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No. 24.-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
80, 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 oeing 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 lite, is the characteristic of modern times.-Arthur Helps.
STAMP ABOLITION SUBSCRIPTION.
MY DEAR HOLYOAKE, -I am glad to see that you have started a subscription which, i successful, will so materially as-ist the Newspaper Stamp Abolition Committee in their enterprise; and that, in so doing, you have set a capital example to the popular press of this country. I quite agree with you that more substantial help than words' is good; but I am far from thinking that argument is unnecessary to recommend so just a cause.' Will you permit me to add a few words to your appeal?
The newspaper is one of the essential elements of political life. Without the information which the people daily and weekly receive by this means natio:ial and popular progress woulul become impossible. We should be again standing on the very verge of barbarism, and political freedom would speedily vanish from the land. Thus the newspaper, shackled and fettered as it is under the Stamp Act, is, nevertheless, a thing of prime necessity.
But it is also, to a great extent, a monopoly under existing arrangements. The people not only cannot obtain daily information of political events with that rapidity which is essential to prompt and efficient action, but many of them cannot obtain it at all, and others only by hearsay from their more fortunate fellows. It is thus, in a great measure, that political action on their part so often comes too late, and still oftener does not come at all And for what reasons ? Chiefly from the fact that government, partly perhaps as a political policy, and partly from fiscal necessities, impose a tax upon all broad-sheets publishing news. Thus the Chancellor of the Exchequer steps in between popular ignorance and political information, and, by means of his toll-dish, indirectly champions the former.
If the Whig government are really serious--as they insist upon it they are-- in their desire to elevate the people, and fit them for the exercise of the vote, and still more important duties, why do they retain this tax ? Complaining of the ignorance of the people, they withhold the means of enlightenment; by their parliamentary speeches charging the masses with unfitness for directly co-operating in political matters, and by their parliamentary acts doing, in one important particular, their best to ensure
(No. 185, Vol. VII.]
the continuance of that alleged unfitness! This is inconsistent, certainly; but unfortunately, in that respect, only the more Whiggish. We may be sure they will never, of their own spontaneous will, attempt to correct this flagrant inconsistency between profession and practice. Therefore the appeal to them, except by means of the talismanic pressure from without,' is perfectly useless. The appeal lies to the people; and the Whigs must register that appeal.
The Newspaper Stamp Abolition Committee are appealing to the people. Action is impossible without funds-bence the necessity for a subscription.
Let those who are not convinced of the importance of the proposed abolition ponder on this fact : that Publicity is the handmaid of Democracy, and a Free Press the first condition of good government-and having so pondered, can they continue to withhold their mite from the subscription? I think not.
[From what appears in this number readers will see that our opportunities will be brief of collecting the sum we proposed last week for the Stamp Abolition Committee. We shall feel anxious during the progress of the subscription that it shall reach the requried amount. We have received the following prompt remittances towards the 1000 sixpences :G. J. H. 1, A. H. ), H. H. 1, H. T. H. 1, Thomas Cooper 1, H. Merritt 1, Mr. Evans 1, D. Scanlan 1, G. H. 1, A. D. Brooks 1, R. Rouse 1, G. J. Y. 1, a Friend 2, J. W. Billson 1, J. L. 2, Mr. Binion 2, J. P. Adams 1, C. Taylor 1, W. R. W. P.1, W. G. 1, E. B. W. 1, Mr Ross 1, F. B. Barton 1, C. F. Nicholls and Friend 5, G. Murdett, per do., 1, W. Nicholls, per do., 1, H, Nicholls, sen., per do., 1, W. Stubbs 1, J. Engledow 1, W. Cornish ), Mrs. Matthews 2, R. Read and Friends, Kew, 7; W. B. 1, G. G. 1, W. Furness, Manchester, 2, H. Cook, Bristol, 1, D. Ross 1. Total 52 Sixpences.-ED.]
HUMANITY AND THE PAPACY.
MAZZINI TO MONTALEMBERT.
The following are extracts given in the Democratic Revien for December, from this famous letter of M. Mazzini –which was first printed in La République, of November the 11th :
• The Roman question, as regards the invasion, is now decided, and we can, leaving the mire of calumnies, contradictions, and hypocrisies, elevate ourselves to a loftier sphere. The foolish sectaries of the doctrine may drag themselves as best they may from difficulty to difficulty, from shame to shame, trying to find a compromise between the two principles represented at Rome by the Pope and the People, as long as France and Italy tolerate them; but the solution of the difficulty is not in their hands. “The solution of the question belongs to humanity.
Humanity and the Papacy are the two extreme terms of a controversy inherent to the progressive education of the human mind, which has been going on for four centuries in Europe. If these words be changed into
liberty and authority, the terms of the problem are modified, the elements of the discussion are falsified, and there is attributed to bumanity a character of opposition which tends to deny its very essence.
"M. Montalembert saw in the French Assembly the lofty character of the question; he disdained particularities, and openly attacked, with courage worthy of a better cause, the Republican party ; but he remained beneath the question, from the very error I have noticed. It is necessary to treat the question in the sphere of principles, the more that the speech of M. de Montalembert throws more light on the state of things, and of mind, than any Ministerial speech since the siege of Rome. As Italians and Republicans we thank him. He has given us the programme of the Roman Catholic party, and this programme is a positive proof of our correctness. The compromises invented by the doctrine are impossible, are null.
* The Sint ut sunt are still the symbol of Roman Catholicism. Liberty is irreconcilable with the Papacy. The absolute authority of the Catholic Church, incarnated in the Pope, must remain as it was in the time of Gregory XVI.-- free from all inspirations of his conscience, without limit, without conventions, without institutions, which may check it. Thus speaks the oracle of the Catholic party; and that his word should be the word of the future, he only wants the conscience of the human race and the conscience of the human race is superior to the Pope. This conscience which, during many ages, has constituted, by its consent, the power and right of the Pope, now protests, not for liberty, but for authority against the institution in the name of which M. Montalembert would suppress the free development of Roman emancipation.
"The Papacy, sir, is dead :—dead in blood—dead because it betrayed its mission, which was to protect the weak against the tyranny of the strong-dead for having for three and-a-half centuries held an unholy marriage with priests-dead for having a second time crucified the Saviour on the cross of selfishness-dead because it preached the faith it had not-dead for having denied human liberty and the dignity of our immortal souls-dead for having condemned science in Galileo, philosophy in Guidani Bruno, and religious reform in John Huss and Jerome of Prague-dead for having killed political life by anathemising liberty -civil life under the yoke of the Jesuits, the Inquisition, aud corruption -moral life, by converting the confessional into a police-ear, and by sowing discord between fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, wives and their husbands.. .. dead because the people have risen, because Pius IX. has fled, because the millions curse him, because the servants of Voltaire defend him.
The future Italy, United Italy, is an inevitable fact. This Italian belief, first announced by Dante, propagated by the works and writings of our great thinkers, transmitted from generation to generation by our literature, left by father to son during the last thirty years, as a legacy, in the bosom of our secret societies, and nourished in blood and tears, we shall not give up for your wretched projects of concilation, because you choose to be poetical on the ruins of an institution which was sublime. Popes, emperors, inborn oppression, the jealousy of foreign pow
ers, have done all they could to stifle this faith; they have failed. The labour of union has never ceased during threc centuries. When a Pope wished—and even then the Papacy had lost the esteem of the nationbis name to be glorified by Michael Angelo, he was tain to cry, “ Away with the foreigner." And when the enthusiasm of all that youth you calumniate as anarchical and demagogic saluted to its illusion, the Pope in whose name the foreigner dwells in Rome, this Pope had cried the sacred word Italy !
' And you pretend to stop this movement! You have the pretension to convince us that we are sacrificing our lives to a dream, to a culpable illusion, because a Pope and a small knot of corrupt, immoral, irreligious men, pointed at in scorn by the people as the Red Triumvirs, dare to lisp an excommunication against us.
* And I—and this is the first time I speak of myself, who have never signed a declaration, nor accepted an amnesty, because I cannot soil my life by a lie, and because they need our amnesty, and not we theirs-I who, exiled for twenty years, have sacrificed my whole life, and my household joys, to this one idea, am I to give it up!..
* Perish the Papacy! Live Italy! If the church has said, “ Father Ventura walks not with the people,” the people will march without the Church-beyond the Church—against the Church ? Church? No! We will walk from the Church of the past, to the Church of the future—from the dead Church to the living Church-the Church of freemen and men !
ON THE DEATH OF EBENEZER ELLIOTT.
Not with presumptuous verse would I draw near
Thy cold remains, 0 Elliott, great and brave;
My humble tribute to thy sacred grave.
Fierce bitter passion, or indignant scord :
The cause of the oppressed and lowly born;
The Poet-hero for the People, and
Scorning his low-born brethren, but a grand
So here I will proclaim, for thee and them
And every king has lost his diadem-
Still in the hearts of men thy verse shall glow,
Thy soul, thy People's soul, shall bravely go.
ON THE FIRST OF FEBRUARY, 1850, WILL APPEAR, PRICE 6D.,
No. 1 OF
THE PEOPLE'S REVIEW:
Devoted to Progress.
EDITED BY FRIENDS IN
It was an old trick even of the Greek factions to assume to themselves the name of the People.' The term is here adopted not as a pretension, but as an aim. The term People has become an expression equivalent to a principle. To profess consider the People-meaning thereby the whole nation-is a precaution and a pledge against descending into narrow partisanship or exclusive sectarianism.
The phrase 'Friends in Council' was lately used as the title of a book intended for the instruction of statesmen--it is here used as the expression of the fact of a few friends editing, in concert, a Review for the instruction of the many.
Though the people have long been stirred with the spirit of improvement, no Literary Magazine has been issued at a price which they could compass. The few have their critical Monthlies and Quarterlies, while the many, who more need it, have no such Guide to Books. The People's Review purposes to supply this deficiency, and in this day of many Books to indicate which are the useful ones.
Men of business have not time to read many books, men of toil have not the means, and the student, bewildered and wearied by the multitude issued, no longer has the inclination for the task. A person reading twelve hours every day, would be able to read only one fortieth part of the new books issued every year, exclusive of newspapers. To trace a short path through this labyrinth, and to relieve the ever multiplying class of thinkers from the difficulty which Hobbes felt when he said “If I should read as much as my neighbours I should be as ignorant as they are '-is the aim of the People's Review.
The advantage of a Monthly Review is that it affords time for some maturity of opinion. Current politics hardly admit of useful treatment till time has somewhat winnowed away the rumours so often taken for the facts : and on every qnestion the opportunity of tracing its bearings on the future is desirable. That which is considered only in relation to the present is in danger of degenerating into sensuousness—that which is directed only to the future is commonly visionary: the connection of the two is the correction of both; it sows in the living interest of the hour the seeds of the future-is at once practical and progressive.
Each number of the Review will contain articles on topics of current interest. The 'Friends in Council' being conversant, collectively, with various classes of the people, will write for them-seeking g aid young thinkers engaged in personal improvement, as well as those desirous of literary knowledge--studying the art by which the great Dr. Chalmers seems to have achieved his extensive usefulnessthat of addressing the many without outraging the few; in other words, of putting popular progress in unison with higher knowledge. There will be wood-cut illustrations.
London: C. Mitchell, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street.