Imatges de pÓgina
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probably, be that of the other. I say probably, because I am of opinion that a strong effort will be made by both Whig and Tory to separate the Queen from the people, or, at least, to patch up one of Lord John Russel's systems of Reform. If the Whigs get into power they will concede no more than their safety and support requires. I really doubt whether they would willingly concede the householder system of suffrage. If they do, it will be a great point gained; but we must travel further. Where any portion of the male population of sound intellect, and arrived to the years of maturity, be excluded, the representation is incomplete, partial, and unjust. I shall be very glad to see any thing like a move, for I do not believe the whole will ever be obtained at once, unless we could tread in the steps of Spain.

The best argument that could be advanced to those who say the householder system of suffrage is a sufficent representation would be thus:-"Well, Gentlemen, if you think that sufficient, let the representatives of the householders make laws for the householders, but let the lodgers be free from those laws. Let the householders pay the taxes-let the householders compose the army and navy, and fight all the battles of the country; and let the lodgers be exempt from service if they are not worthy to be represented. If you engross all the representation, you ought to pay all the expences of the State, and perform all its duties. An exclusion on the one hand should lead to an exclusion on the other. We are all born equal: the infant that is born a prince has not more intellect at his birth than the offspring of the peasant: education makes all the difference, and when education be extended to all we shall be equal in a political point of view; and none rise superior to the rest but by the gift of superior talent, and the possession of superior virtues." Who can answer this argument, or who can decry the scheme of Universal Suffrage as impracticable after what has past in Spain for the last year? It might be prudent to adopt the plan of the Spanish Constitution: after a certain period to exclude all who cannot write their names. This is laudable, because its object is to stimulate all persons to the acquisition of reading and writing. It is not possible to bring a sound argument against the advocates of Universal Suffrage. The exploded nonsense about anarchy and confusion has received a death-blow by the example of Spain. Did we hear of a single riot during the elections in Spain: a country much larger than the Island of Great Britain? More than any thing Annual Elections and Universal Suffrage would prevent riot and anarchy. The dignity which

it confers on man to give his vote for a Representative would be the best guarantee for good conduct. It is by the present degradation of mankind that riots and convulsions are so frequent. Give every man his natural rank in society, and you will improve his morals and civilize his manners! but if you treat him as a brute you must expect that he will act according. A slave will do more by civility and good treatment than by coercion.

We have had to struggle against the ignorant, the timid, and the corrupt; but we have now nearly enlightened the first, and conquered the fears of the second; but the last will ever remain our enemy whilst in power. We must conquer what is corrupt by force and by numbers, and shew the interested in the present system of things that they are the weaker party, and as their usurpation is injurious to the interests and welfare of the majority they must retire into their fitting situation, after giving some account of their stewardship. Nothing but our attitude can frighten the corrupt: we may talk or threaten, but unless we put ourselves into an attitude to execute our threats, we shall but get laughed at. Under this head I would exhort the Reformers of Great Britain to further efforts, to an increased perseverance: our advances amply repay us for the past; be they our stimulus for the future. A slight incident might accomplish our object, for we have made such a progress that calumny hardly dares assail us. The Whigs confess that they court our co-operation. We will co-operate with them, but they must come to our terms, or help us on the road to our final goal. We have co-operated with the Queen from a sense of honour, and a sense of interest as well: and we will journey with any individual or party if they are travelling any portion of the same road with us. We will not be angry even if they abuse us, as does the Times newspaper, provided they will assist us in the least instance. Our object is to get to the end of our journey, because we know the distance, and when we once pass the ground we are safe, we shall have to travel no more.

Perseverance in a good cause will be sure to overcome all obstacles: time, patience, and fortitude are the only requisites. In a noble pursuit, such as the obtaining a natural system of government, and restoring civilization among our fellow countrymen we should never tire or talk about being weary. Slight defeats, or retrograde movements, should become but a stimulus to further exertion. In all the relations of life genuine courage' supported by fortitude is of great importance. Where this attainment is accompanied with a

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cool calculating prudence, the man will rise superior to all obstacles, and with bodies of men acting upon one object the principle is the same. Unanimity is essential; and it is destructive to all joint interests where divisions exist among the parties concerned. In looking at the accomplishment of our object in reforming the Parliament, we should lose sight of man as men, and view them only as a part of a whole which is aiming at one object. Some men instead of putting a shoulder to the wheel will content themselves with standing by and applauding others for what they are doing. This is a flattery and extremely pernicious to the cause, because flattery is a vice that will spoil the best of men, and is not calculated to afford assistance towards the object in view: far better would it be as an assistance if the flatterer would be silent with his tongue, and give us his hand and heart. This species of flattery is more than any thing calculated to create divisions among men who are prominent in a cause; it makes a weak-minded man assume a consequence to which he is not entitled, which must naturally lead to disgust in the minds of others. The truly brave and honest, wish no further approbation than a fair exposition of conduct and achievements, whilst the little mind will dwindle and wither without applause and flattery: Momentary applause is too cheap to be valued much, and for want of an extensive view of circumstances and proper reflection, is too often mis- . placed. The man who is honest, bold, and in earnest, needs not any species of applause or flattery to induce him to act; if he once fixes his mind on a good object his greatest satisfaction will be in its accomplishment. It is thus I conceive it to be improper to bestow too much applause on an individual, where many are in pursuit of one object. It has no tendency to stimulate the good, but often discourages them by seeing it improperly applied. To go on well, Reformers should with the union of Freemasons, but not in secret societies. Most men are partial to little distinctions, but they should be discouraged as a species of aristocratical vanity. Under a fairly constituted Representative System of Government, nothing but superior talent and virtue can obtain distinctions. An individual might possibly get appointed a representative without any just qualifications for the employment but the moment he mingles with the collected sense of the nation, he would be seen in his real character. Here impudence or pompous pretension will avail him noathing, he must shew himself by his works, or pass unnoticed. There are a variety of ways by which approbation of con

duct can be conferred without putting it in the shape of flattery. For myself I can say, that a private letter of approbation from a known good man, has given me more real satisfaction than the plaudits of a multitude.

The foregoing hints have fallen from me in consequence of the too frequent bickering among men who wish to be considered leaders in the cause of Reform; and I would advise those who see a man whom they consider to be doing his duty to imitate him as near as possible, and not content them selves with merely applauding him. Applause is not action: neither can it become a stimulus to good intent and correct principle, which will be sure to persevere both through evil report and good report. My firm opinion is that some of the best and truest friends of Reform are acting in the back ground, and not yet visible. I do not wish to detract from the virtues of the many distinguished individuals who have taken a conspicuous part, the whole conduct of some of them I know to be perfectly unimpeachable, but I would not have it thought that those who are visible are all who are busily at work to effect a Representation of the People. We have those who are private and silent working most powerfully with us, and who perhaps are effecting as much or more than some who make so much noise. Most public actors are prone to court the prejudices of mankind, whilst the object of the philosopher in his closet is to remove all prejudices. Oliver Cromwell would have been a good man if he had not been corrupted by flattery, and the same might be said of Napoleon Buonaparte. We ought rather to keep a jealous and scrutinizing eye upon public characters than be so apt to applaud. The way to keep men good and honest is to let them understand that they must not expect flattery or applause until they are dead. Whatever a man does for his country, he does no more than his duty; and if be finds an acknowledgment from his fellow-countrymen that he has done his duty, it is all that he has any fair reason to require. If he be poor, a competency to make life comfortable should be afforded him, and no further. By observing a conduct of this kind the Grecians raised up their most able generals, and it was under such men that they destroyed the invading hosts of Persia by a mere handful of The general, or the soldier, were neither paid for serving their country nor rewarded with pensions after they had done it. It was held to be a great disgrace to accept either

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pay or a present for any patriotic purpose. If any of those hints be calculated to lessen the little bickerings and jealousies which exist among Reformers, my object will be

gained. I wish not to wound, but to heal the many paltry differences which have existed among us.

There is another point which operates much to our injury, or retards our progress, and that is, the adoption of nicknames. Whoever confers a nickname on another, does it for the purpose of bringing him into ridicule, and of exciting a weak mind to think meanly of him; and if he succeeds in establishing such an improper name, he accomplishes his object and lessens the character of the individual in the eye of the multitude. I never could look on the word Radical, as applied to Reformers, but as a very foolish word, although it be in itself quite harmless. It has been worked upon in such a manner, that thousands of good and well intentioned, but weak people, think it synonymous with every species of villainy. Far better would it be, in my opinion, to assume a name which conveys a direct principle, and which cannot be distorted, such as Republican. It was under this idea, that I adopted the term Republican for my late publication. I have silenced many persons, who had thought to throw off a sneer upon me, in allusion to my radical and infidel principles, by an open avowal of my opinions and principles. I have said, "I do not know what you mean to convey by the word Radical, but my political principles are Republican. I would make the throne bend to the interest and welfare of the people, or the will of their Representatives. And as to my infidelity, I am an infidel to every thing which my mind conceives to be founded in falsehood. I receive nothing as good but what I conceive to be founded in truth. These are my principles, and you may carp upon them as long and as much as you please." An explicit declaration of this kind, cannot fail to silence the ignorant and impudent sneer of any man; but if we talk about an attachment to the Constitution, to monarchy, and a variety of other spurious and ambiguous things, we are sure to be, and deservedly, suspected of bad intentions, the possession of principles which we durst not avow. The most effectual way to enlighten, and to make converts to a cause, is to proceed upon an avowed and well understood principle. Such was the term Reformer, connected with the avowed principle of annual elections and universal suffrage; and I verily believe the Reformers have not forwarded their cause by adopting the word Radical as an appellative, but have rather retarded it. We now frequently hear many weak and foolish persons cry out, "I am an advocate for Reform, but not a Radical." This word radical has greatly tended to widen the breach, where little divisious have existed, and

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