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THE ENGLISH REPUBLIC. 



fo^ 



V 



'ncp^ 



CJ 



THE ENGLISH REPUBLIC 



W. J. LINTON 



EDITED WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES 



KIN ETON PARKE S 




^ r- r" ck 2 i> "^y 

■v r* y" #\| j-j f 

PRESERVATION 




-roi ! ' 

1 '. \ 



LONDON 

SWAN SONNENSCHEIN & CO 

PATERNOSTER SQUARE 

1891 



CONTENTS. 



Chap. Page. 

Introduction v 

I. Republican Principles — Equality, Liberty, Fraternity — 
Rule of the Majority — Sacreclne.ss of the Individual 
and Society ........ 1 

II. Reiiublican Measures — Reform — Organisation of Labour 

through Credit ; on the Land ; and of Justice . , 39 

III. The Suffrage— The Sovereignty of the People — Uni- 

versal Suffrage — The Foundation of the Republic ; 

its Purpose ........ 68 

IV. Methods of Government — Local Government — Con- 

stitutional Government — Fitness for the Franchise 

— Combination and Strikes ..... 104 

V. The Republic and Democracy — Democracy and the Re- 
public — Socialism and Communism — Are Socialists 
Republicans ? 124 

VI. Slavery and Freedom — Voluntary Slavery — Non-Inter- 
vention and Fair Play 146 

VII. Religion, Genius and Republicanism — A Church and a 

Republic — Religious Worship ..... 176 

VIII. Liberty and Equality— Nationality .... 190 

Notes 214 



INTRODUCTION. 

Mr. William James Linton was born in London on 
December the 7th, 1812, and was educated at a school at 
Stratford, Essex, conducted by the Reverend Dr. Burford. 
When he was sixteen he became a pupil of G. W. Bonner, 
a well-known engraver on wood, residing in Kennington 
Read, and to whom he was apprenticed. During the years 
of his apprenticeship were sown those seeds of liberty 
whir-h were just then freely floating in the air, whicli after- 
wards resulted in the voluminous writings on social subjects, 
which form so considerable a portion of his work in litera- 
ture. His was a large nature, and the art of engraving was 
never a mere profession with liim, but part of his life, just as 
was his love of liberty and of poetry. On the conclusion of 
liis apprenticeship he became a professional wood engraver, 
subsequently joining Orrin fSmith in Judd St., Brunswick 
Square. When, in 1842, The Illustrated, London News was 
started, Linton and Smith engraved much important work 
for that journal. In this year he was editing Tlie Odd 
Fellow, a magazine of politics and general literature, which 
was afterwards called Tlte Fireside Journal. A few months 
before Orrin Smith's sudden deatli, the partnei's removed 
to No. 85 Hatton Garden, and these premises were retained 
by Mr. Linton for several years. It was here that many of 
the most revolutionary spirits of that excited time were 
wont to congregate, and from tins address several of IVIr. 
Linton's early publications were issued. About the year 
1838 Mr. Linton became acquainted with James Watson, 
the celebrated publisher of Queen's Head Passage, Pater- 
noster Row, with whom he was on terms of friendship 
until his death, and also with Hetherington, Cleave, and 
other leaders of the extreme Radical and Chartist parties. 
Contact with such men as these fired the young artist's 
blood, and he threw himself into the struggle with all the 
impetuosity of his fervent nature. In appearance he was 



VI hitrodudion. 



animated and handsome, with ltri;,dit eyes and loni^ auburn 
hair. He was fj^enerDus with Ids time and talents, and 
open-handed with his raonej-, and whenever a young re- 
former, or pro]iagandist, was in want of an illustration for 
a tract or ])aiiiphlet, the engraver-poet was ready with a 
design, which he drew and engraved gratuitously. All the 
circulars of the "Garibaldi Fund" were designed and en- 
graved by him. He was always a friend of the " Friends 
of Italy." Even at this early peiiod his reputation as an 
engraver was spreading over England and America, and 
his faculty of design was as great as his facility with the 
graver. 

When the outbreak of Frost, Jones, and Williams ficcurred, 
and the.se three men were condennied to death for high 
treason, Mr. Lint<tn was among the Hist of those who came 
f«>r\vard to prepare the monster petition which resulted in 
the comnuitation of the sentence. \\\ l."s4i he was intim- 
ately a.ssociateil with Ma/.zini, an<l assisted hiuj in bringing 
lieforc the notice of Parliament the proceedings of Sir James 
(Jraham, who had cau.sed letters to Mazzini and other exiles 
in England to be opened, ami one of the results of which 
was the judici:d murder by the Austrian (loverinnent of 
tlie brotliers Kandiera. The case was taken up from 
Mazzini and Linton by Janies Stantield an<l T. S. Duncombe, 
who brought it forward in the House of Connnon.s. From 
this time forwnr.l Mr. Linton's relations with Mazzini and 
other Italian refugees were of an intimate nature. He was 
also connectiMl with W. J. Fo.k mid his party. In LS48 he 
was the dej)Uty selected by the English workmen to carry 
their congratulatory address to their French brethren, on 
the establishment of the first Provincial Government. 

Tiie lirst of the series of publieations which iMr. Linton 
lias issue<l fiom tinn- to time was 'iln' i^dhomd, o Lihrai'n 
for the Pioiih\ which was published by James Watson in 
1830. It was a kind of miscellany consisting of ex- 
tracts from writers of liberal views, with comments b}- 
Mr. Linton, who also supplied original articles. It ran to 
twenty-four numbti-s, forming a single volume, each ntnnbei' 
containing an engraving. In LS4.') a remarkable book ap- 
peared called " Bob Thin." This was a satire oji the then 



Inti'oduction. vii 



existing state of things ; a state, moral and material, which 
dwellers in the social atmosphere of to-day find it difficult 
to realise, so dark was it. Whatever the shortcomings of 
the present time may be, the efforts of men oF the stamp of 
the band of reformers of half a century ago have not 
been wasted. The good they did is still with us, while 
there still remains a field full wide for those who would 
follow in their steps. "Bob Thin" was chiefly directed 
against the Poor Laws, and was exhibited in the life of a 
pauper : it was written in doggerel verse and appeared as 
" Twenty-six Cuts at the Times " in the pages of The 
Peojples Review, the first sixpenny review that ever ap- 
peared, and for which Mr. Linton designed and engraved 
the title, and engraved also a portrait head of Milton, which 
adoins the cover. " Bob Thin " was first printed in 1845 
for private circulation. It had a number of small woodcuts 
down the sides of the pages, which were drawn and en- 
graved by Mr. Linton. In The Peoples Revieiv these 
" Twenty-six Cuts at the Times," ap|)ear as being " fur- 
nished by BOB THIN, forming an Illustrated Al})hal)et for 
all those Little Politicians who have not yet learned their 
Letters, with a Preface, but no Wrapper." The preface I 
quote, for apart from the explanation it offers of the "Cuts" 
and verses which follow it, there is a prophetic ring about 
it, which seems to announce the whimsical rhymes of cer- 
tain celebrated librettos of to-day : — 

" Most sort of stories may be made of any raw material : 
So we commence to improvise an Alpliabetic serial. 
Our Letters were not ordered, but came to us accidentally : 
May the text be found as useful as the cuts look (;rnamentally." 

The original title of the privately printed brochure was, 
" Bob Thin, or the Poor House Fugitive." The editorship 
of The Illuminated Magazine passed into the hands of Mr. 
Linton, in this year, from those of Douglas Jerrold. 

About 1846, Mr. Linton advertised "A Store of Children's 
Books," as being written and illustrated by " Mr. C. Honey- 
suckle," to be had from 85 Hatton Garden. The Mr. C. 
Honeysuckle was Mr, Linton himself, and these books, 
which were chiefly devoted to flowers, were all coloured 



viii introduction. 



iind drawn with a careful feeling for nature, the author's 
contention being that children ought never to look upon 
any representation of a living thing that was not perfectly 
true to its prototype in nature. In those days, di-awings 
of the crudest character wt.-re considered good enough for 
children. These books were utterly unlike anything whicii 
had then apiicared, and there has not been since an}' which 
surpass them. 

In 1848, Mr. Linton conceived the idea of liringing out a 
paper in the Isle of Man, which had then the privilege of 
free postage. Tliis was called Tho Cauf^e of flic Pcoplr, and 
was a well-printed quarto on tine thick paper which bore the 
impress of taste. It was the first publication of a ]H»litical 
nature which had been produced in such a style. The 
designs in it were furnishcil by Mr. Linton, and the arrange- 
ment of the paper was his. He wrote occasionally un<ler 
the name of " Spai tacus." and contril»uti'il " petitions " almost 
every week, which were remarkable for their relevance, 
brevity, and logical force. Mr. G. J. llolyoake was also 
associated with this onterpri.se. 

In 1850. one of the most notable of all tlie jonrnali>-tic 
•'nterpri>es of the century. Tlio Le>iiic'r,u\iu\ii its appearance. 
This celehrated weekly new.spaper was ])rojected by Thornton 
Leigh Hunt and Mr. Linton, with whom was clo.sely a.'-soci- 
ated (leorge Henry Lewes. When Mr. Linton devoted his 
energies to this matter, it was with the hope and intention 
of establishing a paper which should be at once the organ 
and nucleus of a republicati party in England, and ])e ojicn 
also f(.r truthful accounts of rejmblican views and republi- 
can doings throughout Europe. A department of the paper 
was allotted to Mr. Linton, but his writings were " editeil " 
l)y the editor-in-chicf, 'J'hornton Hunt. He found that Hunt 
and Lewes were not what he considered true republicans, 
and that while tiiey were willing enough to make u.se of him 
and his connection with Mazzini and the Poli.sh Republican 
party, they were not willing that he should go the lengths 
lie desired in his own department of the paper. In the 
prospectus of the journal it was announced that among 
other I'eforujs it would advocate " the full exercise of the 
Franchise" and "Free Trade," and with these aims Mr. 



Introdtiction. ix 



Linton was in accord. There were, however, other matters 
of equal importance, which his colleagues would not touch, 
and he w^as consequently compelled to sever himself from 
these connections, and to strive to stand alone on his own 
ground and to fight his combat single-handed. 

With this object in view he started The English Rejpuhlic. 
The first number appeared at the beginning of 1851. The 
contents were mostly written by Mr. Linton himself, but 
he also included papers from other pens, including those of 
Alexander Herzen, Charles Stolzman, Wendell Phillips, and 
Joseph Mazzini, and was helped considerablj^ by Mr. Joseph 
Cowen. Mr. Linton's own contributions were botli in prose 
and in verse, exclusively of a political or social character, 
and mainly dealing with republican matters. On these 
subjects, also, he included articles by Mazzini and others 
which had appeared elsewdiere, but which helped him in his 
i:)urpose, as well as passages, sometimes of con^^iderable 
length, from books he regarded as standard works on re- 
publicanism, and articles he had himself contributed to a 
periodical published in 1850, called The Red RepiiMicav, 
edited by Mr. G. J. Harvey. Everything, both in prose and 
verse, which has not the author's name appended, was written 
by Mr. Linton. There were four volumes of The English 
Rejpuhlic printed. The title page of volume the first was 
as follows : 

THE 

ENGLISH REPUBLIC: 

GOD AND THE PEOPLE. 

Then came the unfurled flag of the Republicans, the standard 
of which appears strongly planted in the rock, and the flag 
itself with the colours blue, white and green, reaches to the 
clouds. 

EDITED - 

BY 

W. J. LINTON. 

LONDON: 
J. WATSON, QUEEN'S HEAD PASSAGE, PATERNOSTER ROW. 

1851. 



Introduction. 



This volume opens with an address dated December, 
1850, in which after brietiy commentingf upon the state of 
the Government of the time, the editor remarks that in 
his venture " there will be at least a known centre and a 
voice " for the Republican Party in England ; and he con- 
tinues, "it will be for tiie members of the party themselves 
to determine how far they use it," and concludes by saying: 
" Such counsel and service as from time to time I may be 
able to offer shall not be wanting." 

With volume the secoml, a fresh system of publication 
was adopted, and 'Die Rfpvhlic was styled "A Scries of 
Tracts." The vohime includes the j'^ears 1852 and 1853, 
and contains a hundred tracts — the first dated January 
1st, 1852, and the last November 26th, 185:i. These two 
volumes were printed at Leeds. In 1854 more extensive 
changes were made. It was now called "A Newspaper and 
Review," and " edited by W. J. Linton, and published liy 
liim at Brantwood, Coniston, Windermere, Westmoreland," 
and the motto is changed from " God and the People " to 
" The Formation of a Nation is a Religion," from Mazzini. 
Volume the third runs through the year 1854; in 1855 
we lind only an incom|dete volume, which extends froii\ 
January to April the 15th, when the editor makes "a con- 
clusion." He styles himself "a political Jeremiaii," and says 
that tJie " response is not sufficient to justify a furtlicr con- 
tinuance of 'his' endeavour, at all events, in the present 
manner; " and concludes the whole series as follows: — "So 
ends the task I undertook .some years ago. I am yet ready 
to bear my part in the future's work." 

At Brantwood Mr. Linton had set up a private press, 
from which he issued other things besides T)ic Bejrabllc. 
In 180(j, before going to America, Mr. Linton sold Brant- 
wood to Mr. Ruskin. 

There were onlj'' some three hundred copies of each issue 
of T/ie English I'iepublic printed, a certain number of which 
were sold by James Watson, and some were sent to Mr. Cowen 
at Ncwcastlc-on-Tyne, and the rest were given away. The 
complete set is now a great rarity, and I have not been able 
to obtain a copy for the purposes of this edition in spite of 
much advertising. Of course, the venture did not pay ex- 



Introduction. yX 



penses, but that could hardly be expected, when the edition 
was so limited, and the sale more limited still. However this 
may be, its work was accomplished, its object achieved, and an 
exposition of Republicanism given to the class for whom it 
was designed. In this its projector was not disappointed, 
and, in spite of the la])se of forty years, his opinions remain 
unchanged ; and although Republican England is still some- 
thing; lacking achievement, his confidence in the pi-inciples 
he laid down then is unshaken. 

Mr. Linton holds that what a man piints or says deliber- 
ately in public is no longer his, but belongs to the world, 
especially when he ventures to assume the office of teacher. 
Though there is much he would wish bettered in its expres- 
sion, there is nothing he has written during a literary life of 
more than half a century that he would recant ; nothing he 
would recall except its (as he chooses to I'egard it) poorness 
of accomplishment. During that half century he has not 
changed his peculiar opinions concerning things and men, 
and he does not live in any expectation of seeing the 
realisation of his younger hopes ; but he does live in the 
sure hope that his aspirations will be realised in the future, 
whether it be near or far. 

Thinking thuswise, Mr. Linton has kindly given his per- 
mission to me to reprint such of the essays as I thought 
desirable, and such as would be useful at the present hour, 
as contributions to the discussion of the social question 
which is ever with us, and which, in its main details, differs 
but little fiom what it was in the time of the original 
publication of Tlue Evglish Republic. How well Mr. Lin- 
ton's contributions to the subject apply to-day is to be 
gleaned hy even a hasty perusal of the following ptiges, but 
how much they contribute to the solution of the diffi- 
culty will be revealed to the more careful reader and 
student. 

The essays I have selected will give a very adequate 
idea of the scope of the original English Republic. 

We have seen briefly what was the origin and occasion 
of the work ; we have yet to learn the principles which 
underlie what is written hereafter. 

In 1867, Mr. Linton published at New York a brochure, 



xii Introduction. 



entitled, "Ireland for the Irish, Rhymes and Reasons ao^ainst 
Landlordism, with a Preface on Fenianism and Republican- 
ism." In this preface Mr. Linton gives an admirable defini- 
tion of what he considered Republicanism to consist in, and 
I have ventured to quote from this at length as it throws 
much light upon his woi'k in TliC EiifjlislL Republic. 
He sa3's by the Republic : — 

'* We mean not only the displ;icenient of a particular form of govern- 
ment ; but, believing that presidents are but slightly improved consti- 
tutional sovereigns, we mean the abolition of class government, which 
is monarchy, under whatever name. We mean not merely giving the 
land to the peojjle, and enfranchising them from their tiiraldom under 
the priesthood; we mean not only this or that remedial measure, how- 
ever just or neoilfnl ; but we mean a radical reorganisation of govern- 
ment and of society, a reorganisation which shall pervade all ranks 
and conditions of men, a reorganisation whose princijjles we accept as 
a faith, defend with our reason, and dare to maintain and promote with 
our lives. 

"By the one word Republic w-e mean the ecjual right of all men to 
well-being and well-doing, and the ordering of all the powers and 
capabilities of society for the bettering of every member toward the 
l)crfecting of the whole. 

"We mean that there shall be none uneducated, none without pro- 
perty, none shut out, by legislative enactment or social hindrance, 
from the people's land, or from whatever the commonwealth can furnish 
for their spiritual and material advantage. 

" We mean the abolition of the tyrannies of rank and wealth, the 
.abolition of all arbitraiy distinctions and artificial di.sabilities calculated 
to prevent any individual from reaching the fullest growth and perfec- 
tion of his or her nature. We mean the protection of the weak against 
the strong. We mean the assurance of every member of society 
against tyranny or accident. Wo mean the etpial care of State em- 
bracing every individual as a j)art of the whole. 

" We mean al.'jo tliat the 8tate should maintain its rights to the 
service of all its meml)er3. We mean that each should be dutiful to 
all. We mean that duty shall be no more a vague or an idle word; 
that it shall really express the relation of the parts to the whole, the 
relation by whicli a man or a woman becomes the servant of the actual 
time or tlie surrounding society — of family, of country, of the world — 
bound to help to the utmost in the progressions of Humanity, with no 
limits except the ])ossibilities of the individual's particular si)here. 

" We mean by Thr ]!<j>iililii- a form of govennnent in wliich all may 
participate; a government not to be surrendered to rulers or 'repre- 
sentatives,' but to be directly exercised by the people themselves, 
originating, discussing, and enacting their own laws, dcj)uting only 
their ofticers to carry out the popular will, the expression of the people'3 
intellect and conscience. 



Introduction. xiii 



" We mean also by that word Rejmblic to express the connection not 
only between the State and the individual, but between States or 
nations, and the community of nations — the whole of Humanity. 
We mean that, as individuals are component parts of the State or 
body politic, so State or nation are component parts of the Universal 
Republic, the body politic of Humanity, bound in duty toward that, 
and entitled to the protection of that against all interference or 
encroachment. 

"We mean by that word Repuhllc the oneness of Humanity, the 
equality of all peoples and of all the people. We mean that there is 
one common object and purpose in all times and among all races of 
mankind, the progress from improvement to improvement, through 
successive discoveries and apiDlications of the laws of human life, of 
which law the whole people, and no priestly class whatever, are the 
interpreters ; and that it is the duty of every human being to aid in 
this progress. 

" This is our meaning of the word Republic ! " 

This extract serves admirably as a preface to the present 
volume, which treats in detail of the principle here defined 
so tersely. 

In the essays which follow will be found a fairly complete 
exposition of Republicanism. The order in which they are 
here placed is not the same as that in which they occur in 
the original volumes, but sequence was not so urgent a 
necessity in a serial publication as it becomes in a volume 
purporting to treat of a single subject in its various aspects. 
The order I have adopted is the best that could be decided 
upon, any other arrangement of the material at my com- 
mand being impossible, by some reason or another. It will 
be found that there are " faults " in the strata, as the geolo- 
gist would express it ; abrupt terminations of one line of 
argument, and the commencement of another, but this is 
neither the fault of the author nor of his editor, but of the 
nature of the subjects treated. It was impossible to give 
separate chapters to each separate subject (if this had been 
done some of the chapters would have consisted of a couple 
of pages), so the materials have been welded as carefully 
as their natures admitted ; and if the consistency of one or 
two of the chapters is a trifle varied in its composition, this 
explanation, it is hoped, will be found sufficient to account 
for it. 

About the time when The English Republic was first 



xlv Introduction. 



projected, Mr. Linton had left London and was residing 
near to Whitehaven, at Ravenglass, to which address he had 
invited, in The Red Repuhlican, all his sympathisers to 
write to him, the result of which invitation was the forma- 
tion of various societies throughout the country, for the pro- 
pagation of the principles he professed. From Ravenglass 
his woodblocks were sent up to town at short intervals. 
Subsequently he removed to the estate at Coniston, called 
Brantwood. Here the second and third volumes of the Re- 
puhlic were printed, as well as The Northern Tribune, a 
journal in which he was again associated with Mr. Joseph 
Cowen, and some privately printed books, and here he carried 
on his wood engraving: as before, I am not sure whether 
"The Plaint of Freedom," the poem which Landor praised 
entlmsiasticall}'', and which was issued anonymously by Mr. 
Linton, was done at Brantwood, but I fancy it belongs to the 
year before he went there. The title-page bears the date 
1852. 

At his house at Coniston he received his exiled and re- 
fugee friends, and Colonel Stolzinan, a Pole, who fought 
under the first Nai)oleou, resided with him for some years, 
and died here. All men of republican tendencies -were 
welcomed there, as at Hatton Garden he had welcomed 
Stanislaus Worzell, the Polish banker, who had a pension 
from the English Government as an exile, in Lord Dudley 
Stuart's days, and Alexander Herzcn, the exiled but rich 
Russian who wrote a book dealing with the condition of 
Russia, which was very much noticed and spoken of at the 
time. 

In 1854, Mr. Linton wrote and illustrated a book called 
" The Ferns of the English Lake Country." 

In 1855, Mr. H. D. Linton, a younger brother of Mr. W. J. 
Linton, and his friend M. Edmond Morin, devised a new illus- 
trated paper to be called Pen and Pencil. Morin furnished 
the money and contributed most of the drawings ; Mr. H. 
I). Linton did the engraving (he had studied engraving with 
his brother and Orrin Smith); wliile Mr. W. J. Linton 
edited the journal in conjunction with Mr. Macrae Moir. 
After about eight numbers Pen and Pencil succumbed to 
scarcity of capital. 



Introduction. xv 



About tins time and onwards Mr. W. J. Linton was a 
constant contributor to The Nation, while it M^as edited by- 
Duffy. Some of his contributions, however, were too fiery- 
even for the Irish Duffy and the Irish Nation. He was 
also a contributor to The Westminster Revieiv, The Exami- 
ner, The Spectator, and other journals. 

In 1858, he married a second time. His second wife 
being a daughter of the Rev. J. Lynn of Crosthwaite, in 
Cumberland, Eliza Lynn, who is well-known now as Mrs. 
Lynn Linton. 

In 1860, his "History of Wood Engraving" was pub- 
lished, and five years after, his first volume of verse called 
" Claribel, and other Poems," and this volume is the pivot 
of his career. 1865 is the middle of his literary life, and 
henceforth we find more time given to poetry and engraving 
than to politics and society. The strenuous efforts of his 
earlier years were succeeded by a calmer period, though not 
a less prolific one. 

In 1866 he left England and went to reside in America, 
In April the following year, " Ireland for the Irish," to 
which I have previously referred, and from the preface of 
which I have quoted, was written in New York and pub- 
lished there ; this year also saw the production of " Wind- 
Falls " from his recentlj^ acquired printing-press. It is a 
collection of about two hundred " extracts from imaginary 
plays." For a long period there is a lull, while he confined 
himself very largely to his engraving ; in 1878, he issued a 
work called " The Poetry of America." The following 
year saw the appearance of three volumes, a life of his old 
friend and publisher, James Watson, of which he privately 
printed fifty copies ; a " Life of Thomas Paine," and " Prac- 
tical Hints on Wood Engraving." In 1880, Mr. Abel 
Heywood of Manchester reprinted his life of Watson, 
In 1881, he published a volume of " Translations from 
Victor Hugo and Beranger ; " in 1882, he issued " Golden 
Apples of Hesperus," an anthology printed at his private 
press, called the Appledore Press, at New Haven, Connecticut, 
seventy-four miles from New York; " Rare Poems of the 16th 
and 17th Centuries," and a " History of Wood Engraving in 
America." In 1883, he edited, in conjunction with Mr, R, 



X v^ I Iittroductio7i 



H. Stoddard, " English Verse " in five volumes, and in this 
and tlie following year he visited England, and worked at 
the British Museum at researclies in the history of Wood 
Engraving. In 1886, " In Dispraise of a Woman " was 
printed, but only twenty-five copies ; it is a curious book. 
"Love-Lore" followed in 18S7, and in tliis volume some 
of his finest verse is to be found. " Famine, a Masque," is, 
I believe, to be ascribed to 1888 ; 1889 yielded " Poems and 
Translations," being a selection from his Poetical Works ; 
and 1800, the magnificent and monumental work, " Masters 
of Wood Engraving." And thus ends tlie other twenty-five 
years of incessant literary and artistic activity, years which 
would make the lifetime of many another man. In our 
present connection, we are concerned more with his earlier 
period, Itut it cannot be uninteresting to follow up till to- 
day such a career. 

Mr. Linton is now enjoying excellent health and strength 
at his home at New Haven, and he writes me from there to 
give his consent to the republication of his work done in 
the early eighteen-fiftie.'J. 

In conclusion, I have to render my sincere and hearty 
thanks to Mr. E. W. Badger, Dr. Chapman, Mr. Joseph 
Cowen, M.P., Mr. G. J. Holyoake, Mr. F. U. Kitton, Dr. J. 
A. Langford, Mrs. E. Lynn Linton, and to Mr. H. D. Linton, 
for important particulars concerning the career of Mr. W. 
J. Linton. 

/ Kin ETON Pahkes. 

Binnlugham. 



THE ENGLISH REPUBLIC. 



CHAPTER I. 



REPUBLICAN PRINCIPLES. 



Equality — Liberty — Fraternity. Perfectibility — Duty. Associa- 
tion. Family — City — Country. Worli — Property. Credit. 
Education. Rule of the Majority — Mutual Sacredness of 
tiie Individual and Society. Individual Duty. God's Law. 
Grow healthily ! Love ! Aspire ! Progress ! Nations. Sum- 
mary. 

Liberty without ivhich all Htiman Responsibility ends. 
Equality without which Liberty is only a deception. 
Fraternity without ivhich Liberty and Equality would be means with' 
out end. 

Liberty — Equality — Fraternity. These words are the battle-cry 
of the Repiiblicau — the formula of his faith, without the under- 
standing whereof there is no political salvation. Liberty — 
Equality — Fraternity — each and all, indissolubly united. Any 
attempt to solve the Government or regulations of society, with- 
out due regard to these three terms, must be a failure. 

Equality refers to the ground upon which we would build, 
rather than to the building ; that is to say, equality is a means, 
not merely an end. 

Liberty may be defined as the unchecked opportunity of growth ; 
a means also and not an end. 

A 



The English Republic. 



Fraternity is the link which makes free aud equal members 
constitute humanity : it is tlie completion of the triple law of 
human development. 

By equality is not meant the equal condition of all men — as 
dreamed of by some of the Socialists. Equality as a result like 
tliat would be unjust aud unequal. To take an easy example : — 
Two childrou are born with ditierent faculties. One child is born 
with a faculty or predisposition for painting. Another has uo 
such faculty ; his very orgauisation is against it (be is perhaps 
too short-sighted to be a painter). AVhat would be meant by the 
word equality applied to tliese two children ? Must both be 
painters, or neither '/ Would this be equality 1 Would it be 
equality to prohibit one from exercising a power of good or enjoy- 
meut naturally possessed by him ? To prohibit only one, recollect ! 
Republican equality is not any such prohibitary equality as this. 
The true equality would be to give each child the space, the 
material, the culture most fitted to his growth, and support aud 
improvement : tiiat each might be nurtured and educated to the 
utmost capability of lus nature, oven though one should grow to 
be far greater than the other. Or again : Two children will not 
grow to the same height ; must therefore the taller-growing bo 
stunted ? Two men have not the same appetite ; one needs for 
health and sustenance twice as much meat as is needed by the 
other; must one starve while the other fattens to apoj)lexy ; and 
because their daily rations are the same weight, shall that be 
called equality? The equality we desire is at the starting point, 
aud to keep the course, not to check the career of the fleetest, aud 
make all reach the goal at once or not at all. 

This is the cciuality wliich the Suffrage alone can give us. It 
is for this that we require the Suffrage as the public recognition 
and legal guarantee of our equality. For wo cannot believe that 
wo shall be treated equally (which means justly) by anyone who 
would iicsitate to acknowledge and assure our equality. And this, 
apito of all that may be said in denial of rights, is the equality of 
birthright, the sense in which all men are born equal, and so 
should live equal. The liberal utilitarian denies that I have any 



Republican Principles. 



right, even to my own life, to myself; and so they refuse the 
Suffi'age — the public recognition and public means of using that 
right. But if I have no right to my own life, who has ? Some 
other man or men ] Surely such a theory is too preposterous. 
Or is it the State alone in which all rights are vested? But what 
is the State? Am I a part of it % If not, what right can ^fordgn 
State have in me % If I am a part of it, only passive, wliat right 
have any to kidnap me and make me a passive part, a tool, a slave, 
of some collection of my fellow-men, calling themselves a State ? 
If I am recognised as an active part of the State, that is conceding 
me the Suffrage, the claim to stand upon equal ground before the 
law, that the law made by all may care for all, may care that all 
are treated equally : that is to say, tliat the nature of each shall 
have full room for development, the life of none be hindered or 
cleared away to foster or make room for the wantonness of another. 
Without this equality, liberty and fraternity is only a deception. 

For the liberty we want is for the growth of all. Liberty, ex- 
cept upon the ground of equality, would be only the liberty of 
the stronger, the liberty which is not regulated, every man's hand 
against every man, and the weakest going to the wall. We want 
not this liberty, but that diviner liberty which must be regulated 
by law, guaranteed upon the ground of human equality — the 
liberty which is unchecked opportunity of growth even for the 
least and the weakest. The least, whose growth is stunted by the 
overshadowing of another, is a victim; there is liberty there, /or 
one, but not equality and liberty for both. The weakest, whose 
growth must take the bent of another's stronger will, is a slave ; 
there is liberty there too for the stronger, but not equal liberty 
for both. 

And as liberty falls without equalit}^ so also equality falls with- 
out liberty. There may be equality under a despot, or in a 
well-ordered community without liberty, but how then shall 
there be various growth, free growth, and progress 1 We want 
equal liberty for all ; because we want the various growth of 
all for the collective pi'ogress of Humanity. Fraternity is 
the organisation of this equal liberty, the harmonisation of this 



The English Republic. 



various growth. We do not believe that any man lives only for 
himself; or that a man's life is bounded by his family, or his 
neighbours, or his parish, or his country. Family, parish or city, 
country — these are but so many spheres in which human life is 
perfected, in Avhich it lives, from which it draws its growth ; to 
which it therefore owes the product of its growth. Humanity wo 
believe to be one whole which ought to be harmonised together, 
continually reciprocating all the advantages which commerce or 
science (physical or mental) can jtrocure, which ought to be organised 
80 that a physical victory once gained by a j)art of the race should 
be a triumjih for the whole, so that a moral gain achieved by an 
individual should be a i)ossession for the whole — a mutual 
assurance and CO partnership by means of which the whole world 
should uphold tlic weakest, through which the universal progress 
should step steadily on from aspiration to acquirement, higher and 
ever higher. This is our definition of Fraternity. 
-. The organisation of Humanity i.s, therefore, the jiroblcm which 
the Republican proposes to himself. Tiiis is the beginning of his 
formula — Eqiiality, Liberty, Fraternity. Ecpiality of right, free- 
dom of growth, organisation of duty — these for the means, and 
the progress of Humanity for end. 



Perfect ih t'l ity — D ufy. 

The progressive development of human faculties and forces in 
the direction of tlic moral law — 

We cannot be said to believe in Humanity, unless we believe in 
its ]>rogressive development. Deny progress and development, 
and Humanity is but an idle word. It would mean only the men 
and women of the present generation, to whom anyone might dis- 
pute his owning any duty, if he chose to live secluded and severed 
from them, helping and hurting none, refusing to receive or give, 
to have any dealings, to make any bargains with them. For, cut 
off the past and the future, and one may well consider all connection 
with mankind as a matter of bargain, and be not in any wise his 



Republican Principles. 



" brother's keeper," but as careless of his next neighbour as one at 
the Antipodes. 

But Humanity means the whole, the totality of human kind ; 
not only tiie men and women of this " present generation/' but of 
all ages, past, present, and to come. You cannot confine yourself 
to the present generation. What, indeed, is the " jDresent genera- 
tion," when every day adds and takes away a thousand lives in this 
little corner of Britain alone? Every minute how many of the 
"present generation" becoming numbered with the past — every 
minute the future generation coming into presence. 

Here is the basis oS.duty towards Humanity, the diity which is 
imposed upon us as a moral law, a law of God — the duty which is 
the relation of a part to the whole. As well might the atoms of 
a diamond, or the several parts of a flower, deny their position with 
relation to the perfect diamond or the flower, as man deny his 
position as part of Humanity, disclaiming the duties which such 
position entails, refusing the service to which he is bound, with 
the poor current excuse, " that it is not his place " to perform such 
dutiful service. The common expression intimates the common 
duty. It is man's -place to serve Humanity : the place of the 
part in subservience to the whole. 

What shall he serve except this progressive development ? What 
is the meaning of all history, if it is not this? — that the struggles 
and sacrifices of one generation are made for another; that the 
triumphs of the past are inherited by the future ; that a gain in 
any corner of the world spreads, slowly or rapidly, over the whole 
globe ; and that to-day stores all the harvest of the former ages 
not for its own consuming but for transmission to the future — 
borrowing the sustenance and support for its own brief journey, and 
repaying with the interest of whatever its own exertions can 
accumulate. To-day is but the steward, who hands the wealth 
of the Past to the real heir, the Future. Let us mount never so 
high over the piled-up treasure of the Past, the summit of our 
achievement will be only a vantage ground, from which the Future 
shall start in quest of loftier worth. 

How shall one isolate himself from the future or from the past ? 



TJie English Republic. 



How from the future, when not a deed he may do, nor a word he 
may utter, nor a thought that stirs his innermost soul, but is as 
the first touch upon the electric wire, repeating its consequences 
to countless ages % How from the past ] Take any Englishman 
among i;s \ his sect, his nature and organisation, his very con- 
fu-mation, the result of ages. Is he nothing changed, in no way 
advanced, from the first savage of the world ? Have not Romans, 
Saxons, Danes, Normans, contributed to form him such as lie is? 
Nor only Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans, but also all who 
had previously helped to form them. Is not his very physical 
structure, a growth, and combination, fed and collected from nearly 
every portion of the world % Is not his mind richer for the thought 
of all time, his knowledge the sum of the acquirements of all 
times? Be he never so poor, is he not a del)tor to the Past? 
Have not the religions of the past done something for him] Has 
not the science of the past done something tool Which of us 
taught himself to till the earth ] Wliich of us has discovered 
for his own behoof the whole art and mystery of clothing? "Which 
of us crosses the ocean without aid from those who have gone 
before? Which of us is not indebted for some of those high- 
soaring and holy thoughts, which light even the darkest hearts, 
and brighten even the dullest eyes, to the buried poets and prophets 
of Humanity? In infancy, youth, sickness, accident, and age, we 
depend upon the services of others : in vigorous manhood we are 
no more independent, though sometimes we compel the contribu- 
tion without which we should scarcely exist. What more argument 
is needed to prove that man is a part of Humanity — a debtor to 
Humanity ; that the part must bear relation to the whole, that 
the debtor owes — his duties? Let the honest man pay his debt ! 
This is the moral law imposed upon us ; and the fulfilment of it 
consists in aiding to our uttermost by thought, and word, and act, 
" the progressive development of human faculties and forces." 

Association. 

Tilt only regular means which can attain to the end set forth 
above — 



Republican Principles. / 

How else % If men would navigate a ship they associate. If 
they would work a mine, or reclaim a waste land, they associate. 
If they would build a town they associate. If they would make 
war for conquest or in self-defence, still they must associate. The 
Laissez-faire system can only suit those who have no recogition of 
Humanity as a whole, nor the knowledge of any relation between 
men, except buyers and sellers whose sole business is personal 
gain. Yet even in the market there is association, though it be 
only of some few over-crafty men, to monopolise, to steal an 
exaggerated price. If buying and selling be the end of society, 
the purpose and religion of life, and no matter how many of God's 
creatures are naked, starved, stunted or trodden into the dust, 
then association may be of little consequence. But the human 
world has higher destinies than this. Yet the very wolves hunt 
in packs. The old fable of the bundle of sticks retains its signifi- 
cance ; woe to the disunited ; strength only to the combined. 

Government is the association of forces ; Religion, association 
for the development of the moral law ; Education, the association 
of the intellect and the application of the moral law ; Social 
Economy, the association of labour ; the Nation, the association 
of all the divers faculties of man in their natural and peculiar 
spheres ; and Humanity, the association of nations. 

But the association we require is not a compulsory association. 
That was the way they built the pyramids ; that has ever been 
the mode in which tyrants have used the masses — their slaves. 
We would not even have the finest compulsory association, though 
it might be regulated by the patriarchs ; not the most admirable 
community of heaven, content so long as every one can take what 
he decrees his just share out of the common storehouse. 

Not chance association either. We would not trust to the 
accidental partnerships of men combined for some special end : an 
East India Company, or a class government, associating to rob the 
world. 

We need an association bound together by faith and identity of 
purpose, rather than so weak a tie as that of "interest" — an 
association that shall be expansive, with power of growth, not 



The English Repttblic. 



stationary — an association in which the tyranny of a centre shall 
be impossible, in which the fullest growth and widest range of 
the individual shall be held compatible with the most devoted 
service to the Republic — yet an association kept together, not 
only by the careful protection of individual rights, but rather by 
the harmonious rendering and ordering of social duties, every 
member of the State intent upon building up tlie glory and 
advancing the progress of the whole, even as he would build an 
altar to the Eternal, or advance his own progress towards the per- 
fection of the Most Perfect. 

We need the organised association of the People; the universality 
of the citizen, free and equal in the several spheres of family, city 
and country ; and the association of countries. And we need this 
in order to develop, to economise, and to direct all the faculties 
and forces of Humanity ; to make the whole one strong life, 
healthily educated, maturely wise, self-sustained, and self-collected, 
surely aimed. Association would leave no powers unused, no 
efforts undirected. Without association men either bury them- 
selves in miserable egotisms, or, but too often, waste valuable 
energies in foolish— albeit generous— endeavours to serve their 
race. Without association, the brotherhood of Humanity would 
be an " unrealisable programme," and the progression of Humanity 
a never accomplished dream. 

Family — City — Country. 

So many progressive spheres in which man ought to successively 
grow in the knowledge and practice of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, 
and Association — 

The first sphere and association is the Family — the first step 
out of self, the first phase in the practical education of the mature 
human being. 

The child lives for itself : is (or should be) emploj'ed, not for 
Humanity, but for itself. The natural course of a child's life is 
the perception, the search, and the gathering of tlie good for 
itself, in order to perfect its own nature, to prepare it for serving 



Repitblican Principles. 



Humanity. To this end parents and friends wait upon it, and 
administer to it, requiring no return. Hope sings to it his 
sweetest songs, furhng his vast wings, and walking, as if he were 
an earthly playmate, with the inexperienced young one. All 
great and joyful influences are but its playthings, the world its 
football, and delight its proper food. For the child's business is 
not to do, nor to suffer (truly, it must both do and suffer, but that 
is not its business), but to be fostered, and so enabled to grow to its 
full strength and stature. Childhood over, the world claims the 
fresh worker, God calls His martyr. Self-perfected, the sacrifice of 
self (that is to say — service) is next. The child enjoys; the adult 
loves. For enjoyment is neither the object nor the end of love. 
Ask of any man who has truly loved — or rather ask of any woman 
who has loved (not merely accepted a husband) whether the 
passion meant possession — enjoyment ; whether it Avas not utterly 
independent of possession or enjoyment, an adoration rather than 
a desire ; whether it was not a sublime soaring out of self, the 
first endeavour to realise a good, not necessarily to be shared, and 
rather strengthened than diminished, if bringing suffering instead 
of joy. God has given us love to lead us from the narrowness of 
self to the divine width and grandeur of the unselfish spirit of the 
true worker — the worshipper and realiser of beauty. The lovers 
are united, and the two becoming one, in their very union, are in 
danger of stepping back to selfishness ; but now children preach 
the doctrine of saci-ifice of duty and service. In these two rela- 
tions of life are the types of the present and future, in which is 
involved the whole of human duty. 

The Beloved — it is the Present, the beautiful Humanity of our 
own age, to be loved and laboured for even as one would love and 
labour for a mistress. The Child — it is the Future, for which the 
Present toils and accumulates, for which it freely gives its rest- 
less days and sleepless nights ; for which, if needful, in harness 
on Liberty's battle-field, or on that most holy altar kings call the 
scaffold, it would cheerfully render up its life. In one's own family 
are first learned the lessons of true Piepublicanism : the equality 
between the loving, the equal rights of the young souls whom we 



lo The English Republic. 

call our children, but who are God's children even as ourselves — 
not property, but uupossessable human lives, as important as our 
own, by whose cradles we kneel to profier homage, foreseeing that 
they shall be greater than ourselves, that wo are but their minis- 
ters \ the freedom of growth which we see to be so needful to 
them, without which the very race deteriorates, and God's promise 
of the progression of Humanity through them is made a lie and 
an impossibility ; and the fraternal association which is prophesied 
in the days of simple childhood, the parents themselves but as 
elder children in a blessed hierarchy, reverently looked up to, 
loved, and freely and gladly obeyed, not merely because they are 
called parents, but because they are felt to be the wisest and best. 

Equality, Liberty, and Brotherly Association must have their 
fii'st seeds planted in the Family. Whoever would destroy this 
would destroy the very nursery of Republican virtue. 

But the Family is only the nursery. We may not bound our 
sympathies witliin the walls of home. Though we need not our 
fellows' help, yet they need us. In the continual battle of life 
not one soldier can be spared : in tlie world's work the labourers 
arc ever few (spite of Malthus and the like) compared with the 
harvest that awaits them. Is Humanity to be served only 
by those who have no family? Can Society afford that they 
who have had the best opportunities of learning the worth of 
Equality, Liberty, and Fi'aternity, shall be excused from teaching 
what they have learned by the example of an extended practice ? 
But our special question here is not so much the duty of the indi- 
vidual to Humanity, as the spheres in which that duty can most 
advantageously be fulfilled. 

We say that the first sphere, or inner circle, is the Family ; the 
next the City — the village, parish, or commune ; and the Country 
next. 

The Family is the simplest method of association, the most 
natural, the easiest, and the most binding. We do not believe it 
could be loosened without violating the best instincts of our 
nature, without a loss of influence for good which no other method 
of association could replace. The association of locality and com- 



Rep2thlica7t Principles. 1 1 

moil occupation we hold to be also worth preserving. A fishing 
community, a shipping community, a manufacturing community, 
an agricultural community, either of these will natm-ally grow up on 
the spot where its work may best be done. Tlie peculiar habits 
of their lives impress a peculiarity of character. That and the 
identity of occupation beget a spirit of companionship, and the 
brotherly feeling has a wider extension through that growth of 
natural circumstances than from any arbitrary arrangement for 
mere economical purposes. We believe in the worth of such local 
attachments, of such local schools, in whose narrow precincts men 
may first learn something of the fervour, the devotedness, the in- 
tense passioii of patriotism. Let the hamlet or the township be 
a rallying point, a larger liome, and a pride to its inhabitants ; 
let them toil for the increase of its importance and its renown, 
jealous of it as a child of the honour of its family. Let the Family 
be the nursery of Eepublican virtue, the Village — or the City — 
the first public school for the Republican life. Each is the Re- 
public in miniature, complete in itself. Complete, but not in- 
capable of expansion. As each Individual is but a part of the 
Family, so each Family is but a member of a Township, Parish, 
or Commune, is but a member of the Country. There, on the 
broad scale, the value of local sympathies, the force of similarity 
of nature, habit, and idea^ are more plainly discernible : and little 
need be said to prove their importance. History and tradition, 
habits of thought, modes of life, identity of aims — all these stamp 
the men of one country as better fitted to work together than to 
work with the men of another country ; all these indicate the 
essential differences in human character, which help to preserve 
variety, necessary for the improvement of the race. Language 
itself, which is but the outward manifestation of character, is not 
so different as the character beneath. These are the spheres of 
human work, not necessarily of disunion. Becaiise the men of 
one craft labour in one workshop, and those of another craft in 
another, their different work being so best performed, is that any 
reason why they should be at variance, or any hindrance to their 
meeting on any common ground to do together that which requires 



12 The English Reptiblic. 

their combined efforts, or that for which one has no more special 
aptitude than the other? Need Italy and EngLmd be less close in 
the brotherhood of nations because each shall be distinct as a nation, 
each having its special task to accomplish in the world's work, each 
having sometliing to do which can be better done by each in its own 
sphere than through any cosmopolitan fusion or confusion of the 
two 1 "We believe that Family, City, and Country, have not been 
arbitrarily-cstablislicd spheres of human activity ; but that they 
are the natural, the Cod-appointed modes of human organisation, 
which thi-ough Republican institutions shall be harmonised to- 
gether. And we believe this none the less thougli, under patri- 
archal despotism, the Family has been abused, children treated as 
property, as if they were for the parents and the parents not for 
them ; thougli in the liard and foolish competition of an untaught 
and unorganised individualism, the City has been walled up, town 
contending against town, even to the destruction of a common 
nationality. In the Republic it shall be otherwise. The nation 
of many families shall be as a brother in the great family of the 
world, as a loyal township in the human commonwealth. 

"Work — Property. 

The holiness of work, its inviolability, and the property which 
proceeds from it as its sign and fruit — 

2'he holiness of tcork, its invioJ ability. We mean that, as work 
is a social duty, everyone has a right to the lucans of fulfilling it, 
a right to the instruments and opportunities of labour ; that no 
one has the right of hindering another from work. 

And the property which proceeds from it. That is to say, we do 
not believe that the institution of private property is inevitably a 
nuisance. Our complaint is not that there is too much individual 
property, but that there is too little ; not that the few have, but 
that the many have not. Property, wherever it is the real result 
of work — " its sign and its fruit " — we deem inviolable, sacred as 
individual right ! 

On a piece of wild land, unclaimed by any, I build a log hut ; 



Republica7i Principles. 



I clear a portion of the ground ; I plant potatoes or sow wheat, 
with my own hands labouring unaided. The wheat and potatoes 
there grown are just sufficient to feed me and my family. They 
are my property. They {not the land) are my work, a growth 
which is the result, the sign and fruit of my toil. If the title is 
not absolutely mine, at least none other can show so good a title. 
I have created at least the overplus of wheat and potatoes that 
remains after subtracting an amount of seed equal to that sown 
(if there is any question how I came by that). I^ only I, have the 
right to my own creation, 

I have a rose-tree, one I budded on a wild stock. I have cared 
for it, tended it, nursed it through severe winters. It is mine. 
What right have you to it ? Will the State intervene and appoint 
v.'hat is mine and what is thine .? Give me perhaps some other 
rose-tree and you this. It can only do so ignorantly. The State 
knows nothing of the value of my rose — its peculiar value to me. 
Its flowers have been gathered for my sick chddren ; the Beloved 
has shed her last smile upon its bloom. It is a sacred thing to 
me. To all the world else it is only a common rose-bush. How 
can the world's title to it equal mine 1 

I have a dog which I have reared from a puppy. He knows me, 
loves me. He might be useful to others : he would be to none 
what he is to me ; none can be to him what I have been and am. 
Have not I the best title to him 1 

If any superior taste and ingenuity — perhaps working extra 
hours — can, without taking from others, adorn the walls of my 
house, improve its furniture, and make my home a palace in com- 
parison with my neighbours — is there any reason why he should 
share with me, take my pictures, or my sofas into his rooms — take 
even one of them 1, Or rather^ why should I be deprived of these 
enjoyments of my own creation until others, either through their 
own labour or mine, could acquire the same enjoyment? 

All these Xhiwg^ fairly produced by me are mine ; they are as it 
were an atmosphere of my own with which I have surrounded 
myself, a radiance from my own light of life, an emanation from 
myself. No Government, State, or Commonweal, has any right 



14 The English Republic. 

here, to trench upon my personal, private, individual right, to rob 
me for even the world's benefit. 

But suppose I produce more than sufficient, while others need ? 
Has the State no right then ] No, it has not. Let it try its 
right ! / unaided hy it produced. It has power, and it will con- 
fiscate. "What follows ? This : — I will not again be fool enough 
to produce /or coyifiscation. I care nothing for your "tyrant's 
plea " of necessity for the general good. I will not produce, if I 
cannot be secure in my possession. Some one says — " But you 
have told us of a duty towards Humanity." That is true too. 
But here we have been talking of the right to take, not of the 
duty to give. I acknowledge the duty. I esteem the blessedness 
of being able to give ; esteem it too much to bear patiently the 
being robbed of it. I would be of my own free-will the dutiful 
servant of Humanity. I will not be its slave. Or am I dull, 
brutish, sL-ltish, caring only to have, to be a "rich man," not 
anxious to give my substance to those who need ? Then educate 
me ; enlighten me ; better me by precept and example ; if I mend 
not, point at me as a monster : but dare not to cross my threshold, 
to touch the veriest trifle that I have honourably earned or ob- 
tained, to profane my household gods, to violate my individual right, 
which stands sovereignly, however savagely defying the world. 

Property is that which is a man's own, what he may properly 
own, that which is justly his — his work, or his work's worth or 
purchase, or a free gift from another, whose it fairly was. 

Work is the doing of worth — something of value made, created, 
or produced, or help toward that. Stealing is not work. Swind- 
ling is a shabbier sort of stealing. Overreaching is swindling. 

Since property is definable as the sign and fruit of work, clearly 
that which is not the sign and fruit of work is not property. A 
pedlar takes eyeless needles to a tribe of ignorant savages and 
♦' sells them," bartering his needles for things of worth. He pro- 
duces the worth, but not fairly. The things of worth are not 
fairly his. They are not legitimate property. He has stolen 
them. The profit of a swindling trade is not property. Is it not 
swindling when a young child is taken in at a factory, and re- 



Reptiblican Principles. 15 

ceives — in exchange for childhood's beauty, youth's hope, man- 
hood's glorious strength, and the calm sunset of a well-aged life — 
some paltry shillings a week % Nay, we will not wrong you, 
trader ! That is not all you give him. You also give him 
ignorance and vice, and suffering, and emaciation, a crippled 
beggarly life and a miserable death, in exchange for the health and 
joy of which God had made him capable. Why, man ! selling eye- 
less needles to savages is Christian honesty compared with that. 
And one cannot but repeat that we dare not so abuse language as 
to call the profit of a swindling trade your property. It is stolen. 
A thief is not a proprietor. The word cannot be synonymous. 
Where is the title-deed showing work done and value created % 
Work done ? The paving of your palace-floors with children's faces. 
The whole army of sweaters — and some who think themselves 
honester — have no right to a penny-worth of their dishonest gains. 
If the State should confiscate their fortunes and distribute them 
among distressed needle-women and the like, I, for my part, should 
think no wrong done, but be thankful for so much retributive 
justice. When the usurer (we call him capitalist now) takes ad- 
vantage of his fellow's need to over-reach the common ground of 
human brotherhood upon which they originally stood, and to steal 
a profit out of that need — this is not work, or worth-doing, toil he 
never so toilsomely. His profit is not his property. Or when a 
" landlord " claims possession of God's earth — I do not say of 
certain produce, but absolute possession of the land itself — 
because his ancestor of by-gone times stole that land, or because 
he bought it of some degenerate thief, well-knowing it to be 
stolen —can we allow that to be property, properly his ? God's 
earth and ocean, God's mountains, plains, sea and rivers, are not 
property — no more than His sky. They are His work, not man's. 
Let the fisherman make a property of the fish he catches. " Why ? 
he does not create them." Yet he does in some sense produce 
them. Their worth to man is nothing in the sea. It is their being 
caught, which is the result of his work, that gives them value. The 
possession of them is the sign of that work. Let the husbandman 
till the ground and what he produces shall be his. That produce is 



1 6 The English Republic. 

the fruit of his toil. But the earth is not his. Would I " parcel 
the land out among all the dwellers upon earth ? " No, certainly. 
For the fisher cares not for his proportion ; — neither does the 
merchant who brings goods from the far land, giving honest toil in 
their bringing, and justly possessing them as the sign and fruit 
thereof. Let who will occupy the land, but recollect that the 
merchants' share is there also. It is a common property which 
cannot be parcelled out : because every minute a new co-inheritor 
is born, and every birth would necessitate a new division. But I 
see no reason, therefore, why any should not hold any amount of 
land (only limited by the needs of others) in undisturbed and per- 
petual tenure, paying to the State a rent for the same. ^Vhat has 
the State to do with appointing to each landholder his limits, or 
assigning to him his locality 1 Here again would be an inter- 
ference with individual right. It might give me my acres in the 
plain, and ni}- brother his upon the mountain side ; and he loves 
the level ground, while to me flood and fell are dear, and I dislike 
the monotony of the plain. Or why should the State refuse land 
to individuals, and compel it to be held in common ? All these 
things may best adjust themselves : the business of Government 
not being to intermeddle with individual right, but to have that 
respected, and to maintain order, caring that none encroach upon 
the right of others, and that all are organised harmoniously to- 
gether. The one is for the prevention of evil, the other the jire- 
paration for good ; the one involves the question of property and 
credit, the other the question of education. 

Of property we have already spoken. The duty of Goveniment 
here may be thus summed up. It has to see that every one holds 
inviolate his right_to enjoy or to bestow the fruits of his own 
honest labour,; and also that none shall, by endeavouring to 
appropriate common property, prevent another from producing to 
the utmost of his capacity. Its business is to care that common 
property shall never be appropriated by individuals, nor private 
property be meddled with by any. 

The questions of credit and education are the necessary con. 
comitants of this. 



Republican Principles. 17 



Credit. 

The duty of Society to furnish the element of material work by 
credit, of intellectual and moral work by education — 

The right to one's share, or one's share's worth, in the common 
heritage — the land, and the right to the produce of one's own 
honest toil : if the State guarantees these, it is enough. For 
what do these rights imply 1 

The worth of one's share in the land is not an exact numerical 
proportion of all that is done in or on that land, nor yet a certain 
sum of money or amount of material wealth appoi'tioned to each 
in exchange for giving up the land ; but simply one's share in the 
rental of the land, which, accruing to the State treasury, is a fund 
for common assurance, and for the use of all the members of the 
State. 

For the inviolability of work, the sacredness of it and of 
property as its fruit, means something more than that we shall 
have all we can earn under our present take-who-can system, the 
system of free trade in men and other commodities. The inviola- 
bility of work implies that there shall be no artificial hindrances 
in the way of work. The right to the produce of our honest toil 
is a mere cheat, if that toil by any tyranny, constitutional enact- 
ment, or subterfuge, can be hindered from producing to the 
utmost of its natural ability, aided by the interest of the common 
heritage — the rental of the land. Such a hindrance is the present 
tyranny of capital. 

Say you give a man free access to the land. What use is that 
when ho has no money for implements, stock, manure, or seed % 
Avhen he has no means of living even to the first harvest % To 
throw the whole land open, giving to each man, himself and 
family, their proportion of measured value, what use would that 
be to the millions whose existence depends upon their having 
Avages next Saturday night % They could sell it perhaps. Yes, 
for whatever the capitalist might choose to give them for it, 
when he had kept off the purchase till the sellers should be at 



The English Republic. 



starvation point. Something more is evidently wanted to make 
the land available^ 

Or say that the State guarantees to every man the produce of 
his honest toil. Well, it does that now, if that means only such 
produce as the capitalist, who rules the market, will allow him to 
have. No mere enactment of that sort could benefit the wage 
slave. But he shall have his share of all he earns, says such a 
law. Shall he not also be free to sell that share % To give the 
factory slave his share of what he has earned — so many bales of 
cotton — what would it avail him ? Could he take it into the 
market? Or, rather, could he aflbrd to warehouse it when the 
market is glutted and none will buy % He must sell it ; for 
Saturday night sees him starving. And so his master will have it 
at the present price — a wage. 

Besides there is good in the division of employments, and only 
loss of time to accrue from every man being producer and seller. 

The inviolability of work implies free access at all times to the 
means of work. For this purpose the State must be the 
capitalist, the banker, the money-lender. 

Look at things as they are. A poor man is out of work. Ill- 
ness has come upon him, or his trade is slack. He must needs lie 
by. His little savings (if he has any) are exhausted. He sells 
his clothes, his furniture, all he can spare, no, not spare, but 
realise anything upon. At last he sells his tools. He recovers ; 
trade is brisk again. He could find work readily enough, but he 
has no tools. How fares he now ? While useless private charity 
helps him to new tools, he may starve, he and his. The case is 
common. So much " Society " does now for its able members. 

So many hundred weavers are thrown out of employ by a new 
invention. They are unfit for other work. They have no means 
of living while they might learn another craft. They may starve. 
Nay, not that; Government gives them a poor-house, and 
grudgingly keeps " life " in their bodies, caring neither for their 
well-being, nor for any interest the State has in them. 

They are simply so much refuse of the capitalist, which the 
State insists shall be carted away with some show of decency. 



Republican Principles. 19 

Every year iu this free Britain how many thousand men wander 
about our streets and lanes, wishing for work and finding none, 
haggardly wasting, starving, because no private speculator cai'es 
to employ them ; starving idly, worthlessly (not even turned to 
account as manure), not because they will not work, nor because 
food is scanty, or work not wanting doing, but because under our 
present system there is no getting work to do, unless it subserves 
the pleasure or profit of certain monied individuals ; because the 
State does not protect the sacred right of eveiy human being to 
work and to enjoy the fruit thereof. 

The rental of the land is the proper capital of the whole nation. 
Why should I go to a pawnbroker, a usurer, when ray own money 
lies in the Treasury ? Why should I starve, lacking means while 
I learn a new trade, my own failing, when my own is in the Trea- 
sury % Why should so many thousands of us, so well disposed to work, 
be idle, famished and unprofitable, while our money lies in the 
Treasury, with the use of which we wovild reclaim waste lands'? 
There are millions of acres at this present lying uncultivated but 
reclaimable, as the political economist knows : better cultivate 
lands even now reclaimed, and build houses for the homeless, and 
improve the hovels where human ci'eatures now lie waiting for the 
plague, and weave clothes for the naked, and feed the hungry, 
and educate the ignorant ! 

Good God ! what work awaits the doing, and our capital every 
day pours into the public Treasury, and there lies (uulesSj indeed, 
thieves take it thence), and we may not help either ourselves or 
the helpless, unless we can get oiir tools from the pawnbroker, and 
leave to be made tools of from some private speculator. 

It is one business of Government (not the ruffianism or rascality 
of parties, which is not Government) to be the nation's bankei-, 
to furnish each individual with the material means, the capital for 
work, at all times and under all circumstances ; else one's right to 
property as the fruit of one's work is a mere mockery. 

As the just appropriation of the land would sweep away 
all those useless middlemen called landlords (not cultivators 
of land), so a sound system of national credit— a mutual assurance 



20 The English Republic. 

of the nation — would rid us of all those mischievous middlemen 
called capitalists, who stand now between the work and the 
worker (no matter whether the worker be a captain of industry 
who has not always capital, or only its honest soldier), not help- 
ing but hindering the one, and so ever robbing, and that but often 
murdering the other. 

Through what special provisions, or under what guarantees, 
Government should exercise this function of supplying capital, is 
a matter not to be prescribed by any theorist (though the 
researches of such may indicate the method); it can be determined 
only by the nation, whensoever it may please the people to 
constitute themselves a nation, and to appoint their Govern- 
ment. 



Edncation. 

The land is the common inheritance of man ; but he has yet 
another heritage — his share in the result of all experience, re- 
search, and achievement, since the beginning of humanity. 

And, as it is the business of Government to secure to him those 
means of material improvement, which arc the interest or rent of 
his pi'opcrty in the land, so it is the business of the Government 
to secure to him those means of intellectual and moral improve- 
ment which constitute his share in the common, intellectual, and 
moral stock. 

Cajiital, or credit, supplies him with the material element, edu- 
cation with the moral and intellectual. It would be worse than 
mockery to give him only the first. 

Education is the business of Government, because only Govern- 
ment can be intrusted with it, and because only Government can 
effectually manage it. 

And first, what is this education to which every human being 
is equally entitled % It is the culture of the whole nature, tlie 
development of its full powers of growth — the perfecting of the 
physical — the due training of the moral and intellectual, and the 



Republican Principles, 2 1 

fitting both heart and intellect to embrace the highest aspiration 
and completest knowledge of the time, so far as natural organisa- 
tion will permit ; the pnrport of such culture being the raising of 
strong and excellent human beings to do the work of humanity. 
Education is, indeed, the present endowing the future with all its 
wealth and power, that the future may start from that vantage 
ground to reach the farther heights of progress. 

To whom shall this be intrusted except to the nation's rulers, 
to those whom the nation has chosen as its wisest and most 
virtuous 1 Upon them, the head and heart of the present time 
(we are speaking of the good time which shall be present, not of 
our own little day of the expediencies of Party Politicians) — upon 
them it devolves to rule the present, so as may best provide for 
the future. It is theirs to utter the nation's faith, to teach that 
faith to the young generation, which shall in its turn become the 
nation. Whom would you choose for this work 1 Whom, instead 
of these your voices have already declared to be your best and 
wisest 1 

How shall they lead the nation, if its youth are exempted from 
their control ] Shall they be your rulers and yet not rule your 
children 1 Your children ! But, indeed, they are not yours, if 
that your is to mean property. 

You have no property in your children. They are the nation's 
in trust for God and the future. 

But what then becomes — I hear some one ask — what becomes 
of individual liberty if our children are to be placed in the hands 
of a Government, of any, even the best Government ? 

Wliose individual liberty 1 Yours, or your child's '? What 
right have you to possess a human soul ? to make it yours, to 
twist it to your bent, to cast it in your mould 1 

The soul of the little child is your equal — has its own indepen- 
dent rights, and demands its O'wn growth — not a growth of your 
dictation. What right have you to confiscate that soul to your 
uses, to sacrifice it upon the private altar of your jDarticular 
opinions] Has not every man, then, the right of teaching what 
he believes ? Is it not his duty to propagandise his own idea of 



2 2 The English Republic. 



truth? Truly so among his equals, but not to take an unfair 
advantage, which is tyrannising. Between you and the weak and 
easily impressible child rightly steps the protection of the State, 
guaranteeing to that child that he shall not be stinted to the 
narrow paternal pasture ; but that he shall be enabled to become, 
not merely a pride and pleasure to his father, but worthy of his 
nation. It is that which he has to serve. 

Besides, shall the poorest-souled individual be free to incukate his 
private crotchet, and the nation's best and wisest be prohibited 
from teaching that which is the generally acknowledged truth of 
their time, the actual religion of humanity ? It may happen 
that the father is iu advance of his time, but who shall guarantee 
this? Must every child take his chance? 

It may happen that the father's tenets are far behind his time; 
sliall we, in virtue of our profession of ccpiality, liberty, fraternity, 
after abolishing the slavery of the body, allow the soul of the 
child to be enslaved, simply because tlie enslaver is the parent ; 
or deny the child's liberty of growth because a parent would have 
the training of him ; and rob the future of its worker, its soldier, 
and its jjriest, because some one called a parent claims the child 
as his, rather than Clod's \ 

If a Government, the elect of the nation, the real priesthood 
of the people, their wiser voice, then, indeed, the voice of God for 
the people is the sole interpreter of his law — if a Government 
have a faith to teach, what individual out of the mass shall step 
between them and the child to forbid their uttering that faith in 
the child's ears ] If the Government is imbecile or so buried in 
dirty traffic that it has no faith, then let all true men combine, or, 
failing combination, let every brave man for himself do his utmost 
to keep his children from being contaminated by the abominable 
doctrines which alone such a misgovernment could teach. But if 
it is your own chosen Government and has a faith — where is 
the room for this very English jealousy of a compulsory State 
education ? 

And religious education also ? Education is religious. Mean- 
ing by religion that which binds humanity to God : that W'hicii 



Reptiblican Principles. 23 

links the ages together, making of every generation one strong 
and perfect link, wielded into one by faith in the necessity of 
harmonising men's lives, man's life, with the Eternal, and by the 
organisation which such faith would insure to a nation. 

This is religion, the teaching of which is the highest duty, func- 
tion, and object of Government. Sectarian dogmas and cere- 
monies are not included here. It may be left to voluntary zeal 
to determine with what verbal forms, with what gestures, or upon 
what particular occasions, such and such a congregation shall sing or 
pray together. That is a matter of individual liberty, with which, 
so long as public decency remains unoffended, or private right un- 
assailed — the State has no business to meddle. 

The ceremonial observances of some few hours in a week may 
be left to the conscience of the sect, or of the individual ; but the 
religion which is to actuate the daily life of the whole people is 
the proper affair of Government, if Government is to be real. 

There is no middle course between this organisation of human 
life and the anarchy of our present system, an anai'chy which is 
called liberty, but which is only the unrestrained tyranny of the 
stronger. How this sort of license results, private vice and sel- 
fishness, national crime, and weakness, and degradation, and ruin, 
may only too soon inform us. 

After all it is not individual liberty — the right of conscience of 
speech^for which men need have fear when entrusting the educa- 
tion of the nation's youth to those whom the nation shall have 
chosen as its Government. Teach as zealously and as carefully as 
you will in your State schools — the fear will still be, not of the 
Government teacher overlaying the parental doctrine, but of the 
parent, if so disposed, by daily opiDosition or pex'version, eradicat- 
ing the lessons of the public school. 

In all cases too (as a necessary consequence of the law of prO' 
gress), however excellent your arrangements, there will be a 
minority to complain and perhaps to suffer. The minority here 
will be those very few wiser than their time, who could teach their 
children even better than the collective wisdom of their nation. 
But of how much would these have to complain] Free out of 



24 The English Repiiblic. 

school Lours to teach their children, if they had but to add the 
higher knowledge, their task would be easy, neither would time 
nor opportunity be wanting if haply they had somewhat to correct. 
They have their voice, too, in the councils of the nation, to make 
their greater wisdom heard — with it to convince even the school- 
masters, if its sound may be of sufficient potency. 



Jtnle of the Majority — Mutual Sacredness of the Indivichial and 

Society. 

The interpretation of the moral law and rule of progress 
cannot be confided to a caste or an individual ; but only to the 
people, enlightened by national education, directed by those 
among them whom virtue and genius point out to them as their 
best. 

The sacredness of both individuality and society, which ought 
not to be effaced, nor to combat, but to harmonise together for 
the amelioration of all by all — 

The whole question of politics is an educational question. 
Government, if it has any meaning, is the organised power which 
educates, rules, orders. We believe that this educational power 
cannot be intrusted to a caste, whether an aristocracy, a corpora- 
tion, or a priesthood. It matters not what numbers compose the 
caste, whether few or many ; it matters not whether there be care- 
ful patriarchal training, or the constitutional carelessness of those 
" governors " who are content with being a corrupt and inefficient 
police. Many or few, careful or careless, the difference is one only 
of degree. If a caste rules, you can have but tyrants on one side 
and slaves upon the other. There can be no real education there, 
no certain progress, for there is not the people. The instinct of 
the whole people is alone the conscience of humanity: it alone can 
be trusted to interpret the law of progress. 

Still less can the government be intrusted to an individual. 
He will teach, or order, in accordance with his own wish, 



Republican Principles. 25 

at best his conscientious thought : he cannot give expres- 
sion to the universal conscience. To confide the rule to the 
hands of one is to let the exception give law. Though even the 
true prophet be king and ruler, you are not certain of the right 
ordering, for he sees the progress which is desirable, which, indeed, 
shall some day be, but not always that which is practicable im- 
mediately. And when you have no prophet, but some imbecile 
slip of the past, whose eyes are in the back of his head — what law 
of progress can you have uttered by such ] Truly not even an 
attempt at utterance. 

The people must decide upon its own life. The majority must 
command. There, and there alone, dwells the true interpretation 
of God's law of progress ; the decision of not merely that which is 
best to be done, but of that which may best be done at each 
succeeding moment. 

Let it not be objected that the wisest are ever in the minority. 
If wisdom cannot make itself manifest to the majority, whose is 
the fault? Something is surely lacking in the wisdom. The 
wisest are those who can best regulate to-day's work, not for- 
getting the future. 

And the conscience of a wliole people is never at fault. There 
have been panics and madnesses of multitudes, popular crimes 
and errors : but never a whole people, even in tlie lowest state 
of a people, unitedly wrong upon any great matter. 

Religious and other wars, massacres, and persecutions, these are 
royal, aristocratic, and sacerdotal work. Villainies innumerable 
rest upon the castes who have misgoverned nations : but the 
people's hands are clean. When kings and priests provoked and 
carried on that desolating war against the Hussites, the popular 
conscience upheld the right. And in the wildest periods of the 
French Revolution the people's judgment was sound and just. 
Never has it swerved unless seduced by priests or tyrants, and 
ofttimes even then it has indignantly turned upon and rebuked 
its infamous leader. 

The lowest classes are better than the privileged now ; and how 
unspeakably better still will be the people, when, instead of being 



26 The English Republic, 

ill-taught or left in ignorance by despicable or detested pretenders, 
they shall be educated by those whom they can revere and honestly 
and lovingly obey ; those whom genius and virtue have pointed 
out to them as their best. 

But we believe that there are limits to the power of even the 
government of a majority : the limits of individual rii/ht. 

The majority may not enslave the minority, either by disposing 
of their bodies or coercing their consciences, in violation of the 
original equality of liuman brotherliood. 

Every attempt upon the rights of individuals, by the most 
overwhelming majority, is an attempt against the very hand of 
society, which exists in virtue of tlie mutual sacredncss of it, and 
of each of its members. If the free growtii of any is suppressed 
there is a hindrance of the progress of the whole, the jirogress 
whose seed must ever be first planted in the hearts of the few. 
Government is the enlightened conscience of to-day, orgauisiug 
and directing present means for to-day's work. 

But the few of to-day may so manifest their growtii and 
superiorit}' that to-morrow the many shall be with tlieni, ami to- 
morrow's higher work need a new directiun. 

When such a Government can be obtained, that is to say, when 
the Government (I do not say merely a part of it) shall be chosen 
by the whole people, there need not be occasion to trammel its 
progress in the clogs which now hang at tlie heels (better some- 
times if they were round the necks) of their governors in wliat are 
pleasantly called Constitutional States. There need be no jealuusy 
of those who are chosen l)y an educated peoj)le. It will not then 
be necessary that the general progress should be stayed for fear 
a too powerful Government should encroach upon individual 
liberties. It will then be seen that society is as sacred a.s 
individtuility, needs as much protection : that it is not enough to 
make every nuxn's house his " castle " (}'our private castles do not 
keep out the burglar, or the unjust tax collector, or the extor- 
tioner), but to make every man a true soldier, servant, and office- 
bearer in the nation; which will then need no private casfles. 
This nmtual sacredncss of the individual uml society will then 



Rep7iblican Principles. 27 

become possible; then when the people are all free and equal, and 
when their own chosen governors mai'shal them on the way of pro- 
gress, not by nice balancing of interests, nor by dictation of the 
minutest matters of life, not by endeavouring to stereotype their 
subjects, to make them run in parallel grooves of happiness or 
duty, but by obeying the dictates of the popular conscience, and 
helping the national genius to unfold itself; careful not so much 
to dictate the work as to provide that the work be done by healthy, 
strong, and faithful men, conscious of their mission and anxious 
that it should be fulfilled, — the nation itself will decide upon the 
work to do, and be it peace or war, will know how to decide 
rightly. 

Individual Duty. 

The duty of the individual to make use of the elements of 
material ; intellectual and moral work, with the utmost concur- 
rence of his faculties — 

The ground upon which I have advocated the duties of a State 
towards its members, in supplying them with the means of growth 
and work, has been that of the necessity of organisation, in order 
to insure the more regular and rapid and certain progression of 
the whole of humanity. 

The duty of a State towards its members implies of necessity 
corresponding duties of the members toward the State. If the 
State supplies means of work, secures property and growth, those 
so furnished and secured are bound to maintain the same advant- 
ages for others. Parts of the body politic, accepting the advant- 
age of belonging to it, their duty is manifestly to maintain its 
integrity. Indeed, their own position is untenable unless they do so. 
For the State only exists as a combination. If all work for one, 
that one owes a retui'n to all. But again, I say that it is not upon 
this mere footing of a bargain, which might imply choice, that we 
must place the duty of the individual ; but upon the moral basis 
of his position as a part of one comprehensive whole, a position 
which is not a matter of choice, but necessitated by the very fact 



28 The English Republic. 

of his birth, and from which he can never be released except by 
death. 

It cannot be too often repeated that the individual is a part of 
humanity, an inseparable link of the one vast chain hanging from 
the throne of God. 

Man has not the choice of being his brother's keeper or not. 
He cannot dissolve the brotherhood. He has not the option of 
bargaining so much duty for interest. He has by his very birth 
appropriated the interest, and he owes the duty of his life in re- 
payment of that, unless he would be a thief. 
• The past has lent to the present, and the future demands pay- 
ment. A feather out of a wing, a bone out of a body, a leaf out 
of a book — is not more absiu'dly isolated than a human soul that 
would detach itself from the upward soaring of its race, a man 
denying his duty to the body politic, or a life which fancies tliat 
its thought, or speech, or action, can be torn unnoticed and with- 
out detrimental consequence from the history of mankind. 

We believe, tlicrefore, tliat it is ever the duty of the individual 
to devote the utmost energies of his being to the service of his 
race, to the beloved first (though whoever loves needs no such 
reminding) ; to the children next : then to his immediate fellows 
in the workshop, or the farm, in the hamlet, municipality, or 
commune ; then, the circles of duty widening ever as — like a drop 
of rain flung into still water — his active life impels the waves of 
circumstance around him, to the city or county, his country and 
the world. For the business of man's life is service to his kind. 
Service even now, when, wanting organisation, each must mark 
out for himself the route upon which his unaided thought decides 
that he can best serve ; service still, when society', becoming 
organised, shall learn how to economise his powers, to prevent his 
eflbrts from being wasted ; as so much of endeavour is wasted 
through want of direction now, from being left to fight and to 
labour alone, or with but the chance and random help of the 
casual passers-by. 



Republican Principles. 29 



GocVs Law. 

A social State having God and His law at the summit, the 
people, the universality of the citizens free and equal at its base, 
progress for rule, association as means, devotion for baptism, 
genius and virtue for lights upon the way — 

God's law : it is not the doctrine of an individual or a sect ; 
it is not the dogma of a chiirch (even of the truest), nor the act of 
a Parliament (be it never so equally constituted). 

Though doctrine, dogma and act may each be less or more an 
enunciation of God's law, it ia the revelation which enlightens 
the prophets and apostles of humanity, the instinct which impels 
the universal conscience of mankind. 

Wherever the revelation and the instinct, wherever genius and 
universality, wherever the voice of God and the voice of the people 
are in unison — there, be sure, is a law of God. 

God's law : God's holiest preachers and martyrs have proclaimed 
it with their words and with their lives ; and the heart of man in 
all climes and in all ages has recognised its divinity, its truth. 
It is this : 

Grow healthily ! Love ! Aspire ! Progress ! 

Grow healthily ! It is the first necessity of being. That was a 
true insight which shutout the blemished or unclean from the service 
of the priesthood. How shall any be God's priest in his impurity 
or weakness % Be pure for health's sake. Be strong for the sake 
of growth. Grow healthily, which is naturally, vigorously, and 
beautifully : that so thy nature may be pei'fected, and thy life be 
a fit and acceptable worshipper in this temple of the eternal, which 
men call earth ; worthily serving at the altar whatever name may 
be inscribed thereon, whether family, country, or man. 

Love ! It is the stepping beyond the narrow prison house, the 
chrysalis tomb of "self." Capacity for love constitutes the differ- 
ence between the gentle and the churl, the human and the brute. 
The brute desires, seeks, and has possession, asserting the riglit of 



30 The English Republic. 

his limited nature, the right of health and growth, but he cannot 
soar out of the bestial self. He cannot love. 

Live not like brute beasts — without understanding — when God 
has breathed into your nostrils the angelic faculty of life. Love the 
mother upon whose rounded bosom j'ou fii'st dreamed of beauty and 
of heaven. Love the father, who taught 3-ou to be strong and daring. 
Love her who led you into the innermost sanctuary of delight, whoso 
maiden smile first whispered to your enraptured soul how chaste 
and holy and self-sacrificing love may be. Love her children, the 
children of the beautiful, whom also thou wilt teach how to love. 
Love thy countrj', the land of thy young days of home, the 
land wdiose speech is the music of the beloved ; the land where 
rest the bones of heroes, thy sires : love it with the active love of 
a patriot's ever-anxious service ! Love not only persons, places or 
things, but love the l)eautirul, the noble, the enduring. Love the 
memory of those great ones who have lived and suffered for thee. 
For love is gratitude, the full-handed gratitude that returns one 
benefit by benefiting a thousand. Love and scorn not those new 
ideas which are continually dawning upon the world. For love is 
reverence. It was love that worshipped at the poor man's feet — 
wiping them with her hair, and kissing them. Love bclicvcth. 

Aspire ! Indeed, love is aspiration : the longing search after the 
most beautiful. Ever as thou reachest the summit of a truth, look 
upward to the truth beyond. Ever on the ladder of improvement 
which leans on tlie edge of heaven ; as tliou gainest round after 
round look upward, and when thou pilcst another day of worth 
upon thy past life, rest not as one whose mi-ssion is accomplished, 
but know and recollect that man's mission is to aspire. 

Progress 1 Yes! lielieve that the healthily grown, the loved, 
the a.spirer, must progress. V\) and down the mountain-climber 
advances toward the top. Let him not in the mountain hollows 
look back complaining "How much liigher 1 was I" He but descends 
to momit again. It is no level path nor smooth unvarying ascent, 
the way of progress. But we believe in the po.ssibility of a social 
state in which the ascent, though not altogether evened, shall yet 
be smoothed of its worst roughness, when the whole race shall bo 



Republican Principles. 31 

fellow-workers, aiding each other in their advance. "We believe 
that it shall not always be left to individuals to toil painfully up 
the steep and narrow path in sadly isolated endeavour to fulfil 
God's law ; but that when nations are free, their Governments 
shall be able to provide the educational means through which 
mankind shall be aided in their combined endeavours to grow 
healtliily, to love, to aspire, and to progress ; when progress shall 
be recognised as the normal condition of life ; when organised 
association shall supply the requisite means, when individuals, 
baptised in the faith of devotion to God and humanity, shall 
know how best to avail themselves of those means, and when genius 
and virtue borne upon the shoulders of the advancing crowd — as 
of old they chose their generals — shall light us npon our Avay; 
when the whole earth shall be an holy altar^ and human life as 
the flame of a sacrifice continually ascending to the heaven of 
God. 



Kations. 

And that which we believe to be true for a single person we 
believe to be true for all. There is bnt one sun in heaven for the 
whole earth ; there is but one law of truth and justice for all who 
people it. Inasmuch as we believe in liberty, equality, fraternity, 
and association for individuals composing the State, we believe 
also in the liberty, equality, fraternity, and association of nations. 

We believe that the map and organisation of Europe are to be 
remade. We believe, in a word, in a general organisation, having 
God and His law at the summit, humanity, the universality of 
nations free and equal at its base, common progress for end, 
alliance for means, the example of those peoples who are most 
loving and most devoted for encouragement on the way — 

We do not believe that men can righteously band together to 
commit wrong, nor that by any combination or assembling of 
numbers, they can escape from the individual responsibility of 
their moral beinsr. 



32 The English Republic. 

We believe that wrong is wrong, whether pei'petrated by indi- 
viduals or by nations, that right does not alter its character 
whether its pursuer be one or a multitude. 

A nation is an assemblage and combination of individuals, each 
of whom is endowed with conscience, each of whom is bound by 
his very nature to combat evil, each of whom is impelled by the 
divine law of his being to seek good and to maintain the right. 
Their very assembling and combination as a body is that they 
more effectually combat evil, seek good, and maintain and per- 
petuate the right. 

To grow healthily, to love, to aspire, and to progress — this is as 
much the destiny of nations as of the individuals of which nations 
are composed. 

If equal liberty is the right of each member of the nation in 
relation to his fellows, not only in the nation but throughout the 
whole world, so is it the right of the collective body — the nation 
— in relation to all other nations. 

If one nation may be shut out of the pale of national liberty, 
what becomes of the universal equality and liberty of mankind] 

If it is the duty of man in his nation to serve humanity, it is 
equally the duty of the nation as an organisation of men to serve 
humanity; else the individual serves not humanity but some 
national egotism. 

Peoples are the individuals of humanity. As men differ from 
one another in charactei*, aptitude, or calling, so also do peoples. 
Their national organisation is the means not only of perfecting that 
special character, but of applying the various aptitude and calling 
toward one great object — the progress of the whole of life. 

England, if an organisation of healthy, high-thoughted men, 
would recognise itself as the world's servant, would toil for that — 
not for the wretched aggrandisement of England against the 
world, or without care for the world. 

England, now stealing in every corner of the earth for the most 
wietched aggrandisement of self, would then be no more hated or 
despised as a bullying ruffian or an unprincipled eyeless-ncedlc- 
selling pedlar, but loved and honoured as the brave champion of 



Republican Principles. 2)Z, 

freedom and ablest civiliser of the time. But what would become 
then of the miserable doctrine of non-intervention, the refuge or 
pretence of whig knaves, the shallow subterfuge of traders who 
care nothing if the wdiole world go to wreck so they may have a 
percentage on the breaking up ] 

The mission of a nation is the same as that of an individual : 
to assert its own rights and to fulfil its duty toward others. The 
duty consists in associating with others for the maintenance of 
their rights, for the sake of mutual growth, for the realisation of 
the brotherhood of humanity. 

How very wicked ! says some atheistical peacemonger. And 
you would actually have nations go to war in defence of other 
nations ? Yes, certainly, if right should demand it. For we 
believe in God, in His law of association and progress, in the 
harmony of the universe : that is to say, we believe that, 
as an individual cannot detach himself from his kind without 
breaking the chain of human life, so a nation cannot as one man 
isolate itself from the world without causing a million-fold greater 
gap. I call the peacemonger atheistical because his amiable 
egotism loses sight of this, forgets God and His scheme ; because 
his theory (I do not meddle with his undeniable good intentions 
which so pleasantly pave the hill-path of the worst despotisms, but 
only with his theory) would make life anarchical. Every man 
for himself and no God for us all. For what is human brother- 
hood 1 Seeing one's brother quietly murdered, unless the stone- 
deaf assassin will listen to our eloquence ! Standing out of the 
way to see our brother wronged ! Englisli law of all j^eriods and 
English sense of same would call this being an accomplice in the 
wrong. T see a wrong being committed, I have the power of 
preventing it — T do not prevent it. Whatever sympathetic cant 
may froth my lips, my deed consents to the wrong — I am the 
accomplice. The wrong-doer's accomplice, is not he wrong-doer also? 

When history shall gibbet Assassin Barrot for his ruffianly out- 
rage upon Rome, she will hang beneath him his dastardly ac- 
complices — the English Whigs and their liberal supporters. 

Non-intervention between States is the same as Laissez-faire 





34 The English Republic. 

between individuals; the liberty of the strongest, the right of 
ruffianism anarchy. 

Repiiblicanism is opposed to anarchy. We would organise. 
Let the nation as the individual be tlie true servant and soldier 
(if need be) of God upon the earth, serving or fighting as the case 
may be for God's children — his brethren — under the leadership of 
Justice, \\\\o does not fear lest the heavens should fall upon the 
shop while she is out on duty. Oh, again for a real Government 
of England, echoing tlie people's heart, to hurl its armed liand in 
the teeth of the least tyranny, and hy at least one manful act for 
God and His right to redeem the national honour, now ever j)awncd 
by tyranny's infamous subveners for any petty private object of 
their own. Promise-breaker, " traitor," •' coward." 

Why should a nation endure taunts which would rouse a slave? 
Win we our Rc])ublican Government, and our name may be re- 
deemed : then only. AVhen a healthy nation shall take its place 
among the struggling peoples, as a brother among his equals, 
lovingly to aid them in their aspirations and in their progress, 
weighing peace (oh, ever desired peace) and war, not in the false 
scales of diplomatic intrigue or personal baseness, but in the eternal 
balance of right and wrong. Loving i)eace, the Republic will not, 
like some shabby monarchy, flinch from war when it sees a brother 
nation attacked in the first of all rights — the right of an independ- 
ent individuality. 

The escaping slave shall not be hunted back to slavery, nor 
even given up to the hunters, by the true Republican. Jealously 
as he would guard his own individuality — which even him- 
self cannot alienate, or make the slave of another, so will he 
defend the liberty of even the least of his brethren. 

Peoples -are the individuals of humanity — nationality is the sign 
of their individuality and the guarantee of their liberty : it is 
sacred. Indicated at oncj by tradition, by langunge, by a deter- 
mined aptitude, by a special mission to fulfil, it ought to be held 
sacred, in order that it may be free to harmonise itself with the 
whole, and to assume its proper functions for the amelioration of 
all for the progress of humanity. 



Republican Principles. 35 

Apply these principles to the present partitioning of Europe, and 
it will be clear why the Republican believes in the necessity of 
remaking the maj) and organisation of Europe, to bring them into 
accordance with his faith. 

Poland parted among thieves, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Greece : 
there is no need to enumerate. Draw these upon the Republican 
map, and whei'e will be the present land marks? Where the 
existing Empires ? The present arrangement of Europe has been 
made for the benefit of a few families, in violation of the most 
decisive marks of nationality, in order to facilitate the spoliation of 
the peoples. 

All that arrangement of Vienna shall be torn to pieces by the 
Republican nations, and their natural boundaries, recognised at an 
European Congress, be henceforth assured. We believe that a pact, 
a congress of the representatives of all nationalities constituted 
and recognised, having for mission to serry the holy alliance of 
peoples and to formalize the common right and duty, are at the 
end of all our efforts. 

So shall the free nations, standing each in its own perfect 
dignity — be as a band of brothers— sworn to serve God and to 
extirpate tyranny from the world. 

Summary. 

We believe in equality, liberty and fraternity ; in tlie equal 
groimd of human right, on which alone true freedom can be based 
— the freedom which is not the unlimited sway of the stronger, 
but the opportunity of healthy gi'owth to the utmost of natural 
capability, for the weakest as well as for the mightiest, in order 
that the fullest perfection of each may be obtained toward a 
brotherly combination of strengths, for the surer and greater 
progress of the whole world. 

We believe in the perfectibility of the kumroi race; that is to 
say — in its powers of continual improvement. And we believe 
that this improvement may be systematized and insured and im- 
mensely accelerated by men acting in concert — in association — 



2,6 The English Republic. 

freely organising tliemsclves under the Government of the wisest 
and most virtuous among them. 

We I elievc that Government, however chosen, or liowevcr worthy 
of rule, is not required by society to be the dictator over the lives 
of individuals — as a central despotism would be, but to order the 
combined action of the whole nation and to protect the rights of 
all. We believe that the world-old circles of family, city and 
COUXTRY, are natural arrangements and worth preserving ; that 
as the individual is complete in his own nature, so the family is 
also a perfect sphere — needing no ordering from authority ; the 
city also sufficient to itself for all its own requirements; and the 
country the same, a special workroom, built by God for a special 
purpose, whose walls shall not be thrown down. We believe that 
the business of Government is to do that which neither the 
individual nor the city can efficiently do ; to maintain throughout 
the nation the harmony of equal rights, which includes provision 
that the best means of growth at the nation's command sliall be 
furnished to all tlie individuals of the nation. It is therefore the 
province of Goverinncnt to guard the land, wliich is common 
property, from the encroachment of individuals ; to take care tliat 
none hold it without paying a fair rent for it to the State, and that 
it shall never be so monopolized, at whatever rent, that any shall be 
debarred from it ; to protect private property, the honest earnings 
and acquirements of individuals ; to maintain the right to labour 
by lending the credit of the State to all who need it, so insuring 
to every one employment at a fair remuneration, and to provide 
the highest possible etlucation for every one of the nation's children. 

We believe that the only Government which can safely be 
trusted in these powers is the elect of the nation empowered by 
the majority to act for them. We believe that the right to rule 
resides only in a majority : their rule being only limited by the 
right of the individual. 

The most overwhelming majority may not override the right of 
an independent nature. Society and individuality are mutually 
sacred and inviolable. 

Nevertheless we believe in individual duty, that every one 



Republican Principles. 37 

(saving liis right of conscience) ought to eni'ol himself dutifully in 
the ranks of his fellowmen, to act obediently within the 
appointed and ascending spheres of organisation, to devote the 
utmost of his powers to tlie service of his family, his country, the 
world, and truth. 

And we believe that, based upon a written constitution recognis- 
ing these rights and duties, the nation may be so organised that 
the long-sought problem of the harmonisation of individual wel- 
fare with national progress may be speedily solved ; and the pre- 
sent anarchy give place to order, under which we shall henceforth 
be enabled to f ulfd God's law, the destiny of life, to grow healthily, 
to love, to aspire and to pi-ogress. 

We believe, in a word, in the possibility of a social state, based 
upon already ascertained rights and duties, in which might be 
forthwith commenced the realisation of the dream of all prophetic 
minds — the beginning of the better time, in which the wretched- 
ness of extreme want might immediately cease, and strife and 
wrong gradually diminish, checked by tlie strong hand of en- 
throned justice and fading from the ever increasing light of 
education and of hope. 

Such is the aim of our exertions for our own country. And for 
the nations we believe in a no less fervent hope ; looking for the 
establishment of the universal federation of Republics, for the pro- 
clamation of God's law as the religion and rule of the enfranchised 
and organised world. May our own nation be of the first to swear 
fealty to the common pact among the worthiest of endeavourers to 
reach the goal — that goal which will be but the starting-place 
of the genius of humanity, toward the indefinite perfection of 
the future. Is all this Utopian % Not so. We do not undermine 
the present nor fling away the past. We would build upon the 
present, laying sure foundations. We ignore neitlier tradition nor 
history. We would preserve with more than " conservative zeal " 
all that has already been gained for humanity. We do not think 
of overthrowing all, expecting, after a general scramble, some fine 
day to begin the world anew. Neither are we Utopians of the 
"finality" school. We are practical men, who would work with 



38 The English Republic. 

means lying around us toward an end logically deduced from 
ascertained promises, clear to the universal conscience. We take 
our stand upon the equal hrotherhood of " Freedom,^^ that ground 
which Ciiristian Europe from one end of it to the other has already 
recognised, at least in words, and thereupon we would build our 
future. 

" What sane man will contest our principles ? " What slave, in 
his heart acknowle Iging their truth, Avill remain silent] I, at 
least, if none other will, must repeat in the ears of my countrymen 
the appeal of the apostles of democracy. 

To all who share our Aiith ; to all those who think that every 
divorce even for a time between thought and action is fatal ; to 
all those who feel stirring within their hearts a holy indigna- 
tion against the display of brute force, which is made in Europe in 
the service of tyranny and falsehood. 

I appeal to the working men first, because among them, victim- 
ized but not yet vitiated by the selfishness of trade, I have found 
that clearness and integrity of soul, the simplicity of the loving 
nature, which enables them almost intuitively to comprehend 
great principles and courageously to devote their lives to their 
realisation. Students, artists, and men of letters, I a2)peal to; 
to those who pride themselves upon a generous education, who by 
their daily studies are introduced to a companionship with the illus- 
trious of the great republic of genius, who have learned even from 
tlie lips of the wisest of all times those heavenward aspirings 
which should sanctify their lives as priests of truth, raising them 
above the commonness of mean and cowardly thoughts. Young 
men, who trust inspiration of hope, whose souls are pure, whose 
days are not 3'et bowed and crippled by the ignoble yoke of a 
huckstering egotism, whose hearts are not yet eaten out by com- 
merce, who yet are able to believe and love and dare, to them also 
I appeal ! 



CHAPTER II. 



BEPUBLICAN MEASURES. 



Revolutionary Measures. Institutional Measures. Administrative 
and Judicial Reforms. Financial Reforms. Colonial Reform. 
International Reform. Organisation— Organisation of Labour 
on the Land. Organisation of Labour through Credit. 
Organisation of Justice. Bases of Taxation. Education. 

In the previous chapter we have seen what are the Principles 
which underlie the superstructure of Republicanism, but I am 
aware that this is not all. To embrace the creed, to be able 
thoroughly to explain its every article, to be filled with such zeal 
and to be so wisely active that our preaching draws the whole 
nation to our side — this is not enough. It is necessary that the 
party to be fprmed should understand not only the theory of Re- 
publicanism, but how to put Republican principles into practice. 

We must learn through what measures our faith may work, our 
hopes be consummated. We must aim not only at creating a 
power, but at endowing that power with intelligence. I would 
not be the creator of a political Frankenstein, a power, without 
educated will, a new form of anarchy, only miscalled Republican. 
Already it is said to us — Your theories are beautiful, but imprac- 
ticable ; long years must pass, and much jjreparation, before even 
fragments of them can be realised. 

It is for us to demonstrate the practicability of Republicanism. 
The day will come also in which power shall be in our hands, when 
the men of our own party will ask, "How now to act 1" To forestall 
this question I now endeavour to utter something like a Republi- 
can programme, a scheme of reform, such as I believe to be prac- 

39 



40 The English Republic. 

ticable from the very day of the estabhshment of the j)eople's 
majority. 

I put forth the programme, not dogmaticall3\ The creed, 
indeed, which I have confessed I mast hold unaltered. I do not 
ask my couuti-ymen merely to consider to what portions of that 
they can assent, how far they will go with me there ; but I ask 
them to join me under that banner, and I ask none to join me 
unless they can accept the creed and its consequences without 
reserve. But beyond the princiijles there is no dogma. My ex- 
position of those principles is open to correction ; it should be the 
first business, of those who join me, to reconsider and maturely 
weigh that exposition to detect any possible want of exactness in 
the deductions, and only to subscribe to it when fully convinced 
that its teachings are true and logically consequent on the confes- 
sion of our faith. My plan of association and propagandism may 
be mended or modified or altered, according to circumstances. I 
did but, since some one must begin, suggest an outline for my 
brothers utterly without organisation. 

So also the Republican measures, which I now attempt to enun- 
ciate, are but propositions for the consideration of those with whom 
I hope to act. 1 offer them as texts for their debating ; and when 
I come to discourse upon these texts I shall still be only uttering 
my undogmatic opinion of the business before us. Let all who 
call themselves Republicans, all who care to establish a real Re- 
])ublican party in England, labour earnestly with me to master 
both the theory and practice of our faith. Without further pre- 
face I submit the following measures of reformation as necessary 
for the Government of England as a Rejjublic : — 

BevohUionary Measxires. 

Abolition of Monarchy, the House of Lords, the Peerage, and all 
laws of primogeniture and entail. 

Severance of the connection between the Church and the 
State. 

Abolition of all I'estrictions upon the Press, direct or indirect. 



Republican Measures. 41 



Institutional Measxires, 

Establishment of tlio Itcpublican form of Government : and of 
Universal Suffrage of men and women, exercised directly and 
absolutely in right of their existence as human beings and com- 
ponent parts of the nation. 

Adoption of a written constitution based upon Republican prin- 
ciples, unalterable in its fundamental rules even by tlie majority 
of the nation. 

Unity of power. One single representative Assembly, elected by 
the majority of the nation, enthroned as the nation's servants, to 
realise the programme of the Constitution, to work within those 
prescribed limits. Every project of law to be submitted to the 
■whole people. The Executive chosen by the Assembly and sub- 
ordinate to it. 

Absolute freedom of opinion and the utterance of opinion, whether 
intheprccS, tlie pul2)it, the public meeting, or the association. 

Inviolability of the right of association, whether for political, 
religious, or social purposes. Abrogation of all laws against com- 
bination or [)artnership. 

Recognition of the right to labour, with a special minister to 
superintend its realisation. Establishment of a system of credit 
for the assistance of the labourer, specially in times of difficulty. 
Access to the land to be facilitated. , 

Improved modes of transit and scientific appliances rendered 
available to the ngriculturist and mechanic; agricultural associa- 
tions and ti-ades-unions encouraged ; rewards for inventors and 
public benefactoro, and abolition of all patent and copyright. 
Freedom of trade so far as not to contravene the rights of Labour. 
Establishnient of public bazaars and storehouses. 

Ample provision, at the cost of the State, for the infirm and 
aged. 

National education, under the superintendence of the Govern- 
ment, for all the children of the nation, obligatory, and at the public 
expense. The noble function of teacher adequately rewarded and 
elevated to its duo rank in the consideration of the people. 



42 The English Republic. 

Establishment of colleges of art^ science, and literature, free of 
charge and accessible to all classes of the nation. 

Establishment of schools for teachers. Establishment of a 
general system of religions worship, based upon generally acknow- 
ledged truths, for the religious teaching of the nation. 

Marriage and divorce free, 

Achninistrative and Judicial Reforms. 

Simplification of laws. The multitude of present laws to be 
repealed, and a new code framed, written in plain language. 

Simplification of the machinery of law and justice. The public 
service to be democratically oi'ganised. Capacity the only con- 
dition of eligibility, every functionary to be utterly independent in 
all matters not appertaining to his office. 

Justice pi'ompt and without cost. Appointment of a public 
prosecutor ; indemnification of the injured. Abolition of death- 
punishment, of imprisonment for debt, of flogging, and of trans- 
portation. 

Revision of the articles of war. The Army, Navy, and Marine to 
be reorganised democratically : merit to be the only qualification 
for rank. Improvement in the treatment of the lower classes of 
the service. Abolition of the disgraceful system of flogging. 

Formation of a national <»uard of all men capable of bearing 
arms : and great reduction of the standing army. 

The care of the infirm and aged, the local organisations of 
labour, local arrangements and iiiiprovements, election of district 
magistrates, police and all other matters of local administration, 
to be under local control, subordinate to the sovereign authority of 
the nation. 

Financial Reforms. 

Simplification of taxation : one single direct tax for all national 
purposes, supplied by a rental charged on the whole land. 

Abandonment of the present complicated system : assessed and 



Rcpiiblican Measures. 43 

income taxes, customs, excise, tithes, churcli and poor rates, liij.']!- 
way rates, tolls, and county rates (except for absolutely local 
purposes). 

Approjjriation by the State of crownlands, churcli lands, waste 
lands, streams, and mines : and of all roads, railways and canals, 
giving equitable compensation to the present holders. 

Centralisation and regulation of banks for the benefit of the whole 
nation. Reform of the funding system and settlement of the 
National Debt, 

Colonial liiform. 

Self-government guaranteed to every colony : the Home-govern- 
ment only protecting the colony so long as it may require. The 
independence of every colony looked forward to and promoted. 

International Reform. 

Abandonment of the foul tricks of diplomacy and solemn denial of 
the false principle of non-intervention. 

Foreign policy to be regulated by the principle of Republican duty, 
based on faith in the harmonisation of Humanity. 

Respect to every nationality; brotherly alliance with the nations; 
and ready aid to the oppressed. 

Let it be borne in mind that the programme I have here put fortli 
is intended only as subject for Republican consideration. Not that 
I have uttered it unadvisedly. It is the summary (though per- 
haps incomplete) of my deliberate views, a collection of texts upon 
which I shall proceed to discourse at length in future numbers 
of the " English Republic." I give them as a whole, that the 
relation of each to the rest may be observable as we go on : and now, 
bespeaking the attention of my readers to the articles in ex- 
planation of this preliminary, I beg them to " read, mark, learn 
and inwardly digest" them, making them the occasion for debates 
in their meetings, whether in private or iu public, that so, b^ 



44 'J^fi^ English Republic. 

the elaboration of thouglit, our plans may become to us as clear 
as our principles ; that when the day of our certain triumph shall 
arrive, we may be prepared to carry out our professions, to put our 
theories into practice, to justify our irreconcilable opposition to 
" things as they are." 

My object is to create a Republican party which shall understand 
how to act, whether in opposition or in power : which, having 
ever before its eyes a clear ideal of good government, shall know 
what course to take with regard to the bit-by-bit reforms for which 
middle-men of as little foresight as principle bargain with Mon- 
archy; what course to take when, Monarchy being no more, the 
quarrel shall come to an undisguised issue between the '^ moderate " 
Anarchists and the consistent Republicans. Let us study to be so 
enlightened that the national recognition of our principles may not 
be unnecessarily deferred^ and that we may not be found deficient 
on the morrow of our victory. 

The Oryanisation of Lahour on the Land. 

The sovereignty of the people is not consistent with individual 
misery. The first once established, not an hour should be lost 
Avithout ijroceeding for the extinction of the last. For misery is 
slavery. This is why I place the Organisation of Labour first 
among the Republican Measures of which I have to treat. The 
first step toward that organisation is to provide for our surplus 
labourers, our unemployed population. 

This I believe can only be done by giving them free access to 
the land. Any other " provision for the poor " is a mockeiy. I 
propose, therefore, now to consider of: — 

The Land and how to Reclaim it. 

It is said that the whole of England, Scotland, and of L-elaud 
is monopolised by some 40,000 persons, who have acquired posses- 
sion by purchase or inheritance from a race who held the land, not 
as absolute owners, but only as tenants of the State, under cou- 
ditioii of paying rent or service to the State. That is to say — 



Republican Measures. 45 

the feudal huKlliolder — not owner — bore the burthcus of the nation 
as the price of his tense of the nation's land. It was his rent. 
And he was only a tenant. 

In the conrse of time the landowners (being sole legislators) 
shifted the national burthens from their own shoulders, and vote'l 
themselves absolute proprietors. 

The present holders, who have bought, or inherited of them, 
are precisely in the position of men who have bought or inherited 
stolen property. They hold their lands with a faulty title. Men 
who were only tenants have sold or given them the freehold ; 
sold or given what never was theirs. And the buyers or receivers 
knew it. 

But even if the nation (instead of a partial Parlian-icnt) had 
formally or tacitly sanctioned the absolute proprietorship of a few 
landlords, the title of these holders would not be good. For the 
land may not be alienated even by the nation. It is not the 
absolute property of any one generation, but is entailed for the 
I)eneFit of all generations. The nation, then, must resume its 
proprietorship : not confiscating the estates, but compelling the 
observance of the tenant's original contract, in some such terms as 
the following : — 

"Whereas the nation is the sole proprietor of the laud and 
none hold rightfully except as tenants of the nation : and whereas 
every member of the nation has an ecpial light to support from 
the land upon which he was born : 

"/?<i it therefore enacted : — (1.) That, in lieu of all taxes hitherto 
collected for national purposes, there shall be charged one uniform 
rental for every acre of cultivated or cidtivatable land — in acknow- 
ledgment of the nation's sovereignty and to meet all national 
expenses. 

" (2.) That the payment of such rental shall constitute the only 
legal title to the possession of the land. 

" (3.) That such national expenses shall specially include the cost 
of a sntlicient maintenance for the infirm ami the unem])loyed." 

I consider such a meaijuro as the necessary preliminary to any 
real organisation of labour. 



46 The English Republic. 

The first step in tiiat organisation is to provide for our un- 
employed labourers — what is called our " surplus popillation." 

There are thirty millions of acres of uncultivated land in the 
British Isles. Half of these millions of acres are cultivatable. 

A large poi'tion of these millions would fall into the hands of 
the State, so soon as the State began to enforce its rental. This 
is certain ; because men would not pay for immense tracks of land 
which they could not use. 

Upon the lands thus accruing to the State, and upon what are 
now called crown-lands, I would plant colonies of agricultural 
labourers, under officers appointed by Government, furnished with 
sufficient capital and empowered to farm the land on the following 
terms : — That after payment of the State rental, the salary of the 
superintendent, and such portion of the capital as might be ordered, 
the remaining proceeds of the land should be divided among the 
labourers. 

The proportion of capital to be paid back, year by year, would 
vary with circumstances. The poorer the land, the longer should 
be the time allowed for payment. There should be no interest 
charged. 

So soon as the capital should be paid back, the labourers would 
be the landowners — their own masters, subject to no supervision, 
to no burthen except the rental of their land. 

They would form a new race of independent peasant freeholders. 
Thus I would provide for the " surplus " agricultural population ; 
enabling them to support themselves upon the waste lands. I 
take this to be the first step in the organisation of labour. 

But it will be found not only that this first step would provide 
for the unemployed agricultural population, but also that it 
would greatly diminish the numbers of the unemployed artizans, 
and radically alter the position of the employed labourers, whether 
field laboui'er or mechanic. 

It would alter the position of the field-labourer thus : — At 
present the competition of numbers places him at the mercy of 
the farmer. He must be content with the lowest possible wage, 
or the punishment of the poor-house. 



Republican Measures. 47 



But the State-farmer, the superintendent of the agriculturul 
colonies, at once placing the labourers in those colonies on the 
footing of partnersliip, laying accounts before them and giving 
them their just share of the produce of his and their united exertion, 
this would soon put a stop to the competition of members for mere 
wages. 

The competition would now be for the State freeholds; and the 
private farmer, instead of beating down his labourers, would have 
to offer them, as an inducement to work for him, an equitable 
share of the proceeds of his and their united exertion. 

The end, and no very distant end, and an end beneficial to all 
parties, would be that farms would be worked by friendly associa- 
tions of those who are now in the false, antagonistic position of 
master and slave, but who Avould tlien form free and fair partner- 
ships of head and hands, skill and manual laboui". 

This would be the natural eficct of our first step — our home 
colonies of the unemployed — on the rest of the agricultural 
population. 

It would also alter the position of the mechanic thus. At 
present it is the unemployed population of the rural districts 
which is driven or attracted into tlie towns, and there crowds the 
labour-market, reducing to the lowest fraction the wage of the 
mechanic. But with our home colonies, there would be no un- 
employed agricultural po[)ulation. So much less would be the 
number of the unemployed mechanics. And so much of com- 
petition would be at an end ; for none would choose to leave the 
soil mdess tlic jiromisc held out to tiiem exceeded tlie certain 
advantage of their agricultural position. 

By so far the condition of the meclianics would be improved. 
Still would remain the tyranny of capital and tlie lluct nations of 
trade, always afiecting tlie mere wages-slaves, however limited 
their numbers. Agricidtural colonies would bo but an insufficient 
remedy here ; the mechanic could not readily change from indoor 
to outdoor work; still less easily could he alternate between the 
two. 

How the tyranny of ca})ital and the uncertainty of trade may 



48 The English Republic. 



be met and provided against I sluiU eiuleavour tj bhow in con- 
sidering the question of Credit. 



The Organisation of Lahoiir Ihroiigh Credit. 

I would altogether abolish the monstrous relationship of master 
and servant — employer and employed, profitmonger and wages 
slave. I have attempted to show how that I'elationship may be 
abolished so far as concerns the agricultural population, by giving 
them free access to the land and supplying them with the 
capital required to maintain them till their labour can become 
self-supporting and profitable. How that capital should be sup- 
plied to them — how also it should be supplied to the population of 
our towns, to those whose avocations are not agricultural — I now 
propose to show. 

Credit. 

And first let me be understood with regard to the capitalists, 
who are now the veritable masters of all who live upon wages. 
Let it be that they cannot act otherwise than they do ; that is 
precisely a reason for the interference of Government. Not 
certaiidy to compel them to lend their capital nor to proliibit their 
lending or employing it at any rate of interest they can obtain. 
But to lend wlicre they will not or can not, and to prevent usury 
by lending without interest. For it is true that to compel a man 
against his will to lend, or say to risk iiis capital, would be an in- 
fringement of individual right, a kind of spoliation ; nevertheless it 
is not tolerable that another man should be idle, and perhaps 
starve, simply because he cannot get the credit which would give 
him the means of work, and that not only he, but all society, 
should lose the value of his work. Let the capitalist hoard or 
employ his money as he will. Yet the poor man has a right to 
work and to the product of that work ; society also has a right to 
the services of all its members. The i-ight to property and the 



Republican Meas2ires. 49 

duty to society ought not to depend upon the will of a few 
capitalists. 

To remedy this the State must be the capitalist — the money- 
lender. 

For this p\irposc a National Bank must be established witli 
branch banks throughout the country, and let these banks lend 
money upon personal security to all within their several districts. 
A few cases will show how this would work. A man falls ill and is 
compelled to leave his employment. His little savings are 
exhausted. Now he has to pawn or sell his tools, his furniture 
and his clothes. Those means consumed, he comes upon the 
parish. So he passed from bad to worse. Should he recover, 
instead of immediately resuming work, he is idle because he has 
no tools, nor means of obtaining any. Instead of this, instead of 
applying either to the pawnbroker or the parish, let him apply to 
the district bank. Let the bank lend him without interest, week 
by week, such sums as he may require for the maintenance of his 
family, and for medicine, etc., receiving from him an acknowledg- 
ment for the same, and undertaking for its payment upon his 
recovery. If he dies, let the sums afforded be passed to the 
national account as casual relief ; Society is bound to assure its 
members against sickness, infirmity, or accident. If he recovers, 
let him stand liable for the debt, the directors of the local bank 
fixing the period of payment according to the circumstances of the 
case. 

If he refuses or evades payment, let him be punished as a 
criminal. His written acknowledgment of the advance would be 
proof of his liability, it would be for the bank to show that a 
reasonable time has been accorded him. A jury would decide : 
if against him, let him be imprisoned or placed under control till 
the debt should be worked out. 

The case of a man thrown out of work by any fluctuation or 
decay of trade would be precisely similar to that of the man 
thrown out of work by illness. The local banks would lend him 
means of living till he could find other work — if necessary, till lie 
could learn another kind of employment. 



50 The English Republic. 

Failing all other work, there would be the Home Colonies on the 
land as a last resource. The farm labourer without work, unable 
to agree with the farmer, or preferring to work alone, might apply 
for so much land as he thought he could cultivate at the State 
rental, and to the bank for advances that he might live till 
harvest. If a master manufacturer failed, and so the workmen 
had no employment, the bank would either lend him capital to 
carry on his business, or would lend it to the men, provided they 
chose to continue the concern for their own benefit. The bank 
would also lend to associations of workmen, whether manufactur- 
ing or agricultural. 

The consequence of this ready access to capital would be the 
independence of the workers. They would no longer be de- 
pendent upon the will of the monied classes, themselves at the 
mercy of every chance and change of trade. The rate of wages 
would be increased. They would rise from the mere minimum of 
subsistence guaranteed by our present Poor Law to the amount 
of what the worker could really earn with capital in his 
hands, deprived only of the skill and leadership of his employers ; 
the master would no longer be able to reduce wages by falling back 
upon his capital, and so starving the workers into submission. 
Such leadership and skill as he might possess would come fairly 
into the market and fetch tlieir real worth. 

This would really be Free Trade for all classes, and the result 
Avould speedily be the equal association of the captains and mere 
soldiers of industry on the terms of such division and apportion- 
ment of the proceeds of their mutual labour as could be agreed 
upon between them. The tyranny of capital would be at an end ; 
and fair and free partnerships of head and hand would replace the 
unequal and unjust relationship of employer and employed. I do 
not argue for the State establishing workshops or colonies except 
for its paupers. Beyond this, that is to say, beyond making the 
labour of the able-bodied paupers self-supporting, and so leading 
them to independence, it seems to me that the State should leave 
open every facility for individual enterprise ; only interfering to 
prevent the monopoly of capital from enslaving the workers. This 



Republican Measures. 51 



mucli the State is bound to do, for the pvotection of tlic individual's 
right to life, for the protection of the nation's right to the services 
of all its members. One step farther would, however, be necessary 
to assure the worker against the capitalist. It will not be enough 
to prevent the latter from reducing wages ; we must also prevent 
him from monopolising and so arbitrarily raising the prices of pro- 
duce. Else we merely destroy o:ie mode of tyranny, and leave 
him still the weapon of profit with which to oppress his fellows. 
We require, therefore, the establishment of public storehouses and 
bazaars or markets to which the worker, mechanic, or peasant 
could at all times bring his produce — sure of a fair price — and at 
which he could at all times be sure of purchasing at a fair price. 
These storehouses and bazaars might be under the direction of the 
local banks. The pi'ice of every article might be regulated by the 
price of wheat, wheat of a certain quality represented always by 
one certain value. The difference between buying and selling 
would consist, not as now in the accumulation of the profits of 
several dealers, but in one single charge for the expenses of ware- 
housing and the salaries of the managers of the bazaars. So an 
end would be put to the frauds of trade and the exorbitant 
covetousness of traders, and the producer would always be sure of 
a fair price for his produce. I see no other way in which to pro- 
vide for the just organisation of labour; that is to say, so to re- 
gulate production and distribution as to protect the right of 
everyone to work in his own manner and to enjoy the fruit of his 
work. 

Under this system co-operation would be open to all, without 
let or hindrance^ and competition (an equally true principle whic'i 
ought not to be opposed to co-operation) would have its fair scope, 
stimulating men to greater exertions for their own benefit, certain 
to reap that benefit so long as it sliould bo no infringement upon 
the rights of others. I do not leave out of view scientific men, 
artists, writers, inventors, and speculators ; those of recognised 
worth should, I think, receive not merely loans but pensions from 
the St ite, in order that tlicir whole time might be given to Society; 
but u ltd their proficiency become manifest they must rank with 



The English Republic. 



untried inventors and speculators. It would be for them to show 
cause why they should give up ordinary labour for new en- 
deavours. There would be this advantage over the present system, 
they would not have to dread *' vested interests," refusing to 
credit their endeavours. Through what arrangements the dis- 
coveries of science should be made available to the whole nation ; 
howinventions and works of genius should become national propertj-, 
and the inventors and authors be duly recompensed ; how associ- 
ative or individual experiments should be encouraged — are 
matters of too much detail to be considered here. All these 
requirements would come within the Province of a Minister of 
Industry, or a Board of Labour and Exchange, which would need 
to be established at the very outset of Republican Government : 
I have but sketched some broad outlines of an organisation of 
labour. 

Organimtion of Jxi^iice. 

With a sound system of national education few repressive laws 
would be necessary. For there would be few offences in a society 
whose members had been taught from childhood to understand 
and respect each other's rights, to desire and seek the fulfilment 
of their own duties. Still — for I am not Utopian enough to 
imagine that one generation, however well educated, could leap at 
once into a millennium — laws would be necessary to overrule the 
differences betw^ecn individuals, to prevent the recurrence of 
offences against individuals and against the State. It is of the 
organisation of repressive law that I would now speak. 

And first, let it be borne in mind as a guiding principle that 
the oV)ject of all law is, not arbitrary punishment, but prevention 
of further offence, whether through correction of the offender or 
by hindering the effect of his ill example. 

Let the lawgiver also keep another rule before him : the dis- 
tinction between vice and crime — between the act which immedi- 
ately injures only the actor and that which directly assails 
another's rights. Public opinion is the effectual punisher of the 
first ; the magistrate takes cognisance of the other. 



Republican JMcasuycs. ^^ 

Fi)r the iiidiviiliiul li;us ;ui inalienable right to lead his own life. 
If after good edncation his propensities carry him iiresistibly to 
vice, what then ? Can any police magistrate compel him to be 
virtnous? Virtue is a free growth. If in spite of all he will be 
vicious, he stands but upon the extremity of his individual right. 
Let him alone. 

But his wicked example is contagious : he has a moral jdnguc. 
ICnviron him with the sanitary cordon of public scorn : let him 
alone ; till, like the scorpion girt with fire, he perish, if the flame 
avail not for his p»u-ification. 

It is not with an individual's private depravity (having given 
him the education of a man) that the State has to deal. 

The law is only a judge between man and man. And to be even 
more precise, I would confine the province of the magistrate to 
actions, letting words pass by as " idle wind." 

It may be said, words are injurious, and also provocations to 
injury. If injurious, prove the effect, and then to all intents and 
purposes it is an act with which we have to deal. But do not 
punish the utterer for words only "calculated to injure," and find 
afterwards that the calculation was false, that the " libel " has 
fallen harmless. As to what are called provocations, if you meddle 
with them, what becomes of freedom of opinion? The preaching 
of a holier creed, of a better form of government, of a purer life in 
jirivate, may, at any time, be construed (as so often they have 
been construed) into provocations and malicious libels against 
religion, law and morals. Deal strongly with offences when they 
occur, provide wisely against them by national education, and do 
not fear the provocation of even the craziest who impugn your 
order. 

Let men incite their fellows to offend ! If they do not otVcnd, 
what matters the incitement ? If they do offend, take heed of 
the offender rather than of him who bade him do it. The incited 
was free to refuse. 

It is another matter when the offeuiler is a child. Then 
punish tiie instigator; for the child is but the instrument with 
which he committed the otfencc. However, repressive laws are 



54 The English Reptiblic. 

not for children, who jet are under tie schoohnaster, but for 
adults, the free agents. 

The first step toward a thorough reform of the administration 
of justice will be the promulgation of a simple criminal code in 
place of the multitudinous statutes which now bewilder even the 
pretended interpreters of law ; a code which will not attempt to 
specify every possible offence, but which will lay down broadly 
and clearly the nature of offence, showing in what crime consists, 
mentioning only the more manifest offences as examples, leaving 
also the punishment of each offence (except in some few cases) to 
be apportioned by the magistrate to the special circumstances of 
the case. Let such a code, framed by the representatives of the 
nation, in simple language adapted to the comprehension of honest 
men, not providing for the quirks and quibbles of lawyers, be 
submitted to the whole people for their considerate criticisms and 
for their suffrages. And then repeal by one act the mischievous 
accumulation in which are bred those swarms of pervcrters of 
justice whom men call lawyers. 

There will be no occupation for them when the code of laws, 
which has to hedge the daily life of every citizen, is so concise and 
clear that every citizen may understand its bearings. 

For the primary administration of the law let there be district 
magistrates throughout the country, elected annually by the in- 
habitants of each district ; and let their authority be absolute in 
all cases between individual and individnal, or between individuals 
and the district. 

All breaches of the written law, all complaints of individual 
against individual, all diffei'enccs requiring authoritative arbitra- 
tion, would be tried before these district magistrates by jury of 
the inhabitants of the district. The jury would decide upon the 
fact, apply the law, and assess damages, the magistrates would 
enforce tlieir decision and determixie the sentence. 

In cases of mere arbitration of difference between individuals, 
the litigants might take their option of trial by jury or reference 
to the magistrate alone. 

The magistrates of a certain number of districts (say, all in a 



Republican Measitres. 55 

county) would meet at fixed periods to form a general court, for 
deciding questions relative to the governmeiit of the county, or 
disputes between individuals or districts and the county, or to 
make arrangements for police and other matters requiring consul- 
tation and collective action. 

There should be no charge of any kind for the administration 
of justice before the magistrates. The salaries of the magistrates, 
the cost of the police, and all other expenses in repressing or 
correcting crime, should be met by an assessment upon the 
district. 

The magistrate would have absolute authority in his district, 
the board of magistrates in the county. But against abuse of 
that authority would be the double safeguard — annual election and 
the right of appeal. 

Appeal would be to the Supreme Court of the Republic, whose 
function would be to take cognizance of all questions concerning 
the State — political violences, complaints of individuals against the 
local authorities^ and all magisterial errors, whether complained of 
or not. To conduct the cases in this court there should be a 
public prosecutor. 

It would be his duty to take the initiative against all political 
offenders, and to receive and promote all appeals from individuals 
complaining of the refusal of justice in the local courts. These 
appeals would be immediately decided by the Supreme Court, and 
the cost of the appeal be laid upon the party in error ; upon the 
appellant if he failed to prove his case; upon the magistrates if 
convicted. 

The Snpi'cme Court might consist of twelve judges, a chief 
justice, and the public accuser; all of whom should sit by ap- 
pointment of Parliament, revocable upon misconduct. 

The salaries and expenses of the court should be paid out of 
the national revenue. 

Both the Supreme Court and tiie magistracy would have the 
power of reversing their decisions at any time, upon evidence of 
incorrectness. The injured, by a wrong decision, would have a 
claim to compensation. 



56 The English Republic. 

A special code should provide for the government of the army 
and navy in time of war. During peace, the magistrates of the 
districts, in which troops or crews of vessels might be, should have 
jurisdiction instead of courts martial. 

To resume — what I would propose as necessary (in my belief) 
for the due administration of justice in the Republic is — " One 
simple written code — the expression of the people's ■will, or the 
people themselves (through their juries) as its interpreters. 

" One single body of magistrates elected by so many districts, to 
act singly as administrators of the law in all matters appertaining 
to their several districts; to act conjointly in the counties, or larger 
districts, for all matters belonging to them. 

" One Supreme Court and Court of Appeal appointed by the re- 
presentatives of the people to decide upon all matters between the 
individual and the district or county, or between the individual, 
the district or county and the State. 

"All persons to be eligible for the magistracy : the judges to be 
appointed from the body of magistrates." 

I do not attempt here to prescribe a code of laws nor to enter 
into the profound and extensive question of punishment. 

Laws, made or submitted to by the people, w'ill be at all times 
the reflex of the popular idea of morality, justice and virtue : 
neither worse nor better than that. And Society must become 
convinced of the true nature of the law of consequential suffering 
before it will be in a condition to frame a penal code, which shall 
protect the many without violation of individual right. 

But I believe, nay, late revolutionary events have proved, that 
the people are so far advanced beyond their present rulers as to 
be able to dispense with laws of fear now required by Monarchy, 
and to abandon degrading inflictions only fit for slaves. 

Need one specify death-punishment and flogging as instances of 
tlie requirements of the present reign of terror % We may reason- 
ably hope for a juster basis of legislation against crime, when the 
lawgiver shall be not the coward caution of a few tyrants, but the 
universal conscience of a free and educated nation. 



Republican Measures. 57 



Bases of Taxation. 

The object of taxation is to provide for the expenses of Govern- 
ment. These expenses bear preci.sely the same relation to the 
other expenses of society that the business expenses of a banking 
firm bear to the private expenses of the indivitlual bankers. 

Society is but a firm. It has its business with other firms, 
necessitating salaries, and other expenses. Every member ought 
to pay his proportion of these expenses. 

What wouM be tliought of a firm in which the managers gravely 
proposed to obtain the payments of some of their partners by in- 
direct means ; to charge some capriciously, making exceptions for 
some and compensating others ; and to mystify the whole business 
so that it should be impossible for any one of the partners to know 
the exact amount of liis contribution 1 

Yet this is the actual condition of our present "system" of 
taxation; and not one of our financial statesmen gives us any clue 
out of the labyrinth. Not one appears to have tlie remotest idea 
of first principles. 

Let us suppose that, when our firm was first established, the 
partners were jointly and equally possessed of so many acres of 
land. This land was let and underlet in various ways ; no matter 
how ; for the banking partners were jointly possessed, and, there- 
fore, however unequal might be the value of the several holdings 
or acres, the value of each partner's share would always be equal 
to the value of every other share. "Whether this land or property 
should deteriorate or improve, the partners in the baidc, according 
to their tenure, were bound to share equally. 

Let us further suppose that, when the bank began business, its 
yearly expenses Avere calculated at exactly the value of a year's 
rental of the land. Indeed, the firm undertook that their expenses 
should not exceed that rental, 

Woidd it not be absurd for them to ask each other for more 
money, or to collect the money in any indirect way, as long as 
this rental could be available, a sum always lyin^ at their hands ? 



58 The English Republic. 

Would it not be equally absurd for tliem to bewilder t]iemselve3 
in devising some out-of-the-way new method of equality, by which 
this partner should not know how much he paid, and this other, 
under pretence of being let of in the right pocket, should pay extra 
from the left 1 Why, indeed, should they take any trouble in 
planning or contriving at all, while the rent of their joint pro- 
perty is always ready for them in equal proportions'? 

Tliis England is a great firm : whose every member enters it — 
is born into it — possessed of his or her proportion of the joint pro- 
perty in the land. Why cast about for factitious equalities of 
taxation, when this great natural equality might save you all 
your trouble % 

But the land "^ has been stolen," " has gone out of your hands." 
No such thing ! You have merely neglected to collect your rents. 
Your title is as good as ever. Your title to the ground-rents : 
not to the tenants' improvements. 

(kt your taxes from the land I Adapt the rental you will 
require from that to the expenses necessary for the business of 
your firm. If no rent you can get will meet your present expenses, 
then reduce your expenses. The whole mystery of finance is here. 
The only just, that is to sa}', equal tax is one of so much an acre, 
without reference to the difference of vahic. Try the others. 

Would you levy a tax on property: it is manifestly unjust to 
except income. Would you levy it on income : to be just it must 
be on all incomes. You will never get at the incomes of all. 
You will never hit the precise proportion between certain 
and uncertain incomes ; and you will tax one man's overtasked 
strength, fast-killing hira, at the same rate as another's more 
profitable play. Also you will have to draw a line somewhere, 
and the exception of any is an inequality, an injustice; or j-ou 
must descend so low in the scale that the sums collected 
from certain classes will not cover the cost of collection, which 
will drive you back again into the injustice of increasing the 
burthens of the richer classes to make amends for the loss of 
collecting from the lower. In no way is it possible for an income 
or a property tax to be universally just or equal. 



Republican Measiwes, 59 

Would jou tax houses : again, all houses ? That looks well. 
Bat the value of houses is factitious. I carry on my business in 
a town or a part of a town where houses are too few for the popu- 
lation : my rent is high. Is the tax to depend on some one pro- 
portionating the houses to the population % Or must I, losing 
already by my dear house (and I can get none other for my 
business), while my neighbour but a few streets off has just the 
same amount of business at half the rental — must I be taxed 
extra just in proportion to that loss? A house tax can not be a 
just tax. Its equality is that of an equal measure to all lengths : 
like Procrustes' bed, A-ery comfortable to the over-long. 

Would you try a poll tax : the equity is equally Procrustean. 
The man who owns sixty thousand acres of the country shall pay 
no more than the beggared wretch whom he can evict to-morrow ; 
to say nothing of the premium on infanticide, which some 
political economists might consider a recommendation. 

Would you tax the necessaries of life : to be just you must only 
tax what everybody will equally iise. Find it out iirst — not even 
bread, though everyone should eat bi'ead. One man, to keep up 
health, must eat twice as much as another ; the natural dis- 
advantage is enough without making him pay double tax for it. 

Would you tax only luxuries : your tax will be a prohibition. 
You miist fall back upon the needs. 

Would you try that splendid mystification, the taxing every- 
thing in order so to get at everybody somehow, by hook or by 
crook 1 No, you would not try that ; the folly has been sufficiently 
refuted. 

Would you tax what comes into the country, and so get your 
taxes from foreigners ? We are beginning to find out that every 
penny so paid is charged to us again witli interest. We pay it after 
all ; and it falls unequally upon those who most need the imports. 

Would you tax the exports 1 Then you stop our trade. How 
compete with other markets if our goods are so enhanced in price: 
having freight also to add to cost of production 1 There also is 
the injustice of taxing only a class : the exporters. 

Tax corn : lai'gc classes eat potatoes and pay no tax ; the riclicr 



6o The English Rep7iblic. 

will cat larger proportions of flesh and so evade their share. Tax 
malt : the teetotalers escape. Tax tea : we will drink coffee. 
Tax tea and coffee : we can return to our cheap beer. Tax cloth : 
it will fall unduly on those obliged to be particular in their 
appearance. Not a single tax can be levied upon productions, 
necessaries, or luxuries, without inflicting gross injustice on some 
class of the community. There may be differences of more or less 
injustice, but palpable injustice will be in everyone. And when 
you adopt your compensation system, of taxing everything, you 
do not remedy the injustice ; you merely make it more difficult to 
estimate its position and amount. 

The same condemnation applies to both direct and indirect 
taxation. Direct or indirect, the tax comes from the pocket of the 
tax-payer : and it is sheer nonsense when men talk of national 
relief with the gross amount of revenue unreduced. If you have 
the same revenue it is clear that the same amount of taxation 
exists, whichever pocket it may be drawn from. 

Indirect taxation is, of course, more clumsy and expensive in 
collection, better adapted, too, to knavery of all descriptions, than 
direct taxation. But speaking here only of the ha^es of taxation, 
there is no difference between direct and indirect. Direct or in- 
direct, thei'e is injustice alike in every system of taxation except 
one. An equal rental for every cultivable acre of laud is the only 
just and equal tax possible. 

But the landowners ? The nation is tlie only landownei'. If 
our managing committee has robbed the firm of its land, or only 
neglected to collect the rent, shall that be a valid reason for our 
finding more capital to carry on our ordinary business? In reply 
to their demand, we tell them that they have our capital. Let 
them at all events use that before they ask for more. What is it 
to us — the sleeping partners (or that great part of the nation 
which has not the management)— that they have foolishly let our 
land or suffered it to be stolen or rendered of no avail 1 Neither 
they, nor we, nor all of us together, could alienate that property. 
It is ours. It is yet available. We tell them to find the expenses 
of our business out of that. 



Republican Measures. 6\ 

An unequal tax is an unjust tax. No tax can be equal except 
a tax upon land ; which, again we repeat, is but the nation's 
rental. Step once out of this simple principle and you must lose 
your way in no end of mischievous and unrighteous blundering. 
The only common property, the only raw material is land ; and it 
is only as raw material that you must tax it. If you begin to tax 
labour tijion it you are lost. 

This tax upon land, or rather this amount produced by the 
rental of the land — the rental being higher or lower according to 
the nation's need — is the nation's capital, a common fund, legiti- 
mately applicable to the business of the common weal. This is 
proceeding in national affairs as all sensible men proceed in their 
private affairs. /?i ani/ other tax either an undue proportion must 
be forcibly taken from the pockets of some — which is robbery ; or 
some must be allowed to escape — which is an injustice to the rest, 
an injustice which is robbery — robbery either way. Get out of 
this dilemma, if you can. 

But no such difficulty occurs when you meet your expenses 
with the rental of your land. You are then only paying your way 
out of a common fund of which all are equally possessed : instead 
of letting the common fund be lost, and having to make an un- 
equal assessment — on whom you can catch. 

As to the position of the land/on/s (miscalled owners), a con- 
sideration of that would be out of place in an argument on the 
princi2)les of taxation. It may, however, be remarked that the 
land was taken on conditions, and those conditions were that the 
holders shotdd ^j>rty the national expenses : Avhich is the very re- 
quirement we have been here making. Every landlord's tenure 
is on tlie condition of feudal service. Let the land as of old find 
the service, commuted from men to money. 

And here is a comfortable quotation from Adam Smith, to help 
the landlords to a cheerful submission : — 

" Taxes upon the produce of land are in reality taxes upon rent, 
and though they may be originally advanced by the farmer, are 
finally paid by the landlord." 

Very true : and the same holds of all taxes j they are finally 



62 The English Republic. 



paid by the landlord. But meanwliile the farmer and the labourer 
die. Let us save all this roundabout, uncertain, and unsatis- 
factory process by the landlord paying first. 



Education. 

Elsewhere I have maintained the right and duty of the State to 
educate the children of the nation. I propose here to consider 
what is meant by " education," to whom, and in what measure, it 
should be accorded. As all are members of the State, its born 
servants, so all are equally entitled to its care. Education is for 
all. The meanest life is sacred : as sacred as the eyes. The 
utmost development of which each individual nature can be made 
capable should be the only limit to the measure of education. 
And, again, the right to labour involves the right to education. 
It would be a mockery to free industry from the tyrainiy of 
capital and to leave the worker in ignorance — the slave of the 
intelligent. 

To enable every member of the nation to render humanity the 
utmost service of which his nature can be made capable, this is 
the object of education — this is the duty of the State. 

The rights involved in the question of education are these : the 
right of the State as the organiser to teach in order to eflable the 
nation's servants to fulfil their duties ; the rights of the parent 
also to teach, not in any respect on account of any presumed right 
over the land, which cannot exceed the right of every individual 
to i)roselytise, but solely in virtue of the parent's special capacity 
through the sympathy of a kindred nature ; and the right of a 
child to its inheritance — a share in the knowledge acquired by 
humanity : to harmonise these merits is the problem of education. 
I would have the State education of boys and girls to commence 
at the age of seven years. Up to that time children should be 
rather growing than learning. 

The physical development is interfered with by too early exer- 
cise of the intellect. The first years of childiiood should not be 



Republican Measures. 6 







troubled with thought : tlie infant lives should bo perfectly 
happy — growing in beauty, like flowers rejoicing in the spring- 
time. 

For the first seven years at least I think that children should 
remain with their parents. Their first education is through their 
affections. This must come through their parents. 

God has knit together so wonderfully the hearts of children and 
parents that no other teachers can ever supply the parent's place 
in this tender unfolding of the blossoms of life. 

The first and the last of human lessons — reverence, which is the 
true seed of aspirations and progress — should have its beginning 
in the home of infancy. 

At seven years of age the child should be entitled to the educa- 
tion of the State : I say entitled, because I would give the parents 
still the option of educating their children for two years more; 
the parents knowing that their children, if neglected during 
these two years, would afterwards enter the public schools at a 
painful disadvantage. 

The education of the State schools during these two years would 
assist in teaching the child to road, write, draw, and sing, in 
cultivating its perceptive faculties, and in orally explaining to it 
the broad facts of Nature and of God in relation to its position in 
the universe. The home education ought not to fall short of this. 

At nine years of age the attendance of every child at the State 
schools should be obligatory. 

I would have the children board at the schools, else they could 
not be subjected to that perfect equality which is the first lesson 
to be taught by the Kepublic. 

There should be no vacations^ but certain holidays ; some to be 
observed at the school, some spent at home ; Sundays, if desired, 
the children might regularly spend with their parents; and the 
parents would have access to them at all times, so as not in 
hindrance of the course of education. 

I would divide the time of education into three periods. The 
first, considering two years as preliminary, would begin at the age 
of nine years and continue to the age of fourteen. 



64 The English Republic. 

Education during the first period would consist in the cultiva- 
tion of the moral and religious sentiments, the exercise of the 
body, and the storing and training of the intellect, awakened by 
the perception and conversations of the two preliminary years. 

Of bodily exercises, I would have every child taught these : to 
swim, to ride, and to aim at a mark. Tiiese for both boys and 
girls, who, whether in or out of school, should be as much together 
as if they were members of the same family. Other gymnastics, 
siich as racing, leaping, wrestling, climbing, should not be 
neglected. 

Vocal music, drawing, arithmetic, geography, the main outlines 
of history — these, with explanations of the divine laws of duty, 
■would occupy the school hours ; and for relaxation, when not actu- 
ally at play, the child should be entertained with beginnings of 
lessons in astronomy, geology, botanj^, etc. Among instructive 
amusements gardening should hold the first place. 

The second period of public education would be from the age of 
fourteen to that of eighteen. 

Now I would sever the sexes ; not altogether, but sufficiently to 
prevent the continuance of the hitherto unrestrained fellowship. 
Some of their studies and amusements would still be had together, 
with good effect. The girls should now be at liberty to reside at 
home, if their parents desired it; still bound to finish their course 
of education by attending the classes of the school. From fourteen 
to eighteen the girl requires the constant care and companionship 
of her mother. 

But the boy, fi'om fourteen to eighteen, should be obliged to 
remain an inmate of the public school. This would be the period 
of his apprenticeship. He would now learn more exactly the 
nature and laws of his own being, phj'sical, mental, and moral ; 
he would seriously study history, especially of his own country, 
and sufficient of all sciences for the ordinary purposes of life ; he 
would learn the grammar of his own tongue, and, if he showed any 
aptitude, make himself master of at least two other languages 
besides his own, one living and one dead. He would learn mathe- 
matics to help him to think correctly ; he would learn the use of 



Republican Measures. 65 



arms. Specially he would be taught to understand his duties as 
a man and a citizen. 

Attached to the public schools should be workshops in which 
the different handicrafts should be taught, and here great part of 
this period of apprenticeship would be spent by the boys learning 
the special crafts for which they liave evinced most aptitude and 
liking. Some in these shops, some in model-farms also attached 
to the schools, some over their books, their drawings, or their 
music, some in the normal schools — each according to his natural 
bent, easy to be seen when free opportunity had been given for a 
wise choice — so would be employed this period of apprenticeship. 

The third period would be from the age of eighteen to that of 
twenty. 

At eighteen the young Athenian swore in the temple to make 
his country greater and more glorious. So at eighteen I would 
have the youth of both sexes solemnly take upon themselves the 
business of life, understanding that now their general studies are 
at an end, and that henceforth their lives are to be devoted to 
their country and to Humanity. 

The next two years would be spent by the young man in close 
application to the peculiar vocation for which he was destined. 
During that time he would be under professors and masters, work- 
ing at the art or craft which he had chosen. 

He would now have free access to the public library, and the 
option of i-esiding at home (or wherever else might be approved 
by the masters of the school) and of using his leisure according to 
his own taste, bound only to obedience during the hours of in- 
struction, and to attend, during the latter portion of his novici- 
ate, a course of lectures explanatory of the laws of his country, to 
prepare him for worthily occupying the position of a citizen. 

From twenty to twenty-one he would be sent to travel that he 
might enlarge his nature by learning in what other countries 
differed from his own. On his return he would be solemnly ac- 
knowledged a citizen, a free man, the uncontrolled master of his 
own actions, accountable only to the laws, and entitled to his 

share in the commonwealth. 

E 



66 The English Republic. 

The woman would also be similarly acknowledged, whether she 
had dwelt at home since the age of fourteen, or whether she had 
availed herself of her right to claim all the advantages of the 
public schools, to which under all circumstances her title would 
hold good. 

Here ends that education of youth which the State has both 
the right and the duty to bestow and to impose upon all its 
members. But education stops not here. There is still the 
education of the adult, for with the Kepublican all life is educa- 
tional. But this will be considered under the head of Religious 
AYorship. 

I would place the whole system of education under the super- 
intendence of a minister of public instruction, assisted by an 
Educational Board, both appointed by the Representatives of the 
Nation. The teachers in the schools I would have chosen by the 
inhabitants of the several districts, subject to the approval of the 
Board, The whole scheme of education, framed as a law, should 
be submitted to the people. The cost should be defrayed out of 
the public revenues. 

And so, asks one of our acquaintance, you would take the 
vagabonds of our streets and the paupers of our poor-houses and 
peasant homes, and you would give them all an education better 
than is given to princes ] 

Ay ! to all of them. Not excluding nor omitting one. And so, 
rejoins the radical reformer, you will make the better half of the 
people disgusted with their station ; and who will be our servants % 
who will sweep our chimneys, cook our dinners, clean our shoes — 

Good friend ! cease to scare thyself with this after-dinner 
vision of a lazy fine gentleman millennium. Be assured that, after 
even the perfected education of all, difficulty will still necessitate 
toil, and there will remain the everlasting law of duty, to arrive 
at nobleness through service, sacrifice, and endeavour. And for 
that word station which fell from thee, consider what thy servant's 
station really is. The most uneducated slave of whom we speak 
is, like our Brother Christ, a royal child of God, however thou, 



Republican Measures. 67 

wlio callest tliysclf a Christian, mayest deny the relationship. It 
is the dignity of a Child of tlic Eternal which we would maintain, 
even though the maintenance should compel your lordship to be 
your own groom and chamberlain. 

Station ! The natural destiny of every human life is to pro- 
gress, not to remain stationary. To aspire and to progress, '• in 
order that those faculties whose germs God has deposited in our 
souls may wing their highest possible flight." 



CHAPTER III. 



THE SUFFRAGE. 



Direct Sovereignty of the People. Universal Suffrage ; the Founda- 
tion of the Republic — The Right. The Duty. The Purpose. 
Universal Suffrage — its Meaning. 

Direct Sovereignty of the People. 

The direct sovereignty of the people or Monarchy ; there ai-e no 
other principles of Government. The constitutional and repre- 
sentative systems with which the nations have been afflicted are one 
and all either dishonest concealments under a more or less popular 
mask, or bungling endeavours to establish some half compromise 
between the two irreconcilable antagonisms. Monarchy, the 
domination of one which is in principle precisely the same as the 
rule of a part — however numerous — and the sovereignty of the 
whole people ; between the two there may be half-way houses for 
whigs, but no sure ground upon which to found the nation. 

Rousseau laid down the principle of the direct sovereignty of 
the people. The French Convention of 1793 adopted it, though 
it did not thoroughly carry it out. After nearly sixty years of 
Governmental experiments we revert to the same point. 

Here is the dogma as put forth by Rousseau in his " Social 
Contract." 

" The sovereignty being only the exercise of the general will 
can never be alienated ; and the sovereign which is only a collec- 
tive being can be represented only by itself 

" The deputies of the people are not and cannot be its represen- 
tatives ; they are only its commissioners ; they can definitely settle 
nothing Every law which the people in person has not ratified 

is null ; it is not a law. 

68 



The Suffrage. 69 

" From the moment that a people gives itself representatives — 
it is no longer free ; it is no more." 

And in the Jacobin Constitution of 1793 the dogma is rendered 
thus : — 

" The sovereign people is the universality of the citizens. 

" It deliberates concerning the laws. 

" The legislative body proposes the law and issues decrees. 

"The laws have to be accepted by the people." 

Here too is the commentary of Robespierre : — 

" The \vord representative is not applicable to any agent of the 
people, because ivill can not be represented. 

" The members of the Legislature are agents to whom the people 
have given the first power ; but in a true sense we cannot say 
that they represent it. 

"■ The Legislature prepares laws and makes decrees : the laws 
have not the character of law until the people has formally accepted 
them. Up to this moment they have been only projects ; they 
are then the expression of the people's will. The decrees are 
executed without being submitted to the sanction of the people, 
only because it is presumed that it approves them. Not remon- 
strating, its silence is taken for an approval. It is impossible for 
a Government to have other principles." 

Shades of the ever-calumniated martyrs of Thermidor ! your 
genius had over-stepped your time. Your Gospel remains to be 
accomplished. 

The theory of Government, directly by the people, is formulised 
by Ledru-Rollin, in La Voix die Proscrit, as follows : — • 

" The people exercising its sovereignty without limits in a per- 
manent manner in the electoral assemblies. 

" Having the initiative of every law which it may judge useful. 

" Expressly voting the laws, adopting or rejecting, by ay or no, 
the laws discussed and prepai-ed by an assembly of delegates. 

" An assembly of delegates or commissioners appointed yearly, 
preparing the laws and providing by decrees for things of a secon- 
dary importance to State administration. 

" A president of the executive charged to provide for the appli- 



The English Republic. 



cation of the law and the decrees, and to choose his ministers — 
a president elected and always revocable by the majority of the 
assembly." 

"Three years ago," wrote Ledru-Rollin, "we taught: — 'Let lis 
have no president ; a president elected by the nation is antagonism 
and war.' Only too quickly facts have verified our anticipations." 

Now impelled by the same logic we say, " No more rejiresenta- 
tives:, but simple delegates, commissioners, not to say clerks, ap- 
pointed only to prepare the law, leaving to the people the care of 
voting it : in other terms — direct Government of the j^^ople hy the 
people — the people voting the laws and the assembly of delegates 
providing by decrees for secondary necessities." 

" Let us all have but one rallying cry, one device — the direct 
Government of the people ; and soon the people shall do more 
than triumph ; for the first time, at length, it will be without a 
master; it will reign." 

" The people," adds Considerant, " will thus have at last a 
sure criterion for distinguishing everywhere the I'eal democrat 
from tlie aristocratic democrat, the whig-radical democrat, the 
sham democrat. It will easily perceive why democrats desire 
that it should govern itself ; and what democrats desire to govern 
it." 

Against this popular principle the foremost opponent is the 
socialist orator and schoolmaster — Louis Blanc. 

Louis Blanc would not allow the direct sovereignty of the people ; 
he permits it to choose representatives, but denies it the initiative 
and the vote upon the laws ; he would have the laws made by tlie 
people's representatives. He cites, to support liis opposition, 
Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Robespierre, and concludes for his 
own part, that the people as a whole is ignorant, incapable, easy 
to be led astray, full of obstinate and fatal prejudices, and that, 
therefore, the more enliglitened minority should govern. 

Montesquieu, after establishing that the people is well fitted for 
choosing its representatives, has said, "Bat would it — the people 
— know how to manage any special business, to understand places, 
occasions, moments, in order to profit by them % " No, it would 



The SuJ/rage. 7 i 

not know this. But wliiit has this to do witli the direct Hovcreignty 
of the people as set forth by Lclru-KolHii 1 The jjeople w</uld not 
know how to manage a special business ; nor is it within its 
province. 

Such are not matters of legislation but of administration, to be 
conducted by the people's servants, not to say clerks. 

Louis Blanc quotes the following passage from the Esjyrit des 
Lois : " The people which has the sovereigji power, ought itself 
to do all that it can well do, and that which it can not well do 
must be done by its ministers. 

" Its ministers are not its own if it docs not name them. It is 
then a fundamental maxim of this democratic Government that 
the people name its ministers : that is to say its magistrates. 

"It needs,, like monarchs, and even more than they, to be cou- 
dncted by a conncil or senate ; but in order that it may have 
confidence in them it must elect the members." 

From this Louis Blanc concludes that Montesquieu admits the 
interference of the greater number only in the choice of these 
ministers or representatives. 

On the contrary, the author of the Esprit des Lois, in spite of 
bis anti-democratic tendencies, proclaims logical necessity of the 
people doing for itself all that it can well do ; and even his council 
or senate is provided for in the formula of Ledru-Rollin. 

But Montesquieu is even more precise than this, for he says, 
" It is a fundamental law of Democracy that the People alone 
should make the laws." In his quotations from llousseau M. 
Blanc is equally unfortunate; the CJeuevesc philosopher asks "if 
the blind multitude could itself execute an enterprize so great 
and so difficult as a system of legislation]" and he concludes with tlio 
necessity of a legislator. And yet this does not go beyond the 
opinion of those who would have an assembly of dele^'ates to pre- 
pare the constitution and the laws, but requiring also that neither 
constitution nor laws should have force until ratified by the people. 

Let Rousseau himself define what he means by a legislator. 
Even the decemvirs never arrogated to themselves the right of 
passing a law on their own authority. 



72 The English Republic. 

Nothing of what we propose, said they to the people, can be- 
come law without your consent. 

Romans ! be yoiirselves the authors of the laws which ought to 
make you happy. He, then, who draws up the laws has not or 
ought not to have any legislative right ; and even the people can 
not, if it would, divest itself of this incommunicable right, because 
according to the fundamental fact it is only the general will which 
obliges individuals, and we can never be sure that an individual 
will is in conformity with the general will till after having sub- 
mitted it to the free suffrages of the people. 

M. Blanc refers also to Robespierre as prescribed in the most 
formal manner the permanent sovereignty of the primary as- 
semblies. 

M. Blanc, however, depends upon exceptional cases which by no 
means prove his position. 

When at the trial of Louis XVI. the Girondins proposed an 
appeal to the people, Robespierre opposed that appeal. He knew 
perfectly well that to reserve the judgment of the tyrant for the 
people would be only to open the arena to the loyalists to make 
every section a battleiield and to discredit the assembly. 

Besides — this was a question not of legislation but of admini- 
stration. And hear again how decisive Rousseau is upon this 
point : 

" I would specially have avoided, as of necessity ill-governed, a 
Republic where the people, believing it could .do witliout its 
magistrates or with only leaving them a precarious authority — 
should have imprudently kept in its own hands tlie administration 
of civil affairs and the execution of its own laws." 

Such was the rude constitution of the first Governments arising 
out of a state of need, and such also was one of the vices which 
ruined the Republic of Athens. 

But this distinction between the making and the administration 
of law is insisted upon as much by Ledru-Rollin and Robespierre 
as by Rousseau, and as no condemnation of the exercise of the 
people's sovereignty in the making of the laws. 

Louis Blanc, however, notes that Robespierre went further — 



The Suffrage. 



/J 



that he looked ui)Oii the appeal of the people us the destruction of 
the convention itself; when once convoked, the primary assemblies 
would be urged by all sorts of intrigues to deliberate upon all 
sorts of propositions ; even to the very existence of the He- 
public. 

It should be remembered, however, that lloljcspierre spoke in 
the face of revolted or revolting departments ; in presence of a 
terrible foreign war rendered yet more dangerous by intestine 
treasons. 

This was not the moment to give the primary assemblies an 
opportunity of legitimatising anarchy. 

And this again is but an exceptional case. Against it is the 
overpowering weight of Robespierre's support of the Constitution 
of 17'J3 ; without need of requoting the words wc have given by 
beginniug with "the word representative is not applicable to any 
agent of the people, because will can not be represented." Gathered 
nut from exce[)tional instances nor frt>m garbled quotations, the 
opinions of Kousseau and Robespierre and even the acknowledg- 
ments of Montesquieu are decidedly in favour of the doctrine of 
direct legislation l)y the people. The Convention also consecrated 
the same principle. Let M. Blanc now speak for himself, since 
the authorities are against him. 

The j)opular Socialist asks if it is not true that men of intelligence 
are fewer than the ignorant, the devoted fewer than the selHsh, 
the friends of progress fewer than the slaves of habit, the pro- 
pagators of ideas fewer than the partizans of error ; whence he 
deduces that to demand that the greater number should govern 
the less is to demand that igntirance siiould govern enlightenment ; 
selfishness, devotion ; routine, progress ; and error, truth. That is 
to say, M. Blanc is the defender of despotism, the gloritier of the 
Czar, the Pontiff', and the Patriarch. .Many thanks then for his 
Socialism ! But let us follow out his theory of governmental 
capacities. 

If the enlightened, the devoted, the friends of progress form but 
a minority, and if the greater number is inevitably condemned to 
ignorance, selfishness, routine and error — if, therefore, the few 



74 The English Republic. 



ought to rule the rest, while the blind or vile multitude have but 
to obey, it follows that universal suffrage is not right, that politi- 
cal equality is a falsehood. Remarkable enough that Socialists 
and competitive Whig-Radicals should find a point of agreement 
on this common ground of capacity. One, truly, seeks only the 
liberty of the stronger ; but the other is looking for fraternity. 
And yet they meet in the denial of equality. Will M. Louis 
Blanc allow his logic to carry him to the end % 

And if the minority is always right, is it not also right even 
within the assembly % Should it not be, not only the minority of 
the country, but the minority of that minority, ascending at last, 
perliapB, to the Patriarch himself, which should command, in 
virtue of the greater capacity ? But M. Blanc would defer to a 
parliamentary majority. He is, however, shrewd enough to foresee 
this objection, and thus replies : — 

" In an assembly composed of citizens who have been elected 
as the most enlightened of all, there does not exist, there coiild 
not exist, between the majority and the minority, that enormous 
disproportion of knowledge, intelligence, education, study, experi- 
ence, and ability, which exist naturally, in the midst of a civilisa- 
tion imperfect or corrupted, between the smaller and the greater 
number, taken in mass. In every assembly of elected citizens, 
and from the very fact of their being elected, the majority and the 
minority, as regards competence, are worthy, or are reputed worthy; 
and that is what renders reasonable there this law of the majority, 
which elsewhere no longer presents the same character." 

Is there so very little to choose between our representatives 1 
We deemed them bad enough, but did not think there had been 
so little difference. Arc party majorities always so enlightened 
and liberal ? Alas, for the counter evidence of the Law of the 
31st of May (though possibly M. Blanc considers that only a step 
in the right direction, toward the rule of a national minority), for 
our own no House when a popular question is to be brought for- 
ward. We might also ask the accomplished sophist how it is that 
so much wisdom resides in the majority of the elected, who must 
be the representatives of the ignorant majority outside. To such 



The Siiffrage. 75 

an absurd pass comes tlic doctrine of the peoplt^ ri<jht to choose its 
representative ivithoui the rujht to legislate for itself. 

And again, the advocate of capacity refers to the thonsands of 
men overwhelmed in ignorance and prejudice. What then? liow 
came they in this state 1 Was it not your government of the few 
— always the enlightened few — which placed them there 1 And 
by whom, or how shall they be redeemed except through their 
own exertions 1 

Yet still the eloquent Socialist is the advocate of imiversal 
suffrage. Be consistent, with Thiers, Hume, Cobden, and the 
like ; and let us know the exact value of your intentions. 
There is not one of your arguments against the direct legislation 
of the people, which does not apply equally against universal 
suffrage ; which does not go, in fact, to the justification of every 
despotism, from that of the Czar to that of the time-serving 
"Radical." This doctrine of an enlightened few is the doctrine of 
a limited suffrage. Who shall say how limited ? 

For if the people are incapable of making their own laws, can 
they be capable of judging who shall be fittest to make their laws 
for them 1 Is it so easy too for them to deceive themselves in 
matters of fact directly concerning their own interests, and go 
very difficult for them to be deceived as to persons 1 Surely 
then the old system of a caste set apart as hereditary legislators — 
not altogether luilikc the communist division of labour — must be 
the best, if not encroaching too much on the divinity of the still 
fewer and so far wiser kings. It is an easy course toward 
despotism. 

We do not assert that the majority is wiser than the minority, 
or that it is more devoted, or in any way better. But who is to 
pick out the better minority 1 There lies the difCculty. Either 
their capacities must be self-elected, which makes strange work, 
when wc call to mind what sort of animals have taken themselves 
to be endowed with legislative faculties; or they must be elected 
by the stupid majority, and then again recurs the question — Are 
you likely to choose the best law-giver wheu you are so utterly 
imable to form any judgment even on the nature of law ] 



']6 The English Republic. 

M. Blanc finds surety in the power which the people has of 
dismissing its representatives. Could he not find equal surety in 
the power of revoking a bad law % But what is this power of dis- 
missing the offending servants, and electing better in their stead, 
when you have given to the offenders the very power of preventing 
yoiir protest % What power of dismissal had the French people 
when their representatives disenfranchised them on the 31st of 
May % Well may Rousseau say — " From the moment that a 
people gives itself representatives, it is no longer free, it is no 
more." Well may he say, the English people think it is free : it 
deceives itself. It is so only during the election of members of 
Parliament. So soon as they are elected, it is a slave, it is no- 
thing. 

There is a story of Ninus, the Assyrian monarch, surrendering 
his power to his wife for only one day. She was merely his 
" representative ; " but as such she took possession of the army, 
the treasury, and the civil government, and concluded her repre- 
sentation by dethroning and decapitating her Sovereign. Like 
Ninus, peoples commit suicide by proxy; and fraternal philosophers 
are found to argue for the right. 

As to the exercise of revocation even where possible (and in the 
worst needs it would not be possible), it would be a foolish setting 
of limits to the conscience of the representative, who might as 
often err in his integrity as from any dishonest motive. Besides 
it is impossible to foresee all cases, even for a single year. The 
people's servant must be free to act within certain bounds : what 
should those bounds be but the line where matters of secondary 
importance or of administration cease and the province of per- 
manent legislation begins'? 

We repeat that we do not consider the majority of the people 
capable of sound legislation. And when has a representative body 
shown itself capable'? What more tyrannical, more foolish, more 
partial laws could bs passed by the most tyrannical and foolishest 
majority, than disgrace the codes of the best-governed of " consti- 
tutional " countries % How shall the people without practice ever 
beconae capable of legislating ? They will blunder : be it so. 



The Suffrage. yy 

They will so learn through their experience. They will not wil- 
fully err as their "representatives" do now. 'J'he will, be it wise 
or not, of the majority of the people will no longer be set at 
naught by legislative quacks or scoundrels. Wise or blundering, 
the people's will would be done. Wise or blundering : who has 
the right to gainsay it? If a Louis Blanc or a million of Louis 
Blancs may gainsay it in virtue of any presumed capacity, why 
may not a Nicholas or a Napoleon as capaciously 1 AVliat 
difference of pn'ncij>l'- is there between limiting the right of 
humanity at one point rather than another ? What difference, 
except in degree, between the Humes, the Thiers, or the Louis- 
Blaucs, and the Czar or Thibet Lama 1 

It is worth considering, too, how far direct government by the 
people would cnish the hopes of all the sects, and sectarian 
politicians, who aspire to lead ** the enfranchised people." Place 
the power in tlie people's hands, and what could the pretenders 
do 1 Your scheme of social reform may be good ; mine, too, has 
some excellence in my own eyes. Under the representative system 
you and I and all of us would be contending for possession of the 
government to try our experiments upon the body politic. But, 
all laws having to be made by the people, we should be forced to 
content ourselves with convincing a majority of the people, instead 
of intriguing to obtain a jnirti/ in the lI<niH\ There is some ad- 
vantage here. 

Yet what time could the whole pct»ple have to consider and 
niake the laws? Well, Parliament sits now, making all deduc- 
tions off days and holidays, little more than four months in the 
year ; and surely half at least of that time is wasted upon private 
measures, local measures, worthless measures, and measures 
intended only to amuse "our constituents." At evtvn such a rate 
of sui>erabundant legislation, the one Sunday in every week, with 
an occasional holiday in great emergencies, would be enougli for 
all national purposes. And the people would be better engaged 
than on Sundays now; they might then find reason to meet in 
their churches, and pray there together in effectual fervency that 
Uod's will be done on earth, His kingdom come. 



78 The .English Republic. 

We cannot suppoae, however, that one-tenth of the time now 
consumed in legislation would be so wasted even by the most 
ignorant and discordant population. There would no longer be 
the same object in heaping law upon law, to feed lawyers and to 
provide for innumerable partial "interests." The constitution 
(the statement of first principles so far as ascertained and 
generally acknowledged) once framed as the compact between the 
ever fluctuating majority and minority, and a code of general laws 
established, there would be but seldom an occasion for additional 
legislation. The good sense of the people is well aware that great 
as is the good of having the greatest possible multitude of 
counsellors in law-making, there is no wisdom in a multitude of 
laws. 

TJni'verml Suffrage ; The Foundation of the Rejmhlic — The Right. 

The right of the franchise is the birthright of humanity. "We 
claim to be recognised as Iniman beings. Universal suffrage is 
but the symbol, the public and legal acknowledgment, of the 
natural equality of mankind. 

All men are born equal, eqiial in their common humanity ; 
equal in this, that each has an individuality of his own, a distinct 
and independent nature, a life which it is impossible to confound 
with the life of another. 

Every human being has an ox'ganisation peculiar to himself, a 
frame peculiar to himself, a will and motive-energy peculiar to 
himself, a life which is his own and which none other can live for 
him, a life which it is his duty to build up toward the most perfect 
beauty of which his nature is capable. Each individual has the 
work of his own life to do, the interests of his own life to con- 
sult, the conduct of his own life to regulate. He has, in truth, 
his own life to live ; can get no one to live it for him ; can by no 
cunning transfer it, by no power get it transferred — to the 
shoulders of another. This is what we mean by the natural 
equality of man. 

We know well enough the differences that exist of height, of 



The Stiff rage. 79 

form, of boauty, of intelligence, of power. Yet are all men equal. 
There is no mark of the slave npon any, no natural sign branding 
one man as essentially dift'erent from another. All have the same 
birth, the same life, the same death, the same erect form, the 
same organs, the same muscular and nervous system, the same 
apjictitcs and wants and passions, the same desires and hopes and 
fears, the same need of life, of growth, and development. Diflering 
in degree, there is no difference in kind. 

The greater natured Shakspere has more of intellect than the 
Paissian serf ; but each in his degree has the same need of develop- 
ment. Each needs to live his life, to develop his nature so far as 
its capability will allow, to grow to the utmost of his capacity, 
i-^ach has the right of growth however ditTerent the capacity. 

Oak and bramble have their different growth : rose and lily 
their different form and hue : but each has its life to live, its 
separate destiny to accomplish. So are all men, when most 
ditfering, equal. 

Even more points of likeness than of difference subsist between 
them. The highest man claims closer kindred with the lowest 
than witli ought else in creation. 

I'hey both arc men. The same sun warms them ; the same 
stars smile upon them ; the same winds breathe to them melodi- 
ously. The storm frowns not less darkly on the monarch ; the 
flower gives not less fragrance to the slave. 

Each toileth alike up the mountain side. The flowing tide 
stays not for the king's command : the flowers bloom over the 
vagabond's neglected grave. Everywhere the clear voice of equal 
nature proclaims the brotherhood of men, their brotherhood of 
life, however diff'erent their station, their gifts, their character. 

It is a question of human reverence, lie who denies the man- 
hood of the lowest, denies the divinity of man, surrenders the 
dignity of his own manhood, degrades himself, by making his 
manhood to depend upon exceptional and changeful causes, on 
place or special endowment, instead of de| ending upon that right 
of birth which is inalienable and indestructible, which no time 
nor chance can weaken or de^tose. 



8o The English Republic. 



How shall a man abdicate his own nature % How can you take 
possession of the being of another'? How assume another's existence % 
He is sovereign of that, be his sovereignty never so poor. You 
cannot deprive him of it. Be his form never so ungainly, you 
cannot make it other than his ; be his soul never so dark and 
diminutive, the spirit of the Eternal once breathed thereon has 
made him man — your equal ; for you have no higher claim to 
manhood than that same breath of God, which cannot be measured, 
which cannot be compared, of which no man can be deprived and 
live. 

Poet and untaught slave, monarch and beggared serf; the 
breath of life in each is his title to the dignity of man. 

You cannot deny his title, while you claim that title for yourself. 
Fellow-sovereigns, however wide or confined your i-ealms, in all 
that concerns you mutually — you meet upon equal footing. 

Man with man, sovereign with sovereign, child with child of the 
Eternal — what are your differences of to-day in the face of the 
eternal future growing from the life of each] 

Equal as the stars of heaven, equal as year with year, though 
no two days are alike in their contents, c(pial as the ocean waves, 
equal as flower with flower; so is life with life, each springing 
fi'om the womb of the past, each pregnant with the eternity to 
come. When thou hast lived one day for thy fellow — then talk 
of inequality, then deny your reverence for the sacred principle of 
life, the ssovereignty of self, that emanation from the universal 
spirit in which we all, from the Imperial Cajsar to the beggarliest 
wretch on earth, both live and move and have our being. 

The acknowledgment of this common humanity, the acknow- 
ledgment of this birthright of human life, the acknowledgment of 
that self-sovereignty with which Nature has endowed us, of which 
it is impossible altogether to deprive us, and without which there 
can be neither conscience nor duty — this is what we demand in 
demanding the right of the franchise. 



The Suffrage. 8i 



The Duty. 

As right is universal, so i:> duty. Right is tlic ground of duty. 
Duty the due growth of right. Riglit is the opportunity, the 
means of duty. Duty the advantage taken, the use made, tlie 
right. 

There is no such thing as right without duty. 

No man has a right to isolate himself, to separate from the 
society of his fellows, to refuse communion and fellowship with 
tiiem. Humanity — human life — is one. 

It is one great whole, to be organised harmoniously for the con- 
tinuous and greatest possible progress of all. It is not a mere 
fortuitous jumbling together of distinct individuals, but a gather- 
ing of one vast family under the universal law of attraction and 
similarity — one vast family : all members thereof having the same 
aim, the same purpose, the same idea of life : each member having 
his distinct place, each his special mission, in concert with the 
wiiole, and conducive to the general purpose : each acting in all 
and acted upon by all, each served by all and capable of serving all. 

No man can resign his place among men, or deny his duty to 
humanity. He who would separate forgets his obligations to the 
past, which bind him dutifully to the future. 

There, toward the past, he has contracted a debt — a debt to 
collective humanity. He has received ; he is bound to render. 

All the life of the past, the endeavour, the endurance, the ex- 
perience, the accumulation of knowledge and power, the gain of 
ages, of all the past of mankind — all this has worked together to 
make him the man he is. Re he what he may, he is the child of 
the past. It is his duty, since he can return no benefit to the past, 
to transmit as much as possible to the future. 

There is no other way of squaring accounts, of paying the debt 
incurred. Wc stand between the past and the future; the busi- 
ness of this present life is to hand the gain of the one to the 
beseeching hands uf the otlior. This is the real mission, the duty 
of life. 

F 



82 The English Republic. 

No man ever lived or can live apart from and independent of 
others. Had he not mother's love? How shall he repay it? 
Needs he not love from his kind — the sympathy that upholds, the 
trust that ennobles, the faith that purifies % Needs he not aid in 
sorrow and in sickness % Has not the feebleness of his infancy been 
nursed % Slmll not his eyes be closed in death % Independence ! 
Man may isolate himself for a part of his life — seldom even for 
a part. He has no right even for a part. What ! wait 
to manhood dependent upon the love, the care, the duti- 
ful action of others, and then, then only, claim a right to 
be independent, to separate, denying all duty, because thou 
needest no help and so will render none % Return first the debt 
of younger years ere thou sayest that thou owest nothing to 
humanity ! 

And not merely the debt to younger, but to former years. 
How much of the world's past life has entered into thy organisa- 
tion and character % How much of what the ages have suffered 
and done has been bestowed on thee % What Englishman con- 
tains not in him something borrowed from our English past : that 
England, too, having borrowed from others, from Germany, from 
France, from Italy, from Greece, from Palestine, from Egypt, ay ! 
and from all other lands ? 

What ! has Milton lived for you, and shall not you live for 
England 1 Have WyclifFe, Eliot, Hampden, died for you, and you 
not owe your life to England % 

You, fed by England's Shakspere, have you no thankful service 
unto Shakspere's England % 

And to the world, too ! To humanity ! As, a stone dropped 
in, the water circles spread wider and wider, so the waves of duty 
flow beyond the bounds of country till the circle fills the world. 

As the star in its sphere, in its system, in the system of systems, 
so man in the family, in his nation, in the system of humanity. 
All the world, since life began, has worked for thee ; work thou 
for the world. For thee has Homer sung, for thee has Sappho 
loved. For thee has Leonidas fought, and Plato spoke; for thee 
Galileo sought the stars. 



The Suffrage. 8 



J 



The glorious army of martyrs gave their lives for thee. 

For thee the divinest chose the dungeon and the hemlock juice, 
tlic scourge and the crucifixion. For thee liumanity has lived, has 
loved, has suOcrcd. Pay to humanity the lifo-dc\)t tiiou hast 
incurred. 

A debt — that which is owed — which ought to be — a duty. 
What is thy duty] Development, Growth, and Sacrifice. 
Development of all the capabilities of thy nature ; growth of thy 
nature, ever higher and higher, toward the divinest ideal thy soul 
can contemplate ; development and growth, that thou mayest be 
a helper, a worthy servant of humanity, a fit and acceptable offer- 
ing in the great temple of life, to propitiate the future. This is 
duty; so to develop one's powers, so to grow, that one's life may 
be useful to the world, the present a sacrifice worthy of the 
Eternal. A sacrifice : the joyful rendering of that which thou 
hast acquired, the giving to the world the fragrance of thy own 
beautiful nature, the fruit that has ripened on thee, tlie golden 
grain of thy devoted life. 

All sacrifices — not denials, but offerings on the altar of progress, 
at the shrine of humanity. So bear thy days even as a wreath of 
flowers upon thy brows, the fillet of sacrifice, the wreath of 
triumph ! The joyful sacrifice be thine, the triumph the Eternal's. 
Ay ! even when the sheaves are scattered and the life beaten out, 
and the very straw consumed, and the plough gone over thy place, 
some grain will yet be sown for the world's future harvesting, and 
thy spirit, bruised and ground down for the good of humanity, will 
haply then be conscious of the joy to which it was abandoned. 

Since all have duties, all must have the means of fulfilling their 
duties. What means but freedom ? what freedom but on the 
ground of "equal right"] How shall you develop your powers 
under my al)Solute or hindering will? How shall you grow to 
your full growth, if I grow so rankly that there is not room for you ? 

To each full room for freedom of action on the common ground 
of right! Liberty on the ground of cipiality ; duty growing out 
of right. Therefore must the sufiVage — the recognition and ex- 
pressive symbol of our right — be universal. 



84 The English Republic, 

Right univci'sally assured, that duty may everywhere be done. 
Nothing but the nniversal can satisfy us. 

Because no one can be excused from his duty, because we need 
that all be free to perform the duty for which all are required ; 
that in the chorus of life no note may be missing, that the harmony 
may be complete. 

The Purpose. 

We are ruled (when we are really ruled) for the progress of 
humanity ; ordered so that each may have sufficient room for 
growth, for the world's advantage. We need universal suffrage, 
that all parts may be brought within the rule, that tliere may be 
no exception to the law, that no rank disorder may prevent the 
perfected growth, even of the weakest. 

As eternity counts every hour, so needs the world tliat all be 
ordered for the world's behoof. 

The careful gardener leaves not in his trim garden one corner 
for rank overgrowth, where vermin may hide who would devour 
his tenderest plants. 

So in the nation should be no neglected and untutored corner, 
no city of refuge for a parish class, or be sure that they will devour 
your hopes and ruin the fair garden of life. 

One rotten sheep — one unhealthy member ! The evil of one is 
the evil of all ; the good of the whole cannot be without the good 
of each. 

How shall the musician spare one note— how admit one false 
note? How more easily achieve the complicated harmony of life? 

Woe to the people among whom false notes are not prevented, 
whose very leaders knowingly play false ! Woe to that people 
among whom the vilest weeds grow rankly, where vermin live un- 
noticed, who devour the tenderest hopes of the Spring, and none 
to prevent them ! Woe to that people among whom their enemy 
soweth tares ! 

Could each corn plant be cared for, be free to grow on its own 
equal and sufficient ground, how abundant would be the harvest. 



The Suffrage. 85 

We need uuiversal suffrage to upbuild the nation. That 
temple of the Eternal, the sacred workshop wherein we serve the 
future of humanity, shall not be unsightly and disgraced because 
of its many broken and disfigured columns. 

What is a nation ] Not a mere horde of savages or serfs driven 
by some imperious master. Not a Babol-gathering of trading 
thieves, held together only so long as they can find withal to 
exercise their calling. 

A nation is the free association of equals, the prclestincd 
association of men of one race, in whom tradition and liistory have 
breathed the prophecy of an identical life — men whose cradle songs, 
whose noblest memories, whose dearest hopes, echo that charmed 
word of country, which links together the various families of the 
ear;h, each in its special bond of harmonious tendency, whoso 
result is national vitality and national growth, and the achieve- 
ment of national purpose — the fulfilment of the nation's work an 1 
mission in and for the world. 

How sliall the nation grow except all parts in the nation share 
and help its growth? How sliall all grow imless they have fair 
room for growth — the equality on which tlieir freedom builds, rising 
upriglitly like some well-proportioned column, a pillar of humanity \ 

Savages build not at all. Your traders, held together by one 
common interest, would sell the very foundation stones. Serfs 
at some royal bidding may build pyramids, but catmot build a 
nation, not even though the royalty be held in connnission by so 
many as 800,00(> of the elect. 

A nation can only be built by all of all. All the people, each 
in his place. The individual first perfecting his own upright and 
rounded life; the family standing as perfectly together, a stately 
column-group ; the parish, townsliij), and province, the further 
association for that combined work for which the family alone is 
not competent ; and the nation, the com[Jetcd temple, built and 
supported by the regidated strength of all. Only from the uni- 
versal suiVrage of efpuxls can such a building rise. The slave 
could not mount to the height of the freeman, could not reach to 
upbear the temple roof. 



86 The English Republic. 

The nation is indeed a living temple, with multitudinous columns, 
many as individual natures, but wliich all unite together to up- 
hold the place of worship for the future. Infamous is he who 
neglects his portion of the service, who upholds no part of the 
sacred roof of country, the homestead of his race ! 

For the vote is not a mere fractional share in the election of 
a master of tongue force. It is not a mere hustings delusion, 
the careless or considerate dropping of some name in a ballot box. 
Nor is it but a pledge for higher wages, respectabilities, and com- 
forts. It is the symbol of manhood, the public acknowledgment 
that a man's life is his own, that all his fellow-men of that nation 
recognise him as a man, a free man, their equal, to be cared for, 
and ruled and ordered, be he never so insignificant, with the same 
care and in the same rule as the noblest. Nay, it is symbol of 
far more than that. 

It is not only the proclamation and fearless challenge of the 
man's rights, but also the open confession of the man's duties, the 
public homage (would once a year be too often for that homage f) 
of the individual man to the nation and through that to the collec- 
tive humanity to which he so swears fealty and allegiance, con- 
fessing that for it he lives and moves and lias his being. 

Wages, respectabilities, and comforts : freedom has better 
growths than these. Let the respectable stalled ox take his due 
■wage and fodder^ and be comfortable. 

The aim of human life is higher than that. Not for the mere 
material ; not only for some better arrangement of land and labour 
(though these things wait on freedom), not by any means to super- 
sede the necessity for work, is the place and dignity of manhood 
to be desired. 

But to take the yoke from off thy neck, that thou mayest work 
freely and healthfully, that all thy powers and capabilities may be 
employed and perfected, that universal life may be better served ; 
that thou mayest bear thy heavy sheaves of corn, thy full rich 
fruit, any way thy worthy and acceptable sacrifice, to the mighty 
spirit of the future. Rough the path of life, toilsome the ascent, 
and heavy the burthen that must be carried to the distant heights. 



The Suffrage. 87 

We need the help even of the least; there is no strength t(j Iio 
spared. The slave may stumble and faint by the wayside. Let 
him seek, his rest, his comforts, his own " well being "! AVluit is the 
general good to him ? 

What to him the aspiration toward the excellent and the 
Eternal? But the freemen faint not nor stumble. Singing, they 
journey onward, hand linked in hand, and hopeful eyes consoling 
hope ; so each upholds the other. 

Come, my brother, my sister, cry the equal voices ; aid us in 
the work which is neither thine nor ours, but the Eternal's ; bow 
down with us in worship of the inevitable ; raise thy proud head 
toward heaven, thy life aspiring as the altar's flame soars skyward ! 

Wreathe with us the crown of future triumph ; help us to up- 
build the moving temple of humanity. 

It is for this that we would be ruled, for this that we need 
universal suflrage. 

That every human life may have its healthy growth, its perfect 
bloom or pleasant store of fruit, and so the garden of the world be 
well arranged and beautiful ; that every columned life may be 
firmly built and finished to its utmost grace ; that the National 
Temple in which we would worship the Eternal spirit of gi'owth 
and freedom may be worthy of its purpose, of the service to which 
it is dedicated, well proportioned in all its i)art.s, and the whole a 
perfect beauty, an increasing loveliness and " a joy for ever." 

Universal Snffraije — Its Meaning. 

" The political question," says Lamennais, in his excellent work 
on Modrrn iSlui'ert/, "resolves itself into the question of electoral 
reform : a wide-spreading and thorough reform which shall rest, 
neither upon tlie degraded and degrading principle of tax quali- 
fication, nor on arbitrary fonnulas, nor on foolish presumptions of 
capacity ; but which shall rest upon the inherent right of 
humanity ; because then no one will be deprived of his essential 
liberty, of his just share in the collective sovereignty. Then only 
will modern slavery be abolished." 



88 The English Republic. 

Lamenimis wrote for France. The Revolution of 1848 estab- 
lished that electoral reform. Nearly fifty yeai's later we in 
England are still considering rather leisurely what small addition 
to the number of privileged electors may at once satisfy the fears 
of weak political monopolists and the not inordinate desires of 
"radical " reformers. 

The Right of Universal Suffrage. 

Our claim to universal suffrage may be based upon these 
several grounds : — The natural quality of humanldnd, the right to 
assist in making the laivs that are to rule us, and the qualification 
of tax payment. 

First, and far above all else — treating this question as not only 
political, but moral, we base the right — the rightness — of uni- 
versal suffrage upon the natiiral eqiiality of humankind. All are 
not equal in virtue, genius, stature, or muscular power. Men are 
not all the same shape, the same height, the same mental capabil- 
ity or muscular power, nor do they all possess the same degree of 
moral beauty. Their equality consists in their common humanity, 
in the distinct individuality of each; an individuality which can 
not iu any way be abdicated or confounded with the individuality 
of another. All are born equal in this : that every human being 
has an independent organisation, an independent will, a frame 
which is his own, a life which is his own and none other's, a life 
which it is his business to build up toward the most perfect beauty 
of which his nature is capable, which it is his business to endow 
with the completest nobility his natural powers can acquire. 
Every man lives for himself, can get no other to live for iiim. 
Every man must do the work of his own life ; by no specious 
contrivance can he transfer that work to any other man. He is 
an independent being, sovereign lord of himself, and can by no 
means abdicate that sovereignty or be deprived of his individuality; 
can by no cunning process either fuse himself, or be infused, into 
the life of another man. Fetter him as you will — trample upou 
and despise his spirit — brutify his thought — control him so that 



The Suffrage. 89 

his muscles move as obediently to your command as the steam- 
engine to the touch of the engineer, so that his whole being is the 
slave of your donunant will, and his thoughts the echo of your 
dictation, still, in spite of all this, you can not make him one witii 
yourself, nor a ])art of yourself; you can not make him a sure 
possession. You can never wholly root out the individuality 
within him ; you can never be sure that he has renounced alto- 
gether and abdicated his natural self-sovereignty ; you can never 
be certain how long that self-sovereignty shall remain disposed 
and in abeyance. In the deepest recesses of that slave's soul still 
burns the sacred fire of an independent spirit, to burst forth, you 
know not when, perhaps when you least expect it, to light np the 
slave's eye, to warm his pale cheek, and to kindle fiery thought 
and flashing speech, in indignant denial of your tyrannous boast, 
" I have made this creature mine ; this wretch is no longer a man ; 
he is my property, a thing belonging to me." fool, fool ! you 
cannot tread out the soul of a living man. That one thing is 
beyond the reach of tyrants. The slave is still a man — not less 
so than the oppressor. You can not make him other than a man ; 
a sovereign, however captive, a self-sufficient, independent being, 
with duties of self-respect, with natural opportunities and hopes 
of sflf-developmeut, of healthy growth and ha})pii)es3, with need 
of human sympathy : in all these respects like unto his fellow- 
men. 

All men arc by nature free and ecpial. The same air is breathed 
by all ; the same earth is common to all ; the same blue sky bends 
lovingly over all ; the same cloud-wrapped tempest that lowers 
upon the slave, unbends not its powers for any majesty of tiic 
tyrant ; into the ear of the ploughing serf the winds whisper as 
melodiously as into the ear of the prince who ilevours the harvest ; 
the same elements minister to all ; there is the same birth, the 
same death; the same erect form; the same muscular action; 
the same mental organisation ; the same hopes and fears and 
passions ; the same modes of thought, of speech, of action. Be- 
tween the (jlod-like Shaksperc and the poorest and most imbruted 
slave there are more points of likeness than of diU'ereace. Eadi 



90 The English Republic. 

is a man. Neither the Shakspere, the Newton, nor the Napoleon, 
can show any title to possess the beggarliest wretch upon earth. 
That beggar wretch — he, too, is a man. Wliat are they 1 Are 
they more than human 1 Men's equality consists in their common 
humanity. Ay, in their common humanity ! Tear away the 
wrappings of conventional usages, the blinds which long habits of 
usurpation, too long tamely endured, have set up between us and 
nature ; look if you can at a just constitution of society; or look 
back to what man was before a false-dealing and false-founded 
social system had robbed him of his just position — a manlike 
place and relation toward his fellow-men ; and then answer the 
question. What is the common, the original and inherent right 
of humanity 1 What was the natural equality of mankind*? Evei-y 
human being is by nature's law, by God's warrant and prescription, 
a sovereign prince — lord of himself and of his own life. True, 
their realms may be of various power and grandeur, but each in 
his own realm is paramount. And as, when sovereigns of nations 
meet together to treat of their common affairs, an equality subsists 
among them, though perhaps no two of them rule over precisely 
the same extent of territory, so in treaties between human beings 
(and just government is a series of treaties between the members 
of society) each and every treater is entitled to the same footing 
of equality — his place as a sovereign prince — though no two of 
these human beings are endowed with precisely the same 
sovereignty. Indeed there can be no treaty but upon this ground 
of equality. All else is dictation and overruling of some kind : 
tyranny, by whatever polished name you may christen it. This is 
our natural right of universal suffrage. 

Our second ground for universal suffrage is the right to assist 
in mal-ing the laivs which are to hind lis. Laws are made for all 
the members of the community. Else they are not laws at all, 
but lawless privileges. If laws are meant for all, it is manifestly 
just that all should assist in making them. Though you need 
laws only for property, is not a man's person his property — his 
inalienable property ? — also a property which may be damaged. 



The Stiff rage. 91 

It is idle to talk uhout "the rights of property" — of "having an 
iutei'est in one's country " — wliile this primary and most essential 
right of personality remains unrecognised. The first jjropcrty a 
man can possess is liis own life ; as the first interest a man can 
have in his country is himself. And be he pauper or wealtiiiest 
Rothschild, he is rightful sovereign over himself, and can in nowise 
abdicate that sovereignty. Naked, landless, and penniless, the 
man comes into the world. " What is it to him," say some of you, 
" how he is governed % He has no stake in the country." What 
is it to him how he is governed 1 Is it nothing to him how he 
shall be clothed or fed 1 how he shall be educated 1 whether he 
shall enjo}- or suffer] whether he shall obtain love or hate] be 
noble or wretched 1 Is all this nothing] Has he no stake or 
interest, who has depending on him a life to be made or marred 
by this government "which is no concern of his l" A life, with 
hopes praying for fruition, with energies requiring development ! 
A life with an eternity dependent upon it — an eternity of conse- 
quence to the world, the human future ! A life to which, perhaps, 
some fellow-life is clinging for that love which peoples earth with 
myriad forms of hajipiness or woe ! And is all this nothing I 
Nothing, certainly, to any but the possessor. To the possessor it 
is much. It is his all — this nothing. Jlis all ! Why, the one 
vagabond, to whom " it does not matter how he is governed," is 
perhaps the founder of a great nation. Some vagabond Ishmael 
whom paternal government drives forth from home into the dcse:t 
to poverty and despair and death, what right of self-sovereignty 
has he] what property or interest has he — this Ishmael I He has 
some })roperty and interest in his own life — he is sovereign prince 
of that — and of the future ages of an Arab nation, his descendants, 
the seed from which outgrowcth a creed and a dominion to cover 
one half of the world. It is somethiivj to this Ishmael what you 
shall make of his life ; something to the world how this vayahond 
shall be governed. It is, indeed, something to every man how he 
is to be governed — a something of importance, whicii he cannot 
put of^', an interest he cannut alienate. All men, I repeat, are 
equal in this matter of reipiiring government, and having an inter- 



g2 The English Republic. 

est in the how they are governed. Nay, it is of moment to all 
that all should feel this government. To be equal before the law 
is, then, no more than just. Will you, without consulting me, enact 
a law which shall control my life, which shall compel my obedi- 
ence? It is a manifest tyranny. The single despot ordei's me ; his 
will is law. Spirit of WyclifFe, of Hampden, and of Milton ! am I 
not justified in my resistance to the tyrant? I owe him no allegi- 
ance. How much less is it a tyranny, because 1 am controlled by 
658 tyrants — or say 658,000 tyrants, instead of one % The tyranny 
is the same to me. Fellowmen ! leave me my voice in the election 
of those who are to represent all of us ; and, if they are honest, 
their laws are entitled to my obedience. I am morally bound 
thereto. By excluding me from the election of those who are to 
act as law-makers for their constituents, you virtually outlaw me. 
I have nothing to do with you. I, your equal, will not be bound 
by your laws, to which I have not consented. You may compel 
my obedience, and make me your slave ; you cannot make me 
your subject. I must resist you to the death. Slavery may be 
\ipheld by despots' laws ; but society only holds together by the 
concurrent will of all its members. Society is a mutual compact. 
It is not for a country's peace that any of its meml^ers should be 
outlaws. There is more strength in harmony than confusion. 
Freemen are stronger, too, than slaves. 

Even upon the lowest ground of tax-qtudification, every member 
of the State is entitled to a vote in the affairs of the State, Who 
is not taxed ? Every man who works pays taxes. Few among the 
veriest paupers but have paid taxes at some periods of their lives. 
The absurd distinction between direct and indirect taxation is the 
merest subterfuge of one ivho desires to enslave his fellows. Your 
■ tax-gatherer's pound is worth twenty shillings, however indirectly or 
circuitously he may have got it. It will not be worth more than 
twenty shillings for being the result of a poll-tax or an income-tax. 
Neither does it at all matter to me — the tax -payer — whether I pay 
a twenty-shilling tax to my butcher, who passes it to the grazier, 
who passes it into the pocket of that same collector. Either way, 



The Stiff rage. 93 

I pay twenty shillings — just so much — neither more nor less. 
Either way, the tax-collector has iiis twenty shillings. And either 
way, since the tax is collected for the use of the State — inclndiny 
me (do not forget that !) — I am entitled to have a voice in the ap- 
pointment of those who are to state the amount required, and to 
regulate and fairly apportion the burthen. As to a certain amount 
of taxation being necessary to qualify a man to be an elector, we 
need only require that the just sum should be named. Say <£5 a 
yeai*. I shall not make a worse elector because I pay only £4 19s. 
lid. a yeai'. And yet, in the one case, I should possess a vote, and 
in the other none. Should I become more intelligent or moral, or 
fitter to possess a vote, because I pay a penny more tax — that 
qualifying penny? Or if, my property decreasing, I pay say two- 
pence less toward the State, must my morality and mtellect oscil- 
late with these fluctuations of my property ? To allow this would 
be to set an exact value upon a vote, and give men one or more 
according to the amount of their several payments. Or call the 
penny £10,000, how is the case altered? The exclusion of any, 
the smallest part of the community, for no better pretext than this 
is utterly ridiculous. It is a robbery of one portion of society by 
another, without the thinnest colour of justification, without the 
shallowest defence of reason or common-sense. With an arbitrary 
tax-qualification, however low, the veriest scoundrel who, by the 
dirtiest shuffling and trickery, or by fraud and crime, and that 
most notorious, has acquired the requisite amount of property, a 
wretch of narrow intellect, utterly depraved and selfish, may enjoy 
those rights of citizenship from which such men as Shakspere, 
Milton, Locke, Newton, and Howard, our country's best and wisest, 
the beloved and revered of ages, would be excluded, if not qualified 
by the possession of the precise amount of property. Need an- 
other word be added to prove the folly and immorality of a tax or 
property qualification, that intolerable insult upon the industrious 
and intelligent poor, which classes them with idiots and criminals, 
fit only to be ordered or punished by tlie money -learned or money- 
moralised rich ] Need more be said to prove the justice and 
necessity of universal suffi-age, in order that all, men and women. 



94 The English Republic. 



may be fairly represented and governed, that irresponsible tyranny 
may have no place, and that moral beauty and intellectual majesty 
may no longer be trodden underfoot by the heartless, mindless 
worshippers of the foul idolatry of wealth % 

And, let us ask, who are those who would fix the minimum of a 
tax-qualification 1 "Whence do they get their authority to decide 
npon what constitutes a man, upon what shall qualify him to act 
as a man? After all, a man's life is worth more than five pounds 
a year, or any amount of direct or indirect taxes you can squeeze 
out of that life. A Rothschild's money can buy no rights. The 
penniless beggar is a man, too, and has rights that are altogether 
independent of the tax-gatherer. 

There are men who question the expediency of universal 
suffrage ; who allow the abstract right, but dare not reduce the 
right to practice, certainly not at once — for fear of consequences. 

Timid men these, if indeed they are not rather prating knaves 
whose wish is father to the thought they utter. At the best they 
are not true men. * The notable difference between the true man 
and the false is this : that the fulse studies what is expedient for 
his own little day, having no faith in anything — but only a blind 
leaning upon his own fear ; while the true man dares to utter or 
do or allow whatsoever he sees to be just, firmly confident in the 
eternal expediency of justice. Ay, it is always expedient to act 
justly ! Justice takes the best care of consequences. "Let justice 
be done though the heavens should fall," says a brave proverb. 
But the heavens will not fall. It is your half-witted fool, who 
thinks justice "inexpedient," " inconvenient," and the world not 
quite prepared for it, who would be just " gradually" — it is also 
he who does all the mischief. Justice is surer-footed. What else 
is there to be said of the expediency of universal suffrage ? 

But yet what are the objections urged against the immediate 
public recognition of the princij)le for which I contend 1 They 
are not many. We are told — " The mass of the population is not 
fit for the exercise of the franchise, they would make a bad use of 
their freedom ! " Dare any say that any class, that any portion 



The Stiff rage. 95 

even of tlie present electors, is either so thoroughly acquainted 
with the electoral duties, or so perfectly honest, that there is no 
room for improvement % There is no class exactly fit, if we arc to 
scrutinise severely. And I incline to think that a very large 
majority of the lowest dregs of the people could not, by their 
uttermost, make a worse use of the franchise than is now made by a 
large proportion of the present electors — who surely are sufficiently 
qualified. But the real question here is : — When will the non- 
electors be fit for freedom % I answer boldly — Never till they are 
free ; never till they have practised how to use their freedom. 
Do you learn to walk before you have put your foot to the ground \ 
Can you learn to swim without going into the water % Neither 
can you learn to act as freemen until you are free. Nothing is 
learned without practice. If you think otherwise, try to perfect 
yourself in swinmiiug upon dry land. Even your muscles are only 
developed by exercise. Take the most delicate man's arm in the 
world ; give it blacksmith's work to do, and muscle will be 
developed, and the arm will become fitted to its work. None but 
freemen can fully appreciate freedom ; only by practice can come 
perfectness. And if, as you would fiiin persuade us, we, the non- 
electors, are not fit for freedom, while you, the electors, are — is not 
that some evidence of our doctrine— some evidence that your old- 
fashioned, exclusive system has not exactly answered ? You have 
had a long enough trial of fitting men for freedom, by keeping 
them in slavery — teaching them to swim upon dry laud. Make 
an honest plunge and try what the opposite practice will do. 

"But"' — says another party — a very philosophic i)arty — "give 
us an educational test of some kind — an educational qualification]" 
ila ! but there is a difficulty in the way of your wisdoms : who 
shall be the judges'? The whole community? I suppose not. 
For that would be universal suftrage. Who then? Anyone that 
has impudence enough to think himself a judge of other men's 
fitness? His wisdoniship lacks some qualifying modesty. Who 
are to be the judges % The ignorant always think themselves wise 
enough ; the ignorant think none wise but themselves (ask the 
present electors about that) ; and even the reputed wise are but too 



96 The English Republic. 



apt to fall into the same error. " 0, prescribe some certain 
amount of knowledge, such as reading and writing," say you. It 
is no test at all. There have been not a few men unable to read a 
line or to write their names, who have yet been much more worthy 
of electoral trust than many a college-bred scoundrel or clerkly 
bribe-taker. I know of no scheme more likely to insure confusion 
and disappointment than this most philosophic test. 

"But" — cries out another fearful objector — "what improper 
characters would be admitted by this universal suffrage." We 
should have felons, idiots, and the veriest rabble voting. Felons, 
idiots, and the veriest rabble vote even now — and in a much 
larger proportion to the whole number of the electors than they 
would was every man to have his right of citizenship. Universal 
suffrage would swamp — not the honest men — but the present 
disproportionate number of fools and felons. Certain limited and 
select constituencies might be named whose average character 
could hardly be rendered worse by the admission of all their 
fellow-citizens. But you have no right to your exceptions until 
you have allowed the rule. A.fter recognising the universal right, 
and not till then, would be the proper time for excluding, wholly 
or temporarily, those who should be proved incapacitated by dis- 
ease or by outrage upon society. 

What other objections? "The confusion attendant upon the 
collection of so many votes." Is there more confusion in Harwich 
or in Finsbury during an election % It is not in our largest and 
most popular constituencies that the greatest disorder prevails, 
but in your little rotten boroughs. All England may vote in a 
day, just as easily as St. Nicholas' parish, only give them polling- 
places enough. 

What else] "The lower classes will get the upper hand!" 
This is the main objection, after all. What if they do 1 The 
upper classes have been honest and beneficent : what can they 
expect but praise and gratitude from their successors in power ] 
Think what claims they have upon the so long unrepresented ! 
If the upper classes had not been honest, that alone would be 
sufficient reason for dethroning them. If they have robbed the 



The Siiffrage. 97 

lower classes, is it not just they should muke full restitution? 
Anyhow, is it just or reasonable that the minority should govern 
the majority, and that one man should rule six — and that without 
any pretence or seeming of qualification] Bring your objections, 
your selfisli clingiiigs to power, your fears, and your honest 
scruples, face to face against the broad justice of treating every 
man as a man, against the clear principle of human equality — such 
as we have defined it, and answer us. What course should be 
adopted by an honest citizen, a lover of freedom, and a respecter 
of the majesty of man % 

" Shall we admit paupers too ? " I rather think they are 
admitted now. How mnny pensioners have we, whose pensions 
have not been granted for services rendered to the comniunity % 
These idlest and most impudent of paupers have the privilege of 
voting, qualified by the nation's charity ; why sliould not the 
same charity qualify any other pauper? Besides, when a man has 
worked some half century, during which time he has received not 
one tithe of the produce of his toil, it is somewhat hard to deprive 
him of his manlike place and right of voice, because some turn 
of trade has robbed him of his scanty savings and prohibited him 
from continuing to labour. Let his fellow-citizens, before they 
disenfranchise even him, consider well to what his poverty is 
owing ; whether they, rather than he, may not be really respon- 
sible for his inability to support himself; whether unjust and 
oppressive laws, excessive taxation, or the overgrasping of selfish 
speculation, reckless of ill means, and others' ruin, the consc- 
([uence of wanting that nurture and instruction which it is the 
duty of a Government to provide for all the governed ; let them, 
1 say, well consider whether these may not have reduced the 
pauper to his state of penury ; and let them beware of visiting 
his misfortunes with punishmeut, of branding as a crime the 
suffering by themselves produced, hypocritically claiming credit 
for the charity that restores to the robbed a scanty means of sub- 
sistence out of the competence of wliich he has been plundered. 

But your universal suftrage includes women, too? There can 

G 



98 The English Reptiblic. 



be uo doubt of it. Has not woman the same right as man ; the 
same right of every human creature to the undisputed exercise of 
its individuahty, its natural self-sovereignty % Is there any mark 
of the male gender in the arguments with which we have striven 
to enforce the right of human freedom 1 The question is not 
which of the sexes is the worthier. Her right remains even if it 
is allowed (though I, for one, will never allow it) that woman, as 
a class, is naturally inferior to man. Is not, also, one race of men 
inferior to another race; one man inferior to another man? Some 
men, even, inferior to some women? If man has no right to en- 
slave his brother, however inferior, he has also no right to enslave 
his sister — because inferior. Right is of uo sex. The rights of 
all human creatures are equal, whatever inequality may prevail in 
the organisation or circumstances of individuals. Man ! if thou 
deniest this, what becomes of thy own rights % Thou assertest 
that all men have equal rights. Yet all men are not born free 
from inequality. No two men are alike ; one has super-eminent 
physical strength, another his towering intellect. But thou wilt . 
not, therefore, be the slave of either the man of brawn, or the 
man of thought. Not of either. Rightly so ; for what matters 
it to thee, son of man ! whether hot-blooded Cain slay thee to 
satiate his own unbridled savageness, or Iscariot coolly and philo- 
sophically sell thee to the same cruelty % Thou wilt not submit 
to either tyranny. Thou claimest thy right of self-sovereignty, 
thy right of morality, desiring to become virtuous. This, too, is 
thy duty; it is " the law of life, the law in accordance with which 
the rational being preserves, developes, and perfects himself;" 
thy duty, "because the first of duties is to be and to continue to 
be human, involving the duty of repelling slavery, which, despoil- 
ing a rational being of his (or her) individuality, degrades him (or 
her) even below the brute." On the same ground whereupon 
tliou basest thy own claim to freedom, stands by thy side the 
claim of woman ! here upon this moral equality, under this law of 
life which forbids any man or woman to abdicate the sovereignty 
of self, or, in other words, to shirk their own responsibility. Duty 
is of no sex. If thou deniest this, go back to the ancient brutal- 



The Suffrai^e. 99 

ity, crouch before its world-old privilege, confessing thy half- 
enfranchisement to be an inexcusable rebellion. Let the most 
muscular again bear rule I Let mere bone and sinew trample 
upon the God-like ! Let the strong-armed savjige dash out the 
brains of Christ, and, laughing in God's face, assert his unques- 
tioned justification — / ain my brotlier's keeper ! Art thou pre- 
pared for this ] Either tliis or the otlier ; either the despotism of 
tlie stronger — no matter whether intellectual or muscular, fraud 
or force — or a full allowance uf human kind, of the natural riglit 
of all. There is no " juste-milieu," no golden mean, no mid-resting 
place for a principle. Either God or hell, either tlie truth or a 
lie I Thou must choose one of them ; or lose tliy manhood, de- 
grading thyself to be the slave of expediency, the sport of circum- 
stance, a thing, whose false and worthless life Time scornfully 
tramples out, whose soul dieth hopelessly, unmourned, and with- 
out place in the Eternal. 

But "women are not fitted for exercising their political rjglits!" 
Man ! what made you the judge of their fitness? Brute strength, 
or intellectual overreaching? That same brutality, that same 
cunning, would entitle tlie one male despot, or the few male 
privileged, to judge your fitness, you male aspirant for freedom ! 
Who gave you a right to prescribe " arbitrary formulas " on you:- 
" foolish presumptions of capacity % " 

But " what use would such rights be to women ? " What use 
arc they to men? What use is freedom at all? Or, who art thou 
that, calling thyself a freeman, or claiming freedom, darost to 
doubt the worth and use of freedom ? " He who asks of what 
worth is justice, profanes justice in his heart." 

But, further, " women do not desire this freedom." So much 
the wretcheder their condition ! Surely there is, at least, one 
woman who desires to posse-s the sovereignty of herself, to be 
free, to be virtuous ! Why should that woman be held in slavery 
because all other women are too debased to know what freedom 
is, to desire its excellence ? We must teach them to desire free- 
dom — the first step toward its attainment. And how long is it 
since men, too — all save some few lone-standing martyrs, God's 



lOO The English Republic. 

beacons — were satisfied with their slavery % What argument is 
this of the slave's content ? 0, that content is the most sadden- 
ing! It is because the woman slave has not yet learned to think; 
because she is too fallen to feel her wrongs ; because she wants 
just self-respect. " We arc grieved by the gaiety of the insane. 
There is a sadness," says Dr. Channing, speaking of the contented 
negro slave, " in the gaiety of him whose lightness of heart would 
be turned to bitterness and indignation, were one ray of light to 
awaken in him the spirit of a man ! " Is a woman's insanity less 
deplorable % 

But I will not believe but there are many, many women as 
ardently desirous as men can be, of the God-like attribute of free- 
dom. A " George Sand '' is as free-souled as a Milton. 

But " the political enfranchisement of women does not appear 
desirable to men ! " And when did enfranchisement ever appear 
desirable to tyrants ? 

But, the " consequences" are objected. Perceiving the right, 
what has an honest man to do with consequences'? ''He who 
calculates the cost of liberty has already renounced liberty in 
his heart." Liberty is beyond all price. Do good, and good will 
ensue ! "Believe in tlie might of justice, and in this faith shall 
be your safety ! " Neither be deterred by any presupposed ab- 
surdity in such consequences ; absurd only because they contrast 
with your own accustomed foolishness. To talk about " better be 
mending their husbands' stockings," is mere gabble, the sneering 
speech of dull fools ; coming with little grace from those who 
mouth out sycophantic pi'aise of the supremacy of a queen. Are 
these the men to sneer at a woman's incapacity % Note one thing 
— that it is the very characteristic of ignorant folly to sneer at 
whatever is not in accordance with its ignorance. 

Above ail things beware, lest, from surrendering the rights of 
women, thou become careless of the rights of thy fellow-men ; lest 
thy love of freedom degenerate into a mere lust of self-interest, to 
be satisfied with houseliold suffrage, or any other suffrage that 
will include thyself: and so thou not only render thyself unworthy 
of freedom, but also impede thy own attainment of it. For prin- 



The Stiff rage. iot 

ciple is the strongest lever. What disinterestedness or devotion 
to freedom has he who so pertinaciously maintains a despotic 
authority at homcl How can he love justice for its own beauty's 
sake, what dependence shall we place on him, who acts nnjiistly 
to his own family, denying even to the one nearest and dearest to 
him that self-sovereignty and liberty he so earnestly claims for 
himself 1 

Briefly to sum up our several arguments : — I have endeavoured 
to show how the right of universal suffrage is based upon the 
natural equality of humankind, and upon the equal intei'est which 
every member of society, every contributor to the support of 
society, has in ordering the social procedure. I deem universal 
suffrage to be expedient, because it is right ; because men must 
practise freedom before they can be fully worthy of it ; because, 
too, there is no party with any just title to the exclusive possession 
of the franchise, no party qualified to decide as to the fitness of 
others ; because, further, I think the present limited constituency 
contains a larger proportion of knaves and fools than would be 
comprised in a constituency including the whole population ; and 
because I have no fear of the domination or i;ndue influence of 
our labouring population, or of any confusion to arise from the 
widest spread of political justice. For the same reasons of justice 
and expediency I would neither deprive the pauper, the worn-out 
and plundered labourer, of his place of manhood ; nor withhold 
from woman her equally-established birthright of self-sovereignty 
and humanity : aware that if we once swerve from the great prin- 
ciple of equal right, of respect for the rights of others, we sink 
into mere lusters after self-interest, and debase ourselves to bo 
slaves in soul, however invested with the outward opportunities of 
freedom. And I would object to any mere instalment, compro- 
mise or shifty arrangement ; for I am convinced that any reform 
that is not based upon equal right will be, and must be, a cheat 
and a hindrance to the full advent of liberty. 



i02 The English Reptiblic. 



POSTSCRIPT. 

After all, the main question is not merely how we shall choose 
our masters. The main question is to have no masters at all : to 
rule ourselves. 

I care not for universal suffrage to-morrow if we must stop 
short at that; if we must consider it as the end. What great 
value will it be to us, to be allowed to elect our masters once a 
year ? Or what use to change them every year ] 

They who make the laws are the masters. Let the people make 
their own laws ! It is not only a reform in our representative 
system which we require ; but the doing away with our representa- 
tive system altogether. 

Laws can be made only by four classes of men. Tyrants, 
representatives, delegates, or the people themselves meeting in 
their assemblies. 

Of tyrants, pure, absolute despots, I need say nothing ; but 
of the farce of representation let us have some thought. Say you 
choose your representative by universal suffrage. For twelve 
months he acts in the name of a majority. He may consult their 
views or not, they may know his views or not. If he is a repre- 
sentative he stands in their place. He makes the laws for them, 
not consulting their will upon every special occasion, but acting 
as he thinks best. What is he but an elected tyrant ? I care not 
for how short a time his tyranny may last ; I care not how good 
lie may be. If you place the power in his hands he is your 
master, at least for so long as you have elected him : it may be 
for longer. Witness the doings of the representatives elected by 
universal suffrage in France. It is a mere farce this electing of 
our tyrants. 

And I deny that my will can be represented. My \n\\ needs to 
be exercised upon evei'y legislative occasion. Even during the 
one year unforeseen occasions will arise. How could I delegate 
my will to another, when my will was not even determined "? 
Yes! "representation" is a farce. The representative must be 
either a tyrant or a mere delegate. 



The Suffrage. 103 

Would you liavo fi mere delegate ; ouo that u])()n every occasion 
shall consult his constituents 1 Then of what use is he? If the 
constituency is to moot to express an opinion upon every law, 
what remains for the delegate to do 1 To recei ve t heir i istrnctions, 
and to give his vote in the House nnder cover of the ballot, or 
openly impudent, clean contrary to the instructions of his con- 
stituents? Is this a delegate's use? Wiiat else, but to register 
his constituents' decrees? 

Choose representatives, and be they never so honest to those 
who have elected them, they,, or at best the majority of the day 
of election, are masters upon all subjects for a year to come. To- 
day the uppermost question may be to repel Papal Aggression, and a 
majority of townsmen elect a respectable qnaker for that purpose; 
but before the year of Parliament is over the question of a Russian 
war comes before the House; and there may not be half-a dozen of 
all the quaker's majority disposed to trust him to represent them 
on that ground. 

Let the people make their own laws. So upon every occasion 
the trne majority will b3 found. It is never found now. So 
there will never be a stationary minority to complain of their 
exclusion from power. I, in a minority upon one question, will 
be in a majority upon another : and so the true sense of the 
country be ascertained upon every point. 

Our radical reformer's are just an age too late. Nay, even 
Chartism lagged far behind the need. The direct sovereignty of 
the people : that is our requisition. Toward that the time is 
marching. Everything short of that is tyranny under some dis- 
guise or other. We want absolute freedom : the freedom of the 
Republic. AVc take universal sufTrage only as the first step ! 



CHAPTER IV. 



METHODS OF GOVERNMENT. 



Local Government. Constitutional Government. Fitness for the 
Franchise. Working Men's Combinations — Strikes and Co- 
operative Associations. The Policy of Strikes — Tlie Policy 
of the Men — The Policy of the Masters— The Policy of the 
Nation. 

Local Government. 

In the Picpublic all matters really national are ruled by the 
whole people ; every adult man and woman taking a direct part 
in the national sovereignty. But the whole people, the nation, 
need not be convoked to manage the affairs of every parish, nor of 
the county. 

The right of the individual is sacred. And individual riglit 
stands not only in the homestead, but in the transactions of the 
individual with those immediately surrounding him — his neigh- 
bours. 

How neighbours, the members of the State in tlieir several 
localities, shall arrange their local affairs is their own business, 
not the business of the State. 

As the individual perfects his own life, grows, not dictated to 
by any — as the family, the completer individual, orders its life, 
uninterfered with by authority ; so, and to the same extent, the 
little knot of neighbouring individuals or families may be left to 
direct its own affairs. The State is the harmoniser of the whole ; 
does, with its combined power, that of which the isolated families 
or local groups of families are incapable, but does not pretend to 
dictate their lives. 

104 



Methods of Gover7wient. 105 



JOacli sphere perfects itself so far as it can. What it can do of 
itself, unaided, it does. For what it can not do by itself it has 
the assistance of the whole. 

The will of all (the majority), which is the power of the State, 
protects one part from another, harmonises the several parts, and 
gives the multiplied strength of concert where concert may be 
needed. The whole and the part ; each has its domain in the 
Republic, and neither may encroach upon the province of the 
other. 

To determine the nation's conduct toward other States, to utter 
the national idea of right and wi-ong, to organise religious worship 
and education, to protect (by preventing the monopoly of land 
and capital) the rights of labour and property, to fix the amount 
of taxation for national purposes, to hold the national purse, and 
to superintend the maintenance of justice in all corners of the 
land ; these matters come within the function of the State ; 
these are the business of the sovereign people — not of any 
fraction of them. Beyond these things, rather within and sub- 
ordinate to them, are the affairs of the locality — call it county, 
city, or parish. 

The laws are made by the whole people. The business of the 
national delegates (or parliament), except the ordering of inter- 
national relations, is only to draw up projects of law for the con- 
sideration of the people (not, therefore, denying the peojile's 
right of initiation), to frame laws after the popular will, and to 
appoint and control the otticers of State charged with the conduct 
of foreign affairs, and with the superintendence of national matters. 

The sui)erintendence only in the administration of the law, the 
actually carrying on of public business in the first instance rests 
with the local authorities. 

In the same manner, tliercfore, as the people choose their dele- 
gates, their clerks and overseers of the public service, so will 
thc}^ elect their district officers and councils to do the actual work 
of the nation and to conduct the business of each locality. They 
will choose directly their own magistrates, the directors of the 
district banks, bazaars, and store-houses, the supciiutendcnts of 



io6 The English Rep^iblic. 

home colonies, the schoolmasters and mistresses, and the town or 
district council. 

These town or district councils (or local parliaments) will 
appoint the inferior public servants, such as police, collectors, 
clerks, etc., and elect their own mayor or chairman. 

The councils will supervise the management and audit the 
accounts of the schools, banks, etc. — conduct the popular 
assemblies for the consideration of national and local laws, and 
for the election of national and local officers ; take charge of the 
infirm and aged ; collect the national taxes, and care for the 
maintenance of national ways, and the erection of national works. 
In these matters they will be the agents of the State and 
directly responsible to it. 

But besides carrying out the national programme, they will 
also conduct the local business of their districts ; the association 
of labour, police arrangements, the formation of bye-roads, the 
erection of buildings for disti'ict purposes, lighting, cleansing, and 
improving, and the collection of tha taxes voted by the people for 
all these needs. 

All these things are strictly within the province of the local 
Government, and concerning them the State has no jurisdiction 
save as a court of appeal, so long as they do not counteract the 
general scheme and rule of the whole nation. 

The organisation of the local Government will be on the same 
principle as that of tlie national ; the whole adult population will 
be the sovereign. They, meeting in the assemblies, will express 
their wants, their will, and elect their servants to carry out that 
will. And as in the nation, so in the district all persons will be 
eligible for office. 

Several councils will meet together, as a County Council, when 
necessary to advise together on matters concerning several 
districts. 

Their proceedings will be always public, and their acts open to 
the censure of the people. 

.. The inhabitants of several districts, say a county, Avill also con- 
fer together upon special occasions, trusting, however, the ordinary 



Methods of Goveyn7ttent. 107 

routine of business, police, etc., not needing an express vote, to 
the general assembly of district magistrates in the County 
Council. 

There will no longer be any purchasing of freedom. Every one 
will be at liberty to estiiblish himself in any part of town or 
county, and to immediately take his place as part of the district 
sovereignty. There will no longer be monopolies of corporations, 
nor absurd divisions of closely connected interests, nor privileges 
of levying tolls and taxes. The people (the whole adult popula- 
tion) in their several localities will make their own laws and pro- 
vide for their own needs. 

As to the extent of the districts, our present parishes will need 
equalizing; so that while, on the one hand, the popvilation should 
not be so large as to render their association and management 
difficult and complicated, so neither should it be so small as to 
occasion a poverty of means of concert or to preclude sufficient 
room for choice of efficient servants. The districts, also, will be 
moi'e compact, not running one into another, crossing and inter- 
lying, as our parishes often do now. A district of some five or 
ten thousand families (the town districts having perhaps the 
larger population) might provide for all requirements. 

For time that would be wanted to choose officers and make 
laws for the localities, we have still the now unused Sundays. 
Men and women meeting in their places of worship — or woi-thship 
— would find the same occasion apt both for religiously framing 
their laws and ordinances — national and local — and for electing 
their servants and administrators. 

For our colonies the same rule would apply : with the exception 
that the colonies would have part in the nation and in the 
national rule only until they acquired sufficient power to need no 
longer the help of the parent country. They would be to all 
intents and purposes as parts of the nation, until they acquired 
sufficient strength to assert their independence ; an independence 
which the home Government would assist to hasten. 

They would stnnd in the position of sons, who are a part of the 
family in their youtli, but who in their manhood take care of 



io8 The English Republic. 



themselves, and of whose independence no wise parent can be 
jealous. 

It seems the more important to define exactly what are matters 
of local Government, and what properly appertain to the central 
authority, wdien a large number of men, calling themselves con- 
stitutionalists, and some hanging on the skirts of Republicanism, 
are running a-muck about the word ceniralimtion, and so are 
liable to fall into the opposite extreme of anarchy. 

AVe want a central power ; how else shall we preserve the unity 
of the nation 1 But that central power must spring directly from 
the people, and be only the minister of the sovereign people, 
having its functions clearly i^rescribed. 

In a word, we w^ant organisation ; that unity of national power, 
for the sake of the unity and consistency of national action, which 
is compatible with the most perfect freedom of localities and in- 
dividuals. 

Anarchy is not perfect freedom. The Republic cares for the 
whole, as well as for the parts. 

Constihitiomd Government. 

Constitutionalism is but a halting place between despotism and 
the Republic. It is the transition state of nations. 

Over despotism — it has one immense advantage : Between 
the governors and the governed {when these are two different 
classes) there is always war. Under a despotism it is tlie war of 
the sword or of the dagger. 

Constitutionalism substitutes for this a war of words, the liberty 
of speech, the opportunity of freely exiDressing one's thought, the 
appeal to reason instead of to brute force alone : this is surely an 
immense advance in the progress of humanity. And this is the 
result of that compromise between arbitrary rule and universal 
right, which is called constitutional Government, 

Nevertheless, constitutional Government is but a compromise. 
And a compromise is never final. Between two opposing principles 
there must be war — until one entirely swallows up the other. 



Methods of Government. 109 

"Wliatevcx- compromises, truces or convcutious, may suspend the 
war or alter the mode of warfare, the two opponent principles, 
Monarchy and Kopublicanism, must fight out their irreconcilable 
(piarreis. 

Constitutional Government is a compromise. So long as both 
parties arc content to keep to the terms of that compromise, so 
long the compromise will last. 

And most constitutions have in them a remarkable elasticity, a 
capability of stretching to an indefinite extent, if the framersof the 
constitution or those who find their advantage therein are wise 
enough to make use of it, with never so little recognition of the 
new powers continually outgrowing ancient bounds. 

Constitutional Government is a compromise between private or 
class tyranny and the sovereignty of the whole people. By the 
governing it was invented as a sort of capitulation. It was 
Monarchy, like the beaver in the fable, biting off a desired morsel, 
to save its life from the hunters. If the hunters could be content 
with morsels — constitutional Government might be a finality. 

But it has been accepted by the people only because the people 
was not able to lay hold on more. The people will hunt Monarchy to 
the death. It is only a little time that has been gained for 
monarchs by all their charters and constitutions. 

Even the great gain of constitutionalism, that of substituting 
argument for force, reason for bloodshed, is not absolute. The 
governing powers have not kept faith with us. They have every- 
where disarmed the people ; and though they allow us only the 
constitutional means of petition and remonstrance, they still uphold 
their own authority by the red hand. So the constitutional com- 
promise has come to be only a trick, a delusion, and a snare. 

We pile up our arms the wliile, wc road tlic charter, and are 
shot down by armed constitutional Monarchy if wc dare speak too 
loudly of its provisi<jns. 

For a coinpromiso, or a treaty, to be final, it must be based on 
enduring principles. Upon what is constitutionalism based \ 
Upon no principles at all. 

^lonarchy was beset ; the people pressed so hard upon it that 



1 10 The English Republic. 



it cried out for a breathing while — and the people, not knowing 
the monarch's weakness or its own strength, consented to the 
truce. 

From the days of the "good Sir Simon" till now, our 
history has been a succession of these truces, broken by either 
side when it felt itself strong enough. Why not? There could 
be no peace between the antagonists. There never can be. One 
must destroy the other. 

The principle of Monarchy is Divine right ; the assertion of an 
exceptional superiority. 

The principle of Republicanism, which is the sovereignty of the 
whole, utterly denies any exceptional superiority; asserts the 
equal right of all humanity. 

Between yes and no— how can there be any lastiug compromise? 
Monarchy, it is true, no longer believes in its right. "By the 
grace of God " may still be stamped on the current coin, but they 
do not believe it at the Royal Mint. 

" By the grace of God " means now by the allowance of the 
people — that is to say, so long as the people can be kept in 
ignorance and unarmed. 

The first charter granted l)y a king (that is to say, forced from 
him ; for kings grant no freedom but on compulsion) was the 
death warrant of Monarchy. It was the acknowledgment of the 
falsehood of Divine right, the admission of the popular lever which 
will not rest till the throne be overturned. 

Constitutional monarchs reign by the grace of the people ; that 
is to say, the popular right is above the regal. 

The constitutional monarch is not sovereign, but sovereio-n's 
substitute, locum tenem for the people, till the people is wise 
enough to rule itself. 

Governments, now-a-days, do not scruple to own this ; nay, put 
it impudently as preamble to their most arbitrary acts. They cal- 
culate upon the blindness of the peojjle, which seldom cares to 
see that what it allows it could not disallow. 

Monarchy exists only on sufferance. 

These are the two principles — the equal sovereignty of the whole 



Methods of Govern7ncnt. i i i 

people ou the ground of natural and inalienable right, and the 
sovereignty of a part of the people on the ground of some ex- 
ceptional right. 

The Divine right of the old monarchists was intelligible enough, 
but is now altogether exploded. The only new ground that has 
been found out by the learned is that of the constitution. But 
tlic constitution is only a conventi'ni between the people and the 
mouarch. The people may be weak enough to put up with a 
limited monarchy, or the monarch may be content with his 
limitations, but no such convention or content can alter the 
nature of things. A compromise between two pi-inciples does not 
make one a whit less false or the other a jot less true than either 
was before the compromise. 

Monarchyor llepublieauisra,the usurpation of a part or the right- 
ful sovereignty of tlie whole ; these two adverse principles remain 
at issue during all your compromises. The battle must be fought 
out, the false principle must be overthrown : or there is no 
strength in truth and God's great law of justice is at fault. 

But when two parties make a truce they should abide by it. 
It depends on the terms of the truce. 

Monarchy and popular sovereignty (Republicanism) arc as opposite 
as black and white. If the trace stands only as an admission 
that black with a slight tinge of grey is the same thing as white; 
then one would say such a truce can not last. 

Whatever number of men may for a time and special purpose 
assent to such a mis-statement, the common sense and conscience 
of all men must one day repudiate it. If the truce is solely ou 
the ground that neither party is at this present strong enough to 
utterly crush the other, then any accession of strength on cither 
side is sufficient reason and justification for the resumption of 
hostilities. Monarchy has never let its strength lie idle. 

Between whom has the compromise of constitutional Govern- 
ment been made ? Between the people desirous of freedom, but 
too weak to conquer its full freedom, and too ignorant (even had 
it been stronger) to know what the fulness of freedom really is, 
and this or that monarch, or monirciiical class, whose sole object 



112 The English Republic. 

was to obtain for itself the longest possible renewal of its lease 
of power. 

The liberal monarchs who have granted charters and constitn- 
tions have been very wise in their generation, and the peoples, 
perhaps, for the time being, could have done no better than they did. 

AVhat have we to do with that % The bargains made by the 
men of former times are not binding upon the men of the present. 
If -we are wiser or stronger than of old, let us take the advantage 
of it. If formerly they voted black to be white, or consented to 
the constitutional middle term — calling grey white — what is that 
to us % That did not alter the natural opposition between black 
and white, between the darkness of tyranny and the sunny light 
of freedom. 

Whatever might have been satisfactory in dark ages, how are 
we bound to dwell in the twilight % 

One thing is apparent on the face of every constitution — a 
recognition of the peoples' consent, instead of the old pretence of 
Divine prescription, as the ground of monarchical authority. The 
only safe ground of Monarchy is so cut away. The new position 
is untenable. If yesterday the people, in the exercise of its right, 
consented, to-day the people may withdraw its consent. The 
House of Brunswick came in by the choice, or, more exactly 
speaking, by the \ ermission of the people. 

If the people are necessary to pei-mit its coming in, the people 
may permit its going out. If Monarchy exists only by the 
consent of the people, the people may at any time vote the aboli- 
tion of Monarchy. The sovereignty rests with the people ; 
more than that, being natural to the people and inalienable, 
it can only be abdicated by an act of high treason against 
humanity. Monarchy therefore exists only in virtue of a vicious 
compromise between the peoples' conscience and the peoples' 
ignorance or weakness. Our argument is strictly constitutional. 

But constitutionalism is not merely to be assailed on the ground 
of its instability; it is objectionable for the very reason that every 
compromise is — namely, because it weakens faith in principles, 
deadens the conscience and confuses the understanding. 



Methods of Government. 1 1 3 

Men have so long snbmitted to compromise that it seems to 
them like a normal state. 

Constitutionalbts too have been crafty. Tlicy not only dis- 
armed the people, but they also took care tluit tlie liberty of 
speech, which was to be instead of other weapons^ should be of as 
little avail as possible. 

Ill this country they have given all the "better classes" an 
interest in the Government ; and to the peo[)le they have left the 
power of petitioning their Parliament. The potency is about equal 
whether the petition lies on or under the Commons' Table. They 
have bi'ought up the peojile too in a blind belief that the over- 
throw of the constitution ought only to be accomplished through 
constitutional means, none of which are available : and so the 
transition state seems moi'e durable than was at first to bo 
expected. 

Trusting to petitions and to parliamentary formulas, unarmed, 
without conscience or daring, hoodwinked with the pretence of 
Government being installed by popular consent, and blind to the 
social consequences of Government, in the hands of a class — the 
people of this free Monarchy (the very expression is contradictory) 
seems likely to enjoy its constitution for another generation or two 
at least. It is content to wait till its master enlarge the girth. 

This is the sad and silly expectation of reform originating in 
Parliament. The cla.sses that now hold exclusive legislative power 
know too well tlu) material advantages of that to give it up of 
their own accord. 

If ever reform shall commence with them, it can be only to 
supersede and prevent revolution from without. It is t.he fable 
of the beaver again : a fable always lost upon the people, which 
ever stops the chase at the smallest instalment, and cheers the 
wonderful liberality of the fugitive. 

There is as little honesty or attention to principle as there is 
wisdom in the popular proceeding. 

But so it will continue to be till the people has become wise 
enough to see that to make the laws for a nation is to rule the 
life of that nation and the lives of every one within it; till it has 



1 1 4 The English Reptiblic. 



fully learned that its sufFerings, its misery, its degradation, are 
nearly all the natural consequences of its slavery ; till it has sense 
enough to perceive that it is slavery to be under any master what- 
ever ; and till it finds conscience, and through conscience, coiirage 
enough to refuse any compromise between right and wrong. Then 
the people will renew the too-long intermitted fight against Mon- 
archy (for the petty skirmishes of your radical Reformers have 
been only stretchings of the constitutional compromise), and Re- 
volution will bring in the Republic. Or it may be only a Demo- 
cracy. The difference between Democracy and Republicanism 
will be worth our further consideration. 



Fitness for the Francliise. 

The perfection of a State is when every subject may be trusted, 
when every subject is a capable and willing servant. 

AVe speak to honest men. Argument would be thrown away 
upon thieves who are afraid of justice because of their vested in- 
terest in wrong. But to honest men there can be no more impor- 
tant question than this — how to obtain the perfection of the State, 
when every man shall be trustworthy, and the nation's work well 
done. 

Let us accept the worst possible position. Not that which 
actually subsists — which is^ that the luirepresented ave quite as 
politically t^nistworthy as the represented, and that, however un- 
fit they may be to exercise the franchise, there is, at least, not the 
proved unfitness of some of those who now exercise it. But let 
us go to the extreme. Let us suppose that household suffrage 
shall be carried, that only about a million of the people shall be 
excluded, that this million men shall be of notorious ignorance, 
exposed to all the temptations of poverty, and evidently every way 
unfitted to make good use of the franchise. 

The problem still remains — the perfecting of our State. Our 
State is not sound nor secure, with these million men which may 
not be trusted, lluw shall we fit them to become good citizens % 



Methods of Government. 1 1 5 

We would educate thcni. 

Would we educate a cliild (if by education we mean anything 
beyond supplying it with the merest tools of knowledge), we en- 
deavour, in the first place, to obtain the child's confidence. Would 
you go a different way to work with the wilful grown man ? You 
must have his confidence before he will learn of you. Confidence 
springs from confidence. If you will not trust him, how shall he 
trust you] You will have his soul in your hands that you may 
mould it to what you think a fitness for freedom, and you have no 
ground upon which to ask him to trust you with it bnt tliis olVen- 
sive assertion of yours — that he is not fit to be trusted. At the 
very outset of your work you make him look on you as an enemy. 

But say you can get over this. What is the first thing you 
have to teach him? The ground upon which you base that duty 
to society, the knowledge whereof can alone qualify him (on your 
fitness theory) to become a freeman. Upon what do 3'ou base 
duty to society, if not upon the oneness, the solidcxrity of human 
life ; the consequent relation of parts to the whole, and the neces- 
sity of harmony among those parts ? Upon what do you base duty 
except on justice? But ignorance is often shrewd. Your unfit 
million will point to your practical definition of justice — the in- 
equality of your two classes — the "fit" and the "unfit;" \\ill 
laugh at your "oneness of Humanity," while you insist on the dis- 
tinction separating you and them. 

Suppose you escape this too ; that, even more ignorant than we 
gave them credit for being, they trust you, and take your word 
that your divided state of tutelage is the right preparation for 
national unity. Are you any forwarder ? You may preach till 
doomsday, you may cram them with political justice, you may 
choke them with your lessons; but how know you when they arc 
fit? How prove their fitness e.\cei)t by practice? Will not they 
say to you : In so difiicult a matter as this, one needing so much 
fitness and preparation for fitness, is practice altogether unimpor- 
tant? Can theory be so all-sufiicient that we may become masters 
in the art without any opportunity for even a fir.->t trial? The 
duties of a citizen are then something easier than hedging and 



1 1 6 The English Republic. 

ditching ; for we needed practice to fit iis there, and all the theo- 
retical apprenticeships in the woi-ld had not served us so much as 
one day with the spade in our hands. And if we can be so easily 
fitted, is not that sufficient condemnation of our long exclusion % 
Swimming is not learned on dry land ; to acquire the poorest 
handicraft needs some hand-endeavour ; would you only fit your- 
self to cut notches, you take a stick and knife, and try 3 but this 
duty of citizenship for which we must become qualified is so much 
easier that to learn the rules and theory is quite enough. Fix a 
time then, say, three months hence, for issuing your diplomas, and 
meanwhile furnish us with the fitting political horn-books and 
catechisms of citizen-duties, and settle this simple business in a 
practical way. Do not force us, ignorant as we are, to see that 
your talk of fitness is a m.ere excuse for keeping us out of power 
as long as possible ; or, at best, a pedantic absurdity, the fallacy 
of which is perceptible to any unsophisticated mind. 

The poor ignorant man excluded on the score of unfitness may 
have yet more to say to you. 1 know, sir, I am unfit. I know 
how unfit I am to perform even those first duties of a son, a 
husband, and a father. Why did not your kindness prevent my 
coming into the world till I was fit to be a dutiful and worthy 
child % Why do you not prohibit me also from marriage ; or take 
my children away till I shall become fit to rear them % What I 
know of these duties of life (and, sir, I may modestly say I know 
something ; many ignorant men, poor, and open to temptation, are 
yet not bad sons, bad husbands, or bad fathers) : — what I know of 
these duties of life I have learned by practice, for, as you are 
aware, I cannot read, and my little Sunday school " learning " went 
but a small way in the theory. By practice I have learned these 
duties ; by practice I shall learn to step beyond. I have some 
thought too about my duty to my country ; let me Avork out that 
thought. Cease to tell me I am unfit for this or that to which 
you have never put me. Cease to wonder that while a slave I can- 
not work freely. That I ask for freedom is surely some proof of 
at least a preparatory fitness, proof of fitness greater than his who 
has freedom and yet so little values it that he hesitates to let it 



Methods of Government. 1 1 7 

fill the world. Let God who made no life a mere appendage, who 
made no soul the mere moulding-clay of another, let Him judge 
between us, b-twcen me who desire freedom in order that I may 
endeavour to do a man's duty, though my hope may not yet have 
scaled all the heights of that, and you who, having freedom, can 
talk so poorly and ignorantly of it, making it only the reward of 
certain virtuous or learned proficiency of tliis or that man, forget- 
ful that it is itself the very soil of virtue and true wisdom. Your 
theory of fitting men for freedom is a denial of the very worth of 
freedom, for if men can become virtuous, wise, and happy, under 
others' guardiansliip, that is to say, in slavery (most despots think 
themselves beneficent guardians), then of what use is freedom 
at all ? 

Why want you freedom for yourself? As a mere personal 
gain % Nay, but as the ground in which you may grow to your 
fullest height of uprightest manhood. Because you feel that 
slavery is not fit for man ; because you know (i)r you know 
nothing) that a slave cannot be a man. Be honest then. If you 
wo. lid be free, why not others, even to the lowest"? Or are you 
in the plenitude of your fitness afraid of grappling with these 
poor, ignorant, unfit wretches to whom you deign to offer so con- 
descending a patronage 1 Are they ignorant and vicious, let your 
virtuous capability scorn the undue advantage of a gaoler's 
manacles. Is it for your sake or tiieirs you would wait their fit- 
ness % Your own % Thou slave in soul, that echoest so vilely the 
old egotism of the long line of tyrants : but theirs. Mind thine 
own business ; do thy duty, .set them the example ; that and the 
opportunity of following virtue will fit them better and more 
quickly than the most cultivated and assisted waiting. Again we 
say, will you teach them faith in Humanity, love of Humanity, 
duty toward Humanity, by your practical doubt of Humanity 1 

But, " give them the franchise, tiic-ie ignorant men, and they 
will not use it." At least you are innocent of the sin of prevent- 
ing them. Point at them as deserters and disliouourable if they 
will not use it. Having done your part, and they free to do theirs, 
you can speak with weight. You point idly now, your words arc 



1 1 8 The English Repttblic. 

nought, because now the franchise is held as a privilege and not 
as a dut3\ Make its exercise an universal duty and there will be 
no skulking-place for any. 

Would we enfranchise also the thousands of vagabonds of Lon- 
don, the vagabonds (number altogether unknown) of the rest of the 
country'? Yes, so long as they are not absolutely under sentence 
for crime. If they only have been guilty, what then 1 Is not 
punishment expiatory 1 Are they still capable of crime ? So is 
every one, more or less. Are they houseless, ignorant and de- 
formed ? We have argued all that before. It is not altogether 
their fault ; but the fault in some measure (dare you calculate in 
what measure ? ) of society. It is a good law maxim that one may 
not build a superstructure on his own wrong-doing. Social justice 
would not give them the sni-ety of a house, nor the education 
which had been a guarantee for moral pravity : social justice has 
no right to plead the consequences of its own neglect in bar of 
their enfranchisement. Perhaps social justice willsee betterto social 
interests when these pariahs shall be armed with the legal power for 
good and evil. But " the mistakes they will commit," will be their 
own — ^their best education. Are you afraid again ? Well, you may 
be, for you have let men grow up worse than beasts, and you may 
well shudder at putting a man's weapon — political freedom — in 
their hands. Yet dare to do it. Those whom you have dared to 
trust will learn to trust you. Your sincerest zeal to educate, even 
the most unfit, will be quickened when their mistakes tell in the 
balance of public will. You will be compelled then to set your 
hand to things which may well wait now while so much wants 
filling. Only dare be just, and know what many of your poor, 
unlettered, "unfit" slaves can tell you, that God upholdeth honest 
wisdom. 

Is there any wisdom that is not honest ? 

WorJcing -merits Comhinatiotis — Strikes and Co-operative Associations. 

Strikes are to be considered from two points of view : their 
morality and th.Q\v policy. 



Methods of Govenwioil. 1 1 9 

Morality. Wurkinou liavo a clear right to combine, wlictlier 
for less work, more wages, or other honest purposes. They have 
a right also to adopt any measures in themselves moral, to muko 
their combination effective. Free association, by honest means to 
achieve ;in honest end, is a natural right : and consequently moral, 
whatever law may forbid it. But coercion is not a right. Men 
have no right to compel others to associate. To do so is to violate 
individual freedom. 

Policy. At the best strikes ai*e endeavours at an unequal com- 
bat ; like trying to make ten combined shillings a match for a 
single sovereign. The naked workman, with at least one hand 
tied, challenges his armed master. No strike can be more than 
temporarily successful. No series of successful strikes can estab- 
lish a sound state of labour. A strike of 200 men may seriously 
injure the master; but that is not the end. The question is 
between their means and his. Tiiey have saved £2000 ; and he 
has £2000. It is a simple calculation to find which must be 
starved out first — the combined workmen with £10 each, or the 
one master with £2000. As 10 is to 2000, so is the chance of 
success to the policy of the strike ; albeit sometimes a master will 
give way, and wait for his revenge. Nor is this all the odds 
against a workman. The 200 workmen will not easily find work 
elsewhere : the master's capital is almost certain of employ- 
ment. At most he sulTurs oidy a fine, while the men risk life. 
And outside this foul-matched duel stands the Law, the master's 
creature, to maintain the unequal conditions, to interfere if the 
workman overstep by one inch the ill-defined legal bounds within 
which alone the master consents to fight him. Whatever prin- 
ciples may be involved in the issue, though to hang back should 
prove the workman wanting in connnonest manly courage and 
sense of duty, still these odds remain the same, still ever the 
same is the impolicy of this method of contention. 

Co-operative Associations are open to the same objection. Tlioy 
are but a less openly oftensive way of warring against the capital- 
ist. Let the labour of 200 men represent a capital of £2000, 
yielding in full work, say ten per cent, a week, or twenty shillings 



I20 The English RepiLblic. 



a week for each shareholder. Tlie rival capitalist is worth precisely 
the same. When work is slack the association ftills short of very 
necessaries, while the capitalist has only to discharge so many 
men. Let that particular branch of trade be ruined, and, while 
the capitalist takes his money to a new venture, the combined 
workmen are scattered, and have each to learn a new occupation. 
And again, as if these difficulties are not enough, the Law takes 
part with the capitalist ; hindering at every turn the most legiti- 
mate partnerships of members. Doubtless when a cooperative 
association can succeed, it is an immense advantage to the work- 
men ; and here and there one may succeed under some specially 
favourable circumstances. But it is folly to suppose that with 
the tremendous odds against them they can ever be made to 
beat the combination of capitalists and transform the condition of 
society. 

To contend or compete with the masters on any likelihood of 
general success, the workmen tmist have miyital. They can never 
acquire sufficient capital under the present system. So, like a horse 
in a mill, they go round in a vicious circle. The only hope is in 
the State supplying such capital as may be needed to redeem 
labour from the profit-mongers. And the State will only do this 
when the State shall mean the whole People, when political power 
shall be in the hands of all. 



The Polky of Strikes. 

The policy of strikes has three divisions; the policy of the 
men, the policy of the masters, and the policy of the nation, which 
is as much, if not as directly interested in the question. 

2'he 2->olici/ of the men. In the first place it is not fit that either 
mothers or children should have to work in flictories. The 
mothers ought to be caring for their families ; the children ought 
to be at school. Strike off the labour of mothers and children, 
and see if the wages of the husband and father are sufficient for 
the decent. Christian, respectable maintenance of his family. I 



Methods of Government. 1 2 i 

they are not, ami in most cases they arc not, wc should be 
ashamed of tlie man who would not strike for higher wages; for 
such wages as will give him means for a manly life out of work- 
ing hours, and means to bring up his children as the sons of God 
sliould be brought up. But will the strike give him higher 
wages ] 

Perhaps it may only prevent them from sinking yet lower. 
That too is worth a brave man's struggling fur. Men are forced 
into strikes. Tiiey must fight, or be ground down to the lowest. 
They suffer now a life unworthy of men, and if they do not strike, 
either a rise in provisions or a lowering of wages renders their 
condition yet more slave-like, beast-like and unendurable. 

It is idle to talk of the policy of conduct so compelled. 
Between them and their employers, while the present system 
continues, it is a fight from first to last. 

The policy of the masters is certainly to put down strikes if 
the}' can. It would be best policy to deal more fairly with their 
men, to treat them — as some few manufacturers have shown that 
they can well and wisely do — as human beings, tlieir brethren, 
their equals under God, whatever inequalities may bj established 
by law. But trade is sordid ; " a shilling a week from so many 
of you makes a small fortune for me ; if I paid you well enough, 
for you to live like men, to keep your wives at home, and your 
children at the school, my palace might be but a comfortable 
home." 

The master may not reason so, but he does so. Is it of any use 
to talk to him of policy in the face of such an interest? His 
policy is to make a fortune. 

But the policy of the nation ? Has the nation no concern in 
this intestine war ] Has the nation no policy 1 It would seem 
not ; if the Secretary of State for the Home Department may be 
taken as its mouthpiece ; and of course the Government being the 
servant of the nation, its accredited Representative, the Home 
Secretary's word is national. As a member of the Government, in 
virtue of his official position, he does not possess sufficient in- 
formation, nor any right or power to interfere in the matter. 



122 The English Republic. 

"Will he return such answer when the masters memorialise him 
for troops to put clown the men who may not be else reduced even 
by the force of starvation % the only argument that can be 
brought to bear upon a turn-out. 

The non-intervention policy at home is then quite consistent 
with the same infamous policy abroad ; non-intervention when 
justice or when weakness cries for aid, and prompt assistance when 
stronger wrong fears to suffer inconvenience. 

It is not the true policy of a nation to have two classes of its 
subjects in a state of perennial warfare. It is the true policy of a 
nation to put down that at any cost ; to get for itself (without 
waiting for memorialists) exact information as to the points in 
dispute ; and to bring the force of tlie national will to decide 
between the combatants. 

If the men are in the wrong, let them be put down, though 
bayonets be needed; if, as we think, 'the masters are in the 
wrong — let them then be coerced, even though they only be for 
the State to stand forth as capitalists to assist the men in be- 
coming independent of capitalists. 

If there be wrong on both sides, let the State insist upon fair 
and equal arbitration. 

So one, at least, might argue if there was any nation to take 
concern in the matter. But so many men scattered over English 
land, without common faith, without care for right, without that 
equality — wanting which there is no real union without iinder- 
standing or desire of a community of interest ; so many English 
Ishmaels scattered over English soil do not constitute an English 
nation. If there was a nation it would have a Government, and 
a Government is something more than a private " coalition." 

But the policy of strikes. Do you think it good ? Not good 
but unavoidable. Would that strikes were not necessary, that our 
working-men, and some honest masters too, might have time to 
see the one only step toward a remedy for all class grievances and 
quarrels, all these constantly recurring dissensions which drive 
our best to other lands, and leave our England to decrepitude and 
a deathly shame. 



Methods of Government. 1 2 3 

Tliiit one step is tlie meeting of men and masters upon eipial 
terms, not merely to patcli \ip this present strife, not merely to 
negotiate some liollow truce, some few years' peace, on the ground of 
a new system of arbitration — futile while the law is in the master's 
liands ; but as man with man to decide upon the laws of labour, to 
regulate the whole government of the country. 

The working classes must be law makers with the other classes 
before there can be any security fur them from the rapacity of the 
hard employer, or any certainty of a fair day's wage for a fair 
day's work. Till then, God help them in their unequal fight. 



CHAPTER V. 



THE REPUBLIC AND DEMOCRACY. 



Democracy and the Republic. Socialism and Commuuism. Are 
the Socialists Republicans ] 



Democracy cmd Reinihlicanism. 

The difference between a Democracy and a Republic ! 

Athens called itself a Democracy. The people were " masters," 
but did not rule. There was liberty; but not equality. The 
inequality of class distinctions was still maintained as the normal 
condition of society, and the liberty was for the freeman only. 
The Athenian Democracy kept slaves. 

The little Swiss Cantons of Zug and Uri are in the form of 
their government purely democratic; but alongside of the popular 
power stands the priestly influence. Zug and Uri ^are Catholic, 
and the outward manifestation of universal suffrage is found to 
accord very well with the papacy, when the Jesuits rule the con- 
sciences of the suffrages. These Catholic " Democracies " are 
theocracies of slaves. 

America — we are told — is a Democracj^ How so ? Freedom 
is not universal ; equality does not exist. If there is neither a 
royal nor a noble class, there is yet the worst monarchy and 
aristocracy of mere wealth ; and for freedom — the adult popula- 
tion has just the freedom of changing its masters at every 
election for Congress. Notliing more than that 250,000 slave- 
holders at the South rule the decisions of Congress, said 
Theodore Parker ; and by means of mere wealth one-eightieth 

124 



The Republic and Democracy. 1 2 5 

part of the population controls all the rest. Republican America 
is not even a Democracy. 

A real Democracy is an assemblage of the free where every 
a'lult has an equal right, an equal place, an equal voice. A 
Republic is an organisation of the free. One is freedom, the other 
is freedom turned to its right use. A real Democracy is the be- 
ginning of a Republic ; but a sham Democracy, like that of 
Athens, or that of Uri, or that of the United States of America, is 
not the beginning of the Republic. 

In 1848 they proclaimed " the French Republic." It was not 
a Republic, but a Democracy, and not perfect as a Democracy, for 
the wouKMi half of the population was left unenfranchised ; and 
real power was not put in the hands of even the enfranchised 
moiety. The men of France were not the rulers of France ; they 
only chose the rulers. To be sure they called them representa- 
tives ; but — " a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." 
A master is not loss a master for being called something else. 

The French Democracy chose an Assembly of Representatives, 
the mo.-^t of whom were traitors to France. Tired of them, the 
Democracy chose the worst traitor of all, tlie vilest knave in Franco, 
not of course this time as representative. They gave his odourous- 
iiess another name. 

Democratic France has not shown itself very Republican. 

Aristocracy is the governing power in the hands of the few. 
Now-a-days the few take care to exercise it. In old time they 
chose a feudal representivtive, and found he was a master. In 
later times they have avoided this folly. They now only put a 
man of show upon the throne, just to fill the place and keep 
each other out. The power in their hands they use, trusting to 
deputy. When they allow their man of show a voice, it is only 
that the people may be deceived into thinking the guy alive, and 
so be uncertain who their real masters ai'e. 

Democracy is the governing power in the hands of the many. 
Why should not the many use it ? Power unused is not better 
than impotence. Simply to choose one's masters is not freedom. 
Democracy becomes merely an idle word if it stops at deputing its 



126 The English Republic. 

powers into the hands of an Aristocracy. It is not really Demo- 
cracy when a "representative" Aristocracy rules, no matter how 
democratically appointed, chosen, or deputed. American Demo- 
cracy has no reality while " one-eightieth part of tlie population 
controls all the rest." 

A real Democracy — an assemblage of the really free — is the he- 
ginning of the Eepublic. The free are assembled together, not 
merely by standing anarchically one against another, each on his 
abstract right, till a few, if only an eightieth part wiser than the 
rest, combine and enslave the whole — but to turn their freedom 
to its full account, by organising all their powers for the good of 
the whole. 

This organisation of the powers of all, for the good of the whole 
— this good of all, by all, for the government of all — is the 
Republic. 

Democracy is either the basis of the Republic or it is anarchy. 

Among monarchists and aristocrats are honest men, men really 
loving order, seeing the worth of organisation, the necessity of 
giving an aim to power. These men become tyrants or tyrants' 
helpers and suj^porters, because the people choose the anarchical 
side of Democracy instead of the orderly. The tyrants catch at 
such recruits, and borrow from them the words of Laiv and Order 
to hurl like thunderbolts into the popular camp. We have but 
too much deserved it. Especially we Englishmen, with our noble 
individualism and self-assertion, run mad into all sorts of anarchi- 
cal wildnesses. 

Cow-hides and tar barrels, and Pierce or Barnum platforms, 
and filibusterings, and reactionary know-nothing conspiracies, are 
enough to make honest men of not very strong principles turn 
with loathing from Democracy. Better — say they — is the com- 
pelled law and order of even a Louis Bonaparte than this "chaos 
come again." It is an excusable error. An error nevertheless. 

Royalty — real kingship, the rule of him who can— even when 
the place is taken by the strong hand — has a good in it. In old 
times when one man might stand really by divine right above his 
fellows — a god amon«; brute beasts — when the tireat truth of 



The Republic and Democracy. 127 

human brotlicrhootl was all unknown, a king was nocdijd. Then, 
as now, was necessity for human association for the sake of ])Ower 
to force the way of progress. How obtain that power 1 Mere 
brutes have no will, but must be led or goaded by the shepherd or 
drover. Mere slaves must be chained together. So kings — the 
capable — led, or drove, or bound together the unthinking, the un- 
willing masses ; and cleared forests, drained swamps, and built 
pyramids, if notliing better. Law and order were in the hands 
of an Alfred. That was the good side of the Monarchy. There 
was an evil side also ; for to every principle there are two sides 
— tlie better and the worse. 

When capability passed from One to Many, the power of good 
and evil of course was there also. This is the constitutional 
transition-state : when men are halting between the two principles 
of Monarchy and Democracy (Aristocracy being only a compro- 
mise), the two principles of authority and conscience. Great 
thiuLTS have been done in this transition time by the Aristocracies 
that have dared to rule to the best of their ability. The rule of 
our own Commonwealth's men was indeed, to speak strictly, aristo- 
cratic, though those nobles intended and prepared for the Republic. 
Very diiroront their principles and conduct from those of the 
Aristocrats — that is to say, tlie rulers (we do not of course mean 
only the peerage) of iMigland and America of the present 
day. 

Men even of high mind might well prefer the godly law anrl 
order of Cromwell to the lynch law of democratic America or the 
disorder of a people — English or American — which does not yet per- 
ceive that freedom is only the ground of brotherly organisation, 
and that there is no freedom without equality. But, as the rule 
of the one or the few has its two sides — outrageous despotism and 
compulsory order, so the rule of the many has its two sides — 
anarchy and an orderly organisation. 

And eitlicr way Democracy is preferable. Anarchy is not so 
injurious as despotism, and the compelled order of slaves can 
never be of equal worth to the order which results from the free- 
will of reasonable beings. We said honest men, even high- 



128 The English Republic. 



minded, but of not vciy strong principles, might prefer compelled 
order to anarchy. 

However, men better grounded in the truth Avould see that the 
fair comparison does not stand between the worst of Democracy 
and the best of Monarchy or Aristocracy : but that the principle 
of Monarchy and Aristocracy being false, their best result can but 
be unsatisfactory, and that no real necessity exists for the good 
principle of Democracy being always abused. 

Our argument is for two classes : for those whose impulses are 
democratic, but who are deterred from confessing the true faith 
because of having only looked at the evils of democratic power; 
and for those who — confessing the faith — bring discredit upon it 
by always pointing to those abuses as the results at which they 
aim. 

Democracy has but one word upon its banner — The lotopU : but 
one definition — The people as the sole source of power. There is 
no aim in this : no religion. It is the mere egotistical assertion 
of power for power's sake. And power, as we have said before, is 
capability of good and evil. 

The Republican banner bears on it a religious creed, connecting 
the passing with the eternal : giving also the aim of the Republican 
life. God and the, people implies the organisation of the people, 
in order to do the will of God ; the association of the whole 
people, not under Judge Lynch or Bonaparte, but under God as 
their only sovereign : the organisation of the whole people, not to 
make such laws as may suit the lusts of a capricious majority, but 
to enact the laws of God in human statutes. 

The Republic is the organisation of the Democracy to realise in 
daily human life the prayer of all life to the Father which is in 
Heaven : Thy kingdom come ! Thy will he done on earth ! 

This was the Republic Cromwell and his fellow-nobles hoped to 
establish by the sword upon an old Hebraic basis. They mistook 
a transient ground for an eternal, and the sword, though necessary 
to clear the way for truth, is powerless to establish her dominion. 
But it rests with us to build upon the holier Bible of God's Law, 
written in the universal conscience, to build up even without 



The Republic and Democracy. 129 

blooilshed — if we have the true darhig of self-sacrificing faith — 
that great EngHsh llepubHc of virtuous aspiring which shall fulfil 
the prophecy of our Divincst, and be, indeed, " that goodly tower 
of a commonwealth which shall oversiiadow kings : a Republic, 
]>oth social and democratic, in which the Democracy shall make its 
own laws, ruling its own life ou that hard and diflicult way which 
leadcth to Ood and happiness." 



Socialuin and Communism. 

AVhat is Socialism, and wherein is it different from Communism 1 
is the first question, and it will not be readily answered by 
Socialists. 

For some of them occasionally deny their masters, lacking 
courage to follow them to the end : and others are of such foggy 
and uncertain mind that they are unable to define their own 
views. 

It was said that Proteus would change himself into an infinite 
variety of shapes to escape those who held him bound in order 
to obtain his opinion. " Socialism " has the Protean faculty. 
( Jrapple with it under any form, and it takes refuge in another. 
We must follow it through all its appeai-auces before wo sliall bo 
able to close with its real spirit and meaning. 

Christianity had for its basis the dogma of human equality. 
The Christianity of 1800 years has been the endeavour to realise 
this dt)gma through the establishment of individual lihcrty. 

The emancipation of the bourgeoisie by the Revolution of 1789 
was but one step upon the way. Tiie bourgeoisie enthroned in 
1830 forgot this, forgot that the I'olling ball had but increased its 
impetus, that there could be no stopping short of the liberty of 
the very lowest of society. 

In the eyes of what was privileged to be called society in old 
time, slavery was the natural order of things. 

Christianity aboli.->hcd this, and trausforinod the slaves into 
serfs. 

1 



130 The English Republic. 

Feudal society had no doubt that this was tlie right order ; but 
the Christian dogma advancing, abolished serfdom, and changed 
the serfs into journeymen — hirelings. 

Bourgeois society is satisfied with going so far. Now, at least, 
we have arrived at a settled order. Alas! the logic of history has 
no pity even for a respectable bourgeoisie. 

Humanity yet progresses, insists on going faster than our gigs. 
The Christian dogma of equality must abolish the slavery of wages. 
The journeyman serf must become the free associate. Individual 
liberty is not else complete. 

The endeavour to stop short of this was the cause of the terrible 
insurrection of June. Continue the endeavour, and that June 
conflict will have been but as a skirmish of a few stragglers from 
the advancing army of the poor. You cannot stay the rising of 
the tide. 

Absolutism is dead, though the corpse yet moves. Feudalism is 
gone, though the ape of the baron's fool is some little longer lived. 
It was historically necessary also that the bourgeoisie should have 
its day. 

Every dog in tiirn. The bourgeoisie may now be packing up 
its movables. 

The enfranchisement of the people is about to be the order of 
society. What does that mean? The enfranchisement of the 
middle-class was not merely political, it brought also its social 
advantages, sufficiently solid. 

The enfranchisement of the people will also be not only political, 
but social. They will not only assume power, but they will exer- 
cise power, and in their own behalf. This is the much-dreaded 
" social reform." 

Let us inquire now how the reformers have laid down the course 
of proceeding. That there should be dictators of the course is 
natural enough. Notwithstanding, we may be allowed an endeav- 
our to ascertain where the dictators differ, where they agree, and 
how far their differences or agreement may avail for our guidance. 

Victor Considerant — perhaps the most enlightened Socialist of 
his day — will help our enquiry. 



TJie Republic and Democracy. 131 

Babcouf would have established Cummuiiisui with tlie strong 
hand. He desired a coniuiiinity of goods, to be obtained in the 
tirst instance by confiscation. His project pitilessly absorbed 
individuality in the community, abolishing liberty for the sake of 
e(iu;dity, breaking every will, every personal spontaneity, under 
the absolute despotism of the law. 

Owen wpuld also put an end to private property, to the 
personal rights of capital, labour and talent, but without the 
intervention of force. He would form voluntary associations and 
trust to the power of education to make the rising generation 
docile, well-disposed, and contented Communists, the abundance 
of their conunon wealth being also sufficient to satisfy every 
individual craving. Religion he ignores or is afraid of ; and his 
equality does not prelude a patriarchal tyranny. 

Of the passions and aspirations of men he takes no count. 

Let them be well fed and comfortable. His system, rather 
sentimental than scientific, is that of one led away by his benevo- 
lence, well-acquainted with modern industry, but without inven- 
tion, depth or genius. 

Cabet is the French Owen. His system is also negative, getting 
rid of the difficulties of property, individuality and religion, by 
throwing away the principles. 

The whole amount of his economic and social science consists 
in the willing abandonment of private property, and in the words 
"distribution according to wants and fratei'uity." Everything is 
to be done by individual devotion in the name of individual 
interest. 

Saint Simon, or rather Saint Simonianism (for the school was 
not formed till after the master's death), also denies individualify 
and property. The voluntary surrender of their property by the 
rich and the legal sujjprcssion of the right of inheritance was to bo 
the foundation of the Saint Simouian State, which would thus 
become universal proprietor, supreme i-egulator of labour, chief 
and absolute director of the three functions — art, science, and 
industry. In one of these three functions every one would be a 
worker, his place assigned to him by the priests (for the Saint 



132 The English Republic . 



Simonian rule was to be theocratic), a hierarchy composed 
hypothetically of the most loving and most capable, ruling in 
divine right, absolutely independent of any election. 

The Saint Simonian formula was "to each according to his 
capacity, to each capacity according to his works." It started 
from a principle of inequality and authority, while the schools of 
Communism base themselves more or less on democratic equality, 
and proclaim either absolute equality of distribution or the puerile 
device of " to each according to his wants." 

In their methods of procedure, therefore. Communism and Saint 
Simouiaiiism are at variance. Both, however, place all power in 
the State, making the individual only its tool, under the form of 
a public functionary. 

But Saint Simonianism meditated no change \v\. \X\q 'pontion of 
society. The farmer, for instance, might remain on his farm, 
only he would be the servant of the State, employed, directed, 
paid and removable by the State. Conviction and religious exalta- 
tion were to induce submission to the new priesthood; and life would 
thenceforward proceed under their direction. 

Fourier discovered the law of human progress — that law the 
law of attraction. Duty is but a human device to make men 
content with misery. 

The true method of progress is to harmonise the conflicting 
interests and passions of men by satisfying all. Make life 
pleasurable ; attract men by the exhibition of a terrestrial para- 
dise, so admirably contrived that everyone will therein find the 
special happiness (however vile or exalted) for which he longs ; 
there will no more be room for diity, no longer need of law. God 
will be an unnecessary supplement, religion impossible, sufficient 
unto the day will be the immensity of its own good ; and life after 
life, age after age, will be but variation of enjoyment. 

Make labour attractive, that is the whole art and mystery of 
Fourierism. Fourier, it is clear, does not destroy either in- 
dividuality or property. 

Buchez, an old atheist and carbonaro, was converted to belief in 
God, and in Saint Simon ; but when Saint Simonianism inclined to- 



The Republic and Democracy. 



wards becoming a new religion, ho parted from it to settle down 
in a sort of Christianity. His system is nothing more than an 
attempt to found communities of workmen, little industrial 
monasteries where men might make shoes or pianos, and become 
independent of capitalists, common workshops only. 

The supporters of the "Atelier" are associates to this extent. 
Professor Maurice and his friends are of the same class. A spice 
of orthodox religion and a sentiment of duty and disinterestedness 
help to bring into these little finiis some few better men than 
would be led by the mere prospect of personal gain. 

Minter-Margan aspires to more than this mere partnership of 
labour. In his " happy villages " also, the love of Cod is to be an 
active element. 

A patriarchal scheme witli community of property is to lie 
established for enthusiastic and pious working-men, under the 
patronage of the Anglican Church. 

The Leeds Redemption Society stands on the other side of M. 
Buchez' plan. It is simply a partnership for economical purposes, 
without any question of politics or religion. 

Louis Blanc's system is also similar to that of M. Buchez. But 
in place of the religious sentiment M. Blanc would depend upon 
the instinct of fraternity wliich he deems more philosophic. 

Industrial corporations, with equality of wages for a time, and 
in the end di sir Unit ion according to wants, to be set going by the 
State and kept together by spontaneous cohesion, the whole 
forming one scheme under the superintendence of the State. It 
is the system of Buchez with the action of the State instead of the 
dependence upon religious impulse ; the Saint Simoniun theory of 
functions rendered democratic after the first start — or jiartly 
democratic, for ^I. Blanc would regulate the suffrage. 

"Well now, what is a Socialist? and what is a Communist? 

A Socialist we would define to be one who is not merely con- 
vinced of the necessity of social reform (for every Republican is 
convinced of that), but who has the whole or part of a remedial 
measure ready cut and dry for immediate use. He may or may 
not be a Communist. The Fourierists, says Cousiderant, and. 



134 T^^^^ English Republic. 



indeed, it should be clear enough without his telling, are not 
Communists. A Communist is one who would have iDroijerty held 
in common, or have men live in common, or jjerhaps both. 

We are aware that our definitions are disputable ; that men 
will say tiie mere organisation of labour is Communism, simply 
because men labour together, however the produce is held, or 
whether they live in community or not. We can not surely pre- 
vent the abuse of terms. All we can do is to request our readers 
to bear our definitions in mind while they judge of our remarks. 
Recollect that we speak of " Socialists " and " Communists " only 
Avithin those limits. And now to our objections : — 

Those once cleared away, we shall be able to see how far we 
can work together. 

The vices of Communism we take to be these. The denial of 
property, individuality, family, country, and religion. More or 
less, one or other of these vices taints every scheme of Com- 
munism. 

Communism would have no private property because men have 
abused the right of property. Have they not also misused their 
arms ? Vf ould you therefore cut them off, denying that they can 
be used legitimately ? 

The wrong of private appropriation is when one takes that 
wliich ought to belong to anotlier. 

To take from the robber does not benefit the robbed. This 
objectian to property is but a violent reaction excited l)y the 
tyranny of capital, by the excesses of competition. It is the 
violence which (like Jack in the tale of a tub) cannot stay to 
reform, but destroys. 

It cannot untie the Gordian knot : so thinks it is enough to 
cut it. 

The denial of individualism is consistent with the denial of 
property. When you deprive a man of all right to the result of 
his own active life, you make him to all intents and purposes the 
slave of the State. 

It matters not whetlier you would establish Communism by 
force or by universal consent. The only difference is that in the 



The Republic and De7)iocracy. 135 

one caso you kill the man, in the other he kills hini.self. For 
slavery is the death of the soul. 

From the assertion that the man's life — or work, which is the 
fruit of his life, belongs absolutely to the State arises naturally 
the necessity of the State directing that work. The State is task- 
master as well as pay-master. It is no longer a question of human 
growth, each as he will rendering of his first fruits, as a duty, to 
humanity. It is the forced growth of the plant in a hot-house, 
the forced labour of the beast in the field, well-trained, and well 
fed, it may be, but beast-like, machine-like, slavish, neverthe- 
less. 

And if the men are but the machines of the State, women and 
children of course are but the same. What meaning can there be 
in all those mysterious affinities and sympathies, through which 
the parents lay the groundwork of the education of the child ? 
The State wants machines ; that is all. It is easier perhaps to 
classify them in communal stalls or cells^as number one, number two, 
number three, etc. If, in spite of the very natural reluctance, even 
abhorrence, of Communists themselves, such a system should end in 
abolishing marriage, it would not be surprising, nor inconsistent. 
If the State is absolute master, may regulate life, labour and re- 
ward, why not the beginnings of life also, for the better service 
of the State — appointing this man to that woman as may occasion- 
ally seem best to the direction ? 

The prejudice of country follows. The community is all. 
Patriotism being too narrow for us we shut ourselves up in com- 
munal barracks, and in our cosmopolitan inditioreuco forget the very 
existence of humanity as a whole. Our little Utopia is the known 
world. 

And religion. The slave has none. In place of duty we have 
interest, in place of God and His law of growth wc have the Com- 
munist Patriarch or Patriarchs, and the dictates of an unnatural 
and intolerable formalism. 

Thank God that the Patriarch has not yet dethroned Ilim, that 
His law of growth is strong enough to burst the most inveterate 
form of Communism, if by any chance it could be established. 



136 The English Republic. 



Communism is the negation explicit, or implied, of individ- 
ualism and its attributes ; that is to saj, it is tyranny. It 
matters not that men consent to it. My submission does not 
make me less a slave, nor my master less a tyrant. Nay more, a 
majority, where the Communists would elect their Government 
(wliich is not always the case), is no less tyrannous than a single 
Patriarch. I canncit abdicate my right to control my own life, I 
cannot consent to suicide, to make myself the slave even of a 
majority, albeit I may have the chance to-morrow of being tyrant 
in my turn. 

Communism is the destruction of anything like real co- 
operation, for it is simply the ordering of galley slaves, instead of 
the combined efforts of free men. 

The willing partnership of a number of individuals agreeing to 
arrange together their work, with certain stipulations for returns, 
does not necessarily imply the destruction or abdication of indivi- 
duality; the partnership may be dissolved at pleasure. But when 
a nation becomes socialist, when the Government, no matter how 
constituted, even though elected by a majority, dictates the labour 
and its reward, how shall the objecting partner escape % He has 
no choice but between slavery and exile, possibly not that. This 
is tyranny ; and make it as advantageous as you can, it will be 
tyranny. 

Babauf's Communism was tyranny, to be established by force. 
Owen and Cabet would establish the same tyranny by persuasion ; 
the Saint Simonian who is not a Communist, would also tyrannise. 
Louis Blanc would do so. The private experiments of a few re- 
ligious enthusiasts, or the commercial partnerships of men as- 
sociating simptly for the sake of personal gain, have but little op- 
portunity of exemplifying the principle. 

Fourierism certainly is not tyranny. But there is another evil 
principle running through all these schools, of which Foiirierism 
is even the most notable example \ it is the error of losing all their 
reforms upon utility, upon interest, upon selfishness. 

Self-love is not the ground of human action ; and there every 
school of Socialism or Communism is at fault. 



TJic Republic and Democracy. 137 



It is true that St. Sinioniaus, and some others whom we have 
named, appeal to some vague religious sentiment ; but they do so 
only as a help ; they dare not depend on it. The real inducement 
held out is personal gain. A home in a happy village, a cell in 
some comfortable bee-hive, a promise of every possible gratification, 
even of the lowest appetites — though there may be difference in 
the kind of reward held out, it is reward : it is still in all their 
systems the appeal to the selfishness of man. What difference is 
there between this and the "old immoral world " system? 

The difference, it will be said, is that very wide one between co- 
operation and competition. But there is co-operation now. There 
is co-operation as far as man's selfishness thinks it advisable. 
Your whole social reform resolves itself then into a question of 
how best to minister to the selfishness of men. 

It involves no alteration in the principle of the present system : 
it is only an extension of the system, or an improved method. Then 
we must needs give the preference to Fourier, who does not affect 
a jargon of duty, sacrifice, and religion, but boldly offers to be 
pander to all and any of the lusts of man. 

His Socialism alone is consistent. He attempts no compromise 
between love of God, which is duty to humanity, and selfish en- 
joyment of all that one can attract to oneself; he repulses the 
communistic sophistry of enslaving oneself for one's own advantage. 

He preaches boldly —eat, drink, and enjoy thyself : — God is not ; 
thy brothers are but so many ministers to thy pleasures ; duty is 
a pious fraud, invented to prevent thy hai>i)iness ; sacrifice and 
martyixlom are but eccentric modes of enjtjyment, the pranks of 
fools. This, at all events, is honest. "NVe can understand at least 
the logic of such Socialism as this. 

Is this all? Is this stying of the human animal in the most 
elegant of phalansteries the be-all and the end-all of our life ? We 
appeal to the Socialists themselves, to those, and they are not few, 
among them who, in contradiction of their own theories, nobly 
suffer for their brethren. In the uanie of what ? 

Is your martyr-course, indeed, only a sham ? Is it that you 
like to be persecuted ? What difference then between you and 



138 The English Republic. 

the worst of tyrants, who also consults his liking, only he likes to 
persecute? Is not choice free under your defence of selfishness 1 

But again, we appeal to those who do really suffer to redeem 
the world. In the name of what are ye martyrs, if God's law is 
but happiness — self-interest, what, you call utility % 

But you will answer — we do not think this. We acknowledge 
the nobleness of duty, we would not degrade human longings to 
the level of the beasts ; but we believe that man cannot be en- 
nobled, cannot rise into true human dignity, while he continues to 
be the slave of his material wants. 

And we Republicans can believe that with you ; but we believe 
also, that appealing to his selfishness will not raise him out of the 
slough ; for he needs even health and purity of will more than 
strength of body. 

And though you acknowledge with us the necessity of elevating 
the moral nature, as we recognise with you the need of immediate 
material amelioration, we still must cavil at your means. Do 
what you can to remedy the material evils, but do not mislead 
mankind by telling them that through that process they shall as- 
cend to the improvement of their souls. 

They may be rendered comfortable, and yet remain slaves, irre- 
ligious, and beasts. But seek first the reign of righteousness, and 
all other things will be added unto you. 

When the first Christians became Communists, their guiding 
motive was self-sacrifice for the sake of the brethren. How 
miserable is your modern parody. 

The most degraded of our population need moral even more than 
pliysical regeneration. There is brute strength even now in our 
wretchedest holes and cellars to shake to pieces in a day the whole 
monarchical framework of society. But there is no moral power. 
What hinders the progress of your own partial experiments'? for 
what is your fastest progress, considering the relative numbers of 
the populations among which you preach 1 What is it but your 
Avant of any high principles round which to gather your hearers ! 
Raise up the banner of a charter which should be only as a key to 
future reform, and two millions of men could follow it. In one 



The Republic and Dc7nocracy. 139 



night the French Monarcliy is overtlirown by the very name of 
the Republic. And that charmed word Country, how men gave 
their bhiod for it in Hungary and Italy. Wlio follows to your 
shabby cry of personal gain ? 

You think to regenerate the world bit by bit, while the very 
system which has caused our need of regeneration remains domin- 
ant and almost unassailed. You expect that power will remain a 
passive spectator of your attempts to sap it. It does so, in silent 
contempt of those who woidd overthrow a selfish tyramiy by a 
newer adaptation of selfishness, knowing well, too, that could you 
succeed, there would be nothing changed except the form. 

Yet continue your experiments. Every wretchedness that you 
remove shall be carried to the account of your good works. "We, 
too, dare not hesitate to help your endeavours in that direction. 
But we will neither preach to men that the material redemption is 
the one thing needful, nor remit our efforts to inspire that higher 
spirit of patriotism, of religion, and of devout sacrifice, through whicli 
alone a people can be regenerated, and rendered worthy of enjoy- 
ment. 

"Work on, preaching to slaves in the language which slaves only 
can understand. Who shall forbid your sympathy % But for us 
^ve will rather follow in the track of the apostles and martyrs of 
humanity, summoning the spirit of manhood that lives even in the 
lowest, rekindling the sacred fire even in the slave's heart, till, for- 
getting all except that deepest wrong of slavery itself, he shall 
rise, ay, crippled as he i.s, and overthrow injustice, and build upon 
the marrow of his victory, with unshackled hands^ not a palace for 
his own appetites, but a temide in which he may be healed, 
wherein lie may serve God, the true, the beautiful^ the eternal. 



140 The English Republic. 



Are the Socialists Re2mhlicans 1 

Kepublicanism is not republican vmless it is social as well as 
democratic. But, on the otiier hand, Socialism may be republican 
or not. 

AVhat is a Republican % 

We abandon the vague definition — one who objects to a king. 
One who objects to monarchy would be right enough ; but then 
monarchy must bear its widest sense — the rule of a portion, 
whether one, a few or a many, as opposed to the rule of the whole. 
A Rejpublican is one who objects to any fraction of the nation 
ruling ; who would have the whole nation its own ruler. 

Republicanism is government by all for all. 

By all : every adult member of the State helping to interpret, 
and to set in action the laws of life. 

For all: for the protection, the aidance, and the assurance of 
the utmost possible progress, of every member of the State. 

The supreme Republican law is the progress of Humanity. 
Humanity is all of human life. Tlie conditions of this law, the 
terms without which its full development is impossible, are 
liberty for all, equality for all, fraternity for all. 

Liberty : perfect freedom for each to develop his nature, to 
grow to the utmost of his capacity. 

Eqiiality : the necessary corollary and only safeguard of liberty; 
protection of each from each, that the growth of one may not 
impede the growth of another; equal provision for all, so that 
none may want the elements of growth, moral, intellectual, or 
physical. 

Fraternity : the law of duty, the only bond of association ; the 
duty of God's children one to another ; the law which makes of 
the many human individuals one whole Humanity. 

We accord the name of Republican only to him who admits this 
as the basis of his life and doctrine. 

We are only logical in denying the name of Republican to who- 
soever denies this basis : for every departure from it is a step into 



The Republic and Democracy. 141 



Mouarchism — tliat is to say, the usurpation of a fraction, a treason 
against the wholeness, the oneness of human society ; and 
Mouarchism, however disguised, is tlic opposite of Rciuibli- 
canism. 

Now, Socialism is not always republican. And when not, 
certainly does not become any more republican because the 
Socialist possessor may happen to call himself a Republican — having, 
it may be, a very earnest hatred of every kind of Monarchisni, 
except that which may be hidden — even from himself — under his 
particular formula. 

Socialism is not always republican. To take an instance. The 
Socialism which would make the State (and let it be the govern- 
ment of even a majority, and however great the majority) the 
director and dictator of labour, with only this change from our 
present system — that the workman would be under, instead of the 
tyranny of single or combined capitalists, the stronger tyranny of 
a corporate majority: such Socialism, however well it might feed 
the workman, would not be republican, for it would violate in- 
dividual liberty by passing beyond t!;e mere protection and pro- 
vision of elements to an interference with personal action. Suppose 
a Manchester " Republic," with the combined masters as the 
Government, say even elected by universal suffrage : does not 
everyone see the tyranny, the Mouarchism to which the workman 
would be subjected ? But suppose you elect, instead of the 
masters, the Committee of the Amalgamated Engineers or the 
Promoters of Christian Socialism, can you not see that nothing 
would be altered except the men ? The false principle of inter- 
ference witli liberty remains the same in cither case. 

Is that Socialism republic whicli invents a hierarchy, a system 
of castes, like the Saint — Simonian 1 Wliat matters how com- 
fortable it may make its lowest class 1 It is not republican, for it 
breaks the law of ci/ua/i(i/. It forbids the low-born to hope to 
become the equal of the high ; it attempts to make such dis- 
tinctions permanent. 

Is that Socialism which teaches interest instead of duty, which 
tells men to form happy villages, comfortable co-operative corneis, 



142 The English Republic. 

wherein they may shut themselves up in shabby enjoyments and 
escape the tumult of political action, the hiconvenience of sacrifice, 
while their brothers in the world spend doubly of their sweat and 
pain because of the desertion of these co-operatives ? Has it not 
thus, as but too often before, as in France, when the workmen, 
taught to be patient for so long as their little " associative 
experiments " might escape the fangs of the Reaction, stood 
tamely by and left a few brave men to weep tears of blood for 
the ignomhiy of their country % Is such Socialism republican ? 
No! for it is a denial of tlie duty oi fraternity ; the wholeness 
of Humanity. 

Now, it does not follow that, because these and such like 
Socialisms are false and unrepublican, false indeed inasmuch as 
they are unsocial, forgetftd of some j^ortioii of the indivisahle law 
of social life — it does not necessarily follow that the teachers 
shovild be traitors. It is most likely that most of them are very 
sincere men, who have only cramped their minds or partially 
blinded themselves by too exclusive study of certain chapters of 
progress or by dwelling too long on the dazzling page of their 
own plenary inspiration, and who have so become unable to per- 
ceive the insufficiency of their own theories. But we are not, 
therefore, bound to hold our tongues when they insist on such 
nonsense as— There is no god but Fourier! no duty except 
Icarianism ! etc., etc. Let men be never so honestly blind, and 
yet we may warn others from letting the blind lead them. 

There are Socialists (and here it matters not of what desci'iption 
their Socialism may be) who teach to us that political action is of 
little use ; that is, in the teeth of opposing institutions we may 
reform everything. Little argument is needed to prove that such 
Socialists are not Republicans. 

Whatever theory, or whatever course of action, loses sight of 
the perfection of the individual or the completeness of Humanity, 
that theory, that course of action, is not republican, however its 
followers may insist on assuming the name of republican or to 
whatever denomination of Socialism they may lend the credit of 
their principles or conduct. 



The Republic and Democracy. 143 

In truth, the system-maker, however true to Republicauism his 
system may be, runs some risk of becoming an enemy to the 
Republic. Let him systematise, and proselytise, and solve all 
dilHculties up to the seventh heaven : all that is his right and 
may be useful. But when he insists upon the acceptance of his 
system as a preliminary for union, or when others, lacking the 
modesty which characterises system-builders, insist for him that 
there is no road to salvation but through his tijeory, then he, or 
they, must be condemned as impeding progress. For they hinder 
union and action with the dogmatisms they so impertinently 
thrust in the way of men who have yet to win the opportunity of 
change ; they so waste the time which is wanted for immediate 
work, and, still worse, withdraw many from the army of the future 
on no better ground than a refusal to accept their singular fanatic- 
isms for the watchword of the combined force. This treason to 
our cause has been committed again and again by men who pride 
themselves on being pre-eminently socialist. Socialist, but surely 
not republican. 

We throw out of this argument all consideration of the mere 
democrats, who are not Socialists. "While the Socialists are 
lamentably but too often not republican, these mere politicians are 
never republican. Again, it matters nothing what a man may 
call himself. Judge him by his doctrine and his work. To follow 
this out may compel a lessening of the presumed number of the 
Republican array ; but we shall know who are indeed on our side, 
and not occasionally strike our best friends in defence of some who 
are friends only in name, in the blind intent of a sincerity which 
cannot reason, or under pretence of a "co-operation" which has 
no faith but in its own poor popeship. 

Let us again remark that the Republican neither doubts the 
necessity of a thorough social reform nor shirks the declaration 
of his views upon social questions. Only, holding the Republican 
faith, that in the free i^eoph alone resides the right of interjjretinf/ 
God's laws and ruling the method of realising the same, he deems it 
but consistent to refrain from prescribing on his individual 
authority what that interpretation shall be. Ho rather calls his 



144 "^^^^ English Republic. 

brethren to help him to win freedom upon which alone the future 
can be built, and^ though he may be gifted with prophecy, he 
does not hold the may-be as an excuse for dogmatism. 

What then is the Socialism of the Republic % We have en- 
deavoured broadly to define Republicanism, and the further 
definition will not be difficult. The Republic "democrat and 
social " is not a mere catch-phrase in our mouths. That " demo- 
crat and social" is indeed the sufficient condemnation of all the 
systems of mere Socialism. 

Our republican Socialism is not the abrogation of property be- 
cause the true principle of property has been abused, but the assur- 
ance of property to every one : not the destruction of individuality 
because men have stood in antagonism, but its recognition as an 
element in society, as necessary as the distinct note in music ; not 
the denial of national characteristics because king-led peoples 
have warred against each other, but a perception of the value of 
national varieties as aids to the progression of Humanity; not a 
blind CQUceit that the competition of men has been " nothing but 
a mistake," but the knowledge that competition as well as co- 
operation is a principle of human life, to be used to the same end, 
the perfection of the race. 

Our Socialism is, as much as that of any " Socialist," the asser- 
tion of the right of every human being to the tools, the means, of 
work ; the right to education, and to the credit, the capital of the 
State ; but we would neither make the State the task-master to 
the ruin of liberty, nor by any equalisation of wages violate the 
equal right of the better workman to his just reward — such gain 
as his better work may bring him without undue advantage taken 
of his fellow-worker. 

Our Socialism is the harmonising of society, not by compulsory 
drilling into arbitrary formulas, but by freedom and opportunity of 
association — not by empirically attempting to prevent difficulties 
of growth, but by opening and keeping free the ways of giowth 
for the weakest as well as for the strongest, and by caring that 
each grow to his utmost ; it is the religious organisation of 
Humanity, not by trying to bribe men to orderly behaviour with 



The Reptcblic and Democracy. 145 

abetter table or witli any of tlie poor insufficient lures of material 
interest, but by touching the deeper spring of human endeavour — 
the inherent tendency to as^pire toioard good, and so leading oa 
through nobleness to nobleness, from progression to progression, 
to a higlier and yet a higher and more excellent future. This is 
the Socialism of the llepublican. 

For everyone education, freedom, association, unstinted assist- 
ance, a sure reward, and incentives to the true dignity of manhood, 
The organisation of all by all and for all. What " Socialism " 
offers more ? 

As for the special means by which these results are to be pro- 
duced, the Republican camp has also its system-builders, but at 
least they avoid the reproach of wasting time in demanding sub- 
scriptions to such articles ; choosing rather to combat for the 
ground whereupon alone the freed peoples shall decide on the 
programmes of our several Utopias. 

We Republicans, indeed, are Socialists. Let the Socialists learn 
Republicanism, and some of our Utopias may become real. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Slavery and Freedom. 

Slavery and Freedom — Two Pictures of Slavery — Applications to 
our own Country and oar own Day — Voluntary Slavery — 
Non-intervention and Fair Play. 

It was well said by our great Milton that " no man apprehends 
what vice is so well as he who is truly virtuous." Even so, unless 
we have closely looked, though it be but in "Spirit, upon the 
glorious beauty of P'reedom, we shall not be able to thoroughl}^ 
appreciate the wortlilessness and vice of Slavery. What then is 
Freedom'? 

Look around you and behold ! Observe the oak in the forest, 
the pine on the mountain, or the palm-tree in the desert. No axe 
has come against his boughs ; no limb has been torn away ; man 
has not trained or lopped him ; nothing has hindered him from 
growing as Nature ordered. Spring and Summer, Autumn and 
Wintei*, and their change of blessed ministries, have reared him to 
the majesty of that perfected growth. His faculties have been fully 
developed. He has neither been nailed against a wall, nor 
crippled for some useful invention, nor forced aside to make room 
for another who would assume a diviner origin. He has reached 
his utmost stature; he fulfilleth the number of his days; and when 
he shall fall it shall be in the late old age of an accomplished life. 
The forester, the mountaineer, the desert-dweller — each is free. 

Watch the stars as you see them travelling on the highways of 
glory and of joy, when the veil of sunlight is withdrawn, and the 
skirts of the infinite realm of night become visible unto us. The 
stars are free. Each pursueth his own path ; each fulfilleth his 
own destiny. No capricious tyrant says unto one — " Obscure thy 

146 



slavery and Freedom. 147 

glory for me, that thy compelled dimness may serve as a foil to 
my exceeding splentlour ! " or to another — " So far shalt thou go, 
and no farther ; stay thy proud course at a respectful distance 
from me ! " 

The Hower on the forest's heart, the velvet moss that cushiunclh 
the decrepid oak, the heath on the mountainside — they too are 
free. They are where God planted them ; the energies God gave 
them they can use ; the life He gave them they can enjoy. So 
they are free. f'ree : because none forbid their growth, their 
fragi'ance, or their abundant blossonung. They are free to fully 
develop the individual peculiarities of their being — to work out 
their task of life — to fulfil the will of that Beneficence whose 
universal law is Growth. 

The wild herds, and the wild fowl, fisii, insect and aninialcula', 
all things with which mai^ has not meddled are free. None says 
unto another — " Stay thy growth for me I change thy nature for 
me ! forget the special [)urpose of thy own being, and live, not for 
thyself, but for mo, not in acconlance with thy own nature, but 
wholly and solely with reference unto mine ! " The wild horse 
bridleth not his fellow. The fish cnslavcth not his kind. Not 
even of the meanest insects is there found one so mean as to bend 
the knee unto another. There is war among them ; but they are 
not tyrants and slaves. They are free, f^ach lives for himself. 
Everyone controlleth his own life under no authority except the 
conditions of his nature. Frtedom ix the o/ij/ortKnift/ of /ici/thi/i/ 
(levelopi/yj one's nature, the oppfn-tnnity of grotvtli, tJie condition of 
excellence. It is the soil in which alone the seed of improvement 
can be made to germinate, in which every nature must be 
planted, or the nature cannot reach its full perfectness. This 
freedom is necessary even for the lowest creature. And as 
necessary, and so much more excellent, as man's nature exceeds 
that of the mere brutes, is the freedom of Humankind. He, 
whose will is the promise of virtue, needs room for development, 
even as does the palm-tree of the desert. He, who looketh 
beyond the stars, whose mighty hopes are farther reaching than 
the strongest sighted telescope that peereth through the multi- 



148 The English Republic. 



tude of worlds, lie should be free to move in his God-appointed 
course, healthfully and strongly, stepping onward from growth to 
growth to that end for which the Creator set him in tlie pathway 
of Eternity. What would man be without this freedom ? man, on 
whom, beyond all other gifts, the gift of conscience has been be- 
stowed, a means (so far transcending any possessed by other 
animals) for regulating his own life and actions, proclaiming him 
with peculiar emphasis as born for freedom ? IlVirti would he be 
without freedom ? No longer man. "Man, who man would be, 
must rule the empire of himself, in it must be supreme." 

Freedom implies self-control. In man this self-control involves 
the exercise of will, the use of reason for moral and intellectual 
orowth ; and it is this extension of freedom, or rather this greater 
capacity for turning freedom to accoui^, which distinguishes man 
from his inferiors in creation. Every true system of religion, the 
whole theory and doctrine of virtue, the very idea of duty and 
responsibility, whether to God or man, are built upon the 
assumption of this being the natural and proper state of 
Humanity. They can exist only in such a condition. They can 
find room nowhere but in freedom. They are mere unmeaning 
words except in reference to this freedom. For how can he be 
virtuous who has no will, no control over himself ] Virtue is not 
a mere doing some other's bidding. Virtue is the righteous action 
of a free man. Or what duties can he owe or perform who has no 
power of determining his own actions, who is not his owai master, 
who is a slave % The lower animals possess a kind, a degree of 
will. The very trees and mosses are free; and without that 
freedom, could not accomplish the purposes for which they exist. 

Shall man with nobler purposes to answer, with greater re- 
quirements for freedom, with means for further using it, with 
reason teaching him how to choose the good and to refuse the 
evil, making him wise to his own salvation, lifting him from the 
stagnation of sloth, and leading him on from progression to pro- 
gression, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of God — shall 
this man have less of freedom of will ] Shall man alone of all 



Slavery and Freedom. 149 



earth's creatures, shall man especially, be bound down, be 
" crippled, caged, confined," and still be expected to attain his 
full growth? The plant and the brute reach their proper de- 
velopment by virtue of the vital energy or instinct, and its 
condition of freedom. Has not reason too its requisitions ? Needs 
not reason also its proportionate condition of freedom? And 
that, too, so far greater a share of freedom than is the allotment 
of instinct. Shall the mighty and excellent human fabric, with 
its god-like heart and intellect, be built up to perfection with less 
opportunity than the mere existence of a plant? All things 
need freedom for self-development. Man has greater capacity of 
development ; greater freedom therefore must be his, that he may 
attain his higher destiny. Freedom — the opportunity for healthy 
development — involves in man not only that self-control which is 
implied in the instinctive growth of any and everything in its own 
peculiar way ; but also that further self-regulation and higher 
sovereignty, which is the requisition of reason ; without which 
there is no such thing as conscience, no such thing as virtue, no 
such thing as progression ; without which there is nothing to 
elevate man above the inferior creatures ; without which indeed he 
is immeasurably below them, seeing that they do fulfil the con- 
ditions of tlieir natures, and this completer freedom is the 
condition of his. 

Slavery is the prevention of growth and development ; the pre- 
vention of that self-control and free conduct which God assigned 
to man with the gift of I'cason, as the means of virtue. " The 
Essence of Slavery " — says Lamennais — " is the destruction of 
human individuality, that is to say, of that natural liberty and 
sovereignty of a man, which makes of hin\ a moral being, re- 
sponsible for his actions, capable of virtue. Degraded even below 
the animal, in losing his individuality, he is deprived of the right 
of his humanity, consequently, of all right, and in course of all 
duty. Not knowing how to name him, because we know not how 
to understand him, we must call him a thing. See what becomes 
of God's noblest creature," 



150 The English Republic. 

Slavery destroys the will of man : then of what nse is reason ? 
Slavery stays human improvement, or at least compels its slow 
progression in certain arbitrary and confined channels : then what 
becomes of the indefinite power of progress with which man is 
endowed 1 He has no thanks for well-doing who does well hy 
constraint : so slavery abolishes virtue. Slavery robs a man of 
himself, makes him a mere machine for the tyrant's work. 
Slavery murders man. Slavery damns the future of the whole 
race. Slavery is the blight which forbids tlie opening of the buds 
of human promise. Slavery is the chain which binds the spirit to 
menial tasks wlien it would bo soaring Godward. Slavery is that 
curse of contempt and disbelief and cruellest mockery, which 
reserves man's prayers, making his best deeds of no worth. 
Slavery heapeth useless burdens on the already overbiu-dened. 
It deprives life of its smile. It dethrones God, leaving to its 
victim no redeemer except Death. 

Slavery is of two kinds — the active and the jxissive. The 
slavery of the hammer, which strikes in obedience to the will of 
him who wields it, whicli allows itself to be us'ed, wliich acts at 
the bidding of another ; and the slavery of the nail, which is only 
stricken, which does not act, but is acted upon — which drives not 
but is driven — which is the suflerer and not the executioner. 
Between these two there is a difference. There is much the same 
difference between the man who is simply the victim of tj'ranny, 
because of his inability to resist a mightier power, and the man 
who consents to be the agent and active tool of tyranny, repeating 
and transmitting the evil which he endures — thattlicre is between 
the diseased man whose illness is as much as possible confined to 
himself, and the plague-smitten who willingl}- infects all within 
his reach. Let every man well examine his own condition and 
conduct, that he may ascertain which of these luifortunates he 
is. 

Does he act in accordance with his own determinations In all 
cases save only when absolute power, either of law or circumstance, 
compels his self-surrender^ Does he never succumb to power till 



Slavery and Freedom. 1 5 1 

he has tried his utmost of resistance ; and even then in yielding, 
look for means wherewith to renew the struggle ; and ever pro- 
testing against the hindrance which mars his conscientious acting? 
Then, though foiled at every point, though driven from the course 
he had marked out for himself, though forced to march on the 
very opposite road, or bound down and fixed to the evil place 
whence he had desired to remove — then though indeed he must 
feel himself a slave, though tlie iron enter even into his soul, it 
shall not destroy him. He may at least say — " I have striven, 
though I am defeated. Yet am I not conquered : for I will 
renew the fight, again and again, however hopelessly ; and again 
and again I will rebel against the yoke imposed upon me." He is 
rather the captive than the slave. He is the compelled slavery 
of the victim, which may make a man miserable but not guilty. 
Honour to the struggling slave ! He too may be a hero and a 
martyr. And however degraded let him not be despised ! There 
is indignant pity for him, but no condemnation. 

But woe to him who is a slave in soul ! to him who aids in en- 
slaving his fellows. Who, not content with bowing himself to the 
usurped supremacy of law or custom, plays jackall to the op- 
pressor, caters for the ravenous and prowling tyranny, and toils, 
in envy of others' uprightness, in very hatred of freedom, to make 
others as himself, to drag down the high-souled, and drive them, if 
possible, beneath even his own infamy : as if endeavouring to be 
the veriest slave of slaves, the ape of tyranny — at once its victim, 
its tool, and its accomplice. 

This is the lowest depth of slavery. It need hardly be said 
that there are numerous grades of this misery ; that a line is not 
to be drawn where the one species sinks into the other ; that the 
sliades and gradations of this wretchedness are imperceptible ; and 
that we can scarcely distinguish where the tyrant slides into the 
slavery himself had caused. But by these marks you shall know 
the slave. By these signs shall you detect slavery, whatever its 
trappings or disguises, or whatever the decency and holiness of 
baptism with which it may have sought to cleanse and beautify 
its foulness : — 



152 The English Rep2iblic. 

If you see a man against his own will sacrificed for another, 
know that he is sacrificed to slavery. 

If you see a human being prevented from travelling on his own 
path toward that state of perfectness of which his organisation is 
capable — if you see him debarred from education, from physical 
or mental or moral culture, know that slavery is there at work 
for that man's ruin. 

If you see one prevented from exercising his enei'gies for his 
own benefit, when he might do so without encroaching on the 
rights of others, know that slavery is there. 

If you perceive that one submitteth his will and judgment to 
another's, doing another's bidding instead of obeying his own free 
conscience, then be sure that slavery has robbed him of his birth- 
right, whatever mess of pottage, of love or contentment, he may 
get in exchange. 

If you find one who says — " 1 know this to be my duty, but I 
dare not do it," know that slavery hath enchained that man's 
conscience ; or if another says — "This is my interest, but I dare 
not do it," though it interferes not with the rights of another, know 
that slavei'y is devouring him. 

If 3'ou behold one acting against his conscience because another 
commands or compels his obedience, set him down as the tool of 
tyranny. Lo, the oppressor is there ! 

Or if you find one who does right, and but because another 
orders it — one who acts wisely and discreetly, but solely because 
constrained by another — mark him too as a slave. Recollect that 
a slave cannot be virtuous ; that slavery can never wear the 
honours of virtue. 

If you see a man hindered from aught that might conduce to 
his well-being and happiness ; if you find a man compelled to do 
aught that may conduce to his own mischief ; and if you see that 
it is not a consequence of his own nature and the laws of the 
Eternal, but occasioned by the will of some other man or men, it 
matters not whether few or many, then you shall know that such 
a one is in the thrall of tyranny, that he is losing himself, that he is 
fallen from the dignity of a man. 



Slavery and Freedom. 1 5 3 

But if yoii find a man who dares to think and to reason, wlio 
listens o1)ediently to the voice of God within him — that revela- 
tion which ever visits the heart of him who seeketh earnestly 
for knowledge, and who, having convince I himself, dares all 
consequences iu the endeavour to follow the impulses of his 
convictions, who for conscience' sake confronts all opposal, swerv- 
ing neither to the right hand nor to the left ; then, however 
he may be defeated and enthralled, reverence the shadow of 
freedom still abiding on that man ; and when \ou see him crushed 
by the weight of evil though you know that there too is a mani- 
festation of slavery, and that the Son of God is trampled beneath 
the Cross, yet say to your own hearts that faint beliolding the 
agony of that Holy One — "Verily slavery here has but a poor 
triumph ; captivity is led captive ; the blood of the martyr is the 
seed of the world's future freedom." 

In all these cases there is slavery, more or less ; a slaver}' that 
is intolerable, that must be rooted out. 

No vigour of htmian endeavour, no supernatural aid — not 
though the " stars in their courses fought " for man in the battle 
against sin and miserj-^ can avail anything while man usurps a 
sway over his fellow, while the will of one is trampled under foot 
or dragged at the heels of another, while man dares meddle with 
another's conscience ; while man's arbitrariness, whether of brute 
force or over-reaching intellect, presumes to limit or direct the 
progress of his fellows. 

Room for the healthy development of all man's capabilities, of 
each one's capabilities. Room for the spirit to expand as for the 
body to grow. 

Room for the exercise of conscious will, without let of hiuiian 
enactment, caprice, or craft ; or men cannot rise to the dignity 
of manhood ; but must continiie as they have so long been — the 
bondmen and prey of a debasing slavery, the sport of accident, 
less healthy than the meanest of existences, luiworthy of reason, 
abusers even of the faculty of speech — continually lying in calling 
themselves men. 



154 ^>^^ English Republic. 

Let us now see what service is ; for men have too long been led 
to confound it with slavery, cheated into the belief that slavery 
and service are the same. 

It is not so. Service is rather the completion of freedom ; the 
turning freedom to its proper use. 

Freedom and service are help-fellows, upstaying man's steps on 
either side, Freedom and service — man's right and man's duty, 
— are like two palm trees which bear no fruit unless they grow 
together. Service and slavery are utterly at variance, of uncom- 
bining dispositions, miserably yoked together and ever childless. 
But the plenteous fruit of the marriage of service and freedom are 
peace and love, and strength, and self-respect, and thankfulness, 
and joy, and clear-eyed hope and beauty, worshipful as one born in 
heaven. 

Let us learn how this is : — 

Service is voluntary ; slavery is constrained. Service is God- 
like, and raises man to the height of heaven. 

Slavery degrades him below the brutes. Let him who would be 
first among you be your servant. 

Truly, the servant of all is the greatest of all. What diviner 
title shall we invent to excel that noblest title of Omnipotence — 
the universal Servant ? 

But is that the slave 1 Service is voluntary ; that which is 
voluntary is free. Slavery is compulsory. 

Herein is the difference. 

A man hires a servant. He must have, he cannot do without 
a servant. Think how many menial offices there are. Let him 
say a slave then ; and we know his meaning. But if it is indeed 
a servant — let him understand that he who serves is the greater. 
He who needs his service is by so much beneath his servant. 
Must it be repeated that God is man's servant 1 

But to examine more closely into the common relation of master 
(or mistress) and servant, domestic or other ; if the connection is 
that of a willing contract, for the benefit of both, and each serves 
the other for " interest " sake — or, even if one chooses to wait 
upon the other for love's sake and without remuneration — such 



Slavery and Freedom. 1 5 5 

service need not bo slavery. If each serves the other, they are so 
equal. 

If one only serves, the servant is the greater. 

But, if on the one side there is any assumption of superiority on 
the ground of receiving service — of service being the homage of an 
inferior, while on the other side the service is at all induced or 
affected by fear, or by any circumstances independent of the will 
— if there is any over-ruling of the moral will and conscience of 
the servant — any stretching of the conti'act between the hirer and 
the hired to the over-reaching of the servant — then there is no 
hmger the God-like service; but the vileness of slavery. 

Possibly a very trifling slavery, possibly quite a pleasant sort 
of slavery : but none the less it is slavery ; an abasement of 
liumanity ; and, however amiably it may be managed — a usurpa- 
tion and tyrannous invasion of the natural right of self-sover- 
eignty. 

Or again, to take the relation of master and workman. This is 
manifestly a conti-act for mutual benefit. Each serves the other ; 
so far there is no superiority. 

If the master would put on any haughtiness because the work- 
man serves him — does he not also serve the workman ? (What 
respect may be due to either for intelligence or moral worth is 
beside our present question.) 

Let the haughtiest know that no kind of service willingly ren- 
dered can degrade the server. 

But when the master would strain the power of his position be- 
yond the fair terms of a mutual contract, to the injury of the 
workman — when he dares to meddle with the workman's con- 
science, or to dispose of his life, not in virtue of the willing agree- 
ment between them, but simply because he is master and will 
have such and such things done — then he is the tyrant and the 
workman sinks into a slave. 

There is no longer any contract ; there is no longer willing 
.service either for love or interest. What then remains ? On the 
one side assumption of authority, on the other prostration of will \ 
and these are the sure tokens of slavery. 



156 The English Repttblic. 

The mother waiteth upon her child : she ministers to it without 
compulsion, without fear. 

Whatj indeed, shall keep her from serving the beloved 1 The 
child tends her sick or infirm parent, doing all menial offices, as 
they are called ; but there is nothing menial to Love. The 
physician serves the sick : the teacher serves the ignorant : the 
philanthropist serves whoever needs his ministi'y. 

The loving delights in the service of the beloved ; the consoler 
waits upon the sorrow-stricken. All these are services : services 
which degrade not, but which ennoble the servant : service scarcely 
possible in slavery, but well compatible with the most God-like free- 
dom : services not to be commanded, but flowing freely from the 
heart. 

Who says that service is a degradation % Who says that the 
child may assume authority because its parent is the servant of 
its every want % Who calls the teacher less than the taught, the 
physician less than him in need of healing % Who needs another's 
service must yield precedence to that other. His servant, in vir- 
tue of that service^ ranks above him. He who compels another's 
slavish attention calls for himself only a comparative grandeur. 

The tyrant is only a degree above a slave. But the freeman 
and the servant of humanity, whether the object of his service be 
all humanity, his country^ or only the least of the little children — 
he is great beyond compai'ison. As a servant, as the true son of 
God, he takes rank above all human distinctions. And even the 
hired servant is the equal of the hirer. If each makes his own 
terms, serving his own purpose, what difFei'ence is between them *? 
If one is forced to accept the tei'ms of another — whether through 
any iniquitous or social arrangements or any other tyranny — such 
a one is not a servant but a slave. 

This have I found, said the preacher — that God made men up- 
riglit, but they have found out many inventions. And this of 
slavery is the worst. 

Look back to the beginning of human life, and see in what dull 
ignorance and brutality this curse had birth. It is plain that, 



Slavery and Freedom. 1 5 7 



origiually, man was monarch of himself. The solitary savage was 
his own master : he liad complete and undisturbed possession of 
liis own life, his will was paramount in that realm, nothing limit- 
ing it save the laws of his organisation — the laws of Nature and 
of God. 

But it was not good for him to be alone. Even in that first 
grey dawn and twilight of existence his wants and weaknesses led 
him to seek the society of his kind. The lesson of the bundle of 
sticks, which, bound together, can not be broken, but which, 
severally, are weak and worthless— this lesson was early forced 
upon him ; early and late, for even until now the struggles and 
strivings of mankind have been and are but the heavings of the 
unremitting endeavour to work out this great problem of himian 
life — the union and organisation of humanity. 

Xaturally enough, for man must learn by experience and prove 
all things, to know how to hold fast the good : naturally enough, 
man's first attem[)ts at union were falsely based. He sought to 
force it. He relied on lihcrty only, without eqnality — the liberty 
of the strongest to take liberties, to compel. 

.He asserted only his own will : he trampled upon the will of his 
fellow. The stronger compelled the weaker, robbed the weaker of 
his birthright, his right to self-conti'ol, making the robbed his 
slave, an appropriation for the purposes of the tyrant's selfish- 
ness. 

Soon numbers congregated together : it was no longer merely 
individual against individual, man against man, wt)man against 
woman : there arose a conspiracy and combination of the strong : 
and masses of human beings were degraded into mere instruments 
of tyranny. So bnite force — the liberty of the anarch — ruled 
supreme. 

And then, as the human mind advanced in knowledge if not in 
wisdom, men discovered that intellect is stronger than brute force 
— that craft can subdue power. So men were cheated into slavery. 
l"'raud and force, both tyrants, learned soon to work together : and 
the chains were firm. 

Arc they not even yet unbroken 1 liut is not this a usurpation 1 



158 The English ReJ:ublic. 

Do the long ages of endurance wear out the original right % Does 
slavery become God-like, or tyranny become truth, because tlie 
pile of freedom's martyrs reaches nearly unto heaven ? Is not our 
right the same % 

The same, despite all tyrannies^ charters, compromises, conven- 
tions, and constitutions, as when human beings first met together 
to lay the foundations of society. Did they not meet then with 
equal rights % Man with man — what matter if they were savage % 
Did not each come crowned with self-sovereignty, a king in his 
own right, to treat on terms of equal alliance with his fellow fur 
the benefit of both % What right had one to say to another — to 
say either by words or deeds — " I care not for your rights, I know 
you would join me for your own benefit, or freely for the benefit of 
us both : but I am stronger than you. You shall be my captive, 
my tool, ray slave. I will sacrifice you to my god — the short- 
sighted demon of self-interest. I will rob you of what Nature gave 
you, I care nothing for your interest. Your life shall be my 
property " ? 

What specious apologist for some particular sort of tyranny 
will defend this naked wrong % 

Had justice indeed been arbiter between these, between the first 
tyrant and his slave, would not this have been righteous judgment? 

Human ci-eatures to whom God gave freedom to fulfil the pur- 
poses of your existence, in order that you might become virtuous 
and aspire to the heights of duty — for what objects do you seek 
to unite together % Is it not because each of you feels the insuffi- 
ciency of his loneliness, because each would have bettered by 
union, because only your combined strength is capable of insuring 
the progression of your race % On equal terms as the free children 
of God ; on equal terms since each is sovereign over his own life j 
on equal terms as co-inheritors of each, equal in your need of help ; 
equal in your rights and in your duties, you have met together to 
establish the conditions of your alliance. 

Know that on the maintenance of that equality depends the 
preservation of real Uhertij — through which alone can come the 
true fraternal organisation of humanity. 



slavery and Freedom. 1 59 

Without it, all is anarchy and contention, tlie anarchy of 
slavery, the contention of tyrants for precedence. 

Did no such voice come down from heaven when the second 
Cain (the tyrant) slew — not the body, but the soul of his brother 1 
Yet, with the lesson of ages before us, should we not ere this 
have learned the wisdom of that first law of humanity 1 . Equal 
freedom, there can be no other enduring bond of \uiion. Should 
some moral tempest scatter to the winds the conventional forms 
which now enchain wdtty (for so we call even our present savage 
herding together), we could only remodel social life upon this law. 
It is the law promulgated by Him whom eighteen centuries have 
worshipped as Divine, worshipping Him without understanding, 
for in the formal enunciation of that law. of equal freedom lies 
the true meaning of Christianity; it is the law already accepted 
as the only ground of union by revolutionary France ; it is the 
law which all men yet shall recognise, when the last of the 
usurpers shall be overthrown, and the peoples work together at 
the broad altar of Democracy to swear to maintain the Republics 
of the free. 

And now, look at two pictures of slavery, common enough and 
well-known. Let them be brought forwai'd and some application 
made of their unmitigated horroi's ; an application to be taken to 
men's firesides, for closest questioning. 

Our first picture is negro-slavery in America. 

A slave — said the Louisana Code — is in the power of the 
master to whom he belongs. The master may sell him, dispose 
of his person, his industry, his labour ; he can do nothing, 
possess nothing, nor acquire anything, but which nmst belong to 
his master. 

The definition is very precise. " Slaves shall be deemed, taken, 
refuted, and adjudged," said the South Carolina laws — "to be 
chattels personal in the hands of their masters, and possessions to 
all intents and purposes whatsoever." Baptist ministers in the 
Soutliern States declared that '• the will of the master may law- 
fully annul the marriage of the slave, or compel him to marry 



i6o The English Republic. 

again," to keep up the stock of the Estate. " Pieligion clinches 
Law." 

The Metliodist conference decreed that the testimony of a 
coloured member of their churches should not be received against 
a wliite. The slave was driven by the lash to work from which 
he could derive no property, yet these slaveholders were, as slave- 
holders all over the world are, assessors of the rights of property. 
The slave was cared for or worked up according to which process 
was most profitable to his owner. He had a wife and children 
only for his owner's use, or abuse. 

And if he dared attempt to escape from this hell upon earth, he 
was hunted down like a wild beast, with bloodhounds and rifles, 
by the slaveholder and his accomplices. 

Here was slavery carried out to its utmost, a slavery so naked 
that it really shocked the sensitiveness of many well-dressed slaA'^e- 
dealers on this side of the Atlantic. 

Our second picture of slavery is that of woman in the slave 
markets and seraglios of the East. We will not unveil its 
beastliness. 

Well, slavery in what are politely called free countries may not 
be so horrible as this ; but is the principle there % If neai-er 
home you can trace the principle which caused the horrors of 
America and Asia, know that the^e is slavery, the same wrong, if 
not to the same extent — the same evil with whatever pretty names 
we may have christened it. Hear what the truest freeman and 
noble servant of his country even unto death — hear what Algernon 
Sidney said of slavery : " The weight of chains, number of stripes, 
hardness of labour, and other effects of a master's cruelty, may 
make one servitude more miserable than another j but he is a 
slave who serves the best and gentlest man in the world, as well 
as he who serves the worst, if he vm%t obey his commands and 
depend upon his will." 

Working-men of England, /or whom but not by whom the laws 
are made, on whose will do your lives depend % Upon your own, 
or upon others % You are slaves, and yet the poorhouse skilly is 
not mock turtle. 



Slavery and Freedom. 1 6 1 

If, in some of the newspapers, which find readers even among 
the most careless, you read of men wliom stump-orators call 
free, and of children, the children of these same freemen, 
tasked against their will and beyond their strength, deprived of 
all hope of benefit of their labour, uneducated^ ill-fed, and poorly 
housed and clad, treated in all respects like rascally blacks, driven 
by blows, or hunger, worse than blows, to daily toil, and used up 
or allowed to retire on a superannuation of disease and famine, 
according as seems most conducive to their employers' profits, their 
wretched lives ever chained to degradation and vice, denied all 
healthy development of their natures, all fair opportunity of 
virtue, and if they dai'e attempt to alter or escape from this serf- 
dom, brought back by force and atrocious punishments ; — if you 
read of labourers — the mass of the population of a country, who 
are the possession to all intents and purposes of the landowner, or 
whoever is rich enough' to rule the market to which they must 
resort ; who can be used as beasts of burden, or cleared off the 
land as may seem best to their masters ; — if you hear of service, 
not voluutary nor mutual, nor the answering of the natural law of 
union, but a hard necessity, the result of the iniquitous arrange- 
ments of human usurpation — the servant compelled to obey those 
arrangements by arbitrary threats of hunger, of destitution, and 
injury; — if you learn that in any country the mass, or say only 
great numbers of the people, their persons, their industry, their 
property (so much or so little indeed as they can possess), are not 
in their own hand, but under the power of another class of men, 
who dispose of them as they think fit, pressing this man as a soldier, 
kidnapping this other for a sailor, branding the third as a convict, 
and the fourth as a pauper, driving their wives into the streets to 
prostitute themselves for the maintenance of their beggared babes ; 
— if you see that the inhabitants of any place are submitted to the 
dictation of thieves, who order their work and wages, and leave 
their souls to the misleading of knavish hirelings ; — if you know 
of men starving by the million in the midst of plenty, while others 
feed on vilest garbage, though the production of their own toil is 
more than sufficient for their sustenance ; — if you hear of calcula- 

L 



1 62 The English Republic. 

tlons of the hours that children may work without perishing — of 
women and children sacrificed as matter of economy when men 
would cost too much ; — when you hear of human beings, not as a 
fearful and lamentable occasional necessity, but as a regular 
occupation and deliberate ordering of society, imprisoned for life 
in the foulest circumstances, physical and moral, for the sake of 
so much per cent, to respectable jailers; — when you know that 
women may not lawfully unite themselves with men unless they 
surrender the natural right of sovereignty and stoop to be the 
property and possession of their lords, having no power over their 
own persons, so that they may " do nothing, possess nothing, nor ac- 
quire anything but which must belong to their masters ; " — when 
you are told that in regions nearer home than the Seraglio there 
are regular markets wherein even girls of ten or twelve years old 
are sold to gentlemanly disease and lust, and that in the very 
heart of the land we tolerate schools of the filthiest obscenity ; — 
when you hear of such things and find in addition that every 
attempt at radical alteration is punished as a crime, and every 
denunciation of the evil denounced as an attack upon " law and 
order," to be repelled with curses and injury; — when yet further 
you are aware that the ministers of religion and justice are bribed 
to aid and abet the manifold enormities of their time, that the 
" independent " teachers of the people dare not speak their real 
thought, but lie and palter continually, from the press and from 
the pulpit, for fear of public execration, or haply ex-officio pro- 
secutions, outrage, fine and imprisonment ; and that men, meeting 
their fellows in the daily haunts of life, in the very stench of such 
doings, dare not talk of the plague surrounding them, but poison 
each other with infectious hypocritical breath, as if lying was a 
most religious rite and right salutary custom ;— when you have 
well weighed these things, be not content with complacently con- 
gratulating yourselves, saying to one another— What excellent and 
delightful customs these are ! — neither, if you hear them called in 
question by certain hardy blasphemers of Almighty Custom, think 
it enough to say— It is worse still in the West or in the East ; but 
whisper to your own souls that all these things are manifestations 



Slavery and Freedom. 1 63 



of Slavery ; and ask, not idly, how you can redeem the suflferers, 
even if they are not yourselves. Why do I say — If you read of, 
and learn and discover such things ] You have read them, each 
of you some of tlicni in his own life; you may all of you find this 
Devil's Scripture in any daily paper of " free and great and 
glorious " Britain. They are here : about our path, and about our 
beds, companioning us everywhere. Are 3'ou so blind tiiat stand- 
ing in the broad glare of day you cannot see the fetters that are 
clinging around you ? or have you grown so callous through long 
suffering, so benumbed and torpid from ages of oppression, that 
you do not feel the iron enter into your soul] blind and slow 
of heart ! was it not rightly said — that you must understand what 
Freedom is before you can seeeveu your own Slavery? Take the 
film from your eyes ; dare to use your own understandings ! Look 
at our factories, at our fields ; look into our prisons and peni- 
tentiaries, our penal colonies, worse than ever Sodom and 
Gomorrah ; and into those pleasant homes and hospitals of our 
outworn poor, the poorhouses — the poorhouses where the brutalized 
young children may be seen like apes with down upon their faces, 
till we learn to thank God in our bitterness that His image cannot 
be effaced. Look into our street of prostitutes, our regular 
markets to supply the necessary consumption. And do not forget 
to question the " words " that fill our churches and our chapels 
with the smoke of an idle sacrifice. Nay,. look into your homes, 
be they never so virtuous, or so happy, for there are wives and 
children and servants. Try, like men in earnest upon the track, 
if you cannot detect the trail of the old serpent of Slavery, the 
fiend that robes you under cover of the night. Wheresoever you 
may find it, grapple with it till it shall be no more. Spare it not 
— neither in the sanctuary, nor at your own hearth ! Slay the 
accursed ! For while it exists is neither worth, nor hope, nor 
honest happiness, for man. 

Voluntary Slavery. 
But what if a man chooses (o be a slave? Seeing that the 



164 The English Reptiblic. 

tyrant is like God, wise and benevolent, caring for his slave, even 
as a father for his child. Or seeing that the tyrant — or tyrants 
(the old Greeks called all absolute rulers Tyrants) — are of his own 
choice, that his own shoulders helped to carry them to power. 

Or seeing that his rents or profits come in duly, or that his 
wages are regular. 

Why need a man trouble himself by too curiously considering 
whether he is a slave or a free-man, so long as the collar does not 
gall him, and especially if it may be gilded % 

What matters whether it be called liberty or slavery, if all is 
well with him % 

Play the pendulum between thy desk or work-bench and thy 
hearth, mai-king the dead moments of thy monotonous life ! Thou 
workest, thou sleepest. 

What matters who is master % While thou keepest out of the 
Gazette or the poorhouse, what difference to thee between slavery 
and freedom'? 

Little perhaps, if man's life is but a lethargic dream, the here- 
after a foolish tale, and duty a word without meaning. 

But the natural and proper coui'se of a man's life is action, the 
active search after truth ; this life is but a stage of our existence, 
man owes duty to humanity, virtue to eternity, and life to God. 

Virtue is free will. If a man acts only on compulsion, how can 
his act be virtuous % Or what virtue is there in the act which a 
man does only by the allowance of another % 

To seek after truth — to be truth's diligent follower, servant, and 
wooer — this is man's duty upon earth. But how follow truth if 
any stand between him and truth % 

If the tyrant's will, or the tyrant's law, is the rule of a man's 
morality, how can he serve truth % 

He may be allowed or ordered so to do : or he may not. Either 
way he acts not of his own free will. But if of my free will I 
submit to slavery ? 

That is to say if of my free will I surrender my free will. 
Compulsion cannot be free will, nor can slavery be aught but 
slavery. 



Slavery and Freedom. 165 



The slave is he whose will is overruled by another. The free- 
man is he whose life has no other master but God. 

If a tyrant order me to do evil, I will disobey him, not only 
because of the evil, but to vindicate my will. 

If he order me to do good, thongli I will do good, it shall be 
because it is good : and I will make it clear that I act from no 
obedience to him. I should be, not a man, but a mere machine, 
if his will could be my motive. 

Though one be never so wise, he cannot live for me, nor dictate 
my life. My acts must be my own. I may sometimes defer to 
his great wisdom — but if I do this unwillingly, and not of my own 
judgment, belief, and will, exercised at each act, I am a slave. 

I may not give my life to another; nor let my acts bow down 
to another's will. For my life is not mine, but God's. The power 
of wilful action was given me by God in order that it should be 
nsed, not to be abdicated whenever I may think some other wiser 
than myself. 

If one may submit in one act, why not in a series of acts in a 
life 1 If one may submit to another, why may not two, or more ] 

If the husband may be the master of the wife, why may not the 
Czar be lord of all mankind % 

My smallest action should be because of its seeming good to 
me : not because of the will of another. Let it seem good to me 
to sometimes please another, that may be well. But let it seem 
good. 

If I may surrender my will and judgment of good or evil con- 
sequence to tlic will and judgment of another oven in the lightest 
action, why may I not in the weightiest ? ^Vhcre fix tlie boundary 
between unimportant and important? But the lightest action is 
important having an eternity depending on it. 

If I do well only to please another, or only at another's bidding, 
why should I do ill at the same pleasure or command ? That is, 
if anotlier's will is my law, instead of my own judgment of right 
and wrong. 

Obedience. There is submi.ssion of the judgment out of respect 
to what is judged to be the better judgment of another, when it is 



1 66 The English Republic. 

clear to us that on a certain matter the other's judgment is better 
than our own. There is no other obedience possible to him who 
would be a free-man, a lover and worshipper of virtue. 

Human laws are man's interpretations of the moral law of God ; 
that is to say, whenever they are not the mere edicts of tyrants. 

Shall I let my neighbour interpret God's law for me, and take 
no thought for myself of what may be its meaning ? 

Suppose he makes a wrong interpretation. His law is bad ; and 
I— shall I obey it % 

It is a question only between one and one. Let him interpret 
as he likes. What is that to me ] He is no law-giver to me. 

But when the question is between me and tiie many % Shall I 
neglect to utter my idea of the meaning of God's law, and 
leave the many to interpret for me, and to compel my obedience 
to their interpretation % 

I will rebel. 

Ay ! rather be a slave. For I have no right to stoop to the 
yoke of another's interpretation. As before said, if I may submit 
to be guided in one matter, I may in all, and so in harness of 
other's law be driven into tlie worst of evil. 

But better than that first silence and the remedy of rebellion 
would be the endeavour to make my interpretation of God's law 
clear to my fellows. So our conference miglit pi'event rebellion, 
I possibly enlightening them, they possibly convincing me. 

For the one everlasting duty of man is to endeavour to make 
God's will (the Law of life) known and so " done on earth." To 
make it knovai by our words and by our woi-ks. Therefore should 
we take counsel together, in order the more readily to discover 
the laiv and to aid each other in carrying it out. 

If law is good for anything it is as a rule of life. Nay, every 
law, however imbecile its origin, affects some action of a man's 
life. 

Every action ought to be in harmony M'ith God's law; how shall 
that be if any part of human law is not in accordance with it ? 

Then a man has no more right to abstain from his part in 



Slavery and Freedom. 167 

making the law.s wliioh arc to regulate his life (or, at least, some 
portion of his life), than he has to hire himself out as an assassin, 
to any tyrant that may need him. For the assassin is only a 
slave ; one who has submitted his conscience to the will of 
another. 

And what else hut a slave is he who suffers another to make 
laws which shall bind his actions against his conscience % He is 
the assassin of so nmch good which but for him would be living 
in the world. 

Lo, a virtuous woman, who lias no will but that of her husband ! 
A virtuous machine ! a free slave ! a truthful liar ! 

And the honest citizen who troubles himself not about the laws, 
except to obey them ! The patriot who suffers lies to be the 
tyrants of his country ! Tiio honest dutiful citizen who cares not 
whether truth or falsehood r)ili' the land ! The slave who waits 
till the collar galls him ! 

Virtue is free worship of truth. The automaton that utters the 
truest words, the machine that acts correctly, is not virtuous. 
Agaiu and again, there is no virtue without will. A slave cannot 
be virtuous. 

A man sits by his hearth, and says : Lot who will make the 
laws, so long as they do not impede my growth or thwart my 
will, while my conscience is safe, why should I disturb myself 1 
Man's business is to worship truth. What is this but to make 
God's will — Avhich is truth — manifest on eartli ? How shall he do 
this if he separate himself from humanity ] 

If thou art of the illuminated, let thy light shine before men ; 
if thou art dark mayest thou not find help among thy fellows? 

"Let who will go wrong so long as they do not constrain me to 
join them." Is this a virtuous worship of truth 1 

But such unconcern does of itself impc«lc growth and interfere 
with action. The man who has no concern with humanity, has shut 
himself out of the path of truth. Is truth a mere relative to 
thee? Think somewhat of the natiue of truth, and learn that 
aloue thou canst not worship it. 



1 68 The English Republic. 

Truth leaves him who will not follow her beyond his thres- 
hold. 

Man's life is not his own. He owes it to humanity, of which he 
is an integral part. 

He owes it to eternity, whose harvests shall follow from his 
acts. He owes it to God, the Spirit of truth, who gave life to him, 
to be used truthfully. 

And thou sayest — I may be a slave if I will ; say rather, I am a 
slave when I cease to will. 

Fool ! Fool ! if I will at all, I am no longer a slave. 

I am a slave only when I do not exert my will. Whenever I do 
not exert it. 

But men who would hold their lives as a drawn sword if any 
tyrant presumed to reign over them, sheathe themselves in bestial 
submission to the tyrants of their own appointing. 

Between the elected and the self-elected, says one who thought 
like a free man, I see certainly some difference, but of choice I 
see none ; and be their means of coming to the throne diverse, yet 
always their manner of reigning is much the same. 

And what matters it whether the Czar violently set his foot 
upon our necks, or we ourselves assist in the enthroning of some 
pettier tyrant or tyrants ] Except that in the latter case our 
degradation is the more complete. 

For the freest souled may be overcome by force; but only the 
slave consents to fashioning his own fetters. 

And what matters it whether we bow down to the one tyrant, 
or to the many 1 Except that the many have a firmer tread upon 
our necks ; especially if they may equal us iii number. 

Whether one tyrant or many, whether the style and title be 
King Force, or the honourable Mr. Accomplice — whether the slave 
be turbulent or contented — slavery remains the same — a lie flung 
in the face of God, who made man in His own image, free, and 
truthful. 

We will say nothing of the injury done to our children when we 
leave them only a heritage of slavery. Time was that men walked 



Slavery and Freedom. 1 69 

upriglitly, not asking whether it was toward the scaflold or the 
battlefield : throwing their lives upon a east for freedom, for the 
future, for God. But now we arc more practical. 

And yet, if the tongued flame might touch the foreheads of the 
prone, out of this slough of self-contempt which is pointed at as 
England, might arise a nation of free-men worthy to inherit the 
land of Eliot, Hampden and Milton. 

Non-intervention and Fair- Play. 

It is the fashion to talk of non-intervention as the rule of Eng- 
lish policy. But non-intervention is not the rule. 

The rule of English policy is utter denial of any relation of 
duty towai'ds the world, utter contempt of Justice and disregard 
of Honour ; care only for the shop^ and for our allies the despots, 
whose welfare is supposed to be identical with the shop. 

Lacking a name to characterise so revolting, so hideous a 
system, they have christened it "non-intervention" — par excel- 
lence, the "peace-policy." 

Do we not love Peace? Truly we do; but we love Justice 
more. And till Peace and Justice be synonymous, while "Peace" 
means anything but Justice, we would not have "Peace." 

"We object to the pretence which hinders the real advent of 
Peace. 

We object to those who, when the streets run with blood, ex- 
claim, " It is peace," simply because none of tlieir own family have 
been murdered. This is the non-intervention policy, if carried 
out consistently. 

"We object to those who, when a town is on fire, refuse to lend 
a hand to extinguish it, because their house has party-walls. The 
non-interventionists again. 

We object to those who assert that they are excused from the 
duties of humanity, they have no quarrel with Injustice, because of 
their "geographical position" or "peculiar constitution"; that 
their moral position depends on the geographical. Justice on 
some peculiarity in their constitution. This is the creed of the 



170 The English Republic. 

non- interventionists. Our most Christian statesmen, when 
told to love their neighbours, do not indeed ask who are their 
neighbours, but openly plead in bar their " geographical 
position." 

We object to the " Peace "-preservers whose souls are branded 
with the shame of complicity with the massacres of Galicia and 
the bombardment of Rome, and whose hands are red with the* 
blood of the Punjab. 

We object to such " Peace " as won for Louis Philippe the title 
of the "Napoleon of Peace," the applause and fellowship of 
those who support, and are supported by, the policy of non-inter- 
vention : the " peaceful " policy which betrayed Poland and Italy, 
which invented African razzias ; the " Peace " which needed a 
Spanish marriage for its maintenance, with Soulqnque the Second 
as its just and most logical reward. 

The patron-saint and friend and exempter of the Traders-in- 
peace — the master of the non-intervention school — was at war 
with Africa during the seventeen years of his most peaceful reign, 
as the men of Lyons and the Hue Transnovain might testify. But 
the African war did not affect the Shop. 

The cry of non-intervention is not honest. It is a cant word 
to deceive the nation. The non-intervention of English diploma- 
tists and tradesmen is an excuse for occasions, when the Shop is 
in danger, or when liberty fights against odds. It is not used else. 

Our geographical position and peculiar constitution prevented 
us from interfering to rescue Rome from the bai'barians, to aid 
the development of Italian freedom proclaimed and promised by 
our agents when a purpose was to be served. 

Meanwhile, our geographical position and peculiar constitution 
allowed us to pocket the King of Mosquito. But then the cost 
was very small. 

Our peculiar constitution prevented us from intervening to stay 
the massacres of Galicia ; our geographical position debarred us 
from maintaining the stipulations of our own treaties with regard 
to Cracow. 

But when the Liberals of Oporto went nigh to overthrow a 



Slavery and Freedom. 1 7 1 



worthless Court, tlicii we could interfere to ruin the Liberals, 
tliough acknowledging that Right was on their side. 

The same game was talked of towards Switzerland ; but 
the Swiss settled their affairs before the nou-interveners could 
interfere. 

It is non-interveution when such policy may serve the cause of 
Despotism : then only. For the Shop is believed to depend on 
Court custom. So they hold together. If you have any doubt 
of that matter, read — not the news, but the state of tlie Funds. 
They rise and fall with Despotism. They indicate exactly the 
peculiar constitution of the non-intervening Traders, no matter 
what may be the geographical position of their correspondents — 
the Despots. 

But we " are wronging the Peace-men." " They would in- 
terfere for Justice." Would 1 Yes. Hell may be very handsomely 
paved with their own intentions. " They would interfere per- 
suasively ; " and, while cities ai-e being bombarded and sacked, 
talk quietly in and out of Parliament, it does not matter where, 
yet not too loudly lest some friendly King of Bombarders may 
hear them, of the wondrous power of gentleness. " How much 
better it would be to arbitrate these quarrels ! " '' Then our trade 
need not be interrupted." Whereupon, some laugh in their 
sleeves : all, perhaps, except the cossocks, who have not yet 
learned politeness. 

" Arbitrate," say the most eminent of the non-interventionists — 
those who deny national duty and make a mock of national honoi^r 
— Arbitrate ! But there can be no arbitration between Kightand 
Wrong. It is a quarrel to the death. 

What arbitration between Italy or Hungary and the Austrian 
Emperor ; between Rome and the Pope ; Naples and the Bourbon; 
or between Poland and the Czar % 

What arbitration, or say compromise, between Ledru-Rollin and 
Louis " Bonaparte," between the oppressed and their oppressor ; 
between Liberty and Despotism ? 

Do the "arbitrators" propose to arbitrate in the case of 
Ireland ? 



172 The English Republic. 

Arbitration now could mean bv;t one thing : a convention of all 
the existing Governments, an agent never more to quarrel but to 
uphold each other against their Peojyies. 

For, say the supreme arbitration is agreed upon. What is that 
to Sicily, to Rome, to Lombardy, to Hungary, to Poland 1 

Say Poland. Poland will not be recognised or represented in 
your Court. She revolts against the " Three " Powers. She 
can never arbitrate. What becomes of your peacefnl arbitra- 
ment 1 We ask it of those who may honestly think that any 
supreme court of arbitration can prevent war so long as Injustice 
rules the earth. 

There may be such a supreme court of arbitration ivhen the 
earth shall he divided mto nations, instead of kingdoms — when the 
world shall be organised, not as now, parcelled out to please the 
caprices of statecraft, without regard to nationality, in defiance 
even of geographical position and peculiar constitution. 

But there can be no ai'bitration till Despotism is no more ; no 
Peace till Justice I'ules the world. Let the Utopian Peace-men 
cease to be utopian ; and, no longer giving countenance to the 
Traders-in-peace, consider how practically to advance Peace. They 
will so accomplish more than by repeating a parrot ciy or by any 
premature conventions. 

For, though Peace is yet an unmeaning word upon the earth, 
Duty should have significance. And only by close following of 
Duty, though it be through the cannon -smoke, and over blood- 
stained fields, can Peace be permanently secured. 

If a robber would attack my house, meaning to outrage my 
sister or slay my children, shall I seek peace with him to-day, 
knowing that he would return to-morrow to repeat his attack 1 
Or shall I stand courteously on the threshold, and bid him pass to 
his work, in the name of Peace objecting to interfere 1 Will I not 
rather slay him on the spot 1 

AVould I talk of Peace in the forests, till the last wolf's head 
was on my spear 1 

Aid the wronged and the weak ! Gird up thy loins dutifully 
to follow Justice loherever she may lead thee. 



Slavery and Freedom. i y^ 

most desired Peace ! whom the true, the beautiful-natured, 
alone can really love or perceive, where shall I worship thee 1 
Shall I not be first in my own conscience 1 There, at least, will 
I maintain a service, whatever storms may rage around me, over- 
throwing thine altars in the high places of the world. 

And how at peace with conscience, if I shirk, for any qtiiet's 
sake, my duty to the suffering 1 ^ 

Yes ! for the sake of true Peace, the peace which passeth the 
understanding of the non-interveners, I will make no dishonour- 
able truce with Injustice, whatever may be its geographical posi- 
tion or peculiar constitution. 



But we are told that non-intervention is but a new phrase for 
our old English fair i^lny- It is a lie: the old English maxim 
was not the " non-intervention " of modern peace-men. 

Old English /aw- j'j/dy was to stand by in a doubtful qtiarrel, to 
see then that the trial by battle was conducted without odds on 
either side. 

Tills is very different from the " interference in behalf of non- 
interference " (how choice and logical a sentence !) which even 
" Friends " of Italy and Hungary were not ashamed to recom- 
mend. 

Old English fair j-'^^^l/ never meant hanging back from a 
quarrel which was not doubtful, meant not shirking thorougii 
service to our "Friends." 

Fair x)loy never meant indisposition or refusal to take the side 
of Right, because the quarrel was " none of ours." 

It matters not how high the authority which may endorse the 
modern acceptation, by telling us that England might rest con- 
tent with preventing intervention, with providing for " fair play " 
between any oppressed nation and its particular ojipressor. If 
the highest told us so, we would still reply, that the doctrine is 
false and damnable. 

It is not enough merely to keep off two from one. Is not one 
to one odds sometimes 1 Where lies the question ? 



174 ^^^^ English Repitblic. 

Fair play indeed ! What fair play between Right and 
Wrong, between Wealiness and Force, between ihe fair and 
the foul ? 

Between two honest, two equally-respected combatants maintain 
fair play. See that your friends play fairly. 

But when known Wrong is in the field, and the fight is to the 
death, step in no longer with an useless wand, but with fierce 
sword, as a champion for the Right. The herald's part has 
ceased ; Banners, advance ! 

Fair play ! It is no longer play, but work. Strike in ! fairly 
of course ; and let the Foul take care of themselves. 



And now see how curses (as the proverb says) always " come 
home to roost." 

You deny your duty to your neighbour. Ha ! who is my neigh- 
bour? Next relation is "^no relation." Have done with patriotism 
too ! To-morrow we will cease weeping at that home-tragedy, be- 
cause it is " in another parish." 

Read sentimental, peaceful Lamartine's non-intervention pro- 
gramme (of March, 1848) ; and track it to its interesting logical 
conclusion — Cavaiguac's June massacres as the "beginning of the 
end," and the 2nd Dec. for winding up — an elegant peroration 
that should teach the inmost hearts of all Englishmen not too 
thickly crusted over with the cowardly, atheistic, or sordid theories 
of " peace " and " minding one's own business." 

Like causes produce lilee results. Whither are we too tra- 
velling % 

Notice that the Manchester non-interventionists and the canting 
"peace "-men were just the men who, pretending liberalism, yet 
openly or secretly endeavoured to prevent the franchise for every 
Englishman. 

Of course ; as men of expedients and huckstering compromises, 
self-seekers, cowards, and atheists, scoffei's at principle, and utterly 
without understanding of the divine significance of duty, what 
other conduct could we expect from them 1 



Slavery and Freedom. 175 

But ask them if nuu-iuterveutiuu is fair play ! Yes, sir; non- 
intervention between the Czar and yet bleeding Pohind ; and fair 
play between a well-garrisoned ministry and tlje " million or so " 
of British helots, who will not dare even claim the benefit of the 
last dodge — " to be only rated to the poor." 



CHAPTER VII. 

RELIGION, GENIUS, AND REPUBLICANISM. 

Religion, Genius and Republicanism. A Church and a Republic. 
Religious Worship. 

Religion is the bringing man toward God. The priest is the 
minister of religion. And the highest priest — say some — is the 
Pope. 

Saint Peter, from whom those Popes pretend to derive their 
special title to sanctity, was truly a minister of religion, a con- 
fronter of iniquity, an earnest endeavourer to bring man toward 
God. At least, so says the legend. He was no fawner upon 
Csosar, no accomplice of imperial villains ; neither a Vitellius nor 
a Caligula would have got his benediction. Iscariot himself had 
been ashamed of such a task as that which is imposed in our day 
upon the " Successor of St. Peter." 

Vicar of Christ — a Ruffian's Valet ! — High Priest of the true 
God — "Worshipper of the Baboon Idol whose filthiness is set up in 
the shambles by the pious atheists of France. These are the 
titles which the Head of the Catholic Church would unite for the 
good of Christendom. 

The " Catholic " may be as honest as the Protestant. The 
peculiarities of his creed may be as creditable as those of Pro- 
testantism. There are doubtless many honest Catholics, even in 
Ireland, who loathe the scandal of an alliance between the infallible 
Pontiff and the blood-stained, perjured " Napoleon." Bat the 
Pcqml Church consented to that alliance with Rascality ; 
consented to lend him the altar as a footstool, to lend him the 

J76 



Religion, Genitts, and Republicanism. 1^7 

■white gavmcuts of the priesthood that he may wipe with them the 
accumulated filth from his bloody hands. Every Frenchman may 
see that the scarlet of the priest's vestments is the blood shed on the 
2ud of December. All Europe will know it, and when Justice over- 
takes the Imperial Miscreant, the Accomplice of his abominations 
will fall with him. That word Papacy is written on the gallows. 
Since Pope Pius mistook the "Saviour of Society" for the "Son 
of God" the Papacy is no more. 

Priests of God ! We are not without them even in Protestant 
England. But which of them, law-ordained or dissenting, has 
denounced from his pulpit the hideous Blasphemy which, standing 
with one foot in Paris and one in St. Petersburg, throws its 
shadow over even this " moral land " % Go into our churches and 
our chapels; the minister of religion points his finger at some 
little breaker of a petty ordinance, but he will not lift up his 
parable against the Royalty of Crime. The " Times " speaks out; 
but never a bishop or archbishop. For our priests are atheists ; 
and their flocks do credit to their care. They "do not meddle 
with politics." No ! they would bring men near to God only in 
the after life, when, let us hope, there will be neither Popes nor 
Protestant Parasites. Here they have revenues to care for, and 
Te, Devil, lavdamus ! for a weekly service. 

But there is religion outside the steeple-house ! Though the priest 
forgets his ministry, the Truth is not without its prophets. At 
the for:5aken altar Genius standeth ministering. Genius sliouUl so 
stand; for ever Genius is sent by God to be His priest. His preacher. 
His interpreter. Shame, shame and woe to (Jenius when it for- 
gets its consecration and does the Devil's work instead of God's. 
Shame when a Rachel prostitutes herself to be something worse 
than the harlot of the Parisian Felon : worse, for his mistress 
might plead some blinding wilderment of "love" — such "love" 
as the veriest hero by strangest chance may possibly inspire. 
While the Papal hierarchy, from Rome to Ditblin, desecrates God's 
temples with approval of most disgusting Crime, a Rachel profanes 
the altar of Genius with an echo of the same approval. 

Leave poor Pius iu his livei-y. Let him slink back again to his 



178 The English Reptiblic. 

Vatican, and be at peace till the Spirit of old Eome again rise and 
kick ont the Tiara'd Flunky and his Gallic Dogs. It is long since 
Popes were anything except accommodating tools of Tyrants. 
But should Genius play the parasite? Is it not the right of 
Genius to proclaim God's law even when priests are faithless ] Is 
it not tlie duty of Genius to keep pure the sacred fire which lights 
its brow, to hold its head erect, that men, lit by the tongued 
flame, may see their way to God % Shall Genius stoop its brow to 
the kennel whenever an Imperial Murderer heads the sheets % 
And when that Genius is a "Woman, shall it be less pure, less holy, 
less decently upright 1 A Pope may grasp hands with the Decem- 
brist ; but shall a Rachel kiss him and lie trembling at his feet ] 

Priests pander to successful Wrong ; Genius sells itself for a 
villainous smile, a bouquet with bloody stalks, or a handful of 
Vespasian's coin careless of the smell ! Well, if priests and Genius 
play false, what is that to us ? Shall not the Republican be true ] 

Read the following from the lips of one of our best Republicans 
— Charles Delescluze : — 

" Cournet was a great and courageous citizen, and the name 
which he leaves is one of those which will remain as the symbol of 
political honesty and of an unlimited devotion to the cause of the 
people. On his deathbed one thought alone occupied Cournet — 
the Republic and the Revolution." 

And Cournet fell in a duel, as Armand Carrel fell. 

Over the new grave of him who stood beside Bandin on the 
barricades of December, how should we speak censoriously % How 
should we forget his life's love for France ? How either should we 
be bold to blame that French susceptibility which made the duel 
imperative 1 Yet what weight have bravery, undoubted love, or 
nicest sense of " honoui-," against the truth ? What is his epitaph? 
It is written — not for him but for us, that he fell in a duel. 

Not "the symbol of political honesty," not "an unlimited 
devotion to the cause." He turned aside upon his personal errand. 
We may not speak falsely even in praise of the best loved. 

A man passes rapidly along the road. His duty is imperative. 
Haste is urgent. Every minute must be devoted. He steps 



Religion, Genius^ and Rcptiblicanism. 179 

aside, gives but a brief while to pick up a flower. He has missed 
the road. He has failed in his duty. The flower is called 
pleasure. Aud you curse the selfish voluptuary who for that 
pleasure forgot the world's work he had to do — he had uudertaken 
to do. Call the flower honotir instead of pleasure. Is it any the 
more " an unlimited devotion ? " 

One is intrusted with a treasure to be carried to a certain 
distance. May he set it down while he fights out some chance 
quarrel ? And when the treasure is a Eepublicau life, to be borne 
safely to the feet of victory"? Aud when the Republican has 
devoted this life? Is the abandonment "a symbol of political 
dishonesty 1 " 

Would Cournet on that December morning in 1851, have 
deserted the barricade to fight a duel? And why not then as 
well as at any time afterwards '? 

His life was not his own. Neither was his honour (by which 
of course we only mean his reputation). " Que mon mom soit 
fl^^tri ! — My name be blighted" — said Dauton. I am the Re- 
public's. I may not step out of the ranks for any personal matter. 
This man Dauton — this life which is called Danton — is but as a 
sword in God's hand. It is aimed by God ; it waits in His hand 
till He shall be pleased to strike with it. It leaps not from His 
hand, nor turns aside from the one direct blow for any selfish 
purpose. 

For what is a Republican 1 What his cause 1 His cause is tliat 
of Humanity — of God. He is a priest devoted to God. And his 
whole life is as a religious service. Alas !— what religious service, 
what devotion unto God, what truth to Humanity, what Re 
publicanism is there in tossing up— heads or tails — whether I or 
you shall be rendered incapable of any service whatsoever? 

The priest may not accept a challenge. Not even a French 
priest. Wherefore] Because of his sacred calling. Is our 
Republican mission and vocation less sacred] Or are our services 
of less worth 1 

But to be called Coivard ? To be called. Set against the false 
name the false act. " Coward " or deserter ] Choose ! 



i8o The English Republic. 



It is a praise of Couniet that on his death-bed one thought 
alone occupied him — the Republic and the Revolution. If but 
that one thought had occupied his life we should not now have to 
lament that death-bed, should not have to lay these stern upbraid- 
ings upon a memory else so noble. But the sad examples of Carrel 
and Cournet must not mislead us. 

Sad and every way foolish. Was it Cournet's duty to slay his 
opponent ? If so, it was his duty to choose the likeliest means of 
slaying him. Was that to turn his own pistol to his own breast 
and bid his opponent pull the trigger ? 

Or was it not his duty to slay him 1 How shall we excuse the 
Republican who attempts what is not his duty? 

His own life belonged to Humanity, was sacred to God. His 
xvlioh life; there could be no reservation of particular half-hours 
for the sake of duelling excursions. If he did not believe that his 
whole life was bound to be God's servant, and the servant of 
Humanity, he was no Republican. Being a Republican, what 
defence is there for his act % 

He was a Frenchman. Nay — we will not accept so insolent an 
excuse. Would Lamennais so throw away his life ] We know 
truly that certain ages, certain races, have their peculiar weak- 
nesses which extenuate offences. Still the greatest is he who is 
most above the weaknesses of his time and race. But truth alters 
not. Our Republican ideal remains the same. Though the noblest 
ghost should deprecate our reproach, we can not do other than 
hold up that ideal for true men to copy. The duellist, however 
noble else, on that one occasion is an egotist^ not a Republican. 

Are such words harsh 1 It is so impossible for the best man to 
be always unerring. Is that any x-eason for shutting our eyes to 
his errors'? Do errors ever become virtues ? Is it possible for men 
to reach perfection ; yet who would not hold up perfection as the 
mark at which to strive % " There is but one virtue," says George 
Sand, " the eternal sacrifice of self." Is not that the condem- 
nation of duelling for personal honour's sake % What matters that 
my name be blighted ] My v/hole life is the Republic's. 

In life, as in death, may the Republic be our cue thought J 



Religion, Genius, and Republicanism. i8i 

Nor love, uor hate, nor liope, nor joy, nor fear have power to call 
us from the side of duty ! Our lives are in God's hands. 

Had Cournet been my brother and an Englishman, I had 
spoken these words over his grave. Shall I speak less frankly 
because he was a Frenchman and my brother in the faith? 
Honour to his virtuous life ! Forgiveness for his one fault ! And 
may both his life and death be useful to Humanity. 



A Church and a Rejmhlic. 

There is a Democracy and there is a Republic. The two things 
are not necessarily the same. A Republic, truly, can not be other 
than democratic, being the government of the whole by the whole 
for the benefit of the whole. But a Democracy may be no govern- 
ment at all. 

The United States of America present us with a sample of mere 
Democracy. There is not government, but only a somewhat in- 
efficient machinery for police purposes and for managing the 
relations with foreign States. This, perhaps, is what the illogical 
advocates of the '"' voluntary system " would call a perfect govern- 
ment. It is not Republican government. It is not the ideal to 
Avliich we would raise the thoughts of Englishmen. 

A " Republic " which abets slavery, which cannot repress out- 
rageous crime, nor harmonise the general interests of its citizens, 
which knows no duty to the world, a " Republic " which mainly 
differs from monarchical England in the titles and salaries of its 
chief officers, and in the one circumstance of its land being not yet 
all appropriated, a " Republic " whose institutions arc not 
Republican, whose life has been exactly formed in the mould of 
monarchical England, whose differences from England's habits are 
seldom more than accidental, whose course and tendency is through 
the same social tyrannies and religious falsehoods toward the same 
phases of anarchy and atheism^ such a Republic is not worthy of 
the name. We repeat, that is not the ideal to which we would 
lift the hopes of Englishmen. 



1 82 The English Repttblic. 

And yet toward America our eyes may turn, looking back to 
its first colonising, when religious men were careful to found a 
new England, which should be, not a mere bigger Babel tower 
of anarchical money-getters, but a lasting temple of the Eternal 
God. Not that we would renew the fashion of even the purer 
puritanism of Vane ; not that we would acknowledge the dead 
letter of a Jewish law ; but we would revive the puritan's spirit, 
we would uphold the correctness of their perception that man's 
life is altogether religious, and the business of government nothing 
less than the organisation of all the powers of life toward one 
religious aim. For Church and State are one. 

The Church and State are one ; this is different from a State 
and a State-Church. That abomination of priestcraft, that 
division of the people into clergy and laity, that severance of man's 
life into two parts — religious and secular, was the fatal error of 
the Papacy. Though they sought thereby to unite the world, be- 
lieving that only on such a spiritual ground men could unite, their 
error was not the less. Its anti-Christian results are manifest again, 
infallible monstei's and ecstatic monomaniacs in " the Church " 
whether papal or " reformed," and outside, as compensation in the 
balance, the weaknesses and conceited follies of a secular atheism. 
Humanity is not to be so cut in twain. The cup is for the whole 
people, as John Huss would have it. The whole people is the 
priesthood, in them alone is the right of electing their high priests- 
And as everyone is priest, so the life of everyone should be priestly ; 
altogether so ; the office sacred, the calling, the functions, and the 
conduct, altogether holy and devoted. 

At present, as we have our division of the body politic, the State, 
into two sets, one set of men to " serve God," and another to 
"do the work of man," so we have every man likewise divided by 
two doctrines, one for Sundays and the other for " week days." 
Or rather, we have a division of theory and practice, the theory 
being reserved for appointed times, under the direction of the 
clergy ; and the practice for all but those appointed times, after 
the " guidance " of a magistracy. There is no occasion for the 
Sunday theory and the work day practice to accord ; our religion 



Religion, Genitts, and Republicanism. 183 

is not represented in the " House," and politics are not proper in 
the "Church." So a devilish dualism ruins the whole of life, 
breaking our integrity, preventing all directness and earnestness 
of action, making us vacillators, compromising, unstable, and in- 
capable of natural growth or progress. 

Credo : I believe. The animal exists : the man believes. The 
creed is the essential distinction of humanity. I believe. A 
parrot might be taught to utter the word : but there is no man- 
hood in the mere utterance. I believe is but the beginning of a 
sentence. What is it I believe 1 That ascertained, as nearly as 
1 can ascertain it, and knowing that belief is life, I may go to 
work. I find that, / helieve in God, in the Power of Truth, whose 
Wcn'd and Work is Justice, whose Sj^irit is the Beauty of Etey*nity. 
J helieve that human life is an emanation from God, and that it 
naturally aspires toivard God. I helieve therefore that as the origin 
is one, and the aim also one, so the course and government of life 
shoidd be one, that everything shozdd he made serviceable to the one 
end. So believing in the oneness of life, and duty deduced there- 
from, how can I tolerate the division of life into religious and 
secular, into parson life and parliament life, into work-day 
mammon worship and Sunday-lip service toward God ? 

Whatever our creed is, that we should act out, through every 
portion of our lives. What is our English creed 1 Not mine, 
not yours, but the creed of the time ! The creed of the time ! 
Be sure, if you will take the trouble, you will find an overwhelm- 
ing majority upon certain important principles of action : that is 
the creed of the time. Let the majority act upon it. If the creed 
of this time is such Christianity as is taught in our churches and 
chapels, let it not hide in them, to be shown to \is only once or 
twice a week and then thrust out of sight like a dirty surplice ! 
but let it come out and rule us in Parliament and in the market- 
place, and be master in the streets and fields, yea ! even in our 
secretest chambers. How shall this be unless the believers of this 
creed organise their worship, making of themselves a church, 
tvhose doctrines shall he law / If they believe it to be Gospel, 
shall it not be also Law 1 The law and the gospel should be one. 



184 The English Repttblic. 

And here let us mark the distinction to be made between 
principles and opinions. Opinions will be as vai'ious as the minds 
of men. We want not unity, but the utmost possible diversity 
of opinion. But principles, the beginnings of action, the grounds 
from which actions start, are far more easily agreed to. Opinions 
are but parts of ourselves ; principles are truths independent of 
us. 

We do want unity of these last. Without it we have no co- 
herence in society, no possibility of government, no stability on 
which to build the future. Mark well this difference between 
principle and opinion. 

The creed of the majority becomes law. That is right. It is 
right that they should use their power in endeavouring to realise 
their theory of life. Is their theory right? Though only as a 
temporary theory, they will be successful in accordance with its 
rightness. Is it wrong, it will fail ; so at least some of them 
may be convinced, and a new majority begin a new experiment. 
Am I in a muiorityl Let me work as earnestly as the majority, 
not denying the right of the greater number to organise and so 
best use their powers, but endeavouring to win a majority to my 
faith. Give me but " the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue 
freely according to conscience," and all shall he well with me, 
and with tliose others also. For at worst their earnestness will 
bring them true experience. 

If, indeed, the most of us believe in gold as the only God, in 
the absoluteness of personal interests, and such solidarity as can 
be got out of that, rather than in the oneness of human aim and 
aspiration, then let that belief be explicitly and boldly uttered, 
organised, and carried through. If money-getting is the aim of 
every life, and the Church business of very doubtful utility, 
except, indeed, for some contingent reversions elsewhere, let us 
frame our state, our polity, our life accordingly, and supplement 
our free-trade and economical Acts of Parliament with not only a 
parliamentary Book of Common Prayer, but with parliamentary 
provisions for the Avhole parsonising process, with cheaper division 
of employments — why not all by machinery, with much saving 



Religion, Genius, and Republicanism. 185 

of cost, and gain of certainty in the making, to say nothing of 
variety of patterns to suit the tastes of all folk, and accommodate 
the peculiarities of those in need of "religious influence," So our 
Anarchy shall at least avoid the reproach of double-mindedness, 
and our Incoherencies be as coherent as the "solidarity of interests" 
may permit. This would be the perfection of a "Secular" State, 
which would just provide religious toys, not too expensively, for 
its babes and fools. 

Or if life should be a religious service ; if God, or Truth, exists ; 
if the religious bond, the Godward aspiration which gives birth to 
duty, is indeed the law of our nature \ still let us beware how we 
sever religion and polity, theory and practice, belief and deed. 
They must be one even as life is one. They must be harmoniously 
according, or our life will be a discord. Is it not so even nowl 

How Church and State sliall become one : the Church not pro- 
stituted to the State as now, but married to it to the bringing 
forth of a rigliteous national life ; this lies beyond our singular 
dictation. 

Enough to point out the error of a divided and dual life, haply 
to the convincing some earnest few to the necessity of integrity — 
which is the ivholeness of truth in all things, in a State as well as 
in an iudiviilual. Nay, of how much more consequence in a State 
than in an individual. Some few convinced of this may, by 2iatient 
striving, win a majority to believe so much, and then the hoio it 
shall he accomplished will be brought in question. 

Certainly it will not be accomplished by believers rubbing their 
hands and saying — Ah, presently: business is very brisk just now. 

Religious Worship. 

Life is a progress and an ascension. Tlie vivifying flame breathed 
into us by God soars ever upwards towards God. 

We believe in the immortality of the soul. This cartlily life is 
but one stage of our existence. 

Government is educational. The object of Government is to 
assure the progress of all, to discover and to apply the laws of 



1 86 The English ReptLblic. 

God for the elevation of Humanity. The State is not merely a 
policeman or a purveyor of the kitchen. Neither is the educa- 
tional function of Government applicable only to the young. Life 
from birth to death is but a school time, and the oldest have yet 
tlieir lessons. 

Are they only to learn of the things which pass not beyond this 
" grave-rounded " life 1 Shall they not also inquire of their rela- 
tion to eternity % Life is one, however many may be its stages. 

The aspirations of mankind are heavenward. The religious 
feeling, the sentiment which makes God the beginning and the 
end of all, which looks upon past, present, and future, as links of one 
great change of being — is too univei'sal and important to be left 
to chance. For is not this the basis of our whole scheme of duty? 
The organisation of religious worship is, therefore, a part of the 
business of Government. 

In the name of religious freedom the individual claims a right 
not only to think but to preach and proselytise. 

Shall the minority, even the unit, have this freedom, and the 
majorit)^, the State, be restrained? In the name of what? Of 
anarchy ? 

Shall the prophet or apostle have full liberty to prophesy and 
proclaim God's truth, and when the general consent of mankind 
has confirmed his assertion — shall religious freedom forbid the 
organised publication of the gospel ? 

Shall every little sect possess its chapel : and the State, the 
Nation, have no church, no place wherein to remind men even of 
truths the most generally acknowledged ? Or shall the State be 
trusted with the education of our youth, the training of the rising 
generation in the principles of morality^ and yet not be empowered 
to express its definition of those principles ? 

Shall it hold the right to apply a moral law to the young and 
yet have no means of developing it, of publishing it before the 
elders of the people ? 

The doctrines inculcated in the State school, shall they not be 
the doctrines expounded in the State Church? 

Truly, a State Church should not descend to the trivialities of 



Religion^ Genius, and Republicanism. 187 



creeds. These, peculiar to iiulividiial minds, and if accurately 
examined, almost as various, must be left altogether to individuals 
Let the sects in their private chapels, or possibly meeting in turn 
within the national temples (taken out of monopolist hands and 
restoi'ed to the nation's use), adopt what divisional rituals may 
please them. The State Church must be the Church of the 
Nation, the utterer and echo of its faith, the explainer of the 
general truths of the relation of Humanity toward God. 

One would not now dare even attempt to draw up a form of faith, 
nor prescribe a form of national worship, nor indicate who should 
be its ministers or how the service should be arranged. 

Only when they who now usurp the throne and the altar shall 
give place to the whole people, when the people shall be both king 
and priest, will it be possible to organise a national worship. 

But will there be occasion for this when every man shall be his 
own priest, when his daily life will be a prayer, a thanksgiving, or 
a sermon, a continual service in the temple of Humanity % Even 
then the ceremonial association of one with another will not be a 
mere idle form. 

Now the new-born child (we note not the baptism into sectari- 
anism — speaking here of national matters) is registered by the 
State, but registered as one might enter in an account book the 
increase of stock. 

Then the presentation in the temple will be of one more servant 
to society, one more worker to the world ; the public recognition by 
the State of the nation's duty toward a new member, in virtue of the 
equal right, all society standing sponsor for it ; it will be the ad- 
mission, not merely formal and of one without will into some 
narrow congregation, but of one denoted as a priest in one of the 
national churches of Humanity. 

For " confirmation " there will be the vow of the boy and girl, 
as of the Greek of old, " to make their country greater and more 
glorious ; " and the public investiture of the young man or woman 
with the full rights and faculties of citizenship. 

In the temple also will the loving publicly fulfil their troth (no 
matter what udikil ceremony peculiar views may enjoin), and, as 



1 88 The English Republic. 

men learn a purer morality, no lighter or less holy connection 
will degrade the race. There, too, the patriot will receive the 
olive or the oaken garland : old age be crowned with silver honour; 
and when the course is run — there, too, the very unbeliever will 
approach and listen, no longer shocked by formal anathemas, to 
the loving, hopeful words which the true may lay upon the grave 
of even the most estranged by the variance of speculation. Nor 
need religious services be merely ceremonial. 

There shall likewise be the perpetual ministration of the priests 
of human life : the preaching and aspiring prayer of our poets, our 
prophets ; why not also those " sermons in stones," the accuracies 
of science no longer sceptical but wisely reverent — tracking from 
the very vestiges of creation the harmony and wonderful growth 
of life. All things above the actual business of the day will find 
their expression in our ritual, nor even the commonest avocations 
be divorced from the religious. 

Again, mankind will assemble in their temples to frame their 
laws to formulise God's law in adaptation to human occasions, to 
take council together how best to magnify and exalt their country 
for the service of Humanity, for the glory of the Eternal. 

That Englishmen should be jealous of any State Church is 
natural enough, not only because our popular struggles hitherto 
have been solely for individual freedom, not yet generally under- 
stood as preparative of the organisation of freemen — and so any 
concentration of power seems repugnant to the habit of our 
thought (not always to be so), but also because our State Church, 
at least since it was reformed, has been nothing but a greedy 
corporation, an unspiritual stepmother, growing fat upon our un- 
remitted service, starving our minds and exacting from the sweat 
of our brows — utterly careless of our education, and altogether 
alien to the nature which has outgrown even the possibility of 
her directing it. 

But when the Republic shall be established, when every man 
and woman shall be recognised as God's priest in virtue of 
human life, then it will be understood that individual freedom 
may be preserved intact even while men associate in common 



Religion, Gniius, and Republicanism. 1S9 

forms ; the faith, the aspirations of the majority will find a voice, 
a fornmliscd expression, age after age, will change the formula in 
accordance with the growth of life. 

Even now, notwithstanding all the chances that divide us, and 
the innumerable difficulties in the way of understanding one 
another, thoughtful men are seeking for some common worship, 
anxious to discover some temple yet unmonopolised by sectarian 
intolerance, wherein they may at least associate in the expression 
of a general hope, in the exercise of that faculty of adoration 
which distinguishes man from the beast ; whei-e, too, the millions 
who have no church, nor creed, nor ritual, might assemble, and 
learn from the higher natured there kneeling beside tlicm, tlie 
ennobling lessons of a faith in the future. 

The first stone of that temple may be laid by our Republican 
organisation. We associating, no matter in what rude huts, may 
form the first congregation of believers. 

But the State Chui'ch can only be when we have indeed a 
State, a national power — a Republic. 

Then men without fear of power, for power will be their own, 
themselves — will acknowledge that it is not enough to organise 
and rule the secular concerns of life ; but that the religious, that 
which links the generation to Eternity, needs also and even more 
urgently and primarily, the most careful organisation. And, 
thereafter, they may find that, as in the inner spirit, so likewise 
in even the outward regulations of life there is no duality ; that 
religious and political (jovernment are one and the same : — 
"politi'js" l)eing only the practical application of religion, and 
"religion" the theory upon which alone true polity can build. 

The time may be far distant ; nevertheless, those for whom we 
hope, the eternity for which we work, shall surely behold and 
rejoice in its arrival. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



LIBERTY AND EQUALITY, 



Liberty and Equality. Republican Fraternity. Nationality. 

The spirit of our earth has made but two steps upon the path 
of life. History has written but two chapters. They are the 
two phases of individual life : liberty and equality. 

Human life is educational. Humanity — the whole of human- 
kind — as is one man, whose law of life is growth, whose teacher is 
experience. Only in this they seem to differ : the man dies yet 
ignorant, immature, and his labour unaccomplished. Humanity 
lives to try new problems, problem after problem, experience after 
experience, till the sum of knowledge shall be complete. The 
ages of the earth are but as the days of a single life ; the expei'i- 
ences of nations are the world's acts. 

History has been grandly called — one of God's poems. Be sure 
it is a poem neither wanting rhythm or purpose, though to many 
readers the metre seem but luicouthly fashioned, and to some, 
even of the writers — the purpose is not very clear. The world, 
indeed, is but an act of God, His thought informs it, be the 
historian never so profoundly dull. 

Human life, we repeat, has as yet gone through but two phases 
of its existence — struggle for individual liberty, the struggle for 
individual equality. We date our years from the commencement 
of the second chapter. The first is the period of barbarism, the 
second is the era of Christianity. 

The first savage inhabitants of the earth were free. Their 

ruling Spirit — their God — the Ideal they worshipped was Freedom. 

190 



Liberty and E qua illy. 191 

'J'liey knew nought of the Younger Cod — Equality or Equal 
Right. Of the Spirit to proceed from them the wisest of tho 
heathen scarcely dreamed. 

Tlio first problem set for the world's solving was this — Hoio to 
establish Freedom without regard to equal right. For there are 
two sides to every question, two extremes to everything, use and 
abuse of all power. Men seek to propitiate the true divinity with 
offerings not divine. So Freedom was first sought for the sake of 
the seeker, not for love of the Truth. The world must prove all 
things before it shall hold fast what is good. 

The Freedom of the world's first day was Anarchy : the 
anarchical assertion of Self. It vindicated only the will of the 
stronger. When the Man would be free, it was for his own sake 
only : when the Nation asserted the right of Freedom, it was 
against all others. Freedom was my God — the genius of the 
individual, or our God — the tutelary deity of a peculiar people. 
The freest kept his slaves. The Medes and Persians overthrew 
great Babylon, but to found new Babylonish empires ; the 
Persians overcame the Mcde, but to strive for mastery with the 
Greek ; Greece spurned back the monstrous invasion of Persia, but 
to be free to play the lord at home. The freest Greek •' Re- 
publics" were but aristocracies ; corporations of freemen with 
masses of slaves below. Sparta had its helotry and the crypteia 
to keep the helots down. Wisest Athens was no wiser. Rome's 
great freemen laboured to enslave the world ; and God's favoured 
race, His peculiar people, worshipped also at that heathen shrine 
of Self. God was oxir God, who made the kings of the lands our 
captives and bound the noblest in fetters of iron. Equal liberty 
was never the God of ancient worship. How could it be 1 Out- 
side of Greece all was " barbarian ; " outside of that narrow Juda'a 
all was "heathen;" and the Roman freeman had not his dis- 
tinguishing renown for nought. 

The religions of the old world wei'e one : however various their 
dogmas, however different their manifestations. They were all 
but endeavours (difiering according to the genius or circumstances 
of the peoples) toward the solving of the first problem of human 



192 The English Republic. 

progression — self-assertion — freedom for myself— the imperfect 
freedom which is anarchical — the religion of egotism, caste, and 
nationalism. Savage against savage first, the stronger claiming 
freedom even to enslave the weaker ; then a warrior class — as in 
earliest Egypt — ruling all else ; then priestcraft, for some time 
hand in hand with the warrior, and at length climbing upon his 
shoulders to still higher power, and, as in India, pi'oviding for the 
perpetuation of slavery by the establishment of castes. In the 
Holy Land the Jehovah of the Jews insists upon the narrowest 
worship, and there too is caste, the tribe set apart as holy, the 
privileged class, the Levitical mandarins. Phenicia was but an 
earlier Venice, as tyrannical a slavemaster. Sparta was no less 
terrible a despot. Athens taught her sons to swear upon her 
altar to make their country greater and more glorious ; but only 
the citizen-class was so privileged ; the slave and the alien shared 
neither the greatness nor the glory. One scourged the slave, 
massacring the bondmen when they grew too numerous, one slew 
the Amalekite, one dragged the nations at her horses' heels. The 
first Brutus could but transfer authority from the king to the 
patrician; Roman history within the walls is but the tale of never- 
ceasing contentions between the discontented slaves and their im- 
perious lords; and Spartacus and the Grecchi vainly strove to pass 
the bounds in which great Roman Freedom was so haughtily con- 
fined. Brutus ! thy name stands highest among those who 
have dared to worship Freedom ; Roman Regulus ! thy patriot- 
ism shall not be surpassed : yet it was my freedom, and my 
country for which you dared and did. Self was written on the 
altar though it stood in Freedom's temple. So did the old world 
solve the question — Hoio to establish Freedom without; care for 
Equality. It could not be so established. The question had 
been wrongly put. Without Equality Freedom may not last. 

And yet the God was worshipped in the idol : though whom 
they did so ignorantly and devoutly worship had not been 
declared unto them. There is truth in the partial problem. 
Freedom even for one's self alone is so divine a thing, needs 
first that we call down the Divine into our own souls. There- 



Liberty a7id Equality. 193 

after tlic Spirit which has becoiuo one with us sliall go forth to 
those that are yet ia darkness. Divine indeed, the Spirit of 
Freedom which, burning fervently in the horn-lanterns of those 
untaught hearts, lit men's lives from the close darkness of the 
tomb of Self, to the beholding — not indeed of the horizoned width 
of earth, but of — the far-surrounding walls of earth's great temple 
— Country. It was something to stop from the littleness of Me 
to the grandeur of My Cotmtry. The chamber of Self was en- 
larged, tiic prison of Freedom widened out. It was the Temple 
instead of the Ark. There was room for the imprisoned God, 
though still it was but a room ; and the Universal Spirit could not 
be content. However, Time was young. The child walks in 
leadingstrings before its thews are strung. So the Free walked 
in the support of an antagonistic and selfish patriotism before he 
had gained strength to journey through the world. The fire was 
for a while shut in, that it might grow more intense. By-and-bye 
it shall embrace the world. Then men scarce knew there was a 
world. What was the world to the Ho man ? The Sabine and the 
Carthaginian enemy might be conque.ed or absorbed. Bevond 
were Scythian forests and the dim realms of the unknown, hidden 
in the ftigs of the surrounding ocean. What could he discern in 
that bewilderment and gloom, whose very shape and bound was 
but an obscure enigma'? But before him burned the sacred fire 
xipon the altar of patriotism, the glory shone around the brows of 
her wlio sate upon the seven hills ; lie bowed him down and wor- 
shipped where ihe Divinity appeared. Glorious Roman selfishness 
— scarcely to be called selfish, however based on selfishness — 
indeed, it was a yearning out of self ! — glorious and devout 
selfishness of a Brutus, a Curtius, and a llegulus ! The highest 
Spirit of Freedom — whose name is Unbounded Duty — might well 
smile upon worshippers such as those. The glorious army of 
Martyrs, for Humanity has no nobler company than those who served 
Truth even though they knew him not. Their love of country was 
indeed selfish. Even within their c .untry was the fatal division of 
noble and debased. Xotwithstanding, as the widcspreading oak is 
in the acorn, so the sublimity of Duty had its germ in Roman deed. 



194 ^^^^ English Reptiblic. 

And then, as ever, were the men before their time, who without 
seeing the error of the system in which they lived, made of their 
lives an vmconscious protest against it, and a prophecy of the future 
to which perhaps their highest thought had never soared. For the 
earliest age has in it some forecasting of the maturest. How many 
harvests in the one seed-corn ! It is only for the sake of better 
understanding that we divide into periods. Even in the narrow 
hardness of old Rome were instincts of the universal humanity, 
and sometimes hopes of a brotherly organisation. Nevertheless, 
the broad characteristic of antique time was the worship of TJmqual 
Freedom. Such exceptions as the following alter not the meaning 
of the whole. They are of the protests and the prophecies of 
which we spoke just now. 

The Fabii were of the liberal party of the patricians. Unable 
to stem the tide of patrician oppression or to persuade the senate 
to consent to the long-deferred and mean-to-be-deferred division 
of the public lands among the plebeians, whose blood and sweat 
had earned them, Caeso Fabius, in his third consulship, on his 
return from a victorious campaign, came into the senate-house 
followed by every member of his family. If he might not do 
justice to the people, since the majesty of Roman Law held him 
back from civil war, he would no longer stay among the unjust. 
" Send us out "—he said — " against the Veians, and take ye care 
afterward of yourselves. We promise to protect the majesty of 
the Roman name." On the following day, the whole family, their 
households and their clients, passed through the gates of Rome, 
three hundred and six men, to give their lives away. Within two 
years not one remained to drive back new foes or to show the 
plebeians that there were some among the patricians to count them 
as fellow-citizens. 

Are not the Zoo of Leonidas of the same devoted stamp % Free- 
dom for Self and for that larger Self— one's country — could find no 
grander manifestation. 

Yet that very grandeur, and even in its most exceptional moods, 
helped to prove the insufficiency of Unequal Liberty. It is proved 
nor needs the last poor clinching of an American repetition. 



Liberty and Equality, 195 



Uueciual Freedom was not enough even with tlie Fabii to aid. To 
tliat chapter of huniau capabihty we can add nothing. On that 
unequal ground of liuman greatness none can outgrow the Roman 
and the Greek. The story of the Maccabees is of the same stature. 
And yet it avails not. The slaveholder shall not continue free. 
The ancient empires with all their nobleness have passed. Judsca 
and Greece become mere Roman provinces; Judaja is an unholy 
sepulchre, and an idiot squats on the yet beautiful corpse of 
Greece. Rome has been. The old Roman Freedom is not 
sufficient to revive her. All of ancient virtue could not maintain 
Freedom in one corner of the earth, Freedom could only remain 
with the whole earth for habitation. Tlie gods departed from the 
nations, and in the winter depth when all was darkly still the God 
of humankind looked down upon the stable in which a poor man's 
child was born. And the Son appeared to make the Father known. 
Equality, the Slave's Mediator, to lead — not the favoured race, 
but — the Gentile world into the presence of Libert3\ God is 
Liberty : Creative Freedom. Equality is the Christ : the Inter- 
cessor— atoning for offences, making all as one. The first chapter 
of human life was ended. The Anarch — Barbarism — Unequal 
Liberty — had reigned. Rightly do we date out years from tiie 
coming of the Preacher of human equality. 

Not Liberty, but E<itu.diti/ to had men to Liberty is the one 
distinguishing dogma of Christianity. How freemen and slaves, 
when all are children of God 1 That title cfiiices all distinctions. 
All are heirs of tlie promises. Who dares enslave the heir? 
Here is the one aim and meaning of Christianity ; the one aim 
and meaning, wliich priests and protesting preachers alike have 
missed, for all their babbling of prevenient grace. The dis- 
tinguishing characteristic of a religion is not to be known in only 
some poor points of formula or expression. Brahniinism found 
God born of a pure virgin ; Confucius in words as clear as Christ's 
foretaught the true morality of love. Not for that or the other 
dogma was Christianity the new religion ; but because it brought 
down from heaven the new faith of the equality of man, so 
becoming the one great fact in human progress. For the first 



igS The English Republic. 

step is not progress ; the second is. The first step was barbaric 
Freedom, the second is Equality from heaven. The first was 
Freedom because / am a man. The second is Equality because we 
are all sons of God. 

Let us have done with the trivialities of a corrupt or stupid 
priesthood. A new i-eligion is not a new set of pious formulas ; is 
not the change from Solomon's Temple to St. Peter's nor the 
Conventicle ; is not a new Sunday coat in which to occasionally 
parade ourselves before the Awful Majesty of the Eternal. A 
new religion is a new revelation, a new idea whispered by God into 
our souls for us to incarnate in daily fact. It is a new link in the 
chain with which we must be led to God, another round of the 
golden cord let down from heaven to draw us up. Our religion 
is different from that of old time. Our religion is the equal 
brotherhood of mankind. This, this only is Christianity. We 
are not else better than the heathen ; and without it the nations 
of Christendom would pei'ish even as the ancient empires perished. 
There is absolutely no other diff'erence (except in form) between 
the Christian and the heathen. Old Norse creeds taught as 
grandly the " Consecration of Valour," Mahommedanism as firm 
reliance upon the will of God ; humiUty (which is self-negation — 
but too often mistakenly confounded with true self-devotion) was 
never better learned than by the Buddhist. Let us not foolishly 
pride ourselves on an}' other difference between the Christian and 
the " Benighted." For it is not by complacently enthroning our- 
selves in the judgment seat of the sectarian, thanking God with 
Hebrew exclusiveness that we are not as those heathens were, 
nor by exaggeration of evils not peculiar to age or race, nor by 
any illiberal qualification of noblest deeds as well enough for such 
a time, nor by denial of the truth and conscience of antique life, 
that we can in any measure inform ourselves of the true meaning 
of God's earlier utterance in the world. In Him men lived and 
moved and had their being then as now. Their religious forms 
were then as now the human manifestations of His Spirit. Why 
needlessly degrade the characters of the ancieut creeds'? Chris- 
tianit}' is strong enough to stand upon its own merits, asks not to 



Libei'ty and Equality. 197 

liave its wcukness propped by unwarranted piling up of the oppos- 
ing errors. That in its earlier days Egyptian worship was not 
brutish, but sought, like the Persian, to track the Eternal, thi-ongh 
the deep blue sea of heaven, by the shining course of suns and stars, 
nay, even by tlie hail of rarer comets, far less easily discerned ; that 
Indian philosophy, however wdd its after errors, however deep its 
modern degradation, was not, at one time, ignorant of man's 
creation, his existence, or Iiis immortality, but tauglit in snblimist 
words the emanation from the deity, the needs of purity and 
holiness, and the possible return to the bosom of the Father, a 
return in later times (yet far antecedent to the light tliat hung 
over Bethlehem) plainly announced by Buddha; that, albeit 
Judaism was hopelessly intolerant, and though the ofl'erings — not 
to be called worship — of Phenician traders were foul and fiercj 
the faith of Greece could lead men to, at least, the porch of th 
Diviner Beauty of the world, and train up a Phidias, a Sophocles 
a Plato, and a Timoleon, to penetrate toward the inner sanctuary ; 
that even the hidden mysteries of Greece and less refined Home 
were not mere orgies of an atheistic licentiousness (however so 
perverted in tiie worst of days) ; that in all, ay ! even in the 
pooi'est forms of religion, were some words of God, more or less 
faintly enunciated as they might be in the craftily obscured 
language of a priestly paraphrase, and that the best were radiant 
with holy characters, which we, even in the purer and more per- 
fect light of this ripening day, may find not altogether dim or 
cloudy; this much surely may be acknowledged without fear, since 
the most of truth is but comparative, and the diviner less divine 
than the divinest, yet unrovealed, slumbering on the deeper heart 
of God. Rather than accuse the immaturities of the growing 
youth of time, it would behove us to inquire wherein our manlier 
energies have earned renown ; rather than upbraid the twilight of 
the earth, we should expose our own deeds to the searching light 
of this advancing day. The virtues that change not with the 
alterations of the world's seasons, nor with the progression of 
its years, were not wanting before the morning star kissed re- 
verently the forehead of the poor, the houseless, and the weak. 



198 The English Republic. 

The Socratic life has not yet been surpassed, even among the sects 
who can spare their pity for the "unconverted." Aristidesis still 
pre-eminently the just. Yet stand as monumental examples to all 
time the constancy of the elder Brutus, the generous spirit of the 
Fabii, the noble motherhood of Cornelia, the devotion of our hero 
sons. And be such heights uncommon in the little span of Greece 
or Rome, do we outcount tliem with the later braveries of the 
length of 1800 years 1 Our own enlightened English life, how 
transiently it glowed with faith like that which warmed the 
patriot of old Rome or tempered the steel of Jewish valour to 
become the sword of the Lord and of Gideon. Our Drakes^ our 
Sidneys, our Raleighs, are gathered into one forgotten constella- 
tion, and in anotlier starry crown the jewelled lustres of Cromwell 
and his Peers are vainly overhanging the dull downward brow of 
England. Look away to the expiring Islam for the zeal which 
has fled the irreligious camp of Christendom. At what age, 
emulating the Athenian youth, or upon what altar do we moderns 
swear, though only in the silence of tlie heart, to labour to make 
our country greater and more glorious % Truly the mouldy and 
scarce-read chapters of old heroic story might seem to offer 
proof that the world sinks into shameful discrepitude, but that 
some rays yet reach us from the glorified front of Mdton ; Danton's 
noble voice yet thunders thiough the clouds, and Poland's 
Martyr Hymn and Rome's Eternal Song are yet upheld by valiant 
and prophetic lives. Nor, unable to claim pre-eminence in actual 
virtue, are the unheathened times entitled to a negative praise 
for avoidance of crime or virtue. The Cwsar Borgia, the Szeln, 
and the lesser Napoleon, are all of Christian growth. And 
Christian also are the Dark Ages, the Jesuits, and the Inquisition. 
Not therefore do we underrate the vantage of Christianity, of the 
new era beginning with the advent of the Nazarene. 

Whether we regard the caste-systems of Egypt and India, the 
martial despotism of Persia, the rule of wealth and craft in Pheni- 
cia, or the class-divisions of Greece and Rome and Judrea, the one 
obvious characteristic will be found pervading the ancient nations: 
everywhere the social fabric was built ujdou the assumption of the 



Liberty and Equality. 199 

natural inequality of man, the necessary, because divinely ap- 
pointed, inferiority of certain races. And this not only within the 
pale of the nation, but universally without. Everywhere was the 
same idea (most strongly exemplified in the Spartan crypteia and 
the Jewish slaughter of the Amalekites), the religious dogma of a 
peculiar people, and within that again a peculiar race, each more 
or less assured of its divine establishment. Not in the super- 
stitious tenets and observances of heathen theology, nor in the 
absence of a law of right and wrong, nor in any want of the higher 
powers of humanity, nor in any difficullies — from which we have 
now exemption — in the way of a wider benevolence, nor in the 
lack of sucli advantages as we are licensed to reap from the dis- 
covery of printing, nor in any supposed inefficacy of human toils 
to assure progress — but in this universal i-eligious dogma of human 
ineqriality, we find the sufiicing reason of the imperfect freedom 
and consequent decline of the greatest and the freest empires of 
antitpiity. But when the antique period closed, Christianity stood 
forth with one clear dogma — The divine Equality of Man. Men's 
rights ignorantly asserted, contended for upon no ground except 
that common to both right and wrong — the ground of cxpedienc}-, 
convenience, fitness or present strength — these, in such manner, 
had been urged even from the beginning ; but now the ground of 
right was taught as a religious faith — and in the face of a privi- 
leged priesthood, in the face of the divine ai^pointment of caste, 
was proclaimed the sacred and indissoluble brotherhood of man, 
through one equal Father — Cod. Henceforth, Freedom had a 
place whereupon to stand. Archimedes could plant his lover ; the 
world began to move. 

Centuries before the Christian era Buddha had flung forth the 
same truth, but it had not fairly grown. Either the concurrent 
doctrine of poverty and renunciation, better suited to Asiatic 
indolence, neutralised its effects, or else, perhaps, the doctors of 
Buddhism were more successful than the doctors of Christianity in 
persuading their disciples of the utter worthlessness of the present 
life, and the wisdom for the unclerical, at least, of being content 
with a mere spiritual equality belore God ; tiie enterprising nature 



200 The English Republic. 



of tlie European possessed a hardier logic. Notwithstanding the 
passive character of Christ, despite the apostolic avoidance of any 
interference with political systems or between the classes of 
society (wherefrom their Christianity has been dragged in as a 
witness for slavery), maugre the reiterated exhortation to submit 
to every ordinance of man : — the dogma of equality remained at 
the base of the new faith, to be pursued through all its hearings 
to its proper end. " Render unto Csesar the things which are 
Caesar's," but what are they? 

Does a son of God belong to Ctesar % When it was perceived 
that all men — the slave as well as the free — the poor as well as 
the wealthy — the plebeian as well as the patrician — were of one 
blood, the children of one common Father, whose regard saw only 
the human soul, whether under imperial |)urple or in the filth of 
trampled rags, then the bond of authority — the idolatry of caste — 
was broken. If the outcast was as the Emperor before God, why 
should not the poor despised be the Emperor's equal upon earth % 
Rome, choosing her priests from the plough, asserted the equality 
of mankind, vindicated the right of genius to devote itself to God ; 
and the base born and the beggar climb above the thrones of 
princes; a lesson not to be forgotten when the priest himself 
turned to harlotry, and, faithless to the spirit of his own power, 
renewed a heathen division into castes — the clerkly and the lay. 
Huss came next, bearing the cup to the people ; all men are 
priests and equal. 

Luther demands the right of conscience, at least in spiritual 
affairs. Voltaire and the EncycloiJedists are but echoers of the 
same claim, yet not pushing the consequences to their full extent. 
The dogma yet advances from thought and word to very deed. 

Men rise and trample upon the necks of kings, proclaiming their 
political equality. To the social is the next step, there is no 
retreat. Is not equality there also % Free-trade springs from the 
same seed, and, the reaction against the hierarchal complete, 
Proudhonist, Atheism, and Communism are reached. The world 
tastes even of tlie worst, be it never so briefly, to learn in all ways 
the flavour of equality. 



Liberty and Equality. 201 

What matters it that we have but experimented ; that yet no- 
where the Christian eqviahty is really formulised ; that society, as 
in healthiest days, maintains its old fatal divisions of freemen and 
governed, or rich and poor — a still less tolerable establishment ? 
AVhat though in one or other of the decayed nations may be found 
the types of our improved institutions % the falsehood of all that in- 
cciuality is no longer believed true. We have not done, but we 
have learned. Who sees not that the days of inequality are 
numbered'? The world leaps not from change to change, but 
slowly and cautiously steps through long ages of transition, where- 
in the many-featured experiment of the new is so tried. 

So the wisdom of the past accumulates, and the world has never 
to relearn its lesson. So, letter by letter, the lesson of equality 
has been spelled till it is well nigh learned. Many a word may 
be misunderstood till the whole sentence has been mastered ; but 
at length, tried in every way, equality is recognised as true ; not, 
indeed, as the end, but as the means — the base of the world's 
building, the ground of universal freedom, the beginning of the 
world's sure progress ; and freedom thenceforward established as 
the inalienable birthright of all mankind, the political lesson of 
Christianity is accomplished ; the evening and the morning com- 
plete another day ; and again a new era dawns upon the insatiate 
liopes, the toils, the progi'ession of Humanity. 

For equality is but for the individual's gain. It is not for the 
sake of others but for my own sake that I care to establish the 
equality of freedom. Am I weak % — it is my only protection. 
Am I strong — can I be sure there are none stronger % Equality 
of right is the only assurance of universal freedom. . If freedom 
is not universal, who knows but I may be among the exceptions ] 
Once break the rule, who shall be sure % But now in the universal 
equality Self embraces the whole world ; and the next progress is 
beyond self. Duty succeeds to right — Right takes its place at 
the feet of duty. It is for humanity's sake that I am free. 

Equality and freedom are but means, not ends; their true 
sigaificance the unchecked opportunity of growth. 

There is yet work and worth before us. 



:202 TJie English Republic. 

Though we establish our freedom upon the enduring basis, 
we win therefrom no title to immediate rest, as if our triumph 
had snatched a millennium from eternity or ransomed from 
traditionary tombs the pleasant garden of content. 

God's Augels — memory and hope — have for ever barred the 
paradise of unplucked knowledge; and endowing us with the 
wisdom of our faults, and promises of glorious worth unknown as 
yet, with flaming swords, ligliting the path of time, point to the 
future as the only goal of man. 

As one lives not for himself alone, but also for his fellows, so 
generation after generation lives and acts for those that follow — 
even as a father for his children. Not for present enjoyment — 
albeit cheei'fulness is present joy, the passage of beauty a delight 
for ever, and the veriest torture of the martyr's wreath of fire as 
nothing in comparison with his serenity of soul — yet not for en- 
joyment, but for works of future worth, man's life springs upward 
from the earth, like a blade of wheat grass appointed toward the 
harvest. 

And here we tread upon the threshold of the new era — the era of 
organ hation for the sake of universal 2^>'ogress, that the free growth 
of imlividuals may be ordered to a more abundant garnering. 

Christianity has no instruction here ; nor indeed any marvel 
thereat, calling to mind its aim, before considered — not the incul- 
cation of the political system (void of that as on lessons in mechanics 
or in tlie economy of wealtli), nor the establishment of order, but 
rather the breaking down of the inequality of caste, and of the 
absurd and unjust authority of tyrannical and patriarchal ages, 
for tlie revenging of right, the right of the individual, redeeming 
the souls of men with the faith that they are amenable to none 
but God. 

All that fusion and blind obedience could accomplish for organ- 
isation, the unchristian Empii-es had achieved. Of a horde of 
slaves the Christian religion — the faith which places the lowest 
man in immediate relation with God — the faith which is the cause 
of duty — has made or yet shall make a race of men ; the gospel 
of equal freedom becomes manifest to all, slavery is thenceforth 



Liberty and Equality. 



impossible, and the second age of the world (whose motive power 
has been this religion of two thousand jeais) completes the cycle. 

Tlie God of the world's first day was freedom ; very God, how- 
ever blindly or unworthily adored ; God tlie Father, the Creator, 
who brooded over the chaos of the world's barbarism and bade the 
light appear ; God, whose angel drove men from the paradise of a 
bestial content into sufTering and sin, that tl.r aigh the knowledge 
and experience of good and ill they might become God-like, wise 
unto their own salvation. 

The God of the second day, of our two thousand years, is the 
word which i)roclaimed men to be divine, sons of God, and equid 
brothers upon earth ; so rebuking the isolation of the heathen 
freemen. 

And this word has not been peace, but a sharp sword to pierce 
through and through till the bond are free. The first law was 
growth ; our second gospel is righteousness. 

The God of the future, the motive power which shall rule the 
approaching time, the Comforter who shall surely come, is the 
spirit of Wisdom, which is more than truth and love, and yet one 
with them ; tlie spirit which shall bind together the whole human 
race in their families and nations — like the many sorts of grain 
into their several sheaves, and all into one harvest. 

This is the spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son; the 
spirit of harmony, which is peace; which, following the knowledge 
of true liberty and the triumph of a loving equality, shall touch 
our brows with holy flame when the day of Pentecost is fully come. 

Then will conuncnce the third day, the third chapter of the 
book of human life, the chapter of duty, of organisation, the work 
of 

Reptiblican Fraternity. 

The knell has rung for American slavery, a garrison's strength has 
not been used in vain. The funeral bells of all the most Christian 
kings are pealing fast. Bury your dead out of your way. The 
Hour of the peoples cometh on. 



204 The English Republic. 



" Victory, Victory ! feel'st thou not, world, 
The earthquake of his chariot thundering up 
Olympus ? " 

The great European wai' is recommenced, the war between 
peoples and governments, the strife for nationality, for national 
organisation, that the free may turn their freedom to its fullest use. 

What matter how the waves recoiU the tide flows surely on. 

No imperial word, from the East or from the West, can stay the 
flood. The revolutionary deluge must overspread the earth. Tlie 
day of kings and governments is no more. 

The day of the real freedom dawns at last. Free-men begin to 
organise themselves in their several nationalities, no more played 
with or exploited and sadly severed or unequally yoked together 
for tlie caprice or interest of tyrants ; no more organised only 
for outward policies or for police at home, but organised to make 
of their whole lives one strong and righteous progress for the good 
of all, for the glory of the Eternal. 

The Italian dream of Caius Gracchus is realised ; some younger 
Phidias may now sculpture the new Grecian glory ; Poland gathers 
smilingly the abundant harvest of her worth; (iermany has 
awakened from her dreams ; Russia crowns the tombs of Pestel 
and the Mouraviefi"s ; Franco atones the infamy of these unhappy 
days. 

And is not England among the nations 1 Have not we too our 
part in the contention, our duty toward the right— duty to be 
performed in our own country and toward our fellows even of 
remotest lands 1 

Where is the sword that struck terror into the hearts of tyrants 1 
Where is the zeal that counted no odds in the battle for the right ? 
Where the indomitable bravery of our Alfred, the courageous stub- 
bornness that turned at bay on the field of Agincourt, the desper- 
ate daring of Florez' fight 1 Where are the conquerors of the 
Armada, the protectors of the Waldenses ? Where is Blake, the 
champion of the right 1 And Nelson, who fought so well even 
upon a doubtful quarrel 1 Where is the heroism which made 
England great abroad, for all the unchristian slavery at home ? 



Liberty and Eqicalily. 205 



And where is this goodly tower of a Commonwealth which the 
English boasted they would build to overshadow kings, and be 
another Rome in the West 1 Who shall begin to build its bricks 
one upon the other, who shall lay the first stone 1 

Or is the Commonwealth here already — the goodly tower well 
built, needing only some little corner-rounding, waiting only to be 
admired by all, when the statues of the Iretons and the Blakes, 
the Hampdens and the Vanes, shall be arranged in their due 
order 1 

Is equality the English rule 1 Are all free citizens ? 

Are there none of the proved errors of the past still cherished 
by our patrician and phenician wisdoms 1 Are all our people free ] 

Is there no division of governors and governed, free and bond, 
unjustly rich and wretchedly impoverished ^ 

Have all education, all the means of work — which is worth 
doing — all the opportunities of worshipful lives'^ 

Or, have we lingered in the unchristian ways till the curse of an- 
tique folly — the curse of decline and death — steals almost unnoticed 
on us "? Have we, once foremost among the peoples, yet to learn the 
very beginning of liberty, yet to ground ourselves in the rudiments 
of humane philosophy, yet to stammer confusedly ere we dare 
pronounce the Christian equality ? Is it only for the poor and 
unlearned to continue their many years' struggle for the place of 
manhood, the right of citizenship, whereupon alone the duty of a 
citizen can be fulfilled for the nation's and the world's good ; and are 
our leaders and governors yet so blind that they insist on dragging 
us into the doom of barbarous years 1 ye wdio call yourselves 
Christian ! and ye who would be patriots ! and ye who would be 
just! and ye who think that righteousness is possible or peace 
desirable ! what ai-e ye that eighteen centuries after Christ you do 
not require the freedom even of your meanest brethren ? 

Where is English valour, where is English hope, where is Eng- 
lish sense, that a few fools who call themselves our representatives 
drive us like a herd of beasts into the depths wherein both slaves 
and tyrants perish 1 

Kings and slaves are passing away. Nothing is stable but the 



2o6 The English Republic. 

righteous growth. Only upon the ground of equal freedom can 
the future be organised, or jDeace alight with healing on her wings. 
The present dies out, having done its work. England is not 
without hope for the future. Wherefore, let us be up and 
doinof. 



The Social and Democratic Republic. Hither is our aim. The 
absolute sovereignty of the whole people, directly exercised for the 
social organisation of the whole people, for the better government 
of society. Not upon us Rej)ablicans rests the charge of desiring 
anarchy. 

We would not have government a mei-e nonentity. It is not 
we, but the Pi-oudhons, the Gerardins, the Cobdens, and the 
Humes, who would make their damnable non-intervention theory 
not only the rule of international conduct, but the rule of our 
ordering at home. 

Let the strongest bear rule, and the weaker go to the wall ! Let 
the rich have addition without end, and from the poor take away 
the little that remains to him ! 

We Republicans want not this, but the equal freedom which 
shall protect the poor man, lessen poverty of all kinds, and give to 
the poorest the opportunity of honestly acquiring wealth of mind 
and of estate. And care not what may be said about the unfit- 
ness of the people for freedom, about the blunders they will make, 
the mischief they will do to themselves ! Let it be so. Who 
made the Peels and the Russels, and the Beresfords and the re- 
forming Jacob Bells, and the respectable knaves of St. Albans and 
elsewhere our tutelar deities, our guardian angels, to keep the 
most ignorant of us from going astray ? Let the people go 
astray ! 

They will find their way in time toward the truth, and learn 
wisdom through experience. 

Let them go astray ! hut let them, give up being led astray ! 
For your kindest and most careful governors have a sad knack of 
goino; wronLjr also. 



Liberty and Equality. 207 

Universal freedom, absolute freedom, equal freedom. Not thnt 
each should be independent of the rest, but that tlie whole should 
be firmly bound and banded together by their own free wills : that 
upon the only sure ground of equality of right we may freel}' bnild 
up the scheme of duty, and establish the brotherhood of humanity, 
an organisation of all the powers and faculties of the whole, for 
the growth and progression of the whole, from generation to 
generation, for ever and ever. 



Nationality. 

When Curius Dentatus in his second consulship was holding a 
levy preparatory to meeting Pyrrhus in the field, and a momentaiy 
hesitation about enlistment was manifest among the people, he 
ordered the name of a tribe to be taken by lot, and then the 
name of one of its members, also drawn by lot, to be called. Tlie 
man thus summoned not api^earing, Curius directed his property 
to be seized and publicly sold, and on the delinquent's hastening 
forward to appeal to the Tribunes against the Consul, the latter 
commanded him also to be sold, declaring that the commonwealth 
had no need of a citizen who would not perform his duty of 
citizenship. 

The Roman understood the meaning of patriotism ; the duty of 
the individual to the nation. 

In our day a man flings off his country as if it were an old shoe, 
with as little conscience as if in the first instance he had chosen it 
for a mere whim and now might discard it at his caprice. 

Thomas Francis Meagher renounced his allegiance to the 
Queen of Great Britain and Ireland of whom he was a subject ; 
Kossta, Hungarian born, was protected by America on account of 
his supposed right of American citizenship. Lord Brougham 
petitioned the French authorities to make a Frenchman of him and 
not a whit less English. Messrs. Sturgeon cheated their country 
as they would not venture to cheat a Yankee private Customer ; 
powder was supplied to Russia, war steamers were built for Russia 



2o8 The English Republic . 



by English tradei'S : and free trade, "peace," and the individual 
right of voluntary action are still appealed to for the disregard of 
patriotic duty. Is the duty to one's country to be so shirked? 

Is there any such thing as duty? should rather be the question. 
If there is duty, how shall it be shown 1 

Did Meagher really owe allegiance to the Queen of Great 
Britain and Ireland 1 We trow not. But owing none, there was 
nothing to renounce. 

He did owe allegiance to Great Britain and Ireland. Say Ire- 
land only. Upon what ground ? Simply that he was an Irishman 
born and bred. 

He was tlie growth of Ireland. He belonged to Ireland. My 
country is not the country belonging to me, but the country to 
which I belong. 

If Meagher ever owed allegiance to Ireland it was on this 
ground, not at all a matter of his own choice, but a duty imposed 
upon him at his birth. 

Born Irish, a man will die Irish, whatever he may call himself. 
He maybe dutiful or undutiful; an Irish patriot or an Irish rebel 
(for the only real rebellion is treason against one's country), but 
he will never be an American. Even slave souled John Mitchel 
could not manage that. 

Kossta did not pretend to deny that he was Hungarian. He 
denied only the right of Austria or of an Austrian tyrant over 
Hungary. He, the Hungarian, in his duty to Hungary, was at 
war with the Austrian usurper. 

He pretended not to claim American citizenship as an escape 
from his Austrian allegiance. He claimed the help of the stranger 
who had no rights over him, against an enemy who would usurp 
a right over him. 

Captain Ingraham's ground of American citizenship was un- 
tenable. Koista could not be an American citizen, though the 
whole Union should acclaim him. 

He was Kossta the Hungarian. Born and to die Hungarian. 

On the ground of humanity, stepping between the tyrant and 
his victim. Ameiica had riglit of interference. 



Liberty and Equality. 209 

No pretence of citizenship was needed to justify that. Xo 
claim of citizenship could justify it. 

If there is such a thing as duty, how shall it be shown ? The 
highest duty is the duty to humanity. But how accomplish that 
duty if you neglect those very organisations of humanity which 
are the means of usefulness'? If a man neglects his duty to his 
family, he is neglecting the nation of which that family is a com- 
ponent part. If he neglects his duty to that larger family — 
his nation, — lie neglects the world of which the nation is a 
part. 

Acknowledge duty, and you can no more throw out of view the 
countiy than you can tiirow off family or humanity. You may 
as well neglect one as the other, and all as one. 

True, there are what seem exceptional cases : cases in which 
the family must be sacrificed to the country, the country forsaken 
for humanity. 

AVherever the higher right, the more important duty, there, if 
right and duties " clash," is the man bound. 

My first duty is to my own nature ; to perfect tliat. For 
what ? Merely for my own sake % 

Are suu; and moon, and stars, this globe and all that it contains 
— are all the hosts of heaven, and all powers of past and present, 
but my servants, to perfect ?ne ? 

Am I God then, to be so self-sufficient ? Rather is my nature 
to be perfected that I may be tlie abler servant of God, and of 
God's humanity, through which alone I can render service to Him. 
So soon as I am able to serve I am bound to serve. 

My f;\mily arc there next to me for my fii'st service. Not because 
they are mine, my possession, but because I am theirs — in virtue 
of having power to serve them, the nearest part of God's humanity. 
Through them I serve my country — through my country the 
human family — that country of countries. 

Some day may come in which my duty may no longer be to 
train up the young citizens for the State, some day in which the 
happy home life I offer as the best worth with which I can serve 
and example my country may no longer be best service. There is 



2IO The English Repubhc. 

war upon our borders, and whoso can bear arms must leave wife. 
and children, to drive back the invader. 

If I stay at home, who will not call me traitor"? The universal 
conscience answers. 

Tlie voice of the people is the voice of God. Every tongue 
brands me as a traitor. How so, if my country has not a right to 
my devotion % 

But suppose the country is an aggressor, the war unjust? The 
country, blinded wMth passion, depraved by lust of gain, still 
claims me as its soldier. 

As my duty to my family is but a part of duty to my 
country, so duty to my coiinti-y is but a part of duty toward 
humanity. 

The unjust war is a wrong to humanity. Not that I am less 
dutiful to my country, but that the higher duty is to hximanit}'". 
Nay, is not my refusal to take [jart in that great wrong the best 
service I can render even to my country % 

Are there not times in which such "rebellion" is a duty? 
AVhen the American Legislature ordered its subjects to kidnap 
men, to be guilty of the highest of all crimes and treasons, then 
to rebel against that order became the duty of every honest citizen. 
It can never be any man's duty to do wrong. 
It is for the sake of truth and the realisation of truth — which is 
right — that 1 owe a duty to my family, duty to my country, duty 
to my generation, duty unto the human future. 

For such honest and right rebellion my countr}'^ may cast me 
out. What then? Let me serve my country even against its 
will. I may influence it even from without. My country may 
hinder me from fulfilling a citizen's duty : it can not absolve me 
from the duty, it can not hinder continual attempt. The natural 
tie between us can not be severed. As to some tyranny which is 
not the country, that is altogether beyond the question. Kossta 
was not exiled by his country, but by the Austrian. Meagh r 
never believed that Ireland exiled liim. "Why then did he break 
with Ireland ? It is only poor piratical Paul Jones that quarrels 
with his country for some private pique. 



Liberty aud Equality. 2 1 1 

Is an adopted home then impossible % It can never be more 
than secondary. Say that Meagher, driven from Ireland, taking 
refuge in America, seeks as an American citizen to serve humanity, 
having no opportunity now of acting as an Irish citizen. The "no 
opportunity now " is his only justification. In some few years, 
perhaps, Ireland would recal him, will demand back her citizen 
and his service. Has he the right of renouncing Ireland % Can 
he be citizen of two lands at once, like clever Lord Brougham'? 
And the two lands perhaps at war. 

Sentence of exile, residence, however long in the place of refuge, 
laws of naturalisation ; none of these things can overthrow the 
natural right or destroy the law of duty. Men may pass laws, 
but the law of God remains unaltered. 

The Emigrants who would found a new nation are no exception 
to the rule. English colonies are English. But the colony grows 
into the nation as the child into the man. It has thenceforth its 
own character, its own ideal of life, its own nationality. It does 
not renounce the parent nationality : it outgrows it. But " Ame- 
rica renounced it." True ! So sometimes by ill-conduct the 
father drives out the boy from home. That is not the natural 
course. Nor is it good. The boy is not a man, therefore, America 
suffers for its prematurity. 

But free-traders, peace-men, and voluntary ists, object to our 
doctrine.. The assertion of the individual right is all-sufficient for 
tliem. Let us see where this supremacy of the individual would 
lead us. Trade is, properly speaking, the exchange of the world's 
material wealth. That can not be too free. Clearly enough the 
freedom is for the world's benefit, not on account of the individual 
carriers. 

The good of the community is the ground of the freedom. It 
is a contradiction to ask any freedom beyond the good of the 
community. If one man sells gunpowder to Russia, and another 
manufactures war steamers for our enemy, this is an abuse of free 
trade. They may be so selling, not merely gunpowder and steam 
ships, but their country's freedom and very existence as a nation. 
They are not only selling powdei-, but selling me and you. The 



2 12 The English Bepiiblic. 



national right overrules the particular. The trader has a right 
to trade and profit only so long as he does not rob society — his 
immediate customers, his country, humanity. 

If his private right is absolute and the national right of no 
esteem, to-morrow he may sell his dockyard to tlie enemy, his 
quarter of the town, his portion of this English soil : hand over 
Manchester or Portsmouth to Russia for tiie red gold. 

It is absurd enough, but it is the logical following out of the 
absurdity of absolute individual right, which leads naturally to 
the abolition of all bonds of duty, which throws back life to the 
savagest state of ignorant dutiless anarchy. 

The Russian newspapers in their lists of voluntary subscriptions 
publish an offering of 3,000 roubles to the Tzar from an English 
Company at St. Petersburg ; with what theory of duty docs that 
square? If the action is right, why may not Englishmen at Man- 
chester follow in the same course ? Why stop at 3,000 roubles ] 
The other day a Scotchman bequeathed a million to the Tzar, to 
furnish the war against Scotland. Quite right? Why not a 
Russian Loan too, and every possible assistance to the Tzar in his 
endeavovns to enslave the world — including our own little Island- 
corner ? Will the free-trader justify that length, or where will he 
draw the line? If the Government is right in confiscating powder 
going to the enemy, on what ground is it right? Will you find 
any but the ground of nationality : the right which overrules in- 
dividual right? 

The other day an American sold himself into slavery. The 
voluntaryist must justify him. Might he not do what he liked 
with his own? 

The believer in duty asserts that the man is not his own : that 
he belongs to God, to God's humanity, to his country. That part 
belongs to the whole. There is no atom of dust independent of 
the universe. 

Your free-traders, voluntaryists, and peace-men, overstrain in- 
dividual right and lose sight of the solidarity of life. 

But is the individual to be merged in the State? Far from it; 
but he may never forget that he is a part of the State, Is my 



Liberty and Bqtiality. 213 

conscience to submit to any human ordinance? We say not that, 
only be sure that it is conscience which opposes ordinance. Con- 
science seeks how best to perform duty, not how to evade it. 
Conscience is God's Angel, the good genius which leads us to the 
fulfilment of right for the service of humanity. 

Combination is stronger than isolated and incoherent action. 
Wherefore God implanted in men the tendency to associate, gatlier- 
ing them into families and nations. 

And the law of nationality remains, whatever mistakes may 
have been made by those whose ignorance found only a narrow 
interpretation, who knew not that the nation itself is but an 
individual in the great family of Nations, a family in the great 
Country of mankind. 



NOTES. 



Introductiox. In 1848 there was published a periodical called Tlie 
Republican, appearing monthlj^, devised for advocating the radical 
reforms necessary for the practical recognition of the Rights of Man. 
In this Mr. Linton wrote a number of articles, and liis contributions 
are more numerous than any of the others appearing above the names 
of the contributors. The following are the subjects treated by Mr. 
Linton and signed : Italy and Her Princes, The Swiss Question, The 
Icarian Communists of France, The Policy of Europe, Irelaiid and 
Repeal, The Frewh Republic, England's Instant Duty, Universal 
Suffrage, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, The Democratic Principle of the 
People's Chai ter. He also contributed a number of po; ms with his 
nom de plume "Spartacus " attached. In the article entitled Universal 
Suffrage are passages which were afterwards introduced into his articles 
on the same subject in The English Repnhlic. 

Mr. Linton's first wife was a sister of Thomas Wade, poet and 
journalist, by whom he appears to have been considerably influenced 
during his earlier years. 

In an article dealing mainly with Mr. Linton's work as an engraver 
in Tlte English Ilhistratcd Magazine for April, 1891, issued as the present 
volume was passing through the press, Mr. F. G. Kitton, the author, 
refers his readers to a book entitled, " Our American Cousins," by Mr, 
W. E. Adams, the present editor of Tlie Newcastle Chronicle, who was 
one of those who answered to Mr. Linton's call in The Red Republican, 
and who also went to Brantwood in 1854 "to help in the mechanical 
portion of the publication of The English Republic." Mr. Adams adds t 
some interesting reminiscences of Mr. Linton. 

It will be observed in the coarse of these essays that events which 
at the present day have become matters of history are referred to ; 
events that occurred between forty and fifty years ago, which were 
contemporary at the time the essays wei'e -ft^ritten. All such allusions 
which will be readily understood by the student of 19th century history 
I have allowed to remain ; but others which had but a passing interest, 
which were merely topical, I have ventured to delete, or so to alter as 
to render the passages understandable without adding profuse notes iii 
explanation of such references. 

Page 1. This chapter on " Republican Principles " is based upon an 
, Address to the Peoples of Europe, which was issued in 1850 by the 
Central European Democratic Committee in the second number of 
Le Proscrit, a monthly journal published in Paris and London. With 
the third number its name was changed to La Voix du, Proscrit, and it 
became the organ of the Central Committee. In writing Republican 
Principles Mr. Linton intended it as a general exposition of the prin- 
ciples of Republicanism which were to be treated in further numbers 
of Tlte English Republic with more detail. On the whole, the principles 

214 



Notes. 2 1 5 



set forth by Mr. Linton resemble very closely those of the " Adch-ess," 
but he has digressed sometimes, so as to make the exposition more 
easily understood by the English readers to whom he addressed it, by 
illustrations and applications, which are all, however, in logical agree- 
ment with the principles of the " Address." 

Page 2. Mr. Linton does not here enter into the still vexed question 
of circumstances, save to remark that it cannot be denied that circum- 
stances before birth have weight as well as those which effect the 
organism after birth. " No two children are absolutely alike ; no two 
are born with precisely the same aptitude or capacity." It seems 
almost absui-d to remark on so obvious a truism, but so frequently is 
it lost sight of, particularly in the matter of education, that attention 
cannpt be drawn to it too often. 

Page 6. Mr. Linton has here seized on the idea which has been 
formulated by Mr. Herbert Spencer and reduced to a sociologic law in 
his "Principles of Sociology" — vk., that Society is one organism, and 
that each individual is a part or a single organ of this vast structure, 
which must develop or retrogress with the development or retrogres- 
sion of Society. Eacli of these units has its separate function, but it 
can only live and display its normal activity in connection with the 
parent organism. 

Page 13. It is here that we see most clearly tlie gulf which separates 
so widely and so deeply the Republican and the Socialist. It is 
quite a common thing to hear of Republicanism spoken of as a form of 
Socialism, but the notion is erroneous. The two systems are in 
opposition. The only thing in counuon between them is that which is 
commo)! also to Individualism, to Social Democracy, and to all schemes 
of a kindred nature, the desire of improving the existing social condi- 
tions and the knowledge of the inequalities in the social system ; in- 
equalities which require to be righted. 

Page 20. Education. — The author wishes it to be clearly understood 
that whenever the word " Government " is used, it is the Government 
he advocates, and not any existing forms which he considers are 
but mockeries of the word's meaning. This distinction should be 
specially borne in mind Avhen he is treating of Education, as it is here 
that the different merits of State-Education and Voluntaryism appear 
most vividly. 

Page 40. It is contended by Mr. Linton that a State Church should 
embrace men of all denominations. Unless it does so, its existence is 
intolerable as a connection of the State. 

Page 43. The centralisation, of which the English Government is a 
striking instance, is to be done away Avith in an English Republic, as 
it is not the business of Government to interfere with local affairs — 
the Government only to superintend and harmonise the whole. 

Page 44. Waste lands are to be appropriated by the Government, 
not necessarily to enclose them, but to prevent the encroachments of 
private persons, who possess no right to encroach thereon. 

Page 47. An uniform rental should be charged on the land, any 
improvement made by the tenant to benetit himself alone, and not to 
be used as an excuse for raising his rent. 



2i6 Notes. 



Page 53. When the State takes upon itself to punish private vices, 
it is overstepping its prerogative and interfering with individual 
liberty. It can only interfere where such vices affect others. 

Page 62. Mr. Linton appends a note to the effect that "If it were 
projjosed to leave the prosecution of criminals to voluntary effort, the 
voluntaries themselves would inquire if we were ready to have society 
crushed beneath the power of crime. Because tlie restraint and 
punishment of criminals is necessary to the security of the State, pro- 
vision of a certain character is made ; and it is only because education 
is looked upon as a matter of less consequence than the detection and 
punishment of criminals that it is left, or proposed to be left— /cir 
j>lt ildiitli ropy to ploj vit]i . " 

Page 03. The religion taught in the schools would not be sectarian. 
On Sundays, parents might inculcate the princiijles c>f the sect to 
which they belonged if so they chose. 

Page 64. It is remarked tliat physical exercise is not advticated for 
mere health's sake, but also for the perfection of the senses. For there 
is a close relation between the habit of mind and body. 

Page 106. Mr. Linton here seems to have anticipated recent legis- 
lation. Even tlie terms he uses, "Local Government," "County 
Council," Sec, etc., Iiave now become part of current politics. 

Page 121). Various ]irote8ts by Socialists against the article called 
''Socialism and Connnunism " reached the autJKn*, to which he replied 
that altlmngli he was a social and a democratic Rei)ublican, he was not 
a Socialist, and that if his correspondents did " not repudiate Property, 
Individuality, Family, Country, or Religion," they were not the kind of 
Soii<(litits he hiad attacked. 

Page l!'l. The Crypteia : when the Spartans thought their slaves were 
growing too numerous, they sent out their young freemen to massacre a 
sufficient number. Tliis was instituted l)y Lycurgus. 

Plato proposes a similar institution for his Cretan Republic. 



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