Gustav Von Struve 1805-1870
(text from the 1st edition, 1883 )
Germany, at the present day able to boast so many earnest apostles of humanitarianism, until the nineteenth century was some was advanced, had contributed very little, definitely, to the literature of Humane Dietetics. A Haller or a Hufeland, indeed had, with more or less boldness, raised the banner of partial revolt from orthodox medicine and orthodox living, but their heterodoxy was rather hygienic than humane. In the history of humanitarianism in Germany the honour of the first place, in order of time, belongs to the author of Pflanzenkost, die Grundlage einer Neuen Weltanschauung, and of Mandaras' Wanderungen, whose life, political as well as literary, was one of continuous combat on behalf of justice, freedom, and true progress.
Gustav von Struve was born at München (Munich), October 11, 1805, from whence his father, who was residing there as Russian Minister, shortly afterwards moved to Stuttgart. The foundation of his education was laid in the gymnasium of that capital, where he remained until his twelfth year. From 1817 to 1822 he was a scholar in the Lyceum in Karlsruhe. Having finished his preparatory studies in those schools, he proceeded to the University of Göttingen, which after a course of nearly two years, he exchanged for Heidelberg. Four years of arduous study enabled him to pass his first examination, and, as the result of his brilliant attainments and success, he received the appointment of Attaché to the Bundestag Embassy at Oldeberg.
With such an opening, a splendid career in the service of courts and kings seemed to be reserved for him. His family connexions, his great abilities, and his unusual acquirements at so early an age guaranteed to him quick promotion, with reward and worldly honour. But to figure in the service of the oppressors of the people - to waste in luxurious trifling the resources of a peasantry, supplied by them only at the cost of a life-time of painful destitution - such was not the career which could stimulate the ambition of Struve. The conviction that this was not his proper destiny grew stronger in him, and he soon abandoned his diplomatic position and Oldenberg at the same time. Without wealth or friends, at variance with his relatives, who could not appreciate his higher aims, he settled himself in Göttingen (1831), and in the following year in Jena. His attempts to obtain fixed employment as professor or teacher, or as editor of a newspaper, long proved unsuccessful, for independent and honest thought, never anywhere greatly in esteem at that time in Germany was in especial disfavour with all who, directly or indirectly, were under court influences. Yet the three years which he lived in Göttingen and Jena supplied him with varied and useful experiences.
In 1833 he went to Karlsruhe. After years of long patience and effort, he at length effected his object (to gain a position which should make it possible for him to carry out his schemes of usefulness for his fellow-beings), and, at the end of 1836, he obtained the office of Obergerichts-Advocat in Mannheim. This position gave leisure and opportunity for the prosecution of his various undertakings. He founded periodicals and delivered lectures, the constant aim of which was the improvement of the world around him. At this period he wrote his philosophic romance, Mandaras' Wanderungen ("The Wanderings of Mandaras"), through which he conveys distasteful truths in accordance with the principles of Tasso. (1)
Struve's active political life began in 1845. In that year were published Briefwechsel zwischen einen ehemeligen und einen jetzigen Diplomaten ("Correspondence between an Old and a Modern Diplomatist"), which was soon followed by his Oefftliches Recht des Deutschen Bundes ("Public Rights of the German Federation") and his Kritische Geschichte des Allgemeinen Staats-Rechts ("Critical History of the Common Law of Nations"). In the same year he undertook the editorship of the Mannheimer Journal, in which he boldly fought the battles of political and social reform. He was several times condemned to imprisonment, as well as to payment of fines; but undeterred by such persecution, the champion of the oppressed succeeded in worsting most of his powerful enemies.
In the beginning of 1847 he founded a weekly periodical, the Deutscher Zuschauer ("The German Spectator"), in which, without actually adopting the invidious names, he maintained in their fullest extent the principles of Freedom and Fraternity; and it was chiefly by the efforts of Struve that the great popular demonstration at Oldenberg of September 12, 1847, took place, which formulated what was afterwards known as the "Demands of the People." The public meeting, assembled at the same town March 9, 1848, which was attended by 25,000 persons, and which, without committing itself to the adoption of the term "republican," yet proclaimed the inherent Rights of the People, was also mainly the work of the indefatigable Struve. He took part, too, in the opening of the Parliament at Frankfurt. His principal production at this time was Grundzüge der Staats-Wischenschaft ("Outlines of Political Science"). This book, inspired by the movement for freedom which was then agitating, but, as it proved, for the most part ineffectually, a large part of Europe, is not without significance in the education of the community for higher political conceptions. Struve and F. Hecker took a leading part in the democratic movements in Baden. These attempts failing, after a short residence in Paris , he settled near Basel (Basle). There he published his Grundrechte des Deutschen Volkes ("Fundamental Rights of the German People"), and, in association with Heinzenm, a Plan für Revolutionizung und Republikanizung Deutschlands. The earnest and noble convictions apparent in all the writing of the author, and the unmistakable purity of his aims, forced from the more candid of the opponents of his political creed recognition and respect. Nevertheless, he narrowly escaped legal assassination and the fusillades of the Kriegsgericht or Military Tribunal.
Later the unsuccessful lover of his country sought refuge in England, and from thence proceeded to the United States (1850). Upon the breaking out of the desperate struggle between the North and South, he threw in his lot with the former, and took part in several battles. In America he wrote his historical work Weltgeschichte (12 vols.) and, amongst others, Abeilard und Heloise. In 1861 he returned to Europe, and, at different periods, wrote two of his most important books Pflanzenkost, die Grundlage einer Neuen Weltanschauung ("Vegetable Diet, the Foundation of a New World-View"), and Das Seelenleben, oder die Naturgeschichte des Meschen ("The Spiritual Life, or the Natural History of Man'), in both of which he earnestly insists, not only upon the vast and incalculable suffering inflicted, in the most barbarous manner, upon the victims of the Table, but, further, upon the demoralising influence of living by pain and slaughter :-
"The thoughts and feelings which the food we partake of provokes are not remarked in common life, but they, nevertheless, have their significance. A man who daily sees Cows and Calves slaughtered, or who kills them himself, Hogs 'stuck.' Hens plucked, or Geese roasted alive, &c., cannot possibly retain any true feeling for the sufferings of his own species. He becomes hardened to them by witnessing the struggles of other animals as they are being driven by the butcher, the groans of the dying Ox, or the screams of the bleeding Hog, with indifference. . . Nay, he may come even to find a devilish pleasure in seeing beings tortured and killed, or in actually slaughtering them himself. . . .
"But even those who take no part in killing, nay, do not even see it, are conscious that the flesh-dishes upon their tables come from the Shambles and that their feasting and the suffering of others are in intimate connexion. Doubtless, the majority of flesh-eaters do not reflect upon the manner in which this food comes to them, but this thoughtlessness, far from being a virtue, is the parent of many vices. . . . How very different are the thoughts and sentiments produced by the non-flesh diet!" (2)
The last period of his life was passed in Wien (Vienna), and in that city his beneficently-active career closed in August, 1870. His last broken words to his wife, some hours before his end, were, "I must leave the world . . this war . . this conflict!" With the life of Gustav Struve was extinguished that of one of the noblest soldiers of the Cross of Humanity. His memory will always be held in high honour wherever justice, philanthropy, and humane feeling are in esteem.
In Mandaras' Wanderungen, of a different inspiration from that of ordinary fiction, and which is full of refinement of thought and feeling, are vividly represented the repugnance of a cultivated Hindu when brought, for the first time, into contact with the barbarisms of European civilisation. To few of our English readers it is presumable, is this charming story known; and an outline of its principal incidents will not be superogatory here.
The hero, a young Hindu, whose home is in one of the secluded valleys of the Himalaya, urged by the solicitude of the father of his betrothed, who wishes to prove him by contact with so different a world, sets out on a course of travel in Europe. The story opens with the arrival of his ship at Leftheim (Livorno) on the Italian coast. Mandaras has no sooner landed than he is accosted by two clerics (ordengeisliche), who wish to acquire the honour and glory of making a convert. But, unhappily for their success, like his predecessor Amabed, he had already on his voyage discovered that the religion of the people, among whom he was destined to reside, did not exclude certain horrible barbarisms hitherto unknown to him in his own unchristian land :-
"While still on board ship I had been startled when I saw the rest of the passengers feeding on the flesh of animals. 'By what right,' I asked them, 'do you kill other animals to feed upon their flesh?' They could not answer, but they continued to eat their salted flesh as much as ever. For my part, I would have rather died than have eaten a piece of it. But now it is far worse. I can pass through no street in which there are not poor slaughtered animals, hung up either entire or cut into pieces. Every moment I hear the cries of agony and of alarm of the victims whom they are driving to the slaughter-house, - see their struggles against the murderous knife of the butcher. Ever and again I ask of one or other of the men who surround me, by what right they kill them and devour their flesh; but if I receive an answer, it is returned in phrases which mean nothing or in repulsive laughter."
In fact the Hindu traveller had been but a brief space of time in Christian lands when he finds himself, almost unconsciously, in the position of a catechist rather than a catechumen. One day, for example, he finds himself in the midst of a vast crown, of all classes, hurrying to some spectacle. Inquiring the cause of so vast an assemblage, he learns that some persons are to be put to death with all the frightful circumstances of public executions. After travelling through a great part of Germany, he fixes his residence, for the purpose of study, in the University of Lindenberg. In the society of that place he meets with a young girl, Leonora, the daughter of a Secretary of Legation, who engages his admiration by her exceptional culture and refinement of mind. On the occasion of an excursion of a party of her father's visitors, of some days, to an island on the neighbouring coast, the first discussion on humane dietetics takes place, when, being asked the reason for his eccentricity, he appeals to the ladies of the party, believing that he shall have at least their sympathy with the principles he lays down :-
"From you, ladies, doubtless I shall meet with approval. Tell me, could you, with your own hands, kill to-day a gentle Lamb, a soft Dove, with whom perhaps you yesterday were playing? You answer - No? You dare not say you could. If you were to say yes, you would, indeed, betray a hard heart. But why could you not? Why did it cause you anguish, when you saw a defenceless animal driven to slaughter? Because you felt, in your inmost soul, that it is wrong, that it is unjust to kill a defenceless and innocent being! With quite other feelings would you look on the death of a Tiger that attacks men, than on that of a Lamb who has done harm to no one. To the one action attaches, naturally, justice; to the other, injustice. Follow the inner promptings of your heart, - no longer sanction the slaughter of innocent beings by feeding on their bodies (beförden Sie nicht deren Tödtung dadurch dass Sie ihr Fleisch essen)."
This exhortation, to his surprise, was received by all "the softer sex" with coldness, and even with signs of impatience, excepting Leonora, who acknowledged the force of his appeal and promised to the best of her power to follow his example. Pleased and encouraged by her approval, he proceeds :-
"Assuredly it will not repent you to have formed this resolution. The man who, with firmly-grounded habits, denies himself something which lies in his power, to spare pain and death to living and sentient beings, must become milder and more loving. The man who steels himself against the feeling of compassion for the lower animals will be more or less hard towards his own species ; while he who shrinks from giving pain to other beings, will so much the more shrink from inflicting it upon his fellow-men."
Leonora, however, was a rare exception in his experience; and the more he saw of Christian customs, the less did he feel disposed to change his religion, which, by the way, was of an unexceptionable kind. Some time before his leaving Lindenberg, the secretary's wife gave a dinner in his honour, which, in compliment to her guest, was without any flesh-dish. As a matter of course, the conversation soon turned upon Dietetics; as one of the guests a cleric, challenged the Hindu to defend his principles. Mandaras had scarcely laid down the cardinal article of his creed as a fundamental principle in Ethics - that it is unjust to inflict suffering upon a living and sensitive being, which (as he insists) cannot be called in question without shaking the very foundations of Morality (welcher nicht die Sittenlehre in ihren Fundamenten erschütern will) - when opponents arise on all sides of him. A doctor of medicine led the opposition, confidently affirming that the human frame itself proved men to be intended for flesh-eating. Mandaras replied that :-
"It seemed to him, on the contrary, that it is the bodily frame of man that especially declares against flesh-eating. The Tiger, the Lion, in short, all flesh-eating animals. seized their prey, running, swimming, or flying, and tore it in pieces with their teeth or talons, devouring it there and then upon the spot. Man cannot catch other animals in this way, or tear them in pieces, and devour them as they are. . . . Besides he had higher, and not merely animal, impulses. The latter lead him to gluttony, intemperance, and many other vices. Providence has given him reason to prove what is right and what is wrong. The doctor however, in place of admitting this argument, grew all the warmer. 'In all Nature,' said he, 'one sees how the lower existence is serviceable to the higher. As man does, so do other animals seize upon the weaker, and the weakest upon plants, &c.,' "
To this the Hindu philosopher in vain replies, that the sphere of man is wider, and ought therefore to be higher than that of other animals, for the larger the circle in which a being can freely move, the greater is the possible degree of perfection; that, if we are to place ourselves on the plane of the carnivore in one point, why not in all, and recognise also treachery, fierceness, and murder in general, as proper to man? that the different character of the Tiger, the Hyæna, the Wolf on the one side, and of the Elephant, the Camel, the Horse on the other, instruct us as to the mighty influence of food upon the disposition, and certainly not to the advantage of the flesh-eaters; that man is to strive not after the lower but the higher character, &c., &c. To this the hostess replies : "This may be all very beautiful and good, but how is the housekeeper to be so skilful as to provide for all her guests, if she is to withhold from them flesh dishes?" "Exactly as our housekeepers do in the Himalayan valley - exactly as our hostess does to-day," rejoins Mandaras. He allege many other arguments, and in particular the high degree of reasoning faculty, and even of moral feeling exhibited by the miserable slaves of human tyranny. Various are the objections raised, which, it is needless to say, are successfully overthrown by the champion of Innocence,a nd the company disperse after a prolonged discussion.
The second division of the story takes us to the Valley of Suty, the Himalayan home of Mandaras, and introduces us to his amiable family. A young German, travelling in that region, chances to meet with the father of Urwasi (Mandaras's betrothed), whom he finds bowed down with grief for the double loss of his daughter, who had pined away in the protracted absence of her lover and succumbed to the sickness of hope deferred, and of his destined son-in-law, who, upon his return to claim his mistress, had fallen (as it appeared) into a death-swoon at the shock of the terrible news awaiting him. The old man conducts the stranger to the scene of mourning, where Damajanti, the sister of Mandaras, with her friend Sunanda, is engaged in weaving garlands of flowers to deck the bier of her beloved brother. An interesting conversation follows between the European stranger and the Hindu ladies, who are worthy representatives of their countrywomen, Sakuntalà. (3) Accidentally they discover that he is a flesh-eater.
Sunanada: Is it possible that you really belong to those men who think it lawful to kill other beings to feed upon their bleeding limbs?
Theobald: In my country it is the ordinary custom. Do you not, in your country, use such food?
Damajanti: Can you ask? Have not other animals feeling? Do they not enjoy their existence?
Theobald: Certainly; but they are not so much below us, that there can be no reciprocity of duties between us.
Damajanti: The higher we stand in relation to other animals, the more are we bound to disregard none of the eternal laws of Morality, and, in particular, that of Love. Hateful as it is, at all events, to inflict pain upon an innocent being capable of feeling pain. Or do you consider it permissible to strike a dog, to witness the trembling of his limbs, and to hear his cries?
Theobald: By no means. I hold, also, that it is wrong to torture them, because we ought to feel no pleasure in the sufferings of other animals.
Damajanti: We ought to feel no pleasure! That is very odd reasoning. Detestation - disgust, rather, is the sensation we ought to have. Where this sentiment is real, there can be no desire to profit by the sufferings of others. Yet, where the feelings of disgust for what is bad are weaker than inclination to the self-indulgence which it promises, there is no possibility of their triumphing. For gain the butcher slaughters the victim; for horrible luxury other men participate in this murder, while they devour the pieces of flesh, in which, a few moments before, the blood was still flowing, the nerves yet quivering, the life still breathing!
Theobald: I admit it : but all this is new to me. From childhood upwards I have been accustomed to see animals driven to the slaughter-house. It gave me no pleasure : rather it was a positively displeasing spectacle; but I did not think about it - whether we have the right to slaughter for food, because I had never heard doubt expressed on the matter.
Sunanada: Ah! Now I can well believe that the men in your country must be hard and cold. Every softer feeling must be hardened, every tenderer one be dulled in the daily scenes of murder which they have before their eyes, by the blood which they shed daily, which they taste daily. Happy I am that I live far from your world. A thousand times would I rather endure death than live in so horrible a land.
Damajanti: To me, too, residence in such a land would be torture. Yet, were I a man, had I the power of eloquence, I would go from village to village, from town to town, and vehemently denounce such horrors. I should think that I had achieved more than the founders of all religions, if I should succeed in inspiring men with sympathy for their fellow-beings. What is religious belief, if it tolerates this murder, or rather sanctions it? What is all Belief without love? And what is a Love that excludes from its embrace the infinitely larger part of living beings? Sweet and fair indeed is it to live in a valley which harbours only mild and loving people; but it is greater, and worthier of the high destiny of human life, to battle amongst the Bad for Goodness, to contend for the Light amongst the prisoners of Darkness, What is Life without Doing? We women, indeed, cannot, and dare not ourselves venture forth into the wild surge of rough and coarse men; but it is our business at least to incite to all that is True, Beautiful, and Good; to have regard for no man who is not ardent for what is noble, to accept none of them who does not come before us adorned with the ornament of worthy actions (der nicht mit dem Schmucke würdigen Thaten vor uns tritt).
This eloquent discourse takes place while the three friends are watching, during the night, at the bier of the supposed dead. At the moment when the last funeral rites are to be performed, equally with the spectators we are surprised and pleased at the unexpected resuscitation of Mandaras, who, it appeared, had been in a trance, from which at the critical moment he awoke. With what transports he is welcomed back from the confines of the shadow-land, may easily be divined. For some time they live together in uninterrupted happiness; the young German, who had adopted their simple mode of living, remaining with them. In the intervals of pleasing labours in the field and the garden, they pass their hours of recreation in refined intellectual discourse and speculation, the younger ones deriving instruction from the experienced wisdom of the venerable sage. The conversation often turns upon the relations between the human and non-human races; and, in the course of one of his philosophical prelections, the old man, with profound insight, declares that "so long as other animals continue to be excluded from the circle of Moral Existence, in which Rights and Duties are recognised, so long is there no step forward in Morality to be expected. So long as men continue to support their lives upon bodies essentially like their own, without misgiving and without remorse, so long will they be fast bound by blood-stained fetters (mit blutgetränkten Fesseln) to the lower planes of existence."
At length the sorrowful day of separation arrives. It is decided that Mandaras should return to Germany, a wider sphere of useful action than the Himalayan valleys presented; and an additional reason is found in the discovery that his mother herself had been German. With much painful reluctance in parting from beloved friends, he recognises the force of their arguments, and once more leaves his peaceful home for the turmoil of European cities. After suffering shipwreck, in which he rescues a mother and child - at the expense of what he had held as his most precious possession, a casket of relics of his beloved Urwasi - Mandaras lands once again at Livorno. He finds his old friends as eager as ever for proselytising "the heathen," and quite unconscious of the need of conversion of themselves. At the death of the aged father of Damajanti, she, with her friend Sunanda and Theobald, who still remains with them, and (as may have been divined) is the devoted lover of the charming Sunanda, determines to leave her ancestral abode and join her brother in his adopted German home. When they arrive at the appointed place of meeting they are overwhelmed with grief to find that he, for whose sake so long a pilgrimage had been undertaken, had been taken from them for ever. Having lost his passport he had been arrested on suspicion and imprisoned. In confinement he had shrunk from the European flesh-dishes, and, unsupplied with proper nourishment or a sufficiency of it, had died (in the true sense of the word) a martyr, to the last, to his moral principles. With great difficulty his final words in writing are discovered, and these, in the form of letters to his sister, declare his unshaken faith and hopes for the future of the World. There are, also, found short poems, which are published at the end of his Memoirs, and are fully worthy of the refined mind of the author of Mandaras. Thus ends a romance which, for beauty of idea an sentiment, may be classed with the Aventures de Télémaque of Fénélon and, still more fitly, with the Paul et Virginie of St. Pierre. (4)
The space we have been tempted to give to Mandaras' Wanderings precludes more than one or two further extracts from Struve's admirable writings. His Pflanzenkost, perhaps the best known, as it is his most complete, exposition of his views on Humane Dietetics, appeared in the year 1869. In it he examines Vegetarianism in all its varied aspects - in regard to Sociology, Education, Justice, Theology, Art and Science, Natural Economy, Health, War and Peace, the practical and real Materialism of the Age, Health, Refinement of Life, &c. From the section which considers the Vegetable Diet in its relation to national Economy we quote the following just reflections :-
"Every step from a lower condition to a higher is bound up with certain difficulties. This is especially the case when it is a question of shaking off habits strengthened by numbers and length of time. Had the human race, however, not the power to do so, then the step from Paganism to Christianity, from predatory life to tillage, in particular from savage barbarousness to a certain stage in civilisation, would have been impossible. All these steps brought many struggles in their train, which to many thousands produced some hardships (Schaden) ; to untold millions, however, incalculable benefits.So, also, the steps onward from the Flesh-Diet cannot be established without some disturbances. The great majority of men hold fast to old prejudices. They struggle, not seldom with senseless rage, against enlightenment and reason, and a century often passes away before a new idea has forced the way for the spread of new blessings.
"Therefore, we need not wonder if we, also, who protest and stand out against the evils of Flesh-Eating, and proclaim the advantages of the Vegetable Diet, find violent opponents. The gain which would accrue to the whole race of man by the acceptance of that diet is, however, so great and so evidently destined, that our final victory is certain. . . .
"Doubtless the Political Economy of our days will be shaken to its foundation by the step from the flesh to the non-flesh diet; but this was also the case when the nomads began to practise tillage, and the hunters found no more game. The relics of certain barbarisms must be shaken off. All barbarians, or semi-barbarians, will struggle desperately against this with their selfish coarseness (eigenthümlichen Rohheit). But the result will be that the soil which, under the influence of the Flesh-Régime supported one man only, will, with the unfettered advantages of the Vegetable Diet, support five human beings. Liebig, even, recognised so much as this - that the Flesh-Diet is twelve times more costly than the non-flesh." (5)
Struve's Seelenleben, (6) published in the same year with the Pflanzenkost, and his last important work, forms a sort of résumé of his opinions already given to the world, and is therefore, a more comprehensive exposition of his opinions on Sociology and Ethics than is found in his earlier writings. It is full of the trust philosophy on the natural History of Man, inspired by the truest refinement of soul. In the section entitled Moral he well exposes the futility of hap-hazard speeches, meaning nothing, which, vaguely and in an indefinite manner addressed to the child, are allowed to do duty for practical moral teaching :-
"They tell children, perhaps, that they must not be cruel either to 'Animals' or to human beings weaker than themselves. But when the child goes into the kitchen, he sees Pigeons, Hens, and Geese slaughtered and plucked; when he goes into the streets, he sees animals hung up with bodies besmeared with blood, feet cut off, and heads twisted back. If the child proceeds still further, he comes upon the slaughter-house, in which harmless and useful beings of all kinds are being slaughtered or strangled. We shall not here dwell upon all the barbarisms bound up in the butchery of animals; but in the same degree in which men abuse their superior powers, in regard to other species, do they usually cause their tyranny to be felt by weaker human beings in their power.
"What avails all the fine talk about morality, in contrast with acts of barbarism and immorality presented to them on all sides?
"It is no proof of an exalted morality when a man acts justly towards a person stronger than himself, who can injure him. He alone acts justly who fulfils his obligatory duties (Verpflichtungen) in regard to the weaker. . . . He, who has no human persons under him, at least can strike his horse, barbarously drive his calf, and cudgel his dog. The relations of men to the inferior species are so full of significance, and exercise so mighty an influence upon the development of human character, that Morality wants a wider province that shall embrace those beings within it.
In the chapter devoted especially to Food and Drinks (Speise una Trank) Struve warns those whom it most concerns that :-
"The monstrous evils and abuses which gradually and stealthily have invaded our daily foods and drinks, have now reached to such a pitch that they can no longer be winked at. He who desires to work for the improvement of the human body, dares not leave uncontested the general dominant unnaturalness of living.
"With a people struggling for Freedom the Kitchen must be no murderous den (Mördergrube) ; the Larder no den of corruption ; the Meal no occasion for stupefaction. In despotic states the oppressors of the People may intoxicate themselves with spirituous drink, and bring disease and feebleness upon themselves with unlawful and unwholesome meats. The sooner such men perish (zu grunde gehen) the better. But in free states (or in such as are striving for Freedom), Simplicity, Temperance, Soberness must be the first principles of citizen-life. No people can be free whose individual members are still slaves to their own passions. (7) Man must first free himself from these before he can, with any success, make war upon those of his fellow-men."
Weighty words coming from a student of Science of Human Life. Still weightier coming from one who had devoted so large a part of his existence to assist, and had taken so active a part in, the struggles of the people for Justice and Freedom.