« ForrigeFortsett »
297 Philip of Nye on liberty of conscience 229
225 Poetry, 93, 95, 140, 156, 224, 236, 272,
95 304, 352, 384
134 President of France, message of 405
250 Pretended Metaphysical Prize of
Guizot Cobden the Christian Prize Essays on Infidelity 232,
How far might the government pro.
Proudhon at Vaudville.
273 Pursuit of Christianity under difficul.
Reaction a dream
145 * Reasoner,' prospects of, &c. 128, 133, 377
Law of Instruction
Macfarlane's Revolutionised Italy' 355 Sermon Card
345 Socialist Banquets in honour of Christ 33
112 Socialism, French and English 239
204 Social Progress
348, 362, 396
367 Swiss Republics, rise and progress of, 27,
40, 74, 122, 136, 168
Noel, Baptist Wriothesley, &c. .31, 38 Veritas, letter from
O'Connor and his Editors
White, Geo., to Mr. Holyoake, 44, 60, 271
Owen, Mr , &c.
79, 96 What revolution do we want? 314
EDITED BY G. J. HOLYOAKE.
SEVERAL letters have been sent to me concerning the Spirit of the Age and its increase in price, upon which an opinion is desired. The step appears to me to have been judicious. However, in the last number of that Journal the grounds for it are given by the parties concerned. The paper has been greatly enlarged. Its columns are wider than the Nonconformist, sold also at 6d., and will soon contain as great a quantity of macter as any sixpenny paper published.
Mr. Dixon, of Aberdeen, for instance, says—the Weekly Chronicle, when the price was 3}d., had a sale of 104 weekly, when raised to 4d. it sank to 75, and when raised again to 61. it sank to 10.' But the Weekly Chronicle remains. Does not Mr. Dixon see the reason in his own figures ? It could not subsist on a sale of 104 at 3}1.-it can on the sale of 10 at 6d. Mr. Dixon says—we see trashy papers coming within the means of the people. The reason is, it is because they are “trashy' that they can come within those means. They are made to sell. They live upon the people, rather than for them.
It is said, and the Daily News has virtually admitted it, that that journal has sunk £100,000 in its attempt to give first-rate quality at the lowest price. And £1000 would be the least sum the Spirit of the Age ought to be prepared to risk, if it should reduce its price, maintain its present size, and preserve that rank of matter which it aims to serve up.
Let working men bear in mind that no disinclination exists to issue the Spirit of the Age at 3d., or even at 1d., were it a possible thing. But when the question is-shall Industry have an efficient paper at Gil., or no paper at all ? we presume that the suffrage of intelligent working men will be given to the adopted arrangement.
Most of the cheap papers to which correspondents refer us, we know are rumming the race of competition : the lowest price' compels every thing to be done about them at the lost igure' which leaves the workmon (literary or handiHraft) alive. Workmea, especially Sccialists, should pause before they desire to be served at this expense to others. Those who desire to abridge the reign of fiercest competition should, above all things, desire to keep as free as possible from that which they condemn in theory, and suffer from in person.
Working men do pay 6d. for the Dispatch, and the poorest 5:1. for the Northern Star. These journals meet the wants of their respective subscribers, who pay that price which enables their wants to be met. The Spirit of the Age addresses itself to that new and daily increasing class who aim to recast the relations of Labour on principles of Equity. It aims to be the organ of the proletaire, on the condition of instructing him and serving him, and that in the cheapest way which consistency and efficiency permit. I believe that nowhere in Europe is there a weekly journal of the same size, in the interest of Labour in the same sense, as is the Spirit of the Age. Certainly there never existed in England anything of the kind, and there has been a great mistake of the character and number of the working classes of this country, anxious for Industrial progress, to whom Mr. Owen has long pointed the attention of Government, if they do not lend a lasting
(No. 1, Vol. VI.]
and a living support to a journal thus designed for their advantage, every number of which it is hoped and intended they may read for their own improvement, and put with confidence into the hands of those above them. It is well urged in reference to this matter, that if those for whom a given paper is intended do not support it, the interest of truth will be best promoted by not giving a Representation in the Republic of Literature where there is no adequate constituency.
I should not debate this question with reference to the Spirit of the Age were it not that the establishment of such a paper would be a distinct step in Industrial and Communistic progress, which I have laboured to stimulate. Frequently the specific objects of the Reasoner have been held in abeyance while we discussed Industrial questions, because there then existed no organ in which the views which we thought essential wero enforced in a healthy spirit.
Now we may mark with a stronger and steadier hand the topics which have become our own, by the abandonment of them to us by all other Journals.
GEORGE JACOB HOLYOAKE. eclectic Gatherings.
FROM THE DIAL.'
INTRODUCTORY. The work of a Reform Journal should be twofold. While with one hand it aims. to destroy established error, with the other it should welcome young truth. The critic who cannot admire, and the admirer who will not criticise, are both unfitted to lead the ranks of the movement.
The Reasoner, from the nature of its position, is inevitably occupied mostly with antagonistic criticism : but it is pleasing to see that it is equally ready to receive and spread such elements of affirmative thought or imaginative beauty as harmonise with freedom. The reports of Cooper's and Emerson's Orations, and the extracts from Lamartine and others, testify to this. But it appears to me that this sphere of the Reasoner's action might be greatly widened. To present a Library of Civil and Religious Liberty all over the world,' is not in the power of a twopenny periodical; but more information would be useful respecting that happily increasing circle of works which investigate subjects of great human interest, independently-more or less of theological fetters. The present series is an attempt to convey some of this information, and will embrace specimens o works from various quarters; such portions being presented as are most likely to be usefully suggestive, either by developing views similar or dissimilar to those generally current in the Reasoner.
I commence with an extract from the 'Dial' for July 1842. The article is a review of a Government Report on the Natural History of Massachusetts, and is, says Emerson,' by a near neighbour and friend of ours, dear also to the Musesnative and an inhabitant of the town of Concord.' It is given here as a sample of the invigorating effect on the whole being of man, which arises from the intimate study of Nature, when blended with a free and intelligent study of human life : when the sciences of nature and of mankind are seen to be correlative-twin illustrations of universal Law-twin embodiments of wondrous Life.
Truly says our author, that 'books of natural history make the most cheerful winter reading. Therefore has the present paper been selected, as a Natural Service to greet
• The rough year just awake, In its cradle in the brake.'
The Gospel of Winter is not an agreeable one to the feelings, Yet it is an orcellent test of strength. Perennial plants, live through it unscathed the storms that destroy the summer's rich drapery, but reveal more distinctly the truth and grace of the branches from which it sprung. Let man take the hint. In the darkest, coldest hours-if there be but life within, it will, in its own time, become realised without; the winter seed will become the spring flower, and the summer fruit. Only live on, 'unhasting, unresting :' earth, sea, and air work in concert with you, and all mankind shall one day rejoice in your harvest-home.
Books of natural history make the most cheerful winter reading. I read in Audubon with a thrill of delight, when the snow covers the ground, of the magnolia, and the Florida keys, and their warm sea breezes; of the fence-rail, and the cotton-tree, and the migrations of the rice-bird ; of the breaking up of winter in Labrador, and the melting of the snow on the forks of the Missouri; and owo an accession of health to these reminiscences of luxuriant nature.
Within the circuit of this plodding life,
But to console man for his grievances. 'I am singularly refreshed in winter when I hear of service berries, poke-weed, janiper. Is not heaven made up of these cheap summer glories? There is a singular health in those words Labrador and East Main, which no desponding creed recognises. How much more than federal are these states. If there were no other vicissitudes than the seasons, our interest would never tire. Mach more is adoing than Congress wots of. What journal do the persimmon and the buckeye keep, and the sharp-shinned hawk? What is transpiring from summer to winter in the Carolinas, and the Great Pine Forest, and the Valley of the Mohawk ? The merely political aspect of the land is never very cheering; men are degraded when considered as the inembers of a political organisation. On this side all lands present only the symptoms of decay. I see but Bunker Hill and Sing-Sing, the District of Columnbia and Sullivan's Island, with a few avenues connecting them. But paltry are they all beside one blast of the east or the south wind which blows over them.
'In society you will not find health, but in nature. Unless our feet at least stood in the midst of nature, all our faces would be pale and livid. Society is always diseased, and the best is the most so. There is no scent in it so wholesome as that of the pines, nor any fragrance so penetrating and restorative as the lifeeverlasting in high pastures. I would keep some book of natural history always by me as a sort of elixir, the reading of which should restore the tone of the system. To the sick, indeed, nature is sick, but to the well, a fountain of health. To him who contemplates a trait of natural beauty, no harm or disappointment
The doctrines of despair, of spiritual or political tyranny or servitude, were never taught by such as shared the serenity of nature. Surely good courage will not flag here on the Atlantic border, as long as we are flanked by the Fur Countries. There is enough in that sound to cheer one under any circumstances. The spruce, the hemlock, and the pine will not countenance despair. Methinks some creeds in vestries and churches do forget the hunter wrapped in furs by the Great Slave Lake, and that the Esquimaux sledges are drawn by dogs, and in the twilight of the northern night, the hunter does not give over to follow
the seal and wolves on the ice. They are of sick and diseased imaginations who would toll the world's knell so soon. Cannot these sedentary sects do better than prepare the shrouds and write the epitaphs of those other busy living men? The practical faith of all men belies the preacher's consolation. What is any man's discourse to me, if I am not sensible of something in it as steady and cheery as the creak of crickets? In it the woods must be relieved against the sky. Men tire me when I am not constantly greeted and refreshed as by the flux of sparkling streams. Surely joy is the condition of life. Think of the young fry that leap in ponds, the myriads of insects ushered into being on a summer evening, the incessant note of the hyla with which the woods ring in the spring, the nonchalance of the butterfly carrying accident and change painted in a thousand lines upon its wings, or the brook minnow stoutly stemming the current, the lustre of whose scales worn bright by the attrition is reflected on the bank.
"We fancy that this din of religion, literature, and philosophy, which is heard in pulpits, lyceums, and parlors, vibrates through the universe, and is as catholic a sound as the creaking of the earth’s axle; but if a man sleep soundly, he will forget it all between sunset and dawn. It is the three-inch swing of a pendulum in a cupboard, which the great pulse of nature vibrates by and through each instant. When we lift our eyelids and open our ears, it disappears with smoke and rattle like the cars on a railroad. When I detect a beauty in any of the recesses of nature, I am reminded, by the serene and retired spirit in which it requires to be contemplated, of the inexpressible privacy of a life-how silent and unambitious it is. The beauty there is in mosses must be considered froin the holiest, quietest nook. What an admirable training is science for the more active warfare of life. Indeed, the unchallenged bravery which these studies imply is far more imp sive than the trumpeted valour of the warrior. I am pleased to learn that Thales was up and stirring by night not unfrequently, as liis astronomical discoveries prove. Linnæus, setting out for Laplaud, surveys his “comb” and “spare shirt,” “leathern breeches” and “gauze cap to keep off gnats," with as much complacency as Bonaparte a park of artillery for the Russian campaign. The quiet bravery of the man is admirable. His eye is to take in fish, flower, and bird, quadruped and biped. Science is always brave, for to know, is to know good : doubt and danger quail before her eye. What the coward overlooks in his hurry, she calmly scrutinises, breaking ground for the array of arts that follow in her train. But cowardice is unscientific, for there cannot be a science of ignorance. There may be a science of bravery, for that advances : but a retreat is rarely well conducted—if it is, then is it an orderly advance in the face of circumstances.'
'In the winter, the botanist needs not confine himself to his books and herbarium, and give over his out-door pursuits; but study a new department of vegetable physiology, what may be called crystalline hotany, then. The winter of 1837 was unusually favourable for this. In December of that year, the Genius of vegetation seemed to hover, by night, over its summer haunts with unusual persistency. Such a hoar frost as is very uncommon here or anywhere, and whose full effects can never be witnessed after sunrise, occurred several times.' "Every tree, shrub, and spire of grass that could raise its heard above the snow, was covered with a dense ice-foliage, answering, as it were, leaf for leaf to its summer dress. Even the fences had put forth leaves in the night. The centre, diverging, and more minute fibres were perfectly distinct, and the edges regularly indented. These leaves were on the side of the twig or stubble opposite to the sun, meeting it for the most part at right angles, and there were others standing