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I do not set this down positively-for 'I am no prophet, nor the son of a prophet;' þut I think it to be most probable. And if it come to pass, what will the ‘Parliamentary and Financial Reformers' do ? Back up the Whigs, I fear,--even if the Russell proposition should fall far short of their proposed ‘Household Suffrage.' Unless some powerful influence be brought to bear upon their March Conference, and they can be persuaded to declare for Manhood Suffrage.
But what should the Unfranchised, what should all true Democrats do, if the Whigs take the course I have presumed to set down as probable ? Unite, with vigorous resolution, to do all in their power towards securing the return of candidates who bind themselves without reserve to introduce and vote for a Bill, in the opening session of the new Parliament, comprising all the provisions of The People's Charter’--as the only effectual step towards obtaining means for ameliorating the condition of the workingclasses; for relieving shopkeepers and tradesmen, farmers and poorer manufacturers of the weight of taxation which now oppresses them; for abolishing sinecures and undeserved pensions; for lessening the expense of armed bands, kept for slaughter, or for idleness. And the opportunity for doing this successfully, may be such as never occurred before.
FRANCE: THE CHAOS OF “ORDER.” THE party of ORDER—a bundle of rods of all length and sizes, bound together by the chains of FEAR-has been for eighteen months triumphant in France. And what has been the result? Has France enjoyed peace, contentment, and equal laws, under its rule? Has the administration of internal affairs been characterised by wisdom, equity, and purity ? Has the maintenance of relations with foreign states been just, or generous, or truthful ?--Let facts answer.
Many of the founders of the republic are in exile: the props of the monarchy are in France. The founders of the republic who remain, are exposed to pitiless persecution : the props of the monarchy are promoted to the highest offices. The prefects—those janissaries of the presidential ministry-planted in every department of France; exercise absolute power. Local government, the basis of true republican institutions, is in .abeyance:' central government, the curse of nations, penetrates into every village of the republic.
To the prefects has been confided the task of repressing democratic, and uprooting socialist, opinions. Removable at pleasure; chosen for their docility to the dictates of authority; or, for the eminent services they rendered under the monarchy of July, or, for the tact and resolution they displayed in carrying out that system of corruption and intimidation, which has made the reign of Louis Philippe only another expression for infamy ;--the prefects who from necessity have, can have, and must have, no political principles, are at once the fitting spies and the willing instruments of the central government. It is theirs to watch the suspected ; it is theirs to control the press; to pursue, arrest, imprison, and fine the hawkers of socialist and democratic publications; to instruct the men of law whom to proceed against; to spy into the privacy of citizens who are supposed to have a copy of this or that prohibited publication; to direct the armed police to invade, on the slightest pretext, the homes of Frenchmen; to romage among their papers, to read their letters, to force their bureaus. It is theirs to dismiss every public functionary under their orders from his post, who is suspected of republicanism ; it is theirs, in fine, to play the petty despot over the whole territory of France, certain that dismissalattends on moderation alone, and reward on severity and oppression.
Lately, the majority of the assembly—the party of ORDER—has thought fit to place in the hands of these men the entire control of the education of the People. As the laws against the Press originated by the Cavaignac Ministry in 1848, surpassed in rigour the laws of September, originated by M. Thiers,—so the new law upon public instruction, originated by the ministry of Louis Napoleon, exceeds in severity that of M. Guizot passed in 1833! And these are the guarantees of Order!' Guarantees ? It is written in the world's history that such guarantees are the progenitors of revolutions and the destroyers of thrones!
And foreign relations ? Without waste of words they may be described in one sentence: the nephew of Napoleon, the King-dethroner, the Kingmaker, and the King-compeller, vails his plumed hat before the thrones, and places the sword of France at the disposal of the Red Monarchies of Europe: and his policy comes within the compass of two words--treachery and impotence.
It is chaos which the boasted victory of the party of“ Order” has brought forth. It is chaos-disorder—which is the fruit of their labour. The tranquillity of France is specious. The policy which has called up this apparition never founded anything. Laws of repression, exacted by circumstances; measures of vengeance, provoked by hatred, and carried out by vindictiveness; temporary expedients, engendered in the extremity of fear, never yet produced ought but forced submission and deceptive security. Power which attempts to perpetuate itself by the sword, forges bolts for its own destruction. Power, which builds its palace upon foundations cemented by corruption, digs its own grave. Power, which reposes upon a legislative majority composed of warring interests, opposing ideas, and incompatible factions, bound together, for the moment, by fear, needs only time and accident to effect its overthrow. Such are the characteristics of the power at present existing in France; such are the elements upon whose coherent operation our destiny depends. Coherent operation! But what can it operate ? Nothing but what we bave before stated :-injustice, tyranny, uncertainty, repression-in one word,-chaos.
For our own part-say all true democrats--if we were disposed to look upon these things from à cynical point of view, and were prepared to root out our sympathies for suffering humanity; if we could obliterate from our moral sense the hatred we feel for injustice, under every form, we should be disposed to rejoice in the present measures pursued by the legislative and executive powers in France. For these measures only try the people, though after a fashion in which no people ought ever to be tried. They only test the strength of the faith which is in the French democracy; though after a fashion in which no faith ought ever to be tested. They only furnish fresh and stinging incitements to exertion and resistance; for suffering is—like strong drink to the strong--a source of terrible strength. These measures only impose upon true democrats, as a point of honour, a dictate of duty,--the necessity of conquering power, by physical or moral means : by physical, if the domination of priest and prefect becomes unbearable; by moral, if republican endurance can wear out that domination. Which of these two means shall be employed, depends upon the conduct of the ruling power. If the party of “ Order” should continue in the ways of Guizot, and perist in the policy of resistance," they will force the
To Correspondents. *** Correspondents will please address “ Thomas Cooper, 5, Park Row, Knightsbridge, London."
G. W., MARGATE.—Much obliged by his favour, and shall be glad to hear from him again. The 'Eight Letters' are already collected, and republished, at sixpence. He will observe the advertisement on the last page of the present number.
W. T., and 'Sic Valeas.'—This Journal is published in London every Tuesday afternoon, in time for the despatch of parcels to country Agents; and plenty of posters are always supplied to the London Agents.
Ě. R., Islington.--The song is not perfect enough for insertion. The writer may rely upon it that so far from being an objection, his muse would recommend itself to me, by the fact of his being “ only a poor shoemaker." Let him not be discouraged. •Ercelsior!'
W. H., Gateshead. --If** America' had been counted for one of the four quarters of the world,' in a writing attributed to Irenæus, (A. D. 180,) it would amount to an argument against the authenticy of such writing ; but the genuineness of the writings of Irenæus is not questioned. Some of the ancients divided the world into-Europe, Africa, and the Greater and Lesser Asia ; others into-Europe, Asia, Africa, and Libya.
Osmond Martin ;'X. Y. Z.;' • Homo ;''S. R. ;' and several other correspondents, are most respectfully informed that their letters on the proposed PROGRESS UNION are omitted for want of room. Even the letters inserted in this number have been, unavoidably, abbreviated. I am obliged to all for their communications; but they must allow me to make such selections as will afford variety.
'Slave of the Last,' Chesterfield. Am glad to hear of your beginning. Go on, and prosper.
N.B.-The letter in last number signed 'Thomas Porter,' should have borne the signature of 'Thomas Shorter.'
Crime : its causes and cure,' by D. Maginnis--received.
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23, at half-past 8: Mech. Inst., Gould-sq., Crutched Friars : Raleigh,
and the Age of Elizabeth' - Thomas Cooper. SUNDAY, Jan. 27, at 11 : Farringdon Hall : a Lecture-Robert Owen. At 7:'Causes and
Consequences of European Revolutions :'R. Buchanan. At 7: Literary Inst., Johnstreet, Fitzroy-sq., ' The Commonwealth, and Oliver Cromwell --Thomas Cooper.
At 7 : Hall of Science, City Road : a Lecture--Thomas Shorter. MONDAY, Jan, 28, at a quarter to 9: Finsbury Hall, 66, Bunhill Row: 'Primeval Human
History'-G. Hedger. At 8: Temperance Hall, Broadway, Westminster : "The Wrongs of Ireland'--Thomas Cooper. At half-past 8: Mech. Inst., Gould-sq. :
Astronomy'--Albert Pennington. WEDNESDAY, Jan. 30, at half past 8: Mech. Inst., Gould-sq. : 'Life and Character of Sir
Isaac Newton'-Thomas Cooper.
CARD PLAYING.-It is very wonderful to see persons of the best sense passing away a dozen hours together in shuffling and dividing a pack of cards, with no other conversation but what is made up of a few game phrases, and no other ideas but those of black or red spots ranged together in different figures. Would not a man laugh to hear any one of his species complaining that life is short ?-Spectator.
Cards.-I have seen melancholy overspread a whole family at the disappointment of a party for cards : and when, after the proposal of a thousand schemes, and the dispatch of footmen upon a hundred messages, they have submitted with gloomy resignation to the misfortune of passing one evening in conversation with each other, on a sudden (such are the revolutions of the world) an unexpected visitor has brought them relief, acceptable as provisions to a starving city, and enabled them to hold out till the next day.--Johnson.
PREJUDICES AND HABITS.—The confirmed prejudices of a thoughtful life are as hard to change as the confirmed habits of an indolent life; and as some must trifle away age because they trified away youth, others must labour on in a maze of error because they have wandered there too long to find their way out.-Bolingbroke. THINKINGS, FROM DR. JOHNSON.
MARRIAGES.—When we see the avaricious and crafty taking companions to their tables and their beds, without any inquiry but after farms and money; or the giddy and thoughtless uniting themselves for life to those whom they have only seen by the light of tapers; when parents make articles for children without inquiring after their consent; when some marry for heirs to disappoint their brothers, and others throw themselves into the arms of those whom they do not love, because they found themselves rejected where they were more solicitous to please : when some marry because their servants cheat them; some because they squander their own money; some because their houses are pestered with company ; some because they will live like other people; and some because they are sick of themselves; we are not so much inclined to wonder that marriage is sometimes unhappy, as that it appears so little loaded with calamity; and cannot but conclude, that society hath something in itself eminently agreeable to human nature, when we find its pleasures so great, that even the ill choice of a companion can hardly overbalance them.-These therefore, of the above description, that should rail against matrimony, should be informed, that they are neither to wonder, or repine, that a contract begun on such principles has ended in disappointment.
ANGER.-It is told by Prior, in a panegyric on the Earl of Dorset, that his servants used to put themselves in his way when he was angry, because he was sure to recompense them for any indignities he made them suffer. This is the round of a passionate man's life; he contracts debts when he is furious, which his virtue, if he has virtue, obliges him to discharge at the return of reason. He spends his time in outrage and acknowledgment, injury and reparation. Or, if there be any who hardens himself in oppression, and justifies the wrong because he has done it, his insensibility can make small part of his praise or his happiness : he only adds deliberate to hasty folly, aggravates petulance by contumacy, and destroys the only plea that he can offer for the tenderness and patience of mankind.
Yet, even this degree of depravity we may be content to pity, because it seldom wants a punishment equal to its guilt. Nothing is more despicable or more miserable than the old age of a passionate man. When the vigour of youth fails him, and his amusements pall with frequent repetition, his occasional rage sinks by decay of strength into peevishness; that peevishness, for want of novelty and variety, becomes habitual ; the world falls off from around him : and he is left, as Homer expresses it, tu devour his own heart in solitude and contempt.
THE VALUE OF TIME.—The proverbial oracles of our parsimonious ancestors have informed us, that the fatal waste of fortune is by small expenses, by the profusion of sums too little singly to alarm our caution, and which we never suffer ourselves to consider together. Of the same kind is prodigality of life; he that hopes to look back hereafter with satisfaction upon past years, must learn to know the present value of single minutes, and endeavour to let no particle of time fall useless to the ground.
An Italian philosopher expressed in his motto, that time was his estate : an estate indeed, that will produce nothing without cultivation, but will always abundantly repay the labours of industry, and satisfy the most extensive desires, if no part of it be suffered to lie waste by negligence, to be over-run by noxious plants, or laid out for show rather than for use.
ON THE FORMATION OF CHARACTER.- Whosoever shall review his life, will generally find that the whole tenor of his conduct has been terminated by some accident of no apparent moment, or by a combination of inconsiderable circumstances, acting when his imagination was unoccupied, and his judgment unsettled; and that his principles and actions have taken their colour from some secret infusion, mingled without design in the current of his ideas. The desires that predominate in our hearts are instilled by imperceptible communications, at the same time we look upon the various scenes of the world, and the different employments of men, with the neutrality of inexperience ; and we come forth from the nursery of the school, invariably destined to the pursuit of great acquisitions or petty accomplishments.
TO MAZZINI AND KOSSUTH.
TO LITTLE LELIA E.....
Glancing around their questionings eloquent
Superbly as the stars, thy gaze is bent
Dost not remember how of yore we went
Plucking immortal wreaths in deep content,
Have chased all ancient memories from thy brain !
Is still a trace which Heaven hath left behind;
A CALL TO THE PEOPLE. Sons of old England, from the sod
The bursting buds of promise blow, Uplift each noble brow !
And Freedom lives again! Gold apes a mightier power than God,
Oh, listen in your palaces, And fiends are worshipped, now !
Proud Lords of Land and MoneyIn all these toil-ennobled lands
Ye shall not kill the poor like becs, Ye have no heritage :
To rob them of Life's honey? They snatch the fruits of youthful hands,
Too long have Labour's nobles knelt The staff from weary age !
Before exalted "rank": Oh, tell them in their palaces-
Within our souls the iron's feltThese Lords of Land and Money
We hear our fetters clank ! They shall not kill the poor like bees,
A glorious voice goes throbbing forth, To rob them of life's honey?
From millions stirring now, Through long dark years of blood and tears, Who, yet, before these gods of earth We've toiled, like branded slaves,
Shall stand with unblenched brow. Till Power's red hand hath made a land Your day-our day of reck'ning comes, Of paupers-prisons-graves !
Proud Lords of Land and MoneyBut our meck sufferance endeth now !
Ye shall no longer wreck our homes, Within the souls of men
Nor rob us of Life's honey!