, so to speak, were founded in which the teachers for the children were first adequately trained on the very lines promulgated and followed by Francisco Ferrer.
Freethought, said Mr. Berkman, had already made some impress on the children of America. What all children are in need of, desperately in need of, is a system of education that will free them from their prejudices, prejudices acquired both from their companions at plav and from their homes.
An election of officers for the ensuing year then took place, all present participating. The following officers were unanimously elected for the term ending June 1, 1911:
President --- Leonard Abbott.
Secretary --- William M. van der Weyde.
Treasurer --- Dr. Edward Bond Foote.
The organization was formally named "The Francisco Ferrer Association."
Upon vote it was determined that a further meeting of the association should take place two weeks hence and that thereafter one meeting, to hear reports of the association's work, etc., would be held every three months. It was also determined to commemorate the day of Ferrer's martyrdom, every October 13. A vote was taken on the matter of membership dues, and it was decided to make the initiation fee one dollar, and annual membership one dollar. About fifty of those present handed in their names and addresses for membership.
The Francisco Ferrer Association plans as its special objects:
(1) The purchase and translation of text-books used in the Modern School.
(2) The organization of new Modern Schools in America.
(3) The publication of a final and authoritative biography of Ferrer in English. A committee consisting of Helen Tufts Bailie, Jaime Vidal and Leonard Abbott is already in touch with Ferrer's closest associates, and proposes to send a competent man to Barcelona in the near future to gather material at first hand.
Our own ideal is certainly that of science, and we demand that we be given the power to educate the child by favoring its development through the satisfaction of all its needs, in proportion as these arise and grow. --- Francisco Ferrer.
"Time respects only those institutions which time itself has played its part in building up. That which violence wins for us to-day, another act of violence may wrest from us to-morrow. Those stages of progress are alone durable which have rooted themselves in the mind and conscience of mankind before receiving the final sanction of legislators. The only means of realizing what is good is to touch it by education and propagate it by example." --- Francisco Ferrer.
Francisco Ferrer Association
"The Modern School"
an essay by Ferrer, outlining the ideas on which his whole educational system was based; and
"The Rational Education of Children"
a brochure describing the aims of the International League for the Rational Education of Children, which Ferrer founded.
Price 5 cents each; in quantities of 100 or more 3 cents each; postage prepaid.
Francisco Ferrer Post Cards
Nine post cards in the set, including excellent portraits of Francisco Ferrer and Soledad Villafranca, notable quotations from Ferrer's writings, as well as cartoons both humorous and tragic. Each set in an envelope.
Price 20 cents per set of nine cards, or in quantities of 100 or more sets 12.5 cents a set; postage prepaid.
Portrait of Francisco Ferrer
from an original drawing by Kreighof. The very best portrait of Ferrer that has been made. Suitable for framing, 11.5x16 inches.
Price 25 cents each; in quantities of 100 or more 15 cents; postage prepaid.
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FRANCISCO FERRER ASSOCIATION
W. M. Van der Weyde, Secretary
241 Fifth Avenue, New York
The Age of Reason. An Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology. Paper, 15 cents, or 8 for $1. Cloth, 50 cents.
Paine's Age of Reason. A Sumptuous and Artistic Presentation edi- tion. Part I, reprinted from the first English edition (Paris, 1794). Part II, corrected by Conway's standard edition. With Paine's own account of his arrest in Paris. All the matter of the original edition will be found in this, and it contains matter previously unknown to any of Paine's friends, editors or biographers, and the largest collection of portraits ever brought together. Photogravure portrait from the Romney painting exhibited in London; portrait from the Jarvis painting; also portrait from the Peale painting, known as the Bonneville portrait, representing Paine as a member of the French Assembly. Large half-tones of the house presented to Paine, in which he lived in New Rochelle, and of the monument and surroundings. Yorkiown, Pa., scenes, and other illustrations. With Preface, Chronological Table, Notes, Index, etc. Printed on antique wove paper, large octavo, wide margins, gilt edge. Special cover design in colors. The finest and only accurate edition. Postpaid, $2.
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The Francisco Ferrer Association
was organized in New York on June 3, 1910. Its object is "to perpetuate the memory and work of Francisco Ferrer." Its officers are Leonard D. Abbott, President; W. M. van der Weyde, Secretary; Dr. E. B. Foote, Treasurer. Its advisory board consists of Hutchins Hapgood. Charles Edward Russell, Jack London, Upton Sinclair. Emma Goldman. J. G. Phelps Stokes. Rose Pastor Stokes, Alden Freeman, and Jaime Vidal. So far the Association's activities have been confined to collecting and imparting, by means of the printed page and the public address, accurate information concerning the martyred founder of the Modern Schools. It has very much larger plans in view. All in sympathy are invited to communicate with the Secretary of the Association, W. M. van der Weyde, 241 Fifih Avenue, New York.