An English In Kentucky


















Thursday October 11th 2012    Tim Candler

     Walking Stewart was sometimes called The Traveler,  and had it not been for his "personal dissolution by death,"  he might have understood why it is 'Direct Deposit' so pisses me off.  His state of nature was this:  he'd harmonize men with "the great organisms of the universe" to achieve a state "when appropriation of things and persons shall cease."   Worth noting too that at the turn of the eighteenth century into the nineteenth century he agreed with the feminists of his time.  A state of half the population of the globe, he insisted, "where the female is subjected to the male, is a state of  far worse slavery."   Also worth noting that he had a cruel prejudice against the Irish.  "Man," he had decided, "was an anticipatory animal. Not so the Irish."   But he had "seen twenty Irishmen at Philadelphia beat the whole crew of a French Privateer."  A quality of the Irish that impressed him mightily, and to which he returned regularly.   And also worth noting that when a former employer, The Nawab of Arcot's affairs were finally settled, Walking Stewart received ten thousand pounds sterling, which today would translate into around a million pounds sterling, or around one and a half million dollars.  All of it sweepings from the despotic relationship between the East India Company, the Tamil People of Southern India and their bejeweled Princes..  A subject I could bore you with until our mind's turned purple in an attempt to understand what "the great organisms of the universe" might be.  But, when it comes to how our species would achieve its state of nature, the views of Walking Stewart reawaken in me the arbatu and mingat of the Great Genghis Khan, hints of Proud Sparta, The Dedicated Kibbutznic, and I guess also his views reawaken in me images of those dream places from the late Twentieth Century that entertained the kiddies until the police, or some sort of religious nut with a promise of paradise hereafter, arrived.

     Walking Stewart's idea of family unit was a hundred men and a hundred women living in a barracks.  Twenty such communities would form a province and so on it would go.  I'll call it 'the day to day of an intimacy'  that he was looking for between people.  It would be borne of volition - through the power of will - because except for people like the Irish and Puritan Americans and occasionally the French, Walking Stewart trusted the Nature of the Human Being, which makes him a socialist.  And he chose the number, one hundred men and one hundred women, because in his mind, this was the round number of people who could hear each other's conversations, listen to and participate in other lives intimately.  Nor was he fool enough to believe for one minute that such an organization could happen, so instead he decided to describe himself as, "The only man of nature who ever appeared in the world."   A claim which, when Walking Stewart made it, was gently dismissed as the 'madness' of  an "imperfect education" by De Quincey.  And it might have been described as rambling yapping from a child never to be seen at dinner again, by someone like Wordsworth.   But it was something altogether different for someone like Richard Carlile, who spoke at Peterloo just before the massacre, and who spent a year in jail on the charge of blasphemy for publishing 'Principles Of Nature,' one chapter of which Walking Stewart is suspected to have written.  It's a dichotomy which becomes much confused by listening to the random movement of idea through the minds, who are at this moment in a Hippodrome not so far from where I live, plotting political careers on the backs of men and women who in their turn are plotting their own careers in one or other of those industries that occupy until that moment Walking Stewart described so beautifully as 'personal dissolution by death.'  For my part, in order to participate more fully, do the natural thing, I am going to go outside where I'll take the shotgun to a couple of Beagles who have spent much of their morning barking in a most unnecessary and yet somehow very familiar manner at the Vegetable Garden.  And maybe one of them contains the dissolutive remnant of genius that departed in the Aquarian month of 1822.  And maybe The Traveler will return whole again and in the morning I'll meet him in the barn, where I'll ask him whether De Quincey was a pain in the neck, before going on to discuss 'Direct Deposit.'

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