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and his energies to their enlightenment, the law awards to him the same fate.
With regard to the third argument, we have no particular objection to taxing London in order to spread knowledge through the country; but we object to any tax which acts as a prohibition. We have already shown that the evil of this taxation begins exactly where the tax ceases to be paid. If newspapers must be transmitted through the post at a loss, let that loss be made good out of the surplus revenue of the post-office, out of the consolidated fund, out of corporation dues or local taxes; but do not prohibit newspapers to those who cannot pay the tax, and call this spreading knowledge through the country: Nor can we admit that the persons who receive newspapers through the post, and wlio generally belong to the comfortable classes, stand so much in need of newspapers as those who, unable to attend any but elementary schools—too poor to purchase, and too busy to read, many books—are entirely dependent for information on the gleanings made for them by the daily or weekly press.
We require the repeal of the stamp duty on newspapers-
Ist. Because, as a differential duty in favour of the rich against the poor, it is contrary to the principle of free-trade—a principle admitted by nearly all reformers to be a sound one.
2nd. Because, by raising the price of newspapers, it not only prevents the poor from expressing their opinions, but makes it impossible for men of intelligence to devote their capital to the enlightenment of the working classes, who are thus compelled to put up with a very inferior article, or to abstain from newspapers altogether.
3rd. Because, by making large capital indispensable to the success of all newspapers, it limits their number so as to deprive them of wholesome competition, and puts the public at the mercy of a few individuals, who are but too often incompetent, mercenary, and unprincipled.
4th. Because, by depriving the working classes of organs for the expression of their opinions, it tends to create in them a feeling of hatred to those who, in addition to other advantages, enjoy a monopoly of that freedom of utterance which should be common to all.
5th. Because the law, as it stands, is not fully enforced, and because its penalties are so severe that their enforcement would cause general reprobation.
According to the Act of Parliament (6 & 7 Wm. IV., cap. 76), any paper sold for less than sixpence, or occupying less than two large sheets, and published at intervals not exceeding twenty-six days, and containing any public news, intelligence, or occurrences, or any remarks thereon, is deemed a newspaper. It is needless to say that the number of papers which come under this head, and which are permitted by Government to exist without paying any tax except that on advertisements, is already considerable, and is on the increase. That these papers, though not chiefly devoted to news, nevertheless contain news and occasional remarks on politics, must be attributed to the fact that there is a demand for such matter, but the supply is permitted only in so far as it is incomplete and inefficient. Every proprietor of such a paper holds his property at the pleasure of the Minister, who has only to declare his paper a newspaper in order to destroy it.
The 22nd clause of the same Act makes any printer who merely possesses a single unstamped newspaper liable to have all his presses seized and confiscated.
The 23rd clause empowers constables to break open doors for the purpose of search; the 18th inflicts a penalty of £50 on any one who distributes unstamped newspapers; while the 17th imposes a penalty of £20 on any one who possesses a single copy of any such publication. Imprisonment is awarded to those who fail in prompt payment of these penalties.
Under this law no collision with Government has yet taken place. The penalty is too severe and too stringent to be braved by any person who is not prepared for utter ruin. But the law is not kept strictly, nor is it possible that it should be, unless the English Government were to acquire the habits of surveillance exploded in continental states.
The tax on newspapers originated with the oligarchy. The middle classes are not responsible for it, but they will become so if they do not use their growing power to remove it. In the movement now commenced by them, but which has not yet assumed its final shape, the working classes claim to take their part, and to be heard in defence of their rights and of their opinions. If the middle classes wish to improve the condition of those less fortunate than themselves, they have now a golden opportunity. The reduction of the duty (a measure of which they have reaped the chief benefit) was carried almost entirely without their assistance. Let them, in their turn, carry that total repeal which will benefit all who have an interest in the spread of knowledge or the progress of truth. It is only by their assistance that this can be done in that perfectly legal manner which is the peculiar characteristic of the middle class reformers of Great Britain.
We believe that a free press would afford a quiet outlet to feelings and opinions which it is alike unjust and unsafe to repress, that it would enhance the peaceableness of any future agitation, and render society secure by inspiring the unhappy with hope and the indignant with patience. If we turn to foreign countries we find this view confirmed. The destruction of order has often been followed, but never preceded, by the freedom of the press. It is only when the cry of the oppressed is stifed, and the right of free utterance denied, that the dumb speak in the roll of musketry under the protection of barricades.
We call, therefore, on you, the Reformers of the United Kingdom, while yet your movement is scarcely begun, to clear the way for a free discussion of the people's rights and the people's grievances, by demanding the exemption of the press from all taxation, and its emancipation from all control except that exercised by a Court of Law.
FRANCIS PLACE, Esq., Treasurer, Brompton Square.
Richard Moore. Chris, M'Guinness.
A PARDONER'S RELICS.
FROM THE POUR P's, A VERY MERRY INTERLUDE, BY JOUN HEYWOOD. HEYWOOD was a jester, a playwriter, and epigrammatist, who lived in the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth. He is accounted by some the first dramatic writer in England. His relics' are curious specimens of the license used in speaking of religious matters' about the time of the Reformation, even by a man who was in favour with Queen Mary, and who on the accession of Elizabeth fled the country on account of his religion.'
A Pardoner was one who sold Papal indulgences and pardons for sin, and who hawked about relics of the saints, &c., good for rheumatism and other mortal sins.
Certain portions of the text are too gross to be printed in these nicer times. The Pardoner is showing his wares to an Apothecary or Poticary.' Pardoner. Here are relics of such a My friend unfeigned, this is a slipper kind
Of one of the seven sleepers be sure. As in this world no man may find.
Doubtless this kiss shall do you great Kneel down all three,* and when ye pleasure : leave kissing,
For all these two days it shall so ease Who list to offert shall have my bles
That none other savours shall displease Friends, here you shall see even anon
you. Of All-hallows the blessed jaw-bone : Poticary. All these two days, nay, Kiss it hardlyf with good devotion.
all these two years. Poticary. This kiss shall bring us For all the savours that may come here much promotion.
Can be no worse; Fogh! by Saint Saviour I never kiss'd & worse ;
Pedlar. Sir, methinketh your devo
tion is but small. Pardoner. Nay, sirs, behold, here ye
Pardoner. Sinall! marry, methinkmay see
eth he hath none at all. The great toe of the Trinity:
Poticary. What the devil care I Who to this toe any money voweth,
what ye think? And once may roll it in his mouth,
Shall I praise relics when they stink? All his life atter, I undertake,
Pardoner. Here is an eye-tooth of the He shall never be vex'd with the tooth
great Turk: ache.
Whose eyes be once set on this piece of Poticary. I pray you turn that relic
May haply lose part of his eye-sight, Either the Trinity had the gout;
But not all till he be blind outright. Or else, because it is three toes in one God made it as much as three toes alone. I have no devotion unto Turks' teeth :
Poticary. Whatsoever any man seeth, Pardoner. Well, let that pass, and for although I never saw a greater, look on this :
Yet methink I have seen many better. Here is a relic that doth not miss
Pardoner. Here is a box full of humble To help the least as well as the most:
bces, This is a buttock-bonc of Pentecost.
That stung Eve as she sat on her knees, Poticary.
Tasting the fruit to her forbidden. Pardoner. Mark well this, this relic Shall have as much pardon of right
Who kissoth the bees within this hidden, is a whipper, s
As for any relic be kiss'd this night.
Palmer. Sir, I will kiss them with • A Palmer and a Pedlar are also in the company.
Kiss it lustily.
(my part, Qinto; a Yankeeism.
Poticary. Kiss them again and take
To bid for his relics.
For I am not worthy: nay, let be ; O holy yeast, that lookst full sour and Those bees that stung Eve shall not stale, sting me.
For God's body help me to a cup of ale. Pardoner. Good friends, I have yeast The more I see thee, the more I thirst; here in this glass
The oftener I kiss thee, the more like to Which on the drink at the wedding was
burst. Of Adam and Eve undoubtedly :
But since I kiss thee so devoutly, If ye honour this relic devoutly,
Hire me and help me with drink till I Although ye thirst no wit the less,
(speed ? Yet shall ye drink the more doubtless; What, so much praying and so little After which drinking ye shall be as meet Pardoner. Yea, for God knoweth To stand on your head as on your feet.
when that it is need Poticary. Nay, marry, now I can you To send forth drink; but by Saint thank;
(already In presence of this the rest are blank. I ween he hath sent you too much Would God this relic had come rather; Poticary. If I have never the more Kiss that relic well, good father.
for thee, Such is the pain that ye Palmers take, Then are thy relics no riches to me; To kiss the pardon bowl for the drink's Nor to thyself, except they bo sake.
More beneficial than I can see.
ENROLLABLE UNDER THE 6th and 7th WILLIAM IV., CAP. 32. "The object of increasing the number of Freeholders at a County Election is not an object, in itself, against law, or morality, or sound policy. There is nothing injurious to the community in one man selling and another buying land for the direct purpose of giving or acquiring such qualification. On the contrary, the increasing the number of persons enjoying the elective franchise certainly appears to have been the essential object of the Reform Act.'-LORD CHIEF JUSTICE TINDAL. ALEXANDER, App., NEWMAN, Resp. Jan. 29, 1846.
This opinion is placed by the Westminster Freehold Land Association at the head of their prospectus. The arguments by which this society is set forth will inform our readers of the relation of these new movements to social and political advocacy.
One chief reason'—we quote from the address signed by Mr. George Huggett, secretary pro tem. -- why England has escaped the convulsions which have recently torn neighbouring nations is, that the English constitution possesses within itself expansive elements. If it be not what it ought to be, it can be made to be what it ought to be-by using the law to improve the law. There are many points in the English constitution of which the people may avail. theinselves with advantage ; and if they have but the wisdom to see and to seize them, they may effect their emancipation with their own hands.
• Mr. Cobden was the first to point out that persons, at a small expense, might qualify themselves as freeholders, and vote for county members. The experiment was successfully made by the movement of which Mr. Cobden was the head.* Since that time the plan has been found susceptible of great improvement, and that the same thing may be done at less than half the cost at first incurred, as the experience of several societies
* One of the principal promoters of this Freehold Land Scheme, in Birmingham, has just assured us, personally, that the paternity of the plan is due to that
In what sense this is true, and in what erroneous, we shall take an opportunity of explaining.--Ed. of R.
The Westminster Freehold Land Association has been formed to extend its operation.
“Out of the thirty members returned by the Counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Essex, Kent, Sussex, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, and Hampshire, only five are Reformers. It may be safely declared that it will be the fault, not of the law, but of the supineness of Reformers, if this state of things be not speedily improved.
"The Westminster Freehold Land Society addresses the intelligent members of the industrious classes, who are able and willing to put by Is. 6d.
week. This small sum will put the subscriber into possession of a vote, and a piece of land bringing in at least forty shillings annually. The members of the Birmingham Society have in no case derived less than fifty shillings per year for about £23 paid in all.
• The enrolment of this Society affords legal advantages and pecuniary saving in law expenses. The members will obtain their land at wholesale prices. The vast difference between the wholesale and retail prices of “ Freehold Land” is almost incredible. Land selling at 3s. 4d. and 3s. 6d. per yard retail, has been purchased by the Birmingham Society at ls. Id. wholesale, which, in a short time, will be double the value of its present retail price.
When it was first stated that a subscription of ls. 6d. per week for five years would be sufficient to qualify a man to become a County Elector, the statement was generally discredited. But from the purchases of the Birmingham Society it appears that the cost of each lot averages £19, which is repaid in less than five years at ls. 6d. per week. The necessary deeds will be prepared by the Solicitor of this Society, at thirty shillings each, exclusive of stamps—a sum considerably below the usual charges.
• There are various means whereby the Members may be enabled to vote in respect of their property before their subscriptions are paid up.
"The Franchise thus offered on these widely available terms to those who do not possess it will be uninfluencerl by any party consideration. No possible control or restriction can be established over the votes thus secured.
The names of those gentlemen under whose auspices this Society will be conducted, guarantee that the objects are well advised, and will be carried out with integrity.
"The promoters of this Society are encouraged by the assurance that social as well as political advantage will be diffused by its influence. With all intelligent mechanics frugality and forethought are strong sentiments. And it is most desirable to afford the best facilities for the development of such salutary characteristics; and surely the means of saving were never rendered so attractive, as when a man may, at the same time, acquire personal property and political independence. It seems almost incredible—but it is no less true and possible
that instead of the sacrifices heretofore made for popular liberty, a way is open which leads to political enfranchisement through personal advantage.
'The speeches, cheers, protests, petitions and enthusiasm of public meetings have been justly held as earnests of the disposition of the people to secure what they demand. They have asked Parliament for an extension of the Suffrage, and Parliament has not regarded. But it is now