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REMARKS on SPENCE'S PLAN.

In all the schemes which have been devised for a perfect society since men first began to speculate upon such subjects, the principle of a community of goods has in some degree entered ; and certain approaches toward it, though under many modifications, have been made both in ancient and modern times, as in Crete and in Sparta,--among the Peruvians, and by the Jesuits in Paraguay. Such a community prevailed among some of the primitive Christians, though no law of the Gospel enjoined it; the Moravians in Germany approach very nearly to it at this time. The mendicant orders were established on the same principle, and have thriven upon it, nihil habentes et omnia possia dentes-the Papal Church, with its usual wisdom, (for that church assuredly possesses the wisdoin of the serpent,) haying prevented the principle from becoming dangerous, by, thus sanctioning and taking it into its service. Tu American also it is acted upon by many obscure sects, living inoffen. sively and industriously in small communities. A religious influence has prevailed in all these instances,-Lycurgus could not have succeeded without the assistance of Apollo, and Mango Capac was the son of the sun. The doctrine becomes formidable when it is presented as a political doga ma, with no such feeling to soften and sanctify it. Joel Barlow, the American republican, who died when lackeying the heels of Buonaparte on his expedition into Russia, perceived that the fashionable doctrines of liberty, of which he was so warm an advocate, tended this way, and must end there ; but he thought proper to adjourn sine die the, time for carrying these ultimate principles into effect. There is reason for supposing that Robespierre at the time of bis overthrow bad formed some extravagant project of this kind; he spoke of momentous secrets which a kind of pusillanimous prudence had induced him to conceal,' and promised to disclose in his will, if he should be cut off pre-. maturely, the object to which what he called the triumph of liberty tended. If Babæuf may be believed, this object was an equalization of property, an object which Babæuf attempted by the most atrocious means to bring about, but perished in the attempt. Happily it was made too late

sick of borrors and satiated with blood, the people were weary of revolutions, and France escaped a convulsion more dreadful than any which it bad experienced.

This, however, is not the theory of the Spencean philan. thropists. These root-and-branch 'reformers take their name from a poor man, who, if he had unluckily lived in the days of the French Revolution, might have been a very inoffensive member of society, and remembered only, if he had been remembered at all, among those writers who have amused themselves by building constitutions in the air, instead of castles. When I began to study,' says he, ' I found every thing erected on certain unalterable principles. I found every art and science a perfect whole. Nothing was in anarchy but language and politics. But both of these I reduced to order : the one by a new alphabet, and the other by a new constitution,' The new alphabet of this modest reformer we have not had the fortune to see ; it seems, however, that the first edition either of his New Constitution, or his Trial, was printed in what he calls his natural or philosophical orthography,' His political opinions were first propounded in the form of a Lecture, read before the Philosophical society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in 1775, and printed immediately afterwards ; from which time, he says, he went on continually publishing them in one shape or other. They are fully and harmlessly explained in his *Constitution of Spensonia, a country in Fairy Land; sie tuated between Utopia and Oceana.' "The Spensonian Commonwealth is one and indivisable; and,'the Sovereign People is the Universality of Spensonian citizens.' Divested of such nonsensical language, which was then in full vogue, and too much of which still passes current, his scheme is,—That the soil belongs to the state, and that in. dividuals should rent their lands and tenements from their respective parishes; the rent being the revenue, and the surplus, after all public expenses are defrayed, to be divided equally among all the parishioners ; every kind of proper. ty being permitted except in land. The larger estates are to be leased for one and twenty years, and at the expiration of that term re-let by public auction ; the smaller ones, by the year : and larger ones subdivided as the increase of population may require. The legislative power is vested in an annual parliament, elected by universal suffrage, women voting as well as men,---the executive is in the hands of a

council of twenty-four, half of which is to be renewed annu. ally. Every fifth day is a sabbath of rest,---not of religi. on; for though this constitution is proclaimed in the presence of the Supreme Being, no provision is made for wor. shipping Him.

All the Spensonians are Soldiers ; and in the Spensonian Commonwealth, Nature and justice know nothing of illegitimacy.' To the end of this Constitution an Epilogue is annexed, in decent verse, saying that the Golden Age will no longer be accounted fabulous, now that mankind are about to enjoy

-All that prophets e'er of bliss foretold,

And all that poets ever feigned of old.' And these verses,---to shew the strange bumour of the man, and the vulgarity which adhered to him, are followed by a Chorus,' to the tune of Sally in our Alley :-

• Then let us all join heart in hand

Thro' country, town, and city,
Of every age and every sex,

Young men and maidens pretty;
To haste this Golden Age's reign

On every hilt and valley,
Then Paradise shall greet our eyes,

Thro' every street and alley !'

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LETTER from Dr. WATSON to LORD

COCHRANE.

MY LORD, In one of the Morning Papers of Thursday, Feb. 6, I perceive that paper has made a report of your Speech in the House of Commons, on presenting the Spa-fields Petition, which I cannot but believe differs in some respects from that which you really did use on the occasion. The editor of that paper makes you say, that “the riot that occurred that day proceeded from a set of wild theorists, called Spenceans, whose object was to place the whole landed property

of the country under the superintendance of Governmentwhen the people saw how his Majesty's Ministers managed the public money that was left at their disposal, how ruinous and destructive na ust be the project that would consigo to such discretion the landed property of the nation." му Lord, I am inclined to think these were wrot your identical words, for on the 17th of August, 1816, I had the honour, as Chairman to a Committee ot Distribution from the Spen. ceah Philanthropists, to present your Lordship (through the hands of Samuel Brooks, Esq.) with a pamphlet, entitled “ Christian Policy," wberein your Lordship must have perceived, that no such intention couid ever have possessed the mind of the author, who also well explains the opinion of the Society upon the application of the supposed rentals arising from, the national domain, the whole land of the country, or, as the author expresses it, the people's farm. No where, my Lord, does that publication, or any other publication, or any individual of the Spencéan Philanthropists, entertain, encourage, or recommend a measure so pregnant with evil to their country, or with notions so injurious to the cause of liberty and the interests of mankind. No, my Lord, they take an extended view of Go. vernments from the earliest records of history, and discover that their depravations bave proceeded from the too easy means by which Governments have obtained the property of individuals ; but the Spenceans are the first Society that ever arose in the world to promulgate a system which would prevent the oppressions of a rapacious Minister, and at the same time discovered the means to uphold with splendour the Government of a country, and the glory and happiness of the people, and who have devised a plan to relieve indi. viduals and a country from tax, toll, excise, or custom du. ties. They are the first who have ventured to declare the natural rights of mankind, and to shew how extremely practicable it would be to relieve their fellow-creatures i from the distresses which have in all ages more or less agi. tated the affairs of men. The extreme practicability of their plan it is that alarms their opponents and interested persons. One party fear their opinions and prejudices are in danger of being exploded, the others, that they are about to be reduced to poverty, or to be deprived of the means of handing down to their posterity the influence they enjoy in this generation, in consequence of the domains they have got

To be continued.

AMUSING CHRONICLE,

,

A Bepository for MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE.

No. XXIV, Price 4d.) March 1, 1817. (Vol.II.

It was our intention to have given a print of Mr. KEAN and Mr. Booty, in Othello, and for that purpose, the Artist, who designed the Three Misses Dennett's, went to the Theatre last Saturday, but

- Othello's Occupation's gone."

THE NARRATOR, No. XIX.

SCATTERED THOUGHTS on the ANTI

QUITY of the HARP,

AND

On the Progress of Ancient Minstrelsey.

66 The Creator from his work
Desisting

Up he rode,
Follow'd with acclamation, and the sound
Symphonius of ten thousand harps, that tun'd
Angelic hardlonies.

MILTON.

I SHALL not attempt correctly to describe the origin of this instrument, the time of its invention is hid behind a cloud too deep for my penetration.

The Irish historian assures us that his countrymen receive ed the harp from the Phænicians, and that the sons of Erin

Printed by T.Kaygill, 36, Frith Street, Soho.

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