Imagens da página

"We consume it in maintaining on the coast of Africa, for the suppression of the slave trade and the presumed benefit of the negroes, a squadron of vessels which neither do, nor can, materially obstruct the traffic, but which do augment the sufferings of the slaves both during the voyage and before it. The object, whatever may be its essential character, is simply impossible, and the money is therefore wasted, to say no worse. We are led, however, at the same time, into innumerable inconsistencies and contradictions. We strive by all the means in our power to prevent the importation of slaves into Brazil, though they would there be occupied on those very plantations which we have selected for the supply of our markets. We buy Brazilian sugar because it is cheap, and we intercept Brazilian labour to make it dear. With one hand we gather the produce, and with the other we destroy the cultivation.”

Pretty well, for the old hack of Toryism, Conservatism, and Protection, Whiggism, Liberalism, and Free Trade,—the Blue to-day and Orange to-morrow,—the Every-thing-by-turns-and-nothing-long advocate! So then, the 'disaffected' have been right, all along! We, really, have had cause for disaffection. Poor men 'linger at the starving point,'—work, pay taxes, and still starve,—to furnish half-millions for their governors to waste on worse than folly. Why, this is what the starving have been saying for years: this is what many of us have been gaoled and dungeoned for saying—and now the Times' says it is true!

And yet this - Times' writer would not, perhaps, so easily grant that halfmillions wasted on other follies could also be employed wisely and beneficially for the People. Nevertheless, the principle is one. Good government consists in making the People happy; and money is wasted, to say no worse,' which is drained from their want and suffering to be expended on impossible' schemes, or useless purposes. How many half-millions might be saved, then, by abolishing the gew-gaw pomp and · barbarous splendours' of royalty,—the

allowances' for 'civil, naval, military, and judicial services, charged on the consolidated fund,'—the keeping up of armaments for murder, (and if they are not wanted for murdering, serving as gigantic training establishments for pride and insolence among officers, and lick-spittle slavery among the men,) -how many half-millions might thus be gained for good government? The

Times' will need more powerful spectacles before it can see the propriety of making its half-million into ten millions by such wholesale saving.

There is cheering hope, however, in the fact of these admissions being made by an organ which, with all its many-sidedness, represents so large a portion of those who hold power in this country. Good government is thus proclaimed not to consist solely in ' punishing the evil-doer’; in collecting taxes and defending the state from domestic and foreign foes ; in keeping up armies of policemen to preserve 'order'; and magistracies and gaols to punish crime. It is among its duties to“ keep families of the metropolitan, manufacturing, or agricultural poor above the starving point," to " reconstitute almonries and hospitals,” to “build churches wherever they are required,"—to “ redeem all impropriated tythes,"—to build asylums for the deaf, the dumb, the lame, the blind, and the superannuated,”-to“ provide for every sanitary want of our population, to protect them in all sickness, to maintain them in convalescence, and even to carry to each private door the aids and comforts of medical science,”--to “provide poor families with cheap and wholesome lodgings," — to "spatch from the street every young or redeemable outcast, and supply him with the means and the motives for mending his ways,"_to"establish and maintain industrial and ragged schools,"—to “endow grammar schools, and secure the very best masters to convey to the scholars, gratuitously, the very

best instruction,"_to “supply every house in London with abundant streams of fresh water, purify our river, and take off our drainage,"—to" provide persons every year with a new home in our colonies,"—in a word, to use all and every means that science and philanthropy can devise for relieving the whole population of misery, and endowing them with happiness.

Some of us may think that a new home in old England's uncultivated lands would be better than one in the colonies, and others may object to different • items in the Times' list of objects of good government ; but every thinking working-man must feel a degree of pleasure in seeing a European authority

—for such is the Timesthus unmistakeably opposing itself to the barren doctrine, that the duties of a Government are only negative.

And to whom are these changes in the tone of leading journals' owing ? The true answer is—to men whom the Times sneers at and reviles : to Robert Owen and Fourier, to Cabet and Louis Blanc : to the · Utopian dreamers' whose thoughts have reached the minds of thousands in France and England, and other countries of Europe : lastly, to working-inen themselves, who ponder on the long course of folly and crime, of wastefulness and wickedness, pursued by Governments, and who are fast approaching the intelligence which will enable them to unite, and reconstruct Governments for the welfare of All, instead of the misery of the Many and the corrupt and vitiated enjoyments of a Few. The bourgeoisie in Paris are beginning to think with respect of the very doctrines they lately treated with disdain. Marrast, and his National declare for a modified communism. The President Pretender's regime is thus endangered by the increase of union among republicans. The Times knows that another shake must come in France, fears it may affect our 'excellent institutions' next time, and would stop the mouth of disaffection if possible.



Hall of Science, Manchester, January 4th, 1850. MY DEAR Sir,- I have read with great attention and delight your proposal relative to the formation of a Progress Union, I believe some such plan is absolutely essential, if we would raise our enslaved brethren, who by thousands are starving in the midst of the abundance which their labour has created. You ask those who are favourable to your views to send you their resolve. Here then, Sir, is mine: I not only feel myself honoured in grasping your hand as a brother and a co-worker in the glorious cause of free thought and political enfranchisement, but I promise earnestly and faithfully to co-operate with you in this matter: knowing that the end of all your exertions is now, as it ever has been, the enfranchisement and enlightenment of our enslaved order.

Last night, the Mutual Instruction Class, which I had the honour of forming here, three months ago, held its first soiree. About 130 sat down to tea: all went merry as a marriage-bell : wives, daughters, and sweethearts being with us. It was indeed a glorious night; and when I announced your Journal, it was received with shouts of delight. You may be quite sure the young men of Manchester will work with you, heart and soul, in this movement. Wishing you all success in the cause of progress,

I remain, yours truly, Mr. Thomas Cooper.


January 4th, 1850. MY DEAR SIR,-I have, in the first number of your Journal, read a proposal for the establishment of Progress Unions. As to the desirableness of such societies,

there cannot, I think, be two opinions. Mr. Roebuck, on a recent occasion, thus described the object contemplated in the formation of Mechanics' Institutions:

"Some time since, there was a great and a good, a beneficent and a benevolent man. I am sure I may so speak of Dr. Birkbeck. He saw the new elennent which was introduced into society, and he wisely said, “Let us see if we cannot enlist this new element in favour of good government, peace, and happiness.' And for that purpose he endeavoured to introduce Mechanics' Institutes. He did so--for what purpose? For this, sir :-'As in ordinary life we get combined powers to serve our other interests; as we have clubs and various other means to provide for our physical and our social recreations,' he said ; 'let us combine the many-headed monster, as it is called, of the people. Each in his small might maintains that which we desire to advance ; let him contribute to the education of his class, thus combining that which the increased knowledge of mankind has enabled us to do: bringing together all our separate powers in that which is called a Mechanics' Institute: thus bringing together the various and varied interests of society to the maintenance and the increase of knowledge.'”

The object aimed at was praiseworthy: it has only been partially realized. Mechanics' Institutions have not combined all the various and varied interests of society for the increase of knowledge; yet they have not been without their uses; they have been and are serviceable to the middle classes. The working classes seldom think of joining a Mechanics’ Institution; but, so far as my experience enables me to judge, they prefer institutions for themselves. And if the Progress Unions you desire to establish will tend to combine the various and varied intelligence of the working classes, they will be of great service to the present and future generations. Some questions have taken deep root in the public mind, and require distinct movements on their behalf. The Suffrage is one of these questions. But my being a member of the National Charter Association, would not at all prevent me from being a member of the Progress Union, My association with other men of the party of progress, would not lesson, but increase, my usefulness as a Chartist, as it would tend to deepen and widen my knowledge, and for that reason increase my ability to do good.

My arrangements for some months to come prevent me from devoting my whole time to carrying out what I must call your broad and comprehensive plan for the improvement of English society. Yonr intentions meet with my most hearty approval, and so far as my time and circumstances will allow, I will gladly assist in the formation of Progress Unions. I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully, Mr. Thomas Cooper.

SAMUEL M. KYDD. To Correspondents. *** Correspondents will please address, "THOMAS COOPER, 5, Park Row, Knightsbridge, London."

W. L.—The course of Orations, on Wednesday evenings, at the Mechanics' Institute, Gould-eq., will occupy Jan. 16, 23, 30, and Feb. 6, instead of the dates stated in last No.

M. 0. Much obliged. I have sent out, to various country agents, 40,000 small handbills; but I yet need the addresses of Agents in Norwich, Plymouth, Devonport, Portsmouth, Bath, Halifax, Bradford, York, Wakefield, Barnsley, Macclesfield, and Derby. If any News-agent in these towns (or any other considerable towns) will be kind enough to send me his address, and the name of his London bookseller, I shall be glad to enclose him some small handbills in his weekly parcel. Agents are also respectfully iuformed that plenty of large posters will be printed weekly, and if they are not furnished with them, I will take care that they shall be-if they will kindly send me notice.

A. W., Birmingham; T. S., Manchester; W. T., Hexham; and E. W. J., Chelsea.-I will, in an early number, draw up a list of questions, in history, morals, politics, &c., out of which Discussion and Mutual Improvement Classes may select some of their subjects; but, surely, a little ingenuity will enable members of such classes to devise questions sufficiently fertile for discussion.

F. H., Exeter.—No wonder that you were prejudiced against glorious old Greece, by reading the prejudiced Tory, Mitford. Your prejudices against Mazzini and Kossuth, Ledru Rollin and Louis Blanc, must, surely, have been gathered from the Times. If you had weighed their own defcnces, from time to time, of their own actions and characters, --if you had candidly noted their procedures,—your conclusions would have been very different. I fear the air of your old city is unfavourable to real Progress. You will have everything to learn over again, if you get among the working-men of the manufacturing distriots.


INDUSTRY.-A noble heart will disdain to subsist like a drone upon honey gathered by others' labour, like a vermin to filch its food out of the public granary, or like a shark to prey upon the lesser fry; but will rather outdo his private obligations to other men's care and toil, by considerable service and beneficence to the public; for there is no calling of any sort, from the sceptre to the spade, the mangement whereof with any good success, any credit, any satisfaction, doth not demand much work of the head, or of the hands, or of both. Is a man a governor, or a superior in any capacity, what is he but a public servant doomed to continual labour, hired for the wages of respect and pomp to wait on his people; and he will find that to wield power innocently, to brandish the sword of justice discreetly and worthily, for the maintainance of right and encouragement of virtue, for the suppression of injury and correction of vice, is a matter of no small skill and slight care; and he that is obliged to purvey for so many, and so to abound in good works, how can he want business? How can he pretend to a writ of ease ?

Sloth.-It is with us as with other things in nature, which by motion are preserved in their native purity and perfection, in their sweetness, in their lustre, rest corrupting, debasing, and defiling them; if the water runneth, it holdeth clear, sweet, and fresh; if the air be fanned by winds, it is pure and wholesome; but from being shut up it groweth thick and putrid; if metals be employed, they abide smooth and splendid; but lay them by, and they soon contract rust; if the earth be belaboured with culture, it yieldeth corn; but lying neglected, it will be overgrown with brakes and thistles, and the better the soil is, the ranker weeds it will produce: all nature is upheld in its being, order, and state, by constant agitation; every creature is incessantly employed in action conformable to its designed end and use; in like manner the preservation and improvement of our faculties depend on their constant and wholesome exercise.

VOLUNTARY LABOUR, taken in due place and season, doth save much exertion afterward; and moderate care enables a man commonly to pass his life with ease, comfort, and delight: whereas, idleness frequently doth let slip opportunities and advantages which cannot with ease be retrieved, and letteth things fall into a bad case, out of which they can hardly be recovered.

THE PREJUDICED.-The prejudiced are apt to converse but with one sort of men, to read but one sort of books, to come in hearing but of one sort of notions; the truth is, they canton out to themselves a little Goshen in the intellectual world, where light shines, and as they conclude, day blesses them : but the rest of the vast expansum they give up to night and darkness, and so avoid coming near it. They confine themselves to some little creek, not venturing out into the great ocean of knowledge, to survey the riches that nature has stored other parts with, no less genuine, no less solid, no less useful, that what is to be found within their own little spot.

SPORTS.-How assiduously intent and eager may we observe men to be at sports; how soon will they rise to go forth to them; with what constancy and patience will they toil in them all the day; how long will they sit poring on their games, dispensing with their food and sleep for it. But how much in such cases do men forget what they are doing, that sport should be sport, not work; to divert and relax us, not to employ and busy us; to take off our minds a little, not wholly to take them up; not to exhaust or tire our spirits, but to refresh and cheer them, that they may return with renewed vigour to more grave and useful occupation.

Man's NATURE.—The wisest observers of man's nature have pronounced him to be a creature gentle and sociable, inclinable to, and fit for conversation, apt to keep good order, to observe rules of justice, to embrace any sort of virtue if weil managed, if instructed by good discipline, if guided by good example, if living under the influence of wise laws and virtuous governors. Fierceness, rudeness, craft, malice, all perverse and intractable, all mischievous and vicious dispositions do grow among men (like weeds in any, even the best, soil), and overspread the earth, from neglect of good education ; from ill-conduct, ill-habits, ill-example ; but man's soul hath appetites and capacities, by which, well-guided and ordered, it soars and climbs continually in its affection and desire towards Divine Perfection,

LET kingcraft clap its gory hands, . In the hearts of Europe's Toilers
And oligarchy smile;

These hopes have made their home;
Let priestcraft raise its vulture voice, Nor Russian force in Hungary,
And shriek a curse the while;

Nor Gallic fraud in Rome, Let hot reaction swiftly come,

Nor cunning diplomatic skillWith vengeance robed in state,--

That courteous mask of hateAnd strive to slay, with rope and gun, Can plunder the unfranchised The hopes of '48 !

Of the hopes of '48 ! Let mammon-greed its golden links

You may seize the men who breathe them Draw closer day by day,

Too loud above their breath; And madly seek to force from all

You may send their armed defenders Allegiance to its sway.

A sharp or lingering death; We dare them all--kings, mammon-slaves, Shoot them by scores ; —You but arrest And oligarchs elate !

And not avert your fate; They cannot--all united-blast

For that martyr-blood is the seal ye sot The hopes of '48 !

To the hopes of '48! EUGENE

"Twas Christmas Eve! In the palace, where Knavery

Crowds all the treasures the fair world can render;
Where spirits grow rusted in silkenest slavery,

And lite is out-panted in golden-garbed splendour ;-
In gladness and glory, Wealth's darlings were meeting,

And jewel-clasp'd fingers linked softly again;
New friendships were twining, and old friends were greeting,

And young hearts were bound by God's own goldon chain !

'Twas Christmas Eve! In a poor nan's hovel

Were huddled in silence a skeleton family ;
Church-bells were laughing in musical revel :

They heard the loud mockery with brows throbbing clammily:
All in the merry time there they sat mourning

Two sons—two brothers--in penal chains bleeding!
Their hearts wanderd forth to the never-returning,

Who rose on their vision, pale, haggard, and bleeding !

'Twas Christmas Eve! For the great'-as in duty

Taste pandered, and ruby wine wooed on the board;
Eyou smiled in feigned glory on frail forms of beauty,

And lying lips flattered the thing called a “ Lord;"
Love-kisses sobbed out 'twixt the rollick and rout,

And Hope went forth reaping her long-promised treasure :
What matter, tho' hearts may be breaking without?

Their groans are unheard in the palace of Pleasure !

'Twas Christmas Eve; but the poor ones heard

No neighbourly welcoine--nu kind voice of kia!
They looked at each other, but spoke not a word, -

While through cranny and crevice the sleet drifted in.
In a desolate corner, one, hunger-killed, lies !

And a mother's hot tears are the bosom-babe's food !
Ah! wonder, yo Senators, full-fed and wise,----

Such misery nurseth crime's dark viper-brood !

Men--angel-imaged in Nature's fair mint

Oh, where is your God-spark-the signet divine-
The freedom of soul, Immortality's print ?

We are tyrants and slaves, bound in one deadly twine:
That a fow like to Gods may stride over the earth,

Millions, born to heart-murder, are given in pawn !
Oh, when cometh Liberty's world-cheering birth-

She who waiteth with eager wings beating the dawn?

« AnteriorContinuar »