Since the Irish people had been completely conquered, it behoved England
to take such measures as would conduce to the future prosperity of the
island, and at the same time guard against disaffection and rebellion.
There was much consulting and advising. The Irish question was as
prominent as ever. All manner of plans were proposed, but were all in
turn rejected as unfeasible.
After several sessions had been wasted in fruitless debates and in noisy
discussions, whereof the only result arrived at was a certain amount of
forensic display on the part of ambitious members, a proposition was
mooted which at first amazed all who heard it. Then it was ridiculed
unmercifully. Next it was discussed seriously. Finally it was adopted,
amid universal enthusiasm.
For centuries the combined effects of war, seafaring, and emigration had
been to reduce the male population of England to such an extent as to
cause the female portion of the population to preponderate enormously.
So much so, in fact, that not a trade or profession which had hitherto
been regarded by men as sacred to themselves was uninvaded by feminine
competitors, who, considerably to the dismay of adult masculinity, were
steadily proving themselves capable of doing well all that they
undertook to do.
For every man in the community to support three women was an
impossibility, even if he had desired to do so, which he certainly did
not. Women who did not marry were expected to keep themselves. But by
way of showing how strictly and impartially just the male biped can be,
there prevailed a peculiar system of payment, which bore its natural
result of discontent and protest.
For instance, in Messrs. Workemphast’s establishment several women were
engaged as assistants. They performed their work more neatly and deftly
than their masculine rivals, but were paid only half as much for their
services, simply because they were women. The result in all such cases
was that other expensive men were ousted to make room for some more
underpaid women, the consequence being that none but the employers were
The men had an idea that although it was only right that woman should
not be a burden on man, she had no business to invade his particular
province of labour. The women, on the other hand, considered themselves
entitled to equal pay with the men, provided their work was equal.
On other grounds, too, they had ample cause for complaint. Women
householders were compelled to pay quite as heavy rates and taxes as
men, but were debarred from every privilege to which equal payment of
tribute morally entitled them. Although made to provide the necessary
funds for governing the country, they were not merely debarred from
holding office, but were even prohibited from having a voice in the
election of such members of the favoured sex as aspired to be the rulers
of the land.
A woman might pay a large share of her income towards the expenses of
the Government. She might employ a dozen servants, such as gardeners,
grooms, coachmen, gamekeepers, etc., but although each of the men
dependent upon her for a livelihood, no matter how stupid, ignorant, or
loutish they might be, was accorded the privilege of voting, their
clever, accomplished mistress was considered to belong to an inferior
order of beings, to whom it would be unwise to accord privileges, seeing
that they were not supposed to have sufficient sense to use these
Again. Adultery alone on the part of a wife was quite sufficient ground
for a divorce in favour of the husband, but a wife must have a husband
who, in addition to being persistently and openly unfaithful, cruelly
ill-treated her, and took a cowardly advantage of the superiority of
strength he had attained through having systematically deprived woman of
every health-giving recreation, before the law, made by men for the
benefit of men, would afford her relief from her daily tortures.
It is on record that a judge, when a woman was being tried for the
presumed murder of her husband, dwelt with such horror upon the most
dreadful fact that she had been unfaithful to her husband, and proved so
conclusively that a woman who could be unfaithful was capable of every
crime under the sun, that the jury, remembering that their interests as
husbands must be protected, sentenced the woman to be hanged, although
medical witnesses showed that she could not be a murderess, seeing that
the cause of her husband’s death was a drug of which he was proved to
have been a systematic partaker.
From this it will be argued that purity of living held high rank with
the English. But this was by no means the case, for in the same decade
the rebellion and protests of women were naturally aroused by the
foulest and most disgusting legislation that ever disgraced the land.
This was the State regulation of vice, whereby the most respectable
women were liable to be subjected to brutal indignities, in order that
no precaution might be neglected which would ensure for men complete
immunity from the consequences of systematic libertinism and immorality.
This may sound paradoxical, but it is not the less sickening in its
shameful reality, and serves to show the hollowness and insincerity of
It is small wonder that these and other crying evils brought forth the
fruits they did. Systematic injustice roused the antipathy of women who,
besides having sense enough to argue their own case, had sufficient
moral courage to brave the animadversion which was levelled at them by
the arrogant idiots of the one sex, and the unreasoning imbeciles of the
Hence the expressions which we come across at times, which to modern New
Amazonians unacquainted with history are unintelligible, but which had
their own bitter meaning at the time they were in use. “Bluestocking”
was a term of opprobrium levelled at women who strove to improve their
moral and intellectual status by means of study. A “Woman’s Rights’
Advocate” was described as an individual who was the fit butt for the
laughter and derision of the rest of the community.
To be strong-minded was a wonderful claim to respect in a man. Men were
fond of speaking of women as the “weak-minded,” and, therefore, inferior
sex, and yet the moment a woman proved herself to be not _weak_-minded
but _strong_-minded, she was regarded as an anomaly, and sneered at as a
being who had unsexed herself. To be “only a woman” was equivalent in
the minds of many male egotists to being only “something better than his
dog, and something dearer than his horse,” and yet, no sooner did she
prove herself gifted with abilities hitherto cherished as exclusively
masculine, and, therefore, infinitely superior to womanly attributes,
than she was said to have become “masculine,” and regarded as an object
of horror. To be a woman was to be one unit of a despised race, and yet
to “unsex” herself was one of the most opprobrious faults of which a
woman could be guilty!
Could anything be more idiotic or paradoxical? And is it to be wondered
at that it became necessary for men to _prove_ their vaunted
superiority? And that they were gradually impelled, from sheer fear of
the future, to grant the demands of the sex which was rapidly learning
to estimate itself at its true value?
No struggle recorded in history can compare with the fight against
oppression which was now carried on by the brave and noble ancestresses
of whom we have such good reason to be proud. Many and disheartening
were the defeats they endured, but gloriously triumphant was their final
victory, of which our existence as an independent nation was the
Universal Suffrage! Wonderful was the jubilation when it became an
accomplished fact. And wonderful were its effects upon the nation. All
the anomalies above described were wiped away, and women showed
themselves so much more just, and so much more capable of governing than
men, that they invariably enacted none but strictly fair and impartial
Thus Boards of Guardians consisted of an equal number of women and men.
The latter superintended many details as formerly, but were relieved
from the sole responsibility of seeing after the babies’ feeding
bottles, and the mothers’ needs, and the old women’s baths, which they
had until now considered their own especial province.
Formerly none but male inspectors were allowed to perambulate the
schools, at the expense of the country, and adjudicate as to the quality
of make, and perfection of cut, of the underclothing for women which the
girls were instructed to prepare for examination. Strange to say, it was
not without considerable opposition that women were admitted to be fit
to usurp this cherished masculine prerogative.
From time immemorial the fact that all doctors were men had proved a
serious calamity, for thousands of women let their infirmities grow upon
them until it was too late to save their lives, simply because they were
reluctant to confide the details of their ailments to members of the
other sex, who in most cases were complete strangers to them. And yet
the universities were for ages shut in the face of women who were
anxious to remedy these evils, and many and hard were the rebuffs and
insults which were endured by the first women who succeeded in removing
all barriers and in passing the examinations which qualified them as
Houses were erected on principles which men regarded as perfect, but
which women invariably found to be wofully deficient in matters
appertaining to hygiene and comfort. Since women became architects these
evils were also remedied, and as their augmented influence now
penetrated everywhere, a great change of necessity came over the whole
nation, and paved the way for one of the greatest political events the
world has ever seen.
This was the resolve to colonise Ireland with the women who outnumbered
the men so enormously in Teuto-Scotland.
It was duly remembered that the country had hitherto never managed to
support itself, and that its periodical famines had been a source of
enormous expense to Teuto-Scotland, which even now was voting large sums
for the support of the widows and children of the men who had fallen in
the late disastrous rebellion.
Many debates were, therefore, held respecting the annual amount which
should henceforth be devoted to the maintenance of Teuto-Scottish
authority in Ireland. But careful thought on the part of the greatest
leaders of the colonisation movement resulted in the island being
altogether given up to the sole rule and governance of the chief
colonists. “Home Rule” was the watchword, and it was finally agreed that
a treaty of alliance should be signed, whereby Ireland, or New Amazonia
as it was henceforth called, should maintain friendly relations with the
mother-country, but should be a perfectly self-governing and independent
State, exempt from any allegiance but that of friendliness, and a mutual
desire to prevent the encroachments of foreigners.
In return for so immense a concession, it was stipulated that New
Amazonia should now be self-supporting, and very few but enthusiasts,
remembering the past history of the island, believed in anything but a
total collapse of the new government.
Fortunately for our land, there were vast numbers of enthusiastic
believers in the available resources of New Amazonia, and in the
capacity of its chosen leaders, so that the fifty millions of pounds,
with which it was necessary to be equipped, in order to start the new
enterprise on a sound basis, was raised in a remarkably short time.
Three and a half per cent. consols were issued, and were eagerly bought
up by the enormous numbers of women who desired to become colonists in
the new republic, and to partake of the advantages and opportunities,
which would then be theirs. Great financiers were also found willing to
become partners in this novel syndicate, and as the consols were bought
up in every European country, every European country was directly
interested in the prosperity of New Amazonia, and the spirit and courage
of its leaders was the prominent topic of conversation in the whole of
the civilised world.
It was intended that the government should consist of a Leader, two
Prime Advisers, twelve Privy Counsellors, and two hundred-and-fifty
Tribunes, all elected by the people. As a preliminary measure, however,
only fifty Inaugurators were chosen by the Teuto-Scottish Parliament,
and upon these devolves the selection of the swarms of women who
clamoured to become members of the new republic. The Inaugurators were
divided into five committees, consisting of ten members each. These were
named respectively the Financial, the Medical, the Social, the
Political, and the Religious.
The Financial Committee was the first which the candidate had to face.
No woman was accepted for membership who could not invest a certain sum
of money in New Amazonian consols. This rule served a twofold purpose.
It prevented the intrusion of women whose poverty would make them a
burden to the rest of the community, which above all things required a
fair start. And, by making every member a partner in the monetary
venture, it ensured the personal interest of every inhabitant of the
country in its permanent prosperity.
The Medical Committee was next entrusted with a careful examination of
all those who had been able to satisfy Committee number one. Every woman
who bore the slightest trace of disease or malformation about her was
rigorously rejected, and those who passed the second stage
satisfactorily were handed over to the tender mercies of the Social
Committee, whose mission it was to enquire into the antecedents of the
candidates, and weed out such as were likely to prove discreditable to
Few of the women, having reached this stage of the examinations, found
any difficulty in agreeing to the conditions of committees four and
five. They were simply required to take an oath of allegiance to the new
government, and to swear to obey any laws or rules which might be made
by the Constitution. They also vowed to merge all religious differences,
and to conform to whatever religious doctrines might be ultimately
agreed upon as a safe basis for the establishment of a national church.
When all these preliminaries were duly gone through, the candidate paid
her money, received satisfactory security for it, signed certain
documents, and was henceforth a duly enrolled citizen of New Amazonia,
pledged to respect all its laws, and entitled to participate in all its
When the inaugural committees, satisfied that the enterprise could now
be floated without further delay, decided to remove the scene of their
operations to Dublin, as the capital city of the new republic had
hitherto been called, there was great excitement in London.
A banquet was given in honour of the pioneers of the movement, and the
Teuto-Scottish Government entered so cordially into the spirit of the
great enterprise, as to ensure free travelling expenses to their future
home to all accepted New Amazonians who were willing to avail themselves
of the privilege.
In many cases this was a great boon, for although no men were accepted
as colonists, the future was provided for by the admission of all the
healthy children of enrolled citizens. As only a small proportion of the
adventurers were women who had been married, the number of children was
small enough to be comfortably provided for.
Proclamations had been issued announcing many benefits which were to
fall to the lot of the very small remnant of the Irish nation, and it
was anticipated that when they found themselves to be enjoying equal
privileges with the new comers they would lose the resentful demeanour
they had hitherto maintained, and be amenable to the dictates of
kindness and reason.
It was many years, however, before the last flickerings of their
discontent were extinguished, and before they could be induced to take
kindly to the mode of living universally enforced throughout the
country. This end being finally attained, the mingled races became
amalgamated, and were henceforth alike devoted to their country and its
It was well for New Amazonia in the end that a good many Irish women had
survived, for the arts of linen-making and lace-making, which they
perpetuated and improved, are among the most valuable sources of revenue
of the country.
Shortly after the Inaugurators were established in Dublin Castle a
general election was called, and all the members of the Constitution
were duly elected. These elections were to be triennial, none of the
officials to be eligible for two successive Parliaments. The country was
divided into two hundred and fifty districts, each of which elected its
own Tribune, and paid for the maintenance of that Tribune during her
term of office.
The salaries of the Leader, Prime Advisers, and Privy Councillors were
fixed upon a progressive basis, and were payable by the State. The
National Revenue was a question which required much anxious thought, but
a solution of the problem was eventually arrived at, which was in course
of time supplemented by the present existing arrangements.
The State was to be the only importer, no private competition being
permitted. Hence the question of excise became a thing of the past.
The appointment of a great many officials to regulate the export and
import trade was necessitated, and this at once gave employment to
hundreds of receiving and exporting agents, who in their turn required
the services of clerks.
All the goods which arrived in the country were paid for by the State,
and transferred at a percentage of profit to wholesale merchants with
capital enough to pay for large business transactions of this nature.
Careful tariffs were drawn up, and the maximum of profit chargeable by
the State upon all goods labeled as “Necessaries” was five per cent.
“Luxuries,” however, all yielded twenty per cent. profit to the State.
From the hands of the wholesale merchant all goods were transferred to
retail dealers, and by them placed within the reach of the people at
large. In order to prevent the largest capitalists from absorbing the
whole of the national trade, different branches were not permitted to be
adopted by one merchant or retail dealer.
Thus no draper was allowed to sell groceries, furniture, ironmongery,
stationery, or anything else which did not legitimately appertain to the
drapery business, and other traders were restricted by similar
regulations. By adopting this method the State prevented one or two
firms from making huge fortunes at the expense of fifty less opulent
traders, as was the case in Teuto-Scotland, where the system of compound
establishments, syndicates, and corners prevailed to a disastrous
At first the export traffic was not large, but was regulated in a
similar manner to the import trade. The State was the ultimate receiver,
and final vendor of all goods exported, a percentage of profit being
exacted on all goods sent away.
As the trade of the country, stimulated by the energy and determination
of its new inhabitants, steadily increased, the revenues derived by the
State were enormous, and no other method of taxation was deemed
necessary. We thus have, for the first time, the spectacle of a highly
civilised country in which the tax-collector is non-existent.
As every sort of employment which presented itself had to be done by
women, the question of a convenient working attire, which should at the
same time be suitable, healthy, warm, and becoming, was soon brought up
After much debate and strenuous opposition on the part of some advocates
of changeable fashions, it was decided to adopt a national distinctive
dress, the wearing of which should be compulsory. Latter day New
Amazonians find it difficult to believe that the barbarous mode of
dressing which had prevailed among the English, and later among the
Teuto-Scots, was reluctantly abandoned by thousands of women, and that
the New Amazonian National dress should have been strenuously objected
to at first.
There is in the museum, at Garrettville, an instrument of torture on
exhibition called a corset. Its extreme width is eighteen inches, and it
is an almost incredible fact that this instrument once spanned the waist
of a woman, who was only following one of the maddest and silliest
fashions ever instituted, when she deliberately forced her ribs out of
their proper places, and prepared an early grave for herself, in order
that she might meet with the favour of some idiot of the other sex, who
preferred fashion and doctor’s bills to health and happiness.
The children who came with their mothers to New Amazonia were housed in
existing large buildings, until suitable erections for their reception
could be designed and built. Their supervision and education was for a
time entrusted to the mothers, subject to the directions of a trained
staff of teachers.
Physical education was all that was aimed at until the child’s tenth
birthday had been passed. The most careful attention was paid to diet,
the necessary proportions of heat, flesh, and starch-formers being
supplied to them, all cooked in such palatably scientific methods as
conduced to build up a perfect system.
Swimming, running, dancing, drill, gymnastics, and every physical
health-giving game in vogue constituted the curriculum of youngsters
under ten. In the old country, thousands of little ones were pining from
bodily lassitude and decay engendered by the brain work necessitated by
a senseless system of cramming and examining. In New Amazonia the
children entering school at the age of ten were splendidly robust; had a
healthy, strong mind in a healthy, strong body, and were capable,
without fatigue, of learning more in two years than their Teuto-Scottish
contemporaries learned in all the seven years they had been compelled to
For six years the school course had to be pursued, then a choice of
trade or profession adapted to the abilities of the student was made.
The next four years were devoted to the learning of this trade, and the
earnings of the next five years were appropriated by the State, which
thus remunerated itself for the heavy expense of maintaining and
educating each of its subjects under twenty years of age.
At the age of twenty-five each subject was at liberty to appropriate her
earnings as she liked, but was also expected to provide her own board
and residence henceforth.
As no men were admitted to any of the chief offices, some of them
emigrated, but others were glad to remain, and adopted various trades
which rendered them acceptable and useful members of the community. In
course of time, a desire was manifested on the part of several couples
to cast in their lot together, and it became necessary to pay some
attention to the marriage laws, which, as they had existed in
Teuto-Scotland, were totally rejected by New Amazonians as altogether
obsolete, and stupidly conducive to crime and immorality. The marriage
contract, under the new code of laws, became a purely civil one,
dissolvable almost without cost, upon one or other of the parties to it
proving incompatibility or unfaithfulness on the part of the other.
A document, received by each of the divorcees, legally entitled them to
marry again, provided they fulfilled every other necessary condition. A
medical certificate of soundness had to be procured before anyone was
allowed to marry, as, above all, the State was determined to secure none
but healthy subjects.
Sometimes very painful scenes were witnessed, for each new-born child
was subjected to examination, and no crippled or malformed infants were
permitted to live.
As all children were considered the property of the State, neither wife
nor husband was responsible for their maintenance and education, and
when a divorce was in prospect it was not necessary to take the
offspring of the temporary union into consideration at all, though no
divorces were permitted until after the birth of any expected result of
such union. Nursing mothers were always welcomed with their children,
and were maintained by the State, so long as the latter required their
There was, however, a determination on the part of the Government to
guard against the evils of over-population in the future, and Malthusian
doctrines were stringently enforced. Any woman or man becoming the
parent of more than four children was punished for such recklessness by
being treated as a criminal, and deprived of many very valuable civil
It had often been the objection of legislators in the old country that
Woman’s Suffrage would, in some never satisfactorily explained manner,
cause an access of immorality in the land, seeing that immoral women
would have as much right to vote as their more virtuous sisters. The
stupidity and selfishness of such an argument is easily deducible from
the fact that a large number of the male members themselves were men who
led anything but moral lives.
Health of body, the highest technical and intellectual knowledge, and
purity of morals has ever been the goal aimed at in New Amazonia, and it
can to-day boast of being the most perfect, the most prosperous, and the
most moral community in existence.
There existed many places of worship in the country, which were at first
used indiscriminately by Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Wesleyans,
Presbyterians, Quakers, and a host of other sects whose varied religious
beliefs were so perplexing and confusing, and provocative of so many
quarrels and discussions, that sectarianism was soon recognized as the
rock upon which the nation was likely to founder, unless prompt
legislation was brought to bear upon the situation.
Some believed in a Trinity of Gods, some in a Unity. Others looked
forward to the coming of a Redeemer, others worshipped Jesus Christ, as
the Redeemer of souls. Some denied a God altogether, and asserted that
all the higher forms of life were the outcome of evolution. Others,
again, worshipped a goddess called Humanity, and all were more or less
in fear of a mythical Being to whom all the untold millions born into
the world were supposed to be turned over for everlasting punishment in
the event of their not having been fortunate enough to meet with all the
requirements of creeds formulated by men.
Thus, one portion of the community had been taught that tiny babes,
dying before they had been sprinkled with water by a priest, and had a
certain formula of words uttered over them, would be consigned to
everlasting perdition, and debarred from all the joys of a future life.
Others would have been brought up to believe that all the untold
millions of people who had, by force of circumstances, over which they
had not the slightest control, never had Christianity preached to them,
would also be delivered into the hands of Satan!
Could anything be more blasphemously opposed to the character of a
merciful Creative Being, than to suppose it capable of producing myriads
of human beings, simply that they might be consigned to never-ending
torture such as only fiends could sanction?
Bigotry, Sectarianism, and Dogmatic Obstinacy had taken the place of a
true and simple worship of the Creator. So rank did the strife become
that certain sects actually maintained it to be wicked to enter a place
of worship patronised by a rival sect. So truly religious were the
majority of Christians that they only used the various churches as a
means of advancing their temporal power, and statistics from all the
world will prove that more lives have been lost, and more crimes
committed, in the name of Religion, than from any other cause. Strange
that what should be regarded as the greatest bond of unity upon earth
should be so abused as to become one of its greatest powers for evil!
Yet so it was when our forerunners peopled this land, and they were
compelled to adopt stringent methods of grappling with the most serious
evil in their midst.
The earth was too beautiful, and life itself was too great a mystery for
the doctrine of a bounteous Creator to be entirely abandoned, so worship
was offered, and temples dedicated, to the service of “The Giver of
Life,” who was always pictured as loving and beneficent, and to whom no
fearful qualities were attributed such as for ages made professing
Christians live a life of fear lest they should really not be saved, and
caused those who were taught to regard themselves as transgressors to
die a death of horror and despair.
The doctrines preached henceforth were “Gratitude” to the “Giver of
Life,” and the “Duty” to others of leading a pure and moral existence. A
simple creed this, but one which all were ultimately able to adopt, and
the worship of Morality never had any other effect upon the worship of
“Life-Giver” than to render it all the more sincere and heartfelt.
All fear of a future state is banished from the minds of New Amazonians,
who refuse to believe in a Prince of Darkness, and discard the doctrine
of everlasting punishment entirely. A continuance of life hereafter is
firmly believed in, the goal of bliss being supposed to be the ultimate
perfection which will make the soul so glorious in knowledge and purity
as to bring it near to “Life-Giver” herself, and enable it to revel in
the supreme happiness afforded to all who have left ignorance and
A priesthood was established after a time in New Amazonia, but was
bereft of the especial privileges hitherto deemed inseparable from that
holy office, but which were now regarded as the principal causes of the
corruption, perversion of truth, and immorality which prevailed in the
churches of Teuto-Scotland and other countries. No salary was attached
to the office whatever, and thus religion was deprived of its chief
means of abuse, for formerly disreputable persons who could command
influence were not debarred from choosing the sacred office of priest,
and from drawing the large profits which in many cases were derivable
from their appointment.
In Teuto-Scotland the Church was simply regarded as an easy and
lucrative profession. In New Amazonia it is an honour only bestowed upon
capable people, who already possess a sufficient income to enable them
to dispense with a further addition to it.
The doctrines they have to expound are simple, and their principal duty
consists in providing Professors, each of high repute in their various
professions, to lecture at different periods of that day, which is
still, in accordance with ancient usage, set apart as the day of general
cessation from ordinary toil.
Since it is not given one soul to be perfect in everything, and since
the attempted study of everything would result in perfection in nothing,
each individual hopes to become more speedily sure of final perfection
by using all available means of improvement in what is at present the
chief business of life, and by attending the lectures provided by the
Guardian for the purpose of elucidating the most intricate
technicalities of each trade and profession in existence.
The Lecturers are chosen by the State, and are all paid a uniform
salary. As many places would be too small to repay for the domiciling of
a complete staff of Lecturers in their midst, a system of travelling
prevails, whereby the Lecturers travel from one place to another, so
that each member of the community may have opportunities of attaining
individual perfection by receiving public instruction in her or his
All railways, water companies, and similar great undertakings are in the
hands of the State, which receives all surplus profits, and pays its
employés more liberally than private companies ever did in former days.
A fixed percentage is always taken by the State. Should the proceeds be
more than the State percentage, the surplus becomes the perquisite of
the working staff, who thus receive a graduated addition to their
income. Should bad work or bad management reduce the profits, the State
still takes its fixed percentage, and it is thus made the individual
interest of all persons employed by the State to do their best to
promote the success of whatever department of State labour is entrusted
The Teuto-Scots were guilty of many practices which are rigorously
prohibited in New Amazonia. One of these was the use of the dried leaves
of a plant called tobacco; by some it was put in the mouth, and the
juice masticated out of it. By the majority of users it was slowly
burnt, and the resulting smoke allowed to pass into the mouth, to be
emitted immediately after in clouds of an unpleasant, choking nature.
The practice is in many old works described as dirty and offensive; yet
it is an undoubted fact that the discontinuance of the use of tobacco
was so rebelled against, and so distasteful to many New Amazonian women,
that frequent expulsions from the country took place before the custom
was stamped out.
In all times there have been many vices attributed to the habit of
imbibing fluids, which were so remarkable in their effects, that the
users of them were deprived of both sense and motion, besides suffering
bodily illness. It is the boast of New Amazonia that an intoxicant
cannot be procured in the island, and that all existing establishments
for the manufacture of these dangerous compounds were devoted to more
The majority of Teuto-Scots were carnivorous, like dogs, cats, and birds
of prey. Flesh eating is a habit which induces coarseness of mind and
body, and robs both of the true beauty, and vigour furnished by a
vegetable diet. That Life-Giver never intended the human animal to be
carnivorous is proved by the anatomy of the human frame.
It is, however, probable that New Amazonia became a vegetarian nation in
consequence of the repugnance or inability of the first women who came
over from Teuto-Scotland to kill the animals from whose carcases the
beef, pork, and mutton they had hitherto consumed was obtained. They
probably found it a great deprivation to subsist without a large
proportion of animal food at first, and it was for a time extensively
imported. Vegetarian and Humanitarian doctrines were extensively
preached, and in course of time, as the art of cookery was more
carefully cultivated, the trade in meat carcases ceased entirely, to the
ultimate permanent advantage of the nation, than which no finer race
exists in the world at this moment.
It is on record that the ancients paid great attention to the diet and
housing of the animals intended either for slaughter, for beasts of
burden, or for the chase, and that they knew exactly what food would
produce the most coveted results. Thus they would subject their animals
to one kind of treatment calculated to produce fat, while a change of
diet would be productive of lean flesh. Any other results aimed at would
be treated with corresponding acumen.
They even were able to produce a cruel disease in geese, whereby their
livers were inordinately enlarged. These diseased livers were used in
the construction of certain pies called _pâtés-de-fois-gras_, which were
consumed in large quantities by those who could afford the high prices
charged for them.
And yet, incredible as it may seem, these people had scarcely the most
elementary knowledge of the necessary means of preserving the lives of
their children, and rearing them in a methodical or scientific manner.
No restraints were placed upon the people relative to the number of
their offspring, for thousands of children died daily through the
ignorance and incapacity of those who were entrusted with the rearing of
them, thus partially counteracting one evil by the infliction of
another, incalculable suffering being the invariable accompaniment of
such mal-administration of mundane affairs.
If the offspring of the Teuto-Scots attained maturity, they were the
subjects of such miseries as make New Amazonians often wonder how they
supported life’s burden. Their social pleasures were perpetually ruined
by their inability to understand the signs of the weather until a
tempest was upon them. Such a thing as altering the direction of a
steady wind, and thereby producing either wet or fine weather, by means
of a huge artificially created vacuum, had never been thought of.
Neither had they attained the scientific knowledge which enables us to
prevent disastrous thunderstorms by utilising all superfluous
electricity, that would otherwise accumulate and work mischief.
So much was the life of the ancients dominated by the perpetual changes
of weather in the British Islands, that it is said that no conversation
ever took place in their day without some allusion to the weather being
made in it.
Their lives were rendered unbearable by constant troubles which
innumerable diseases wrought on their frames, and by the ever-recurring
removal of some dear friend by death.
The advance of age was not looked for with delight and eagerness, as
with us, for it brought with it an appalling train of evils. The body
waxed feeble and bent. The eyes grew dim and often sightless. The senses
of taste, smell, and hearing became impaired. The voice cracked, and
made the speech harsh and shaky. The teeth fell out, after gradually and
painfully decaying in the mouth. The gait became unsteady. The mind grew
feeble, and the whole body was transformed into a pitiable spectacle of
ruin and misery, soon to fall into the grave, unless one of the fell
diseases to which these our ancestors were subjected swept them out of
life long ere this.
Science was then in its infancy, and transfusion of blood was scouted as
useless and impracticable, or many of the troubles of those days might
have been avoided.
All these things were bad enough to endure, but when we remember that
the greater part of the human race was led to expect nothing better
after bodily death than a continuance of the spiritual ego in a state of
horrible and never-ending torture, then indeed we may be thankful that
we are free from so many of the ills to which it was then popularly
believed all human flesh was heir.
I closed the book which I had been perusing, with a sense of the
liveliest amazement. Was it possible, I thought, that this wonderful
people had really conquered disease, decay, death, and the elements?
The suggestion seemed so wild, and my surroundings altogether were so
strange, that I pinched myself to make sure that I had not really left
my earthly casing behind me, and emerged, Chrysalis-like, into another
world, whereof the grovelling nature of my former existence had failed
to give me any conception.
But no, I was as sensitive to pain as ever I had been; and, to make the
situation once more one of active reality, Hilda presently made her
re-appearance. It was well for me that she seemed to have taken a strong
fancy to me, otherwise I should never have been able to feel so much at
ease in her presence as I did.
True, she was not more than nineteen years of age, so she told me, and
was still pursuing the studies which were to qualify her to become a
full-blown Lecturer on Chemical Science, but her physique was so
splendid, and her mental qualities of such surprising vigour for one so
young as she, that it was impossible for me to regard myself other than
as a very inferior being in her presence.
She was very pleased to find that I had been able to read the books she
had placed at my disposal; but her powers of belief were severely taxed
when I insisted that the retrospect, referring to the peculiar habits
and customs of the Ancients, was a faithful picture of things as they
still existed in my own country.
“To tell you the truth,” she said at last, “I think that you have been
asleep for about six hundred years. You must have been taking
Schlafstrank, though I had no idea it had been so long in existence.”
“And, pray, what is Schlafstrank, and what are its uses?” I asked,
whereupon I was told that Schlafstrank was an essence, discovered in the
year 2239, by Ada of Garretville, while Senior Lecturer in Chemistry for
that year. The uses to which this essence was devoted was to put people
to sleep for a longer or a shorter period of time, according to the
quantity inhaled or swallowed. While under the influence of Schlafstrank
any amount of pain could be borne without causing the subject of it any
real inconvenience, since no sense of pain or bodily suffering was
conveyed to the sleeping mind.
Thus if, in unusual exception to the rule of perfect health which
prevailed here, some dangerous or painful disease overtook any of the
children of the State, be they old or young, they were subject to the
influence of Schlafstrank, and then dosed or operated upon until the
disease was conquered. In this way did New Amazonians avoid suffering,
and it struck me as marvellous to picture them as the subjects of an
accident resulting in a few broken limbs, and being unconscious of any
inconvenience arising therefrom during the processes of setting and
recovery. I was told that Schlafstrank produced no deleterious effect
upon the body, although repeated doses were given, if the patient’s mind
threatened to awake before complete recovery of the body had set in.
One thing mystified me exceedingly. I was told that Schlafstrank was not
invented until the year 2239, and naturally asked what year this was
supposed to be. No doubt there was ample room for amusement on both
sides when I positively averred that the year 1889 was not yet at an
end, and Hilda insisted just as positively that this was the year 2472.
Not a little to my surprise, an attendant knocked at the door, and
presented me with a parcel, with the words “From the Mother.”
“The Mother?”, I queried, and Hilda, pitying my ignorance, informed me
that the State was the Mother of her people, and that no doubt the
parcel contained a suitable outfit for me. On opening the parcel, I
found the latter surmise to be correct, and I was eased of the last
remnant of embarrassment I might have entertained at the idea of
encroaching upon the hospitality of others, by being informed that it
was considered a personal honour for any individual member of the State
to be permitted to dispense the Mother’s hospitality to all comers.
No stranger was permitted to seek private hospitality, but was provided,
at the behest and expense of the Mother, with everything necessary for
comfort while in New Amazonia.
I suggested that if this were generally known, the country was in danger
of being over-run by loafers and adventurers of all nations.
This argument was met by the information that no strangers were
permitted to land except such as showed good reason for their advent.
If, by any chance, a person obtained access to the country who was
inclined to abuse its hospitality, she or he was subjected to a course
of labour which more than sufficed to pay expenses, and was then
promptly expelled, one of the numerous fleet of trading steamers which
New Amazonia now possessed being used as a means of transport to the
culprit’s own country.
Hilda’s duties were not quite completed, but she told me that if I would
induct myself in my new garments during her absence, she would return to
me as soon as possible, and that she was deputed to inform me that
Principal Grey and Professor Wise were prepared to escort me on a tour
round the city, if I cared to go.
_Es geht ohne sagen_ that I jumped at the offer, metaphorically
speaking, and that I exerted myself to the utmost to transform my
outward semblance by wasting no time ere I changed my own attire for the
National costume a bountiful State had placed at my disposal. I availed
myself of a marble bath which Hilda had shown me, and even half resolved
to sacrifice my hair, in my desire to make myself as less like an oddity
The clothes proved a good fit, if the term could be applied to garments
whose chief beauty consisted in the absolute freedom from constraint
which they exercised over the body. I noticed one omission, which I was
inclined to regret. No graceful sash formed part of my outfit, and I
learnt afterwards that none but natives of the soil, or formally adopted
immigrants, were permitted to adorn themselves with this distinctive
I was very much relieved when, on the return of Hilda, she pronounced me
to be so passable as to be sure to escape the annoyance of being
conspicuously Ancient looking, my diminutive stature being now the only
specially noticeable feature about me, provided my hair could be hidden.
Upon trial, my new velvet cap proved too inadequate a means of securing
the desired end, and, with something akin to a pang, I must confess, I
empowered Hilda to deprive me of what I had hitherto been taught to
regard as woman’s glory.
No sooner, however, was I bereft of all superabundant tresses, than I
decided that the men who have from time to time so zealously exhorted
women to wear their hair long, have done it from an innate conviction
that the practice was debilitating and inconvenient, and therefore
likely to prove an invaluable aid in the final subjugation of woman.
Unlike Samson of old, I rejoiced in my newly acquired lack of hirsute
adornment, and went on my way rejoicing.
I also found locomotion so much easier in my new attire, that the marble
stairs had no terrors for me, and the interest I felt in all I saw
proved a powerful incentive to exertion. I was not sorry to find that we
were to be fortified with another meal before starting on our exploring
expedition. As at the previous meal, there was no animal food, but the
fare was scientifically perfect, and calculated to appeal powerfully to
the senses by its appetising odour and appearance. Three meals per diem
proved to be the rule here, and I observed that, compared to their
physique, the appetites of the New Amazonians seemed to be very
moderate. This was no doubt due to the fact that every item of food
consumed was of such a nature that it at once supplied all the wants of
the body, and that all indigestible or innutritive foods had long ago
been banished from New Amazonian regimen as injurious on account of the
useless waste of bodily force entailed in digesting or assimilating
I was, however, glad to find that tea was not condemned as entirely
useless, and I thoroughly enjoyed this third and last meal of the day,
after which I was taken out to explore posthumous Dublin, now called
Andersonia. Once, when paying a flying visit to St. Petersburg, I was
much struck by the large scale upon which all the principal streets and
buildings were planned, and when I arrived in London, not very long
after this, I felt positively relieved at the sight of the comparatively
narrow and dingy London streets and buildings, and the sense of glare
and unreality which made itself palpable in St. Petersburg promptly
vanished in the atmosphere of London smoke.
Yellow-ochred palaces, lime-washed theatres, golden domes, and gaudy
blue and white and gilt churches appealed less to my fancy than did the
solid stone beauties of London architecture, grimy though they might be.
In looking upon Andersonia I was forcibly reminded of both the cities
just mentioned. There were the same large, open squares, revealing
broad, avenue-lined streets planned with mathematical exactitude, and
the same huge buildings that I had noticed in St. Petersburg. But there
was also the same solidity, freedom from glare, and honesty of
composition, which roused my admiration when looking upon some of
London’s magnificent stone buildings. Here, however, were examples of
architecture such as I had never before seen the like of for
magnificence, and it was no detriment to their beauty that they were
unsullied by smoke or dirt.
This seemed a very large city, and must have contained a numerous
population, yet not one smoking chimney did I see. The weather was
delightfully mild, but of course heat was necessary for cooking. In my
ideas, a fire was just as necessarily associated with smoke, and I
expressed my surprise at its evident absence. Considerably to my
astonishment, I had some difficulty in making myself understood, but, in
the end, mutual enlightenment was the result of our confabulations.
Electricity was made so thoroughly subservient to human will that it
supplied light, heat, and powers of volition, besides being made to
perform nearly every conceivable domestic use. So well were the elements
analysed and understood here that thunderstorms were unknown, and the
force which yearly used to slay numbers of people was now attracted,
cooped, and subjugated to human necessities.
The skies were unclouded, the air delightfully bracing, the atmosphere
so clear and pure that I wondered if some strange change had not
occurred to my eyesight, since I could see miles and miles of fair
country, lovely villages, and populous towns, whichever way I looked.
Smoke was an imponderable quantity here, by virtue of the
smoke-consuming apparati fixed in every dwelling, which permitted not
even the destruction by fire of the household refuse which was daily
committed to the furnace, to sully the purity of the atmosphere.
I enquired if fires were frequent here, and was told that in the
manufacture or adaption of every material in use, either for building
purposes, or for decorative and personal application, there was
incorporated a substance which rendered it impervious to fire, and
There was not the slightest noise of traffic in the streets, such as I
had always been accustomed to hear in either large or small towns. On
each side of every street there was a double means of locomotion
provided. Water cars abounded, and by way of proving their comfort and
efficiency to me, the two women who escorted me took their seats in one
of them, and, somewhat nervously, I followed their example.
In another moment I noticed houses and streets fly past us with magical
rapidity, but this phenomenon ceased almost immediately, and I looked
through the glass sides of the car upon a totally new scene. Dublin Bay,
in all its glorious beauty, lay unfolded to my vision. But I was hardly
able to appreciate it at that moment, for I was possessed by the idea
that I was under the influence of magic.
The magic subsequently resolved itself into a marvellous adaptation of
hydraulic force. It was our car, not the houses, which had been flying
with electric speed. Yet so noiseless, and so apparently motionless had
we been that the illusion was perfect, and I seemed not to have moved.
The pressure of an electric button stopped a car instantaneously, and at
the same time prevented any succeeding car from passing a given point
until all obstruction ahead was removed.
These stoppages lasted only an infinitesimally short time, for all the
cars, whether for passenger or goods traffic, were pulled up to the
inner barrier of the double roadway, leaving a clear course for all cars
which were still pursuing their journey.
I could not see any water, but was told that the whole traffic of the
country was run upon these electric hydraulic ways, and that water had
been found so noiseless, so frictionless, so economical, and so superior
in every way to the locomotive railways formerly in use as to supersede
the latter a few hundred years ago. “Puffing Billy” in fact was now only
a memory. The first line of one of Dagonet’s ballads, “Billy’s dead and
gone to glory,” came to my mind as applicable to the motive force which
in my own days was considered impossible to beat.
His knell was sounded, when there appeared a rival on the scene who
brought neither noise, dirt, vibration, nor smoke in her train.
Accidents were of almost impossible occurrence on the hydraulic roads, I
was told, and ordinary street traffic was not interfered with by these
roads, as they were constructed upon elevated platforms.
All persons using them paid a certain sum for the privilege. The State
had entire control of the waterways, and derived considerable revenues
from them, after paying all expenses, and remunerating the thousands of
people who were employed upon them. The remotest part of New Amazonia
could, I was told, be reached in twenty minutes, at small cost, as the
waterway system scarcely left a village untouched.
I was initiated in many wonders that night, being not the least
interested by an inspection of the many strange objects to be seen in
the shop windows, and by the universal good humour and happiness which
seemed to illumine every face I met. My guides proved themselves to be
admirable and patient cicerones. Fortunately for me, they recognised
that my physical capabilities were greatly inferior to their own, and
did not quite drag me about until I was tired to death.
So far, I was highly satisfied with my adventures in New Amazonia, and
when I retired to rest in the luxurious bed provided for me, I slept
soundly and healthily until Hilda awoke me, and told me that it was time
to get a bath, and dress for breakfast.
It could not be more than five o’clock, I was sure, and I did not feel
much inclined to rise at such an unconscionably early hour, until I
heard Hilda ask if I would not like to go to the large baths with her,
and have a swim. Alas! aquatic exercises were utterly out of my power to
undertake. But this fact did not deprive me of all desire to witness the
doings of others, and I hurriedly left my couch, performed my toilet
expeditiously, and accompanied Hilda to the splendid swimming baths in
which scores of women were disporting themselves. Their bathing costume
was neat and elegant, but at the same time thoroughly utilitarian, and
they seemed as much at home in the water as on _terra firma_.
The water was conducted from the sea, and was always cool and fresh,
owing to the mechanical arrangements which existed for changing it. I
could not help wishing that I could swim, dive, and float like these
more favoured beings, but womanfully resisted all attempts to induce me
to learn the art there and then.
In all ages, and in all countries, there have been isolated women who
have been regarded as beautiful specimens of their sex. In New Amazonia
the difficulty would consist in finding women who were not perfect
models of beauty, grace, and dignity. As I contemplated the happy groups
before me, I had ample opportunity to convince myself that not one of
them owed her superb proportions to artificial means, and I was
positively thankful that I measured quite twenty-six inches round the
waist. Had I measured a fraction less, I should have been looked upon as
deformed in this land of goddesses.
I noticed that some of the bathers, not content with simple diving,
propelled themselves to a great height by means of trapezes. They would,
when at the desired altitude, suddenly relinquish their hold upon the
trapeze, turn a somersault, and plunge, straight as a die, into the
volume of water beneath. There were many other ways here practised of
varying and elaborating these swimming exercises, but no one appeared in
the least degree fatigued by them; and I was told that every child was
taught swimming from its third year upwards, and that cases of drowning
were seldom heard of in this favoured land.
After breakfast, the students repaired to their different classes, and I
resolved to venture out alone, my suggestion that I should do so meeting
with no opposition.
My want of stature scarcely warranted the assumption that I was a
full-grown adult, and the absence of a sash proclaimed me to be of alien
race. But I did not doubt now that I should meet with anything but the
most courteous treatment. Principal Grey placed a slip of paper in my
hand, which proved to be a pass such as the State furnished to all its
guests, and was neither more nor less than an open sesame to all public
buildings, such as picture galleries and museums. It was also intended
to enable me to make such use as I chose of the water-cars.
My first impression that this was a country of none but women had been
dissipated on the previous evening by seeing great numbers of men either
working or bent upon pleasure. They were magnificent beings, all of
them, and presented a superb appearance, such as would have rendered
them all-conquering in London society.
Their dress——upon consideration I have decided not to describe their
attire. My friend, Mr. Augustus Fitz-Musicus, told me that he meant to
produce a book, detailing all his adventures in New Amazonia, and it
would hardly be fair to anticipate all he has got to say.
Although I started on my exploring tour with a very good heart, I was
not at all sorry when some one presently rushed up to me, and shook my
hand with most effusive familiarity. This some one turned out to be Mr.
Augustus Fitz-Musicus. He was as much transformed as I was, being
dressed in——there now, I nearly betrayed his secret, after all.
Considerably to my amusement he professed to be very much disgusted at
being compelled to renounce his wonderful tweeds and three-inch high
collar, in favour of——well, in favour of garments that were very much
more artistic and comfortable.
Like myself, he was thrown upon his own resources for a time, so we
resolved to explore in concert, and exchange impressions by the way.
Woman has by man been credited with an undying propensity to have the
last word on each and every occasion where talking has to be done. My
personal conviction is that every man who utters this fallacy knows very
well that it is a libel on my sex, and that he is only warding off
self-conviction by acting on the principles of first attack.
Thus, Molly Muddle tells Mrs. Bungle that Miss Pringle is too ugly for
anything. She has no sooner committed this indiscretion than she becomes
afraid that it will be brought home to her, and resolves to preserve her
own reputation for charity by straightway informing Miss Pringle that
Mrs. Bungle is taking her character away. She repeats and enlarges upon
this statement until she actually grows to believe it herself.
It is just so with the men who try to foist their own failings upon
women. They are just so many Molly Muddles. Mr. Fitz-Musicus fully bears
out this assertion by insisting upon giving me all his experiences
before I can get many words in, and by treating me to a repetition of
them which lasts until it is time to fulfil our engagements to return in
time for the mid-day meal.
“And do you know I am going to write everything down that I see while I
am here,” he informs me volubly. “Nothing shall escape my notice. In
fact, I have begun my book already, for it doesn’t do to trust to
memory, and as my grasp of the subject is something extraordinary, I
expect my book will be no end of a success if I ever go back to the old
“Oddly enough,” I say, “I have also resolved to publish my impressions
of New Amazonia.”
“Ah, yes, I daresay,” is the supercilious reply. “Of course, there can
be no harm in your trying. But you are only a woman, and cannot be
expected to produce anything clever. However, I like you, and don’t mind
touching your work up a bit, before you send it to the printers. In that
way, it may possibly be presentable, though of course, it is sure to be
rather commonplace. Just listen to my opening paragraph.”
Feeling considerably like a cat whose coat is being stroked the wrong
way, as I listened to these flattering encomiums on my mental
qualifications, I nevertheless paid particular attention to my friend’s
opening sentences, of which the following is a _verbatim_ transcript:—
“The other night, I was with some fellows in London, and we all took
some Hasheesh to make us dream. Then I woke up a tree. Then I saw
somebody laughing at me, and I came down and tore my trousers. After
that, a whole troop of giantesses in queer clothes came and had a look
at me. They didn’t take any notice of the other party, for she was only
a woman. One of the giantesses kissed me, and called me the handsomest
fellow she had ever seen. I like that one immensely, and I am seriously
thinking of marrying her. I understand that the marriage laws here are
just the ticket for rollicking, Bohemian fellows like me. If my wife
doesn’t prove very obedient and docile, I can chuck her over, and won’t
even have to keep my own youngsters, if there should be any.
“I don’t like the way they house you here. If I stop, I shall insist
upon living in a small house, apart from others, where I can make my
wife feel that I am lord and master in it.
“The men here seem to be fools. They let the women grow up as strong and
healthy as themselves, and it will be difficult to reduce them to
civilization again. Isn’t it extraordinary?”
This was as far as the rollicking Augustus had progressed in his
narrative, and I was quite sincere when I informed him that I thought it
very original indeed.
“Oh, I say, you have got your hair cut!” he cried. “It doesn’t look at
all bad, but when you get back to England you will wish you had it back
again. But I suppose you felt that you must be in the fashion. It’s a
mercy for women that they are at least capable of understanding all
matters appertaining to dress. Otherwise, we might expect them to bestow
less attention upon our own personal adornment. They can never
manufacture anything to equal men’s work, but I will grant them the
faculty of criticism. How do you like me in my new clothes?”
Should I have been human if I had failed to retaliate a little? On this
occasion I found it impossible to resist the temptation, and replied
gravely, “Well, Mr. Fitz-Musicus, I confess that I was rather surprised
to see that you also had been persuaded to adopt the National costume,
for it makes you look more insignificant than ever, if possible. You
will be mistaken for some little boy, playing the truant, if you do not
mind. But I daresay my presence will be some little protection to you,
and you are sincerely welcome to any assistance I can afford you,”———
“Come, if that isn’t cool!” interrupted Augustus. “I can see just what
is the matter. You are jealous of me all round, because I am naturally
of more consequence than you are, and because you have no hope of being
able to produce half such a book as mine will be. Still, as I said
before, I rather like you, and we may as well be friends while we are
here. Suppose we try an intellectual topic likely to prove of use in our
reminiscences. What did you have for your breakfast?”
I’m afraid that if I had met Mr. Fitz-Musicus in former days, I should
scarcely have looked upon him as an individual with whom it was worth my
while to waste ten minutes in conversation, and my chief regret now was
that New Amazonians were being edified by the nonentities of a man who
was by no means a fair specimen of the sort of men my country could turn
out. Not that such conceited individuals do not exist in our midst, for
I know some one at this moment who may possibly be mistaken for the
prototype of the lively Augustus.
Should he or his friends read this, I wish to assure them that above all
things I disclaim being personal. It is not quite an impossibility to
find two individuals equally addicted to what is termed fast living;
equally boisterous in the matter of dress; equally conceited and
overbearing; and addicted to the same inane forms of speech. They may,
therefore, console themselves with the idea that, however like them my
hero may be, the resemblance is only a chance one.
The further progress of my conversation with the Hon. Augustus would not
amuse the reader, any more than would a description of the remaining
portion of that morning’s excursion, for I lost all interest in what I
saw, and my return to the college took place much earlier than I had