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MR. HOLYOAKE'S ORATION OVER THE GRAVE OF
It seems to me that he who is appointed to speak on an occasion like this should prepare what he will say, that no effort of memory or art, in recalling a fact or turning a sentence, should interrupt that simple expression of feeling which alone is suitable on this spot--and that no inapt word should occur to mar the unity of that regret, which is the only tribute left us to offer at the grave of our common friend.
The usnal church service on these occasions is omitted, out of obedience to the wishes of the friend whom we lament—and its omission also meets with our own approbation, as that service is little instructive, throws no light on personal character, and is, in some respects, a libel both on the dead and the living. And to say this much is in accordance with the wishes of Henry Hetherington, whom we inter here, and whose indomitable opposition to clerical error he desired to be perpetuated after his death.
Henry Hetherington, around whose grave we stand, was the well known publisher lately residing at 57, Judd Street, Brunswick Square. He was a native of London, and was one of the early members of the London Mechanics' Institution, founded by Dr. Birkbeck, to which he owed many advantages. Henry Hetherington first became known to the public by the stand which he took when he thought that Institution was about to be perverted from the designs of its founders. A printer by trade; he became afterwards a publisher, and during the struggle for the emancipation of the press from the fetters of the Newspaper Stamp, he became an accredited leader. He published the Poor Man's Guardian, to try, as he said, the strength of Righť against 'Might,' and be continued it in defiance of prosecutions which extended over three years and a half-during which time 500 persons were imprisoned in the struggle; at last a special jury under Lord Lyndhurst declared it a'strictly legal puh. lication. They ought to have declared that the brave and resolnie editor was strictly invincible, and that his Guardian became legal because it could not be put down--for Hetherington continued to conduct it, in gaol and out, and no accumulation of imprisonment, nor amount of loss, intimidated him. It was he who was appointed to draw up that . Circular'
This will inform our friends of the sad event which has taken place. A concourse of all classes, of more than a thousand persons, stood round the gravo. Further particulars will be found on the last page.
(No. 170, Vol. VII.)
which was the foundation of the National Union of the Working Classes.' The Charter Newspaper, of 1839, gave his portrait as one of the delegates to the National Convention. And since he has constantly been—when not in prison for the people--working for them through the press and in connection with public institutions,
In conjunction with his valued friends and old coadjutors, Watson and Lovett, he exerted himself for the establishment of the National Hall, Holborn. For the last few years his ardent services have been given to the Literary and Scientific Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square, which has embodied in its management the development of his most cherished ideas of religious liberty, political enfranchisement, and social reformation. How profoundly he was esteemed in that Institution the arrangements of this day, and the presence of the John Street friends, testify. In the parish of St. Pancras, of which he was a Director of the poor, he has commanded, even amid those who dissented from him, esteem for his benevolent views, his practical ability, and good sense. And it is not a little gratifying that the last public body which enjoyed the honour of his co-operation was the Newspaper Stamp Abolition Committee, who are associated to accomplish that reformation with which the name of Henry Hetherington is so honourably and so indissolubly connected.
Whatever may be useful to others, Hetherington would desire to be said of him; hence it may be remarked, that though he has fallen a victim to the prevailing epidemic, it is highly probable he might have lived had not a fixed aversion to medicine prevented him seeking proper aid in time. He calculated, as he had a right to do, on a life of temperance as a great safeguard. But though a wise temperance will save us from balf the maladies of the day, it does not supersede the necessity-when really in danger-for that help which the observation and experience of the physician can afford us. As respects our friend's death, I can bear personal testimony how much it became his life. As soon as he found himself in danger, I was summoned to his bed side, and, with few interruptions, I was with him till his decease. Having always believed to the best of his understanding, and acted to the best of his ability, he had no reason for fear, and he manifested none. He alluded to his probable death with so much good sense, and his bearing to the last hour was so quiet and so full of equanimity, that I could discern no difference between his death and his life, save in his failing strength. As sickness could not alter the evidence on which his principles rested, they underwent no change. He died the avowed, the explicit, the unchanging foe of Priestcraft, Superstition, and Oppression; and he strongly and rightly concluded that a life devoted to the welfare of humanity in this world, was no unsuitable preparation for any other.
Viewed in his public relations, Hetherington was an exemplar of the school of politicians amid which he was reared. We are now verging on a phase in which we chiefly affirm positive principles. The school of politicians (to which, indeed, we our present liberty) now going a little out of fashion, was that which asserted a right and antagonised it. Of this school' Hetherington was the most perfect type which remained among us.
He did not look upon a
political victory as something to be won by exposition so much as by assault. Hence he was inore soldier than advocate; and it must be admitted that political corruption never had a more resolute opponent, nor popular right a more doughty champion.
It augments my admiration of my friend to know that he desired no blind eulogist to illustrate his character. In a document which he put into my hands shortly before his decease, he expressed a manly wish that his faults as well as his virtues might be made to minister to the instruction of others. This enables me to explain the two-fold aspect of his character. He had a two-fold character distinctly marked. Many in the ranks above our friend never fully understood him. To them he seemed to wear a repulsive air. He gave that impression through that error of party politics, in which each man regards an opponent, as an opponent in consequence of personal interest, rather than through difference of understanding; and hence Hetherington shrank from the rich and bland, and wrapped himself up in the integrity, and poverty, and ruggedness of his own order. He seemed to feel that to reciprocate blandishments with wealth was to betray his cause. He regarded it as the inclined plain, polished as marble but slippery as glass, upon which, if the foot of the patriot was once placed, he would inevitably slip down to political corruption. Yet he had an integrity which could stand alone, which was as proof against smiles as against frowns; but it was not his temper to trust it. Those, however, who approached him on his own ground, who had the honour of working or suffering with him, never knew a more genial nature allied to so stout a spirit. He was a personification of good-humoured Democracy. The very tones of his voice bespoke the fulness of honesty and pleasantry. And beneath his uncompromising exterior and jocular speech, lay the diamond ore of courage, and truth, and toil. He had a hand as true as ever friendship grasped. In the hour of political danger every coadjutor knew that the secrets of life and liberty could be entrusted into Hetherington's keeping. As for toil, he was unwearying, He worked till his last days. He carried out in practice that exalted creed of duty, of which Rome's great Triumvir, Mazzini, is the exponent and highest type. With him Hetherington seemed to hold that ease is the death of the soul,' and when he enlisted in the army of progress he enlisted for life; and, as he never faltered, though he served without pay or pension, let it be remembered to his honour
For to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust
Before her cause brings fame or profit, and 'tis prosperous to be just. The publications which he edited, and pamphlets which he wrote, attest his great industry-and something more : for, when he was an author, it required not only ability to write, but courage to defend it. And he not only defended the liberty of the press, he defended the liberty of conscience and the liberty of speech. When tried on an indictment for blasphemy, in 1840, his defence was so well conceived that Lord Denman paid him the compliment of saying that he had listened to it with feelinys of interest and with sentiments of respect, and this tribute he won, no less by bis unassuming but firm bearing, than by his judicious address.
Those who know what political trials and imprisonments are, at the
hands of an oppressive government and vindictive priesthood, know that language is inadequate to express the losses and sufferings which are included in those familiar but frightful words. But Hetherington know not only how to work, but how to suffer-nor has it been in vain :
Careless seems the Avenger; history's pages but record
Standeth Progress in the shadow, keeping watch above its own. No less remarkable than his political consistency was the fervour with which our friend embraced and advocated the views of Robert Owen. They fell on his paths like a stream of light; they mellowed his manners: they interesied his practical understanding; they gratified his humanity, and filled him with hope.
The old world is effete: thore man with man
Life is trod under foot.
My co-operation with my friend has extended over many years. But now, as at the first hour of our acquaintance, there are two qualities of his which I have been struck with more than with others, bis utility and his bravery. He was decidedly the most useful public man I ever met with. At a public meeting he was of unexampled service. He would a man's duty at a moment's notice. He would take the chair or speak. He never hesitated to do what everybody else declined to do. He had no vanity to be consulted-no egotism stood in the way of his co-operation with others—he had no ambition but to be useful. And he was as brave as he was devoted. He never shrunk from danger. To the last day of his life he would have suffered his home to be broken up, and himself dragged to prison, to champion an important principle. Many men can be patriots in the fervour of youth and in the presence of applause. Hetherington had a spirit which was neither chilled by age nor damped by neglect. But we have the satisfaction of observing, that the respect paid to his memory by the public, the press, and his coadjutors, early and late, is a proof that private worth and public service bring with them individual esteem and general honour. A life spent like his
As truth shall rise and scatter light
Full and more full from Freedom's height.
'He canie and left more smiles behind,
He helped one fetter to unbind;
Men think of him and grow more kind.' In Henry Hetherington the people have lost an advocate and truth a resolute partizan. Every honest politician has lost an able coadjutor, every patriot an exemplar, and every true man among us a friend. In
taking our last Farewell of him at this grave, we should tell him (could he hear our voice) that we do it with mingled feelings of joy and sorrow. We even feel a triumph in his life, while we part with profound sadness at the loss of so noble a friend. In those social reunions, where he has been so great a charm, we shall be all the merrier as we remember his unclouded humour: and as we continue that struggle, to which his life has been devoted, we shall take new courage from his example-we shall inspire new confidence in what one man can do, as we remember what one man has done: and when in future times the pilgrims of Industry shall visit this shrine, they will exclaim
“HERE LIES A POOR MAN'S GUARDIAN;' and poor men will drop tributary tears over his grave.
II. THE DIETISTS
THE RADICALS. Why shonld we take it for granted that we are to eat and drink? The mystic philosopher, Greaves, to whom we referred last week, would teach as to inquire, as far as we can, into the reasons of all acts—and in this respect he was no mystic, but an essentially practical thinker. Once set man to look searchingly for a clear warrant for all he does and says, and he will retrace many steps and recast many thoughts. We do not assume to be the interpreters of Mr. Greaves's views, only to express some ideas suggested by the perusal of his fragmentary utterances. In the ‘Introduction’ to the Phalanstery' of Madame Gatti de Gamond, there will be found some thoughts on these topics by a friend of Mr. Greaves, who had the peculiar capacity to comprehend, and the ability to digest, individually, the tenor of these strange thinkings. We refer to them now because they are the natural origin of some personal reforms which are destined to extend their operations over the people. The Dietists, of whom we spoke in the last article, are evidently impressed with the fact that the very air of our cities is scented by the odours from culinary compounds: and that the extraordinary modes current amongst us of cooking food for large masses contaminates the atmosphere to a degree which renders it unfit for animal as for vegetable respiration. The human frame pines and perishes in large towns quite as much, though not quite so obviously, as the trees.' Abernethy, in his coarse but pregnant way, said, half the maladies of mankind are traceable to stuffing and fretting. The stuffing' part of the business the Dietists profess to correct, and to this end they are assiduous in their contributions to the press.
* Fruits and Farinacea the proper Food for Man,' by John Smith, has recently been republished after the manner of the Vestiges' in form, and under an important reduction of price. It is the merit of this book that it contains arguments for everybody. It is the most reasonable, the freest from the cant terms of party, of any book of the kind we have seen. Dr. Johnson's work on Life, Health, and Disease,' has proved nearly fatal to some who have been guided by it, because they were not able to see the safe way of transition to the mode of life he commends-and a hasty