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Full text of ""On the Adoption of the Public Libraries and News Rooms Act, 1855, for the City of London": A ..."

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TO THE 

Rt. Hon. WILLIAM LAWRENCE, Lord Mayor. 

My Lord, 

I dedicate this ' Paper ' to you, — a paper which 
I am proud to state elicited the " earnest and hearty approval " 
of Lord Brougham, — ^with peculiar pleasure. 

It is a source of much satisfaction that so conspicuous a 
citizen as the Sheriff of London and Middlesex encouraged me 
to persevere in removing the lasting reproach that "the greatest 
city in the world is destitute of a public library." 

You, my Lord, well know that whatever tends to EDUCATE 
or Instruct the people, tends, in an inverse ratio, to the decrease 
of pauperism and crime, and that FOUR News Rooms in the 
poorer quarters of the City, with Lending Libraries attached, 
freely open to all comers, would operate as * Homes of Refuge,' 
and counter attractions to the public house. 

You, my Lord, clearly perceive that this movement is 
eminently an economic one, to keep the rates chwn, and not to 
increase, or send them up, as the enemies of progress so 
pertinaciously declare. 

My Lord, I am glad to know that you make Education a 
primary object of your care. 

I indulge the hope that the tumultuous waves of opposition 
to this great scheme of Instruction are subsiding ; and that the 
thick mists of prejudice are gradually dispersing. 

With every sentiment of respect, 

II have the honour to remain, 
My Lord, 
I Yours faithfully, 

: MATTHEW HENRY FEHvDE. 

J 24, Queen's Road, W. 

i January 30<A, 1864. 

i 

J 






° "ON THE ADOPTION OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARIES 
AND NEWS ROOMS ACT, 1865, FOR THE 
CITY OF LONDON." 



. A PAPEK 

BEAD AT THE 

SOCIAL SCIENCE CONGEESS, 

BEFOBE THE 

RIGHT HON. HENEY LORD BROUGHAM, F.R.S., 

BY 

MATTHEW HENRY FEILDE, ESQ, 

Prouot£S of Mb. Ewabt'b Act, and Obioinatob op 
WoRKiNo Men's Clubs. 



" I cannot leave this Court without expressing; my earnest and hearty approval of tlte 
Paper read by Mr. FEILDE. I have listened to his arguments in support of News Booms and 
Lending Libraries fbr the City of London with yery great pleasure." 

LORD BROUGHAM. 

" It is a great Educational movement to improve the condition of the Poor, and to rescue 
the mass of the people from Ignorance." 

" I bare opened up a new and wide field for the dlAision of political knowledge, and the 
instruction of the Fco-ph."—Prtfaee. 

■WITH BEMABTCB 



SOUTHERN INDEPENDENCE QUESTION. 



LONDON: 

PEARSON ti SON, 86, BISHOPSGATE ST^.^^t ^V^^V^- 

1864. 

j?Vice One Shallmg. 







-*(L 



LONDUK: 

I'HINTKI) BY Jims KlXO ii. Co., •i3, tJrEEN pTItKET. l.'fir, K.l', 




PREFACE. 



So clianged since youth. 

I've learn'd to think, and stenily speak the trutti ; 
Learn'd to deride the " liner's " crude decree, 
And break him on the wheel he meant for me. 

The following Paper is submitted to the consideration of all persona 
rated to the Consolidated Rate in the City of London. It was x-cad at the 
Social Science Congress, Guildball, June 10, 1862, before the Kight 
Hon. Lord Broughaiti^ and was received with manifest approbatlou by 
the noble President. 

It is particularly addressed to plain common sense people— to 
citizens endowed with goud practical, rather than fine or exalted, sense. 
It makes a strong appeal to the! ratepayers to vote for a Scheme of 
Instruction which has three distinct objects in view: 1st, The diffusion, 
or spread of sonud political aud social knowledge ; 2ud, The dissemina- 
tion of science and art education ; 3rd, The reduction of poor rates, by 
raising from an impoverished to a better condition persous in the lower 
grades of life, suuk in ignorance and degradation. 

My paper was put dowu for reading in the Social Economy Court. 
Why, or for what reason, it was capriciously excluded from the second 
department, Education, is a myst« ry I cannot solve. This oversight 
leads lue to remark that whoever lias the arrangement of the papers is 
as obnoxious to criticism as the "hanging committee" of the Royal 
Lcademy. Why was my paper described with such inaccuracy and 
' meagre ncss ? — "M. Fielde (for Feilde) : A Lihrary for the City of 
London." It was no such thing. It was, " On the adoption of the 
Public Libraries and News Rooms Act, 1855, for the City of Londos." 
The Congress was sitting ia the very heart of the City— in the Guildhall 
— and certainly no other paper was discussed that so peculiarly deserved 
to be honourably menliniied, or which posse.ssed a tithe of the interest 
attaching to mine. Yet, out of the twelve that were read, my paper 
was set dowa the eleventh on the list, it ia really too bud tlmt feeble 
eaaays ou "Amusements," aud "Fiovvcr Shows" should tiai'e had the 
precedence of a paper so intimately connected with the welfare of the 
City of Loudon, aud which obtained llie warm approval of the venerable 
Freaideat. It is not my wish to dispute "the rare ability of Miss Isa 
Craig," uor can I feel surprjsed that a lady should exhibit a feminine 
pret'ereuce for what is transitory and sensational to what is mure beue.- 
ficial and enduring. Still, I must demur to U\ft ^i\t\\^.%^ «A \'cV»lv'K«^"4,"i»'^ 
paper for upwaids of six monlbs, w\veia QiaX^ a- ^'i^^ y^w;^* ■4.\tVs*^"*''^ '^ 



6 



tlie "Transactions, 1863," viz.: "Mr. M, FeiUle read a Paper recom- 
mending the adoption of the Public Libraries and News Rooms Act, 
1855, 18 and 19 Vic, cap. 70, for t!ie (Jitv of London, and expressed 
liis regi'et tlint tliat Act was nit-relj periiiiissive." Before I leave tliis 
point I cannot resist quotiiig from a letter from ray kind friend, Robert 
Hejwood, Eaq., J.F. : — 

"Bolton, December 17. 
" Dear Sir, 

"I hare received jour very powerful appeal to tlie rate- 
payers 6f the Parish of Kensington in favour of Mr. Ewurf s Act. I 
believe the Public Libraries and News Rooms Act, 1855, to be the moat 
judicious legislative measure ever passed, and I trust you will prove 
Bttcccsafii!, and tlioriiby cheered on in your truly praiseworthy course. I 
am {Ti-eatly Hurprised to learn that the Social Science people decline to 
publish your pajier on this important subject, still more after the promise 
made to you at tbe Meetinj^." 

As a fi-iendly critic let me sugftPS*' to the Secretary of the Conjn'css 
that any thing that wt!ars the semblance of partiality, or favouritism, 
ehoold bacarefully eschewed. Why was Mr. .7. C. ISuckmastcr's ' papi-r ' 
honoured by a prominent position in the Education Conrt, while mine 
was so ij,'norainiously treated ? The paper read by Mr Biicicmaster was 
a rechaiiffage, i.fi. dressing up in a new style his stereotyped lecture on 
the nature and conditions on which tbe Science and Art Department at 
South Keusinjijlon aid Scienco Instruction. Why will Mr. Jiuckmaster 
persist in ijjuorinr; Mr. Ewart's Museums and Schools for Science and 
Art Act? Why this wliiuing for "State aid ?" Why persist in ijj;noring 
the 18th clause of the Public LibrHries Act, by which suitable buildings 
may be purchased for "Public Lihrarics, or Museums, or fur Schools for 
Science and Art?" This itinerant philosopher ought to know that you 
cannot teach Science, you i-aii only )j;ive a taste for ir. Nor should this 
veteran airitator so pertinaciously conceal this truth, that althouf^h Mr. 
Ewart's iiuiuanising Act is de.*cribed as " the Piihlic Libnnies vie/, 1855," 
it i.9 juat as much a Museum's Art, or News Jhtoms Act, or Sc/)ool/i for 
Science or Art Act. The 21st section of the Act provides fur " the safety 
and use of the Librarie.-?, News Piooms, and Mnseura.'', and for the admis- 
sion of tbe Public." Let me inform Mr Biickmaater that Lending 
LinRAniiis and News Rooms, and 2s'(JT iluseums, or Schools for Science 
or Art are THE wants of the a^'e. Let me remind him, any jwppres.tia 
vert of this simple reality npproaches verj' nearly to n positive sn<rgestio 
falsi. If any special manufacture is carried on in a town, and a iSlnscuni 
or School of Art is required, adopt Mr. Ewart'a Act. But I " once <if;iiili" 
must repeat that News Jiounis^ ojieu to all comers, and Lemling Librariea 
are the great ilejiirhritla of the day. The aim aud object of Mr. liiick- 
master's iterations, and itinerations, seems to be to obtain Government 
assistance in a very objectionable manuer. Government interference 
with private enterprise i.i not desirable. If a Museum, or Art School, 
is a need, let the ratepayers adopt the Libraries Act. By taxiug them- 
selves to the trivial amount of one penny in the pound, they can estahlish 
Museums and Schools of Art, in a far better way than iu seeking 
State aid. 

The town of Burslem, in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
recently delivered bis incomparable Oration, ha.s led the way. Tho 
peculiarity in the ease of Bar.-lem is that it is the first application of the 
I.,il>rArie.s Act to tlie fnnnatioii of a School of Art in combination with 
a Library and Museum. In shorl, that it it ihcfint appUeatioii </ <i rati' 



A 



li) pitr/)o.te» af Art Ednctttiuii. No doubt other Scliuols uf Art will be 
formed in maimfactaring towns, after the good example of Burslem, a 
town in which my uncle, the late Rev. Edward Feilde, M.A,, was Ciirsite, 
and to whom a very handsome testimonial was presented. I cannot 
resist briefly alluding to the chief feature of the plan which I hope tbe 
citizens of Loadon will unaoimoualy adopts i.e. four News Rooms in the 
poorer qnarfer.'i of ike City. The Rate-supported Free News Room, 
OPEM TO ALL COMERS 1 would be a 'Home of Repook' for the waifs 
and strays of the turbid sea of this Great Metropolis 1 With lavatories 
and refreshment rooms annexed, the Free News Room, with News- 
papers from all parts of ihe world, wonld soon prove a powerful counter 
ATTHACTioN to the publlc house. Four News Rooms fringing the City 
boundaries, the abodes of dedtitutiou and misery, would work wonders 
in exorcising and laying two of the most implacable enemies to which 
the lower ranks are exposed, IGNORANCE and INEBRIETY. The 
vice of Drunkenness is begotten by ignorance, and would be very con-' 
siderably checked by the simple apparatus of comfortable well furnished 
News Rooms, set np avowedly to compete with, and to counteract the 
evils of the gin palace. Next to the preaching of the Gospel T know of 
no agency so effectual in humaniising and improving the habits of tbe 
lower orders, as Freb News Rooms anm IjEnding Libearies, The 
Bishop of London recently stated that " he had counted forty two public 
houses in one street in Old Brentford, and expressed a hope the three 
churches in that town Avould be able to keep the forty-two public honses 
in order." I contend such church-work as this can only bu performed 
by NEWS ROOMS under Mr. Ewnrt's Act. 1 will not say the Clergy 
hare not that sympathy with those of low degree which they ought to 
have, but who will venture to affii'm that they reach the classes whose 
melioration and culture I am especially advocatiug ? The formidable 
enemy, IGNORANCE, is too strong for the individual exertions of the 
Clergy. Yon can only dislodge, or weaken tliis mighty power by putting 
in force the co-nperalive^ or associative principle. It is proposed, after 
the first year, to ask one halfpenny in Ihepoujidoti the Coimohdaied Rate. 
Remember the Act states "the amount of the rule shall nui exceed one 
jteunif in tha pound in any one year." Well, nil d&iperttnditm is my motto. 
1 do not despair. Grudatim vincimus. I hope, even against hope, that 
the burgesses of the first City in the world will AWAKE, and perceive 
that it ia better — far better to give their money for News Rooms and 
Lending Libraricf rather than for primns, — for books and papers, rather 
than for the support of paupers. Tbe News Rooms Act stands out con- 
spicuousjly aa the mo&X practical measure for the INSTRUCTION OF 
THE PEOPLE. I rejoice to notice the tide of opinion, so long adverse, 
is turning, and a strong current ia setting in in favour of the adoption of 
this wise Act for the City of Loudon. 

'• Si (juid novisti rectius istis, 

Gandidua imperti ; si non, his utere mecum." 

Hon. 

"If you know any better scheme, candidly impart it, but if not, 
make use of mine." No doubt in the City there are men who decline to 
take their share in any movement of Progress, however practical or how- 
ever praiseworthy. Such obstructives are moslly of the Old School, and, 
I fear, ai-e beyond the reach of argument. They aie inaccessible to the 
ordtuftry weapons of morality and logic. They are immersed in the 
pursuit of wealth; and MONEY is literally the god of thcii- idolatry. 



Epeak to them of the duty of gaiug to war with Iguorauce, or r«drc3siag 
its evils — of the sound policy of educating the people, 

^— »" So that none, 
However destitute, be loft to drooji 
By timely culture UDsustamod ; or run 
Into a wild disorder; or be forced 
To drudge througli weary life without the aid 
Of iatcllectual implements and tools ;" 

snd the protiability is that you will be met with a derisive smile, or a 
hurricane of nnju^it censure aud rude reproach. Tbis measure of four 
Free Public News Rooms in the City isemiueutly n practical ow^ and is 
ohvioujily cnlculated to do Rood. Yet the propounder meets with as 
much virulent opposition from certixiti enemies of progress, as if ha were 
promulpating a crime of the deepest dye, or devising some evil of more 
than ordinary magnitude. That weak and ftickcririg, and tertninly not 
very brijjht, or shining light, the Deputy of the Ward of Cimdlrwick is 
determined his glimmering :ih;ill not be hid under a bushel. Mr. Klliott, 
in mournful and affected Jeremiads, can groan over *' the bcicttiiig sip 
of the L'drporatiou of London." With a keen glance at St Tliomas'3 
day, the. Candlewick deputy can " probe the wrong doings" of his mu- 
nicipal brethren, and deliver jejuue, ad captandum lectures against 
•' extravagance." 

" Like Niobe, all tears;"— Hamlkt, Act L 

He mourns over the degeneracy of " rich communities." Yet not one 
ray of light does this blinking taper emit on the darkness of ignorance, 
and the mists of error! Not one syllable of iii'lignntion escapes Mr. 
Deputy Elliott's lips that London lags far bL'hiud ]irovinrial towns. 
Not one word of rcrnon^tratice against the riclie--t city in the world being 
destitute of a Free Public News Room and Library Mr. Elliott ia 
quick enough to discern small, insignificant offemes in Members of the 
Court of Common Council— he can flog away at petty corruption, bat 
can perceive no wrong in opposing with bittir Jicriniuny the onhj practical 
mean.s for the spreiul of knowledge! The gjvatt'st social movement of 
the diy is treated by tliis, and certain otfu r sturdif opponents of progress, 
[would be "wise men," who seem to say, " /am the Corporation," and 
"when /speak, let no dog bark ;"] hi the Court of Common Council, 
with the utmost scorn aud cootemiit. Tlie Candlewick deputy, auil 
certain other Civic Magnate.*, who dread the liglit of intelligence, and 
would debar the poor from sitting dawn to the intellectual feast wliicii 
Mr. Ewart has provided, see no grievance, feel no remorse in i^ithhold- 
ing the invaluahle blessing of EDUCATION. 'I he injustice of keeping 
the rising generation in fearful ignorance is never dreamed of in their 
phiUisopliy ! Me.^Frs. EHiott, Taylor and Co. would NEVER open the 
temple of knowledf;e. 

The cause of ]iopular Instruction by means of Frkb News Rooms 
and Libraries is stubhornly opposed by certain champions of Ignorance 
in the Common Conncil, who are of opinion tliat such atlmiritble institu- 
tions would he txlrcmeli/ injurimi% 1 To show his syin[»alhy for that 
eleriral inonntetiank, H. W. Beeeher, Mr. U. Scott, a widl-paid servant 
of the CoijwratioM, can demean himself by taking the Chair at a Parly 
Melting. Like his transatlantic and niost irroverend friend, Mr. Scott 
is a first-cla.-<s fanatic and tCL-totaller. He deems it prudent and be- 
coming in a Chairuiui todiriiver a most intemperate phitippic, aud thinks 
// coud'i»tenl with Lis duty as City Chamberlain, to coutemptuously sneer 



at a sclieiue wkicli would diiuinish druiikeauess, reduce poor rates, and 
bridge over the gulf that separates classes! 

Having applied tlie critical ksh to a deputy of the old, T turu to cue 
of a ditferent school — my " ranrfiVnViend," the writer of " Why Not?"- 
Deputy of the Vi'md of I'arriiigdou Witliin. He 

'' 'Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike, 
Just hints a fiiult, and hesitates dislike." 

Mr. Deputy Charles Kecd, F.S.A., moved the resolution in the 
Guildhall, July (hli, 1861; "That the Public Libraries aud Kewa 
Room Act, 1855, be adopted for the City of Londoa." The poet from 
whom I have just quoted, lells na — 

" 'Tii3 not enoiigli taste, judgment, learniup, join : 
lu all you speak, let tratk and canduur nkhte. 

I was present at this turbulent and disgraceful meeting, and, 
certainly. I am bound to admit, as some palliation for the noisy Jiishopa- 
gate boys, tlie question could not have been more indiflereutly or clumsily 
argued. Tlie learned deputy positively invited hostility ; and coquetted 
with a measure, for wliich he too plainly showed he had no atlection. The 
principle of a rate is thorou;;Iily obnoxious to him, and his '• 117*^ Nol f 
13 a vain but laboured effort to bolster up the voluntary system aa 
applied to Ethicatioo. Wliy will Mr. Reed persist in ignoring this 
fundamental axiom, viz. : that the voluntary jdan may do to c-eale, bnt 
liris always failed to sustain Library and News Room institutions. But, 
to revert to his divmaging speech, in which he made noatfenipt to con- 
ciliate an impatient audience by demonstraung that a small IS'ews Room 
and Library Kate would be siivcd over and over again. He omitted to 
say one word on the most attractive feature, viz., iV'ett'.v Rooms. He 
ti'lcd lo make it appear tiiat hook reading in Manchester, llirmingliani, 
and other towns was the most alluring, and asserted that "3,000 
visitors per day" attended tlic Book Heading Rooms at Maiichejjter. 
But why conceal the fact that it was to the four rate supported iVe?t'» 
Sootiis that the Manchester people resorted? Mr. Reed did not scruple 
to assert "there will be no library rate !" And this F.S.A. had the 
effrontery to add, " Let tki' Irnlh prevail I" Let me inform this Jesuitical 
advocate that no cause in the world, not even so good a one as Free 
News Rooms and Lending Libraries, i* strengthened by a misstatement. 
Let a diseeniing public decide which is the moat honest and best 
promoter of Mr. Ewart'e Act— the Clergyman's aqn, or the son of the 
Dissenting minister ? 

Mr. Deputy C. Reed is an impediment to progress. His trite 
remarka on Education, as oppo.sed to Ignorance, were entirely out of 
place. Such a lame, impotent defence, or rather such a total iguoring 
of an Act of Parliament, which the meeting was expres.sly called to adopt, 
or reject, was ne\'er heard. 1 am not surprised it was hissed. It was, 
iu fact, a complete failure. 

The Lord Mayor will summon a meeting this year to take another 
vote as to the adoption of thiij gracious Act; and 1 hope so great a scheme 
of public instruction will not again bo jeopardised by so incompetent a 
leader as Mr, Reed. 

" JTo/i tali auxilio, nee d^engoribm litis," 

He is utterly inadequate as a leader, and his "aid" is even more 
damaging than that uf Mr. Hartridge, C.C. 

At a time when the pulpit aud the press avc ft<x\Vvwj, Vss *5ba. 
mastery, are struggling to rival each oltvw, 'U \ft a. ?>?A.-w9sX cS.\«:t«s^'^^s«! 



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ill the Clergy to cxliibit apatliy, if not liostllity to the maguiificent, yet 
economic, measure which forms tlie subjoct of my [japoi". Periuit me 
to tell the pastors of the Clturcti that they are much indebted to the 
hon. member for Duuirrics for supplying tbem with a lever by which 
they can rctjenerate their flocks. 1 deliglit to regard News Rooms aa 
School Churches, Why, a News Room rate would be a rate in aid to 
Clerks ill orders. It would be politic on your ]»art to do what i/ou can 
to ameliorate the condition of the poor by voting for the adoption of the 
Act in the City of London. 

The !/7mejf, October 14tli, commenting on a speech of tlie Bishop of 
Oxford, liiis a leader on the duty of spreadi^ip the light of the Gospel in 
foreign parlit. Very true. Bnt, 1 contend, the FIRST imperatire 
oblifration of the Clergy is to endeavour, in the way I have pointed out, 
to humanise and Chrixiianist the poor at home. I entirely agi'ee with the 
Rev^ Riiihard Ilibbs, M.A., whose sermon on "The Wrongs of the 
Poor" I cannot sufficiently admire, that the " admin istratioa of relief at 
our Workhouses, and tlic spirit of the Poor Law Enactm(?nfcj aro 
abhorrent to our nature." A poor man, 73 years of age, and blind, 
committed suicide that he niiglit not be handed over to the tender 
mercies of the Bctliual Greeu Union! What a sad commentary on 
" Guardians of the Poor," and " Poor Law Commissioners !" Mr. llihba 
hits certain Guardians, but not harder than they deicrve. Tiiesc gentry, 
in most instances, are possessed with the one idea of keepiiifr down the 
rates. The Parochial autborities of the richest parish iii London, St. 
George, Hanover Square, arc graphically described. " We have seen," 
writes Mr. llibbs, " to what class of men the comfort of the indigent and 
the aged, the orplian and the destitute, are confided, at that mockery of u 
public meeting lield in the Parish of St. George, where members of the 
Vestry howled, stamped, yelled, and hooted, like the lowest frequenters of 
a penny theatre, at the proposition to adopt the Public Libraries and News 
Rooms Act, 1855, for that rich parLsh." Talk of the dark places of the 
earth ! I can only glance at the un.speaknblo horrors of Ilol/f/ Bujth 
Lane, Bethnal Green. Children blood-poisoned — dying from the impurity 
of tho air they breathe! Youiir; English boys and girls killed in 
pestilential districts that fringe the City of London ! And this worse 
than heathen sacrifice permitted to go on, year after year, to satisfy tho 
WICKED GREED of the owners of hutnaii '■'■ d/rellivgx," not (it to bo 
inhabited by wild bt-ast.s! And this in tho 19t(i century iu tlio jear of 
Grace, 1864! Thai civili^jatiou must be very impeiftict, which, in spite 
of our boasted philanthropy and sclf-gloritication, can tolerate such 
iniquity, and suffer it to continue with impunity. Let me tell the Bishop 
of Oxford that it is rank bypocriisy, as vain an assumption of piety a& 
can be conceived, to prat-e about '* foreign missions," while ihafintt duty 
of converting the heathen at home remains ujifultilled. Can any 
" foreign '' or pagan land exhibit such dreadful haunts of woo, such 
terrible abodes of filth and fever, as that which eiirircles the City of 
London I Dr. Letheby'a account of the fearful condition of Bethnal 
Green is a bill of indictment against Iiouseowuers and parish officers. 
The DEXS in which the poor of London are lodged are a reproach to 
any people, especially those who make a. prafexnion of religion, and who 
boast of their civilisation. Well, let the London Clergy FIRST convert 
Psigan Property owners at HOME, before sending expensive *' missions" 
to the uttennost parts of the earih ! 

Talk of the ^''darh places of the earth T Where cau more eager, 
deroi&i worshippcrg of MONEY, or of BACCHUS be found tlian iu 



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this collection of towns called London? HERE are Idols as real, 
Sacrifices as hideous aud mischievous, as any in a ht-atlicn land. That 
13 3 sad day f >r the Gospel and the Church when the project T have 
indicated, is called ^'■secular" and not sutTiciciirly "religious" to be 
urged from the pulpit ! lean uiuk>r.stand the opposiiion of Romatiista 
to thld wise Act. The Romish .'it/sie/n caimot endure the light of intel- 
ligence. Priests of that gfjatem do not want their people to be enlightened, 
but YOU, the Clergy of the Church of England, that CImrch which will 
stand or fall, as it tueetiS the requirements of the age, have no interest 
whatever iu keeping the Key of Knowledge to yourselves. *'Once 
again," I exhort you to preach in favour of this most judicious legislative 
measure. Next to tho preaching of the (xospel, I know of no meanu so 
calculated to humanize, no agency so effectual to improve the hahita of 
tlie people aj3 the general adoption of Mr. Ewart's Act. Don't take 
refuge in the wofnl, wretched cant about " secular " topics I The wonder 
is the Clergy can see tlie drinking to excess, and hear the oaths aud 
obscene language of the most detestable kind in all quarters of the City, 
the wonder, the amazement is, the Clergy are not shocked into ti-ying to 
remedy these scandalous im proprieties by the easy, simple, inexpensive 
proces.'j I have so often pointed out. 

I am aware the pulpit is a hazardons object of attack ; yet I 
must remark there is no greater nuisance than indifferent, tedious, 
badly delivered sermons. Sad hearts shiver at the way in which 
texts are interpreted by vain scioli^t?,^ — texts too Avbich arc sermons 
in themselves ! " Oh, that they would not [ireacli," is tlie sigh echoed 
all over England in ttie Sunday quiet. If a Clergyman has no talent 
for preaiihiiig, let him eschew the pulpit. " If only he woold not 
preach, — if the dull voice droning in our ears were only silenced," 
cries many a weary, aggravated soul! Whence arises this cryP 
Because /Ac pulpit is false to its trust Whoever heard a sermon 
directed pointedly agaiu.'^t the rite practice of secret- poisoning, or 
Starvation and tliL^ Kew Poor Law, or the hideous crime of infanticide, 
or the inordinate LOVE OF MONEiT, and yet the Clergy should thus 
admonish their hearers, or morality is a name, and sermons a pretence. 
Can a woman forget her child ? biiecan not only forsake, but bow many 
young women can cruelly murder their offspring, or procure the means 
of abortion, to the discredit of our Christian Religion, — the reproach of 
our vaunted civilization Tet not a whisper of such forbidden topics 
from the pulpit. It is " indelicate and secular, and not religious or 
spiritual enough for tiie pulpit!" The Clergy have not that sympathy 
with those of low degree which they ought to have. Tlicre is too much 
of the noli me iangere about them. " Toifch mc not," or " keep i/our hands 
off" is their motto. They sadly forget that pride ill becomes their 
cloth, and that a domineering, proud mien is most intolerable. You 
wJio churlishly refuse to set forwai-d the News Rooms Act for ttie City, 
are blind to your noble mission of enlightening society at its greatest 
crisis. I have been received with scant courtesy, if uot rudeness, by the 
London Clergy. 

My letters uot even acknowledged ! Some of yon have been com- 
plaining of your hard work and poor pay. The Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sioners are, it apjioars, vehemently as-sailcd by a *'pack of hungry 
jtarsons." — \_Time.% December 8th.] 

Well, I am doing what I can to lighten ijour labours. I am, in fact, 
dovtg yoar work. If your stipends are small, you dQ \^^X, ^>s^ 
grataitoualy as I do. Surely fio\n jox, at ;\\\ CTtuXjfe, ^ ih&^R.t-s't. '*.'«i\^9. 



1^ 

of Moovnigeaieot, not irowas of reproof. "Feed mj sheep" — [St. 
Joba. XT.- "'■ '■'v.] — was the memorable and thnce repeated iojmiction 
of our L ! LORD to Sim-m PelCT, who said, '"Lord, Tboa 

lowirfcfet - ^,; Thou knowest that I love Thee.** "JESUS gaith 

luto bim, ' Feed my sheep.* " You cannot take up a newspaper without 
•eeiog in the pulice reports the sad effects of readi^ pernicious books : — 

"There are at present in the costodj of the Hall Police three youths, who 
hare been apprehended on a charge of committing s burglary by breaking 
opea the offices of the Tdegraph Couipany, and stealmg a fium of money,** 

Bj their own confession they have been initiated into crime hj reading 
the Li/e of Dick Turpin, and similar gallows literature. What a different 
Uanqaet for such ciiaracterg would the Free Libraries ^PP'j • Well, 
by a wholesome, beaitbj, natritioag literature, freclj clrcalated in the 
most destitute and abandoned localitiea, vou do in gome degree *' feed " 
the people ; you do in the only practical way weaa and withdraw from 
the low tavern, and •' compel " by the force of snperior attraction, the 
ruing generation efpecially, to enter yonr News Rooms, or, as 1 delight to 
fctyle tliem, " Schofil Churches," or "Homes of Refuge." The Clergy 
forget, or rather they do not like to remember, that when all is said and 
douc, they hare maile little or no impression on the habits of the people 
in the way of reformation. You don't descend to the working classes, 
and the result is they won't hear you. lu your Churches are not seen the 
lowly and iudnstrious. Well, you must tempt, you must constraiu them 
U) enter. You mast talk to thi-m after the fashion of tlie Rev. Richard 
Hibbs, M.A., the open-air Preacher. Imitate this gentleman in his bold, 
outspoken, uncompromising discourses. Why, his sermons aie a triumph 
of Clerical Engluili pluck ! His deDuuciations of the cruel law of Settle- 
ment, and Opera House Extravagances, are well and forcibly put, and 
do him great credit. He wrestles with the President of the Poor Law 
B'lard about the equalisation of the poor rate with the courage and 
endurance of a ^^ King " or royal athlete. He is not deterred by the 
cuck'io-cry that "it is not right fur a Clergj-man U) interfere in polities." 
He well knows this is mere moral babble, uttered, to»i, by those who 
ouj,'l«t to know that more than half the Biblo consists of politics. 
What iHjJitical agitators were Elijah and Eltsha? What political 
nam|iltlut8 may be found in the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Gzekiel ? 
Wliy nut speak as freely conceroing the sUortuciniiigs of the Nation — 
naliuiiiil offences — us did those servants of the Moi^t High ? 

My n.-vercud friend and I are labuuring in tlnj same field, to raise 
up the dowii-troddtMi [loor! 1 cannot help contrasting tlie stiff, lianghty. 
Papal Nuncio uir of certain of tiie LoiuJoii Clergy with the treatment of 
Boron L, N. de Rot hscliiUI, M.P., and Sir Francis 11. Guld^mid, Bait, JI.P., 
who eacli, instead of fiercely repulsing a Clergyouin's sou^ subscribed in 
the kindest mainier for forty copies of this pamphlpt. Well, in com- 
parison wirh tlio priest, I infinitely prefer the dt;porlmciit of these 
euliglitened Jews. Tliey made me realize the ^vcrds of that remarkable 
Prtalinofllio Royal David, the sweet singer of Israel. "Commit thy 
way untrj (he I/)RD, and put thy trust in Ilini, and He shall bring it 
to p;i88. Hold thee still in the LORD, and abide patiently upon Him." 
rPfalui xxxvii. v. 5, 7.] Baron L. N. dc Rotlischild, M.P., and Sir 
v. H. Gold.-imid, Bt. M.P., have tiiat vvliiclj these ujibelieving priests 
have not, — faith and ctiaiity — faith in progre.^s, — faith iu a [)re-ciuinently 
good wurk. Let iric once again preach to the preachers 1 You alto- 
gether forget that you are the paid sertfints of the State, not the miisters. 
You bhould especialiy eschew the acrimonious Hpirit of party. You are 



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quick enonph in (liscerning wliat you deem erroneons in the writings of 
Clergymen distinjj;u:shed for their great learning and genius. You want 
to monopolize the dignities of tbe Churcii, and seem to forget that the 
venomous "Remarks" of yonr party on the appointment of Professor 
Stanley to the Deanery of Westminster are utterly rf'pngnant to the 
gi'eat body of the laity. With the Rev^. E. P. AriiokU I thank the 
Governmfint for this appointment. It iss clear from the patronizing tone 
of Canon W^ordsworth's " Rcm.irka," that in hia own estimation he h the 
Church. "[ AM THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND!" eselaima this 
infallible Westraiaster Pope. I kiioiv nothing more gratnitously 
insulting than his assuming that Dr. Stanley had recanted his opinions. 
No doubt this unseemly opposition, this snarling, dog-in-the-manger 
protest, originator in the odhjm theologicum, in a uaiTow-minded exclu- 
siveness, and especially in a dread of free ci'itieisni. The Wordsworth 
oracle fulminates against the few men of genius that our Church can 
number. Iftliat acute Prelate, the Bishop of Oxford, confides in Dr. 
Stanley, and retains him as his examining Chaplain, this fact alone ought 
to satisfy reasonable persons. It is time this envious, carping criticism, 
on the part of a section of the Clergy came to an end. Cease yoni" 
groanings about doctrine, and deplore what is really deplorable in the 
fii'jtciplifie of the Churuti ! But says the Rev. R. Smith, the "spiritual 
interests of the laity arc at stake." \^Times, Dec. 19.] Well, it would 
be more to your credit to exhibit some anxiety for the temporal interests 
of the laity. If you utterly ignore the one why siiouhl we submit our 
judgments in the other? It is a relic of popery to assemble in Convo- 
cation witiiQUt a sprinkling of the taity. I am aware it is the shrewd 
practice of the Church oF Rome to reduce the laitif to vusignificajice. 
Perhaps the Bishop of Oxford, who is facile princeps as a dogmatist, 
and who can blend the .viavUer in made with the fortikr in re [that is, 
who can conduct a controversy pleasantly in tiutnner, but with as little 
charity and as much theological bitteruesa as possible] will explain why 
the Church of England is styled the Reformed Church ; if it retains in 
all its rigidity, the worst features of that of Rome ? It is time the iaity 
were treated with .some consideration, and not regarded as mere paijing 
machines. It is one of the Evidences of Christianity, that " to the POOR 
the Gospel is preached." But under the peto-si/stem preaching the 
Gospel to the poor is tiimply that which cannot be done, whilst the 
people are virtually excluded from parish Churches. Well, this scandal 
would be soon rectified, we should soon have Free and Open Churches, 
were the laity elected to Convocation, and treated with due respect as 
in the Protestant Episcopal Church of the disrupted States. It is a 
farce to call it the " poor man's Church," if you appropriate the sittings 
to the highest bidder I This Proprietary Chapel business is simply 
opprobrious. 

If the Pew Sale system is to continue, no Church, or Chapel should 
be licensed by the Bishop unless a third of the Sittings are free. But 
it is time pews were superseded by free, open seats, as at All Saints' 
Church, Margaret Sfrcet, and Offertory collections substituted for Few 
rents. There is nothing like Equality as to Church sittings. I 
abominate the "high premium and highest bidder" system. It ia 
literally converting the " House of Prayer " into a Sales Room. An 
enterprising parson, not loo squeiimish, takes a Church or Chapel on 
"spec," and disposes of the sittiugs to the highest bidder. 

It is precisely after the fashion of timt astute man of business, the 
"Rev." Henry Ward Beecher, only that the auctioneer is wanting. 




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Every year tlic sittings in Mr. Beeciier's "Ciiurch" arc sold at a bigh 
premium. Tfaehigliest premium paid in January, 1864, was iOO dollars, 
and 180 dollars. The sales amounted to over 32,000 dollar,^ ! 

The very idea of "free sittings" is, of coarse, disgn="ting[ " O, 
reform it altogether," The Laity is not the dull, inanimate body of 
twenty years since. An enrjuinng generation lias grown up ! 

'ihi'Iiheral tlieolofty of the Bi->liop of Natal, who believes his views 
to be tnu.', and thorct'orc salutary— [IHsFiyp Gray's decree can only 
operate as a censure, and cannot deprive him of tha temporalitiea of the 
^k;e] — has aroused a spirit (}( examiTiatinn And search among educated lay- 
men, to which their fathers wore utterly unaccustomed. They are 
curious enough to enquire why As,«essors in Judgment upon a Bishop 
are selected only froiu the dignilicd clergy? They are qnite sick of the 
domineiTing of this class of Clerks in Orders, and loudly demand a 
RESTITCTION of their rights. 

Had the Laity a voice in Church affairs the lock-up pew system 
would be abolished, and such a question as a society in Fleet Street is 
discussing would be unnecessary — '■ Ought an Order of Clergy to be 
instituted sftecially as Teachers of the Poorer Cla-sses ?" 

The assembling of the Clergy and Laity woold tend to Christian 
UNITY". Speaking for my own Order, the Laity are hardly ilcalt with ! 
How many real grievances must he silently endured without tha 
slightest influence to remove or abate tliem ! First of all, we hare 
three Services rolled into one — a vain repetition and conglomeration of 
Prayers, Litany, Psalmody, and Communion Service — and a fearfal 
expectation of drowsiness aiiddisgu.st at the inevitable sermon, preached 
sometimes by a young man wlio would not earn lOs. a week in any 
other calling. How much relating to discipline, and the coniluctiug the 
Services, is diametrically opposed to the wishes of the Laity ! It never 
can be expected, nor is it m cessary, that more than a fimal! projHjrtlon 
of the 16,000 Clergy should be really luarned divines — should be able to 
combat iutclligcntly thtj most learned of sceptical philosophers. If 
the Laity hnd a voice in Convocation, if they were not so onfairly ex- 
cludetl, they would insist on a knowledge of H(;brew in all candidates 
for Ordera Yet how few of the Clergy know a syllable of Hebrew I 
How few (literates excepted) liave studied theology! How few can 
write a sermon; or deliver itl How few can read the fi^ervice, or 
preach decently ! Why, little as £100 a year may be for a qualified 
Curate, it is more than very many incompetent Curates deserve. The 
fact is, they are not worth their salt. They have missed their vocation, 
and are dear at. any price, and are more fitted to handle the plough than 
to preach a sermon that will command attention. 

The Rev. Canon Wordsworth forgets his position. He i.« not 
Master of the Church, but a Serennt of the Crown. He forgets also that 
the very word parif/ is a stigma on our Church. It ia incumbent on the 
Clergy especially to "honour all" — [Trujraf ]At St. Peter, ch. ii., t. 
17.] — who are engaged in any good work. An ounce of winning 
courtesy, of good breeding, a particle of good manners or example, is of 
more value, has more effect, than a ton of lecturing and precept I Let 
me remind the Clergy of this Diocese of the vast amount of infidelity 
—the great assemblage of Mormonism — of worse than Heathenism — 
that festers in this collection of towns called London. Why, in this 
Metropolis there are upwards of one million of persous who never enter 
a Church or Chapel, or come in contact with any form of Christian 



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You cannot escape the logical iufcience that if you— the Clergy, the 
paid tcucliers of EtJiIois, the authoriiud teachers of ChristiaTiity— are 
inLliffui-ent, or pointedly refuse, in the most cavalier style, to aid a move- 
niont which will reduce the poor-rate, diminiak drunkenness, nnd educate 
the people — a humanisinjf measure which could be carried in the City 
if tlie beneficed Clergy of the City of Loudou so willed it — that you are 
Morally responsible for the ignorance, ih-uukenness, and 
destitution that prevails. 

With these dephtrable statistics staring you in the face, can you 
with a vestige of propriety, as paid servants of the Crown, refuse to co- 
operate in settintr up in the City of Loudon, School Churches, or " Homes 
of Refuge," or News Rooms, under Mr. Ewart's wise Act ? The Rev. 
E. V. Arnold makes an excelleut suggestion about night schools in con- 
nection with News Rooms. 

" Stanley Villa, Torquay, Dec. 22nd. 
"Dear Sir, 

" I wish yon every success, and quite agree with you 
that we want ctinntfir attractions to the public houses. It is of no use 
to shut up the only places where a poor man at present can find cheerful, 
warm and comfortable qnai-ters and company after his day's work, until 
we do a great deal to improve his home for him, and open such healthy 
means of instruction aa you now wish to do. It is my helief that night 
schools would be most efficiently and successfully carriod on in connection 
with such Libraries and News Rooms. There mifrlit be a small room 
in which teaching might be going on for those who wished it. But this 
is a wide subject, mid I have no time to enter upon it now." I entirely 
concur in thia recoiumendatlon. The fact is, the full amount of good 
which lies in a library rate can uener &<*/«% developed, without Schools 
are increased, and facilities for elementaiy education arc multiplied. 
Let me remind the Revs. T. Ilugo, J. E. Cox, J. Jacksou, T. Rowsell, 
P. Dale, F. Heasey, W- J. Troos, J. E. Kerape, A. Povah, C. J. Phipps 
Eyre, and J. Llewelyn Davies, M.A. that St. Paul had wonderful gifts, 
oratory unequalled, and erudition the most profound. But besides all 
this the great Apostle was a perfect genifemati, which cannot truly be 
averred of the Rector of St. Margaret, Lothbury. Had I been engaged 
in devising mischief, in.«tead of an enduring benefit, I could not hare 
been more cauincly treated. Not one sentence would thia domineering, 
intolerant parson allow me to utter in support of Mr. Ewart's Act for 
the Citj'. 1 was nut *' accredited to him," and he '• would not hear me." 
Ta such conduct compatible with the great law of kindness, without 
which 

" Sweet religion makes 

A rhapsody of wordB,"— HAMLET, Act .1. b. 4. 

And our Christian profession is but aa 

" Sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." — t Oor, xiii, ch. v. 1. 

From what inhospitable region springs this churlish priest? Such 
dogmatic "Church teaching" smacks of Popery. Comes this austere 
Cardinal from the Emerald Isle? Perhaps from Stepney's classic shore, 
the Orieutal Isle of DOGS! 

It is twelve months since, on the second rejection of the Tabraries 
Act for Kensington Parvth., with its seventy thousand inhabitant.8, 
I pointed out the boon of three News Rooms, viz., one in Notting 
Hill, one in Brompton, and oue in Ken9iug;tou, •A.ud'aViSa^Nt^ 'Cwss^'V^. 
in the pound, producing £800 ptr AT\uv\vn, -flCiNJiW "wsSS^^yi. "tot 'Cosset 



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nuiintcMnee. I fnMphiBwt af the ta m i a ta d Ae Ckrgy ia not nip> 
porting me. I partfrafariy iHafcd to AxrUeaeoa Snelav, Yiearof 
Kensington, and aoa of Sir Geoi^ Biaeiiir, lb— fa of the Board of 
Agricaltnre. He Bae e etded Mr. Potts as Ticar in 18^ and with his 
▼lews on National Bdncation he o^^t to hare w tJiu ai ed the promoter 
of a scheme of lostmetioD that appealed to sonnd eommon sen^. I 
hare repeatedly called on the Vicar, bat *m enrtij iaitemed that "■ he 
will not see me, bat that I muss WTrte." I wrote, bat not a sjliable of 
repir * as voochaafed. I.^ me teli Mr. Arcbdeaeon Sinelair that advo- 
eacj like mine is painfiil enough, and mflSdentlj rare, and oogbt to 
spare and shield me from 

-'' The pvnd man^ eoDtomdy. — 

The insidenee of office, aodtbe^ams 
Ihat patient nKrit of the imwortnr lakes^" 

Mj letter to the Yicar runs tbns : — 

» 24, Queen's Road, W., Sept. 2Sth, 1863. 
"Rev. Sir, 

" Believing as I do that the rate snppoited Free Library 
and News Room Educational movement is conducive to a higher grade 
of iatellectnal and moral cnltore, I am naturally anxious that you shoald 
give it your vote and interest. This is just one of those questions which 
80 much requires the benefit of Clergy. I deeply feel the necessity of 
raising the people to a higher intellectual grade, but what can I do if 
the Vicar and Incumbents of this wide Parish, are hostile or indifferent? 
It is, Sir, I can as^nre you, quite enough to contend with the narrow- 
mindedness and self-conceit of the laitff, without clerical opposition. 
Why at the last public meeting of the rate payers to take a vote, 
Dec. 19, 1862, I was overwhelmed by a flood of as low and rough 
persons a.s any the beer- shop keepers could assemble. They wonld not 
hear me, and loaded me with abuse. 

" Yesterday I coniitcd thirteen, public lionses for the sale of spirits and 
beer in High Street, Kensington, within 100 yards of the Church! It 
is vain, — it is stupidity to complain that men and women become 
demoralized and pauperized by the adulterated drink sold in these 
houses, if you make no effort, if you adopt no practical remedy to 
COUNTEKACT them. When I annually bring forward Mr. Ewarfs 
Act for your parish, I am defeated by a dexterous artifice of your 
Ctmrchwardeu, Charles Greenway. He appoints 10 a.m. [an awkward 
time for tradesmen] to hold the meeting- And yet the Requisition to 
the Overseers requests it may be held at " seven o'clock in the EeeniugV 
There would be n chance of carrying the Act in the Evening, none what- 
ever at 10 a.m. From the tenour of yonr seraion yesterday (Romans 
12 ch, 15 V.) I am perstiadi-d yon will not sanction snch miserable 
trickery. I indulge the hope that, dejected as I -am from so much un- 
Bcrnpuloua oppositton, you will instruct j'our Churcliwarden to act 
honestly in tins mmtter. Thus far, I hope, you will aid me: thus far 
" ' weep with tht'm tliat weep.' " 

Snrcly the Archdeacon might have vonchsafed some reply. He 
cannot plead the engrossing caa.'S of family, for like his predecessor, Mr. 
Pott, hc: is « biii'hfliir . Kit jiii.tsunt, this is too bad ! Twice I have im- 
porluiu'd tlwi Chuncellur of the iil.xcliequer to put a graduated tax on 
baclielMrs, with incoiiics of £150 and upwards. Why a rich Clerical 
haclietor i» a t^liLinu'fid an<jii)aly ! Such unpardoiiuhic eccentricity 
kIkiiiIiI 1)0 rigidly dealt with by our conscientious linanco minister I 



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Too much self-esteem, or arrogance, is indecoroua in a layman, but is far 
n^ore offensive In a dignified Clergyman I 

" Taiittene animh cmlefifthnji irw?" — ^VcRGIL. 

Can heavenly minds descend to such petty reaentments P Clerical 
obatructivea, tnic to tbeir inatinctSf would deny to the Commonalty 
the blessing of Free Reading, and ignore the fact that it ia cheaper 
to instinct and amuse the mind, than to support the pauper and the 
criminal. Not a vestige, not an atom^ of faith have they in the world's 
Progress I In the words of Feshts, they 

" Support not the good cause 

Of the world's better future !" 

t expect to find in the Rev. W. Rogers, M.A., a zealous coadjutor, 
I will quote hia words. "' Tlio cause of Edncatioa I have always 
upheld," Judging from my own experience, the rector of St. Botolph will 
have a dilficnlt task in converting his parishioners to views of common 
sense I I have always held the Clefgy alone can effectually disarm 
senseless and factious opposition. They have opportunities of address- 
ing the people that I cannot hope for, and shall never attain. With the 
Clergy on our side we can effectually combat the combined attacks of 
the voluntary folk and the publicans. Only have faith in progress, and 
you ■will remove mountains of opposition, and scatter to the winds the 
pitiful sophistries of the Iguoraut party I 

Viewed as a literary, or rather political performance, the address by 
Lord Bronghara, delivered at Edinburgh, ia worthy of the highest 
praise. I have never read a more concise and luminous resamiS of 
public afTairs. Such a recapituIatioiL, such a mnltiim in parvo is a 
marvel in its way. Wliy the history of this envenomed, miserable 
contest that is ravaging the separated States of America was never 
more philosophically, or eloquently narrated I Only compare it with 
Messrs. Cobden and Bright's partial statements. As a diligent reader 
of Newspapers of 30 years' standing, I stake any sagacity or acumen, 
I may possess, that Mr. Cobden was never more e^regiously mistaken 
than iu giving utterance to his latest prophecy. He does not believe 
that he, or any one of his Rochdale auditors, will ever live to Hee two 
separate Nations withia the confines of the present "United" (qy. 
rfi>uuited) States of America. Why the North and South were united 
in name only. They are, and have always been, dt^ facto, tum distinct 
peoples, or nations. A bickering, unhappy couple, with no two opinions 
in common, the wonder ia that such an ill-assorted " Union " was not 
years agone dissolred, and rent in twain I Well, the long-expected 
divorce has come at last, and I for one rejoice; and, as T said at 
Exeter Hall, July 2, 1861, ^'I was delighted that the hateful Union 
had suddenly come to an end." Lord Brongham, in this masterly 
Address, has shown, mi gericfisy the real cause of quarrel, and that it 
is simply nntrne to assert, with the member for Bochdale and hia 
faction, that the Soutli are not fighting for independence, but to per- 
petuate and extend human slavery. It ia the rapid sketch of a con- 
summate artist, but so accurately delineated, so faithfully drawn, that 
once read, this Address can never be forgotten, nor forgiven by the 
Federalists and their pnrtisans. 

On (he important question of co-operation, Lord Brougham informs 
us, there are 5*21 co-operative societies, registered by Mr. Tidd Pi-att, 
witii about 700,000 members, transacting business to the amount of 
£2,000,000 and upwards. It seems this remarkable movement was 




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Kociidale. Their yearly income 

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cominenced by 40 working men at Kociidale. Their yearly income 
ro&e to £150,000. Tlie profits were 20 per cent on the capital, of 
whicli part is devoted to a library and reading room, and 5 per cent, 
distributed to the ehareholders. In the face of facts like these, Lord 
Bronghnm might well exclaim at the City of London Congress, 1862, 
ttat " Co-operation was becoraiog a power in the State." It is a great 
featare in these societies that provision is always made for the improve- 
meut of the members by setting apait a proportion of the savings or 
gains for the purchase of books and i)apcrs. 

Why the project of rate-supported Ncw3 Eooms, IreeJy open to all 
coraers, is but carrying out the co-operation principle, and illustrating 
the power of tho penny, not only for business, bat recreative and 
instructive purposes. A new phase of the co-oporative principle is 
seen in the guise of Working Men's Clubs, a movement which / 
initiated. The ZJaiTjf News is wrong in stating the Idea was first worked 
out in London in 1852; whereaa it was iu 1850 tlio iirst Club was 
established in Jersey, from which the 25 Chibs in London take their 
rise. The decline and fall of so many so called " Mechanii's Institutes," 
can obviously be traced to the cost. " Killed by high prires" is the 
chief cause of the inevitable collapse that awaits the Londnn Mechanics 
hutitvtc, and its progeny. Why tho building debt is withiu £300 of 
its liability 20 years ago. I anticipate a like downfall in clubs sus- 
tained on the patronage, or donatiun plan. I have not the slightest 
faith in such societies. By a small rate, that cannot exceed \d. in the 
£, the literary and recreative Club can alone be pennaneutly estab- 
lished. Once again, I repeat, that it is to rate-supported News-rooms, 
and Rfii to Working Men's Clubs, "paying 2d. per week, or Is. 6d. per 
quarter," that you must look for the spread of knowledge and intcllec- 
tnal culture. It may be said that Is. Gd. a quarter, or Gs. a year, is not 
nmch to pay to a Working Men's Club, I contend it is exactly 4s. Ad. 
loit much, as a half-penny rate in the pound on a £40 house \s 1#. 8<J!. 
8 year. If the Commissioners of the St. Margaret and St. John Free 
Library and News Room had managed their institution with even ordi- 
nary skill, with only a scanty exercise of social tact and discretion, the 
Club iu Duck Lane, Westminster, would not have been required. 
Instead of a smart, elegant exterior, an extremely dirty, repulsive, work- 
house-looking building (formerly a mechanics' institute) meets the eye. 
Why meanly ginulge the full amount of the rate for absolutely necessary 
expenditure? Need I tel! the committee with the beggarly parsimony 
they exhibit they are not only frustrating the intentions of the Legislature, 
but are depriving the Great Hmith Street New.s Room of a fair start. 
The Commissioners wonld have none of my reproof, and purposely to 
exclude my notes, issued an order to reserve the suggestion book for 
ratepatjers otdif 1 I am not censuring without reason, as my letter to 
Vlce-Chancdlor Sir William Page Wood will prove. 

" Dear Sir, — I haverecently visited the Free Public News Room, and 
taking as I do a paternal interest in its working, I hope you will forgive 
me if I point out one or two capital crrois of omission and commission. 
I have twice inspected this News Koom, and on both occasions, although 
the weather was peculiarly Englisii, {i.e., niw, with bleak, easterly 
winds,] the windows were wide open! The room was icy cold. I 
literally shivered. On rcciue.sting the Uhrariuu-pnrter, [in this economic 
cstablishnu'iit the two offices are, or wei-e combined] tu close the win- 
dows, ho replied his orders were " to discourage persons from lounging 
away their time I" Sir, I take it, the design— at all events, one of the 



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objects of this News Room is to set up a powerful counter attraction to 
the ptTuicious innuence of the low cabarets in thia locality. To attract, 
not to repel, slinnld be tlie firnt eiideavoar. Tlie genius loci is Discourage- 
ment. It ia just the port of gloomy apartment to banish gaiety, and drive 
away erery pleasant thought I Truly thia doleful, cavernous den is a 
melancholy spectacle I It conjures up to the imaginatioa " regions of 
sorrow," where 

" hope never comes 

That comes to all ;" 

Pabadibe Lost : Book 1st, line 66. 

What a cheerless, wretched aspect this News Boom, {vfhich might 
be made so cheerful and so attractive] presents ! How often have I 
prote.sted against a atarvinj,', peiiiirioa.s, cheeseparing policy! My 
earnest desire ia to refer to your Parochial Institution as n model founda- 
tion. Truth compels mc to declare that I never inspected a hens in quo 
the aspect of which was so utterly uninviting. I have objected again 
and again to such a clumsy, awkward, contrivance as horizontal stands 
for reaxiing Newspapers. I trust the Commissioners will give iiistruc- 
tioiis to have desks and stools. It is too bad to oblige people to read 
with the risk of straining theii' necks and injuring their sight. Finally, 
I have only to add that 1 hope yon will take my criticism in good part." 

In my pamphlet published in 1858, by Charles J. Skeet, 8vo., 
92 pp., " How to Reduce Poor Rates," I referred to the News Room, 
as another name for " tllub." *' If the (London) Club, or News Room is 
beneficial to the gentleman, why not also to the working man f The 
inauguration of such a practical scheme could not fail to attract the so- 
called working classes. Now m some degree, lojigo intemalto, the News 
Room, ntider the Libraries' Act, might be made to resemble the truly 
comfortable clubs of Pall Mall," pp. i21. In 1850 I was residing at St. 
Helier, Jersey, and corresponded w^ith the local press on this particular 
topic. In that year the iirst " Working Men's Association," or "Club," 
was founded. In the face of facts like these the Moriiitig Star, with 
despicable meanness, refused the insertion of my letter, Oct 19, 1863, 
demonstrating my claim to have ori^dnated Working Men's Clnba. 

A Mr. J. A. Bastard, [an ominous name I] was mentioned at the 
Edinburgh Congress, as the founder of Working Men's CInbs. A similar 
claim ia set up for Viscount Ingestre, M.P., and Lord Lyttelton, but 
there is no reasonable doubt that whatever di^tinction may belong to 
the initiation of these Clubs, it is clearly and fairly mine. Only the 
other day Mr. Hai-per Twelvetrces, at a meeting of tlie Biomley Literary 
Association, acknowledged that my claim was well founded. I recently 
received a gratifying letter from a member of Parliament, wnoae good 
opinion I veiy much value. 

" Gloucester Hotel, Weymouth, Nov. 5th, 1863. 

" I will gladly take twenty copies of your publication, and 1 wish 
you all success. To have been the originator of Working Men's Ciobs 
is no inconsiderable glory." Well, thia is my due, my just title. I am 
fortified in this belief fi-om i-cading the report of a meeting, Oct. 6, 1863, 
to promote the EsfablLshment of a Club in Southwark. 

George Augustus Sala, Editor of the Daiii/ Telegraph, Chairman, 
and " iJcv " Washington Wilks, Editor Mornijig S/tir, and *' Conductor of 
tlie Service, South Place Chapel," the mover nf a rcsolntion. Surely 
tvmc originality pervaded tlieir titteranccB. Surely the penny Jipnipiter 




20 



Junior of the Press made no display of counteifpit thunder on this 
interesting occasion. What! the mighty fine Telegroph Scribe^ with 
his grand vocabulary, and Inxuiiant eIo(iuencc, the Editor of exuberant 
liberalism run mad, to malce his debut before a Southwarlt audience of 
TTorking men in the character of a literary pirate ] 

" And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep," 

Pahadise Lo>t : Book 4tlj,line 76. 

" Et Tu, Brute V And iSo, you, the Censpur litieraire, — flie model 
Instructor, the Pfieenix litpranim, tbe very phronix of literature, have 
joined the fraternity of petty- lalrones, and become a worshipper of 
Mercurim .' George Aiigastus filches ipmsima verba, the very worda of 
my pamphlet, without a syllable of acknowledgement 1 Not one woitl 
in praL^e of the nnihor of the morementy With charming frankness Sata 
" trusted the movement would succeed," or •' if you succeed I wish yon 
Buceeas." Let me tell the Telegraph liner that to abuse the originator 
of a movement which has Lord Brougham's " warmest approval and 
good wiahes" is not the way to deserre success. Let me inform this 
seusatioii novelist and liner that a little plain dealing, or common honesty 
is worth ft bushel of big words, — a whole ocean of rant and rodomon- 
tade. " ITonour to whom honour " is a text worth his studyinj;. The 
moral tone of the Telegraph is peculiar. It ia outrageously pnn-ient, yet 
nflfectcdly grave and pradish. It plays the part of public censor with 
the skiliiilnesa of a Mawworm. I can thoroughly understand its mali- 
cious intention in holding me up to public ridicule. The Telegraph 
rcmembera who scourged hi in in the " Address to the ratepayers of St. 
Maiylebonc " [18G0] and my still more recent remarks on its "MORAL 
tone 1" 

In dealing with an opponent the warmest admirers of the Telegraph 
must allow its Editor never spares any asperity of reproach, or brutality 
of insolence. For pure, unadulterated Bunhtm^ spiced with lewdness, 
and the vilest ribaldry, the Daily Talegraph is onsiirpassed, and inimit- 
able. Not oven the Reynolds' school of literature can vie witli it in 
mean, lewd, brutal language. The vltn])eration and utijtist cens.urc of 
the Miiming Star is not so intelligible. This Yankee satellite boasts of 
its " conscience," and its religious teaching ! The system of suppresi'ing 
the favourable mention of my name, and introducing it rndcly and re- 
proachfnlly, would be deemed Editorial smartness in J. G. Bennett's 
villanoua New York Herald^ and a vigoi'oos way of silencing an oppo- 
nent, but in a journal so prnfenxedbj pure and immaculate as the Star^ 
conducted as it boasts, not on Judaic, but Christian principles, SBch 
Editorial vivacity is simply disgusting. 

Welt, this conscientious print persistently advocatej» the Federal 
cause, and would make an America of England. It is never weary of 
arguing on the side of an enemy more thoroughly unscrupulous than the 
hordes of Attila ! Yes I this Bright^ occidental Slur, this anti-English 
Washington WiJka edited penny trumpet positively revels in "dirty 
work," — and takes delight in inventing disingenuous quirks to put onr 
dear country in the wrong. Let me warn Washington Wilks, in the 
words of the venerable nobleman, his clique and he have so wantonly 
reviled, that **a disregard oF truth is the root of all offences." With a 
want of candour that peculiarly belongs to the Spread Eagle Schoolj the 
Star feels no compunction in vilifying, no scruple whatever in slan- 
dering, the greatest statesman and plillosopher of the age, HENRY 
BROUGHAM. Why, Lord Brougham's address to the Edinburgh 



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CongreBs is aa terse, clever a piece of composition as hia Lordship has 
ever written. It is by far the most conciae resum6 1 have seen of the 
miaerable Transatlantic contest. The idle prat«xt — the stupid fallacy 
that the perpetuation of Slavery is the cause of secession, and not 
Southern Independence — ^or the right of Self-Goverunient, is trenchantly 
liandled and exposed. Hinc itl(B hcrimm! Lord Brougliam's UTCsis- 
tible logic is too much for the Star Editor. Ho cannot argue,— so he 
indulges in abuse, and reports a medley of the coai*sest reproaches. 
''Miserable spoilt old man" is applied to this Nestor of debate, and 
great public Instructoi" 

With " Washington " as a handle to his name the " Ed." of the Star, 
in his own estimation, is a very great man. His talk is of "rebels," but 
did It never occur to this partial Presss writer, that accident alone pre- 
vented the name of George Washington going down to posterity as a 
great "rebel?" Why any schoolboy could tell him that the '■'Union" 
of 1782 Cquasi Incus a non lucendo) originated in a very questionable 
rebellion. The Colonists !iad not a tithe of the grievances that JclfcrBon 
Davia can justly allege. Cannot this "liner" "assume a virtue if he 
has it not ?" O, who that has English blood in his veins, can reft-ain 
from sympathizing with General Lee and his bravo troops, an ai'uiy 
which boasts so Itttle, and yet which fights so valiantly I Why, there 
are few men in the Seceded States, who would not be willing " to die in 
the last ditch." Indeed, the behavioui" of Southerners in tho field has 
been throughout above all praise. They have exhibited heroism and 
a power of endurance unequalled perhaps in the world's histoiy. 
Depend upon it we shall rue the day that we allowed this gallant Con- 
federacy to be crushed under the iron heel of a military despotism. 

And here I am tempted to digi-ess to quote from the recent " Pai*- 
liameutary utterances" of the Rt. Hon, W. F. Cowper, M.P., whose 
masterly Educational addiess at Hertford cannot be mentioned with too 
much approbation. 

"It is only when young men have left school that that really important 
education begma widen must inliuenee their destiny in life. Wo must get rid 
of the old notion that education ends with school Ufa. On the contrarj', it ends 
not till the end of life, even should it end then. We are all our lives, whether 
we will or no, being educated to the circumstances around us, by thoso with 
whom we come into contact, by tliat which is occupying our thoughts." 

" We most be cracked up, we nnisti" ia tlie warning voice that 
greets every traveller in the Federal States of America, and this innate 
propensity to swagger, and to giossly exaggerate all their belongings, is 
well put by the right hon. gentleman. 

'* We have read in our history that democracies have for their temptation 
a love of war and a love of despotism — two strange ideas they would seem to 
anybody who had not studied history. But^ when we look beyond the 
Atlantic we see a couutry where power is most widely diffused, just the coun- 
trj' where there exists the utmost passion for ^va^, where every one is delighted 
and glorying in the magnificent proportions which their battle-fields nave 
i^eachcd, boasting that their battles la.st longer than battles ever lasted before, 
and that the Dumbers slain on each side are more uiiiaerous than ever were 
counted in previous battles, and where any cry for intervention is at once 
rejected as an affront and an insult " (Hear, hear.) 

Who that ia English born can help sympathising with a high-spirited 
people, unflinchingly enduring the most severe hai-d.sliips I What agony ! 
What suflcrings for food ! i'arched corn [maize hied in a skillet] at & 
fabulous price, and a tm cup full of water, wui'th more than chamiiagno 
in ft French caf&t Such a people, [sprung from ourselves] it is im- 




22 



possible bo subjugate, and I tell such Yankees as Washington "Wilka, 
and tht) '* Reu" Moncure Conway of Virginia ! tliat a man mast be 
a marble-hearted craven not to admire sucli heroism. 

W«ll, I may remark, enpiismut there ib not mncli to " crack up " In 
the name of Wmhing^hm. 1 have ever hehi that his vi-nomous treatmeut 
of the unfortunate Adjatant-General of the Briti&li army will leave a 
darlc and indelible stain upon hia character, Tlie youthfnl Major 
Audrd entreated Washington that he might die the death of a aoldier, 
But this vindictive " rebel," cnr-Silco, aternly refused this modest request, 
and bad him hanged l I know no more affecting speech than the last 
words of this gay and daring young officer, uttered on tlic scaffold. " I 
pray you that you will bear me witness that I met inj fata like a brave 
man I" Why tins much overrated Slaveholder, Washington, was a far 
worse rebel than the President of the Confederate States. It is impos- 
sible to read Jcffcraon Davis's addresses to his army, and other State 
papers, without a conviction that he is a man stamped by tlie hand of 
Nature witli a patent of nobility, and tliat the right of Independence, 
of Self-Goverument, bequeathed by the famous Declaration will be sur- 
rendered only with life. With Lord Byron, President Davis expresses 
his 

'' plain, ewom , downright deteatatlon 

Of every despotism in every nation," 

But to revert to the " Ed." Star, 0, it offends me to the soul, — it 
makes my blood boil like the springs of Hekla, it is bad beyond 
sufferance, — "it out lierods Herod," that such a small vanity as 
Wa-shitigton Wilks should have the temerity, the insolence, to attack 
Lord Brougham, the profundity of whose knowledge awakens a feeling 
of amazement! That this little pomposity, — this petty pi'uuy whistle 
should dare to attack IlENKY BROUGHAM, whose wisdom is almost 
unparatlek'd in history, and whose labours in the cause of Immau free- 
dom rcooundtd through two hemispheres, yeai-s before this recieant 
" Ed." saw the light! Enough of this charlatan. I leave him to Punch, 
for 1 am thoroughly sick of him. 

" Mr. Washington Wilks against Funeh, 

To fire oflf his pop-gun is free, , 
Like the navvy, when tliraKhed by his wife, 

li she likca )t, it doesn't hurt me. 

' ' HoneBt truth he prefers in the nude, 

To Bunkum arrayed in shot ailks. 
And would rather he wronp with & BROUGHAM, 

Than right with a Washington Wilks I" 

It argues gi-eat inexperience of American character — of the sort of 
men who compose the Federal Government, to suppose tlie frightful 
carnage of the Irish [who are always pat in the front of the battle, 
Yankees fighting by proxy,] is au anti-slavpxT- sacrifice. 

No such thing. To speak of the war originatinf; in a de&ire to 
abolish slavery on the part of the Federals is simply a wicked falsehood. 
The kiiel of slavery ha.s sounded, bnt uo thanks to the Yankeo-s uho 
to picaerve the ao-callcd " Union" would have befriended the "peculiar 
institution" ad nifinitum. Not from a particle of love to the slave, but to 
gi-atify an iuordluiite ambition, and an immortal hate to tliL' Southerneis, 
the abolition of slavery may »ow be the war policy. Not so at the out- 
set. But as the war drags on without any decisive result, slavery luay 
disappear before its iron tread. The shuffling and quibbling of "hcaest 
old Abe" must come to an cut!, and with an eye to re-election, Aboli< 



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la Liis ti'ump card. It is quite likely this jocose and ii'reeoltito 
Pre.^i(lcnt will repent of hia repentance. Yet I cannot help respecting 
him for his na'iveie. I cannot help comparing bis unaffected simplicity 
with tho diissembling tortaoua clique that hedges him in. Trained to the 
meane.st mannal labour, Mj-. Lincoln came to his high office with less of 
practical experience in governraeiit than any of his predecessors, iiut 
'*01d Abe" has quite enough penetration to di3cern the wiles aud 
atratagenia of arch Iiypocrit«s like Beecher, Sumner and Wendell 
Phillips, who dictated the infamous Emancipation decree. Well, it is 
refreshing to read President Liacoln' a recent confession abont this Pro- 
clamation. Its candoar atones for a nialtitade of sins. No doubt this 
precious triumvirate 

" Grinn'd horrible, a ghastly gmile, to hear " 

Paradise Lost. Book 3, line &46. 

Mr. Lincoln's sincere declaration, viz., " that Proclamation was the- 
greatest folly he ever committed in hia life." To persist in describing 
this struggle as an " Abolition War," in the face of honest Abe's words, 
viz., " If I can restore the Union by npholdiug aud confirming slavery, 
I am for slavery," is not only the height of impudence, but is nothing 
less than pestilent cant. If the Federals and Confederates have one 
feeling in common, it is tho prejudice against colour, or Negr-pkohia. 
Bnt the genuine rancour — the real antipathy to the swarthy race can 
alone be found in the so-called " Free States." There aversion to the 
negro reigns supreme I In New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, you 
have the idgger pew. No coloured man is suffered to pay for a box or 
pit seat in the theatre. Nolens vulcnx he is thrust into the nigger gallery! 
The love of the ncgio — "a man and a brother," is a flimsy pretence. 
The democrats of New York and Pennsylvania would laugh to scorn 
the vsyy idea of his initiation into the body politic. I apeak only the 
words of truth and soberness when 1 conlidently assert this war is 
waged Bo^ for the abolition of slavery, bnt for Eeunion and Empire. 
Next to the absorbing piussioii of gain in the American heart, the desire 
for a Colossal Republic — the ambition to become the predominant power 
in the world, to dictate to Europe, and especially to " whip" England, 
is the long-cherished, passionate sentiment of tho Northern people. 

The belief that the Federal States will come out of the present 
struggle gi'eat aud mighty enough to be a terror to " all creation," is one 
of those deep-seated illusions which will never be dispelled until we 
bombard Kew York. America joi/^ tieBer he satisfied until wo give her a [ 
thorouf^h good thrashing. In no other way can you cure this people of ' 
their invettrate bravado. A New York jouinal, universally read, says, 
with inimitable mng-fraid, that " to take Gibraltar would be child's play 
to the army and navy which have taken Vicksburg. 'iVhen the South is 
subdued, our iirat move will he a war with England, and not a eannon 
shall be fired in Eiu-ope without our good will and pleasure !" It has 
long beeu my deliberate opinion that only one course is open to us. 
Believe me, the menaces of an implacable enemy whom no concession can 
reconcile, can only be met in one way. You must give these br^ging 
ruffians a sound thrashing, or in their own vernacular, a tremenduus 
" fla}?ging." Obsequious subserviency to the Washington Cabinet is a 
policy fraught with mischief. You only add ingratitude aud contempt to 
the hatred with which the Federalists regaid us. By craven conduct you 
court the very war you desu-e to avoid. The only way to preserve peace 



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is to treat these Yankees with inflexible rigour, or strictneaa. Why 
Wordsworth prophesied the rapture of the Yankee Republic 20 years 
ago. 



-"leave this UTikiut 



Republic to the course of its own passions." 



Dehellare superbos. It must be our pait to queU this haugh 
American bally. Tou can only do this effectually by recognizing the 
Confederate States as a distinct Nation. Such a formidable Confederacy 
can alone keep in order the blusterer who boasts that when he has 
swallowed up America, he proposes to annex Europe to the car of his 
Republic. I entreat the Govei'nment to remember that sooner or later 
the Federals are certain to go to war with us about Canada, to wrest 
this magnificent, long-coveted colony from onr sway. Prhicipiis ob^ta. 
My earnest counsel to the Goverumeiit is, attack ike mad ambition of an 
imphicuble eneviij at its outset! I know thin people. Tou c«n«r^/ conciliate 
tbcm. The detention of the Steam Earns is an untoward event. Sir 
Roundel! PaJuier with his Federal proclivity, his pious artilice, and 
dj-eary casuistry, is leading you astray. The case is wholly untenable. 
Only imagine five mortal days of irrelevant talk, and pointless pleading 
to ai'gue a Queen's subject into the guilt of a crime of which a jury had 
acquitted him without hesitation! The conviction that it is the destiny 
of Yankees to " whip the Britishers" is sunk down deep into their hearts. 
Any forbeai-ance, — any straining of the law in their favour is ascribed to 
pusillanmiity. 

The best portion of my life was passed in the States of America, 
and my opinion Ls entitled to as much consideration as that of Mr. E, A. 
Leatham, MP., or his brother-in-law, Mr. Bright, M.P., or Jlr. P. A. 
Taylor, M.P., who never even visited the country. The member for 
Huddersfield, " a lirst-rate speaker" in Mr. Cobden's estimation, and a 
"Friend" cannot be complimented for hLs humanity. A more cruel, 
vindictive address to his constituents [December, 8, 186^] I never read. 
With the mali}fnity of a Shylock, and which a fiend h'om the uifernal 
re^ons might have envied, he chuckles at the idea of FAMINE, and the 
coiiBequent prostration of the South ! He rejoices that " not a single ray 
of hope " is left for the South, uor " a single drop of consolatiou for her 
supporters in this country." Mr- Leatluini positively revels in the pros- 
pect of " starvatton everywhere, gold and credit nowhere." Snch is the 
brutal language of the muu who uLisrepresents au English constituency. 
Like a New England ghoul he gloats over the an^'uish of a brave Natioa 
wlio have drunk to the dregs the chalice of sorrow ! Why this Ls the 
rule of a fiend, not of a member of the British Parljameut. 

The member for Birmingham is not. over nice or particular in the 
use of violent and insulting terms. The tone of his speeches is often 
more like that of au angry aud iil-bred shrew, or scold, than that of a 
public man who has made a position. It is true Mi-. Bright is more 
American than the Americans themselves, and is an eurhusiaslic believer 
in their " manifest destiny." Though au Englishman he is never weary 
of depreciating his own country, and eulogizing the States. He prob- 
ably reads the Northern accounts of battles in which there is not ouo 
grain or vestige of truth, with complacency, if uot savage delight. 
Without one cumpiiiictious feeling he fondly cherishes the Yankee's 
di'eam of Dooiiuioii from Sea to Sea, or lu quote Mr. Everett's words 
" from the icy Pole to the flaming belt of the equator." It is trne Mr. 
Bdri^ht bm strong faith iii theii* "Star," but even he must feel the quaker 



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blood curdle iu bis veius at the atrocious utterancea of his brother-in- 
law! It 13 true Mr. Bright M.P., is possessed with the dcmou Anglo' 
phobia, aod that be tries to hoodwiak U8 as to the cause of tbia en- 
venomed contest. It is true be delights iu traducing England, and put- 
ting his country in the Avrong. It is true he can. view with complacency 
the English flag trailing iu the daat, and h ever ready to put the worst 
possihle constructioa ou every act of the Government that vindicates 
our rights. It is true, like Lcatham, be regards everytbing Ameiican as 
immcasurahly bclt'cr, and wiser, and houestcr, and more efficient than 
anything that is native amongst us. It is ti'ue it is " enough to make 
a monkey sick " that lie, a liberal M.P. par excellence, should ignore 
the claim of 13 Sovereign Stat(?3 to their Independence, and twelve 
millions of freemen to choose their own form of goverumeut. It is true 
" rebels " and " traitors " as applied to the SeccssJouista, are uttcily 
illogical tertas, and are positively nauseous from the lips of a " Sir 
Oracle," who when he pleases can push the theory of eelf-govcmment to 
the verge of Quixotism. Still I will da Mr. Bright the justice to believe 
tliat he disapproves of this outburst of diabolical spite on the part of the 
H uddersfield &crcech-owI. And this precious *' liberal," this M.P. of 
*' iTsing talent," to prate about " rebellion I" To whom are tho Soutb- 

Ieruers rebels? To their equals. If the South is not eu titled to secede 
and rebel, where was the right of Wasbiugton ? Jefferson Davis has 
greater national grievances to be redressed than ever Washington had 
against the mother country. Mi\ Leatham, M.P., may lay the flattering 
UQctiou to his BOol that if the South is conquered the chains of the slave 
will be loosened or relaxed. I tell him they will be more closely riveted 
by the North. You can whine about Kagosima, and calumniate the 
British Admii-aJ in Japan, but not an atom of sympathy for a gallant 
people sulferiug unheard of privations to achieve their Independence. 

Your tall talk about the Japanese war may serve its purpose as a 
choice specimen of speaking to Bunkum, but it will have little or no 
effect on the minds of those who defend Admiral Kuper'a conduct, and 
who believe that it is England's high prerogative to " teach the uatious 

^how to live '' My residence in the States, and the knowledge I have 
thereby acquired, makes me more fully conversant with the Ainericaa 
question than the member for Biraiiugham, the member for Leicester, 
or the member for Hudderstield, who have not even visitrd the country. 
My opinion is more reliable and trustworthy. Well, it is my firm belief 
that om" liccognitiou of Suulhcm Indepeudmice would in every respect, 
be a most judicious policy, and would indubitably terminate, not iu 
partial, but general Emancipation. And here let me depmt from the 
main design of this preface to comment on the member tor Rochdale's 
furious attack ou the Timen (Dec. A). 

No one who reads with ordinary attention can put a different con- 
struction on what the member for Bii-mingham said at Rochdale, about 
the land and its possessors. Mj' own impression, after carefully reading 
that spee<;b, is, that it will bear no other intci-])relation than that 
ascribed to it by the Times. It was, de facta, nothing else than an 
invitation to the poor, couched in the approved, inexplicit, enigmatical. 
Chartist style, to help themselves. How is the Timet to know that Mr. 
Bright attaches no meaning to his darUly-expressed words ? The mis- 
chief of such ii pluttorm ajtpeal is obvious. I believe this inflammatory, 
insidious Eochdale speech has done more to retard than to advance 
Reform. It is exceedingly dangerous to talk seductive, platform 
politics iu au obscure, unguarded style so common with Mr. Bright. I 



well remember one bitter, winterly day, the snow deep on the ground, 
hearing a political incendiary address a mob in front of the City Hall, 
New York. I never heard a more impasstonod address. Pointing to a 
lofty pile crammed up with flour barrels, he wound up his artful 
haranpfiie to famishing tistenprs with these significant words : — " Xow, 
mind 1 do not tell you to break into that Store opposite, and empty the 
flour into the street." The orator's suggestion was at once adopted. The 
crowd helped themselves to flour that was strewed knee deep upon the 
ground. Can Messrs. Bright and Cobden deny that their speeches were 
framed to work upon the passions, excite the envy, and stimulate tho 
cupidity of an assemblage of working men ? The Bochdale addresses 
were pre-eminently calculated to sow dlicord between class and class! 
Did they not lead their audience to seek in violent iwlitical ciiange that 
improvement in circumstances which can only surely come by economy, 
industry, and temperance? To say that language so likely to excite 
discontent among the poor and semi-inforined conld be employed with- 
out danger is aa absurd as to suppose a man could throw a tire-brand 
into a powder-mill, and say he did not want an explosion 1* No wonder 
Meaara. Bright and Cobden are impracticable men. No wonder they 
stand aloof, and are proud of not reading the Times, which accurately 
represents both the foibles and the virtues of the English people. Like 
political anchorites they gird their loins with the roughest camel's hair, 
and feed upon the wild honey of the Nonconformist and the locusts 
of the Morning Star. The very mention of the Times acts upon 
the member for llochdale like the crirasou flag on the bulL He loses all 
control of himself. Let me call his attention to the 5th and 6th verses 
of the 14lBt Psalm : " Let the righteous rather smite me friendly, and 
reprove me. But let not their precious balms break my head." 

Permit me also to point out to Mr. Cobden's after pp^), Mr. Bright, M.P., 
that if lie really desires to see a new reform actctmed, be must afaandou 
minatory speeches against landholders. Advocate an EDUCATION 
franchise You must create an intelligent class by the spread nf fret 
news rooms, and libraries under Mr. Ewart's Act. 

It will be impossible that the just claims of a large and intelligent 
class who have no vote, can much longer be successfully resisted. I 
have no wish to see a political franchise for the working classes unless 
they are instructed to read ipell, and write finetitly. 

When it is considered that neither Mr. Cobden nor Mr. Bright are 
the least mealy-mouthed in bespattering opponents with censure, or 
calamny, it ia really marvellous they arc so very thin-skinned. If there 
is B sight pitiful to behold it is that of men whose lives have been one 
long course of public agitation, — dismally whining about attacks on their 
reputation, as if it were snuffed out by an article in a ncwr<ipaper! 

The member for KoclidaJe is frantic, cannot endure any ncw»i)apOT 
sufflcieutly independent not to hend the knee to the son of the Sussex 
tenant farmer. It is not enough, [his inordinate vanity requires more 
incense] that his own organ, the Bright partiailar Star, of Salisbury 
Square, worships him, obsetpiiously crying out " Great is Cobden of 
Mjdhurst." " No free criticism" is the waniitig given to any journal 
that wants his support. The Times cares not for Cobden's avertissempnl, 
and hence it« Editor in chief is assailed in language that has never been 



I 



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* Joseph Majszini, with his "Theory of the Dagger," and his friend, 
James StaDsfokl, M.P., fall into the aame dangerous taiatakc. They forgot 
i/iat "Worde like daggers," are really apt to produce assassination. 



1 



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exceeded in spite and venom, not excepting the famous Billingsgate cor- 
respondence between the late Daniel O'Connell and Mr. Disraeli, M.P. 

When discussing Jom'ualism at Oxford, Cobden said he never read 
any paper but the Tirnen" Now he never sees il unless hy accidejit! 

" Credat Judwus Apella, non ego." 
The fact is Richard Cohdea, M.P., may inscribe Fui on hJa monu- 
ment. His star is fast sinking. I rnnat again obsei-re that without 
publicity in the colamns of the I'imes Mr. Cobden's Bpeeches wonld 
have been unknown to the influential classes of this coniitry. It w^as a 
most ungrateful return for past favours, If the Times waa Tindictive 
there is uo man it could more severely pnnish than Mr. Cobden by the 
simple process of not reporting his speeches and withholding all comment 
upon tliem. Such wholesome treittment would soon bring him to his 
senses. If the Times ignored Mi". Cobden, suppressed vanity would 
soon put an end to him. 

In the Times leader, December 15, there is an inimitable passage ; — 

" Mr. Cobden sent his composition to the Star where it may be seen 

swimming gailanUy down a dark and turbid sti-eam of malediction." 

In the keen encounter of wits Cobden has no chance with Mr. Delano. 

Pi'obably the member for Rochdale has never been hit so hard ; — 

"A hit, a very palpable hit." 

Hamlet, Aot 5, Scene 2. 

An incisive wound inflicted by a very skilful hand I 

Long years ago I gave proof of my sincerity in doing what I could 
as an unpaid adeocaie, to .set forward the repeal of the Corn Laws. In 
that day it was no easy feat to take np the cudgels in Mr, Cobden's 
defence, especially at a Vicarage House in an agricultural Parish. It is 
no light matter to incm- a parent's anger. \Vhen 1 think of the con- 
temptuous treatment I have receiv».'dj uot even a bow of recognition, 
not even a shake of the hand, it is with bitterness of reflection that I 
call to mind how I gi-ieved that parent by my eager and too ardent 
advocacy of "Cobden and repeal!" 

But I forget. Revenons a nos mouiqjis. " Let us return to onr 
eheep ;" in other words, let us return to our subject. The origin of this 
singular expression is curious. A Freuch lawyer pleading the cause 
of a client, who had lost some sheep, talked of everything but the 
matter in question, when his client gave him a re/reDker by this excla- 
mation. 

Gradatim viiwimus. In the darkest hour I have never despaired of 
success ! If I have not achieved success, I have deserved it ! I am 
never discouraged, never depressed by defeats. I have faith that the 
Libraries' Act will ultimately be adopted. 

Even Brighton [where this Act was rejected by the most disorderly 
meeting ever held in the town, on a day quite analogous with the stupid 
vote, viz., goose day, September 29, 18G2.] Even of this queen of 
watering places, I still hope a^^iainat hope, that a moTement which is not 
merely local, but ia for the general good, — for the good of the Nation at 
large, wdl, despite certain perverse, overweening officials, and a very 
corrupt Press, eventually win its way, — eventually be camcd by a 
unaninuuia vote! One wor(l to Mr. Henry Solly, -'the energetic Secre- 
tary to the Working Men's Club and Institute Uuiyu." If Mr. Solly 
advances unsound opiuiou-s he must expect lo have tUeoa. eciwAiiVKA. 
Mr. Solly admits piirt of my design, and vo\)% "iX <jl v\.?> ;5cis!Cv\'^v^^s^^ 



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the patronage element, with its debasing tendcucy, ia ia full force in Mr. 
Solly's Bcheme. Not so in s* Free Libraiy Institotion. Let me tell the 
Secretary that it is not desirable to nei-petaatc clique, or class move- 
ments, i&^* Working Men's Clubs. Why, we are alt (or ought to be) 
working men. A man who drives a cab is called a working ruaa. Why 
should uot the iutcUcctnal labourer who drives a pea,— a far more irk- 
some and difiicult thing to drive, — be entitled to the same honourable 
appellation? It was the dying speech of Talfouid ou the judgment 
seat at Stafford, that the isolation of class, was the bane of England 
Well, in Mr. Solly's Clubs you would have esclaaiveness perpetuated. 
Your invitation to the intellectual banquet is no( catholic. It would be 
a class who arrogate to themselves the exclusive title of "Working" 
men. But in the rate-supported Lending Library and News Room 
Institution which I so much prefer to Mr. Solly's rickety bantling, the 
mental food, the iauocent recreation, would be evert/ inan's possesnion and 
every maji'fi RIGHT I 

I observe Mr. Gowlaiid, Chan-man of a meeting at Homerton, Oct. 
15, like the Secretary, quotes the very words of my pamphlet withont 
a syllable of acknowledgment. What I object to i.3, not the taking my 
ideas, but iAc^erre?/ij^ them. Here is Mr. Gowland actually boasting 
that he was " sure the Surveyor wonld give them his gratuitous services 
in building tlif Club-house." Why this is sad to read. Need I repeat 
how mean aud demoralising is all this " booing " and scraping. It is a 
totally unnecessary degi'adation. There is not the slightest excuse in 
thus dragging working men through the mire. There is Mr. Ewart's 
Act. Adopt it at once, and bo spared such gi-atuitous servility aud 
crawling. In the Star, Nov. 21, there appears a letter from Mr. Solly, 
written in the usual supplicatiug style, informing the public th;it " any 
subscriptions or domuions will be thankfully received at the office." 
Why this perennial touting P Why disquiet yourselves in vain ? In 
Bii-miughaui, the Free Ne«'s Rooms, under Mr. Ewart's Act, aj-ea 
never-failing souice of attraction. And yet Mi-. Arthur Ryland gives 
the sanction of his name, and takes the chaii- to promote four Clubs iu 
that town. You have gone to the bad in that wretched Astou-park 
affair ; do not add to the degradation by sending the hat ruuud for the 
support of Societies which are not wanted. 

It is time the old patronage system ^vhich is so objectionable 
should be abandoned. Why teach men to be sycophants? Why 
induce men to leau upon some one else, rather than ou themselves? 
One reason foj' liking the Libraries' Act is there is no room for 
glorifying, and that such an Institution tui'us out men, not tract 
reading, hat-touching machines! A meeting was held at Hastings 
to establish a club. Tlie Mayor in the Chair. In the Star, Nov. 
21st, this attractive morceaa appeared. "Mr. Janson, Esq., offered 
premLses in Castle- road, (Hastings,) rent free for a yem%" The Daily 
News, writing on Clubs, perpetrates some nauseous cant, ou a par 
with the old conventicle phrase, " Did you enjoy your Minister ?" Re- 
ferring to the Soho, aud the St Maitiu-in-the-Fields C'luhfl, the Editor 
writes ^'•thcy are purely secular engines for the production of uou- 
religious good I" Was ever such unintt'liigible jai-gon ? Why this dull 
nousense about merely ^secular imtriwiiov or teaching, as if it were antago- 
nistic to RELIGION ? There is really no such thing as a purely 
"scculai," or wtuldly education. All Knowledge is more or less reli- 
gious. A word with Mr. Kichardsou, C.C., who like Mr. Solly, has 
adopted a portiou of my design, and made pretty free with my writings 



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without oue expreaittB <)# ifckaowledgmcnt. His lecture on "Laboui- 
and Kecreation '* wotlld not have been re<:eived less kindly if some refet- 
ence of a complimentai-y character had been made to Mr. Feitde, to 
whose writings he is so much indebted. I wish he would adopt my view 
ou "America and Slavery ." Let me seriously monish him to take heed 
that he splits not on the rock of charlatanism and pretence. Let me tell 
Mr. Richardson that to argne about the wickedness of Slavery as the 
" sum of all villanies," is a complete non sequihir. To me the doctrine 
that man can hold property in man baa ever been detestable. Why llie 
piercing cry of the slave had penetrated my heart when Mr. Richardson 
was in his swaddling clothes I But this horrible war that makes one 
bJush for hmnanity, this abomination of Slavery is not the question. 
The abstract wickedness of Slavery is simply trailing the red-herring to 
keep lis off the true scent, viz., the right of the &3nth to declare her 
Nationality and Sclf-Ooveniraent. Let me tell Mr. Riciiardson that 
logically the wickedness of Slavery is of no more use for the purpose of 
proving that the South has not mad^ itself an independent nation than 
the fact that a baby that squints would prove that it had not been bom. 
If my views are erroneous, let some one of gi'eater experience put 
Me right, and propose nome better plan of public instruction. In the 
present aspect of the Club movement, I claim an attentive hearing. Let 
common sense dictate the answer on which side the advan*:age9 prepon- 
derate — a Club, or Xews Room, supported by a penny in the pound rate, 
or the subscription plan, supplemented by donations. Let me impress 
on Educators the simple truth that iu supporting Mr. Solly's scheme of 
in.?traction yon are doing a mischievous work. You arc undoing all 
that has been so well said about " Self Help," or, the Art of Rising. If 
you teach a man to look to somebody else, and not himself alone, for 
his mental sustenance, you inevitably destroy his feelings of self 
respect. It is in the int-erest of the working man himself that you should 
inculcate feelings of independence— should foster a spirit of self-help^ 
80 B» not to lean on another for what he can himself supply. You 
seriously endanger his means of rising by a false start. The CI ah system 
on the donation plan cannot come to good. It clearly tonds to demoralize 
the working man. I have gone on in my course of agitation for the 
adoption of the News Rooms' Act, 1855, with determined, enthiKsiaistic, 
and, indeed, English bull-dog pertin.icity. I have deserved, if I have 
aot achieved, bucccss. I still hope so excellent an Act will be relieved 

its dead weight. While it is hampered with a two-thu'd majority 
clause, and no poll can he demanded, I canuot " rest and be thankful." 
Well, I venture to intercede in this great cause of Instruction that iu 
the next Parliament the amended Act will be amended. I have always 
felt that "the two-third.'; of the persons then present" forms a difficnlty. 
"Why not, as in other matters, a simple majority f 

It is sni-prisiiig that a very high-priced Society, like the Edwai'd St, 
(MaryleboneJ Literary Institution, won't perceive that its ' mission,* 
such as it is, is accomplished. A meeting of its friends was held t* 
decide the question, " to be, — or not to be." Is there any reasonable 
prospect this declining, sick Institution will recover health and vigour ? 

1 trow not. Can its new medical advisers. Lord Fermoy, M.P., and 
Sergeant Parry, find effective remedies for its inveterate consumption and 
atrophy? Certainly not. It is a hopeless case of decline, and I for one 
rejoice iu its approaching fall. It won't die. It won't understand that 
it is beaten, killed by extravagant prices, and that a new and more skilful 
machinery can supply the public with Books and Pap6i*a n( one tetUK of 



30 



Ike eosl. 1 am gkf? its end draws nigh. It is simply an impediment 
and obstructs progress. It stands in the way of the adoption of the 
Libraries Act,— which is far more suitable in this penny age than a 
pretentious two guineas per annum Institute, which has survived its 
usefulness The drift and current of public opinion has set in sti-ongly 
against high-priced Literajy and, so called. Mechanics' Institutes. Lord 
Femaoy, M.P. should exert himself to win over his constituents to this 
Act, instead of vainly trjing to resusscitate a dead body. Uuder this Act 
the vast I'arish of St. Marylebone would get Libraries, wortkif of the 
name, which this " literary" concern was never able to accomplish. In 
1860 when I brought forwai-d the Libraries Act for St. Mai-ylebone, 
Lord Fernioy, the member for the Borough, instead of aiding, was 
extremely insolent. The Parish Meeting, to take a vote, was held in 
the lecture room of this Edward St. Institution. It was a more tumul- 
tons mob of Ronghs than the one at Brighton. Not a ratepayer, 
although the promoter of the Meeting, I was meanly excluded I Not 
even permitted a seat in the galleiy. They voted a man to the " cheer" 
aa they called it, who, if he could read and write, was the most illiterate, 
vulgar-minded fellow I ever encountered. Decent men left in disgust. 
No one in favour of the Act was allowed to speak. The grocer who led 
on the furious opposition, and who '* didn't want no ft'ce liberries," has 
since appeared in the Bankruptcy Court. There let him lie, fit garbage 
for infamy I 

1 must hasten to a close — nnust bring this " preface " to an end 
Well, I hope the public will look with lenient eyes on my darling that 
is on the eve of beiug ushered into existence I* 

-^— " What though the field be lost? 
All IB Dot lost." 

Paradise Lost, fiook i. 

Shall T speak of the difficulties, the pains of conception ? Shall I 

Sologize for any looseness, or any inaccuracies of stvlc ? Shall I plead 
It 1 am writing against time? Shall I put in a plea of palliation on 
account of the straitened circumstances in which I find myself, and the 
perplexity of keeping my head above water i* Shall I urge with Juve- 
nal the crushing uatm'c of poverty, and how it stands in the way of the 
literary calling ? 

" I'irtutibui obttat ret angutta d&mi." — Jut. 

Shall I just allude to the pursuit of knowledge under domestic 
disquietudes ? 

" lit domvs, et placcnt uJ!or."~''B.or. 

Shall I allude to my cara sj>om, " My pensive Saraj" to her many 
noticeable qualities, her unwearied industry, her rare common sense, and 
feminine insight into chai-ftcter, remarkable in one whose opportunities 
of cultivation were so slight. 

—" No mother's care 
Shielded my infant innocence with prayer." 

Shall I plead those inevitable jai-s with one not skilled in letters, 
and thinking more of the dust and litter, than of literatnreP Shall I 
claim the critic's indulgence on the plea that I have been anxious to instruct, 



* From certain protracted eitorts of my " biiutrniff," to sef the lifrht of 
day, I Auspirnte a puccesaful ciirccr for him wLeu he once crops the vital 
air! And the joyful Bcason of EbbIlt tor his aiipearance — how glorious! 



31 






i-atter tban to amuse, or entertain? No! I build my hopes of a 
fovourable reception for tliis " Paper" on the ground that my views are 
nat superficial, nor my atatemcnla iintrne. I have, I hope, preached an 
excellent homily. I trust that witli all its iraperfectiona. my last lite- 
rary bantling, my farewell address will be welcomed by the btir^essea 
of the City of London 

" Take fiist hold of Instruction, let her not go." Let critics pepper 
as pungently aa they please. Anything rather than that worst of fates, 
to be thrown aside, or into the lire ! You will &ad it a readable" paper," 
and " a word in season, how good is itl" You will leara how I have 
eodnred. 

" The proud man's contumely, 

The tnaolence of office, and the spurna 
That patient merit of the unworthy takes." 

Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1, 

Literally for your benefit, to serve not ray own, but tfour best interests. 
I have been taught to think that 

*' There's a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Eough-hew them how wo will." 

It is my firm belief tliis " good work," thij? "home of refuge," this intel- 
lectual republic will soon adorn the City of Loudon t The sun which is 
to bring in a brighter day, which is to disperse the darlcnes.^ of ignorance, 
and the mists of eiror will soon bnrst forth in its meridian splendour!" 

My "paper" will aid in dispersing the thick mists of prejudice 
■which have obscured the question. It is a very singular and iuHtructive 
fact that much of the antagonism I have encountered proceeds from 
highly educated persons ! 1 can make excuses for the exceedingly short- 
sighted hostility of the uncultivated, uninstructed rate-payer, who is 
unable by his intellectual light to see far. I ra^tHoi excuse great lite- 
rary men, who owe their po.sition to the dilfUsion of education, moral 
philosophers, and censors, who contemptuously refuse to aid in ?ietting 
forward a humanizing and enlightened Act of Parliament. Such a man 
can dissect with an un.sparing hand the foibles, the weak .?ide of others, 
he can penetrate into the lowest cells of pride, vanity, and selfishness, 
and yet is himself wilfully blind to the great truth whicli I have so often 
pointed out, that np:ri to the "glad tidings of great joy," there is 
nothing of man's legislation so calculated to do good, as the spread of 
knowledge by means of the Libraries Act. Why ignorance is the parent 
of every vice, and the fruitful mother of paupers and drunkards I 

It is my annual custom to bring forward the Libraries Act for the 
Pm-hh (yf Kensington; and knowing that Mr. William MAKEPEACK 
Tliackeray [what an extraordinary misnoracr] had built a fine house In 
Kensington Palace Gardens, I called on tlie author of Vmnhj Fair, 
iuiiuitahle for its Becky Sharp, — its cleiu' insight into certain plnises of 
feminine nature,] to solicit his support for Mr. Ewarf s Act for Ken- 
sington. Let mc relate minutely the incidents of this visit. After 
remaining for some minutes in the Iiull, I desired the servant to shew 
ine into a waiting rtiom. Presently tlie creaking steps of the great liner, 
announced his approach. Drawing himself up a la milihiire, with a 
sourness of countenance, and asperity of maimer, *m! generis, peculiar to 
himself, he screamed out in a sharp, shrill voice, which Stentor himself 
might have envied [his voice alone was louder than tiiat of 50 men 
together.] "MONEY?" Such was the only word of salutation of 
" the kindest of men," and the "regenerator of society," as bis admirers 
stylo Mr. Thackeray. I hastened to undeceive bim, and quickly took 



interview 

writes as only an ill-natured cynic can, usqne ad Tuatseam, even to sick- 
ness, on the proprieties and amenities of life 1 You might fairly surmise 
from the apparent delight with which he sketches the dark side of 
human nature tliat with him goodness w a name, and happiness is a 
dream. Can jou wonder in the light of tliis interview that I thought 
that for crabbedness, and surljj gloomy moroseness, I had noyer seen 
the equal of this man of letters. 

Weli, my first impression of that remarkable visit [December 12, 
1862,] is conveyed by the similitude of a vengeful hornet thirsty for gore! 
Eager to find fault, eager to put his cruel knife into quivering flesh ! 
Arrogant to his compeers, Mr. Thackeray can flatter the Ai-istocracy at 
homtf but ahl the dJfiference of his talk abroad I In New York, the 
Westeni Metropolis, he hurls the Greek fii'e of his sarca.sm in depicting 
the vices and the mealinesses of the Four Georges. Trans Mare they 
are the objects of his severest and most bitter attacks, and George 
Washington, the idol of his affections. Thackeray's Newcomeg is in- 
tensely tiresome. A timeserving, uncharitable, rancorous sentiment 
pervades his wi-itings. Why is Mr. Dickens the most popular novelist 
of this age ? Because he takes a cheerful, genial view of life. Unlike 
Mr. Thackeray, he presames not, a fallible man himself, to osarp the 
prerogative of the Most High. Mr. Dickens presumes not to sit in judg- 
ment on his fellow men. He respects the solemn injunction of our LORD, 
''Judge not, that ye bo not judged." [St. Matt. vii. ch., 1st ver.] The 
supercilious, if not brutal judgment on that great master of Knglish, 
Jonathan Swift, D.D., the very harsh, contemptuous notice of Lawrence 
Sterne in the "English Humom-ists" are not matched for acrid, un- 
generous, spiteful criticism. In Henry Esmond, his most finished work, 
Mistress Beatrix exclaims, " O, those parsons, I bate 'em all f" A feeling 
doubtless cordially reciprocated. Why Mr. Thackeray seems to have 
" emptyed," or exhausted his spleen on these far-famed divines. And 
yet for pathos Sleme has never been surpassed. Who can forget Poor 
Maria, or Corporal Trim in Tristram Shandy ? Dean Swift's Gulliver's 
Travels, and Tlie Tale of a T^ib, [Cobbett's first-book,] are as cleverly 
conceived as anything Mr. Thackeray ever wrote.* Let nothing be said 
of the dead but what is favourable. I preftjr nil nisi "riruwi," as my 
motto in what relates to public writers. It is a curious coincidence that 
I wrote this account of my interview with the late Mr. Thackeray the 
very f% he died! [Dec, 24, 1863.] The 24th of December will be a 
day long remembered for the startling news it brought. The sudden 
eclipse of genlas in the fulness of power is an affecting notice that 

*' All that's bright must fade, 
The brightest, still the fleetest" 

That mighty genius, Lord Bjron, was only thirty-aeven years old 
when he died. ^Born ia Holies Street, Cavendish Square, Jan. 22, 1788. 
Died 19th April, 1825, at Missolonghi.] Yet how much had been 
TbTitten that will never die, — poetry that will live as long as the language 
in which it is written! The quick cxtingnishmeat of the wLst'St of 
brains, the voice silent for ever, which was so often heard with admira- 
tion and deep interest, strikes on our hearts like a funeral kuel, wi 



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* Dc fiiortuin nil iilii ''l/viium,' 



warulug ■ 



33 

U3 that "in the midst of life we are iu death!" In the meridian 
splendonr of his fame, Mr. Thackeray has been suddenly summoned 
to the land nnsecn, — 

" Th-" undiscover'd country, from whose bourn 
No traveller returns. — Hamlet, Act 3, So. 1. 

"Man that is bom of a woman hath but a short time to live, for he 
cometh up and is cut down like a flower." 

" Furpureua veluti cumfios succisus aratro. — ^^N. 9. lib. 

" He fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay !" 

The light which almost dazzled us with its brilliancy is suddenly 
put out I His " sun is gone down while it was yet day !" Jeremiah 
15 ch. 9 V. With a feeling of awe I take leave of the subject. Peace 
to his memory ! 

Is London always to lag behind provincial towns in matters of 
literature and good taste? Why there are hundreds of well to do 
inhabitants of the City of tondon so uncultivated, that the very 
name of Shakaspeare is as unknown as it is to the people of Japan! ■ 
These are the men that exclaim, " We don't want no liberries. et / 
them as wants books buy 'em." 'Tis shame enough to have twice i 
rejected the Libraries' Act! Don't add to this stupidity by refusing to '■. 
aid in erecting a monument in London — in the City in which this great 
genius loved to dwell ! You have a bronze statue, such as it is, in front i 
of the Exchange, to a mighty Captain, and in Cheapside to a great ' 
Statesman. It is now time for a monument to a more illusti-ious genius, 
to him who wrote such wonderful poetry, as you will find in the cele- 
brated speech of Prospero on the insubstantial nature of all earthly 
things. 

" Our revels now are ended : these our actors, 

As I foretold you, were all spirits, and 

Are melted into air, into thin air : 

And, like the baseless fabrick of this vision, 

The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces, 

The solemn temples, the great globe itself, 

Yea, all, which it inherits, shall dissolve : 

And like this insubstantial pageant faded, 

Leave not a wreck behind 1" 

Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1. 

Dnblin erects a statue to Goldsmith. Shall it be said the wealthiest 
and most luxurious City in the Christian world lags behind Dublin in 
doing honour to her own sweet child of song ? The " greatest city in 
the world is destitute of a public librHry," says the Historian. It is 
no less a reproach that it is utterly destitute of a really fine statue.* 
My proposal will accomplish both objects and is surely more worthy 
of consideration and far more suitable than the scheme which Messrs. 
T. Martin, Tom Taylor, and S. Brooks have put forth. I have 
observed that when anything is to be ihne misguiding, interested 
critics invariably crop up to show us how vot to do it! Of all 
the pet a'otchcts, of all the modes of honouring the genius of Shake- 
speare a theatre is the most objectionable, and the most open to 
suspicion that, instead of the promoters doing honour to Shnkc- 
spcare, it is a dexterous project to glorify themselves ! A Shakespeare 

• Not only do we lag far behind the French in statues. The Architecture 
of this "province covered with brick" (iis a Frenchman termed London) is of 
that dismal sort as to warrant his saying, " that he hated it, and the more he 
aaw of it, the more he hated it." 



34 

tlieatre would degenerate into a literary Refuge, a sort of JB^onndlmg 
Hospital for destitute rickety bantlings ! It would be one of Shake- 
speare's to a dozen " imaginative plays " of the Promoters ! This theatre 
proposal is nothing less than a scheme to trumpet forth the inanities of 
certain " dramatic authors and artists." If this is their best mode of 
" reverencing" Shakespeare, they are more essentially unfitted for the 
guidance of a noble aim than the hon. secretary whom they denounce 
with the bitter words of malevolent critics. The letter describes wh:it 
their pet hobby would surely end in, " discreditable failure." The tone 
of acrimonious hostility that pervades the letter of withdrawal is un- 
worthy of men who desire " to refine and educate the public taste !" 
Credat Judans ! Well, I submit my scheme to the judgment and com- 
mon sense of a discerning public, and I repeat that a SHAKESPEARE 
FREE REFERENCE LIBRARY AND MARBLE STATUE would 
be a great and permanent public benefit, [not a class] and the most 
endnrlDg and proper tribute to a poet of whom we can truly afiirm 

" He was a man, take him for all in all, 
We shall not look upon his like again." 

Let the Committee take the suggestion into consideration of a 
STATUE and SHAKESPEARE FREE REFERENCE. LIBRARY, 

S containing all the works of William Shakespeare, including the first 
olio edition, of 1623 ; also the revised edition of the Rev. A. Dyce,] 
and I predict there will be no failure, to lament. Such a testimony to the 
poet's memory will be the best monument. Let the sculptor of the 
statue to adorn this Library meditate on the 161st stanza of Childe 
Harold, on the ideal beauty a Statue can be made to express, 

" Or view the lord of the unerring bow, 
The god of life, and poesy, and ligh1>— 
The sun in human limbs, arrayed, with brow 
All radiant." Canto iv. 

Is the sculptor's art dead ? Is the ugliness and stupidity of what 
are called " Statues " in Trafalgar Square to be for ever repeated ? *Let 
us hope some modern Phidias will arise equal to the occasion and give us 

"A thing of beauty, and a joy for ever 1" 

Don't be deterred by the fustian of " ideal monuments," of "Shake- 
speare enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen." Why there are 
thousands in England who so far from indulging in such hero worship, 
are so ignorant as not even to have heard of Shakespeare's name! 
[That I am not exaggerating popular ignorance take the fact that of 
the men married every year in England one third cannot write their own 
names .'] Well, a good reference libraiy, with the standard works of our 
best authors would enlighten such Ignoramuses! As for "kings" they 
are not overburdened with sentiment! I "guess" these Royal person- 
ages are not so satisfied as St. Paul that " to die is gain." Nor will they 
subscribe to the high flown language of Milton, 

" That kings for such a tomb would wish to die!" 

I devoted some time as a member of the Committee of the News- 
paper Press Association for obtaining the repeal of the paper duty, not 
for my own, but for the especial benefit of the penny press. Whether 

* Bronze, or brass Statues are invariably hideous. A white Carrara 
marble Statue of Shakespeare would look welf in the Green Park. It could 
be protected from the weather in the winter months. 



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the cheap Press lias redeemed its large promises, whether the quality of 
the paper itself, or ils literary cliaracler, arc at all improved, 1 will uot 
euquire. I will only obsei'vo the abolition of tiiid import has not 
fulfilled my sanguine expectations. Xo additional pens are set to work ; 
no extra journaliata employed. Wbj 1 have wi'itten artkies out of 
number, and have received plenty of abuse, but not one penny in com- 
pensation. Such illiberal ity was to be rectified when tlie paper duty 
vas off, but tlio Press makes uo sign in that direction. Well, I liaro 
established my title to be its Monitor, or Instructor. If the Press does 
rot advance, it must iTceJe. It camiot remain stationary. It dete- 
riorates if it does not progress. One word of friendly coiiusci to the 
Ciltf Prenft. Don't be afraid of hitting hard. 

Last year there was a line opportunity lost, when the Gresliam 
Professor of rhetoric Job was perpetrated. There never was such a 
bare-faced violation of that wholesome rule in tine disposal of any office, 
viz., the detur diguiori. The public were particularly concerned that a 
master of his nrt, and uot an aged pluralist, and a master of the Mercers' 
Company, should be appointed. Why the Rev. Charlton Lane is no 
more to be compared to C. J. Plumptre, Esq., M.A. as a lecturer on 
Elocution, than I am to be compared as a field-preacher to the Bishop 
of London ! Wellj this is an aRC of critical [perhaps too curious for 
clerks] inqniiy. I am continujilly putting this question. "What is the 
reason you parsons arc so Innigry for money?" It is this clerical 
gi-eediness, this hungry snnpphiij up any preferment, (qualified or not 
to fill it,) that brings murh discredit on tlic Clei'gy. And it is precisely 
a rank, grovelling job like this that the Citi/ Press ought to have 
denounced. Mr. Plumptre woidd have made the lecture, with Lis 
admirable recitations, as niteresting as the Music ; and instead of au 
audience of barely lialf a dozen persons, mumblccl at by Mr. Lane, 
Grcsham College ivould have been crowded, if ifr. Plumptre had beea 
elected to the rhetoric chair. Mr. Lane is now off to Ilampstead as 
perpetual Curate. Well, I heartily wisli for the public's sake that he 
would take himself off from an office that he is so glaringly incompetent 
to hold. "Why spare fussy popularity huutcrs, — men who live by 
appealing to the widely spread forms of Ignorance, or Prejudice ? Why 
screen Pourpositics like Lownian Taylor, C.C., (i. N. Johnson, C.C., W. 
Hartridge, C.C., and J. Bennett, C.C. ? No more exaggerated eulogy on 
such hopelessly obtuse Deputies as E, Harrison, J. H. Elliott, and T. 
Lott. Leave off applauding Sir Robert Garden as the ne pbis ultra, — tho 
pink of social and political perfection, and Aid. Sidney the Vain, and 
Salomons the Wise, as the heun ideal of magisterial lore and accuracy, 
and parliameutary sapience, Cease representing the Corporation of 
Loudon as a model of perfection, and the great centre of absolute 
wisdom. Don't portray it as the very quintessence of purity, and the 
ark of Freedom ! 

In a lender on reform in the Corpoi-ation, [Oct. 17, 1863,] the Citif 
PresH deprecates an " inuovatiug spirit abroad, that menaces its vci*y 
life.'' Well, learn how to check and lay it. Not by glorifying ud nau- 
neam, the " gi'eatest city in the world." Not by idle lamentations that 
tlie "Whig Government" had transferred to the Board of Works the 
making the new street to the Mansion House. Not by "cracking up" 
such an inveterate sham, such an antiqunted abortion as the library of 
the Cwr]ioration, I speak out boldly of the disgrace that attaches to the 
City in lagging far behind provincial towns. I have no sympathy with 
certain C.C. Economists, who, with aa eye to Ajuavac*?., ij)t\McM\», vA. 'Oaa 



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cost of the Royal Entertauiment, Had tlie spoil been inipai-tially divided, 
no compl&iiitB ivuuld liave firisen. A Mr. G. N. Johnson, 175, Bisliopsgate- 
street, Without confesses tliat as tlio "upholsterer's bill [£1,074] came 
into the pnri&h ijc woiild let it pass V It is indeed quite true lliat "£10.000 
for Jewels" is a lavish and niinoiia outlay of public money. It is no less 
true fhatsnch items as "£070 for painting," ^£794 for decorations by Mr. 
Crace," and iLiOQ more to Mr. Crace for Bi eing tlie work curried out, 
with " nearly £200 for perfumerj'," are nothini: less than jobs. Jl is 
juit that sort of w.inton expenditure whicli the Cify Press, with a gi-aia 
of iiulependeiice was bainui to denonnco. It should hr.ve contrasted sucli 
superfluous charges with tho parsimouiona and niggardly reliisal of tliese 
viitnous coniplatnants to tax themselves wte penny in the pound to estab- 
lish fin Intellectual banquet fur the poor and needy. Why the money 
squandered on this Entertivinmcnt uoitld have gone a long way in per- 
manently endowing a Free News Room and i-eudinjj Library! 

Did the Press remind the Corporfition of the duty to hQjust, before 
being generous? Did it frown on the beggarly jiiTirsimony of n wealthy 
city rejecting the Libraries Act, — refusing to bo rated only one penny in 
the pound f Did its columns indicate that tliore is snch a thing aa 
culightened taxation, which instead of impoverishing, inaketh rich ! 

I am eonvinced H R.H. the Prince of Wales would not have 
sanctioned lavish expenses incurred by a Corporation which had recently, 
with every mark of contunu'ly, denied to the poor a nece-sxary n/ life J I 
]ioId that ED L' CAT I ON is a ncccusari/ of life. Let me warn certain fussy 
members of the C. C, who. with a vchcuiencc worthy of a better cause, 
pertinaciously resist the adoption of Mr. Ewart's Act for the tity, that 
it is far more wicked, far more repicheusible, to starve the smil, than to 
starve the body I Yes I it is far more mi^cliievons. Take tlie case of a 
man whose body lias been starved to death. It is simply imo humau 
beiug the less. But a man's soul cannot be starved to deiUli. If hk 
8oa\ is not refreshed and renewed by what is good, it will seek what is 
festering and corrupt. If the proper mental food cannot be had, it will 
seize upon what is nnwholesonie and mi-schievons to hia fouI's health. 
Therefore, unlike his body, you eaiuiot starve hia soul to death, lint 
you can pervert it. You can delile and vitiiUc it. It is your fanlt that 
his soul is contaminated, tJiat it lives in misery to it*ell and every ouo 
else here, and that a happy immortality is jeopardized in airother and a 
better world. If the Cor[ioratiou of London desires to be of good repute, 
it must aid and assist in carrying out the most bnmitniziiig niovcniont 
of the day. In plain, uumistakeablc English the almas.t indelible dis- 
grace of twice rejecting Mr. Ewiirt's Act should form the subject of many 
a leader. A century ago the historian dibbon thus remonstrates : " the 
richest city in the world is destitute of a public library." In 180J a 
ptiblic writer, iu his " bketches of London," thus upbraids (he citizens 
for their iliiberaiity. As it was in the city 60 years since, so it Is ia 
1864, those who are fond of reading may starve iu the midst of plenty. 

" Lackington'a shop, in Finsbury Square, is one of the curioKities of 
London, nnd contains an imraeriFe stock of hooks. It is a disprace to London 
that it po.'SG-agcs no Public Subscription Library on a liberal plan like those ot 
Liverfiool, BriBtol, and Birniinjihain." 

Why there's Mr. George Cuthbert, CC, Cliafrnian Ea.st London 
Union, who is frightened out of his wits at the very idea of relievinf 
wretched starving outcasts, lest the "pockets of the ratepayers" sbouk 
suffer. ICity Press, Jan, 16.] Humanity is a feeling unknown to cer- 



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tain guardians aud relioviug uRiccrs, and more desperate ecoQomists do 
not exist, Lowraan Taylor, CX., and J. H. Elliott, C.C., excepted. Of 
course sncli popularity hunters wonki cry down a halFpeiiiiy library rate. 
Tu keep theratt'8 down, no niattij- at what suffering to body or mind with 
eueh "liberals" is the oiip sole end of existence, and the wiioie duty of 
jnau ? I should be sacrificin;L,' triitli to eouitesy vvere I to affect to com- 
plhnent the City Press fur liaving displayed llic tslightest zeal, or ability, 
in it* advocacy of the Libniries and News Rooms Act, for the City of 
London. Mdkiiig due allowance for the situation, a cold ncntrality on 
an Education question liko this is a fatal aiistake for the reputiition of 
a uewdpaper. J Ito shanvcfid scene enacted iu the Guildhall, July II, 
1861, demanded Hie severest, instead of the di;;iitiest reproof. 

Tlio sound policy of adupling this f,'reat ICducutioual measure muat 
bebohlly advticatcd, uot with " bated breath and whispering humbleness/' 
The City Press (Oct. 17,) writes "If there is any sjihere of putdic duty 
which can recomuieud the Corporation more than any other to tlie good- 
will of the citizens, it is that of iniprovin<r the public ihoroufth fares," 
■\V by, what alamo aud impotent conclusion! Itellthe CorporHtion plainly 
to tax tbein^elve.'i to a small amount, to set up Nesva Rooms in the Poob 
QuAETJiRs OF TUE CiTf, if tlicy roiilly wish to atone for grievoivs nejrli- 
gencea Vute iu your Corpdrate capacity for the Libraries' Actv, and 
you will pain the *'r;ood will"' of the citizen,^, or at any rate, of |)cr.-on3 
wliose opinions are of any worth. Wiiy pule about llic "geueral traffic 
and lighting?" T!ie C'Utj Press should refer to the new era — tlie blaae 
of glory tliFit awaits the Corporntion by throwing a flood of light, the 
liglit of iiitdligence, over the dark labyrinths — thesciirccly human liiibi- 
tations, that fringe and skirt the City. Let it reprove the "Know- 
nothings," or Ignorant party wlio are scared lost the bright beams of 
knowledge should poueliate the darkness. If tht=^ Ctfi/ Press will thus — 
[in tlio language of Nonconformists,] " improve the occasioa," — if it will 
thus " anii-ud its ways," its caieer will bo a great success. 

Newspaper writers never bad more occasion to "magnify their 
office." Let the fuui-th Estate of the Healni only UNITE,— only bring 
its influence Co bear against the other three, and it would come off more 
than conqueror r Who can describe the power of an honesf, truthful 
Press! Why it drops tbc same thought into a thousand minds at tho 
same momctit! It supplies the daily iiitellt'ctual foniL of hundreds of 
thousands] On this (luestion of Free News lloouis the Prfss has more 
opportunities of converting tlic ultra-stubburu and sceptical than the 
whole parson power of tho City. Yon address a larger congregation. 
You can exert a more powerful iufluunce over public opinion. Consider 
the opportunities the Press cujoya of diffusing knowledge, aud sowing 
the seeds of thought ! Well, let me mouisli the C'iti/ Presj!, tliat it is its 
especial duty to rrente public opinion iu favour of the adoption of the 
Libraries Act. It must be "line npmi Hue, and precept upun iirecept." 
I have intimated what a local journal .ihtiiiid, let nio now briefly ad\-crt 
to what it should jiot do. You nro not called upon to violate the lith 
commandment, to boar f;ilse witness against a learned prelate of the 
Chnrt-h of England. Tiie ('% Presn ought to show an example of 
moderation and fairness, iittributes deai- to luglishnien. Why giossly 

t defame l>r. Coleuso (Hee. 19.) and prejudge the wholo case? If the 
Bishops of I'rjchrster, Carlisle, Manchester, and O.Kford have prejudiced 
the L'ase, tlic Crii/ Prcxs should have eschewed their bad example. I 

kknow nothing more indecorous — nothing more unseemly — nothing more 
calculated to strengthen the liands of the unbeliever, thau the via.» 



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clirisliaii allusion to a "brotlier Bisliop," to the Bisliop of Natal, as 
"clnickling over his work like n successful fiontll" The Right Rev. 
Prelates, tlie Ex-.-jchoolmaster, .laiiiPiS Friiice I-ce, the " Hon."' Saniiiel 
Wakk'grave, ami the " llij^lit Jlon," Sannu^l WJlberforce, aro certainly 
not overburdened with very nice tdcaa of honnw. Wliat an cxamplo 
of Episcopal charity! To fiercely .is«iil JHfihop Volatiso, pettdcnti' lilt; 
wliile the suit is pejulin^'! To load a man with obloquy and reproach 
before trial is indeed ail apt illustration of the rancour and hatred, the 
odium Ikeolngiaiin ougeiidors in tlio Clergy. 

Wliat a display of Epise-opal cowardice and bigotry! What a 
Btrikiiicf contrast with the liisliop of Natal's honest frankness ! Let me 
tell the C% Prc:<!s tliat it is this frankness which draws towards tlie 
Bishop the synipiitliy and admiratiou of all enquh-ing minds! The 
Bishojj's resolution to follow trutli wMthersueser it viai/ lead -xains for his 
Lordship warm applause from liberal, and violent animosity from hypo- 
critical, churchnieu. Well, 1 for one admire the Bishop of Natal for 
his bravery! It is no trivial matter for a Bishop to speak out I The 
Bishop of Cape Town, [Dr. Robert Gray] true to his in.stincts, is in full 
cry to wnriy, and eajjer to persecute and expel. I trust the Engiisli laity 
for oiico will mutiny should Dr. Gray succeed by his mere ipue dixit ia 
deprivinf; Dr. Colenso of his Sec. I hope they will insist on the right 
of appeal. And should bigotry prevail, let not the Bishop of Natal be 
disheartened. The spirit of enquiry which liis Lorddhip has aroused 
would rsdly round him the largfei^t eonjjregation in London, should he 
determine, in the event of deprivation, to set np aa an hidependent 
Minister. 

The Press is too apt to glorify. It ia always in better taste to 
dilate on what the Corporation has left undone, than to speak of what it 
has already accomplished. In twice rejectiug Mr. Ewart's Act it has 
aimed a heavy blow at the extension of Education, ard the diffusion of 
Knowledge. It is in no splenetic, or qiiuniloas spirit that I assert wliat 
is undeniably true, that crime is still rampant. But let mn entreat those 
who are rated to the Consolidated rate to bear in muid that Ignorance 
is the parent of crime. I do not say the setting up well-furnished 
News Rooms in the skirts of the city would work miracles, but the 
citizens may rely ou it, Ihrit a small library rate expended in the canse 
of mental cultivation and progress, like the qusiliiy of mercy, 



-i.s twice bloas'd : 



It blesseth him that give.?, and him that takes." 

MliUcnANT OF VeNK'E. 



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It is not too much to a.ssert that the News Room tax of one penny 
in the pound wonld bo twice saved in the reduction of the poor-rate. 
By this aclieme of popular cdncation yon would soften the national man- 
ners and render them less brutal. Social progress wonld soon dovclopc 
itHelf. I do not say News Rooms, fitted up with some of the elegance 
and comfort of the Pall Mall Clubs, would banish crime, btit I linoly 
believe that otfences which in this age are prevalent, dai-k deeds nn- 
equalled for cruelty and depravity, would not only be diminished, but 
would to a great extent disappear. O, that the ratepayers of the City 
of London would give thi.s schemo of Instruction a candid attention I S 
O, that they woukl sa invest their money and '* make to themselves f 
friends of the mammon of nr.rigbteoasncss." [St. Luke, xvi., J).] 

I entreat you to exerciso a little commercial foresight. You will 
perceive that tho project of News Rooms in the decisdy iubat^ited quar 



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ters of the City would be a good investment, and would paif well. Open 
wide tlie jiortiils tliat the }>coiile may enter into comiiuinion witli the 
good, tiio w'uty, and the wise, and dou't listen to tlio worn out, used up 
failafies of the enemies of progress. " Their name ia legion." Publicans, 
coffee house-keepers, tobucconists, pastrycooks, tavern kcopeis, owners 
of billifu'd-i'ooras, all combine to misinterpret the scope and aim of tho 
Libraries Act. Tbey induatiiously foment prejudices aud ipiorances. 
Common Omncil Capital id easily i-aised by a akiltul union of the " more 
taxation " cry, and the "Friends of tbts poor Raiepaycrs," whine. Sup- 
port in such quarters eannot be expected, nor from narrow minded folk 
who consider books and papers in the bauds of the working classes insti^u- 
tnentsof destraction, aud calculated to make them dissatisfied Mith their 
couditiou. 

There are .■?onie opponents of this wise movement who persuade 
themselves they alone are genuine social reformers. Noisy persons, 
fouad at every nieetiuj,', talking upon every conceivable subject, without 
comprehending tho merits of any. These "Sir Oracles" stagger quiet 
people by their vanity nnd igiioraut presumption. They speak in 
grandiloquent language, and perpetually elauiour about self-help and the 
voluntary principle. Well, I have faith in the common sense of the 
citizens of London. I cannot doubt that in spite of objections set up by 
public-liouse politicians, persona who are directly iuteiested in keeping 
the people in the darkness of ignorance, that this great cause of Public 
lustruction will triamph. Listen to one who has no interest to deceive 
you. My fother and graiidtather were Clergymen of distinction in the 
City of London, a snificient guarantee, I trust, that in urging you to vote 
or Mr. E wart's Act, I neither seek, nor M-onld accept any appointment. 
The nearest wish of my heart is, that the honoured name I bear may be 
associated with Free News Uooms, open to all comers, for the City of 
London. 

The Public Libraries aud News Room's Act is utterly opposed to 
spurious pliilauthropy, glorilication, and sycophantic patronage. It is 
eminently conducive to self-reliance, and self-culture. Mr. Elliot 
argues that for " 5d. a week'* books, newspapers, and lectm'ea "cau be 
got witiiont limit." But 5d. per week amounts to £1 ts. 8d. a year; 
aud a daily penny paper to £1 6s. Od. a year. By paying a library rate 
of o'lc farthing in tliJ pound on the City rental, that is lOd, on a £40 
houso, you would save &l. 5s. 2d-, and obtain much better value for 
your money. It may be said Id. a week is not much to pay to " get the 
reading of six papers." I contend it is 3s, 6d. too much, as a farthing 
rate would amount to only lOd. a year. I entreat the citizens ot 
Londou, ?iot to be misled by sceptics of tho old school, who have no 
faith, — do not believe in tha edacatioii a/workii:ff meit, and who sueer at 
the righteous dictum, *' that KNOWLEDGE should be the portion of 
all." One word on the very miscliievous distinction that is drawn 
between ^' secular" and " religious" instruction, by the soidimni evan- 
gelical party. AVhy, it is n religious duty for a man to cultivate and im- 
prove his mind, and it savours of the most odious fanaticism to ca-st the 
reproach of irreligion npon every subject of study which is not imme- 
diately connectud with the IJible, or with questious of pare divinity. Again 
1 repeat, all Knowledge is more or less religious. I will just glance at an 
argument in favour of News Rooms, freely open to all comers I I delight 
to view such institutions as Nurseries of sound political knowledge. 
Let it never be forgotten by the liberal party in the City of London 
that tfie vhiim of un imtructed^ educated people to a ftirlher extension of 



the political freaiehiie cannot be resisted. Well, this proves tlie necessity 
of some political training preparatory to the extension of the franchise. 
A people instructed in tiie administration of public affairs affords the 
best piarautee of freedom, and the firmest fouiidatioa of tlie permanence 
of the Goverimient. 

My exertions to improve the condition of the people arc not directed 
to social and ediicatitmal eftbrts alone. In afivocating News Rooms I 
attach much wei^'lit to tin; tti.-'tlnLtly pnUt'uni aspect of tlie question. 
WliVt the cou.staiit reaHliiij^' of the London I'aily Press ii of itself a 
political educfliion. Yon crente what Jeremy IJentliam quaiutly termed, 
a " Tablic Itpiniou Tribunal I" 

I believe there is vcjuiciii? in the City at the fair promise with 
which tlic Lord Mayor has commenced his year of otlice. The 9lh 
November, 1863, produced the best entortainiuent, thy best speech from 
the Chiair, and tlio fairest Lady Mayore.sf<, [Miss Lawrence,] seen in tlic 
Mansion House for many a year. 1 am convinced that tioiliing would 
be more gratifying to his Lordship than to preside over a mccthig to 
pasa a nnauimoiis vote to cany Mr. 1"' wavt*.s Act for the City of London, 
and to reverse ilie untoward decisions of 183,5 and 186L Lorii Mayor 
Lawrence is aware of the disf^racc tlmt attaches to these defeats. His 
Lordship is well aware that it is a I'oproach, a hfttn;ma, tiint tlic wexilthi- 
estandmoiit powerful Corporation in the world lags fur behind small 
mnnicipal towns in the race of improvement Tho time is propitious. 
Need 1 remind tlie citizens that we are enjoying uuexnmplad commer- 
cial prnspLTity, and imbroIteM peace! Tlu: inipnrts and exports of the 
City of London have exceeded the limit of all former years, and a bright 
summer has produced one of tlic most fruitful harvests which have ever 
been gathered in England, 

\v hat better Thankoffering for this gi'cat blessing could the citizens 
bestow than in opening wide the iiortals of these School Chnrchea, these 
"Homes of Refuge,'" or News Ilooms? How can yon more appropri- 
ately shew forth your gratilndc than by adopting a pro|)osal so mer- 
ciful, and so wise, a i>roject which would so unqncsrionably diminish 
poverty and crime. Circumstances are peculiarly favourable for taking 
another vote on the adoption of Jfr. Ewart's Act for the Ci(y. Your 
worthy Mayor sind his good Sheriff support the movement. Three of 
the lion, membirs for tlie City would vote for the adoption of this prac- 
tical scheme of Instruciion. I liave industriously eiidinvonred to c in- 
vert venison and turtle-fed, lethargic, London Alderimn to my views. 
Why I derive as much nnlu^ement in stirring up an obese Alderman to 
tax himself for so good a puriwse as in tickling up a fat, lazy ox with a 
goad! Well, if Sir James Duke, Bart., M.P!, Aid., who, on this im- _ 
porlant topic of Free News Itooms for the City is soiioiilic, and Alder- ■ 
maul}', -will read my *' paper " with attention, I do not despair of even ■ 
his vole. It is in no vein of critical cen^oriousness that I again advert 
to the connnou topic of conversation on i>t. Thomas'.^ Day, \\i , the 
reckless expenditure of the Coi'poration nt the Royal Entertainment, 
and to the subsequent appropriation of the property. A cloml of 
obloquy hangs over tlie Corporation, It must bo acknowledged it is 
obuoxious to severe rebuke. 

No amount of so])liistry can obliterate the reproach of a rich Cor- 
poration grudging Xd. in the £ tot the t^jiread of knowledge, and. yvt 
purchiisiug lavishly, V( ry costly nrikles for their own private nse and 
cousumpiion I There is any thing but a sweet smelling savour abont 
such a union of desperate frugality and excessive covetousness ! Not all 



I 

I 

I 
I 

I 

I 



I 

all m 



I 



llie sweet-scented epicy galea From Araljy the blest can make pleasant 
Biach questionable feats! Still, even at tlie eleventii hour there is a 
hem penile itlfcp, a.M o])poitiinity for re formation, for even t;rcaler moral 
delinquents tlian City Aide rnieii ! IJut as fi sine quii Hoit, yuu uiiist 
"consider your ways." [Hajii^ai 1 cli. fl v.] Believe me you would 
gain fjoUleii opiniuus by esteem h^' otliera rather tlian yoitiselves! The 
cry of "more Hj^lit," — 'ninrc knowledge," la wellin-^ up from dismal 
courts, aitd obscure labyrinths tluit Irtnjje your City! An Era of true 
glory awiiits tlie Cori'oration, by throwing; a flao:! of light, [by means 
of the Lihrarios Act] ovm' these desolate moral wa^jtes, tlicse dark biota 
ou the escatcheon of a. City boastinj; of its wealth ;(nd civilisation. 

If not critical 1 am nothintj. Witli the spciir of Itlinriel, I take delight 
in probiu;^ shams. Antl if not in me too curious, may I ask what has 
become of the Trustees of the Peiibudy Fund ? V^'hat h;ive they 
accomjdiifJicd? All who answers, what? At a special Court of C. C, 
March 1-2, 1862, Mr. Uepuiy C. Keed moved that the Freedom of the 
City be presented to i\x. Peabody for bjs mniiificeut iloiiation of 
£150,000. Two yeai's have elapsed, aud there has been plenty of 
tall talk and gloriticalion, and nolliing else to show for the money! 
" 1 HUsiiicJon," as a Y.tnkeo would say, " that's a fact." IVlieu a gift i3 
anuouncL'd with 90 much parade, so much ostentatiou.'* adulation, and 
lii;,di compliment, I lose all coniideuce. 

" Words are like leH,i.'cs, and where they most abound, 
Much fruit of good beneath is rarely found," 

When tbc objects of the chaiity are in their i^raves, a long-winded, 
evasive report may be expected! Your moitel philaiithropist is in- 
variably verbose ! fJrcat in words! Little in Deeds! How alhiri)ji{ 
Lis promises! Enquire for something dane^\hv perfi)rmaiiee.% wot idm\>\y 
decl.irations of a henelit to be conferred, mere promises to pay, and what 
a blank! what a thorough imposture and cheat! Amid a crowd of shams, 
I know of none more repulsive than this fishing ibrajiplaiise by baiting 
the hook with im" pravmes, to catch the unwary. With cliarlAlaos like 
these, 

" Man never IS, but always TO BE, bleet." 

It is sad to thirk Mr. Peabody was ^jot better advised. Tn choosing 
'J'rustees the qufstiou ari.~os, what check have I upon these mca that they 
will carry oat my design ? 

" Qii't.-i cns:ludk'i ipnoi vmtoiJcx?" — JUV, 
" Wlio shall gunrd your own guards?" 

Sir William BrowUt Bart., Liverpool, acted wisely aud erected a 
niajpiificeiit Free Library building, on the understanding that it was to 
be upheld by a rate Would that Jlr. Peabody had followL-d Sir Wlliam's 
example for the City of Louduu. There's Jiotluug like caaxiug certain 
City olficials and parish olficers into doing good, i could name W.wd.s 
where cutting down the ratea, aud pinching the poor, is regarded aa the 
whole duty of man! 

Peihap> it is not too late to suggest that a portion of the £150,000 
Bhoukl be wet apart for tin- City of London Free T/ibrnry antl News 
Koom Bnildiag. Two of the Truste.'s of the I'eabody Fnnd arc advo- 
cates of Free Libiarie:?. Lot me ask Lord Stanley, M.P., and Mr. Dep. 
C. Heed to ponder well this applieaiion of a part of tlin Fund. Nothing 
con Id be more In harnmny with the benevolent donor's wi-hes ^Vhat 
a ' home of refuge' woidd tlvia Peabody Free Library Institution become I 



42 

Mr. Dalton has sent me the eleventh annual report of th6 Liverpool 
Free Lending Librai-ies. Total number of vols. 33,573, each volume 
lent on an average during the year 14 times. Total issues 461,080. 
337,963 total issues of light and amusing literature for the year ending 
3Ist August, 1863. 43,095 issues in miscellaneous literature, 27,899 in 
history and biography, 13,194 geography, voyages, &c., 11,541 in 
theology. Would not the Londoners appreciate the boon of a good 
Lending Library as well as the people of Liverpool ? Away then with 
the objection of a Fleet Street bookseller, that a Free Library was not 
required, and would not be used, as there were few residents in the 
City. But I entreat the ratepayers not to allow themselves to be caught 
by so ti-anspai'ent a fallacy. Why this dealer in books ought to know 
better. These screech owls choose to forget, that the sons and 
daughters of toil in the City by day, and who live out of the City by 
night, would have the privilege of taking from the Lending Libraries 
books to read at their homes. 

"Numerous examples might readily be adduced, showing the comfort 
and pleasure which many sick persons derive from these Libraries. Two cases 
may be cited. 

" An old sailor, who served under Nelson, was, as long as health permitted, 
a regular frequenter of the South Libraiy. For two years he has been unable 
to leave his bed, and consequently is now obliged to send a messenger for 
books, which are his only companions during the sleepless hours of night. 

" A clerk, who has lost the use of his limbs, and is incapacitated from 
following his employment, finds his only solace in the books lent him from 
the North Branch. To numbers of unemployed labourers, mechanics, and 
others, they are of unspeakable advantage, as they enable them to spend many 
a tedious hour in a pleasant and profitable manner."— ^epoj-f. 

The pleasure derived by those who are out of work, in being able 
to borrow books to read at their homes, is noteworthy. A person out 
of employment thus writes : — 

" ' Were I to be deprived of the use of books from your excellent Libraries, 
my life would become only a burthen and a blank.' 

" For books of an educational character there is a steady demand, and in 
order to foster as much as possible this desire for self-improvement, it is pro- 
posed to considerably augment the works in this class. 

" This is the only Free Lending Library in the kingdom that issues Music, 
and the quantity lent, and the care that is taken of it, prove how much it is 
prized. Works of this description cannot fail to refine and elevate those who 
use them." — From 11th Annual Beport, 1863. 

It is in no spirit of antagonism that I again revert to a great want ; 
News Rooms are as much required at Liverpool, as at Manchester. 
May I ask the Chairman of the Committee, James A. Picton, Esq., 
F.S.A., why the News Room Department is so studiously ignored P Is 
the Knowsley influence paramount ? Is the Derby Museum a gift on 
certain conditions? I warn the Committee not to be misled by silly 
critics who inveigh against reading for "mere amusement I"' Such 
charlatans talk about the danger of a Free Library degenerating into a 
mere News lioomr Why what miserable cant! what ineffable bosh! 
The enemies of progress, and dull mediocrities in particular, dread the light 
of intelligence, and fear the Newspaper. But I have certain principles 
to advance, and it is to the Ne^vs Room, [not the Museum,] I look to 
rescue the mass of the people from Ignorance. I earnestly counsel Mr. 
Picton to make the News Room the most prominent feature in the 
Liverpool Free Library Institution. Give the News Room the first 
place. The newsp^er is often more welcome than a book. There is 



nothing, ioclecd, like this liistorical novel foi* attraction. To (aik about 
books beiiif; liis " passion and delight" may do as a poet's rhaprfody, but 
it is yjniply ridiculous tu suppose that a man, wcai^^ with a hard day's 
ivork, will nut, if he can lead at all, profor the Newspaper fu a book. 
This tblio of sixteen pages, witli its wise and witty articks, can he read 
Tvithout nmch exertion, of which already he has bad enough, perhaps 
too much. 

I am glad to notice the Eev. F. D. Maurice has recognized this 
truth. A News Eoom has lieen opened at the Working Men's College, 
Great Orraond Street, wliicli I understand is much appreciated. Well, 
this Tcaduig room owes its existence entirely lo my exertions. Eji 
pa-isanC I may nieutioB that it is t* my i)ei'sevcranfe alone the public is 
indebted for the Crystal Palace Reading and News Room. Why, it was 
to luy persistency the Neivs Room was incoi"poratcd in the Librai-ies Act. 
I am naturally, therefore, indignant, that year after year this most im- 
portant department at Liverpool is utterly ignored I 1 hope the Chief 
Librarian, Mr. J. Stuart Dalton, will back this remonstrance with the 
Committee. It is singular that at Salford, where the Museum depart- 
ment is thrust forward, the News Kooni 1ms no place whatever I This 
is too bad! May I suggest to Mr. John Plant, the Curator, the policy 
of mlopiing the Prince of Denmark's counsel : 

" 0, reform it altogether." 

Make the New.s Room your chief sonrco of attraction, the fiust 
feature ill the Salford Free Library Institution. The same remark will 
apply to the Sheffield Free Library lustitutiou, where from the silly 
fear that the people will become *' too political," the newspaper is 
rigidly excluded! I hope Mr. Roebuck, M.P,, gives no couuteuanco to 
such stupidity. I hope the meiiibor for Shetiield is not afraid of the 
people becoming too enlightened ! Vain fear t Why, all our boasted 
knowledge aud civilization has done nothing to diminish the horrors of 
War ! — the greatest evil, the most terrilile .'^comge than can afflict man- 
kind ! And yet war is a game Mhich, wore the people wise or educated, 
our ruleia would not play at. At Bolton you liave the "Public Free 
Library aud Muaeura," but not a vestige of a News Eoom ! Once more 
let me remind the Liverpool, Salford, Sheffield, and Bolton Committees, 
that Mr. Ewart's Act is a NEWS ROOMS ACT, as well as a Libraries, 
and Museums Act. If you ignore the News Room, you cannot ignore the 
fact that every body who reads at all reads newspapers, and mauy 
people read nothing else. The Liverpool Free Library Committee, if 
not acting illegally, are grossly neglecting their duty, in not at once 
opening four News Rooms. They seem utterly unmindful of Working 
Men's wants. Why, it is ci'uel to expect a working man ivill rack his 
brains with gratuitous researches and perple.xities. After 8 or 10 hours 
severe labour he requires the newspaper to bo amused. It is a rest from 
long toil or excitement. Kuoiving this, why unjustifiably withhold an 
innocent gratification P Wliy do your best to drive the working ranu 
into the alehouse, instead of trying to lure him out ? 

I hope the Committee are not interested as Brewers, or Publicans, 
in pertinaciously closing the Free News Room to the working nittn. 
Nothing will gratify lue so much as to find the Fj-ee News Room 
question taken up in these four towns. It will be some compensation 
for years of energetic advocacy, and unmerited obloquy, I shall then 
believe that I have not written in vain, and that the seed sown has taken 
root iu till- public mind ! It is a devciictioa of duty on the part of tlici 



Committee to frur^trate the obviuiw int^ntiou of the Legislatui'e, viz., a 
public houh-(?, or Ni^ws Roura, [witlioiit tlie *'jiggiered" driuk,] /r«/^ 
open to all comers ! 

To revert to the Peabody Gift. I wrote to Lord Stanley, M.P., in 
the hope of eiilighltuiug the uiember for Kuit,''s Lyuu, statinj^ that I was 
prepiulug my 'paper' for the Press, to which 1 rcieived this reply : — 

" Gay wood Hall, Kings' LjTin, Nov. 18, 18G3. 

"Lord Stanky has received Mi". Fcilde's letter, bnt 
declines sub^i'lbiiig to liis bouhf' 'Jliis verhalim, laconic cote was 
directed "Mr. M. Feildc." la former letters 1 wad always "Esfj," 
"What have I done to forfeit my honorary title? Really, Lord Stanley, 
thie is very pitiful ! ^Vhy, by courtes}', my claim to be styled "Esq," 
is r.si good as yourti, to be called '• Lord." Well, ])ersoiiaUy I am 
indiflerent to slight. 1 do not unduly value snch a distinction. But 
to iileli from me uiy good name, my eliief possession, betrays a narrow- 
ness of Hjul clunacleristlc of a Tory, — a want of dignity and meanness 
peculiar to the Derby, Disraeli, nKiii;i;rc'I breed. 

Before I leave the News Mooni r]ueslioii, I must notice the Kt. Hon. 
W. E. Gladstones admirable speech at Bnckley, Flintsbire, [Jan. 4.] 
on tlie opening of a new rciidiiig-ruom. lie told ibe imii of Buckley 
that while, like the lower animals tliey must fill up tlse ^aeater portion 
of their time with labour, ^Icip, and eating, there is* air interval which 
the animal passes iu vacancy, but in which man must cirllivate \iU mind- 

'■ Labour was tlio lot of the lower animals, and physical or mental labour 
in one form or other wns the lot of the va.st iBajority oi mankind. Naturally 
there wiit) this brotid nnd fitrikin^ re^^tniblnnte fietwetn the two: hut yet the 
Almijrhly, speaking to iis as He did tlirouglioat Ibe cecniomy ol nature, nt once 
lioinied oiit this tfreat diflcreur-e — it was natural for the animal to divide Lis 
time butween labour, lood, and t-leep. If tliere was nnythiiit; elise it was 
v.'icancy. That was not the case with man. He might give a lurffe portion of 
his 24 hours to lahoiir, and n ennsiclerablG amniint of it to sleep; he must 
devote a certaiu iroition of ittoAwii ; but thntwusnotall. There were certain 
hours which required other food, nnd oiler food, either good vt lad, ihn/ 
invarhUtj ijot." 

To enable him to pet healthy food \s the obkct of Reading Rooms, 
and other mefhods of disseminatine kimwledge, a.s News Rooms. The 
craving of the bnman inind for food is a vacuum ivbich must be supplied. 

" It wn.s not necesBary to enter at Inrce npon the advantagesof institutions 
of that kind, llie time for aipuing fully on behalf of such institutions wn.s 
the time wlien men wanted tn be convinced of their importonce and useful- 
nes.s; but, ati far aa tlie jteneral public and Ihe common 0]>inlon in England 
was eonceriu'd, we coiitd no loii.(;er say that any necessity lor argument 
remained. Happily, their utility was generally recognized. They bad taken 
n hold upon the mind of tlie people ; they had Btriick dee]) root in many 
diKlrictsof the country; ihcy were thriving where Ihcy e.vij^ted to a dej/re« 
heretofore unknown, and Ihry were guinp to be adoptt-d where tliey did not 
exist ; therefore their Kcnernl waiTauf and justification waa complete." 

After deftudintj ibc njoderate, ratioual, and CliristifluUlce uso of 
stimulants, the CliiuRcllor of the E.\clit(jiier (lUVrfd to tliera a career of 
self-Jmprovenient, kuowled<,T to hmnauize, to correct evil habits, to win 
them fiom the esces>ive iisi; of stimulants, and well says, 

"The publtchousc was not a desiraliJe place for the labouring man \o 
spend that port son of his life whieh w«is not absoHied bv labour, and glecp. 
and food. It waa not desirable in itiiclf, tts it generally led to some bad end." 



Without absolutely condemHiug the public Iiouse, but yet as the 
best way to counteract its abuse, Mr, Gladstone rL^comnieuds the village 
reading room. Give an airy, warm, WL-U-liglilcd looiu, a table, sL-ats, 
boulvs, ii:ii>L'i's, maps, mid simplu relrcshiuciitri at pi'inie coat [really {,'ood 
coffee, not niiuKty wtiicr, at Ul, a tup] and tlii-rc you have that, llio 
want of vvliich '• drives many a youth to the public." Mr. Gliulstouo 
takcg ;i sensible viuw uf tho pubilu buiise, aud [iroviJe^ a substilutt; in 
the Labourer's C/«6 or News Room. — Really ilr. Chancellor of the 
Exchequer this is uniiupcachable couuicL It only lacks one ingredient 
to render it a jjerfect specimen of style. It ia sadly deficient iu 
OEIGIXALITV. What jon say About tknjl aud sclf-dcniul is your 
own, but I claim to have published years ngo all jou said at Buckley 
on the advantages of reading roouiis! Well, uoue will object to au 
adviser in the person of a Ghancellor of the Fl^xeheqiier, 1 rejoice that 
my vicAvs are endorsed by bo eminent an authority. Yet, considering 
how I have been bespattered with contumely, and what viruktit abuse 
litis been heaped upon me, I might liave been better pleased with Mr. 
Gludstone had he given me my just Kuard of praise. Lauduri a duo 
haidulo, to be prairit-d by a man who has himself been oft the subject 
of praise, says Cicero, is a species of com meudattou to me not Icaa agree- 
able than novel. 

"A Surrey Parson" would have been far belter employed iu daitig 
what he could to save Wright from unmerited hanging, than iu writing 
long dreiiry letters to the Times, anathemnti/ing and rinding fault with 
everybody but the persons who are really culpable, -viz., his own order. 
Why, you have sown to the wind, and you nrc now reaping the whirl- 
wind iu that dark-heaving Ocean of depravity which threatens to over- 
whelm you, ami whose wild waves' tide you are utterly powerless to 
tteui. 

A stormy gulf has opened between the intelligent portion of the 
laity and tlio dignitaries of the Church. The Laity will no longer 
submit to nursing. They have been treated as children quite long 
enough. Dr. Wilberforce can wrap up very bitter judgments in most 
unctuous language. Indeed the Uisliop of Oxford has a marvellous 
speciality for intirlaitiing his .speeches with acrid suavity. Well, I 
Avish his lonisliip would reply to this question relating to t. 'on vocation, 
" Why should not the Clergy and the L;iity meet on the same level, and 
CO-OPE It A J K ?" I: is a species of priestcraft this excluding the Laity 
from taking any part iu questions of Church discipline and doctrine. 
You have usurped the rights of the laity, and tho time has arrived 
when they must bo restored. The Laity would bring common sense to 
bi'ar on y(mr proceedings. You begin at the wroug^ end. You must 
HUMANIZK, before yon can Cliristiauize a jmpnlation such as "a 
Surrc}' man" inveighs agaiiist. You are now reaping the fruits of long 
years of neglect, — long years in which the pulpit is silent,-^aiKl falic to 
its trust I Well, pauperism will always exist more or less, The poor 
will never cease out of the land. But that should not deter you from 
striving to inijuove tlieir condition. There ia no absolute cure for the 
disease, btit never forget that prevention is better than cure. School 
Chnrciics, or News Rooms, — not a substitute for the Church, but as a 
helper, are witliin your reach. Let the Clergy support this movement 
to re:-cue- the mas.s of the pt'ople from Ignorance, and I have no fear of 
the reiiult. Dnless [ greatly deceive mjself, unless I am in a dream, 
this News Room question is not a doubtful matter of speculatiou at all, 
it is a simple question of facts I 



L 




Once again, for the last time, let ote revert to the utfent necessit}' 
of rescioding the hro third* majority clan^ of the Libraries Act. I am 
contianallv receiving letters to this effect, "So long as the two-thirds 
majority is part of the Act, the chances of its adoption are slender 
indeed." The local favourites in St, Maryleboue were powerless against 
the horde of roughs that took advantage of this iojadicious, un-Eitglith 
claase. [This two-thinls i* an import from America.] Perhaps the 
Rt. ITon. Robert Lowe, M.P., as the Minister of Public Instruction, 
will see tbat the Act is thns amended, and also allow a Poll to be taken : 
there will then be no fe^r of a dead-lock. Praj you iu this matter avoid 
the "rest and be thankfnl" i>olicy. I have made this question my 
study, and I claim to be hcai-d. Mr. Alderman J. Cordy Burrows, 
Brighton, a gentleman much respected in that town, writes Nov. 2, 
1863, " My dear Sir, — The countrj- is much indebted to you for your 
exertions in behalf of Education." Other letters to the same effect. 

Mr. Micbcll writes, Oct. 2, 1863. *•' Dear Sir, — Your pamphlet has 
afforded me mncb gratification. I have been particularly struck with 
the appropriateness of some of ilic quotations,— from Wordsworth most 
especially. On the 88th page, the appeal to the young operatives is one 
of the most fervid and glowing, and would be a worthy emanation from 
any pen." 

Non sum qvalig eranu I have disconrsed at some length from the 
same X^xi, but I trust, though my ' preface' is unusually discursive, that 
you have not round me a tedious FEILDE preacher. 

I must hasten lu a close. Pardon me if I a;:ain allude to the War 
iu America. Let me send a few last words to Mr. H. W. Beoclier by 
his friend George Thompson, who takes his departure, 23 Jan. for [what 
he persists in styling] the •' United" States! Why this veiy day, Jan. 
IGtli, he is taUiug leave iu a farewell evening party.* " Sir,* you caimot 
fake from me that which I would more wilTiugly part withal!" A Mr. 
WiiliamEvmis, f [an iutolerant Chairmnn, with whom freedom of speech, 
means, freedom to prevent others from being heard] "wilt preside at 
7 p.m., tickets, 2«.cach." I did uot attend Mr. Beecher's ticket meeting 
at Exeter Hall. If there is one sham more odious, or oue hoax more 
iiupudeut than another, it is the passing off a packed multitude of noisy 
folk as the expression of public opinion! Is the roar of a paid rabble 
to be compared to the conviiicemeut of a fit audience, though few ? 
Had I attempted to address this tumultuous assembly, my voice would 
have been drowned in the clamour aud noisy interruption of the 



• I can truly assert, the bawlera of the EmandpatioD Society have taught 
mo to tally comprehend Macaulay's sententious expression, " the bray of 
Exeter Hall." The chairman, Mr. \V\ Evans, has yet lo learu tliat liberty of 
Speeob — free thoupbt, and free stpuech— is the most valuable of all our liberties. 
HegiYKsly violated Iiis duty liy making a l-ii'i s|>wcli liim.sclf, and hy doinp his 
bwt to BileDce me, aud the only liberty he allowed me was the liberty to bold 
my tongue. 

-f Oeorge Thompson stigmatizes the advocateii of Southern Freedom and 
Independeiieo as " mercenary hirelinafs," aud flingH dirt so copiously and so 
recklesHly, thut one is tempted to ask niiii a plain iiueatian. Arc you paid for 
your Eiimneipation Oratorj' J I am no " mercenary hii-cling," to use Mr. 
Thom[iBon'H jmrase. Whatever I have undertaken, to the best of my ability 
to set forward, wlialber the ejtuso of Public Instruction, by the adoption of 
the Libraritis" Act. or the immediate recognition of the Confederate States as 
the moHt practical wjiy of nbtilishin^' SlMvciy. I am at all evL-nta au UNPAID 
ADVOCATE, Can tieorge Thompson, cau W. Wilks, say the same with 
trtithJ 



4"? 

"shilling a head, and their beer mou" of the Federal spies. Why even 
Bright and Forster were ashamed of it ! The member for Leicester, 
Mr. Taylor, who is not dainty, could not gulp the falsehoods of this 
arch-puritan! Why, Mr. Beecher, you drained the cup of disappoint- 
ment to the very dregs ! Could you get nothing better than the refuse 
of charlatanry to support you? To fall from the lowest depths of con- 
venticlers to the lower deep of a Washington Wilks is humiliation 
indeed ! There are people who like to be imposed on, and truly you 
fooled them to the top of theu' bent ! Poptilus vult decipi, et decipiatur. 
It is noticeable your speeches got weaker and washier from Glasgow 
round to Manchester, But in the utter perversion of facts they never 
failed. 

Nearly 60 years since (1805), Southey wi'ote his famous anticipa- 
tion of Mormonism. " Meantime," he writes, " the damned system of 
Calvinism spreads like a pestilence among the lower classes." It is this 
system that has turned a minister of the Gospel of Peace into a " Delenda 
est Carthago" [Qy. Charleston] divine. It is reserved for this Puritan 
of the Puritans to advocate the continuance of u profligate and ferocious 
war of extermination against the South. Who commissioned this 
'* divine " to deal out fu-e and slaughter ? "Who empowered him to 
proclaim that Slavery must be destroyed, root and branch, by the 
sword, and not by peaceful means? Has he never read in Holy 
Writ, " Vengeance is MINE, / will repay, saith the Lord." 

It is reserved for the son of a puritan minister, who, like his father, 
evidently considers himself *' a burning and a shining light," but is what 
the Rev. Sidney Smith would have blandly called, " a sacred and silly 
gentleman," it is reserved for this clerical firebrand [whose ancestors 
left England for New Haven 18 years after the arrival of the Pilgrim 
Fathers in the Mayflower, and whose grandfather's gi'eat muscular 
strength enabled him to " lift a barrel of cider and drink out of the 
bung hole "] to travesty, or burlesque Abraham's great act of obedient 
faith in not withholding his son, even his only son, but oflFering him up 
at the express command of God. " More quickly," says Mr. Beecher, 
" far more zealously than Abraham offered up Isaac, have I sent my son 
of 15 to be slain in this war." Who that calls himself a Christian is not 
shocked at such impious language ? If this is not a specimen of ir- 
reverence I know not in what blasphemy consists. And this is the 
" minister " who sets up as the veiy best, the creme of society, the '• salt 
of the earth !" I blush to think such a blasphemer was lionized and 
petted by Baptist Noel, and many other Nonconformists in London. 

" How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth 
glad tidings, that pubhsheth PEACE I"— Isaiah. 

You who should promulgate " PEACE on earth, GOOD WILL 
TOWARDS MEN," you, who profess to be teachers of the religion of 
love, what business have you to coalesce with this transatlantic blas- 
phemer ? Is it for yon to fraternise with this Brooklyn " Clergyman ?" 
Is it for you to join in his cries of vengeance and extermination against 
the South? Know you not that the horrible butchery that has for 
nearly 3 years shocked Christendom is the most immoral, and hypo- 
critical warfare of any age or country ? Let me give you one example. 
A Pensylvanian, a "Minister of Religion" thus addressed a recent 
meeting. " Blood must flow in this war. I would rather see every man, 
woman, and child in the South perish than that the Southern Confederacy 
should succeed in gaining its Independence." 



48 

Why, no less than 260 ministers of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
were in conference assembled in New York, 18th April. They uttered 
snch diabolical and ferocious sentiments, that Bishop Scott, who pre- 
sided, was scandalized at their inisecmly behaviour, and sharply re- 
monstrated with these wolves in sheep's clothing, — these frantic brawlers 
and stirrers up of strife, who, whatever they may call themselves, are 
certainly more lilje savage hyaenas, than Christians. 

A ' War Christian ' may harmonize with Mr. Beecher's Yale 
College theology, but it is an utterly repugnant phrase, and an odious 
anomaly. We " have not so learned Christ." Snrcly the President of 
the Federal States, the shrewd and quaint "Old Abe," is not hood- 
winked and cajoled by so transparent a sycophant? To tell the 
American people that " England is on the side of the North !" Surely 
Mr. Lincoln must know that even his greenbacks are of more value 
than to be disbursed for such hard lying as this! O, that my words 
could career over tlie Atlantic, and penetrate the "White House! O, 
that [ could tell Abraham J^incoln that the "people of England" are 
on the side of the Confederates figliting for Independence ! O, that I 
could tell the President that the "Address" to ueo. Thompson from 
the Emancipation Society is simply a farrago of lies! O, that the 
warning voice of truth could reach him — could make him comprehend 
that the English are waking up to the real character of this hateful 
struggle ! O, that I could persuade him the English people believe that 
it is a delusion and gioss humbug to call it an abolition war, or war 
against slavery! Would that I could inform Mr. Lincoln Uiat we now 
fully believe that it is a war of tyranny, revenge, and dominion on the 
part of the North, and life, liberty, and freedom on the side of the 
South! That we now clearly perceive that tlie maintenance of the 
Union would perpetuate slavery. Tliat we now are clearly of opinion 
that the Recognition of the South would surely lead to Emancipation, 
That much more would be gained for that righteous cause in peaceful 
separation than can possibly be attained by a merciless and cruel war ! 
Our sympathies are with our kinsfolk the Confederates. We arc beyond 
measure disgusted, that a handful of obscure fanatics, and notorious 
infidels, presuming to speak in the uame of this great country, should 
depute one of their clique to proceed to Washington to bear false 
witness, aud say that we honour him (Lincoln) for his " wisdom and 
courage !" , I should like to ask the Rev. J, C. Galloway, M.A. why he 
sullies the Church of England, by coalescing, or fraternizing with 
G. J. Holyoake ? I should like to ask him what he means by calling a 
war of Empire a " holy war f" I should like to ask him if holiness con- 
sists with "shelling Charleston on Christmas Day, and causing great 
damage?" To prosecute a bloody and exterminating w^ar on the festival 
of the Prince of PEACE, that 

" Hallowed and gracious time 

Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,"— Hamlet, Act 1, So. 1. 

And for Mr. Galloway and Mr. Baptist Noel to call it a " holy war," 
— to so descrilie it in an "Address" to Geo. Thompson is as rank a 
specimen of hypocrisy as was ever displayed. How well does it 
exemplify the force of the remark of the philosophic Prince of Denmai'k, 
that 



— — " with devotion's visage, 
And pious action, we do sugar o'er 
The aevil himself." 



49 



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It is my belief Mr. Beecher is non compos mcatif. Exaiuino liid 
*' temperance " speech at Glasgow, What blatant egotisra I Whnt 
arrant blaspliemy 1 What inflated rubbish! If not mad, he is the 
most truculent and unscrupulous agitator that Xevv Haven ever reared. 
He comes of a bitter puritanical race. Nurtured on the sour milk: of 
Ualviuisin, tliere does not exist a fiercer, or more fanatical abolitionist. 
^Vell, I am glad we are rid of Mr. Beecher. I am sick of hia autics, 
and his ruatio dialect, creetw^ and natur^ and buzzom! 

It wag my lot to *' keep school" in the State of New Jefsfiy, and 3n 
the '^^ Empire State," t". e.. New York. [The lust of dorainiou crops up 
everywhere, eveu in naming a stjite.] It was my daily task to bear the 
♦* United States' History." What a collection of lies 1 What skimble, 
akamble, siufi'l Georije III. id painted in the blackest colours, and 
Lord North is represented aa a monster of iniquity. JelFerson, oue of the 
compilers of the " Declaration," is deified. [Yet this vain talker about 
equality was a slave breeder, and sold his sou by a black woman into 
slavery !] Then as if mischief enough is not inculcated in the disti'ict 
schools, you have every Fourth of J uly a bill of indictment, well peppered 
with abase of Enpland and the English. I once heard in New York a 
second-rate tragedlau, Forrest, deliver one of these detestable orations. 
It was full of sound and fury, and quite a scnsatiou speech. But no 
•> devil's advocate," not even our own brilliant Quaker, could havo 
surpassed him in odioiu calumnies and insidious misrepresentation of the 
English government and people. AV^hy do 1 refer to such studied malig- 
nity to my native country, to malice which came under my own obser- 
vation ? Eecause 1 wi.sh to inoculate H. M. Ministers with my views. 
Because I wish to show that the seed wkich has been .town is ripening to 
a harvest of future war. That is my deliberate opinion. Anglophobia, 
— ill-will in the popular mind against England is the natural and in- 
evitable result of the peniicious training and the poisonous teaching I 
have indicated. The " loperous distilnient" is poured into wdluig ciirs, 
and it will do its work. Anti-British jealousy and intense rancour crop 
up everywhere, Tljis evil spirit can only be allayed by a retributive 
war, which shall let the Yankees know that we are far stronger and 
mightier than they. England will bo obliged to teach these Yankees 
" how to live." All forbearance, all conciliatory measures, arc attributed 
to cowardice. Therefore^ as I have over and over again asserted, we 
must give them a tremendous thrashing. For years they havo been 
longing for it, nor will they be satisfied until they get what they want. 

The UNITY of the Republic is their darling object, and extent of 
territory — bigneiui, their arat>ition and fond delight. To be the biggest 
and most powerful nation in the world is their summum honnm, — a 
reward more coveted than Uherly — which, in the vocabulary of the 
Vaiikee, means license. To attain this Coveted object what have they 
nut sacritieed ? Rather than renounce the long-eherished di'eam of a 
consolidated Empire, they have incurred ft stupendous national debt, 
and have without the slightest remorse sacrificed multitudes of iive.'^, 
and consigned to anguish a large portion of the human race ! 'W'ell, as 
I said at Exeter Hall nearly three years ago, Iain delighted this gigantic 
su-ncture has been broken in twain! I am glad this "Union" has 
suddenly come to an end I I wish to dispel a delusion that has arisen 
among as, viz., that this is a *' FRATRIUIDAL " war. Xo such thing. 
It is an abuse of terms so to call it. It's altogether of a difiTerent breed. 
When I lived in the States no day passed that I did not hear of the 
irreconcilable differences of North and South, and that it was ow^-^ va. 



50 

tiame a " United States," and a question of time ass to tlic dissolution of 
the Union. Wliat " Union f As weli call a fight between a hyena 
and a mastiff a "fratricidal" contest as to contend that Southerners with 
English Wood in their veins, can, or ever did fraternize with low bora 
puritans, whose ancc&tors ■were regicides, and the ofliicourioga of the 
jails. I vimlicafe the South in (lieir raanly slrngsle for Indopentlence, 
I sympathise with the South hecaasc it is atrugfjliug for Independence, 
and that alone. I, as an Engllshinau, fervently wish and hope for 
Southern success. I hold steadfastly to the gi-eat democratic principle — 
the right of a people to choose their own form of government. The 
origin of this civil war on the part of the South is simply to vindicate 
this right — the right to self-government. The serious resistance to 
slavery never entered into the imagination of Northem politicians. It 
waa a question of politics, not of emancipation. To prevent the West 
■working with its natural ally the South, the Puritans and Northerners 
came npon the slave, and they at once employed the slavery question 
as the wedge with which to split the South and West asunder, and pre- 
■vent their natural cohesion. This obstinate struggle is not an abolition 
■war, but simply a yfur of dominion, to enforce a hateful Union, and that 
alone. 

Is it not remarkable in this struggle the absence of excitement and 
nvitutiou amongst the slaves? Why, it .speaks vohimea against the 
veraeity of Mrs. Harriet Beccher Stowe'a indisputably over-colom-ed 
" pictures of .'slavery.* It demoustrates that her accusations of general 
lll-trciitinetit arc false, and that the abolition qneBtion is taken up j/uretjf 
On political grou/idn. 

If the people of Schleswig-Holstein have a right to choose their own 
ruler, and to free themselves from the domiiiinn of the Danes, if we 
concede the right of these Duchies to national independenco, if we con- 
cede the same right to Lombardy and other Italian States, it ill 
becomes Englishmen to deny this right to their own immediate 
descendants. It ill becomes Englishmen, in bitter words, to taunt the 
" so-called Confederate States" that they are fighting to build np a slave 
republic, and not for their liberty and hidepeudeuce. Everytlring must 
come to an end, and Slavery is doomed to die a uatnrul death. The 
Southern people well kuow ihat compulsory labour is doomed, and that 
its perpetuation is only believed in by a few madeaps like Mr. Stephens. 

Mr. Milner Gibson asserts that slavery is the sole point iti disjiute 
between the Belligerents, in defiance of the distinct denial of that 
assertion by a largo majority of the House of Representatives at 
Washington [115 votes against 52, on the motion, "that this war is not 
waged for the purpose of overthrowing slavery."] Let me teU Mr. 
Milner Gib^^on that the struggle of the South for Se])aratiou and Inde- 
pendeuce did not originate in any ambitious design. Nor did they 
embark their all upon the stormy sea of Secession with the intention of 
founding a Slave ttepublic. Now, from my youtli up I have lifted up my 

* Mrs. Stowo is sister to the soi d'uant " i?«w." H. W. Beecher,— the blas- 
phemous advocnte of the North, who nrsen his Brooklyn congregation not to 
pause in the work of sluuffhler until eiyht millions of a Cliristian people are 
exterminated! In this (itiocious cry for blood Mr. Beecbcr is stimulated by 
*' popular clerpjmen," who unblushingly rrnchiim their motto is, " C}re*k-fire 

for (he mas.ses of the Southern people, and H fire for the leaders." This is 

the odious fanntic who informed hia "brethren," at Kadley's Hotel, that 
because " he found his voice as clear as n whistle," on Tuesday Morning, Oct. 
20th, therefore he had " the direct interpoiUion i>fthe Almiylityr 



[ 



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«1 

voice against mau holding property in man. Not one ayliable should I 
have spoken in favom- of tlie South had I uot firmly believed tbia ivas a 
war to achieve ludt'petidence, aad not to sustain Slavery — nal to Jteep in 
perpetual bondage four millions of our fellow-creatures. With ray auti- 
slavery views is it likely I E4liou!d liave exposed myself to the rcvilings 
of Exeter Hall (Jan. 29, l^sGSj had I considered that the South ivas 
fighting to upliold Slavery? Relatiunsbii), interest, and sound policy 
alike call upon the Government to aokuowledge the Nationality of the 
South. Wiiy from tliat very day—from the very hour of Recognition 
by this great tonotry, the knell of Slavery on the American continent is 
tolled] Tbe battle of Opiuiou ■would triuiupb. Before internal pressure, 
and the isolation of opinion the demon slavery would be vanquished. 
Only let H. M. Miuistera do this act of justice — recognize the Soutli, 
and you wonid make every Southerner aware that politically speaking, 
no enemy eould wish him prreater harm than his retention of Slavery. 
■ Mr. Gibson has probably never heard of Charleston aa tho home of 

" null ifi cation," and the "cmd/e of Secession," or be would not have 

ttold his constituents the South bad only now awakened to a grievance] 
Mr. Gibson has never heard of protectionist taritts forced thiongh Con- 
gress to heavily tax the Southerners for the benefit of the North. In 
theory, it is free, but in all that relates to trade and commerce tlie U. S. 
Government has coerced the South with despotic authority. Thirty 
years ago I well remember the nullification — "rebellion" of South 
.Cai'olina. President Jackson eventually silenced it by threatening to 
bombard Charleston. It was only by vigoroaa measures that a serious 
rupture of the "Union" was averted. I don't deny this terrible fight is 
cai'ried on with energy on both sides. Nevertheless Mr. Gibson, IM.P. 
is entirely mistaken iu refusing to credit, what is the simplest truth, 
viz., that the North pursues its object for CONQUEST, the South for 
INBEPENDENCE alone. There can bo no reasonable doubt Liberty, 
or Despotism is involved in tho issue of the desperate civil strife between 
the North and Ihe South. The obstinacy of the Nortli [worthy of a 
better cause] is no guarantee for the restoration, or tlie reconstitotion of 
the American Union. Tfuit Union is no more, and will nemr, never 
rise again ! The Declaration of Independence on the 4tb of July, 1776, 
[that same Declaration, which Mr. Scholefield, M.P. truly says, sets 
forth the undoubted rl-^djt of the Southerners to secede,] heralded the 
IIISE of the Republic— the cannon-shot from Fort Sumter, April 13, 1861, 
proclaimed its i ALL, To talk about a " Union,"— a fraternal affection 
to b3 restored iy for-ce of nrms, is as absurd as to imagine you can 
compel a stvoug-minded woman to cohabit with a detested spouse J Cut 
why not believe in the obstinacy of the South! Why not believe that 
it is SKl^ARATiON from a hateful alliance for which they are now 
struggling, and aaruimi Union and despotism. Can it for ojie moment be 
denied, that, in every aspect of tho question, the sound policy and duty 
of England is to IIKCOGNISE THE SOUTH.* It is of paramount 
imporiuQce that we should aid the South in breakin-; tho spell of tho 

• Certflin dastard Eni^lishmon, incited by tlio DaUij A'cira, and Monaity 
Star, jroploro us not to offend tlw big bully,— to tread softly and boware of 
the dog! — of the vast brute power of the North "that must be cracked up." 
And this at tho very time ivhen. our duty and policy alika lotidly call on us 
to abandon our one-sided neutrality, and to send a Minister to Richmond. If 
we don't lk'co;^ize tho Suulhum States, most assuredly Kapoleon III. will, 
and will reap all the advarjta4;e. 1 eaid thia tvi-o years ago, but I am well 
aware that " no prophet is aocepted in his own. coviutT-s ." "ft\..\«tWi K. ^,1^^ . 



Bf 



United Statea system. This huge Republic has orerehadowcd and 
menaced ns without ceasing. Our concilititory measures have been met 
by iacesaant warnings of the danger we incur in haaardin^ their dia- 
pleasurc. It is really preposterous iu the extreme to hwir rampant 
Republicans, [whose own national existence was a rebellion and secession 
bat of yesterday ajraiust a liiwful aoi^ereign] — it is sicliening to hear 
«uch men complaining of sedition, and calling the socessioa of the South 
a *' wicked j-ebeliliou." 

" Qtiu tulerit Oracehoa de teditiont qumreitteaf" — JPV. 



I 



— — " who his spleen could rein, 
And hear the Gracchi of the mob complain T" 



linj. ■ 
and ^ 



No tnie Englishman can sympathise with such hypocritical whial 
No true Englishman but must feel disgusted to hear schismatics and 
Beccders arguing against the right of Secession. Why, to wish tor ihe 
" integrity " of the United States — for a vast political unity to threaten 
England especially, is not only extremely uustateamanlike but is a gross 
example of costive Incivism. It is of the utmost political consequence 
that we should aid and assist in breaking up this "integrity," by 
recognizing the Palmetto flag. Why, common sense tells us it is wise 
to facilitate the final disruption of this menacing, overgrown Union. 
The policy of the Federal Government towards England, especially 
since Secretaiy Webster's reign, has been inimitably and exactly 
described by our own Shakespeare 1 

" Cog. Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world, 
Like a Golos.sua : and we petty men 
"Walk under hia huge lega, and peep about 
To find oureelvoa dishonourable j^mvea." 

Jtiliiis C<Z»ar, Act 1. Sc. ?. 

It appears the Birmingham folk have capitulated to the misleading' 
eloquence, or rather pure gasconade of the fighting qnaker. Can Mr. 
Dawson and Mr. Ryland sanction abject attacks on theii" able and 
respected representative, \Vm. Scholefield, Esq? It seems the " War 
Christians'' [proh pitdor} in Birmingham threaten Mr. Scliolefield with 
a vote of censure for joining the Southern Association! What a set of 
political boobies I TUcy don't deserve an honest member. That most 
despicable of characters, a Yankee Englishman, who wants to introduce 
Federal Institutions into England, will do for them. Why it is a veiy wise 
and patriotic act of Mr. Scholefield to join the Southern Association ; and 
to blame a Member of Parliament for so doing, is nothing less thaa 
insolent and pestilent cant. Let me impress upon the Government that 
■we have too long shut our eyes to the soaring ambition of a colossal, 
overgrown Republic ! This war cannot last for ever. Directly it cornea 
to an end, the Cansdas will be attacked. It must never be forgotten by 
the Government that they have to deal with a people who are firm 
believci's in their destiny. The dream of Empire, to rule over the whole 
Of the North Amorican Continent, and to drive " the Britishers " from 
Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, is one of those delusions 
which can only be dispelled in one way. This protracted dream, — ihis 
lovely vision of the Yankees, must bo rudely disturbed by the guns of 
the W^arrior booming up tlie Narrows ! We have too long held a candle 
to the devil ; and the time will come, and that shortly, when we sliall be 
obliged lu iiiidtceive these Northern Brtiffgadocioi, .ind teach them good 
manners in the one only waii they are cflpable of being convinced. 



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Sncb is iny intense lieltcf, the result of a cai'eful obSeiTatton diil'In^ 
a seven j^ears' residence in ilie States. I cannot resist a few words on 
Jlr Bright'a reraarkalile speech (Jan 26.) to his constituents. It was 
nn able ad cnptamlniti address, mafjnifying the strong, and artfully ignoring 
the weak points of hi.s case. He dioosea to fwqat that Slaves, "four 
nijllions of our fellofrcreatnreSj" are an iieritai;e from "the old Do- 
miuiou." ]n his hitter invectives against the "leaders of tins accursed 
insurrection^^ [rather aironjij language for a peaCe-at-any-prico 'friend I'} 
with that disingenuousncss — that mean subtilty that so distiug-uishea 
Mr. Bright, he pnrposely leaves out of view a most important considera- 
tion. Mr. Bright, M.P., falsely calls thia rightcons strnggle on the part 
of the Soath an " insurfection," tliat is, a seditions rising, a rebellioaa 
conamotion. It is nothing of the Sort. It t3 a lying invention of the 
enemy ao to designate it. The Sonth did NOT desire War. It com- 
n^enced when the determination of the Northern Government to subdue 
the South was formed. Mr. Bright kiiowa thia fact as well as I do, but 
artfully conceals it. He snnbs his- " hon. coUeagiie," or rather "damns 
him with faint praise" for speiiking out freely and independently. But 
fi'om the load cheers which greeted Mr. Scholefield, M.P., it is evident 
that Recognition of the South is not an unpalatable doctrine in Bir- 
mingliam. Why does Mr. Bright ignore the fact there is a readiness 
and wish among Southemera to gradually emancipate? Why ignore 
the fact that tho Confederates would gladly coitsent to such manumission 
as a condition of Ireing NATIONALLY recognlxcd by England ? Why 
docs Mr. Bright ignore the fact that there are Slaveowners who do their 
best to make their slaves as comfortable as their condition will admit? 
Why ignore the fact that as to creature comforts the slaves are often 
better off than many of the [wor labourers at 10s or 123. a week, whose 
cause he so vigorously, I will not say, earnestli/ pleaded. I cannot 
divest myself of the idea that he cannot mean what he saya. Else why 
this unaccountable delay in introducing his Reform in tire Representa-* 
tion Bill? It docs not satisfy me to plead that ho would not be 
supported. If there was any real pluck in him he wonld have brought 
in his Bill and ditlded (he House, every Session, if be could muster but 
ten supporters. That is my tactics in promoting the Libraiics' Act. 
[Only iwo divided with njc against 200, at tLe recent Public Meeting of 
Katqinyers at Vestry Hall, Kensington !] If we wait for a perfect 
scheme we shall nevor do any thing at all. If I waited for perfect 
unanimity in the public mind, I should wait for a time which would 
never arrive! There is too much Jinesse, too much artifice about the 
member for Birmingham to please me. If he is of opinion his scheme 
to abolish feudalism is a beneficial one to the poor man, why not yeara 
ago have brought in a bill? Why this perpetual delay? If he thinks 
he can diminish the misery of a million aud a half of people, sunk in 
poverty and degradation, by a legislative measure, why this waiting? 
Had he (he welfare of the poor at heart— was it his sincere desire to 
relieve tlieui from serfdom, would Mr. Bright be for ever talking and 
not perfornung, not doing what he could to deserve success, even if he 
couJd not command it ? 

Instead of being practical., Mr, Bright bai'angiics like one bent on 
breeding discontent aud ill will between rich and poor. I have no con- 
fidence in a debater who e.\.tola the power of cur professed enemies, 
extenuates our conque.sts, and condemns the short comings of the 
Government, without one serious eflbrt in Parliament to redress tho 
evils of which he complains. I have no faith in a patriotism which. U 



54 



continnally " cracliing up " the govenimcnt of the soi-disanl " 0N ITED" 
States. I rcfnso to listen to a fanatic crasader whose radicalism con- 
sists in evading wliat ia prmtkal, and in clamouriu^ for imprndicabk 
reforms. Not one atom of respect can I feel for a popular orator who is 
always sympathising with American, and discrediting English Institu- 
tions. I have nothing but contempt to boistow on an agitator who ti-ades 
On political discontent, and makes political capital out of tlio " wretched, 
nncRred for, untaught brute," — the agricultural labourer. I abominate 
a member of the Legiahiture who lias not courage to tell tho masses of 
the people that it is EDUCATION ALOJNE that will rinalifj them to 
be raised to political power, and who in effect tells tbcra tliey ought to 
have a vote hecauie they "are so illiterate." " You have a bovine gazf, 
and a mind to correspond — you bate your bettors, and lore nothing but 
beer; in short, you are the greatest booby in the Universe, fherefuie yoQ 
ought to have a vote !" As one who lovoa his country, I can only pray 
to be delivered from a politiciau, who feels no compunction in scattering 
the seeds of dissatisfaction through tho land, to grow up into an aboii- 
iant luuvest of hate ! 

Well, I have done with the Birmingham Slasher, whose combative- 
nesa and JU>bing would have served him well in another arena ; but I 
cannot take leave of bim without admitting that he displayed some 
clever braising on Mr. Delane. Tho rimes journalist is fairly doubled 
up, and is so severely punished, that it is doubtful whether he will ever 
couteiirt again with so ugly a customer I Well, let me as a SUSSEX 
man, " ufitive, and to the manner born,"* — let mo warn my agi-icultaral 
friends not to catch too greedily at an insidious bait. 1 entreat them to 
reincniber that no change whatever in the law of succession to landed 
property will give tliem sobriety, self denial, and thrift. I exhort them 
to bear in mind that there will always be a line between rich and poor, 
and that whether in Australia or America, yon must look for advance- 
ment in life maiuly to the exercise of these virtues. We ai'e told on 
Divine authority that *' the poor will never ceiiso out of the land." If 
all the land of England was paitelled out uniformly — if there was an 
equal distrilnitiou ot land to-niorruw, not one tittle of ditferenee would 
it evcntnally make on tliat broad distinclion of Rich and I'oor, which 
will continue to the end of time ! 'i'he lots of our days are dirterently 
cast. Not for one moment do I deny that your'a ia a hard lot, and 
grievous to be borne. When I survey the condition of agriculturists, I 
p.aHnot dissemblingly exclaim with Virgil : — 

" fortunatos nimium, sua si bona noriut, 
Agriecilas i 



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" O, only too happy husbandmen, if they 
Knew but their own advantagee 1" 

It is a dreadful lot this intermixing and over-crowding into one 
sleeping room of a wretched hovel after a hard day's work ! This worse 
than, swinish herding of the poor, and the unavoiduble, yet disgusting 
indecency which it entails, often too within the shadow of the splendid 
lialls of aristocratic landowners, and the mnn)-ion,s of rnrnl Squires, call 
linully on Parliament to alter the Law of Settlement, and to appoint 
a Commission to apply a remedy for such shocking evidence of landlord 



" Bom Jan. 11,1809, Lancing Ticarage. near Shoroham. Sussex. With 
its singularly pure air, Sussex is the healthiest county in England. 



I 



avarice. Bat don't embitter it ; doti't add to its misery by repimngs, 
and cnmparisons of each other's lot I Beware of improvidence. Ciiltivnte 
the spirit of Self Help, by joiuing sound provident Bocieties.* In that 
will consist the safety of a farm labourer. Don't repine that yoti cannot 
solve problems hard to be understood. Remember all must work, with 
the head or hand. There will always bo the distluction of rich niid 
poor. Try to make the best of your condition. Greater sufferings than 
any you have to bear have been endured by good men. "Hunger aud 
thiist, cold and nakedness," and " fastings often " [2 Cor. 1 1 ch. 27 v.] 
were sustained by St. Paul, who yet could take comfort, as ." having 
notbiug, and yet possessing al! things 1" 2 Cor. 6 ch. 10 v. Consider 
that however desolate your lot, there ia some compensation, — something 
equivalent even for jou ! 

" Wliat paupers are th' ambitious Rich 1 
How wealthy the contented Poor I" 

That lord of acres who may appear to you a bappy man, loading 
an easy, luxnriooa life, is in reality oppressed with gloomy care, and 
mental travail. 

Let me briefly refer to the witty, clever speech of the Rigbt 
Hon. the Speaker, at tlie Town Hall, Mansfield, (Jan. 19.) whose 
advice about not neglecting Newspapers is racy in tlie extreme. I am 
glad to notice that what I vtrote about Newspapers, and how much they 
conduce to public instruction, and what a gi-eat appetite there is for 
news throughout the country, has been confirmed by the Speaker of th© 
House of Commous. 

I don't complain that the Speaker adopted the very words of my 
pamphlet without acknowledgment. I don' t complain that Mr- Adderley, 
M.P. at a Soiree at Leek, could praise this "sensible speech," and, in his 
remarks to working men, could dLsingennonsIy avail himself of my ideas 
published six years ago, without a syllable of commendation to the 
author : I am getting accustomed to this sort of treatment. Still it is 
gratifying to perceive that my writings have " traycUed some," to use a 
Yankee p'jiase. My views, on the policy of establishing rate- supported 
Newsi Rooms to create a sound public opinion are evidently gaining 
ground. Yet I am constantly reminded what hard, irksome work it is 
to force benefits on unwilling recipients I It has been well said, " If 
you want to do anything never take advice." My *' cawiirf friends " in 
tlie City have tried to thwai-t and obstruct me in eveiy possible way. 
" Wail a littlt, ihiis is 7u>t lh« timfJ" is the tmiform cry of treacherous, 
or feeble friends of progres.s. " Don't print your address," or " stay 
until there is no opposition, and when a vote may be given without the 
risk of losing popularity I " I eutreat the burgesses of the City of Lon- 
don not to be misled by such specious arguments. I entreat them not 
to be deceived by shallow addresses about subscription " Ciubs at 2d. 
per week, or Is. 6d. per quarter." The idea of Working Men's Clubs 
originated with me. But observe, it is a permanent EATE-SUP- 
PURTED Club that I advocate, nut a society dependent ou fluctu- 
ating and capricious support for its very existence. It may be argued 

• I earnestly hope Mr. Oladatone'a Annuities AmendmBnt Bill will pass. 

Wliftt wi-etched Koptiistrj' to prate about Govcniment interfering ivith the 

I Societies of Workiu^^ Meu. Let me iuform A. S. Ayrton. M.P., H. 3oJly, and 

I J. R. Taylor, that the true, — the real friends of the Poor would siorn to make 

I WM of suoh deceptive language to defeat so admirable a meuBure. 



5(J 



that Js. 6d. a qxtarter, bV Os a yenr, fa uot mn'cb to pay to tlie '• Brsbop*- 
gate and Spitiilfidds Workinj;: Mens' Ulub." I contend it is exactly 
4s. 4(L too much, ns a hiilf'-[>eiiU7 rate in tlie pound on ;i £40 house 
nmounts to oiily Is 8d. a. yt'i^r. But jou are t-old ])eople value what 
I hey pay for, more th.-in what is given ihcm. Well, this saw does not 
iH ilie least apply to the rate -Stip ported Ntivs Room. Every inhnhitant 
of the Citt/ jtajs. scunethin^, directly or indirectly, ro its iflaintennnce. 
The Libraries Act "gives" nothing. All who adopt it take their share 
of taxation. And let itie "once agaiii " remind yon thnt it is to rate- 
supported News Roonls and Leudiiis Librariea, and not to '* Clubs," 
on the charitahle, or vblantaiy system, tiiat yon must look for the spread 
of Knowledge and iutellectiiftl cnlture. You degrade a man, — ^j-ou lessen 
him in bis own esteem by perpetually doing for hipi. It is a Club ot 
Patrons that you are aslced to foster. I entreat you not to be beguiled. 

A Club which starts "at a rental of £45 per Snnum, and with 
liabilities to the amount of £147 18a. 10|(I ," is not the sort of thing 
you requh'e. T write plainly a.s is my wont. 'Why, at the inettiti;T^ 
[Jan. 18.] at which Mr. Goschei), M.P. was Chainiian, the donntioM 
amounted to jE50. 4s. 6d. Now, whatfiver officious, Aissy {ihilanthro- 
pists may say to the contrary, 1 defy them to gainsay this dictnni, that 
any Club which looks to patronage for its tnip]\OTt., pari paxsic, weakens 
the force of that first of virtues, SELF-RELIANCE. In promoting 
Education it is of the utmost consequence that we siiould go in the right 
direction. If not, we do more harm than good. To convert the rising 
generation into mere water- driukmg, hat-touching, tract-feadiug ma- 
chines, to teach them to rely on otliei-s, and not on themselves for culture, 
to tench them to fawn on ostentadon.s individuals for donatiot^s in money, 
and "400 volumes" in books, if this is not mischievous and errouequb 
training, I know not what is. You defraud the working man. You 
sell an inferior article at a high price. The cheapest subscription Club 
is 50 per cent, dearer than the Club under the Libraries Act, liber.illy 
supplied iivith mcdern books and newspapers Not by such agencies as 
the Bishopsgate Club can yuu successfully compete with the gin-palace. 
You mast have really cnmforttible, veil fumished News Rooms, or Clubs, 
which the patronage element cannot aiford, in commanding sites, not in 
dirty, obscure courts, if you desire to become formidable rivals to the 
gin palace, if you wish to wean a man from " using " a ]tublic house, or 
if you want to allure or attract hira towards Newspapers or Books. 
Don't misonderstaud me. I want yon to go in the right direction; I 
waut you clearly to understand how uudestsablo it is that the education 
of the young men of London should be confided to publicans. I want 
yon to be thorooghly cunscious of the impropriety, the peril to Society 
in driving them to the public houses in order to get news and instruction. 
I want you to set up in your great city coij\tkr attractions. 

I want to impress upon your minds tliat KUL'CATION is the 
fuundatinn of all politicSj and that it alone can teach you how to help 
yourselves. I want to demonstrate to you that Education must precede 
i\ny further exteusiou of the Suffrage. Jn the words of the CtTy Pref^t, 
[Jan. 30,] I want to prove to you that Education *' is the one and ouli/ 
solution of the aocial problems with whch we have to grapple." Above 
all, 1 want you to cleai' your heads of cant, — to cease to bo alarmed at 
that little word rate. Believe me, instead of impoverishing tlie rate- 
payer, the small impost of on/i/ one katfpcnny iu the pound will help to 
mfike htm rich. Whatever is saved on the '"mixture" sold at public- 
houses, called bi-er, or on adulterat-ed gin, is a saving to health and 



I 

I 
I 

I 

I 



51 

pocket. Observe, Education is not a tiling whicli ouJ,'lit to end with 
schools, but ratlier to begin. Tliis is why 1 so earnestly solicit you to 
vote for the adoption of the News Rooms Act. This is an age of 
enquiry. People in this age will tearh, and if those who hope they are 
GOD'S agents do not .teach in all ways, the Devil will f Filially, it is 
time to bid j ou adieu ! 

" £t vix Bustinuit dicere lingua, vale !" 

That word "fsreweU" is always difficult to pi*onoflnCe; Oric6 
hgain, I entreat the citizens of London to REVERSE the decisions of 
1855 and 1861. By carrving the Libraries' Act you will disprove the 
THmes assertion that the "bo3y Corporate of the City of London is the 
most prejudiced and reactionary in Europe." ^Do not disappoint my 
earnest hope ; do not frustrate the intention 6f the Legislature I I must 
not lag Superfluous on the stage, but as some excuse for loitering, let mo 
. plead, [to adopt a New England plH-ase] that I arti "given to the lust of 
finishing." I like to polish my sentences to render them as pleasant 
and acceptable as possible. Let us part fair friends ! To the best of 
my ability I have done my duty. I have many testimonials that the 
country is not unmindful of my services. The Chairman of tire Oiford 
Free Library writes : — 

" I have much pleasure in tesiifying to the great zeal, intelligence and 
energy displayed by Mr. Matthew H. Feilde in the establishment and forma' 
tion of Free Libraries and News Rooms throDghout the country." 

The lots of out days are differently cast I If my experience of life 
has not been happy, if bitter disappointment has pursued me, — if un- 
relentihg opposition has signalized my chequered, and stormy career, I 
must not murmur. Too well I nfiderstand the melancholy iiignificance 
of the great poet's Warning, that 

" There is a tide in the affairs of men; 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune ; 
Omitted, all the voyage of their life 
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries." 

Julius Ccesar, Act 4, Sc. i. 

"Sfet in the darkest hour a gleam of hope arises thait the tide at last 
appears to have set in my favour I I have discovered that 



Knows most of sorrow." 



-" he who hath most of heart 



I haVe learned to comprehend the mournful strain of tlie Hebrew 
Preacher, that in "much wisdom is much grief," and "he that in-" 
creaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow," [has too keen a sense of what 
should be, and deep pain to see what is.'} 

My residence in America has not been without its uses. I have 
learnt to deeply sympathise with the Confederate States struggling for 
Independence I 

I have learned that " sweet are the uses of adversity." In return 
for the ignominy and insolence which the Press has heaped upon my 
name, I have so schooled myself as to endure its abuse with good 
humour, and its rudeness without anger. I am now firmly persuaded 
that the true end of Knowledge is the glory of the TRIUNE 
ALMIGHTY, and the doing good to those of low estate. I have learned 



58 

to appreciate the wisdom, — to reverently acquiesce in the instmctive 
counsel of a mighty King, and a consnmmate Philosopher — to "go thy 
way," that is, to be content with your lot, to " eat thy bread with joy, 
and drink thy wine with a merry heart." Ecclesiastes 9 ch. 7 v. 

Not in vain shall I have addressed you, if on your memories dwell 
some few thoughts that shall ripen into deeds, — not fruitlessly, if at the 
approaching Public Meeting in the Guildhall, the Libraries and News 
Rooms Act is carried by a two'thirds majority. Not in vain shall I have 
written, if I have induced yon, not to reject this Act I 

MATTHEW HENRY FEILDE. 

Son of the hie Rev. Matthew FeildCy Curate of St. 
Andrew Undershaft, St. Mary Axe, and Domestic 
Chaplain to the first Bishop of Qitebeo. 



24, QoExn's Road, 

N0B1.AND Square, W. 
Jan. 30, 1864. 



ON THE ADOPTION 



|uMi4 Mlmm mi gm% pm%, i^, 1855, 



CITY OF LONDON. 



The 6tli Annual Meeting of the National Association for the 
Promotion of Social Science, for 1862, is held for the ^rst time in 
the City of London. It appears to me a, favourable opportunity to 
urge the importance, in a social and economic point of view, of 
again endeavouring to carry the Act in this gi-eat and wealthy 
City. The Public Libraries and News Rooms Act, 1855, (18 and 
1 9 Vic, cap. 70), is a permissive, or enabling, and wox a com- 
pulsory Act. The untoward decisions of 1855 and 1861, in which 
years this Act was rejected with much acrimony by the small rate- 
payers of the City, in meeting assembled, may be traced to the 
misrepresentation which prevailed on this point. I am averse to 
compulsory measures, hut when I consider the large amount of 
Poverty in the City, which it is obligatory to relieve, when I call to 
mind the compulsory payments for the repression of crime, and the 
punishment of criminals, I think this Act, (the scope and tendency of 
which is to Reduce Pauperism, and to diminish crime), ought to 
be compulsory also. 

I am clearly of opinion the Public Libraries Act, if allowed a 
fair trial, will do much, — will work wonders in promoting the 
advancement of general intelligence, and mc,\3k,«.\vcv^ VJaa ^3tvs!fis^s. <^ 



iattitdry principles. It ml! do mvch to' relieve paupcrisni, atid 
improve the hihils of the Peoplci Tlio iifiJd of this beueficeut Act 
will disperse much of the inti:nse stupujity that now prevails in 
all that relates to social ami sanitary science. There are labyrinths 
of irregular streets and Uiics iu the Citi/ of London which may b« 
justly characterized as a sort of moritl Ahatia., These incou^uotu 
edifices, or rather Dkns, titter for the domesticity of tcild animaU 
than human beings, and where all law, social and divine, is set at 
defiance, denote a very iniiierfect civilization. I consider the adop- 
tion of this Act as the only Practicable plan of reaching such 
moral oiitcasits, and I fegret it is merely a permissive, and not a 
compulsory Act. 

And hero I must for one moment glance at Mr. Solhfs plead- 
ing in this Court,. on Friday la3.t, in iayomoi Co-operative Societies 
in promoting a taste for literature. ' I was ranch surprised that thft 
Libraries Act, as one of the very best illustrations of the Co- _ 
operative principle, was entirely ignored ! The objection of the ■ 
working-man to so-calleu " Mechanics' Institutes," to the ' 
"mixing with broadcloth," does sot in the least apply to Free 
Librurtf Institutions. 1 ask Mr. Solly to remember that the 
brightest feature in the Free Library is, that all would meet on an 
equalitu. It would be bvehy mun'a possession and every hajt'b 
RIGHT r Really I mnst say to Mr. Solly, why disquiet yourself in 
vain f Why bolster up a good cause with such fallacies 7 Why, 
the very principle of the Libraries Act is simply the CoHjperati^tti, 
or Club Principle, carried out for literary purposes. How incoti- 
sistent then to ignore it. 

It is wholly unnecessiirj' in the year of grace 18G2, to enter into 
any elaborate defence of Public or National Education. The 
number of persons who entertain objections to popular instruction 
18 undoubtedly decreasing. The necessity of some great scheme of 
instruction is the great want of the day, and the provisions of the 
Libraries and News Rooms Act if judiciously enforced, can supply 
that want in the most effective manner. The great principle that 
knowledge should be the portion of all, is, with a few insignificant 
exceptions, conceded, and it is my pleasant task to-day to show 
that by f«ir the best way to extend popular Education is at once to 
adopt the Libraries and News Rooms Act in ei?en/ large Town and 
parish in the Kingdom, as Free Library and News Room Institu- 
tions are the Sc/ioi>l Rooms of grown up persona. 

Advocates for the spread of knowledge are numerous, especi- 
ally for the improvement and extension of the education of the 
poorer classes. It is now well nndcrstuod the ignorant portion of 
the population is the most burdensome tu the rates. It h now 
perceived that a Library, or Education rate of orte penny in the 
pound is in reality a saviiiej rate. I repeat the principle of educa- 
tion is admitted, llie sound financial policy, leaving out of view 
the social aspect of the liuestion, of thoroughly instrncting the 



«1 



I 



million, is admitted ; the problem that remains to be eoWed Is, how 
best to carry out this principle, tow most successfully to put it in 
practice, and import it through actual details ; and it is with this 
consideration that I now propose to deal. I am aware there are 
Educaiionists of no mean authoritj who tell yon that you may rely 
on expensive subscription societies fox- improving and ameliorating 
the condition of the adult population, in other words, who tell you 
to confide in so-called Mecfianics' Institutions. I entirely repu- 
diate this counsel. Why ignore, or blink the fact that payment is 
the esseruie of such schemes as the London, Leeds, Manchester and 
Warrington Mechanics' Institutes, hut thpt Free access to all 
comers is of the essence of the Libraries' Act ? It cannot be 
denied, the " mission," snch as it is, of Mechaniai' Institutes, is 
accomplished. I do not dii^pute they have done good in their 
day, hut I contend the machinery of such societies is out of 
date, and quite inadequate and untmstworthy for the dissemi- 
nation of knowledge on a large £cale. How many Mechanics' 
Institutes, Athenrcums, and Literary Associations, and other 
middle-class establishments have totally failed, or are in a 
hopeless state of insolvency. The parent Institution was founded 
in Glasgow, in 1820, by Dr. Birkbeck. In 1823 followed the 
London Mechanics Institute, still encumbered with a long standing 
building debt. This Institution boasts of numerous imitators a 
sickly progeny, with few exceptions, in the last stage of decline. 
The incTitable coDnpse is only a question of time, and it may be 
asserted without fear of contradiction that whoever erects a Free 
Library Institution upon the donation plan, builds upon a founda- 
tion of sand. It cannot he too often repeated that the subscription, 
or donation plan, may do to create, but mot to sustain literary 
institutions. For a time such an institution may flourish, and may 
indeed rejoice in " glorious meetings," and glowing reports, hut 
after a few years it disappears. A rate-supported institution has 
this solid advantage over any institution relying on private patron- 
age, viz,, it would be permanent. The experiment of a Free 
Library, iiat rate supported has been attempted in the large Metro- 
politan Parish of St. Marylehone. A fatal disease called i?iipecu- 
•nio&iti^ very soon terminated its career of struggling penury, find 
Mr. J. A. Nicholay, of Oxford Street, pronounced its funeral 
oration, and candidly acknowledged that " its present voluntary 
support was altogether inadequate, and that it was the opinion of 
its subscribers that since Free Libraries and News Rooms were 
_ anthorized by the Legislature, a Public Library and News Room 
B should he established and maintained by a public rate." 
I In this great province of houses called London,* to support my 

H case that all subscription societies are more or less short lived, I 

I 



I 



Btreeta. 



London is a collection of Towns 



brick-built 'WildemeBB of endless 



will refer to a notable instance of the decline and fall of a Me- 
chanics' or Literary Institute in the City of London, viz., the 
Aldersgate Street Mechanics' Institution. I am free to admit this 
Literary Society was decidedly the best of the kind, yet even this 
model foundation has fallen in. The truth is, Mechanics' and 
Literary Institutes, Athenaeums, &c , are middle, or lower middle, 
class establishments, and do not reach, do not come near working 
men, and I need not add do not meet the requirements of this 
progressive age. 

The very existence of the Libraries and News Booms Act is 
scarcely even hnovtm to the inhabitants of this Great Metropolis. I 
therefore proceed to briefly glance at its salient features, or leading 
provisions. The Public Libraries Act, 1855, 18. and 19. Vic. 
cap. 70, is an amended Act, and is a great improvement on the 
Act of 1850, which is repealed. By the terms of that Act, a suit- 
able edifice for a Library could be purchased, but not a single book, 
or newspaper, or periodical, or specimen of art or science. The 
rate might be expended on bricks and mortar, and on eligible 
building ground, but not for one newspaper or hook ! It was a 
Library without Boohs, a reading-room without News ! The 
amended Act, although hampered and impeded by a two thirds 
majority clause [an imenglish clause], and a no poll interpreta- 
tion of the Act, cannot be charged with this bungle. I am glad 
to state the News Room department of the Libraries Act has been 
found by experience by far the most attractive feature. 

The authority to buy Newspapers as well as Books, is a very 
important clause in the 21st section of the Act. In framing tho 
Act, Mr. Ewart contemplated chiefly the Establishment of Refer- 
ence Libraries, and never even thought of News Rooms. But it 
is a source of much satisfaction that he consented in Committee on 
the Bill, March, 1855, to introduce the word •* Newspapers" after 
Books, at my earnest and repeated request. The permission to 
purchase " Newspapers " was sharply debated, and carried by a 
majority of 42 [For the Motion, 64 ; against 22]. A modem 
newspaper has been defined as a " library in itself," and there can 
be no reasonable doubt, with some admitted drawbacks, it is a great 
public Instructor. I allude to such carefully written, well-edited 
newspapers, as the City Press*, which is really a marvellous 
journal for one penny. The newspaper literature of the present 
day is a vast improvement, in every respect, to that of 20 years ago. 
Since which period the Penny Press has started into existence, and 
is running a successful race with the high-priced papers. They 
exhibit as much information and more talent than can be found in 
modern, empty books with gilt edges, vellum, and morocco. 

Tho newspaper, the free newspaper, relieved from the oppres- 
sive excise duty on paper, is a great popular Educator, and a very 

* William Hill Collingridge, Esq., Proprietor. 



I 



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I 



powerful iustninieiit for the extension of IntelUgence. It haa 
been said the age needs no other Literature than the Daily Press, 
I am, therefore, of opinion the authority to buy '* Newspapers," as 
well as " Books," is the most valuahlo clause in the Act. By this 
clause Cominissioners who are & Body Coiyorate^ ai'o enabled to 
purchase newspapersj from alt parts of the World. Yet it will 
scarcely be creilited that the Free Library Institutions of Liverpool, 
Sheflielil, Salford, and other towns have entirely ignored the Free 
Public News Hoom Department of the Free Library ! I am clearly 
of opinion the managers are exceedingly injudicious, and altogether 
frustrating the intentions of the Legislature, in not opening Public 
News Rooms, freelff open to all comers, in these populous Towns. It 
will not do in this day to nrgo that " a News Room is too political T' 
The Free Public News Rooms of Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford, 
and Westminister, (Great Smith Street, S.W.,) are decidedly the 
most attractive features. The amended Act of 1855, puts the 
newspaper, — this library/ in itself, this wonderful broad sheet that 
drops the same thought into ten thousand minds at the same 
moment, these remarkable volumes called J^^eivspajters, into the 
hands of the poor indiscriminately. 

The accounts I receive from the Librarians of Manchester, 
Birminghnm, Oxford, and Westminster, all concur in representing 
the New/s Moom as by far the most popular department. In tlie 
Manchester fodr rate -supported public News Rooms, there are 
3,000 visitors per day. l^Vom the Liverpool Lending Libraries, 
436,509 vols, were issued in the last 12 months, being an actual 
circlation of 12,290 vols, per week. Last year 1,250 vols, per day 
were issued from the Heference, and four Leuding Libraries in 
Manchester. 

From the 7th Annual Report of the Liverpool Free Library it 
appears that during the week ending April 18, 1860, there were 
8,51)4 visitors, ami the immber of vols, lent in the same period 
were 9,520. A working man remarked that his '* Library Rate 
of a few pence had unved him man// a pound ! " In the Birmini/liam 
Kewa Room there were 800 visitors per day, and as manif as 1,316 
had V sited it in one dai/. These are great, undenuthle facts, the 
moral / results of which I will not now speak. In a letter from 
C. J. Sadler, Esq., ho states that ten daiiif newspapers, several 
weekly papers, also reviews and magazines, are taken by the 
Oxford Free I/ibrary, and that there are 120,000 visitors annually. 
Like that chief of popnlar educators, Mr. David C'hadwirk, so 
well known for hia sanitory Bcicnce labours as applied to schoolH, 
and who, in 1857, read iv paper before this Association on the 
working of the *' Liliraries' Act, Mr. Aldennan vSadler, (who 
resembles Mr. Cbadwick for his strong, good senKc,) testifies to the 
great value of Rate-Supported Institutions, in these words : — 
" During tlmforfi/ years of my public life, I have pleasure in de- 
claring that the establishment of the Free Public Libtas^, «a&. 



64 



Kew8 Room has, in jny judgment, proved of more teat benefit in 
the middle and worldiig clastiea of this city (Oxford), than auy 
other measure which has been adopted." It must be evident to the 
meanest capacity, and to th« most prejudiced person, that iV>ii;* 
Hoom^, freely open to ail comers, would enlighten the mind, and 
spread intelligence. Such an Institntion would be a sort of School 
Church — a handmaid to the Chcrch. Surely the Public-house 
keepers have had the Education of the multitude lonff enough, and 
it is quite obviona a congregation of readers in the Free News 
Room is certniidy a better preparation for Svndaif, a better quali- 
fication for making men religious, than the Public-house. Snch 
News Rooms as I have ijidicated are Pkactically Porticoes to 
Churches and Chapels. The small rate which must never exceed 
one Penny in the Pound for the support of Free News Booms and 
Lending Librsu'ies is, iu reality an insoranoe for the lettening 
inebriety and pauperism. 

There is only one Rate supported, Free Public News Room in 
this Metropolis (irvith a Population of three millions). The Libra- 
rids' Act was adopted in the united Parishes of St, Margaret and 
St. John, "Westminster, by a vote of 81 against 3, or 27 to 1. The 
News Room has been in successful operation far four years in Great 
Sraitli Street, Westminster [formerly a Mechanics' Institute]. 
The IiiDUAuv department, I regret to add, is very deBciont, only 
4,883 vols. ; but to shew how it is appreciated, each book during 
the last year has buen issued twelve times, I have, for some years, 
advocated tbe adoption of the Pultlic Libraries' Act, 1855, in every 
large Town and Parish in IIip Kingdom, bnt espscmUi/ in the Cittf 
of London, where the Penvy in the Pound Librarj/ Rate would 
produce the sum of £4,000. It is objected there is no resident 
population in the City. The fact is, that at the last census in 
1861 there were 112,217 residents, and of these a very large pro- 
portion are Mechanics aud Artiaaus, and others who have no access 
to Books or Papere. Again it is objected that it will involve a new 
rate. I would ask inveterate grumblcTs, and captious, carping, 
critics, to consider that one Farthing in the Pound only on the 
Consolidated Rate, after the first year, will suffice. Every Rate- 
payer can count the co.-t. Five pence a year from the ISventy 
Pciind HoHsehoidtr, and One Shilling from the Pifiy Found JJouse-w 
holler. But says the short-sighted econdniist, tlie Library Rate 
" may go up to J«wc pence." This is an uuscrupulous assertion. 
The Act of Parliament fixes the limit. The words are, " The 
amount of the rate shall not exceed the sum of one penny in the 
pound in any one year." But I must hasten to a close. It is 
difficult, — you cannot over estimate the good that is done, or to 
compute the evil prevented by these simple, yet powerful agencies, 
News Rooms and Lending Libraries. 

My Pkactical plan for Reducing the muss of Pauperism 
and Crime is stigmatized as a " favourite hobby." I reply it is no 



I 



6a 

\vil(l scheme, but a wise and enlightened hobby. It is not a Utopiatt 
project, — a mere Education hobby; kot a proposal of the rich, 
" doing for the poor" but a sound, practical plan, for Instructing 
and Improving the people, by which the trifling librtay rate would 
be saved over and over again. It may be argued, let the Library 
of the Corporation in the Guildhall be thrown open to the Public, 
and not as now to the Aldermen, and Common Council only. The 
Corporation Library is composed of- musty, and dusty moth-eaten 
volumes, and is intended chiefly for students of antiquity, and 
history, and if it were freely open to-morrow, it is, in every respect, 
jv^t the thing we don't want. If the Citiaens of London look at 
this question solely in an economic point of view, apart from higher 
considerations, surely it would be gratifying to know their money 
went for News Rooms and Libraries rather than for Prisons, — ^for 
the supply of Books and Newspapers, not for the support of pau- 
pers. Do not forget that a Eate-supported News Boom in the 
City of London, with Newspapers from all parts of the World, well 
furnished and ventilated, in a central site, with Recreation and 
JRefreshment rooms attached, in short a Public House without the 
adulterated jyrinh, would be a powerful counter attraction to the 
gin palace, and low cabaret. Do not forget this Act of the 18th 
and 19th Victoria, cap. 70, has been adopted in 23 Towns, and in 
one Metropolitan Parish, and that it has given the greatest satis- 
faction, and been appreciated by all classes. The management and 
control of the City of London Free Public News Rooms and 
Lending Libraries, and, if desirable. Museums, and Schools of Art 
and Science, is vested in the Mayor and Court of Cominon Council, 
who may appopt nine Commissioners, who are not required to be 
Members of the Court. Take the good example of Birmingham 
for a guide. Like the City of London, Birmingham twice rejected 
this humanizing Act, but in 1860 it was triumphantly carried. 
Let me call your attention to some interesting statistics from the 
AnntMl Beport just published (May 1862). The experience of the 
past year proves most conclusively that all classes of society fully 
appreciate the importance of the means of education which News 
Rooms and Free Libraries afford. 

Since the Opening of the Free News Room in Birmingham, 
gn the 4th April, 1861, there has been a continual crowd of readers: 
tnd during the first two days, there were no less than 5,000 appli- 
cants for Books from the Lending Library. 108,046 volumes have 
been issued since the Library was opened, a period of 287 days, 
being an average daily issue of 376 vols. As many a» 813 vols, have 
been issued in one day. The larger portion of the Library consisting 
of 6,288 vols., is constantly in the hands of the borrowers. 2,373 
vols, have been added to the Library during the year. One of the 
most' interesting features of the experience of the past year, is the 
uniform good conduct and order manifested by the thousands who 
frequent the News Room and Library. Not a single instance 1ia4 



66 

occurred in wLich it has been fmiiid necessary even to complain. 
Those who frequent the Rooms go for the purpose of reading, ami 
conduct themselves with the utmost propripty, never losing that 
self-respect which cannot /fltV to be engendered by such ImtiUiiiom. 
Another fact also worthy of particular observation is, that out of 
an issne of upwards of 108,000 vnh. three only have been lost \fi 
the library, and onl^ one instance r>f dishonesty has occurred, two 
magazines having been stolen from the table of the News Room. 
Well, it is to be hoped this wealthy City of London will cast aside 
apathy on an education question like this, and that it will wake up 
from its long, legarthic sbimber. The force of the example of this 
great City, is much needed. The large Metropolitan Parishes of 
St. Marylebone, St. Pancras, St. Mary, Islington; iSt, Mary Abbot, 
Kensington; St. Giles, Camberwell, St. Martin-in-lhe-Fields, and 
t^t. Leonard, Bhoroditoh, will follow the lead of the City of London- 
Let not the accusation of Gibbon any longer apply, that the City 
of London, the wealthiest in tire world, is destitnte of a Piihlk 
Libraiy;" and remelhber, if you wait for a scheme of lustriiction 
that will please all parties, yoa will never do ani/thing at all! 
You have the disgrace of 1855 to retrieve, the blot of 1861. to 
wipe away. There is no ground whatever for alarm about the hob- 
goblin that has been raited in the Ward of Bishopsgate, about 
"increased taxation." The effect of establishing rate-supported 
News Rooms in the City, would be to lessen, uot to increase, to 
keep down and not send up the Rates. After all, this raoveraent, 
experiment if you like, ia but the appHcatiou of the Club or co- 
operation, association principle to the formation of News Rooms 
and Libraries. 

The Recorder of London recently alluded to the large popula- 
tion RESIDING within the City of London, and to the enormous 
amount of property it contained. This learned Criminal Judge j 
expressed his opinion that habits of Intemperance were a more ■ 
fruitful Boarce of crime than distress, or any other cause. Set up ■ 
really comfortable News Rooms in the poor and populous districts 
of the City, and you would check and diminisu the drinking habits 
of the people. 

The adoption of the Public Libraries' Act, 1855, for the City 
of London would be the means of LEssExiyo your Poor Rate by 
much more than the full penny in the pound rate, which forms the 
maximum under the Act, Surely this ia a proposal eminently 
worthy of a trial. You pay dearly for Ppnishino, try the effect of 
Improving the people. Try to raise up the Illiterate, — to Reform 
the Outcast, and the young untaught Savages at Home, in thi^s City, 
BEKORE you send Missionaries to the Heathen in the uttermost 
parts of the earth, The tall talk about " Socinl Progress'' u 
applied to a lav(fe di^tncf of the City of London, is nothing less than 
pestilent cant. 

With (ill yoiu" boasted ciWlization, a mass of frightful Pait^ 



I 



6? 



pei'hm id in your very midst, and a depth of Ignorance which is 
truly appalling'. You often hear from City Pulpits very sad descrip- 
tions of Idolaters in heathen lands. You may often listen to dis- 
mal pictures of the dark places of the earth- But in the Alleys 
and Courts of Golden Lane, Petticoat Lane, or Fetter Lane, in 
Whitecross Street, Bhorcditch, and Spitolficlds, or not to go to 
remote lacalities, penetrate the rows and wynds in the Ward of 
Bishopsgatc, — -nay examine the rookeries not far distant from this 
Guildhall. Go out into the wilds and wastes of tkis huge city, and 
I think you will come to the conclusion that until greater progress 
is made in the conyersion of the heathen at Home, i\ntil some 
energy ia exhibited in endeavouring to subdue Savages m this 
crviLiZED OiTY, it is preposterous in the extreme to ransack thg 
uttermost parts of the earth in search of the heathen Aehoad. 

I have said, I regard Froe Library Institutions as School 
CflTJHCHEs, and I would suggest to the beneficed Clergy and Non- 
Conformist Ministers in the City of London that there is no occa- 
sion to resort to JVew Zealand in quest of savages, for any day they 
may encounter savages 7nore dangeroua than Ojibbcwny Indian-s, 
and young men and womeu more brutal^ — more utterly and infa- 
mously abandoned^ and heathenish, than can be found in countnes 
unacquainted with the Gospel. Talk of the dark places of the 
Earth ! Why, from a social point of view, I know of no such thick 
d«rkneiss,—no bht on the social life of any people to be compared 
to this Ijiackness, this Abomination of desolation in the City of 
London. Tliere is a far more abundant harvest to be gathered 
tiKiiE, — -mucli more gain to be made at Ho>nn in the cure of souia 
than can be effected in distant lauds Abroad. In strongly urging 
the policy of setting up such hnmanizing Institutions as I hare 
briefly indicated, I am convinced a very beneficial change in the 
moral aspect of the City would soon be visible. It is very clear, 
at present, neither CiluncnES or Chapels attract, I will not say 
the working classes alone, but even the loteer fniddle classes. Stand 
upon the steps of the City Churches, and see who comes out. Is the 
working man there ? You do not reach him. Well, is this Eccleb- 
lASTJCAL SoAN^DAi, alwai/s to contiime ? C&niao serious effort he 
made to try what (he adoption of Mr. EwarCs Act can accomplish ? 

I beg of you to remeiuber that by setting up in this City 
cotTNTKU atti-actions to the Public House in the shape of " Clubs " 
or News Rooms, you reduce ■pauperism, you reduee. crime, you sim- 
plify the Policeman's duty, and, above all you bridge over the. gulf 
that SEPAKATEB classes. I beg of you to remember that if such 
News Rooms,— such Homes of Refuge existed in the City, and if 
poor men were better lodged, your public houses and seductive gin 
palaces would be less prosperous, and your City Jails have fewer 
k-nants. 

Twice has this wise Act been ignominiously rejected, but it is 
only fair to add the discredit of defeating the adoption of the Act 



68 

in November, 1856, and in July, 1861, belongs to the lower class 
of small ratepayers of the Ward of Bishopsgate Without. The 
opposition was not only Tirulcnt, bnt truly s/iockinq, and unworthy 
of this progressiye age : it was literally yelling for JB/'o- 
toning! The statement that this was a project for taxing the 
citizens to an unlimited extent was allowed to pass uncontradicted. 
Well, I do NOT despair ; a gleam of hope arises that the approval 
of this eminent Association will give a great impetus to the adop- 
tion of the Act in this City, and that the acrimonious opposition of 
1861 will subside. I anticipate cheering results to this great cause. 
I anticipate that the waves of Progress will rise, and that the tide 
of Opinion, so long adverse, will set in steadily in favour of rate- 
supported Free News Rooms and Lending Libraries. Let me 
remind the citizens that it is of no earthly use groaning over the 
statistics of Intemperance and Crimef unless some effort is made 
to create an antidote. The adoption of the Libraries' Act for 
the City of London is a common sense, rational scheme for ameli- 
orating the condition of the humbler classes. You are citiaens of 
no mean city : Co-operate, then, with those who are desirous of 
setting up a counter attraction to the Red Lion or the White Horse. 
Never forget that those terrible demons, Ignorance and Drunken^ 
NESS, will never be successfully assailed by mere Preaching and 
Lecturing. You might as well endeavour to mop up the Atlantic! 
I admire the Voluntary principle in some things, but I utterly 
ignore it in this matter. It has been abundantly proved that no 
voluntary plan of support would do for the proposed London Free 
Library and News Rooms. 

You could perhaps raise large sums (but this ia very doubtful) 
l)y voluntary efforts. You could create, but you could not bcstain, 
or maintain Free News Rooms and Lending Libraries by the Volnn- 
tary, or Donation Plan. 

You pay dearly for your Palace Prisons at HoUoway and 
elsewhere, and for your so-called " Unions." [Qj«m Locus a non 
lucendo.'] Your new Lunatic Asylum cost £50,000. 

You have Institutions enough for the punishment of crime, 
but not one for its prevention, not one for the diminishing crime 
and pauperism. 

The dying English Judge [Mr. Justice Talfourd, in his charge 
to the Grand Jury at Staflford], referred to that dreadfid vice which 
makes the English a reproach at home, and a bye word abroad. 
I mean the vice of Intemperance. 

Now you will deal a heavy blow at this terrible giant Drunk- 
enness, and this Moloch Ignorance, by the simple remedy of Free 
News Rooms, open to all comers, in such densely inhabited quarters 
of the City as Plough Court and Gunpowder Alley near Fetter 
Lane, or that of the Minories or Houndsditch in another direction. 

Yes ! go into the " Streets and Lanes " of this City, with its 
painful contrasts of mirth and deep misebv, — ^invite the poor, and 



69 

the maimed, and the halt to partake of the Recreation Banquet, — 
the Intellectual feast which your Liberality has provided. To 
employ the language of Holy Scripture, " Compel " them to " come 
in " to your >iews Rooms by the force of superior attraction. 

I entreat yon to remember all this good can be effected by a 
trifling rate, not exceeding one Penny in the Pound I 

The Library Rate would be paid by every resident in the City 
of London directly, or indirectly, so that the Ffee News Rooms 
would be every man's possession and every wian's ri^ht. After the 
first or second year, one Farthing in the Pound only on the rated 
value, producing £1,250, will meet all requirements. Why should 
this city, so proud of its achievements, be in favour of Popular 
Ignorance ? Why lag behind Manchester or JBirmingham in the 
race of Improvement? Why so obstinately resist the best and 
most practical scheme of Popular Education ? The greatest Sea- 
port^ the largest inland and midland cities, and both the University 
Towns of England have adopted the Public Libraries' Act. In the 
23 Towns and 1 Parish in which the Act has been carried, it has 
given the greatest satisfaction, and been appreciated by all classes. 
Then why should London, the capital of the World, so selfishly and 
ignominiously persist in remaining in the rear ? 

The records of .this ancient Guildhall contain no gloomier, or 
sadder history than the disgraceful rejection of the Public Libraries' 
Act, on the 11th of July, 1861. On that disastrous day, I may 
truly say, that reason was ignored, that a/rgwment was unheeded, 
that common sense was insulted, and that the ignorant party 
reigned triumphant. 

That this untoward — -this unfortunate decision may be reversed 
on the very earliest opportunity, is my earnest hope.* I am not using 
unmeaning words when I declare that the /Social /Short Comings of 
this City are indeed great, and that you have a disgrace to retrieve, 
and a character to redeem. I entreat the citizens of London to 
remember that more than 100 years ago. Gibbon, the historian, 
uttered the rebuke, that the wealthiest City in the worid was desti- 
tute of a free public library! To you, to all persons rated and 
assessed to the Consolidated Sate in the City of London, this 
GREAT cause, the great cause of Education and Improvement, is 
remitted. Let it be your honest pride to be enabled to say, " I 
helped by my vote to secure to all, this inestimable boon. By 
voting for this act for London, I have the satisfaction of knowing 
that I have done what I could to Bridge over the chasm between 
the educated and uneducated man, and to hasten the coming of that 
day when " Knowledge shall be the portion of All." 'JQiat will 
be a glorious day, a bright red letter day in the Social 



* Mr. J. Anderton, C.C. has prom'sed to take a vote of the Court of CO. 
to request Lord Mayor Lawrence to Bummon a Meeting of the Burgesses. 



70 

Annals of London, when guided by this magnificent idea, yotl 
wisely determine to vote for the adoption of tihis gracious 
Act, and so JSumanize many dark and vacant minds. It 
was the glory — the boast of Augustus that he- found Rome a 
city of brick, and left it a city of marble. Let it be your 
higher aim, your nobler distinction, your more enduring glory, that 
you found the people grossly ignorant, and that you left them 
Instructed, that you found them WHOLiiY untaught in t*olitical 
and Social Science, and that you left them Intelligent-^th&t you 
found the gates of the Temple of Knowledge closed to tlie toiUng 
classes, and that you opened them to all 1 • 

MATTHEW HENRY FEILDE. 



24, QtTEEN's Road, W. 
May 19tA, 1862. 



B 8606.1.5 

•On »»• adoption of th« Public Llbr 

MfManar LIbfary 0I)5414«4« 




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