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of Commons. A depression in trade would lengthen that delay. In the meantime, misgovernment must continue ; and the discontent of suffering workingmen must again swell into exasperation,—and that greater than before, because yourself and other men of station have proclaimed that they are wronged, cruelly and unfeelingly wronged.
I would not be understood to intimate anything so false as that workingmen are unfavourable to the scheme of Mr. Taylor of Birmingham (adopted by your Association) as a land scheme. On the contrary, the wish to improve their condition by the possession of land is taking root in the universal heart of the working-classes of this country ; but these wishes few have the means of gratifying. The thinkers among them object above all to the idea of concession to our opponents which is involved in Mr. Taylor's principle : it concedes, that neither a man's personality as a man,-his possession of reason and volition,-his moral character,-nor, even, the share he already bears of the burthens of the state, and his liability to be called out to fight to maintain its supremacy,—are any sufficient claim for his right to participate in the choice of those who govern him ; but that he must establish that claim by purchasing the possession of something that cannot think or fight, and cannot assist him to bear increased burthens of the state, without the exercise of his labour.
I know that some Parliamentary Reformers are accustomed to speak slightingly of all natural right to the Franchise ; but this is a doctrine so firmly fixed in the convictions of intelligent workingmen in this country, that they would as soon think of denying their own existence as of denying its truth. If I understood you aright, in one of your speeches in London, you also are to be numbered among the maintainers of this natural right; and you will not therefore disapprove the persistent advocacy of
My lord, yours respectfully,
Hulme, Manchester, January 7, 1850, “No privileged power in existence can withstand your efforts, if they be put forth wisely and determinedly."
My Dear Sir,-The above words, taken from your last letter to the Young Men of our Order, are so full of meaning, instruction, and importance, that they deserve, in my opinion, to be printed in bold type, and put over the fire-place, or in the most conspicuous place, in every working man's room. My heart's desire is, that every Toiler may soon learn, through such instrumentality as that of your journal, and those of a kindred interest, to feel and know the real depth and meaning of these words.
You ask - Is it time to attempt the formation of a Progress Union? For one, I reply that you seem to propose a clear and excellent plan; and happy should I be to give a helping hand, as far as able, in promoting such a Union. I have long waited to see an announcement that would sufficiently clear the ground, and make ready the space, for the intellectual excavators to prepare the foundation of that moral building, which shall be a nursery for the neglected part of all the sons of toil.
I greatly deplore the splitting up of society into so many sections, whose professed object is alike,-the people's good. If these various sections, or their managing committees, could only be induced, in a few large towns, to sink their differences for six mutual meetings, and discuss this point of Union, I believe the
seventh meeting would be called to elect officers for the Progress Union, and to draw up such a code of rules as would be required.
I rejoice greatly at the success of the temperance cause; and if your proposition should (and why not?) meet with its desired success, I think the Temperance Brothers would be the first to hold out the hand of fellowship, and vigorously, earnestly, and manfully do their part for Manhood Freedom. This Union would be able to go to work immediately, and take a census of the male population, not as to number only, but as to education, political opinion, profession or calling, age, and any other desirable or requisite information, by requiring each member to take upon himself the responsibility of performing some portion of the necessary labour. The expense of printing would be very trifling for such a form as would be required; and the distribution and collection would be performed by voluntary labour. The Union would thus be able to show the tyrannical, oppressive Few, and their minions in place and power, the true proportion of Enfranchised and Unenfranchised, the number who require the franchise, and their fitness for its exercise; and thus, for ever, put to silence the arrogant tongue of any Minister of the Crown, who dared to say the people are not prepared to exercise that which he and all his associates, in effect, say is not their right.
Yours, faithfully, Mr. Thomas Cooper.
London, January 7, 1850. MY DEAR SIR,—I have just perused the first number of your journal, with feelings of the most lively interest and satisfaction. Such a periodical was much wanted. There has been much of mere fustian and empty declamation; but, unfortunately, vigorous independent thinking and plain speaking are far from fashionable among public journalists. The most important questions are altogether tabooed, or are considered solely with reference to a foregone conclusion. Orthodoxy is an idol before which men prostrate themselves in slavish adoration.
I am induced to offer these observations by perceiving that you have commenced the publication of your lectures on Strauss's celebrated “Leben Jesu," — the fame of which is far more widely circulated than the knowledge of its contents. In seeking to familiarize the public mind with the profound reasonings of this great thinker, you have determined wisely, and acted manfully. I know there is a prejudice very generally entertained against any such investigations being pursued ; more especially in any journal of a political character. But we must take prejudice by the beard, and look it boldly in the face. We can only achieve political freedom by mental emancipation. The expression of thought, upon all subjects, must be free and unfettered. There must be no restriction, no reservation. Theological enquiry is ever the accompaniment of awakened intellect, and strong political excitement. It must necessarily be so: to expect otherwise, is to expect that which is contrary to the universal history of mankind. Theological enquiry cannot be prevented, but it may be wisely directed, and temperately and usefully conducted.
The prejudice, however, against such investigations is not altogether without some foundation. They have been too frequently conducted in a frivolous spirit, and in the most offensive manner. They have been made the vehicle for coarse jokes and vulgar ribaldry. What has been called “free thinking," has often been only antagonism: the mere rebound against vulgar superstition. Such conduct may annoy and disgust, but can neither conciliate nor convince. Freethinkers must establish their claim to a respectful hearing, by treating serious subjects with seriousness. They must respect the feelings of others, and make due allowance for the prejudices of early education.
I will only trespass upon your space by one further observation. We must endeavour to construct as well as to pull down. We must not only seek to detect error, but to discover truth. We must conserve whatever is excellent, as well as destroy all that is injurious. We must labour to find out agreements as well as differences. If this were more frequently done, I believe it would be found that men were mostly agreed upon what was necessary and essential: that they differed only in that which was incidental and comparatively unimportant.
I remain, yours truly, Mr. Thomas Cooper.
London, January 8, 1850. DEAR SIR, I was much gratified by your proposal for the formation of a Progress Union. With me the idea has long been a favourite one. By my observations on various classes of the community, in different parts of the kingdoin, I am convinced that the really thoughtful among the British people are thoroughly democratic.
The upholders of our present system of government may be divided into three classes. The first class and the only real believers in its justice and efficiency) are the more uneducated amongst the rural population, who have inherited the ignorance and prejudices of their forefathers. I am happy to add that this class is rapidly decreasing. The second class consists of a portion of the middle-classes, who are usually termed moderate reformers. These men would gladly see a more just and economical form of government; but are too apt to associate ideas of muskets and barricades with thoughts of any radical cure of misgovernment. To these I would say, that their fears are groundless; since resistance on the part of the government would be madness, when that resistance was made to the demands of an united and intelligent people. The third class of our “most loyal” fellow subjects consists of the aristocrats, hereditary pensioners, and sinecurists, of every description,—who are well aware that where the reigu of Reason begins, theirs ends. They, of course, defend a system in which they are so deeply interested.
But a more important body of men, and those on whose exertions the freedom of the people mainly depends, remains to be noticed. These are the artisans, and other inhabitants of the manufacturing towns, and who are democrats en masse. Many will deny my assertion that nearly all the thoughtful of our population are in favour of democratic institutions, and will contend that were such the case, it would be impossible for the monstrous abuses in our present government to exist for a single day. Nor could these abuses exist were the People to adopt the only means by which they can hope to obtain a redress of their grievances: that is to say, a complete organization of the numerous, but now disunited, body of reformers.
The Progress Union would go far towards effecting this object; since, if properly conducted, it might, in a short time, comprise the majority of the unfranchised members of the community, and thus be the means of ascertaining their real sentiments on any important question. This, under the present limited parliamentary representation, it is utterly impossible to obtain. I hope you will lose no opportunity of urging upon the attention of your readers the immense advantages of such a Union, and the probability of its proving the best means of advancing the “Great Cause."
I am, dear Sir, yours, &c., Mr. Thomas Cooper.
A FRIEND OF THE PEOPLE.
RICH AND POOR--The rich must be convinced, that while they live sumptuously, and while the poor are fed with a few of the scanty crumbs which fall from their table, they act quite contrary to the tenor of that gospel which they say they believe. It is not in nature or reason that one man should destroy twenty thousand a year, and another should be left without the common necessaries of life. No; every creature which nature has formed with a mouth and digestive powers, has an equal right to participate of her blessings.-Candid Philosopher.
The Hindoo RELIGION.—The Hindoo religion probably spread over the whole earth. There are signs of it in every northern country, and in almost every system of worship. In England it is obvious; Stonehenge is evidently one of the temples of Boodh; and the arithmetic, astronomy, astrology, the holidays, games, names of the stars and figures of the constellations; the ancient monuments, laws, and coins; the languages of the different nations, bear the strongest marks of the same original. The Brahmins of the sect of Brahma were the true authors of the Ptolemaic system; the Boodhists, followers of Budha, the authors of the Copernican system, as well as of the doctrine of attraction; and probably the established religion of the Greeks, and the Eleusinian mysteries, were only varieties of the two different sects, Forbes' Oriental Memoirs.
To Correspondents. *** Correspondents will please address, "Thomas Cooper, 5, Park Row, Knightsbridge , London.'
J, A., and all Agents are respectfully informed that this Journal will be issued also in Monthly Parts, each part with wrapper to be 4}d., if containing four numbers, and 54d, if containing five.
• Thoughts from the Inner Circle.'-Notice in next number. G. T. 8., Stockton; Operative,' Lambeth; "Sic Valeas;' and E. W., Liverpool.--Received,
CONSTANT READER, Etruria, Potteries.--I am glad that the Eight Letters have been of so much benefit to him. Whately's 'Logic' is a book of the highest reputation ; but perhaps some of the works of G. J. Holyoake would be more suitable, as preparatives, for the writer. I really do not know which is the best late work on book-keeping; and I have forgot the names of the treatises in use when I was a schoolmaster, fourteen years ago.
J. C,, Kingsland Road.--I have recommended a class of that kind in the institution named ; but without effect. If the Discussion Class failed, let not the writer give up self-improvement. He may meet with more kindred spirits in a little time.
YORK,-The writer under this signature may rest assured that he has given no offence. I wish all the religious world would convey their expostulations in language equally consistent with the injunctions of Him whom they profess to take for their Great Exemplar.
H. A. J.--None of the Secretaries of popular Institutions in London have, as yet, sent me their Quarterly list of Lectures. Robert Owen is to lecture next Sunday morning, at 11, at the Farringdon Hall ; and Lloyd Jones in the evening, at 7--on “Socialism ; its aims and objects."
DistinGUISHED MEN ALWAYS HARD-WORKERS.-When we read the lives of distinguished men in any department, we find them always celebrated for the amount of labour they could perform. Demosthenes, Julius Cæsar, Henry the Fourth of France, Lord Bacon, Sir Isaac Newton, Franklin, Washington, Napoleon,--different as they were in their intellectual and moral qualities,-were all renowned as hard-workers. We read how many days they could support the fatigues of a march : how early they rose ; how late they watched ; how many hours they spent in the field, in the cabinet, in the court: how many secretaries they kept employed ; in short how hard they worked.-Everett's Discourse.
INTEMPERANCE.-Those men who destroy a healthful constitution of body by intemperance, and an irregular life, do as manifestly kill themselves, as those who hang, or poison, or drown themselves.---Sherlock.
SUSPICION.-There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little; and, therefore, men should remedy suspicion by procuring to know more, and not to keep their suspicions in smother.-Lord Bacon.
ECONOMY OF NATURE.-Nothing could be more desirable to creatures mortal (as we are by the necessary condition of terrestrial matter) and obnoxious to miseries, than to be born after such a manner, as in the first part of life, while we are tender, unacquainted with things, and put under the guardianship of others, to enjoy the sweets without the care ; in the middle, to please ourselves as much in taking care of others; and in the decrepit, feeble age, to be assisted in our turn by others whom we have educated. King's Origin of Eril.
INDUSTRY.-Excellence is never granted to man, but as the reward of labour. It argues, indeed, no small strength of mind to persevere in the habits of industry without the pleasure of perceiving those advantages, which, like the hand of a clock, whilst they make hourly approaches to their point, yet proceed so slowly as to escape observation.Sir Joshua Reynolds.
THE MIND THE STANDARD OF Man. It was said by Charles XII. of Sweden, that he who was ignorant of the arithmetical art was but half a man. With how much greater force may a similar expression be applied to him who carries to his grave the neglected and unprofitable seeds of faculties, which it depended on himself to have reared to maturity, and of which the fruits bring accessions to human happiness--more precious than all the gratifications which power or wealth can command. - Dugald Stewart.
HISTORIANS.-We find but few historians of all ages, who have been diligent enough in their search for truth; it is their common method to take on trust what they distribute to the public, by which means, a falsehood once received from a famed writer becomes traditional to posterity.--Dryden.
DUTY OF PARENTS.-The last duty of parents to their children is that of giving them an education suitable to their station in life; a duty pointed out by reason and for the greatest importance of any. For, as Puffendorf very justly observes, it is not easy to imagine or allow, that a parent has conferred any considerable benefit on his child by bringing him into the world, if he afterwards entirely neglects his culture and education, and suffers him to grow up like a beast, to lead a life useless to others and shameful to himself.-J. Blackstone.
THINKINGS, FROM WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR.
PUNISHMENT OF Death UNJUST.-Whatever is worthy to be loved for any thing, is worthy of preservation. A wise and dispassionate legislator, if any such should ever arise among men, will not condemn to death him who has done or is likely to do more service than injury to society. Blocks and gibbets are the dearest objects with legislators, and their business is never with hopes or with virtues.
MERCY ENFORCED BY THE DOCTRINE OF NECESSITY.-Should we be less merciful to our fellow creatures than to our domestic animals? Before we deliver them to be killed, we weigh their services against their inconveniences. On the foundation of policy (when we have no better) let us erect the trophies of humanity: let us consider that, educated in the same manner, and situated in the same position, we ourselves might have acted as reprovably. Abolish that for ever which must else for ever generate abuses; and attribute the faults of the man to the office, not the faults of the office to the man,
CAUSE OF NATIONAL MISERY.-If men consider the happiness of others, or their own; in fewer words, if they were wise, no state would be depopulated, no city pillaged, not a village would be laid in ashes, not a farm deserted. But there always have been, and always will be, men about the despot, who persuade him that terror is better than esteem; that no one knows whether he is reverenced or not, but that he who is dreaded has indubitable proofs of it, and is regarded by mortals as a god. By pampering this foible in the prince, they are permitted to come closer and closer to him ; and from the indulgence of his corrupted humours they derive their wealth and influence.
The Civil Laws of ENGLAND.—The Laws of England have been the subject of eulogy to many sagacious and learned men. I have read them repeatedly, and pondered them attentively. I find them often dilatory, often uncertain, often contradictory, often cruel, often ruinous. Whenever they find a man down, they keep him so, and the more pertinaciously the more earnestly he appeals to them. Like tilers, in mending one hole, they always make another. There is no country in which they move with such velocity where life is at stake, or, where property is to be defended, so slowly. Can it be wondered, that upon a bench, under so rotten an effigy of justice, sat a Scroggs, a Jeffreys, a Finch, and a Page ! Law has become in England not only the most expensive, but the most rapacious and dishonest of trades.
INTERCOURSE OF MIND.-If men would permit their minds, like their children, to associate freely together-if they could agree to meet one another with smiles and frankness, instead of suspicion and defiance, the common stock of wisdom and of happiness would be centupled.-Probably those very two men who hate each other most, and whose best husbandry is to sow briars and thistles in each other's path, would, if they had ever met and conversed familiarly, have been ardent and inseparable friends.
GOODNESS.-Goodness does not more certainly make men happy, than happiness makes them good. We must distinguish between felicity and prosperity ; for prosperity leads often to ambition, and ambition to disappointment; the course is then over, the wheel turns round but once ; while the reaction of goodness and happiness is perpetual.
LEARNING.-Although our learning raiseth up against us many enemies among the low, and more among the powerful, yet doth it invest us with grand and glorious privileges, and grant to us a largess of beatitude. We enter our studies, and enjoy a society which we alone can bring together. We raise no jealousy by conversing with one in preference to another; we give no offence to the most illustrious, by questioning him as long as he will, and leaving as abruptly. Diversity of opinion raises no tumult in our presence; each interlocutor stands before us, speaks or is silent, and we adjourn or decide the business at our leisure. Nothing is past which we desire to be present; and we enjoy by anticipation somewhat like the power which I imagine we shall possess hereafter, of sailing on a wish from world to world.