Quoting sterling lines from Ragnar Redbeard

The strong must ever rule the weak, is grim primordial law—

The survival of the strongest is the Gospel of to-day.


The strong must ever rule the weak, is grim

primordial law—

The survival of the strongest is the Gospel of to-day.


Answers to Correspondence in The Sydney Stock and Station journal


The Sydney Stock and Station Journal, 9 May, 1899




J. C. — That book—“Home Chat”— was sent from here on the very day that your letter was written, so I expect that’s all right. Thanks for the stamps. We’ve credited Miss. L. with six months’ sub. I keep my eyes open for anything that turns up, but jobs that would suit you are none too plentiful. I’m sorry you need one. That’s the kind of thing that makes me mourn over the weakness of our social system. I want to think that the moral law is growing stronger, and that right is might; but, alas, I come back to the cry of the cynical one—

“Might was Right when Cesar bled upon the stones of Rome;

Might was Right when Joshua led his hordes o’er Jordan's foam;

And Might was Right when German troops poured down through Paris gay;

It’s the gospel of the Ancient world and the Logic of to-day.”

A Thousand Books of Fame

The Sydney Stock and Station Journal, 16 May, 1899



Resurgam. —Your letter opened my eyes. Your life sketch is brief, full emphatic. I had assumed that yon tippled, and that was why you were a tutor with a University education. It hurts me to see a healthy gentleman teaching children for £50 a year, or less. You are evidently young and healthy, and as near as I can make out you have a soul to save that is worth saving. You are also a man who can stand talking to. Your varied experiences reporter, private sec., chemist’s assistant, jackeroo, and lastly tutor—show that you can adapt yourself to circumstances. Have you read “Concerning Isabel Carnaby?” She said that when a man took her into dinner she made herself five years younger than him and a great deal less intelligent, hence her popularity! That’s adaptability for you. But you want to be a gentleman—that’s the mistake, old man! We’ve got too many of that type in this country. You didn’t stay long jackerooing, and I don’t blame you; but if you are going to do anything for yourself in this world you’ve got to leave the station tutor business. As you say, “it’s gentlemanly.” Well, curse it! You’ve got to fight to win to-day just as of old—

“You must prove your Right by deeds of Might—of splendour and renown:

If need be march, through flames of Hell, to dash opponents down;

If need be, die on scaffold high in the morning’s misty gray;

For ‘Liberty or Death’ is still the Logic of To-day.”

That’s poetry, but there’s a heap of sense in it. You must prove, the world your oyster and open it with your trusty blade, and there are few oysters on stations, tho’ I’ve met a good many “blades” there.

The Sydney Stock and Station Journal, 16 May, 1899


Stead’s Book





Whatever the world may think of W. T. Stead, there is no gainsaying the fact that he is an able man and a clever journalist. As far as my own ideas go he is a crank, with a Julia in his bonnet. He believes in things that I couldn’t possibly accept, and he holds views that are to me, absolutely silly, yet, he is an able man. He has made more stir in the world than any other journalist ever made, and that is a big order! It may be, of course, that he is the wise man and I am the fool, and that if I had a Julia I'd be a better man, but be that as it may, he is very clever, and I've got a great admiration for him.

The last book of his just to hand is “The United States of Europe, on the eve of the Parliament of Peace.” It is a big book of over 200 pages, paper cover, copiously illustrated and readable from cover to cover. We will send it post free from this office for 1s 6d, and that is dirt cheap. It contains portraits of the world's celebrities, including Dreyfus, Maurius Jokai, Pope Leo XIII, the Emperor William, ex Col. Picquart, the dogs of Constantinople, and the King of Servia. It contains pictures of many famous spots, and a history of the rapid tour of Europe by W. T. Stead, in 1898. A man who could write a live book of this sort, after such a rush—or during it—is a genius.

He saw the salient points of history. He saw the significance of the great United States, the land of peace and wooden clocks, suddenly going to war and seizing the domains of poor old Spain. He read aright the deep meaning of the Republic of Washington becoming a warlike colonial power, he understood the importance to the world of the Czar's rescript. He tells how the autocrat of all the Russia’s yearns for peace, in spite of the four million bayonets at his command, he tells how—he thinks—Europe is weary of being an armed camp, and how the peoples long for disarmament. He makes a bold bid for peace himself. He travels Europe, and interviews the Czar, and tries to raise a pilgrimage of peacemakers to the courts of Europe. I glory in his pluck, in his optimism, in his magnificent impertinence, and in his faith in the power of the press. He sets at defiance the song of Ragnar the Redbeard, who says—


“The strong must ever rule the weak, is grim primordial law—

On earth's broad threshing floor the meek are merely beaten straw;

Then ride to power o'er foemen's necks, let nothing bar your way;

If you are fit you'll rule and reign is the logic of to-day.”


I want to fight on the side of Stead. I would rather die fighting for him than live to fight against him; bub I cannot believe with him that the day of disarmament is at hand. I smile at his youthful enthusiasm, which lasts long into his mature manhood: I laugh at his faith in spooks, and I feel like crying, as the old man cried when his heifer ran at the locomotive, “Go it, bossy, I like your pluck; but—dern your judgment.

This book of Stead’s on “The United States of Europe” is good, healthy, hope-inspiring, and optimistic. I'd like to send to all who would read it free of cost, but it won't run to that. However, it's a real cheap book, and I can recommend everybody who loves peace to send for it.

The Sydney Stock and Station Journal, 23 June, 1899


The Review of Reviews.


The man who invented the “Review of Reviews” was a genius! He deserves to go down to posterity (as he surely will) as the greatest journalistic genius of the 19th century. To a busy man who wants to know what the world is saying, doing, and thinking, this magazine comes as a boon and a blessing of the first order, we, in Australia, get into the town-pump idea that we are the centre of the universe, and we do that in spite of ourselves. It doesn’t matter how wise we pretend to be, but when we get to New Zealand or France, or any other foreign country, we are amazed to find how little the people know about Australia. If it wasn’t for our cricketers and our boxing kangaroos the big, busy world would scarcely ever hear about us.

This “Review of Reviews” gathers up the fragments (more than seven baskets full) and scatters them round to us; and we learn, with a gasp maybe, that if we were all swept off by a tidal wave it wouldn’t make much difference to the world. My own opinion is that if our mud-ball were swept out of its orbit and into the furnace of the sun it wouldn’t make any great stir in the universe—but that’s a detail!

This “Review” lets you know what’s going on abroad, and how the Kings and Kaisers are playing at chess, with poor cringing mortals for pawns. It knocks tho bottom out) of our dreams of universal brotherhood, and after you’ve read it you can hear the song of the “Redbeard” in your soul—

“Then what’s the use of dreaming dreams—that each shall get his own

By forceless votes of meek-eyed thralls—who blindly sweat und moan?

A curse is on their cankered brains—their very bones decay;

Go! trace your fate in the Iron Game is the Logic of To-Day.”

I’d like to get all our readers to take this “Review of Reviews.” It’s the very thing for the bush, because it gives you a glimpse of the great world’s doings, and its voice is for peace all the time. In the current number there is an article on “Has war become impossible?” that is well worth reading. It puts into good, logical form the paradox of Buckle’s that the invention of gunpowder was the first great step towards universal peace. It proves that the supposed paradox was a great truth, as Buckle himself asserted.

There is a full page picture from the “Bulletin” of “The Team for the ‘Twentieth’ Test Match,” by the rising young artist W. J. Falconer. There are extracts from everything, and the whole tone of the magazine is for federation, peace, and love. The price of it is 9d, and our “Folio” will send it to you on the best possible bed-rock terms.

The Sydney Stock and Station journal, 30 may, 1913


65. —We sent you “The Martyrdom of Man,” and the “Conflict of Science and Religion,” and “What the Workers Want.” Your 5s paid for the lot. That is a wonderful lot of good literature for a small amount of cash. I’m sorry to say that “What the Workers Want” is sold out. I hope we’ll soon have some more of them. I quite agree with you as to the truth of the diagnosis of H. G. Wells. If we don’t reform, we are headed for the scrapheap. Temporary peace reigns over Europe to-day; but the big armaments mean business. Those lines you quote from “Red-beard” have a sterling ring in them. I don’t know the writer, but he has a good grip of the law of the Overland:—

“Might was Right when Caesar bled upon the stones of Rome,

Might was Right when Joshua led his hordes o’er Jordan’s foam.

And Might was Right when German troops poured down on Paris Gay:

It was the gospel of the Ancient world and the logic of to-day.

“Strong races yet shall rule the weak is grim primordial Law,

On earth’s broad thrashing floor the meek are merely beaten straw,

All Books of laws and Golden rules are fashioned to betray,

The survival of the strongest is the Gospel of to-day.”