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lives and acts cternally'; I acted so as to serm right in the eyes of men for the present day. He was a good and true man- I was a partisan. I have said it was in great nation of which I was the legislator. Our commerepetended far over the seas ; the triumphs of our industry were displayed in many lands. We levelled mountains, made viaducts over valleys crossed rivers with noble bridges, built enormous wareh011-px; -vnt forth famous vessels, and gathered into our treasury the tarn paid by millions. Yet we were not happy: the richest, the noblong, the mightiest among us were not happy. We never felt the strength and health of knowing that we were right. We did not walh pon the tirm basis of permanent truth and justice, but upon the ins: -lippery ground of temporary expediency. Jo lieari wa hrew this, though we did not dare to confess it to each other. But, to explain more fully my own conduct and that of my fellow stiltesmen, I must describe more particularly the condition and circumstances of the country which we governed.
The institutions of the country were the growth of ancient time, and traditionally derived from various sources. They formed altogether a curious balance of opposite tendencies, which might easily be disturbed by any powertül reigning party in the state. For instance, there was "uch a mixture of monarely and democracy in our constitution that it could vibrate froin despotism to anarchy. The people had originally acquired for themselves the right of electing a certain number of their own rulers; but in practice this right had been so abused and neglected, through a long course of time, that it lial become more a show than a reality of popular representation. In the same manner our religious institutions, which were originally of the most simple and benevolent character, had become so complicated with old prejudices and party interests that their truly noble primitive design had almost vanished from the sight of the people.
The history of corruption and injustice is essentially the same in all countries : it has everywhere its period of rank, unwholesome flourishing, and it hastens to involve itself and all things connected with it in destruction. I shall not, therefore, stay to recount all the causes which had conduced to the corrupt state of our country during the time of my administration, but shall briefly notice a few of the more striking features of our condition.
First, then, I must notice the portentous appearance of the extremes of wealth and poverty in the country.
showed like precious diamonds, scattered liere and there among heaps of rubbish. Our palaces and mansions were like jewels set in broad frames of misery and penury. We had here a man materially deified, and there crowds of men materially little better than the brutes. I cannot paint this fact of our condition in colours striking enough. Our aristocracy, civil and spiritual, was like a Goshen, full of light and luxury, while the rest of the country was like Egypt with all its plagues. For one man we had a vast mansion, and a park like a sylvan world around it, varied with lakes, woods, meandering walks, shaded seats, waterfalls, parterres, and all the pleasing fancies of landscape gardening'; for the thousands living around him, with cars, eyes, hearts, and minds like his own, we had hardly room to allow them to see the light and feel the fresh air ; they dwelt in miserable hovels, and if they moved abroad, could hardly stir beyond the hard pavements of our towns without committing a trespass. All things were cultivated among us, before fair human charity and the general well-being of the people. We were fond of piccc-meal reforms, but did not like to view evils in their whole connections ; so, while on one hand we kept in sharp exercise a severe penal code, on the other we nourished the corrupt tendencies of society, from which crimes are sure to be produced. We surrounded the poor, that is the great body of the people, with every possible temptation to crime, and then banished them from a country which it was scarcely a hardship to leave, or deprived them of an existence which we had never tauglit and helped them to cultivate and employ in a rational and happy way.
The metropolis of our country was a monster city, which, in a great measure, monopolised the wealth and intelligence of all the provinces. To this centre flowed all the lovers of pleasure, refinement, power, riches, and luxury ; and so formed, as it were, a splendid head begirt with jewels, while the body was pining and dressed in rags—a gay, gilded, glittering cupola upon a structure insecurely founded, and bailly built. The splendours of our aristocracy were not like the topmost boughs of a healthy tree, glorious in the sunshine, but rather like too costly exotic flowers, forced from the soil at the expense of the nutriment which should have supplied more useful productions.
L'ART II. It will be asked, “What were the religious principles prevailing in the country just described ?” Here, indeed, lay the source of all our errors. Our religion had been corruptel. In its origin it was simple and self-proving. Its precepts were the rules of eternal right. It arrayed poverty, humility, and benevolence against all the wealth, power, and malevolence of the world--and conquered. Then it fell into the hands of arrogant men, who thought they could improve it. It kept its name for many centuries, but lost its spirit. It was a notorious fact, that just in proportion as this change took place, all the true effects of the original religion were lost ; and yet our churchmen (they would not call themselves by the old-fashioned name) were in love with their imaginary improvenients. It is a fact, that so great was the change produced in the course of time, that, had any one recommended a return to the original practice, he woull have been derided as little better than a madman. For instance, one of the most undoubtel rules of the old piety was, “ Sell all that thou hast and give to the poor.” Now, the headmagistrate of our religion would ride in sumptuous array through thousands of his destitute fellow-men; and not only did this excite 210 surprise, but any hint of its inconsistency would have been received with perfect contempt. In short, our religion contradicted its ancient self at every point: it was exactly the system which it was not intended to be, and produced all the evils which it was designed to destroy.
To this master-evil I must attribute all the errors and vices of our secular policy; for I cannot believe that these would have been possible in a state guided by a true religion. As a proof of this, I refer to our treatment of the
One stanılard principle of our policy was, that the poorer the subject, the hearici should be the burdens laid upon him. Poverty hail led many into vice: to cure this, we resolved to punish poverty itself as a crime. I churchman and two or three political quacks made a great discovery, that the existence of a great number of the poor was a most serious error in nature, which must be corrected by severe measures.
Ilere it was found necessary to make another alteration in our old religion, which said, “Whom God liath joined together let no man put asunder.” Our quacks thought little of contradicting their Creator: and so they decrced that, when a married pair were found in destitution, they should be separated, and placed in confinement.
The souls of the poor were treated even as their bodies. It was declared by our old religion, " That the soul be without knowledge is not good," and facts clearly proved that a great majority of the crimes committed in our land were the results of the most brutish ignorance. Yet when plans were proposed to teach our people to read, think, and understand, at least, the most simple duties of men, it was objected that this could not be done without a violation of our religious faith! This is a fact, however strange it may seem in the present day. Parties otherwise strongly opposed to cach other in their political and so-called religious notions, all agreed in this decision, that the people should be kept in ignorance.
This may appear so utterly incredible in the present enlightened
age, that I must give some specimens of the arguments by which this decision was defended. IIere are two, which I have heard often repeated by the greatest authorities of our church. One said, “Knowledge is good, as water is good ; but its merit depends entirely upon the channel by which it is conveyed. If you cannot have iron water-pipes, you must have earthen onesanything rather than let people die of thirst :--but knowledge is quite another thing—if you cannot distribute it through the only proper channel, our church, the people must go without it—that's all!” Another said, " Knowledge, especially religious knowledge, is a very good thing, if you can give it in what I call a complete form ; but if you cannot do this, give none at all. That is my principle. If I cannot give a beggar 10001. I will not give him a penny : if I cannot show a poor traveller all the way to London, I will not point him to the nearest town. I like to have things complete.” These were all the arguments I ever heard in favour of the system of ignorance ; but they prevailed. The whole nation gravely sat down after the debate, saying—“It may be inconvenient; but our views of religion must prevent every plan for teaching the poor people.” A few simple men had the boldness to say—“ Then your views of religion need some supervision, O Christian public ! But these voices were soon silenced by general contempt.
As crowds of our poor, ignorant, and half-starved people were: fit for nothing else, we made soldiers of theni ; and our politicians generally contrived to keep up a little warfare somewhere (our eastern colonies were convenient for this purpose), by which our
redundant population was drawn off. Thousands of our young men wandereri about it our fair- and wakes, saying "We want work to do and bread to cat!" Come with me!" said the recruiting serieant, “and you shall have more, you shall shoot men and win glory! - Toare nothing about glory and shooting,” said the ignorant pea-ant : bout I should like regular meals." • l'ome with in then," said the sergeant. Who would follow thiepough?" Thi- recruiting sergeant only spoke as his better's bid taught him. (lereymen, instead of giving food to the hungry, Pere en rating they positively used the Divine Sam in the vice :: banners to be bathed in blood.
It the risk of being disbeliesel, 1 lall and a few further fruct. Our country chilly (uli-tud of tiro -mall islands, and of course, our large population Win in il great measure dependent upon foreign lands for articles of food and raw materials for manufacture. Now it was yravels argued by all the leaders of our aristocracy; that the best meal:- of prosperity for such a country must lie to talk import of their prices of lite. This was duge! It was said that the seal Was ill certain road for our supply of corn to travel over, though thic fa«! was, we had the command of the sea. It was also later, that we had been at war withı foreign lands. - The greater fools we!“ replied some free-traders. But," it wils dileri, "We may, some day, be at war with all the world.” lot uil we are the greatest fools in the world,” said the free-traders, · But,” said the Duke of B-, “there will be manufactories of all our fabrics throughout the whole of northern Russia and Tartary five or six thousand years henee.”
- At that time we will consider your objection," said the free-traders.
I must refer to a monster-file of newspapers which I have preserved for full confirmation of the statements I have made, and of hundreds of similar statements that might be made. But was there no corrective agency in our country? What were the people thinking of ?—The ground indeed was bad beneath us. It seemed impatient of our weight. There were rumblings and murmurs, and tremblings and emissions of smoke - the usual preliminaries of an earthquake; but we consoled ourselves, saying: “ This is nothing to be feared : all this is in the regular course of nature !” So it was—in the course of human nature about to