Upton Sinclair, ed. (18781968). The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest. 1915.
Helotage (From Sartor Resartus)
By Thomas Carlyle
(One of the most famous of British essayists, 17951881; historian of the French Revolution, and master of a vivid and picturesque prose-style)
IT is not because of his toils that I lament for the poor: we must all toil, or steal (howsoever we name our stealing), which is worse; no faithful workman finds his task a pastime. The poor is hungry and athirst; but for him also there is food and drink: he is heavy-laden and weary; but for him also the Heavens send sleep, and of the deepest; in his smoky cribs, a clear dewy haven of rest envelops him, and fitful glitterings of cloud-skirted dreams. But what I do mourn over is, that the lamp of his soul should go out; that no ray of heavenly, or even of earthly, knowledge should visit him; but only, in the haggard darkness, like two spectres, Fear and Indignation bear him company. Alas, while the body stands so broad and brawny, must the soul lie blinded, dwarfed, stupefied, almost annihilated! Alas, was this too a Breath of God; bestowed in heaven, but on earth never to be unfolded!That there should one Man die ignorant who had capacity for Knowledge, this I call a tragedy, were it to happen more than twenty times in the minute, as by some computations it does. The miserable fraction of Science which our united Mankind, in a wide universe of Nescience, has acquired, why is not this, with all diligence, imparted to all?