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sively against them: new churches, work-houses and prisons are the christian cure for destitution. The majority of the nation are enslaved; they are bowed to the dust by the weight of their fetters; every link is a burning and a biting wrong :- What do the state-doctors prescribe? Freedom for the serfs? Universal Enfranchisement—the power of remedying their own ills ? No: they would resist this justice to the utmost. What is their measure of reform? The licensing a few shopkeepers to sell votes.- Prostitution is a national fashion. The poor are forced into it as the price of life; the rich chuse it as a pleasant means of death. Corruption laughs out from the very heart of society, wherein he has made his beastly home. The land is defiled with whoredoms. The heads of the reformed church look on complacently : they are in the midst of splendid pleasures, throned at the right hand of worldly honour-setting an example of christian self-denial and humility; they are surfeited with the luxuries of wealth—they, the servants of the Carpenter. Torpid and heavy with self-indulgence, they dream not of the evil thing: how should they forget their college lives? Pure-minded prelates ! Innocent senators! They would cure the diseased world by preventing the marriage of a man with his grandmother—we beg pardon of his holiness—his grandfather's wife.
LINES WRITTEN DURING THE EXECRABLE CASTLEREAGH
Abortions are dead in the womb;
Of Albion, free no more!
Her sons are as stones in the way;
They are trodden, and move not away ;
Is liberty, smitten to death!
Then trample and dance thou Oppressor !
Thou art sole lord and possessor
Thy path to the grave !
Hear'st thou the festal din
And Wealth, crying Havoc! within ?
Ay, marry thy ghastly wife!
Spread thy couch in the chamber of Life! -
To the couch of thy bride!
MANIFESTATIONS OF TYRANNY. MANY and various have been the outrages of Despotism; many the atrocious pranks which half-witted Tyranny has played in the broad daylight or in the secret darkness, to the torment of abused humanity. It was reserved for the malignity of a mixed form of government, for the masters of men who “never will be slaves,” to tax the commonest feelings of human nature, to impose penalties on all who dared to possess affections. Seven shillings a week is the legal pittance of many a poor family. One of such a family may be compelled to seek a scanty livelihood at the other side of the country. His parents, his brothers or sisters, yet have some interest in his welfare. He writes to inform them of his condition. His letter is taxed by the Governmert. The paternal Government will not permit the interchange of greeting between affectionate hearts, without the payment of a heavy fine—a shilling, perhaps more than a shilling, for a single letter. Seven shillings a week is the family income. The whole family must starve one day in every week in which they shall presume to ask, Is my son, or is my brother, well? Arrogant slaves of profusion and idleness! call you this justice? Think you that poor men have not hearts, that suffering can render them more cold and careless of each other than the accustomed pampering of your own selfishness has rendered you? It is not possible. Sacred to the poor man are the ties of kindred !. Alas, he has little of good left, save the sympathies of his fellowvictimas !—and this, you monopolizers of earth's common store, you robbers of the poor! this last comfort you dare to tax, and endeavour to prohibit!—But, “the transmission of letters must be paid for.” Certainly. The cost of transit of a letter from London to Edinboro', by mail, is one thirty-sixth of a penny: the carriage of thirty-six letters costs the Government one penny; the Government charge for a single letter is thirteen pence. But then, “the revenue must be raised; so much taxes are needed." What! coin the very heart of the poor man, harnessed to incessant sorrow, and worn to the bone with a life's toil—that a little girl, of less value than a factory slave, may be surrounded with luxuries which she cannot enjoy, with liveried parasites to flatter and corrupt her? What! tax the commonest affections of humanity, deny to the oppressed and troubled millions the little sympathy which saves them from despair ?—not surely for no better purpose than to support idle lords and dishonest capitalists, pensioners and thieves, in the continuance of their iniquitous extortions and shameful extravagance !-But “the higher classes also pay this tax." Does a rich man pay one-seventh of his weekly income for a single letter? Out on you, hypocrites! A peer of the realm is privileged to send and receive letters free of postage. Members of the other house of plunderers may do the same. Of course, to oblige their friends, they fraudulently abuse this privilege. Only seven millions of franks (one-twelfth of the whole number of letters) are transmitted in the course of a year.–And now, when there is a talk of reform, why is it? Out of regard to the poor man's feelings, or a desire for justice? Neither: these are weak motives; these are interests which command no respect from our rulers. But the tax is inconvenient to the trader. Commerce has higher claims than Justice or Charity. So the tax shall be taken off: and the honest trader will be duly careful that the labourer shall receive less wages, since he will be less taxed; and the “relief,” as in the case of a repeal of the Corn-laws, or any other of our rulers' allowances, will find its way into the counting-house, and the hut of poor and cheated Industry be desolate as heretofore.—Fellowslaves! is not this sufficient sample of the disposition of the ruling powers? Thus do they trample us; thus do they relieve us from the intolerable pressure. They have denied us the unbought light of heaven; even bread is taxedbread is at famine price; there is no spot of ground whereon a labouring man may rest his weary head without leave; you must buy of them even your graves. All this is not enough for their hateful rapacity. You must pay for leave to hear of the starvation of a brother, to learn that a father has been buried in a workhouse prison, or that a son has been scourged to death in the service of your common tyrants. Fellow-men! will you petition your spoilers for such relief as may suit their convenience; or will you require sufficient power to remedy your own unhappiness ? UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE can alone save you from the continuance of oppression worse than death!
REVELATIONS OF TRUTH.
Why wage ye war one against another; why are ye the enemies of each other?
We obey the commands of our rulers.
What! Is it not written in the word of God, Submit yourself to every ordinance of man; obey those who have the rule over you?
Yes, verily! Nevertheless it is written in the same law, Thou shalt do no murder; thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Now, those whom ye call masters command you to hate and to slay your brethren : which then will ye obey, God or man?
Is there then a contradiction in the word of God?
I will answer you by another question, Is Omniscience liable to error? can Infinite Justice require impossibilities ?
Servants! be obedient to your masters in that which is right and lawful in the sight of God: if any man shall bid you to do that which your conscience telleth you is unlawful, obey him not! for if ye do his bidding, ye rebel against your only Sovereign, even God.
They, who have authority over you, are but your fellow-servants, though in a superior station: they cannot annul the laws of your common master.
Their duty is to enforce those laws: and cursed is he who altereth or subtracteth therefrom.
Believe not him who would persuade you that murder, in any shape or under any name, is acceptable to God : such an one is your enemy.
Have ye not read how that the blind Jews, misled by the Priests and Pharisees, denied the Just, and preferred a robber and murderer to the teacher of Love?
The meek and unoffending Jesus, he who went about doing good and preaching peace to all, the physician of his people, the Holy One of God, was rejected by an ungrateful and besotted populace, who gave his life for that of a murderer: Not this man, but Barabbas; away with this fellow from the earth!
Is there a heart that burneth not with indignation at those deceivers, with shame and sorrow for the deceived; is there amongst you one who condemneth not? Ye hypocrites! in denouncing them ye have judged yourselves.
Ye are the children of those murderers, and ye do the deeds of your fathers. Are not your rulers, your kings and princes, all robbers and murderers ?
Have not they deluged the earth with blood; have not they plundered the nations, defrauding them of their rights and' liberties : while they proclaim murder to be lawful, falsehood holy, and wrong and robbery an honourable calling!
These have ye chosen to be your masters.
to reign over us : as for him who died upon the cross, we will have none of him; we bear indeed his name, but we will not obey his laws; these are the masters we will serve.
Shall it not be more tolerable in the day of judgment for the deluded crowd who cried, Crucify him, crucify him! than for you who, condemning them, have sinned yet more grievously?
And behold! the curse hath fallen upon you: War bringeth its own punishment; vice and misery follow in his footsteps.
It is a game of chance, in which each may gain for a time, but all in the end must lose.
Why is yon land barren, desolate, and void of inhabitants? The demon of war hath breathed upon it; and, like the fell Simoom, his breath was destruction.
I see another land: it is rich and fertile, and abounding in the fruits of the earth; but the dwellers in that beautiful country are squalid and miserable, pining in the most abject poverty.
War hath been there also, and they pay the price of their victories : taxation hath consumed their substance, and devoureth the very marrow in their bones.
Your jails are crowded with felons; your lanes and streets are filled with vice and profligacy; your country is demoralized; ye are poor, and wretched, and unhappy: these are some of the blessed fruits of the lust of empire; these are the gifts of the fiend of war.
Fall down then, and thank him for the dew of his blessing: say unto Havoc, Thou art the friend of our bosom; bid us, O Death! to thy banquet; let us quaff from human skulls of the thick blood of the slain-A health to the Lord of war!—the cries of the widows, the lamentations of orphans, shall be sweet music in our ears; we ask no heaven but the field of carnage, no Paradise but Hell.
Such is in effect your prayer, while nations are the foes of nations.
When shall this tribute to Moloch cease? must the Principle of Evil be ever triumphant?
Have ye not understanding to perceive that the injuring your neighbour, for the mere sake of committing wrong, can never benefit your condition: and if to-day ye despoil your brother, and to-morrow another robbeth you, what are ye the better?
He who saith, I love God, and hateth his brother, is a liar and a murderer; and they who teach you tó hate your brethren shall receive the reward of murderers : he, who loveth not his brother, hateth him.
CRITICAL NOTICES. Poor Laws and Paupers illustrated. By Harriet Martineau. Chas. Fox,
London : 1833-4. Abused Paupers and Abuses of the Old Poor-Law System should be the title of these four Tales, which may be profitably read by the Working Classes, not so much on account of the very considerable and (we doubt not) trustworthy information they contain, as for the decisive evidence, given in almost every page, of the selfish spirit in which even the “liberal” portion of the respectable orders legislate for the moneyless. The constant preference of money to human life and human feeling; the insinuating malignant motives against all who dare to inform the poor of their real rights, to the disturbing of the present “ most approved” good order, or disorder; the sneering at inexpedient" justice; and the bigoted half-sightedness which beholds nothing in the way of the predetermined opinion for which evidence is sought-these are the
characteristics of the Tales before us, written to prepare the way for the Poor Law Amendment Act, and with it based on the heartless assumption that the relief of the rate-payer is of more importance than the maintenance of the pauper. Sad is it that the intellectuality and benevolence of Harriet Martineau should be so lent to the furtherance of a Fraud ; strange that the instinctive truth of womanly kindness should not see through this gross sophism. Two quotations are all we can find room for; but we think they are sufficient proof of the inhumanity and injustice of the views these Illustrations are designed to inforce. One on the mother being compelled to support her natural child :-“She did wonder who should bear the burden of the profligacy of one party, if not the other guilty party. To visit it
the innocent rate-payers, that the guilty parties might go free, seemed very unjust. It was a heavy burden for poor Betsy to bear; but it was clear that Mr. Barry was letting it rest on the right shoulders.” Not at all clear! If the woman's profligacy was the result of the iniquitous social arrangements which the “innocent rate-payers” did their best to preserve, theirs would undoubtedly be the right shoulders on which to lay the disastrous effects of their own iniquity. It is a foul libel, too, to intimate that a woman must be profligate who has a child without benefit of clergy. The profligacy is almost always on the man's side: yet he may “go free"; and the injured woman is to be punished—as a check, forsooth -as if any modest woman sat down coolly to calculate consequences on the threshold of a natural action. This is the principle on which the horrors of a prostitute's life are violently imposed upon wronged women. It will doubtless work as well in the one case as in the other.-Again :-“ to make the support and discipline of the indigent consistent with the rights and interests of the independent." Is not this sufficient? The “rights and interests” of the independent (the monied) are, then, inconsistent with the support of the indigent? Surely the innocent ratepayers should be relieved, albeit the natural rights of the indigent (the plundered) should be sacrificed to the convenience and comfort of the plunderers! So legislate the “liberals” of monied respectability, who value the image of a king stamped upon a morsel of dirt, above the breathing and passioned image of God, higher and holier in honest indigence than they, throned amid their “bales of human anguish,” their profits distilled from human woes.
The Guide to Service. The Maid of All-Work. Chas. Knight and Co.,
London : 1838. A
very useful book for all domestic slaves, informing the maid of all-work of the proper extent of her wardrobe-even to her garters-on entering service (a thing not at all dependent on the extent of her funds); indicating the exact corners in which the salt-cellars are to be placed; the inevitably angelic qualities of the young-lady mistresses; the peculiar advantages of a life of loneliness terminating in a hospital (not by any means the consequence of toiling long years in the treadmill of ill-paid and fretting service); showing also the impropriety of her making any friends except those who will have no sympathy with her; and recommending that all the kicks and buffets, which may come from the ill-temper of even an angel mistress, be converted in the crucible of piety into marvellous cheerers of the drudge's monotonous endurance; with satisfactory assurances that all the evils of slavery are very good for slaves; and a half-promise of a ticket for heaven when the worn spirit is tired of the mad-house. The work must do an immensity of good to all who are fools enough to think it the highest aim of their existence to be the illuse machines of their selfish “betters." It is brought out by the publisher to the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge—“ Useful Knowledge" meaning whatever is conducive to the interests of a particular class, the dishonest respectables.