"That is a difficulty. Perhaps you had better go on as you have been doing, and when you have had enough of that, go in for some political institutions; they have got you registered as a National Councillor, so you can pretend to study the working of the Constitution or some such thing."
"That's rather a good idea," I said; "but, judging from what I have seen, I should doubt whether they will let me see what I want to see."
"Why, what do you want to see?"
"Just what I cannot get from an inspection of the machinery of the State--the effect of the laws and customs on the actual life of the people."
"Ah, that you will have to get by the aid of your imagination."
"But," I suggested, "is it not possible to get permission to live in some family, or with several different families in different classes in succession?"
"Oh yes," replied Johnson, "quite possible, if you are prepared to go through all the necessary formalities; but I doubt whether you will get much by it. You see, each family is a sort of replica, in miniature, of the State. They will have to report to the Police once a week upon all your doings. Every word you say will be listened to. They will be studying you, just as you will be studying them. I have tried it. There is no natural intercourse in this country. Try it if you like, but I am sure you will come to my opinion in the end.
"Don't forget to enter the time of this conversation in your diary," Mr. Johnson said as we parted. "If you make a mistake, or if I make a mistake, we shall have an interview with an inspector from the Time Department, and the hotel manager will worry us to death about it."
The next day I resumed my tour of observation with a new' conductor' whose name was Lickrod. He was almost affectionate in his greeting when we met at the Police Office, and we had not been long together before I recognised that he was a different type from Prigge, or Sheep, or any of the others I had met. He was to take me to see the Industrial town, and he was full of enthusiasm for everything we were to see. As we went along in the tram he explained rather effusively that it was a great pleasure to him to meet foreigners. He had a mission in life, just as Meccania had a mission among all the nations. He was a loyal Meccanian aai in fact, he yielded to no man in his loyalty to the State; but for that very reason he ventured to criticise one defect in the policy of the Government. I began to wonder what that could be.
"I have travelled abroad," he said, "and I have seen with my own eyes the benighted condition of so many millions of my fellow-creatures. I come home, and I see everywhere around me order, knowledge, prosperity, cleanliness--no dirt, no poverty, no disorder, no strikes, no disturbance, no ignorance, no disease that can be prevented-- Culture everywhere. It makes me almost weep to think of the state of the world outside. We have not done all that we might have done to carry our Culture abroad. We have kept it too much to ourselves. In my humble way, as a Conductor of Foreigners, I take every opportunity I can of spreading a knowledge of our Culture. But instead of a few score, or at most a few hundred, foreigners every year, we ought to have thousands here. Then they would become missionaries in their own countries. I always impress upon them that they must begin with the reform of education in their countries; and I would advise you, before you return, to make a thorough study of our system of education. Without that you cannot hope to succeed."
"But," I suggested, "if other countries followed your example would they not become as strong as you? Perhaps your Government looks at it from that point of view."
"There are, on this question," he observed sagely, "two opposite opinions. One is that it is better to keep our Culture to ourselves; the other is that we ought to teach other nations, so that ultimately all the earth can become one great and glorious Meccania."
By this time we had arrived at the entrance to the Industrial town. Conductor Lickrod broke off to note the time of our arrival, and to lead me into the office of the Governor or Controller of what, for convenience, I may call Worktown. Indeed the Industrial quarter is known by a similar term in Mecco. This Controller is responsible for the preservation of order; but as there is no difficulty about discipline in the ordinary sense of the word, his functions are rather to promote a high standard of Meccanian conduct among the workers of all ages and grades. In this work he is assisted by scores of Sub-Controllers of Industrial Training, as they are called.
The organisation of the Controller's Department was explained before we proceeded to any of the works. There was a large room filled with thousands of little dossiers in shelves, and card-index cases to correspond. The particulars of the character and career of every worker in the town could be ascertained at a moment's notice. All the workers were either in the Fifth or Sixth Class, but they were divided into more than a dozen subgrades, and the card-index showed by the colour which of the many grades any particular person had attained.
I asked how the workmen were engaged.
"The industrial career of a workman," said Lickrod enthusiastically, "begins, if I may so express myself, with the dawn of his industrial intelligence. In our schools--and here you perceive one of the perfections of our educational system-- our teachers are trained to detect the signs of the innate capacity of each child, and to classify it appropriately. In 70^ per cent of cases, as you will see from the last report of the Industrial Training Section of the Department of Industry and Commerce, the careers of boys are determined before the age of thirteen. The rest is merely a question of training. By a proper classification we are able to adjust the supply of each different kind of capacity to the requirements of our industry.
We avoid all the waste and uncertainty which one sees in countries where even the least competent workmen are allowed to choose their employment. We guarantee employment to everybody, and on the other hand we preserve the right to say what the employment shall be."
"Does that mean," I asked, "that a workman can never change his employment?"
"In some of the more backward parts of the country it is sometimes necessary for workmen to change their employment; but here, in Mecco, we should think we had managed our business very badly if that were necessary."
"But without its being necessary, a man might wish to change. I have heard of many cases, in Luniland and Transatlantica, of a clever and enterprising man having risen to eminence, after an experience in half a dozen different occupations. Here, I understand, that is impossible."
"Ah," replied Lickrod, "I see you have not grasped the scientific basis of our system. You say such and such a person rose to eminence, shall we say as a lawyer, after having been, let us say, a printer or even a house-painter. If there had been a sufficient supply of good lawyers it is probable that he would not have succeeded in becoming an eminent lawyer. Now, we know our requirements as regards lawyers, just as we know our requirements as to engineers. We have also the means of judging the capacity of our young people, and we place them in the sphere in which they can be of most service."
I thought I could see holes in this theory, but all I said was, "So you think of the problem from the point of view of the good of the State, regardless of the wishes of the individual."
"Certainly of the good of the State; but you mistake the true meaning of the wishes of the individual. The apparent wish of the individual may be to follow some other course than that which the State, with its fuller knowledge and deeper wisdom, directs; but the real inward wish of all Meccanians is to serve the interests of Meccania. That is the outcome of our system of education. We must talk about that some other time, but just now I want you to see that our system produces such wonderful fruits that it never enters the head of any Meccanian workman to question its wisdom."
We entered a gigantic engineering works, full of thousands of machine tools. Everything appeared as clean and orderly as in the experimental room of an engineering college. Some of the workmen wore grey-coloured overalls, showing that they belonged to the Sixth Class, but most of them wore the chocolate uniform of the men of the Fifth Class. These were evidently performing highly skilled work. Even the moulding shops were clean and tidy, and the employment of machinery for doing work that elsewhere I had been accustomed to see done by hand astonished me. The workmen looked like soldiers and behaved like automatons. Conversation went on, but I was informed by Lickrod, again in a tone of pride, that only conversation relative to the work in hand was permitted. Here and there I saw a man in a green uniform, applying some mysterious instrument to one of the workmen. I asked Lickrod what this meant.
"That is one of our industrial psychologists, testing the psycho-physiological effects of certain operations. By this means we can tell not only when a workman is over-fatigued, but also if he is under-fatigued. It is all part of our science of production."
"What happens if a man is under-fatigued persistently?" I asked.
"He will have to perform fatigue duty after the usual hours, just as he would in the army," he answered.
"And do they not object to this?"
"Why should they? The man who is guilty of under-fatigue knows that he is justly punished. The others regard the offence as one against themselves. It is part of our industrial training. But we have indeed very few cases of under-fatigue in Mecco. You know, perhaps, that all our citizens are, so to speak, selected. Anyone who does not appreciate his privileges can be removed to other cities or towns, and there are thousands of loyal Meccanians only too eager to come to live in Mecco."
One of the most remarkable industries I saw carried on was the House -building Industry. The plans for houses of every kind, except those for the Third and higher classes, are stereotyped. That is to say, there are some forty or fifty different plans, all worked out to the minutest detail. Suppose ten houses are wanted in any particular quarter, the Building Department decides the type of house, the order is given for ten houses, Type No. 27 let us say. This goes to the firm which specialises in Type No. 27. There are no architect's fees, and the expenses of superintending the work are almost nil.
I asked Conductor Lickrod why it was that, when the whole industry of house -building had been reduced to a matter of routine, the State did not itself carry on the work, but employed private firms. "That question," he said, "touches one of the fundamental principles of our Meccanian policy. If you study our National Economy you will learn all you require about it, but for the moment I may say that the control of the State over Industry is complete, yet we have not extinguished the capitalist. We do not desire to do so, for many reasons. The Third Class, which includes all the large capitalists, and the Fourth Class, which includes the smaller capitalists, furnish a most important element in the National Economy. Their enterprise in business and manufacture is truly astonishing."
"But what motive have they for displaying enterprise?" I asked.
"What motive? Why, every motive. Their livelihood depends upon the profits made; thenpromotion to a higher grade in their own class, and in the case of those in the Fourth Class their promotion to the ranks of the Third Class, also depends upon their skill and enterprise. But most of all, the Meccanian spirit, which has been inculcated by our system of education, inspires them with the desire to excel the business men of all other nations for the sake of Meccanian Culture."
Certainly the organisation of industry was marvellous, and the production of everything must be enormous. We spent three days going through factory after factory. There was the same marvellous order and cleanliness and perfect discipline, wherever one turned. On leaving the works the men all marched in step, as if on parade. Inside, they saluted their' officers,' but the salute was of a special kind--the hand was raised to the shoulder only, so as to avoid a sweeping motion which might have brought it in contact with some object. One of the triumphs of organisation, to which Lickrod called my attention, was the arrangement whereby the workmen reached their work at the proper time, got their midday meal, and reached home in the evening without any congestion. Each separate workshop had its appointed time for beginning work; some began as early as 6, others at 6.15, the last to begin were a few that had a comparatively short day, starting at 7.30. The midday meal began at 11.30, and was taken by relays until about 1.30. All the women employed in the canteens were the wives and daughters of workmen, who spent the rest of their time in household work at home.
At the end of the third day, as I was taking coffee with Conductor Lickrod, I took advantage of his communicativeness, which was rather a contrast to the brusqueness of Prigge, to get some light on several matters that had so far puzzled me.
"Your industrial system," I remarked, "as a productive machine, appears to me to be quite marvellous."
Lickrod beamed. "I knew you would think so," he said. "We have a word in our language which, so far as I am aware, has no exact equivalent in other languages, because their culture does not include the thing. It means' the adaptation of the means to the end.' Our industrial system exemplifies the virtue connoted by that expression; but our whole industrial system itself is only a means perfectly adapted to its end. We have no' Industrial Problem' in the old sense of that word. Of course we are always effecting improvements in detail."
"But I have been wondering how it is," I said, "that with all this marvellous efficiency in production, your workmen in the Fifth and Sixth, and I suppose in the Seventh Class also, appear to work as long as those in other countries; they do not appear to be richer and they seem to have fewer opportunities of rising in the social scale."
"I have heard the same question put by other Foreign Observers," replied Lickrod, "and I am glad you have come to me for information on the subject. A complete answer involves a correct understanding of our whole Culture. To begin with, the supreme good of the State can only be determined by the State itself. The wishes or opinions of the private individual are of no account. Now, the State knows what its requirements are, and determines the amounts and kinds of work necessary to meet these requirements. By means of our Sociological Department, our Industrial Department, our Time Department, and the various sections of our Department of Culture, we know perfectly how to adjust our industries to the end determined by the State. Every class and grade therefore is required to contribute towards the supreme good of the State according to its ability."
"I quite understand," I interrupted, "the point of view you are expounding; but what I am wondering is why, with all this efficient machinery of production, everybody in the country is not in the enjoyment either of wealth or of leisure."
"I am afraid it is not easy for a foreigner, without longer experience, to appreciate the different value we attach to things such as wealth and leisure, and other things too. Suppose, purely for the sake of argument, that our working class worked only five hours a day instead of nine or ten: what would they do with their leisure?"
"I suppose they would enjoy themselves," I replied; "and seeing that they have had the benefit of a good education, I take it that they would know how to enjoy themselves in a decent manner. Besides, your regulations would be able to prevent any excesses or disorders."
"And you think they would be better employed in enjoying themselves than in serving the State as they do now?" asked Lickrod.
"Who is to judge whether they would be better employed?" I answered.
"That is just the question," said Lickrod, "and it is there that our Culture is so much in advance of other nations. Private enjoyment is not the supreme end of the State."
"But surely," I said, "you do not go on producing wealth simply for the sake of keeping your working classes employed ten hours instead of five? What becomes of the wealth?"
"As I said before, we produce just the wealth we require."
"Then I confess I am baffled," I said. "Possibly a great deal is required for your army and navy and other public services. You have, you must acknowledge, a very large number of people employed as officials of all kinds. As these are not producing material goods, perhaps the surplus wealth is drained away into these channels?"
"All that is included in my statement, that we produce what we require," answered Lickrod.
"Can you give me any idea," I asked, with some hesitation, fearing I was getting on delicate ground, "how much of the industrial product is required for military and naval purposes? I don't suppose you can, because I am aware that your Government does not publish its military estimates; and even if it did, it would not be possible to tell how much of the labour of the working classes is absorbed in that way. But whilst I do not ask for any information that it is not usual to give, I suggest to you that when I see the extraordinary productivity of your economic machine, coupled with the comparative simplicity of the mode of life pursued by the bulk of your population, I am bound to infer one of two things: either a vast amount must be absorbed by some rich class, or it must be in some way absorbed by the State itself."
"I think your reasoning is perfectly sound," replied Lickrod. "I could not tell you what proportion of the wealth product is absorbed by the army if I wished; for I do not know, and nobody in Meccania knows, except the Supreme Authority. The Finance Department knows only in terms of money what is spent upon the various services. But without knowing either exact amounts or proportions, I have no hesitation in saying that a very great deal of the wealth product does go in these directions. But that is part of our Meccanian ideal. The army is the nation, is it not? Every workman you have seen is a soldier; and he is a soldier just as much when he is in the factory as when he is in the camp or the barracks. He spends five years of his life between twenty and thirty in the camp, and he spends from one to two months of every year afterwards in keeping up his training. Then of course there is the equipment of both army and navy, which of course is always developing. Your idea is, I suppose, that if we devoted less to such objects as these, the people of the working classes, or even the whole body of people, would have more to spend upon pleasure, or could enjoy more leisure."
"Yes," I said, "in most other countries every penny spent upon either military purposes or upon State officials, beyond what is strictly necessary, is grudged. The people scrutinise very keenly all public expenditure. They prefer to spend what they regard as their own money in their own way. It seems to me therefore, that either your people do not look at the matter in the same way, or if they do, that the State has discovered a very effective way of overcoming their objections."
"What you say," replied Lickrod, "only brings out more and more the difference between our Culture and that of other nations. This sense of antagonism between the interests of the individual and the interests of the State, which has hindered and apparently still hinders the development of other countries, has been almost entirely eradicated among the Meccanians."
"What!" I said, "do you mean that a Meccanian pays his taxes cheerfully?"
"What taxes?" asked Lickrod blandly.
"I do not know in what form your taxes are paid," I said, "but they must be paid in some way, and I suspect that even in Meccania, if they were left to voluntary subscription, the Exchequer would not be quite so full."
"Now that is a very curious instance of what I am tempted to call the political stupidity of other nations. Instead of removing all circumstances that provoke a consciousness of difference between the individual and the State, they seem to call the attention of the private citizen, as they call him, to these differences. They first allow a man to regard property as entirely his own, and then discuss with him how much he shall contribute, and finally make him pay in hard cash."
"And how do you manage to get over the difficulty?" I said.
"All Meccanians are taught from their youth-- even from early childhood--that all they have they owe to the beneficent protection of the State. The State is their Father and their Mother. No one questions its benevolence or its wisdom or its power.
Consequently all this haggling about how much shall be paid this year or that year is avoided. The State is the direct paymaster of nearly half the nation. Hence it can deduct what is due without any sense of loss. Through our Banking system the collection of the rest is quite easy. The private employers deduct from the wages of their employees, and are charged the exact amount through the Banks. No one feels it."
"But does your Parliament exercise no control over taxation?" I asked in some surprise.
"Our Parliament is in such complete accord with the Government that it would not dream of disturbing the system of taxation, which has worked so well for over thirty years," replied Lickrod.
"Have they the power to do so?" I asked.
"They have the power to ask questions, certainly," he replied; "but the taxes are fixed for periods of seven years. That is to say, the direct taxes falling upon each separate class are fixed every seven years in each case; so that the taxes for the First Class come up for revision one year, those for the Second Class the next year, and so on. The Constitution does not allow Parliament to increase the amount asked for by the Government, and as the vote is taken not individually but by classes, it is hardly to the interest of any of the classes to try to reduce the amount assessed upon any one class. Besides, the Government derives a considerable proportion of its income from its own property in the shape of mines, railways, forests, farms, and so forth. When we hear foreigners speak of Parliamentary Opposition we hardly know what the term means. It is entirely foreign to the Meccanian spirit."
"You speak of the Government," I remarked, "but I have not yet discovered what the Government is."
"I am afraid I must refer you to our manuals of Constitutional Law," replied Lickrod.
"Oh, I know in a general way the outline of your Constitution," I said, "but in every country there is a real working Constitution, which differs from the formal Constitution. For instance, Constitutions usually contain nothing about political parties, yet the policy and traditions of these parties are the most important factors. The merely legal powers of a monarch, for instance, may in practice lapse, or may be so rarely exercised as not to matter. Now in Meccania one sees a powerful Government at work everywhere--that is, one sees the machinery of Government, but the driving force and the controlling force seem hidden."
"You may find the answer to your question if you make a study of our political institutions. At present I am afraid your curiosity seems directed towards matters that to us have only a sort of historical interest. It would never occur to any Meccanian to ask who controls the Government.
His conception of the State is so entirely different that the question seems almost unmeaning."
"I have recently spent a long time in Luniland," I remarked at this point, "and I am afraid a Lunilander would say that if such a question has become unmeaning to a Meccanian the Meccanians must have lost the political sense."
"And we should say that we have solved the problem of politics. We should say," he went on, "that the Lunilanders have no Government. A Government that can be changed every few years, a Government that has to ask the consent of what they call the taxpayers for every penny it is to spend, a Government that must expose all its business to an ignorant mob, a Government that must pass and carry out any law demanded by a mere majority aai we do not call that a Government."
"They regard liberty as more important than Government," I replied, with a smile.
"They are still enslaved by the superstitions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries," he replied solemnly. "No nation will make real progress until it learns how to embody its physical, intellectual and spiritual forces in an all-embracing State. Our State may be imperfect--I know it is--but we are in the right way; and developed as it may be in another century it will completely answer all human requirements."
"Developed?" I said, almost betraying my amusement for I wondered what further developmerits the Super-State was capable of. "In what directions do you anticipate development?"
"There is still an immense fund of religious sentiment that is squandered upon unworthy objects: this may be--I feel sure it will be--directed into a nobler channel. Our ritual, too, in no way corresponds to the sublimity of the Idea of the Super-State. The ritual of the Catholic Church--which is after all but a section of the whole State--is still superior, from the sensuous and the artistic point of view, to our State ritual. Our reverence for the State is too cold, too inarticulate. I have sometimes thought that the Emperor might found an order of priests or monks who would cultivate an inward devotion that would inevitably give birth to a real religion of the State."
"You are a true missionary," I said; "in fact, I think you are entitled to be considered a Meccanian Apostle. I have learnt a great deal from our intercourse, and just as you have suggested that the Government might bring more foreigners to see the wonders of your Meccanian Culture, I would suggest that they should send you and others like yourself into other countries to enlighten them as to the real mission of Meccania."
He was pleased to accept this testimony from an innocent and well-disposed Foreign Observer, and said that I could best show my appreciation by inducing more of my fellow-countrymen to come and study the wonders of Meccanian Culture.
THE MECHOW FESTIVAL.
I TOLD Mr. Johnson of this conversation when next we met, and he seemed immensely amused by it. "You will have a chance of seeing a bit of Meccanian ritual to-morrow," he said.
"You mean this Prince Mechow Festival," I replied. "What is it like? I suppose you have seen it before?"
"Haven't you noticed the whole town is crowded with visitors?" he said. "But I won't take th e edge off by telling you anything about it. You shall see it for yourself without prejudice."
I was aroused about five o'clock next morning by a tremendous booming of guns. It lasted for half an hour, and sounded like a bombardment. Then, for the next half-hour, all the bells in Mecco began ringing. By this time I was dressed and out on the veranda of the hotel. I had tried to go outside the hotel, but was reminded by the porter that we were instructed to remain indoors until we were taken to a building in the great square to watch the proceedings. At a few minutes after six we were conveyed in a motor-car to one of the hotels in the square, and provided with seats at the windows. There were only about twenty Foreign Observers in Mecco altogether, and as most of them were not very desirable acquaintances I sought the company of Mr. Johnson.
The streets were rapidly filling with people, the great majority being dressed in grey and chocolate uniforms, with a fair sprinkling of green. There were also quite a number of dark blue uniforms. As there is no Seventh Class in Mecco, I pointed this out to Johnson, who said that all the people in the streets were from the provinces.
"You will see the citizens of Mecco presently," he said.
"Where have they lodged all these people?" I asked, for I knew the hotels would not hold them.
"Oh, every person is billeted upon somebody of his own class as far as possible. Some of them have relatives here."
At seven o'clock, about fifty bands of music struck up, in different parts of the great central circle. They all played the same tunes and kept wonderful time. As soon as they struck up, Johnson said, "That means the processions have started."
"We waited about a quarter of an hour. The square itself was quite clear of people, but a few sentries in brilliant uniforms stood guarding the entrances from the four streets that led into it. The great statue towered above everything. Presently, headed by a band, the first of the processions, composed of members of the Sixth Class, in their best grey uniforms with all their badges and stripes, reached the square. Six men, at the head, carried a great banner, and were followed by another six, carrying an enormous wreath, which they deposited at the foot of the statue. Then, as the procession moved on across the square, six abreast, the two outside files left the procession, and separating, one to the right the other to the left, filled up the back of the whole square four deep. How many men there were altogether of the Sixth Class I have no idea, but they took half an hour to file past. Then followed another still bigger procession of the Fifth Class. These performed a similar ceremony, and proceeded to fill up the square ten deep. After them came the Fourth Class, in their green uniforms. This procession was much more brilliant in appearance than even the Fifth Class in its bright chocolate uniform. There were apparently ten grades of the Fourth Class, including as it does nearly all the professional men, as well as officials and business men. Some of the men in the first two grades had their breasts almost covered with badges and decorations. Last came a much smaller procession of the Third Class. The yellow against the background of green and chocolate and grey, as they filed into the square, filling the inner part about four deep, made a brilliant colour effect. There were no women in the processions, but the buildings in the square were full of the wives and daughters of the men of the upper classes, who watched the proceedings from the open windows and balconies. The bands went on playing all the time the processions were moving in and rilling up the square. It must have been half-past nine when the music suddenly stopped. There was silence for five minutes. Then suddenly the guns burst forth again, and for a quarter of an hour the noise was deafening. Then the bells rang for half an hour, but after the guns they sounded like a mere tinkling. At half-past ten, after a short silence, a subdued kind of murmur went through the crowd, and we saw advancing from the Imperial Church, which stands back from one side of the square, a new procession, this time in military uniforms. They seemed to be arranged in companies of about fifty, and there must have been a hundred companies. They were all on foot, as it would have been very inconvenient to have cavalry in the crowded square. They filled up the central space. Immediately after came a group of about fifty generals, all belonging to the Army Council. They were followed by the members of the Imperial Council, all dressed in Generals' uniforms. Then came the Emperor himself, followed by the Prime Minister and some of the chief officials of the State. I could not see the face of the Emperor from where I stood. He was dressed in the most gorgeous sort of uniform I have ever seen, and as he appeared, at a given signal (which I did not see), a great shout went up from all the people present, "Hail the Emperor! Hail the Emperor! Hail the Emperor!" Then everybody knelt on one knee for about half a minute, whilst he uttered some kind of blessing which I could not hear. The bands then struck up the National Hymn, after which there was complete silence for a minute or two. Suddenly a loud voice was heard. It must have been produced by a kind of megaphone, but it was perfectly clear. We were listening to the Emperor's formal speech on the occasion. I have not the exact words, but as near as I can reproduce it the speech was something like this: "We meet for the sixteenth time since the death of the illustrious Prince Mechow, to commemorate his never-to-be-forgotten services and to thank God for the blessings which, through the divinely appointed instrumentality of that noble Statesman, he has so abundantly bestowed upon this his most beloved country....
"Superior to all other nations and races in our God-given endowments, we had not achieved those triumphs of culture of which our noble race and nation was capable, until by God's grace my father's Minister, Prince Mechow, showed my people of all ranks and classes how to direct their efforts, through discipline and knowledge and devotion, to the strengthening and glorifying of our divinely founded State....
"To-day we again show our gratitude to God for having raised up, in the direct succession of great servants of the State, one who knew how to serve his Emperor and his God, and thus to defeat the evil intentions of all the host of envious and malignant enemies--enemies to God as well as to our nation--by whom we are surrounded....
"Let those enemies beware how they set God at defiance by thwarting the divine mission he has entrusted to us. He has set our glorious and invincible State in the midst of all the nations, but in their blindness and ignorance they have scorned our mission.... If, whilst all other nations are striving within themselves, class against class and man against man and rulers against ruled, in our nation and among my people there is but one will, one purpose, one mind, we owe it, under God, more to Prince Mechow than to any other.... This monument, which to-day we decorate with the wreaths of memory, is but a symbol of that monument which exists in the shape of the whole nation, whose forces he organised and whose purposes he directed to one end, the strength and unity of the State. Hail to Prince Mechow! Hail! Hail! Hail!"
The whole crowd burst out in shouts of "Hail to Prince Mechow! Hail!" Then came renewed shouts of "Hail the Emperor! Hail!" After he had bowed a dozen times or so, those near him prepared to form the procession back towards the Imperial Church, and for the next two hours the processions filed out to the sound of music. It grew very tiresome, and I was getting hungry, so we got permission to return to our hotel for a meal. Until now everybody had fasted, but the rest o* the day was given up to a sort of carnival. Banquets were arranged to take place in every part of the city, and the whole population prepared to enjoy itself. At these banquets it is the custom to make patriotic speeches, which are faithfully reported. The man who is adjudged to have made the best patriotic speech is awarded a special decoration called the Prince Mechow Prize.
As the streets were liable to be crowded with strangers, it was not thought fit to allow us to wander about; but I learnt from Johnson that as the day goes on, and a large quantity of beer is drunk, the streets become filled with a boisterous crowd, which is a most unusual sight in Mecco.