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John Bright


I have often tried to picture to myself what famine is, but the
human mind is not capable of drawing any form, any scene, that will
realize the horrors of starvation. The men who made the Corn Laws
are totally ignorant of what it means. The agricultural laborers
know something of it in some counties, and there are some hand-loom
weavers in Lancashire who know what it is. I saw the other night,
late at night, a light in a cottage-window, and heard the loom
busily at work, the shuttle flying rapidly. It ought to have a
cheerful sound, but when it is at work near midnight, when there is
care upon the brow of the workman--lest he should not be able to
secure that which will maintain his wife and children--then there is
a foretaste of what is meant by the word "famine."

Oh, if these men who made the Corn Laws, if these men who step in
between the Creator and His creatures, could for only one short
twelvemonth--I would inflict upon them no harder punishment for
their guilt--if they for one single twelvemonth might sit at the
loom and throw the shuttle! I will not ask that they should have the
rest of the evils; I will not ask that they shall be torn by the
harrowing feelings which must exist when a beloved wife and helpless
children are suffering the horrors which these Corn Laws have
inflicted upon millions.
--John Bright


The Society of Friends--I like the phrase, don't you? The thought of
having friends, and of being a friend, comes to us like a benison and
a benediction. Friendship is almost a religion: the recognition in
your life of the fact that to have friends you must be one is
religion.

The Quakers did not educate men to preach: they simply educated them
to be Friends--and live. Those who "heard the Voice" preached. Most
modern preachers do not follow a Voice--they only harken to an echo.
The practical test with the Quakers was whether the man heard the
"Voice" or not--if so, he could preach. Men were not licensed to
preach--that is quite superfluous and absurd. Those who have to listen
are the only ones to decide concerning whether the speaker has heard
the "Voice" or not. As it is now, we often license men to preach who
can not. The ability should be the license.

For, certain it is that men who can command attention need no
testimonial from a commission in lunacy. People who have lived and are
living are the only ones who have a message for living men and women.

George Fox plainly saw that a paid priesthood--specialists in
divinity--created a caste, a superior class that exalted the pulpit at
the expense of the pew. The plan tended to suppress the pew, for all
the talking was strictly ex parte. It also tended to self-deception
among the clergy, for they seldom heard the other side, and in time
came to believe their own statements, no matter how extravagant.

People learn to think by thinking, and to talk by talking. In
explaining a theme to another, it becomes luminous to ourselves.

And so Fox foresaw, with a vision that was as beautiful as it was
rare, that to educate an entire congregation you must make them all
potential preachers. Then any man who rises to speak is aware that a
reply may follow from his mother, his wife, his sister or his
neighbor.

And so the listeners not only listened to the person speaking, but
they also always harkened for the "Inner Voice" and watched for the
"Light Within." In all of which method and plan dwells much plain
commonsense to which the world, of necessity, will yet return.

George Fox was the son of a Leicestershire weaver, and he was himself
a weaver by trade. He had thoughts and he could express them. And so
he traveled and preached in the marketplaces, at crossroads, on
church-steps--just the religion of friendship: simplicity, industry,
directness, truth.

No priests, no liturgy, no creed, no sacraments, no titles nor
degrees--a religion of friendship! You should not kill your enemy,
because he is your friend who does not yet understand you. To make war
on others is to make war on yourself. Do as you would be done by.

Fox had no intention of founding an organization, nor was he in
competition with any other religion. Such a movement, of course,
depends entirely upon the quality of the man who advocates it. George
Fox had personality--character--and so people flocked to hear him
speak. His plea was so earnest, so direct, so vivid, so irrefutable,
that as the listeners listened, some trembled with emotion. "Quakers,"
a scoffer called them, and this word, flung by an unknown hoodlum,
stuck like a mud-ball. The name of the particular hoodlum, like the
man who fired the Alexandrian Library, still lies mired in the mud
from which he formed the ball that stuck. That ball escaped the fate
of the mass because it hit a great man; had the thrower thought only
to have attached his name, it might have gone down the ages linked
with that of greatness.

In a short time Fox found himself in troubled waters. He had offended
the Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Baptists, and to save
himself and his people he finally banded them into an organization.
About this time William Penn appeared (with his hat firmly on his
head) and organized colonies of Quakers to go to New Jersey and
Pennsylvania. The Quakers refused to accept the sacrament, claiming
that no one part of life was any more holy than the rest, and that no
one man was any more worthy of performing a rite than another.

Parliament then stepped in and made church attendance compulsory, the
sacrament obligatory, and the protest against war and advocacy of
universal peace a misdemeanor.

Those early Quakers were really people who had graduated from the
Church. When the scholar graduates from school the teacher is proud,
and friends send flowers and kindly congratulations. When you graduate
from Church the preacher declares you are lost, and the congregation
calls you bad names. Up to Sixteen Hundred Eighty-nine, things were
not allowed to rest even there, for you were considered by the law to
be the enemy of the State. In Sixteen Hundred Fifty-six, a thousand
Quakers were in prison in England on account of their religious
belief, several hundred had been hanged, a few were burned at the
stake, many had their ears cut off, others were branded, and many
others had their tongues bored through. But strangely enough, the
number of Quakers increased. A king can't kill all his people, even if
they are all wrong, and so in fear the government changed its tactics.

In Sixteen Hundred Eighty-nine came the Toleration Act, which put a
stop to violent persecution, retaining merely the passive sort. The
Quakers were excluded from all schools, colleges and universities, and
from all right of franchise and the holding of political office; like
unto the fond mother who orders her child to come into the house, and
then when the child does not obey, says, "Well, stay out then!"

So the Quakers stayed out, not wishing to come in, but they had to pay
tithes for support of the Established Church, whether they attended
services or not. This arrangement still exists in America, only it has
to be worked by indirection: instead of compelling everybody to pay
for the support of the clergy, we reach the same point by allowing
church property to be exempt from taxation.

Persecution having ceased, the Quakers quit proselyting and therefore
ceased to grow. But the traditions remained and the sentiment of
friendship of man for man remained to fertilize that wonderful
year, Seventeen Hundred Seventy-six, the year that man was really
discovered.

George Fox prepared the way for Susanna Wesley and her two great sons,
John and Charles.

George Fox believed and taught the equality of the sexes. He said that
God's spirit might voice itself through a woman quite as readily as
through a man; and it was with this thought in mind, and the example
of the Quakers before her, that Susanna Wesley harkened to the Voice
and spoke to the multitude. Later came little Elizabeth Fry, with a
message for those in bonds, and also for those who had a fine faith in
fetters, and a belief in chains and bars and gyves and the gentle
ministry of the lash.

The wisdom of the paid priesthood lies in the fact that it renders a
large number of men useless for anything else. Seven years in college
emasculates the man. His very helplessness then makes him clutch the
Church with a death-grip. He is a sailor who can not swim.

And these advocates, incapacitated by miscalled seminaries for alluseful
endeavor, become defenders of the faith and prosecutors of all
and each and any who fix their hearts on such simple and Godlike
things as friendship and equality. Indeed, many of these advocates
abjure the relationship of the sexes, tolerating woman only as a
necessity, and as for themselves personally eschew her--or say they
do.

The Society of Friends being essentially a Religion of Humanity, and
therefore divine, regards man as the equal of woman. John Bright was
always a bit boastful that one of his maternal grandparents was a
Jewess who forfeited the friendship of her family by eloping with a
Quaker--there is a cross for you! Joseph Bright, the father of John
Bright, never voluntarily paid church-tithes. Every year the bailiff
came, demanded money, was courteously refused, and proceeded to levy
on goods which were carried away, duly advertised and sold at
auction.

John Bright very early in life was delegated by his father to go and
bid on the chattels levied upon, and this was his first introduction
into business. For a time he himself paid church-tithes, but never
without the protest, "I hereby pay this tax because I am obliged to;
but entering my protest because I believe that this money is not to be
used for either the glory of God or the benefit of man." Later, he
went back to his father's plan and let the State levy.

His religion was one of friendship for humanity, and to him man was
the highest expression of divinity. Also, he believed that the love of
God could never even have been imagined were it not for the loves of
men and women.

* * * * *

John Bright was born in Eighteen Hundred Eleven. He was the
culminating flower of seven generations of Quaker ancestry. His father
was a rich manufacturer at Rochdale, and being a Quaker, did not try
the dubious experiment of making his children exempt from useful work
in the name of education.

Be it known that John Bright had no part in that aristocratic and
somewhat costly invention known as Bright's disease. This was the work
of Doctor Richard Bright, a distant kinsman.

The parents of John Bright were both public speakers, and little John
was an orator through prenatal tendency. A good plan for parents, or
possible parents, to follow is to educate themselves in the interests
of posterity, and this without asking that foolish question propounded
by an Irish Member of Parliament, "What has posterity ever done for
us?"

So this, then, is the recipe for educating your children: Educate
yourself.

Beyond this, man inherits himself; he is both ancestor and posterity.
I am today what I am because I was what I was last year; and next year
I will be what I will be, because I am now what I ata. These were
truths which were, very early in life, familiar to John Bright. Before
he could speak without a childish lisp, his mother taught him to
decide on his own actions. "I don't want to study; can't I go and wade
in the brook?" once asked little John of his mother.

"Thee better go into the next room and listen for the Voice, then do
as it says," answered the mother.

The boy went into the next room and soon returned, saying, "The Voice
says I must study hard for half an hour and then I can go and wade in
the brook."

"Very well," was the reply; "we must always obey the Voice."

At this time there was a wave of Socialism sweeping over England,
originated largely by Robert Owen, a Welshman, who at the age of
nineteen became manager, by divine right, of a Manchester cotton-mill.
He was a man of splendid initiative, noble resources, generous
impulses.

Robert Owen caught it from Josiah Wedgwood, and set out to make his
cotton-mill a school as well as a factory. Among the good men he
discovered and hired to teach his people was John Tyndall, one of the
world's great scientists. Owen seized upon Fourier's plan of the
"phalanstery"--five hundred or a thousand people living in one great
palace, built in the form of a hollow square. Each family was to have
separate apartments, but there would be common dining-rooms and one
great laundry; certain people would be set apart to care for the
children; there would be art-galleries, libraries, swimming-pools; and
all these working people would have the benefits and advantages that
now accrue only to the fortunate few. It was a scheme of co-operation,
but Owen's people refused to co-operate--the world was not ready for
it. Then Owen tried the plan in America, and founded the town of New
Harmony, Indiana, which had the second public library in America,
Benjamin Franklin having founded the first in Philadelphia.

Robert Owen thought he had failed, but he had not, for his ideas have
enriched the world, and when we are worthy of Utopia it will be here.

John Bright's father caught it from Robert Owen, just as Owen had been
exposed to Josiah Wedgwood. Great hearts never fail, no matter what
occurs; even though they die, they yet live again in minds made
better.

Joseph Bright had an auditorium attached to his mill, and often
invited speakers to come from Liverpool or Manchester and give
lectures to his people on science, travel or literature. By the time
John Bright was twenty-one he was usually chosen to preside at these
lectures. This, because he had learned to speak in Quaker meetings by
speaking. He was quiet, simple, forceful, direct. In size he was
small, but what he lacked in inches he made up in brain.

The grandfather of John Bright's mother was John Grattan, a Quaker
preacher who spent five years in prison because he refused to take the
oath of allegiance to the English Church. The life of Grattan
descended as a precious legacy from mother to son, and all history was
early made familiar to him through the teaching of this mother who
passed away when the boy was eighteen. So she did not live to know the
greatness of her son, but before her passing he had developed far
enough so she prophesied that if ever a Friend were admitted to the
Cabinet, John Bright would be that one. This prophecy, unlike so many
born of the loving mother heart, came true, and this in spite of the
fact that the Quakers up to this time had never had anything to do
with politics.

Once John Bright was asked how he had been educated, and he replied,
"By my mother, with the help of the Rochdale Literary Society."

And it was a fact that this society, founded by Joseph and Martha
Bright, that met weekly for more than thirty years, was almost a
university, and served to set Rochdale apart as a city set upon a
hill. This society discussed every topic of human interest, save
politics and religion, boxing the compass of human knowledge. The
wisdom, excellence, worth and benefit of such a society in a town is
of an importance absolutely beyond compute. No religious institution
can compare with it in beneficent results, carried on, as it was, by a
businessman, his wife and their children, all quite incidentally! Were
they not Friends, indeed?

By the process of natural selection, John Bright slipped into the
place of superintendent of his father's mill, and before he was
twenty-five was the actual manager. As such he had traveled
considerably, making various trips to London, and also to the various
cities of the Continent.

But now in his twenty-seventh year there had been a marked increase in
Church-Rates, and the Church people were jubilant over the fact that
the Quaker mill-owners, who never went to Church, were obliged to pay
more to the support of the Church than any one else in the town. John
Bright called a meeting of the Literary Society and invited all
clergymen in the town to be present, and for once there was a breaking
over the rules and both religion and politics were discussed. From
that time to his death John Bright was a-sail upon a sea of politics.
Here is a portion of that first political speech:

The vicar has published a handbill, a copy of which I hold in my
hands; he quotes Scripture in favor of a rate, and a greater piece
of hardihood can not be imagined, "Render unto Caesar the things
that are Caesar's," leaving out the latter part of the sentence.

I hold that to quote Scripture in defense of church-rate is the very
height of presumption. The New Testament teems with passages
inculcating peace, brotherly love, mutual forbearance, charity,
disregard of filthy lucre, and devotedness to the welfare of our
fellowmen. In the exaction of church-rates, in the seizure of the
goods of the members of his flock, in the imprisonment of those who
refuse to pay, in the harassing process of law and injustice in the
Church courts, in the stirring-up of strife and bitterness among the
parishioners--in all this a clergyman violates the precepts he is
paid to preach, and affords a mournful proof of the infirmity or
wickedness of human nature. Fellow townsmen, I look on an old church
building--that venerable building yonder, for its antiquity gives
it a venerable air--with a feeling of pain. I behold it as a witness
of ages gone by, as a connecting link between this and former ages.
I could look on it with a feeling of affection, did I not know that
it forms the center of that source of discord with which our
neighborhood has for years been afflicted, and did it not seem that
genial bed wherein strife and bitter jarring were perpetually
produced to spread their baneful influence over this densely peopled
parish. I would that that venerable fabric were the representative
of a really reformed Church--of a Church separated from the foul
connection with the State--of a Church depending upon her own
resources, upon the zeal of her people, upon the truthfulness of her
principles, and upon the blessings of her spiritual head! Then would
the Church be really free from her old vices: then would she run a
career of brighter and still brightening glory: then would she unite
heart and hand with her sister churches in this kingdom, in the
great and glorious work of evangelizing the people of this great
empire, and of every clime throughout the world. My friends, the
time is coming when a State Church will be unknown in England, and
it rests with you to accelerate or retard that happy consummation. I
call upon you to gird yourselves for the contest which is impending,
for the hour of conflict is approaching when the people of England
will be arbiters of their own fate--when they will have to choose
between civil and religious liberty, or the iron hoof, the mental
thralldom of a hireling State priesthood. Men of Rochdale, do your
duty! You know what becomes you. Maintain the great principles you
profess to hold dear: unite with me in a firm resolve and under no
possible circumstances will you ever again pay a tax to support a
church: and whatever may await you, prove that good and bold
principles can nerve the heart: and ultimately our cause, your
cause, the world's cause, shall triumph gloriously.

* * * * *

Great men make room for great men. John Bright first met Richard
Cobden in Eighteen Hundred Thirty-four. Bright was then twenty-three
years old, while Cobden had reached the mature age of thirty. Bright
regarded him as a patriarch, and called at his office in Manchester
with thumping heart. Cobden looked at young Bright with his intuitive
glance and concluded he wanted work. Cobden saw by his caller's
clothes that he was a Quaker, and in an instant had decided to employ
him.

In relating the incident, years after, Cobden said: "I was wrong in my
conclusions--I thought he had come to me for work; instead, he had
come to hire me. He wanted me to go over to Rochdale and lecture for
his Literary Society."

When you go to a businessman and ask him to lecture, you catch him
with his guard down. Cobden was complimented--he asked questions about
the Bright Mill at Rochdale, and was ashamed to note that, although it
was only a few miles away, he did not know of the spirit of humanity
that dwelt in that particular commercial venture. The Brights were
doing the very things which he was advocating--making business both a
religion and an art. "My love went out to the gentle-voiced stranger,"
said Cobden, "and I was ashamed at my ignorance concerning the fine
souls at my very door, who were actually carrying into execution the
things which I had prided myself on having originated."

So Cobden went over to Rochdale to lecture, and there began that
friendship between two strong men which only death could sever, and
possibly even death did not--I really cannot say. But for many years
Cobden was to speak at Rochdale--several times a year. Whenever he
heard the Voice he went over to Rochdale and told his friends, the
millworkers, what had come to him.

"When I had a big speech to make in London I always visited Rochdale
and gave my message first, for the Brights had trained their audiences
to think, and if they understood, I felt I could take my chances in
the House of Commons."

So Bright helped to evolve Cobden, and Cobden was a prime factor in
the evolution of Bright. As the years went by, these men grew to look
alike, and the term "David and Jonathan" seemed a fitting phrase for
them, only no one could really say which was David and which Jonathan.

* * * * *

When John Bright was twenty-eight years old he married Elizabeth
Priestman, a woman near his own age, and a person, like himself, of
power. It seemed an ideal mating--they loved the same things. Many
plans were made, for lovers are always given to planning. There was
to be a cottage in the hills, where they were to live like peasants,
without servants or equipage, and there John was to write a wonderful
history of civilization, and make a forecast of the future, showing
how the regeneration of the world was to come by wedding ethics to
business.

The plan never materialized. John and Elizabeth journeyed together for
two years, and then she died and was buried in her wedding-dress,
holding a spray of syringa in her stiff, blue-veined hands.

John Bright had arranged to have the funeral very simple in all its
arrangements--all quite Quaker-like. He himself was going to make a
little speech, telling how the Voice had said to him that death was as
natural as life, and perhaps just as good, and that she who was dead
had no fear of death, but greeted it as an imitation, her only care
being for the living.

But John Bright did not make the speech. He held in his arms his
motherless baby girl, a little over a year old, and the baby laughed
and pulled his hair in childish glee, and John Bright, groping for
words, found them not. He took his seat, dumb. A Quakeress arose, a
worker in the mills, and made the speech which he had intended to
give--perhaps she made a better one.

John Bright had only turned thirty, but he thought that life for him
was then and thereafter but a blank. He did not realize that whether
death is an initiation for the dead or not, it surely is for the
living. To stand by an open grave and behold the sky shut down on less
worth in the world is a milestone--an epoch.

A month of dumb, dragging, bitter grief followed, and Richard Cobden
came up from Manchester to visit his friend. Cobden had a message for
Bright. It was this: "Grief hugged to the heart is a kind of selfish
joy. To live is to think, to work, to act. At this moment thousands of
women and children are starving in England--absolutely perishing for
lack of bread. Come with me and help remove the tax that places food
out of the reach of many. Transmute grief for the dead into love for
the living. Let us never rest until the Corn Laws are abolished--
Come!" To dedicate himself to humanity now seemed easy for John
Bright. This he did, and life took on a great, quiet sanctity,
purified and refined by death.

The baby girl grew into beautiful womanhood. She is now a grandmother
with children grown, and true to tradition, as became the daughter of
her father, she made herself notorious for the many and famous for the
few, by heading an appeal to Parliament in favor of woman suffrage.
For the same cause comes Mrs. Cobden-Sanderson, daughter of Richard
Cobden, and spends four months in jail for insisting that her
political preferences shall be officially recorded. We do move that
precious slow!

* * * * *

Bright now took up the big business of the Anti-Corn-Law League, and
devoted himself to the issue, even to neglecting his private affairs.
The "League" had headquarters in Manchester, and Bright was its practical
head. Cobden was then making a tour of the provinces, speaking in
schoolhouses, townhalls and marketplaces, endeavoring to show the
folly of maintaining a tax on food. The idea was then conceived of
Cobden and Bright traveling together, going into the enemy's country,
and offering to debate the issue with all comers. The challenge aroused
the people, and wherever the orators went, they spoke to the capacity
of the hall. Cobden opened the debate, started the question in a
half-hour speech, and then the meeting was thrown open for the
opposition. Occasionally a man replied, often a clergyman of local
oratorical reputation being put forward by the landlords.

Bright then finished him and polished him off in a way that made any
further opposition impossible. Bright had certain well-defined ideas
about the clergy that took with the people, and a braver man never
stood on a platform. Here is a taste of his quality:

The declaration of the Church as by law established, makes me say
that I believe that the Establishment has been the means of
increasing individual piety and national prosperity. But
individually I would ask, how comes it that England is now, as
regards a vast proportion of her population, ignorant and
irreligious--how is it that while the Church has had the King for
its head and governor, the two Houses of Parliament to support it,
and the whole influence of the aristocracy and landed gentry of the
country to boot (with the advantage of being educated at Oxford and
Cambridge, from which Dissenters have been shut out)--that while the
Church has had millions upon millions to work upon, drawn not only
from her own party, but from the property of Dissenters-I ask how
comes it that England is neither a sober nor a moral country, and
that vice in every shape rears its horrid front? Does it not prove
that there is a radical error in the system? By the union of the
people of England advantages of no trifling amount have lately been
gained: the barrier of the Test Acts has been broken down; the
system of parliamentary corruption has been stormed with success;
and I trust the time is not far distant when the consciences of men
will be no longer shackled by the restrictions of the civil power,
when religious liberty will take the place of toleration, and when
men will wonder that a monopoly ever existed which ordained State
priests sole venders of the lore that works salvation.

The farmers were in opposition to the League, being told by the
landlords that if breadstuffs were allowed to come into the United
Kingdom free, the tillers of the soil would be made bankrupt.

Cobden was a ready speaker, and his knowledge of history and economics
commanded respect, but Bright's oratory went to their hearts. Bright
had a touch of the true Methodist fervor which won the hearer without
making too much of a demand on his intellect.

Shortly after Cobden and Bright made their alliance, Cobden ran for
Parliament and was elected. "The one thing that formed the pivotal
point, and won the farmers, as well as the men of Manchester, was the
oratory of John Bright," said Gladstone. The term "Manchester men" was
flung at Cobden and Bright, and stuck. It meant that they were merely
manufacturers, neither scholars nor gentlemen. Bright had modified the
severity of the Quaker costume, but wore the soft, gray colors with
hat to match, "because," said his enemies, "it is so effective."

Cobden being now in the House of Commons, Bright called himself
"Secretary of the Exterior," and often fought the good fight alone,
speaking on an average three nights a week, and the rest of the time
attending to his business.

Two years after Cobden's election, Bright was obliged to purchase a
suit of solemn black and a chimney-pot hat, for he, too, had been
chosen a member of the House of Commons.

"Another Manchester man--I do declare, you know, it will be a
convention of bagmen, yet!" remarked Sir Robert Peel, as he adjusted
his monocle. Peel, however, grew to have a very wholesome respect for
the Manchester men. They could neither be bribed, bought nor bullied.
They had money enough to free them from temptation, and they could
think on their feet. They were in the minority, but it was a minority
that could not be snubbed nor subdued.

The total repeal of the Corn Laws came in Eighteen Hundred Forty-nine,
but not until both Cobden and Bright had been threatened with criminal
proceedings for inciting revolution. However, the ministry backed
down, the new era came, and proved to be one of peace and great
prosperity.

John Bright worked for humanity. To his voice, more than to any other,
Ireland owes her freedom from the "Establishment."

He struggled to free England from the clutch of the Established
Church, but admitted at last that it would require time to unloose the
grip of the clergy from their perquisites. Always and forever he
argued and voted against war, or any increase of armament, even when
he stood alone. And once he forfeited his seat for a term by going
against the popular cry for blood. John Bright is a good example of a
man with the study habit. Not only did he carry on a great private
business, and at the same time bear heavy burdens in the management of
his country's affairs, but he was always a student, always a learner,
and also always a teacher. Neither he nor Richard Cobden ever divorced
ethics from business, religion from work, nor life from education.

John Bright possessed a sterling honesty, a perennial good-cheer, and
always and forever a tender, sympathetic heart. These things seemed to
spring naturally, easily and gently from his nature; they were the
habits of his life. And having acquired good habits his judgment was
almost uniformly correct; his actions manly; his temper considerate;
his opinion right. Private business was to John Bright a public trust.
He, of all men, knew that the only way to help one's self is to help
others.

During our Civil War, John Bright sided with the North, and fired his
broadsides of scorn at the many in the House of Commons who hoped and
prayed that the United States would no longer be united.

In Eighteen Hundred Sixty-eight, under Gladstone as Premier, Bright
was chosen President of the Board of Trade, being the first Quaker to
hold a Cabinet office.

John Bright was a rich man, and his life proves what riches can do
when rightly used. That his example of absolute honesty and adherence
to principle sets him apart as a character luminous and unique is and
indictment of the times in which we live.

John Bright's energy, eloquence, purity of conduct, sincerity of
purpose, his freedom from petty quarrels, his unselfishness, his lofty
ideals, his noble discontent and prophetic outlook, have tinted the
entire zeitgeist, and are discovering for us that Utopia is here now,
if we will but have it so.

Elbert Hubbard

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