A survey of the rest of the political field cannot fail to fill the most despondent with cheerful thoughts. To be sure the war its Cuba still continues, if that can be called a war which consists of brutal outrages on one side and submission on the other. The volunteers hold the island, and also the governors of it, as sufficiently appeared the other day after the riot occasioned by the affair of the medical students. The government were willing enough to give the unfortunate students fair play, but the volunteers demanded their blood, and the sacrifice was accordingly made. Meanwhile two vessels seem to be stationed off the island by our government to render assistance to refugees. Cruel as the volunteers are, however, we cannot find in their excesses any reason why the United States should buy Cuba.
But the dangers of the Cuban question are trifling. Meanwhile, in New York, the work of purification goes on, and it in evident now that the defeat of the Ring at the polls was but the first step of a triumph which will end only in the complete restoration of the citizens to their long-lost political rights. There is every reason to believe that the few creatures of Tammany who still remain in power will be driven from their offices by the incoming Lcgislature. Barnard, Cardozo, and McCunn, if they do not follow the example of their employers, and seek safety in flight, will, perhaps before this paragraph meets the eyes of our readers, be suffering the penalty of their crimes. A very short time, and they will appoint receivers and referees no more. The curtain has fallen upon the play which Tammany has so long kept upon the political boards, and will rise again under a very different management. With Tammany will also fall the Erie Ring. The municipal government of New York was so closely connected with the management of the Erie Railway, that the downfall of one involves the ruin of like other. The suits of the English stockholders furnish a point d’appui for the movement against Fisk and Gould, to say nothing of the recent disclosures made by members of a jury in a cause in which they were interested. The new Attorney-General, Mr. Barlow, is a very different kind of man from those who have of late years held the position; indeed, his election is perhaps, looking to the future, the most important single result of the reform movement.
Among the Mormons there is a lull in the fierce storm of indictments, charges, and convictions, and the opportunity afforded by the meeting of Congress will probably be used to secure the passage of a law establishing Utah on a moral and monogamic basis. It is proposed that the system of polygamy shall for the future cease, that the children of past polygamous marriages shall be legitimated, and Utah be admitted as a Stale. There is no sort of objection to these terms, and they are by far the best the Mormons are likely to obtain. This solution of the Mormon problem will also have the advantage of putting a stop to the so-called judicial proceedings which have been recently instituted in the Territory, and which have reflected anything but credit upon those engaged in them. There are, we believe, some kind-hearted people who think that what they are pleased to call the principles of American society militate against any interference with polygamy, because it is a religious custom. And this argument is supposed to be strengthened by the fact that the Mormon marriages are purely voluntary, and therefore concern only the men and women who make them. There is no similarity, it is said, between polygamy and such religious customs as those of the Thugs, which are enforced very much against the will of those chiefly interested. But this argument wholly overlooks a vital point in the case. Marriages do not merely concern the parents. They concern the offspring of the marriage, and it is for this very reason that the state interferes and enforces monogamy. The state is bound to protect the interests of its future citizens; and to treat polygamous marriages as if they concerned no one but those who voluntarily make the contract is to ignore a plain duty. All civilized modern countries consider that, in the interest of their future citizens, it is necessary to break up organized concubinage; they cannot in the nature of things treat it as a question of religion.
Perhaps the most romantically interesting thing that has lately happened, if not in the world of politics, at least in a world very much affected by politics, is the fall of gold to 109. The history of the precious metals is evidently yet to he written. The ablest financiers in this country have been for a long time agreed that the natural price of gold is about 150. The ablest financiers have been also agreed that it could never go down to par without contraction on the part of the government. It is easy to see that with four hundred millions of irredeemable paper afloat, gold must remain permanently depreciated in value. The government has not contracted the currency since the war, except to an infinitesimal extent during Mr. McCullough's administration of the Treasury. Gold therefore must remain at about 150. But it will not remain at 150; on the contrary, it is going down steadily and surely as if all these calculations had never been made; and some day, before very long apparently, the country will awake to find that its irredeemable currency is not irredeemable any longer, and that gold is at par. Mr. Sumncr's much-derided and certainly heretical maxim that "the way to resume is to resume," seems, after all, to have been quite a valuable contribution to the science of political economy as the most orthodox calculations made by his antagonists. The explanation of the continued fall of gold now current is that it is due to the material progress of the country in wealth and population, and this certainly seems a very good
theory. But for ourselves, we prefer to regard gold as a mystery. It is a consoling thought that after making a fetish to ourselves for so many years of the almighty dollar, we should find the ways of our divinity, though beyond our comprehension, still only paths of pleasantness and peace. It is certainly a benevolent god.