Haymarket Affair Digital Collection

Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial evidence book. Defense Exhibit 2.
The Alarm (Newspaper) article, "Victor Hugo," 1885 June 13

5 p.
Introduced Vol. N p. 156, 1886 Aug. 10.
Transcript of article. Subtitle: "His Memorable Address to the 'Rich and Poor' His Most Precious Legacy to Humanity. One Message to the Rich, the Other to the Poor. The Sun [sic] of Human Wisdom. Read and Reflect."

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From "THE ALARM" of June 13, 1885.



"His Memorable Address to the "Rich and Poor."
His Most Precious Legacy to Humanity.
"One Message to the Rich, the Other to the Poor.
The Sun of Human Wisdom.
"Read and Reflect.


"I am asked what has been the lesson of my life, which I have learned in my years of living to bequeath as my most precious legacy of humanity. I reply that my soul has two messages of counsel, of promise and of threat, to deliver. One to the rich, the other to the poor. The two contain the sum of human wisdom.


"The poor cry out to the wealthy. The slaves implore their rulers. And as much now as in the days of Spartan Helots. I am one of them and I add my voice to that of the multitude that it may reach the ears of the rich. Who am I? One of the people. From whence come I? From the bottomless pit. How am I named? I am wretchedness. My lords, I have something to say to you.

"My Lords, you are placed high. You have power, opulence

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pleasure, the sum immovable at your zenith, unlimited authority, enjoyment undivided, a total forgetfullness of others. So be it. But there is something below you. Above you, perhaps. My lords, I impart to you a novelty. The human race exists.

"I am he who comes from the depths. My lords, you are the great and the rich. That is perilous. You take advantage of the night. But have a care; there is a greater power, the morning. The dawn cannot be vanquished. I will come. It comes. It has within it the outbreak of irresistible day.

"You are the dark clouds of privilege. Be afraid. The true master is about to knock at the door.

"What is the father of Privilege? Chance. What is his son? Abuse. Neither chance nor abuse is enduring. They have, both of them, an evil tomorrow.

"I come to warn you. I come to denounce to you your own bliss. It is made out of the ills of the others. Your paradise is made out of the hell of the poor. I come to open before you, the wealthy, the grand assizes of the poor---that soverign who is the slave, that convict who is the judge. I am bowed down under what I have to say. Where to begin? I know not. I have picked up in the cruel experience of suffering, my vast though struggling pleas. Now, what shall I do with them? They overwhelm

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me and I throw them forth, pell-mell before me.

"I am a diver and I bring up from the depths a pearl, the Truth. I speak because I know. I have experienced. I have seen. Suffering? No, the word is weak. O, Masters in bliss! Poverty---I have grown up in it; winter---I have shivered in it; famine---I have tasted it; scorn--I have undergone it; the plague---I have had it; shame---I have drunk of it.

"I felt it requisite that I should come among you. Why? Because of my yesterday's rags. It was in order that my voice might be raised among the satiated, that God commingled me with the hungered. Oh! have pity! Oh! you know not this fatal word, whereto you believe that you belong. So high, you are outside of it. I will tell you what it is.

"Abandoned, an orphan, alone in boundless creation, I made my entry into this gloom that you call society. The first thing I saw was law, under the form of a gibbet; the second was wealth---it is your wealth---under the form of a woman dead of cold and hunger; the third was luxury under the shape of a hunted man chained to prison walls; the fourth was your palaces beneath the shadow of which cowered the tramp.

"The human race has been made by you slaves and convicts. You have made of this earth a dungeon. Light is wanting, air is wanting, virtue is wanting.

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"The workers of this world whose fruits you enjoy, live in death. There are little girls who begin at eight by prostitution, and who end at twenty by old age. Who among you have been at New-castle-on-Tyne? There are men in the mines who chew coal, to fill the stomach and cheat hunger. Look you in Lancashire. Misery everywhere. Are you aware that the Harlech fishermen eat grass when the fishery fails? Are you aware that Burton-Lazers there are still certain lepers driven into the woods, who are fired at if they come out of their dens? In Peckridge there are no beds in the hovels, and holes are dug in the ground for little children to sleep in; so that in place of beginning with the cradle, they begin with the tomb.

"Mercy, have mercy for the poor! Oh, I conjure you, have pity! But no, you will not. I know ye all. Devils breed in hell and dogs with hearts of stone. Upwards to your golden thrones for ages has gone the cry of misery, the groan of hunger and the sob of despair, and ye heeded it not. What mercy thou hast given shall be metered out to you in return.

"Bear in mind that the series of Kings armed with the sword was interrupted by Cromwell with the axe.

"Tremble! The incorruptible dissolutions draw near; the clipped talons push out again; the torn-out tongues take to

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flight, become tongues of flame scattered to the wings of darkness, and they howl in the Infinite. They who are hungry show their idle teeth. Paradises built over hells totter. There is suffering, there is suffering, and that which is above leans over, and that which is below gapes open. The shadow asks to become light. The damned discuss and elect. It is the people who are on-coming. I tell you it is MAN who ascends. It is the end that is beginning. It is the red dawning of Catastrophe.

Ah! this society is false. One day, and soon, the true society will come. Then there will be no more lords; there will be free, living men. There will be no more wealth, there will be abundance for the poor. There will be no more masters, but there will be brothers. They that toil shall have. This is the future. No more prostration, no more abasement, no more ignorance, no more wealth, no more beasts of burden, no more courtiers, no more kings---but LIGHT!

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