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No. 14.–New Series.] EDITED BY G. J. HOLYOAKE.
An author, from whom better things might have been hoped, exalts to the uttermost the fact, if it be
$0, of this age being free from fear of the faggot, or the torture-chamber. Fear of the social circle, fear of the newspaper, fear of being odd, fear of what may be thought by people who never did think, still greater fear of what somebody may say-are not these things a clinging dress of torture ? A mean and cowardly reserve upon the most important questions of human life, is the characteristic of modern times. We live in continual fear of the worst aspects of public opinion.-Friends in Council.
The Builder, No. 342, gives a review of Mr. Buckingham's book on National Evils and Practical Remedies, with the Plan of a Model Town.' The article is in many respects liberal, recognises many progressive ideas, and is in keeping with that practical ability which has given the Builder a deservedly high character. We extract the following paragraph, which is an example of its liberal recogniti in of co-operative truths, and of the coarse abuse of Mr. Owen, to which we alluded last week:
* The idea is by no means a merely theoretical, far less a new one. Nay, from facts authenticated in history, as in the case of the Cretans, according to Rollin-the ancient Germans, according to Tacitus, Cæsar, and Herder—and the Peruvians and Mexicans, according to Robertson -it would almost appear as if co-operative commonwealths, with great prosperity and enjoyment, were amongst the most anciently established facts in the history of the human race in its more civilised forins of ancient times. And even in modern experience it is well known that flourishing communities exist in America on the principle of co-operative association for the common weal., Authorities, ancient and modern, too, entitled to more or less respect, have recorded their favourable opinion of such a systematisation of human efforts—as witness, Minos, Lycurgus, Theseus, Plato, Moses, the Essenes (or pre-Christians), and the Apostles themselves; also in less ancient times, Sir Thomas More, Bishop Berkeleyto whom Pope attributed “every virtue under heaven," Condorcet, W. Godwin, Babbage, Mill—the historian of India and moral philosopher, with many others. And, indeed, what was it but this element of good in the fallacious and abominable doctrines of Owen and his Socialists that redeemed even them from contempt while they excited the horror of every well constituted mind, with bastard doctrines of communism and irreligion, which Owen was but too anxious to veil and withdraw, when he found he had only succeeded in damning both his own previously ligh philanthropic character and the cause in which he was engaged ?'
Socialism once had an opponent of the name of Brindley, who was constitutionally rude-who used to fall upon the Socialists like the image
[No. 175, Vol. VII
which fell from Jupiter, giving you the idea that there were tenements above out of which were ejected obnoxious statuary. This schoolmaster of Mærch used to indulge in such phrases as "abominable doctrines,'
bastard doctrines,' exciting contempt and horror in well constituted minds,' etc., etc. But it is many years since any respectable journal, not ridden to death by fanaticism, gave vent to this kind of langnage. It is useless to ask the writer what be means by it. We regard it as a tribute to that mean custom of the age which requires you to libel the living benefactor as you laud the dead. ('ondorcet, Godwin, Mill, and their systems also, were condemned by their contemporaries in such terms as those applied by the Builder to Mr. Owen—and those who come after the Builder will include Mr. Owen among those benevolent philosophers whom (dead) the Builder itself applauds.
The Builder, under the profane title of Laying it on,' says— We are told that a Trowbridge minister has had gutta percha piping carried round his chapel, and connected with a large oval funnel in the bookboard of the pulpit; and wherever a deaf hearer sits, he has an ear trumpet attached to the tube, by which he can hear all that passes.'
Had we suggested the idea of the Word of God bissing through a gutta percha pipe, we shonld infallibly have shocked the Builder's well constituied mind.' But we remember the adage which Shakspere's expe- ! rience furnished—“That in a captain is only a choleric word, which in a soldier is rank blasphemy.' It is on record, as we once before related, that on a clergyman being called upon to read prayers to Queen Elizabeth while she dressed, with a door closed between them-she in one rốom and he in another—he refused, saying that he would never condescend to whistle the Word of God through a key-hole.
The Builder, notwithstanding its devout airs, has none of this fastidiousness, Then why should it defame Mr. Owen, who only protested against serious theological errors which interrupted the advance of humanity?
The Buililer, in a subseqnent number-taking notice of a communication received from the Adelphi-distinguishes between what it considers the tendency of Mr. Owon's views and the intentions of his disciples Beyond this it contents itself with reiterating, without attempting to prove, what it had before said. The Buililer, who would not defame an architect, will yet defame a moralist.
G. J. HOLYOAKE.
THE CITY MISSIONARIES AND MR. HETHERINGTON.
At the weekly discussions at Sloane Square Institute, some City Missionaries have recently appeared, and amused themselves with defaming the memory of Mr. Hetherington. Hearing of it, Mr. Holyoake went down on Friday evening week. Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Maithews were there also. A missionary and another gentleman addressed the meeting, but the missionary departed before Mr. Holyoake could reply. Mrs. Martin delivered a very useful speech on pleasure, as a principle of ethics. The opponents were silent this night on Hetherington.
When they could be refuted they had nothing to say.
•ON PLAY-GROUND Duty.' By Kappa. The author of this practical and clever essay upon a subject of tirst importance, though under a trivial title, has endeavoured, and we think successtully, 'to show that the attainment of the objects of play constitutes, primarily, play-ground duty; that play-grounds are most valuable when attached to schools ; but that, as many schools are at present regulated, the best use cannot be made of the play-ground. He anticipates reform, and attempts to prove that the play-ground may be made a very powerful auxiliary for the purposes of instruction and education. So far as day-schools are concerned, he thinks that the play-ground can do little more than keep up a proper supply of health and spirits for duty within doors; but that it may always do this under careful superintendence. He advocates gymnastics for day schools, as a branch of instruction; in boarding schools he would have them made the basis of all out-door discipline; and boarding-school play-grounds placed under the management of an educator. He endeavours to prescribe the play-ground superintendent's powers and duties; to lay down a few principles for his guidance; to point out ways for making the play-ground subservient to the purposes of general education. The relation of amusement to education is an untrodden field, but one on which a rich harvest will one day be reaped, and · Kappa' has sown invaluable seed upon it. We have often desired to see treated a subject so closely connected with the advancement of education as this, and we have experienced the highest gratification in perusing the intellis gent remarks of Kappa,' wno evidently has an extensive practical acquaintance with the subject. We regret that the essay bears no publisher's name, that we might be instrumental in causing it to reach the hands of the Secular Teachers of the metropolis.
• The Wealth May Made: a Parody, by one who loves the Man more than the Wealth,' (London: Watson, Leeds: Green) is an amusing pamphlet by an old friend, in which some hard truths are pointedly but pleasantly put. It is a parody upon the nursery rhyme of The House that Jack Built;' but instead of the good old characters, we have allegorical figures of those who take a prominent part in the present organisation of society. The Millionaire,' the . Aristocrat,' the · Lawyer,' the Member,' the Court,' the • Tax, the • Labourer,' &c., are very cleverly drawn in conplets. Of course our readers will not look for poetical merits ; but we can assure them that these rhymes are good specimens of the old classic doggrel. Appended to each set of verses in which a new character is introduced is a prose commentary, in which there is much to commend, and several very apt remarks and definitions.
• How to COMMENCEA VFGETARIAN Diet.' By J. S. Hibberd. London: Horsell. This is No. 1 of a new series of Vegetarian Tracts, on the subject which we so lately expressed a desire to see treated. It contains forty-four very useful receipts for preparing various sorts of farinaceous food. This pamphlet iş, we regret to say, not quite free from unwholesome opinions and the manner of speaking of tobacco smoking is far more offensive than the shortest and oldest cutty' that ever was
lighted. It is worthy of the royal author of the Counterblast to Tobacco. We presume the writer has not considered the effects of such writing on those whom he would influence.
· HYDROPATHY FOR THE People.' By W. Horsell. London: Houlston and Stoneman, 65, Paternoster Row. This is a book upon Water Cure and Vegetable Diet, and is a manual of considerable interest to
persons desirous of investigating these subjects. It contains many interesting and useful facts on the influence of habits and diet on longevity; but we must say, and we say it with no unfriendly feeling towards the author or his subject, that the advocacy upon which he has entered would be much more effectually promoted were the medical profession, from whom he differs, treated with more respect-by which we mean more justice. We are satisfied no profession gives wiser or more disinterested advice than medical men give to their patients--advice which, if followed, would very soon dispense with the advisers themselves, without the ne cessity of such diatribes as hydropathists sometimes deal against them.
G. J. H.
THE LATE POLITICAL DEATHS.
On Tuesday evening a public meeting was held at the John Street Institution, to memorialise the Queen to liberate the Chartist prisoners, grounded on the recent deaths of Williams and Sharpe. Mr. Dixon presided. Mr. G. J. Holyoake moved the first resolution, which Mr. Utting seconded and Mr. O'Connor, M.P., supported. Mr. Thomas Clark, Mr. Lloyd Jones, Mr. R. Moore, afterwards addressed the meeting.
Mr. O'Connor's speech was delivered in his raciest style. It would contribute to the public health if he were retained to make speeches during this season, so far as the delivery is concerned. One passage, spoken with genuine Celtic heartiness, was to this effect. The Archbisbop,' he said, bad directed a prayer against the cholera. What was the good of that? The Archbishop said that God was feartully fierce in 1832, and that he was fierce again in 1849. Only think of God being fierce! There's an Archbishop for you! A pretty Father in God he is! The fact is, the Archbishop was afraid of a twist in his guts.' Here O'Connor screwed himself up, as though in the last stage of asphyxia. Though this reads as rather coarse, it was so unctuously delivered that this quality was not felt in the facetiæ of its delivery.
Mr. Holyoake read the following letter which he had addressed to the under-mentioned gentleman. The answer returned was marked "private.' In justice to Mr. Lavies it may he said that the explanation given seemed not to necessitate this reserve. But, in justice to the public, it may be added that the explanation did not invalidate the grounds on wbich their sympathy and interference were sought. G. J. H.
To John Lavies, Esq., Tothill Fields Prison. Dear Sir, I have just consented to speak at a public meeting to be held in the Literary and Scientific Institution, John Street, Fitzroy Square, next Tuesday evening, to memorialise the Queen respecting the
deaths of Williams and Sharpe, and take the liberty of repectfully inquiring of you what directions you gave to Williams, the neglect of which, you are reported to have said, led to his death?
As the cause of sympathy with the unfortunate has every thing to lose and nothing to gain by exaggeration, misrepresentation, or injustice to others, I shall be obliged by an answer to my question, or by reference to any public explanation, if such has been given. I should very much regret, and so would the promoters of this meeting, to do any injustice to an officer of the gaol while protesting against what we believe to be political injustice exercised towards the unfortunate prisoners whom I have named.
G. J, HOLYOAKE.
• PHYSICAL FORCE'-IN REPLY TO W. J. LINTON..
I OBSERVE, in Reasoner No. 7, some remarks by W. J. Linton, on what I lately wrote to the Reasoner, and in noticing them I am saddened at my inability to show adequately the utter hollowness of the system of physical force in gaining a people's freedom.
Mr. W. J. L. mentions several nations as having gained freedom by force of arins, and amongst these he mentions England. There is not one people recorded by history, or at present existing, that enjoys freedom in its full sense-I mean that freedom which, in a community, secures the greatest amount of happiness to the greatest number. England free! Go to Bethnal Green, Spitalfields, to St. Giles, to the garrets of Liverpool. Behold our famishing brethren on the sister island, and weep,
oh weep, over this boasted liberty of England! What is it, well considered ? "On one side an overbearing aristocracy, trampling humanity in the dust; on the other hand a brutal mob, fast in the clutches of ignorance! And yet many centuries ago the Baron's sword wrenched the Magna Charta, on the principle of your purse or your life,' from an unyielding king! But had not at that time the people been so far advanced in intelligence as to back the Barons, the Barons alone would have never gained their object, but perished, as many other champions of liberty did. It was not the physical force that gained the day, it was the superiority of minds that did it; and physical force alloyed with it may be considered one of the principal causes of the present sad state of the masses of the English people.
Why failed Silvio Pellico, Maroncolli Gonfalonuri, in their attempt to liberate Italy in 1820 ? Why did Poland not attain liberty? the people of those countries were not prepared then for freedom. Knowledge had not sufficiently permeated the masses--not enlightened them enough to make them demand and stand for that freedom.
Why did the English Commonwealth, with the death of Cromwell, return under the royal dominion ? Simply because the English people did not understand at that time how to govern themselves under republican institutions; nor does it know now, or we should have a republic in this country this day.
• This reply, which we had laid aside (see Illustrative Notices, p. 191), we insert at Mr. Linton's request.-Ed.
† The writer is a German, and but imperfectly master of our language.--Ed.