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Title: She hath done what she could - A Discourse addressed to the Ratepayers of St. Marylebone, urging the adoption of The Public Libraries Act, 1855
Author: Feilde, Matthew
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcribed from the 1860 J. Bumpus edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org



                      She hath done what she could.


                                * * * * *

                               A DISCOURSE
                             ADDRESSED TO THE
                      RATEPAYERS OF ST. MARYLEBONE,
                          URGING THE ADOPTION OF
                     THE PUBLIC LIBRARIES ACT, 1855.

                                * * * * *

                            BY MATTHEW FEILDE,
                           ST. DAVID’S COLLEGE.

   Late Member of the Committee of the Newspaper Press Association, for
                                obtaining
                      the Repeal of the Paper Duty.

                                * * * * *

    _But it is to Free Libraries and News Rooms_, and NOT to high-priced
    Institutes, that you must look for the spread of knowledge and
    intellectual culture.  It may be argued that 1_s._ 6_d._ a quarter,
    or 6_s._ a year, is not much to pay to a Working Man’s Association.
    I contend _it is exactly_ 4_s._ 4_d._ _too much_, as a halfpenny rate
    in the pound on a £40 house would amount to only 1_s._ 8_d._ a year.

                                * * * * *

                                 LONDON:
                      J. BUMPUS, 158, OXFORD STREET.
                                  1860.

                            _Price Sixpence_.

                                * * * * *

                       “She hath done what she could.”



TO THE RATEPAYERS OF ST. MARYLEBONE.


LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

THE FIELD OF BATTLE is in sight at last!  The St. Marylebone Mental Light
Columns, escorted by Troops of Progress in bright armour, with
Advancement in Knowledge Rifle Corps, fair women, and brave men, are in
marching order, and eager for the fray with the Mental Darkness Brigade,
the cruel and relentless enemies of Improvement.  The Obstructive Forces
for the defence of IGNORANCE, with a great flourish of trumpets,
proclaiming themselves friends of the poor par excellence, are marching
in defile, and scenting the battle afar off.

These bitter and unscrupulous foes, who care as much for the Poor, as
their pretended and hollow friend, Judas Iscariot, who when he cried
aloud for the public, meant only himself, of whom it was said, “not that
he cared for the poor, but because he carried the bag,” who murmured at
the waste of costly ointment of spikenard with which Mary had anointed
the feet of JESUS, and treacherously asked “why was not this ointment
sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor?”

These determined opponents of Progress—Parish Magnates—who dread the
light of intelligence, and whose excessive desire to guard the
ratepayers’ pockets is suspicious, and reminds me of Judas’ anxiety to
trade on the distress of the poor.  This Ignorant Phalanx, officered by
pompous little great men, or loud little foolish men,—small vanities and
pomposities, whose cry is “more taxation,” and who seem to say, “I am the
Parish,” and “when I speak let no dog bark;” all these small politicians
and miserable DO-NOTHINGS are making ready for the field.

A motley group are these specious Antagonists!  Frantic about the Ballot,
clinging to some Utopian impracticable reform, these sciolists and
pedagogues presume to snarl at the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and
denounce him as a financial jobber, wishing to float every stranding
newspaper with public money, and who speak of our foremost Statesman and
his Bill for the repeal of the Paper Duty, “as a sop to that _Cerberus_,
the Press, to get the support of the newspapers of the country.”  What
skimbleskamble stuff!  Consistent only in its inconsistency, true to its
base, diabolical instincts, the _Times_ with the malice of Disraeli, and
the hypocrisy of the Tempter, so far from supporting, positively revels
in slandering this CONSCIENTIOUS Minister.  Yes, the veering, versatile,
infamous _Times_ faithful to one principle only—unprincipled wickedness
exerts every nerve to retain this obnoxious tax.  It has assailed the
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and vilified his policy with a
vindictiveness which _Shylock_ might have envied, and which even cheap
journalism disdained.  Parish officials who ought to know better, prose
about the danger of innovation.  Not too fast.  Slow and sure.  No
complaints; no mischief has yet taken place; stay till it has taken
place!  _Wait a little this is not the time_!  With pretended friends of
Progress the right time will never arrive;—_to-day_ is the plea,
_exclusion_ the object.  I admit your “Poor rate is enormous,” but I rest
my case on this fact, as a strong argument for adopting this humanizing
Act of Parliament.

All these insidious foes either ignore or misrepresent the objects and
purposes of the PUBLIC LIBRARIES’ ACT.  Miserable economists in the guise
of friends of poor-rate defaulters, (whose talk about the Lisson Grove
Sunday nuisance is vain and hypocritical, while opposing Lord
Chelmsford’s Bill, who have not the courage to say, “We don’t believe in
the education of those who have to work,”) make use of the ratepayers to
pare down necessary Parochial expenditure, and to cry down the wisest
outlay of the Public money, in order to place themselves in office, and
who on the utterly fallacious plea that a half-penny Library Rate is a
compulsory and oppressive tax, would artfully dissuade you from
supporting the News Rooms Act on its own merits.  Know Nothings, and
Dreamers, whose emblem is,

                   “Man never IS, but always TO BE, blest.”

“candid friends,” coarse but not witty, seeking in every possible way to
disparage this beneficent project, in short, PRETENDED AND HOLLOW friends
of the poor, who, like the arch traitor in the text CARE NOT ONE STRAW
FOR THE GOOD OF THE PEOPLE, are going on to meet the armed men, the
soldiers of victory, thrice armed as having their cause, or _casus belli_
just.

But unlike other encounters, in this Engagement there will be no
gathering tears and tremblings of distress.  The heroic women of St.
Marylebone especially, will take comfort in the thought that fortune
favours the brave, and that although the race is not always to the swift,
nor the battle to the strong, they have, come what may, _deserved_
success, for they have done what they could to win the battle.

Clad in the armour of Righteousness you will know no fear; you will mock
at fear and not be affrighted; you will meet the treacherous foe with
self-approving smiles; Conscience will whisper in your ears the memorable
words of the SAVIOUR to Mary, “SHE HATH DONE WHAT SHE COULD” to secure
the victory.

I have said this Public Library movement—this precious boon of Reading
for All is especially a WOMAN’S QUESTION, and I hope the Meeting will be
graced by many Ladies to attest its truth and do honour to this great
occasion.  With such powerful allies I for one have no fear of the
result.

    “From woman’s eyes this doctrine I derive,
    They sparkle still the true Promethean fire;
    They are the books, the arts, the academies
    That show, contain and nourish all the world.”

I have briefly alluded to the economic aspect of this question, and shewn
how pauperism would be diminished by the advance of the people in
Knowledge.  You may depend upon it nothing is so expensive to this
Parish, so burdensome on the rates as IGNORANCE and INEBRIETY.  I have
designated the Public Libraries Act as a scheme for reducing the rates by
improving the condition of the people.  Let me for one moment turn from
the £ _s._ _d._ point of view, to the social.  What power in BOOKS!  What
various knowledge in those great Public Instructors, NEWSPAPERS!  GOD be
thanked for Books!

No matter how poor I am, no matter if the rich will not enter my obscure
dwelling.  If the oldest and most precious of all books, the BIBLE, with
its unparalleled wisdom, with its unrivalled English, and its unequalled
and incomparable Poetry is my companion and familiar friend,—if
SHAKESPEARE, the first of uninspired writers, still enchants me with his
presence, and the witty SYDNEY SMITH, (whom bigots, with their little
learning but enormous arrogance, stigmatize “irreligious”) preaches to me
with his practical wisdom; though languid perhaps with toil I shall not
pine for want of intellectual associates, and I may become lettered,
though entirely excluded from other companionship.  What humanizing
tendencies in Books, and how imperceptibly they influence the habits and
tastes of the Public!  Do what you can then to satisfy this increasing
thirst for intelligence, and the cultivation of the intellect, and you
will enlarge the field of remunerative employment, you will open up the
avenues to honourable and congenial occupation to young women, whom the
narrow existing labour market fails to find bread, let alone the means of
support.  But, remember it will be an uphill fight, for there must be two
to one in favour of this _permissive_, and not compulsory Act, and no
poll can be demanded.

To the best of my ability I have set it forward; and to you I now remit
this WOMAN’S question, believing as I do that despite conventional frowns
or sneers, you will, like the youthful David, valorously shoot down this
giant ignorance that is desolating our land, and that with the shield of
BELLEW, TOUT D’EN HAUT (All from on High, from Above, from the Father of
Lights,) you will triumph in a cause second to none in its economic and
social bearings.

I use no unmeaning phrase when I again assure the Ladies of St.
Marylebone that in inviting them to take part in this conflict, on the
issue of which so much depends, in asking them to come out and separate
themselves from the vain, and frivolous, and heartless, I invite them to
no unfeminine or unbecoming action.  Believe me the time has come when
you must throw off indecorous reserve and squeamishness, that is if you
really desire to do good and raise yourselves on the social ladder, if
you really desire to be released from the terrible bondage of
GOVERNESSING, or the cruel servitude of DRESS MAKING.  You are NOT called
upon to lead Troops, or to Preach, or to make public speeches about
Woman’s rights, but YOU ARE earnestly entreated to SAVE YOURSELVES, to
agitate this subject started by a distinguished political writer, viz.:
“WHAT WILL THE WOMEN DO NEXT?”  Take fast hold then of this Public
Library question, agitate it with nothing but your humanities about you,
and the time is not distant when the field of profitable employment for
young women shall be considerably widened.  That civilization must be
very imperfect, extremely smooth and artificial, which selfishly permits
and tyrannically decrees that the kitchen, and the nursery, the workroom
and the factory shall entirely absorb energies which might be much more
usefully directed.  Mr. John Bennett, so honourably identified with the
cause of progress and social reform, urges the importance of National
Instruction as a _sine quâ non_, without which it is vain to expect
English women to compete with the Swiss in watchwork, and discloses the
humiliating fact that the number of uneducated women in England, as
ascertained by the signing of the marriage register was, one-third
greater than that of men, and that out of nearly 80,000 women who were
married, 68,175 _could not write their names_, but had to sign the
register thus, + “her cross.”  Surely this is not a state of things to be
proud of, there is no ground here for boasting and glorification, and the
condition of England, as a _Nation_, wholly uneducated, is in strong
contrast to that of the Swiss population, where all the means and
appliances of education of the highest character are to be found even in
the remotest village.

When doctors disagree I will not presume to decide as to the necessity of
granting medical diplomas to women, but why not “Women and Watch-work?”
Is the Swiss girl more naturally artistic than the English?  Is she more
capable?  Certainly not.  It is instruction alone which constitutes her
superiority.  Let a woman be employed in that branch of industry for
which she is adapted.  Why there are parts of a watch which a woman can
finish far better than the best workman.  Talk of negro slavery, the
tyranny of the workshop is more odious, more hateful in every respect.
But I rejoice to perceive the dawn of a brighter day when a truer and
higher civilization will threw open the doors of _Watch Manufactories_
and _Printing Offices_ to English women.

Ladies of St. Marylebone, I invite you to attend the Public Library
Meeting at the Literary Institution, 17, Edwards Street, Portman Square,
at 12 o’clock at noon, on Monday 18th June, 1860.

On this vital question I counsel you to throw off the absurd trammels and
customs of fashion.  The law allows you to vote for the Libraries Act,
and I warn you that if you persist in clinging to delusion, if you permit
yourselves to be overcome by indifference and listlessness,—if you “likes
to be despised,” and prefer being tied and bound by the chains of
fashion,—the day will come when you will bitterly repent such fastidious
and disdainful behaviour.  Read ANNA JAMESON’S “Communion of Labour.”
Prisons, Reformatories, Schools, Hospitals, Workhouses, all engaged the
attention of this noble person.  Like Florence Nightingale she was in
every sense a model woman.  Yet those eyes, beaming with intelligence,
have now lost their lustre, and are for ever closed, and the hand that
wrote that admirable pamphlet is mouldering in its shroud.  But though
dead, she still speaks to you in terms more eloquent than any I can use.
ANNA JAMESON would say to you, “Be true to yourselves and naught shall
make you rue.”  Believe me the custom of confining women to mean, or
trifling pursuits is

                      “A custom
    More honour’d in the breach, than the observance.”

You who may be so powerful in society, why should you remain powerless?
Why not _do what you can_ to slay this Demon Ignorance in St. Marylebone?
Why should Central Africa and other far off Missions engross your FIRST
attention?  I exhort you to attend this Library Meeting, and _take your
part in this good work_.

Yes, vote for an Act which will bring silent, yet most interesting
companions, BOOKS to your Homes!  But do not too curiously and haughtily
enquire, as is the wont of some, “Who is the chief Promoter of this
movement?”  “NON QUO, SED QUO MODO, _Not who_, _but how_,” must be your
battle cry.  Be swayed by _arguments_, rather than by authority.
Consider _what is said_, _not who says it_; never mind whether he has, or
has not a bank account.

    “O what a world of vile ill-favour’d faults
    Looks handsome in six hundred pounds a year!”

Yes, hold up your hands for the adoption of the Libraries Act, and in the
hour of death, when the world and its allurements are receding from your
view, when alone and deserted by your so-called friends, how it will
console you in that solemn moment to be sensible that you have obeyed the
voice of HIM who spake as never man spoke, that you gladly took the
advice of your ASCENDED LORD to “make to yourselves friends of the mammon
of unrighteousness.”  Ah! think of eyes so young, obscured, and darkened
by tears, that you will thus make clear and glad!  On your vote the
question may be determined, and the hour has struck when you should be
leaders, and not the slaves, of opinion.

It is meet and right that you should LEAD in a cause which promotes EARLY
CLOSING, and which would confer in other ways a real and enduring benefit
on your Parish.  Hear the fine thoughts of Festus and treasure them in
your memories.

     “Grant this we pray Thee, and that all who read,
  Or utter noble thoughts may make them theirs,
  And thank God for them, to the betterment
  Of their succeeding life;—that all who lead
  The general sense and taste, too apt, perchance,
  To be led, keep in mind the mighty good
  They may achieve, and are in conscience, bound,
  And duty, to attempt unceasingly,
  To compass.  Grant us, all-maintaining Sire!
  That all the great mechanic aids to toil
  Man’s skill hath formed, found, rendered,—whether used
  In multiplying works of mind, or aught
  To obviate the thousand wants of life,
  May much avail the human welfare now,
  And in all ages henceforth, and for ever.
  Let their effect be, Lord! to LIGHTEN LABOUR,
  And give more room to mind, and leave the Poor
  Some time for SELF-IMPROVEMENT.  Let them not
  Be forced to grind the bones out of their arms
  For bread, but have some space to think and feel
  Like moral and immortal creatures.
  Look Thou with pity on all lesser crimes,
  Thrust on men almost when devoured by want,
  Wretchedness, ignorance and outcast life!
  Have mercy on the rich, too, who pass by
  The means they have at hand to fill their minds
  With serviceable knowledge for themselves,
  And fellows, and support not the good cause
  Of the world’s better future!
  May Peace, and Industry, and Commerce weld
  Into one Land all Nations of the World,
  Rewedding those the Deluge once divorced.
  Oh! may all help each other in good things,
  Mentally, morally, and bodily.
  Vouchsafe, kind God!  Thy blessing to this Isle,
  Specially.  May ENGLAND _ever lead_
  THE WORLD, for She is worthiest; and may all
  Profit by her example, and adopt
  Her course, wherever great, or free, or just.”

My Lords and Gentlemen, I contend that it is a discredit, that, in the
largest and richest Parish in the Metropolis, and in the United Kingdom,
there is not only not a vestige of a free public News Room, but that St.
Marylebone lags behind the poor Parish of St. John’s Westminster, where
for upwards of three years, the NEWS ROOM has been a source of great
attraction.  Should you visit this News Room, in Great Smith Street, the
silence, order, and evident interest of some two hundred readers, must
strike you.  The conduct of the frequenters of this Reading Room is very
praiseworthy.  I was told of one who came from Highgate, and open as it
is to all comers, in all grades of life, it is pleasant to notice the
influence of the judicious instruction to the librarian, which Mr. Stuart
Dalton first introduced at Liverpool, viz., “That all persons, however
ill-dressed or poor, who are cleanly, shall be treated as gentlemen.”
Yet the good ship “Westminster,” is in danger of being cast away, of
splitting on the dangerous rock, parsimony; she is on a lea-shore with
breakers ahead; signals of distress are flying, and St. Marylebone will
come to the rescue.  Yes! this great and important parish will make an
effort to preserve so admirable a vessel.  Let her not founder, when _you
could save_, let her not go down when you could prevent.  I drop the
figure and tell you plainly, that the force of your example in adopting
Mr. Ewart’s Act, is _much needed_ by the Smith Street Institution, which
looks to you for encouragement and sympathy.  And not only St. Margaret,
but other Metropolitan Parishes will follow the lead of St. Marylebone.
London, too, will wake from its long lethargic slumber, and, undismayed
by the defeat of 1855, will anxiously watch how you deal with this
question.  Lord Mayor Carter will not imitate his predecessors in
frustrating the intentions of the Legislature; {11} and although an
enthusiast in Rifle Brigades will find time to summon a meeting as to the
policy of firing a shot at Ignorance, directly St. Marylebone carries the
Act, and affirms that

                 KNOWLEDGE SHOULD BE THE PORTION OF ALL!

The working of the Libraries Act in Manchester, has given great
satisfaction.  Artists, authors, surgeons, chemists, lawyers, clerks in,
and out of orders, and artizans frequent the Reading Room.  So in
Marylebone the Public Library would benefit not one alone, but ALL
classes.  Such an Institution would do something to diminish that
ISOLATION of class, which the dying TALFOURD rightly said was the bane of
England.

Gentlemen, it is miserable policy in this free country to allow a
dangerous class, utterly uninformed, to grow up in your very midst:

    “A savage Horde, among the civilized,
    A SERVILE BAND among the LORDLY FREE.”

is a perilous experiment.  If you do not look after them, rely on it they
will look after you, and when it is “too late,” you will deeply regret
your ruinous economy, and short-sightedness, in not doing what you could
to soften their manners, and make them less brutal, and also to qualify
them for the Suffrage by wisely proffering these young Mohawks and
Ojibbeways of Lisson Grove especially, INTELLECTUAL IMPLEMENTS AND TOOLS.

In 1858 the rental of the Parish of St. Marylebone, assessed to the poor
rate, was valued at £911,570; this sum at _one halfpenny in the pound_,
produces £1,899 2_s._ 1_d._  To speak of an education-rate like this as
an infliction, to describe such an impost as a heavy tax, is mere rant,
and to talk about the _thin end of the wedge_, or the “last feather,”
&c., is a mischievous abuse of language.  The inestimable good of PUBLIC
NEWS ROOMS and LENDING LIBRARIES, will, despite heavy platitudes and
dreary sophistries, win their way.  Take honest pride in being able to
say: I helped by my vote to secure to St. Marylebone this incalculable
benefit, which would be confined to no one class exclusively, but which
would be every man’s possession and every man’s right.  That will be a
Waterloo day in the social annals of St. Marylebone, when guided by this
magnificent idea, you wisely determine to establish so excellent an
Institution.  To such societies as the Workman’s Institute, 209, Euston
Road, and the All Souls’ Mutual Improvement, Great Portland Street, and
to the “Patrons” of Sir Benjamin Hall’s Pet, rickety bantling, in
Gloucester Place, now happily defunct, to which I refer, on account of
the confusion it caused as a sham of the first class, To friends of
Progress, like Lord Shaftesbury, {13a} Lord Overstone, Mr. Robert
Hanbury, and Mr. J. Payne, it is fit a few words of remonstrance should
be addressed.  Why, year after year repudiate,—why perversely ignore the
Public Libraries Act?  Why disquiet yourselves in vain?  Why set up your
puny wisdom against that of Parliament?  Why seek to bolster up ill
managed, cliquish, moribund Institutes?  Why this morbid, excessive
anxiety to PATRONIZE?  That Patron system so fatal to self-respect,
produces sycophants, not men.

The Rector of All Souls candidly admitted his Institution was _in
articulo mortis_, and that the higher classes took no interest in this
weak, sickly infant.  No doubt the object is good, but how far wiser for
the District Rectors to take up the amended Act, which applies “to
Parishes.”  Take it up NOT in a carping, criticising, fault finding
spirit, but rather SUPPLEMENT it, by Concerts, Readings, and Lectures.
G. MONTAGUE DAVIS, ESQ., whose recitations exhibit so much cleverness,
informs me, London Lecturers, of no mean talent, would gladly deliver a
course at the St. Marylebone Public Library. {13b}  Supplement it with
RECREATION and REFRESHMENT Rooms.  Never forget the scope and design of
the Act is to ATTRACT, NOT to repel, to AMUSE, as well as to instruct,
the people.  I will assume that you have carried the Act:—that is a good
work, but I warn you it is not sufficient.  The Legislature tells you to
do the best you can with this enabling Act.  SUPPLEMENT it then by all
means, and make the avenues and approaches to your News Rooms pleasant
and entertaining.  You will never attract the men of fustian jackets, and
horny hands, unless you can combine amusement with instruction.  I grant
that newspaper reading, as the most effective instrument of public
instruction, should be encouraged as much as possible, but it is no easy
matter to go from ten and twelve hours work in search of useful
knowledge.  You must provide good and cheap RECREATION.  I entertain
serious misgivings that additional Church Accommodation is NOT the most
pressing question of the day.  There is a taste to be formed, and a mind
to be humanized by enjoyment, before Church or Chapel services can be
relished.  No doubt books and papers _are_ attractive, but I am pleading
for the man wearied and exhausted by a day of toil.  In a _café_, in the
Rue de la Roquette, near the Place de la Bastille, Paris, I observed
fifty _ouvriers_ in blouses playing at billiards.  All appeared to be
innocently enjoying themselves; why not?  There is no necessary connexion
between billiards and gambling, and the question arises if the Club, or
Billiard room is beneficial or allowable to the Gentleman, why not also
to the Working Man?

To successfully combat the allurements of cabarets and gin palaces, you
must “compel” men to visit your News Rooms by the force of superior
attraction.

There is “REST” enough, too much, already.  Nothing breaks the low and
grovelling monotony of “the Pious Public House.”  No healthier pursuit
interferes with the recreation supplied by the tap-room, or the sanded
parlour.  You must _tempt_ people into churches—the arguments of fear
have not succeeded in making them frequented.  The excitements you employ
are not sufficient to attract the poor to your benches—try the effect of
supplementing the Act, as I have briefly indicated—take it up in this
wise temper, and you will have no dismal failures to lament.

Gentlemen, it is related of the Emperor AUGUSTUS—it was the glory of his
reign—that he found Rome brick, and that he left it marble.  Let it be
your higher aim, your nobler distinction, that you found the people
ignorant, and that you left them INSTRUCTED—that you found them wholly
untaught in _political and social science_, {15} and that you left them
INTELLIGENT—that you found the gates of the temple of knowledge closed to
the toiling classes, and that you OPENED THEM TO ALL!

Gentlemen, I belong to no Party, but I will yield to none in my earnest
desire to thoroughly RESTORE and REPAIR the venerable Fabric of the
Constitution, and to put the Representation of the People on a firm
basis, and to have a House of Commons for the common people.  I am for a
more comprehensive franchise than the symbolical one of lath and plaster.
I would give a vote to every man certified as competent to READ and
WRITE.  I prefer a representation of INTELLIGENT MEN to any Franchise
that can be devised.  What claim has an illiterate hind to the Elective
franchise?  Not the slightest.  You put a dangerous weapon into his hand
of the use of which he is ignorant.  The Suffrage is a TRUST, and a man
wholly uninstructed is unqualified to exercise it.  Philosophers laugh at
_manhood_ suffrage _de se_, and ask why should not such a franchise
include women?

I am of opinion that a Reading and Writing qualification is fairer and
more equitable, and affords as good a security for an honest vote, as any
£ s. d. franchise whatever.  With an untaxed Press, with Knowledge set
free, with cheap and good Literature, such a suffrage could not fail to
stimulate the popular education.  I have no faith in a £6 or a £5
franchise, unless it is annexed with a reading certificate, and to make
no provision for a £10 or £12 LODGER FRANCHISE, as Mr. James proposes,
seems mean popularity-hunting, and like a determination on the part of
Lord John Russell to ignore the claims of a very large and respectable
class in St. Marylebone, and other Metropolitan Parishes, because they
are quiet and not demonstrative.  But such palpable injustice cannot be
endured for ever.  That “ugly rush,” predicted by Mr. Henley, may yet
come; for there is always danger of convulsion when large bodies of men
are insulted, and deprived of their just political rights, in order to
please the rampant, degenerate Earl GREY, the rank Tory DICTATOR, alias
Renegade Whig, Earl DERBY, or such a loud, noisy Declaimer, as Sir E.
Bully Lytton, M.P.

This Hertfordshire Baronet has taken so prominent a part in the play of
REFORM, in the character of “THE RENEGADE—an ENGLISH LIBERAL,” that it
becomes a duty to briefly criticize the performance.  If there is one
spectacle more humiliating, or one sight sadder than another, it is that
of beholding a man of letters, and of unquestionable ability, laboriously
using his talents as a cloak of maliciousness, and ungratefully reviling
that democracy which gave him bread, and raised him to power.  “_Et tu_,
_Brute_!”  Why, a more grossly insulting, unpatriotic speech never issued
from the lips of the most rabid Tory!  Can it be possible that “ENGLAND
AND THE ENGLISH” was written by the “Poverty and Passion” Orator?
QUANTUM MUTATUS!  “How is the gold become dim!  How is the most fine gold
changed!”  How unlike that Bulwer who discoursed so eloquently of the
rights of man—of man as a greater name than President, or King!

From my youth up, Bulwer was my _beau ideal_; he is now my realization of
perfidy and tergiversation, and before such an elaborate sham, even the
star of Disraeli must pale.

Like your confrère novelist, Disraeli, you have turned your back upon
yourself, and brought a slur on the literary calling.  You, who began
your political career by associating your name with the freedom of the
newspaper from all fiscal restrictions, end it by doing what you can to
hamper and enchain it.  On the night of the third reading of the PAPER
DUTY REPEAL BILL, May 8, you absent yourself from the Division, when
EVERY VOTE was of the utmost importance to the Finance Minister, though I
am bound to add you were not alone in turning your back upon yourself,
and your speeches about giving the people education and intelligence.
Lord STANLEY, with an inconsistency equally glaring, votes for £300,000
for the Promotion of Education, and then evades the Repeal Bill Division
by flight!  I prefer DISRAELI’S, and ADDERLEY’S, and PAKINGTON’S adverse
vote to such mean, pusillanimous Absentees, and Patrons of Educational
Institutes, as Lord STANLEY, the Member for King’s Lynn, Sir Robert PEEL,
the Member for Geneva, and the immaculate JOHN ARTHUR ROEBUCK, {17} the
stern guardian of Political Purity.  STROUD will rid itself of HORSMAN,
and the Metropolitan constituencies of FINSBURY, ST. MARYLEBONE,
SOUTHWARK, and WESTMINSTER, will have something not very complimentary to
whisper to Mr. DUNCOMBE, Mr. JAMES, and Sir De LACY EVANS, who absented
themselves from the Division, and to Sir CHARLES NAPIER, who voted with
the Noes.  If LISKEARD favours the absence of Mr. OSBORNE from a Reform
Bill, compared with which a £6 franchise is as nothing in the scale of
moral value, it is time this Cornish borough was disfranchised.  The
honourable member for OLDHAM, I regret to notice, has a legitimate excuse
for his absence, but what can be said of his colleague, the son of
COBBETT, voting against Free Trade in Intelligence and Ingenuity, voting
for imposing an oppressive and restrictive tax of upwards of a million,
on an article which is just as essential to the circulation of knowledge,
as iron rails are to the progress of a locomotive.

In glancing over the Division list, Ayes, 219, Noes, 210, I was glad to
notice BIRMINGHAM’S indefatigable and respected Representative, WILLIAM
SCHOLEFIELD, ESQ., among the Ayes; but where was the staid and “eminent”
member, John Bright, on this particular night?  What!  THE TRIBUNE of the
People to slope away on a field night like this!  Not even to pair!  Why
ASSUME there would be no fight on the _third_ reading?  Had the vote been
as decisive as on the second reading, Lord Derby, with all his
ill-concealed jealousy of the rising influence of Mr. GLADSTONE, and his
antipathy to a cheap Press, would not have ventured on so desperate a
game as the backer of the Limerick game cock.  The Rupert of Debate was
far too wily a tactician to overlook this narrow Party victory, this
dwindling of the Ayes from 53 (245 against 192) to 9, this narrow squeak,
this, in effect, desertion to the enemy.  There is not the shadow of a
doubt the wretched NINE encouraged the wily strategist in his dangerous
game of USURPING the privileges of the Commons, and reviving the ominous
cry of 1832, “WHAT USE IS THE HOUSE OF LORDS?”

Observe, far be it from me to comment with severity on the sayings and
doings of the brilliant Quaker.  Far be it from me to notice affronts
which I set down to exuberance of arrogance, often seen in men who have
raised themselves from an obscure position to a front rank.  I would much
rather dwell on Mr. Bright’s eminent services in the People’s cause.  Who
was the chief Orator at the great League Meetings, 1843–45?  Who so
captivated by his earnest style?  Fifteen years have elapsed, and again I
have listened to Mr. Bright’s persuasive words.  His speech at St.
Martin’s Hall, May 15th, 1860, was a master-piece, and, despite a cold, a
most animated, yet almost solemn appeal.  I will quote a sentence, which,
who that loves his country will gainsay?

    “You boast of your love of freedom, your newspapers fill columns
    every day with the details of what men are doing in other parts of
    the world—some in overthrowing, some in building up noble fabrics of
    human liberty.  Let me beseech you that, whilst you are observing
    what is being done ABROAD with an intense and increasing interest,
    never for a single moment forget what is being done, and what it is
    your duty to do, AT HOME.”

Mr. Bright’s reception by the great meeting of some three thousand
persons was indeed an ovation, not “a roomfull of London mob,” (as the
_Times_ insolently says), but of an indignant people.  As in the days of
KEAN, “the pit rose at him,” at the close of an inciting yet moderate
speech, of one hour’s duration.

    “I exhort the people of England—you who are here present to-night—all
    who shall read my words to-morrow, I exhort them to make this a great
    question.  Your fathers would have made it a great question: they
    would have maintained, and did maintain their rights; and you are
    recreant and unworthy children of theirs if you surrender them in
    your generation.”

What cares Earl Derby, with his fifty proxies, whether he throws the
country into inextricable confusion? {19}  What cares a haughty
aristocrat for Mr. Gladstone?  His great superiority of intellect—his
undaunted courage—his noble conscientiousness, are so many thorns in his
side, and it is clear that certain members of both Houses, and envious
EX-Chancellors, (as Disraeli, or that renegade sinecurist, Spring Rice,
Lord Monteagle—a servant of the Crown, yet working against the Crown—with
an office of £2,000 as Comptroller of the Exchequer, money wrung from a
heavily taxed Public) dislike our honest Finance Minister.  Need I remind
you the genius MR. GLADSTONE has displayed as a Financier is a crime in
their eyes.  To drive the STATE Coach at all hazards, what cares LORD
DERBY if the wheels of his chariot knock down the great Commoner?  What
does such a titled usurper care for offering gross insults to the
CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER?  To OBSTRUCT, to offer every impediment to
the spread of knowledge by means of the Penny NEWSPAPER—that great
political Intelligence—is the delight of this chieftain and his
retainers.  You then turn round and most insolently taunt the Poor with
their want of knowledge and improvidence, with their hazy and uncertain
political ideas.  You tempt the poor man with bribes, and complain of his
dependence in his exercise of the Franchise, and contemptuously enquire
“what will he do with it?”

I know of no dishonour, no meanness to be compared with this.  You are
astute enough in diverting attention from the REFORM Bill by unfriendly
criticisms on NAPOLEON, and by the distraction of Foreign Affairs.

You are not Members for Nice or Savoy.  To annoy our ALLY and impede his
policy, the rights and liberties of ENGLISHMEN are to be shelved.  Why
this excessive anxiety about our Foreign neighbours to the neglect of
HOME?  I can only glance at the curious tone of this cynical speech.  No
doubt the delivery of this harangue was striking enough, but a roar is
certainly not a melodious sound.  The effect of the oration though
clothed in glittering phraseology was entirely lost by the jerking mode
of its delivery.  Such a _dog_matical outcry I never heard.  It resembled
the noise of some furious mastiff, and no wonder the loud barking drove
despairing Members into the lobby.  And this wretched declamation Lord B.
Manners calls a brilliant and magnificent oration.  There was a time when
_Mr. Bulwer_ could see no evil in a large increase of the constituency,
nor any danger in the ignorance, credulity, and excitableness of the
working classes.  There was a time when he wished to conciliate the
“English” with fulsome adulation in order to elevate himself, _now_ he
labours to damage and damnify; and who are his associates in adopting the
not very elegant or polite terms of “scum,” “boor.” &c.  A _Mr. Adam
Black_, M.P. for Edinburgh, the son of a journeyman mason, _Sidney
Smith_, a briefless Edinburgh barrister, _Robert Longfield_, an Irish
barrister, a Q.C. and Member for Mallow, and next a brace of Lords,
Robert Cecil, and Robert Montagu.  In coarse and vulgar slanders of the
Poor who is such an adept as the man who is a traitor to his order—the
man who has himself worked for his bread?  None are so bitter and
malignant as those who have risen from the ranks.  Let me tell this scion
of the House of Rutland that the presence of _Lords_ in the House of
_Commons_ is not desirable, and that the days of a rapacious OLIGARCHY as
the real ruling Power in England are numbered.  Why add Insult to Injury?
It is a defence full of peril, to say in effect that your order requires
the people to be deprived of their just Rights.

Let me tell that political incendiary Lord DERBY that if his Order can
only be upheld by depriving us of the Elective Franchise, that if his
Order really requires this great sacrifice, this keeping the people year
after year in dense ignorance, that if his Order can only be preserved by
USURPING the privileges of the House of Commons, in order to perpetuate
an odious and miserable Tax on Intelligence, I for one exclaim, Perish
this Order.

And here let me contrast the coarse, censorious, anti-Reform Speeches of
Lord R. Cecil, Lord B. Manners, Mr. Bentinck, and another Aristocrat
whose “House” is quite as potential for evil, though not so ancient as
some noble Lords.  I allude to John Walter of Bear Wood, and Printing
House Square, Member for Berkshire, and the chief Proprietor of the
“Times.”

Reading their libellous and defamatory speeches, I thought of the dreaded
advent of that day when plough boys should read and write, I mused on the
countryman’s cry, “WAIT TILL US CHAPS HAS VOTES.”

Compare the “Oration” of Sir E. Lytton, with the well reasoned, logical
speech of MR. GLADSTONE.

    “But when he speaks, what elocution flows,
    Soft as the fleeces of descending snows.”

First of orators, and master of the arts of Rhetoric, MR. GLADSTONE
condescends to dress his arguments in no robe of tinsel finery, no
specious, no glittering phrases are to be found, but a plain, common
sense English speech that could not fail to make a deep impression on the
House.  How the Phantoms alarmists had conjured up were routed!  How he
scattered to the winds the hobgoblins the Terrorists had raised!

Sprung from the People, with them and of them, the CHANCELLOR OF THE
EXCHEQUER is too noble minded and just to satirize the Poor because they
are poor.  I will quote his words:

    “Sir.—I don’t admit that the working man, regarded as an individual,
    is less worthy of the suffrage than any other class.  I don’t admit
    the charges of corruption from the Report of a Committee of the House
    of Lords.  I don’t believe that the working men of this country are
    possessed of a disposition to tax their neighbours and exempt
    themselves, nor do I acknowledge for a moment that schemes of
    socialism, of communism, of republicanism, or any other ideas at
    variance with the laws and constitution of the Realm are prevalent
    and popular among them.”  (Hear, hear.)

But I forget.  The Field day is drawing near, and you will soon be in the
thick of the Battle! {22}

    “Yet once more let me look upon the scene;”

Let me call to mind my first to the Field of Waterloo, wrapt in a crimson
flood of light, on a beautiful summer’s evening in 1859.  Standing upon
this celebrated Plain,

                “this place of skulls,
    The grave of France, the deadly Waterloo!”

who can forget the heroic deeds of that never to be forgotten Field?

Traversing that Plain where united Nations drew the sword, and where our
Countrymen especially triumphed, who cannot sympathize with the dying
English King, who on being told that it was the 18th of June, exclaimed
“That was a glorious day for England!”  But PEACE has her victories not
less renowned than War.

And I hasten to review some specialities in a Home contest on which so
much is at stake; in my notes on St. Marylebone nothing has struck me
more than the high degree of speciality which attaches to this Crown
Living.  LANCING in SUSSEX, my native village, of which my Father was for
many years VICAR, in Ecclesiastical language is termed a “PECULIAR,” and
certainly St. Marylebone might take the same title.  The CLERGY in this,
as in every other Parish, stand on a vantage ground, and, if I might
venture to speak a few words, I would counsel them to vote for this Act,
and advocate such NURSERIES of Intelligence and virtue as Public News and
Recreation Rooms, and to recommend the rate paying part of their
congregations to do the same.

It would be very unwise to separate yourselves from the only feasible
plan for the innocent recreation and instruction of the People, and what
have the _working_ clergy to fear from Books or Newspapers?

Is it wise in the 19th century of the Christian era to proclaim openly
that you dare not encounter the rivalship of places set apart for
intellectual gratification and amusement?  Is it not well occasionally to
ask yourselves whether the common people hear you gladly? and if your
words contain the food, or the medicine which meets the great necessities
of toiling hearts.  You have vainly preached prohibitions and
restrictions,—you have hurled spiritual thunderbolts with little or no
effect.  Stand upon the steps of the Churches, and see who comes out.  Is
the working man there?  There are clearly faults on both sides.  He loves
not the Church.  The Church has not done its duty.  You must constrain,
tempt, “compel” him to enter.  You must manage to _attract_ and draw him,
and above all you must learn to preach Freedom of Thought, UNITY and
CHRISTIAN EQUALITY.  Believe me it would be politic on your part to
review the past, and _do what you can_, to ameliorate the condition of
the masses by gladly availing yourselves of this Act.  That is a sad day
for the Gospel and the Church when a Plan for the Improvement of the
People is called “secular,” and not sufficiently religious to be urged
from the Pulpit: the Bishop of SIERRA LEONE in his Sermon at St.
Marylebone Church drew an appalling picture of “1,300 millions of
Idolaters,” and spoke of the duty of teaching the Nations, by spreading
abroad the light of the Gospel.  That obligation cannot be questioned,
but who can say there are not IDOLS of SECTARIANISM and CASTE in our own
country?  Who can say there are not unhappy DIVISIONS, and a want of
CHRISTIAN UNIFORMITY?  And who can deny the Idol worship of LISSON GROVE?

Talk of the _dark places of the earth_, where can more devoted
worshippers of BACCHUS or of Mammon be found than in this collection of
Towns, called LONDON?  HERE are Idols as real, sacrifices as hideous and
mischievous as any in a heathen land.

I can understand the opposition of the Romanists to this gracious Act.
The Romish system cannot bear the light of intelligence: Priests of that
faith don’t want their people to know too much, or to get as high as the
generalities of history, or the speculations of philosophy, but YOU, the
Clergy of the Church of England, that Church which will stand or fall, as
it meets the requirements of this progressive age, have no interest
whatever in keeping the Key of Knowledge to yourselves.  Recollect St.
Marylebone has a disgrace to retrieve, a character to redeem.  Believe me
it is a discredit to your large Parish to be without a Public Library.
Vote for the adoption of this Act, and you reduce the Poor rate, you
reduce crime, and simplify the policeman’s duty, and above all you bridge
over the gulf that separates classes.  Your cordial sympathy cannot be
withheld from a Proposal of this description.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth glad
tidings, that publisheth PEACE!”  You who promulgate “PEACE on earth,
GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN,” cannot carelessly regard this beneficent project.
You cannot be more usefully engaged than in promoting a scheme that
enlarges the means of instruction, and widens the field of economical and
sanitary science.  Your senses cannot be quite dazzled by the pomps and
vanities of exclusive Rifle Corps, trained to fire at imaginary foes.
You cannot allow this fair land to be invaded by an enemy so real and
fatal as IGNORANCE.  You will not forget what it is that makes one man
wiser, or more virtuous than another, and what it is that constitutes the
difference between one man and another?  You well know what it is that
makes them what they are, good or evil, useful or not.  You well know
that it is EDUCATION which makes the great difference in mankind. {24}
You are too sagacious to slight, or separate yourselves from the only
feasible, enduring plan for the innocent RECREATION and instruction of
the people.  You are aware that all work and no innocent AMUSEMENT, has
been productive of the worst results.  You are aware that Music is a
powerful agent in the promotion of refinement and civilization, and that
after a long day of toil, a man has need of relaxations other than books.
Knowing this, you will, I hope, gladly respond to the appeal, and
strengthen the hands of St. Margaret and St. John.

    “The bells of time are ringing changes fast!
    Grant, LORD! that each fresh peal may usher in
    An Era of advancement!”

I have said St. Marylebone is a _peculiar_ Crown living; with a Baronet
for a Crown Churchwarden.  May I ask the reason why the Rector never
takes the chair at Vestry Meetings?  And if not in me too curious, does
the Bishop of London approve of a Clerk in Orders being Preacher, Parish
Clerk, and Sexton?  And whether the Rev. official pockets the Surplice
fees as parson, clerk, and sexton?  This triple conjunction of offices is
peculiar, and no doubt economic, but it wants reforming altogether.  Such
an industrious clerk as Mr. Braithwaite, might be supposed to have some
influence.  But he roughly tells me that he has not any, has never heard,
nor wishes to know, anything of Mr. Ewart’s Act.  I am surprised the
District Rector of St. Mary, Mr. Gurney, and also the Incumbent of All
Saints, Margaret Street, should have received a volunteer with so little
courtesy.  Had I been engaged in devising some evil, instead of an
enduring benefit to their Parish, I could not have been more cavalierly
treated.

I do not say arrogance is confined to PRIESTS.  I have met with POPES out
of Rome, who in the garb of FRIENDS, or FREE TRADERS, have much Pride,
but little Humility, and whose utter want of common courtesy is in strong
contrast to our Old Nobility.  Perhaps the most offensive display of
intolerance was that of a Rt. Rev. Ratepayer, residing in Queen Ann St.,
whose Episcopal ire was roused on being asked to aid in setting forward
the Libraries Act. {26a}  Not a very unreasonable request.  A Bishop who
daily, I suppose, reads in his Prayer Book the Collect for PEACE,
“Trusting in THY Defence, we may not fear the Power of ANY adversaries,”
is so alarmed, or attaches so little meaning to the words of the Prayer,
that he subscribes handsomely to the Chichester Rifle Corps, and yet
betrays no fear of the invasion of an enemy, more dangerous and to be
dreaded than the French, is certainly not an agreeable study:

                   “tantæne animis cælestibus iræ?”
    Dwells such rancour in heavenly minds?

Long years ago when:

                    “My thoughts were happier oft than I,”

Lord Grey warned the Bishops “to set their House in order.”  If the
Church is not reformed from WITHIN, she will be reformed from WITHOUT,
with a vengeance.  It cannot be denied the sentiments of FESTUS are held
by attached members of the Church of England.

    “Let not a hundred humble pastors starve,
    In this or any land of Christendom,
    While one or two impalaced, mitred, throned,
    And banqueted, burlesque if not blaspheme
    The holy penury of the SON OF GOD.” {26b}

The Rector of Christchurch, Lisson Grove, lately advocated the claims of
the Diocesan Church Building Society.  No doubt it is time that something
should be done for the Poor of this District, but I am clearly of opinion
that it would be wise to postpone any efforts in this direction, until
the cheap experiment of Free Libraries had been tried in St. Marylebone.

Such an Institution in Lisson Grove would to the Ojibbeways especially be
a _Home of Refuge_, or what I should term a SCHOOL CHURCH.—Good Books are
the best of Missionaries.  Parcels of hundred volumes each at five pounds
per parcel, can be purchased of _C. Mudie_, 511, New Oxford Street; but
CURATES are not so easily obtained.  No Institutions, no contrivance, no
expenditure, can multiply this sacred crop.  As one of the Laity of the
Bishop of London’s Diocese I own I demur to additional “Buildings” unless
I have some voice in reference to the Incumbents, &c.  It is time the
Laity “assisted” “Parochial Extension” in other ways besides money
contributions.  Why do the Bishops and dignified Clergy persist in
IGNORING Laymen in their Ecclesiastical arrangements?  Why regard them as
mere machines for extracting gold or silver?  Before I can reply to the
Bishop of London’s Letter to the Laity of the Diocese, I respectfully
request a satisfactory answer to this question.  Will your Lordship aid
the Laity in their just claim to a seat in Convocation?  The Laity are
not excluded from Convocation in the Protestant Episcopal Church of the
United States, and if the laity of the Church of England are to be
rigidly excluded, Church Building appeals will command little, or no
attention.

The Laymen of 1860 are not the unlettered men of twenty years since, and
to deny them any deliberation as to the qualification of Curates or
Incumbents, reading or preaching capabilities, appears to me very bad
policy on the part of our Ecclesiastical superiors.

It would ill become me to set up as an _Episcopus Episcoporum_,
believing, however, as I do that this assembling of the Laity and Clergy
would tend to Christian UNITY I cannot resist urgently insisting on this
Church Reform.  Speaking for my own order the Laity are hardly dealt
with!  How many real grievances they must now silently endure, without
the slightest power to remove or abate them!  How much which relates to
discipline, and the conducting the services is diametrically opposed to
the wishes of the Laity!  How often has the length of the Morning Service
been objected to.  Only the other day Lord EBURY did what he could to
shorten the services, but in vain; there seems a superstitious reverence
for repetition, for retaining certain phrases which must strike high,
low, and broad Churchmen as objectionable.  The Prayer for both Houses of
Parliament under our “most religious and gracious Queen” is truly
admirable, and how any Lords Spiritual and Temporal can join in such a
comprehensive petition and yet vote against a great Educational boon like
the repeal of the last tax on Knowledge I for one cannot understand.  But
in this Prayer I demur to applying the same term “most gracious” to the
Queen, and to the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.  Who can deny that
damp, ill-ventilated, or icy cold Churches, are not fruitful causes of
disease?  I attended the Sons of the Clergy Festival, under the Dome of
St. Paul’s Cathedral on the 23rd May.  It was a warm summer’s day, but
owing to the intense cold rushing currents of air, I with others was
obliged to leave.  People were shivering with cold—and this in the 19th
century!  A boasted scientific age!  A few years ago I was at St. Paul’s
Sons of the Clergy Festival, and was then compelled to leave on account
of the bitter cold.  I wrote on that occasion a polite note to Dean
Milman, in which I urged that some means of warming the Cathedral should
be adopted.  I received no reply; and this is not surprising, for a more
_Judaic_ High Priest—a very _Caiphas_ cannot be found than _Henry Hart_
Milman.  Why there might have been some excuse for thus trifling with the
Public health at the time my Grand-father was Prebendary of this
Cathedral, because the appliances of science were not in his day known.
Let me tell this supercilious Priest that a curious public are enquiring
of what use are DEANS and CANONS with their thousands a year, if they do
not even take the trouble to make their Churches comfortable?  It is very
discreditable to the Dean and Canons that such beggarly parsimony should
year after year prevail.  Why not FREE ACCESS to this noble Edifice?  Why
this miserable Clerical impost of 4_s_ 2_d_?  Why it is an Education of
itself to survey

             “until thy mind hath got by heart
    Its eloquent proportions.”

    “The Dome—the vast and wondrous Dome,”

Sir Christopher Wren’s rare masterpiece, of whom it was said,

          “Si monumentum requiris,
    Circurnspice,”

“if you want his monument, look around.”  This glorious Temple, which
stands alone for grandeur, worthiest of GOD, the Holy and the True,
deserves a better fate than to be starved by its Priests on the pretext
of a false and wretched economy.  Every thing that ministers to comfort
is seen in a nobleman’s mansion, shall GOD’S HOUSE alone be dishonoured
by such paltry and mean frugality?  Who can deny the attendance of
invalids at Matins, with litany and communion, is not itself an ordeal,
but to combine this length of Service with a Sermon of an hour’s duration
is an infliction of no ordinary character.  I do not say that when PAUL
has served for a text, that PLATO or EPICTETUS have preached, but who
shall say the Preacher does not too often exhibit himself and _his crude_
ideas, and NOT the Bible’s.  “_It is this text of mine_,” that too often
proceeds from the lips of ostentatious Preachers.

It is unreasonable to expect that 20,000 clergymen of the Church of
England, are qualified as preachers, shall be able, one and all, at least
twice a week, to talk or read something that will command attention for
fifty or sixty minutes?  Why not some UNIFORMITY in the Prayer, or no
Prayer, before sermon?  Why not some authorized version of psalms and
hymns to be sung in all the churches?  Why this diversity?  The layman
has a right to say to the Bishop, if you forbid me to take any part in
the government and discipline of the Church, I cannot contribute towards
the “extension” of such injustice.  You nominate or appoint a clerk, who
_ought to know how to read_; yet how few are capable of MERELY READING
the Service, I will not say with propriety alone, but with common
decency.  Who has not “suffered some,” to use an American phrase, by the
deplorable deficiencies in pronunciation, and accentuation?  Who with any
ear for fit cadence, is not pained to be obliged to listen to the
monotonous whining of the simple and beautiful Ritual of the Church of
England?  It is from the reading desk and the pulpit that boys and girls
are told they will hear their mother tongue in all its purity.  But is
this true?  It is not only not true, but the very reverse of truth.  The
forms of Prayer and Thanksgivings, as literary compositions, are perfect
specimens of style.  What English prose will venture to challenge a
comparison with the dignity and melody of the Collects?  And yet,
remember, the musical and rhetorical excellence of the Liturgy, consists
chiefly of translations from the Latin!  Surely such persuasive, such
affecting petitions to Heaven deserve a better fate, than to be murdered
by ruthless and ignorant men who have missed their vocation.  Some mouth
and mutter, some rant and roar, others simper and squeak, and not a few
read the Service with the same apathy as an animal chewing the cud.

Yet the Laity of the Diocese of London cannot interfere, cannot even hint
to such readers they had better retire.  This overgrown diocese contains
two millions and a half of inhabitants.  It is divided into four hundred
and thirty-three parishes, with eight hundred and fifty-five clergy.
Common sense dictates dividing the Diocese of London.  Why not a Bishop
of WESTMINSTER?  Yet not one word can laymen utter on such topics, in any
deliberative church assembly, and I submit the time has come when all
this must be REFORMED, and when the Diocese of London must be at UNITY in
itself. {30}

It was my intention to have said a few words about Lord John Russell’s
scheme of Reform, but I can only just glance with some pity on his poor
little forlorn, tender Bill.  I can only view it as an instalment of
better things to come.  The ignoring the claims of £10 or £12 Lodgers in
great London parishes especially, would be an act of extreme injustice,
and I hope in Committee, the Foreign Secretary will adopt this clause to
be proposed by Mr. James.

My extreme anxiety to carry the Libraries Act in St. Marylebone, must
atone for any repetitions of last warning words to the Ratepayers.
Believe me the enemies of Literature, of innocent, intellectual
recreation, are too astute to tolerate fair, or indeed any, arguments in
favour of this most hopeful Legislative enactment.  They are well aware
that reason is too strong for nonsense in the long run, and that if this
wise proposal is argued on its own merits, and not hashed or mixed up
with Parochial extravagance, or misgovernment, and other extraneous
matter, that the ground on which they stand will sink from beneath them.
They tell you “this is not the time to agitate the question,” and that it
is “inexpedient at present,” and will weary you with some unintelligible
jargon about voting against the Act, but at the same time agreeing to the
“general principle!”  Such miserable, specious excuses are invariably set
up in all cases which will not bear the force of argument.  The _right
time_ with such mean obstructives, let me assure you, will NEVER
_arrive_.  Once again I beg to remind you that a majority of TWO-THIRDS
of the Ratepayers present at the Meeting settles the question of
rejecting or adopting the Act, and as by a strange blunder no Poll can be
demanded, I entreat you to be early in your attendance, and give a
plumper for this truly benevolent measure.

Let me glance for a moment at the Requisition to the Overseers, signed by
His Serene Highness Prince Edward of Saxe Weimar, by the Minister of St.
Mark’s, by Lord Radstock, four Ladies, the Editors of the _Athenæum_, and
_Lancet_, a Rabbi, or Professor, Doctors of Medicine, and Surgeons; also
by Mr. Churchwarden Carr, Vestrymen, and other respectable Ratepayers,
including Ernest de Bunsen, Abbey Lodge, Joseph Grote Esq., Gloucester
Place, S. H. Harlowe Esq., North Bank, and R. H. Collyer, M.D., Alpha
Road.  Strange meeting of names exemplifying as it does, that UNITY of
design, on which the Chaplain of Lincoln’s Inn so delights to dwell; it
is a paper of no ordinary interest.  Let me gladly acknowledge
subscriptions towards defraying the expenses of promoting this great
social measure.  Mr. Nicholay, 10_s._  Edwin, James Esq., M.P. £1 1_s._,
Ernest Hart Esq., F.R.C.S. 10_s._  Sir Francis H. Goldsmid Bart, M.P. £1
1_s._, Mr. Michell, 5_s._, Dakin & Co., 10_s._, W. J. Fox Esq., M.P.
5_s._, J. Grote Esq., 10_s._, and S. H. Harlowe Esq. 5_s._

Gentlemen, As friends of Progress, of more Intellectual Light, and
knowing the bitter fruits of Ignorance, I trust you will endeavour to be
EARLY at the Meeting.  BIS DAT QUI CITO DAT.  I entreat you to bear in
mind that a small rate for LIBRARIES or MUSEUMS, or NEWS ROOMS, if tax it
can fairly be termed, is like the quality of mercy,

             “it is twice bless’d;
    It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.”

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”  Let those
memorable words, “_She hath done what she could_,” be applied to you, and
what ought to be done for St. Marylebone, do at once.  “The night cometh,
when no man can work,” and there is no knowledge, or wisdom, or project
in the grave.

Allow me to offer a few suggestions as to the conduct of the Meeting.  No
person can take the chair as a right.  A Churchwarden, _ex-officio_
claiming the chair to the prejudice of the Rector, is indeed an anomaly.
You must elect a Chairman, uninfluenced by Party spirit, for on your
choice of the right man very much will depend.  I have known
Churchwardens, chairmen of Library Meetings who had never read the Act,
and knew or cared nothing of its scope and tendency, and yet in the
shallow guise of “friends of the Poor,” and to gain a little fleeting
applause, have not scrupled, to get out of the difficulty to misrepresent
or abuse it, or condemn it with faint praise.

Gentlemen, I have much pleasure in stating that the Resolution will
probably be moved by that earnest friend of the working classes W. J. FOX
Esq., and that it will be seconded or supported by the REV. J. M. BELLEW.
To hear two such advocates of Libraries for the People is of itself a
treat of no ordinary kind.  The great anti-corn law speeches of Mr. Fox
are not forgotten, and I am sure the honourable member for Oldham on so
congenial a topic as the Instruction of All, will not fail to please.
The crowded Church of St. Mark attests MR. BELLEW’S well deserved
popularity, and that neglected art among clergymen—the art of READING,
the reverend gentleman has attained to perfection.  I could not but think
as Mr. Bellew read the twelfth chapter of St. Paul’s Epistle to the
Romans, that it would be well for the Church if there were more such
splendid Readers, and eloquent Preachers, and if in the Ordering of
Deacons, the Bishop put the question to every Candidate for Orders, “Can
you read?” or “Have you passed your examination in the Art of Reading?”

To opponents I would say are you content to be taxed £70,000 a year for
Expenditure at the Workhouse?  At the utmost a £2000 Library Rate would
be required from the large body of ratepayers, which is not worth
consideration, and which would be saved over and over again in the
improved habits of the people.  Exercise then a little _commercial
foresight_, and you will perceive that it is a _good investment_ and will
prove an economical Institution.

I should like to see the Proposal to open to the people the portals to
enter into communion with the good, the witty, and the wise, carried by a
unanimous vote.  At the recent Birmingham Meeting, Mr. Gameson opposed,
but could scarcely obtain a hearing, for the 1500 Burgesses were in no
humour to listen to his worn out, used up fallacies; and to Mr. Dawson
was left the not difficult task of reply, who in the course of an amusing
speech said that

    “whenever he could hear of a rate that was to be spent for a good
    purpose, he took as much pleasure in advocating it as in tickling up
    a lazy ox with a goad.”

The Mayor, Thomas Lloyd Esq., said that nothing could possibly be more
gratifying to him during his term of office than to have presided over a
Meeting at which the Public Libraries’ Act had been adopted. {34}

Gentlemen, I am desirous you should notice this amended Act, under which
Parishes can take a vote, provides not only for LIBRARIES and MUSEUMS,
but also for NEWS ROOMS, and that the general management is vested in
Ratepayers, “not less than Three nor more than Nine,” appointed by the
Vestry, and that one third of such Commissioners go out of office
yearly—I hope the Vestry will not select the nine from their own body,
but will appoint at least four Ratepayers who are NOT Vestrymen.

A local paper, prone to balderdash and babblement, noted for its
rigmarole, loose, hyperbolical language, indulges in a jeremiad about the
want of a Museum.  It seems, according to this mendacious journal, that
the great hardship of walking from Lisson Grove, or the district of St.
Mary to the British Museum in Great Russell Street, or to Kensington is
“desolating hearts that might be bright,” and that setting up a Museum in
the wastes of Marylebone by “Government friendship,” or expense, is

    “unhappily a universal want; a want that private enterprise cannot
    meet,”

and then with some insolent rant about Prince Albert, and

                “the evil tendencies of our Parish Senators,”

this low class Marylebone Mercury advises a run on the British Museum
Natural History collection, and so

      “preventing our neighbours from ABSORBING all that is to be had.”

Well for the consolation of this miserable, mean print, and the
languishing and desolate in heart, pining for a “splendid museum at
somebody else’s expense,” I would prescribe the procuring the Libraries’
Act for “promoting the establishment of Free Public Libraries and MUSEUMS
in Parishes.”  If a Museum is a “want” in this Parish, which, with the
proximity of the National Collection and Kensington Museum, I deny; you
have only to adopt the Act.  But I earnestly recommend the not attempting
too much at once.  LENDING Libraries and NEWS Rooms are the great want,
and NOT Museums.  Why will MR. ROUPELL, M.P., in advocating a South
London Museum persist in IGNORING Mr. Ewart’s _Museum’s_ Act?  Why this
anxiety to rob the National Museum?  Why this whining for government aid?
Adopt the Libraries Act, if you really require a Museum for South London;
but you want _News Rooms_ open to all comers, _not_ Museums.

And here I am constrained to remark that Penny Journals are not always
vehicles of instruction in any sense of the term.  I regret there are not
a few Editors in this great Metropolis who have a special aptitude for
lowering and degrading Journalism.  Take up the DAILY TELEGRAPH—to talk
of the “MORAL tone” of this paper is nothing less than ineffable bosh.
Its exaggerated, ethical articles, are nauseous in the extreme.  Let me
only refer to the case of the “ingenuous” EUGENIE PLUMMER, recently
convicted of perjury.  With Judaic malevolence the _Telegraph_ from the
first displayed great anxiety to criminate Mr. Hatch, who is now
acquitted by an impartial Jury.  The desire to pander to an impure taste,
was only equalled by the base attempt to crush an innocent clergyman,
_coûte qui coûte_; and even after the conviction of the precocious,
marble hearted girl, (who deserved a sound flogging as the only
punishment she could feel,) this cheap and nasty Print is at its dirty
work again in assuming guilt, and asserting that the unfortunate
gentleman “did not behave like an innocent man.” {35}  Serjeant SHEE’S is
very dirty money, but this TELEGRAPH’S is worse.  It lowers a noble
vocation, and sinks it to PRESSGANGISM.

The critic of the _Daily Telegraph_ has a difficult task, for its
nauseous, maudlin effusions, when wishing to be mighty fine, have a
bewildering effect.  Its

                     “No meaning puzzles more than wit.”

The Editor is evidently a nice man, with very nasty ideas.  Not the
Holywell Street Press, not the most prurient pages of Romance, can equal
the skimble skamble stuff of its virtuous indignation articles.  The
death of Lady Noel Byron, the widow of the great Poet, is a case in
point:—

                  “The creature’s at his dirty work again,”

The discretion of an Editor is never better employed than in steering
clear of the idle gossip and calumnies of the day, and if there ever was
a name that should be tenderly uttered, it is that of George Gordon Noel
Byron.  It is a gross violation of Editorial duty to bespatter, to assail
with infamy, the memory of a Poet, only thirty-seven years of age, who
accomplished so much, and whose early death eclipsed the gaiety of
nations!

                “Ruins of years—though few, yet full of fate:”

Why the CHILDE will live as long as the language endures:

               “Not in the air shall these my words disperse,”

Now who are you, Mr. Editor of the _Telegraph_, and of what faith, to
impiously dare to scan the thoughts, and discern the intents of the human
heart?  That power to scan belongs to GOD only.

You are told, on Divine authority, which no Christian disputes, to “JUDGE
NOT,” and yet you do not scruple to assert that Byron “was driven from
his country, and deserved the doom.”  Would the editor of the
_Telegraph_, the writer of this censorship, escape, if all had their
deserts?

Why this wretched, Papistical jumble about the “adoration of Lady Byron
by the serious world,” and “reconciliation in the grave,” and “her
prayers having been heard for her erring husband.”  But I hasten to
dismiss this Pharisee of the _Telegraph_, who daily reminds us that

                      “Dulness is ever apt to magnify.”

Having so often discussed the advantages of Newspaper Reading, it becomes
a duty again to refer to such glaring misleaders as the veering _Times_,
which affects to _guide_, not to follow opinion.  The flood and ebb of
public opinion is carefully marked by this unprincipled Paper, and to
every passing breeze it trims its sails.  The most signal instance of the
transparent dissimulation of the _Times_, is its truly hypocritical
expression of its “great regret,” because the Lords threw out the Repeal
Bill!  St. James’ Square, and Printing House Square, have coalesced, and
the “Heads of Houses,” Derby, Walter, and Co., must now be prepared to
take the consequences of their revolutionary tactics.  No doubt my
esteemed friend, the Author of Festus, had the Shuttlecock _Times_ in
view when he favoured me with the Portraiture of Newspapers.  It is far
too sweeping an indictment, for the tone of the Press generally is sound
and healthy, always excepting the misleading _Times_, the _Daily
Telegraph_, and _Morning Advertiser_.

I will quote Mr. Bailey’s clever sketch of the “great mercantile
concern.”

    “I think if working men are to be led to read at all, the Newspaper
    with its ill feeling, bad reasoning, worse taste, fallacious
    assumptions and distortions of the truth, is about the most
    objectionable school in which they could be educated.”

Speaking generally, the newspaper literature of 1860 exhibits as much
information, and more talent than can be found in modern empty books with
gilt edges, vellum, and morocco.  The Editors of the London Journals,
with a few base exceptions, nobly use their opportunities of directing
public opinion.  No such vile journalism exists in this country as can
any day be found in the _New York Herald_, a one, or two cent daily
paper, owned and edited by the _black mail levying_ vagabond, and
fugitive from _Scotland_, _James Gordon Bennett_; a paper which does its
best to fan the flame of discord, by abusing “the Britishers.”  The
patriotic _Times_ quotes the lying _Herald_ as if it were a reliant organ
of the Americans, ignoring the fact that this notorious Print is
estimated in New York as the Satirist was in London.  It is curious that
two persons, of unenviable fame, the Scotchman _Bennett_, and a
Somersetshire man, _Richard Adams Locke_, both of whom I well knew in New
York, in 1833, and who both left their country for their country’s good,
are always described as “Americans.”  The great Moon hoax, {38a}
“Astronomical Discoveries” by Sir F. Herschell, at the Cape of Good Hope,
published in the New York Sun, was written by _Locke_, the degenerate
Englishman, who the _Illustrated Times_ describes as an “American.”  The
_New York Era_, edited and owned by _R. A. Locke_, and _J. G. Bennett’s
Herald_, appeared in 1834.  _Arcades ambo_!  Arcadians both, suspicious
characters both, these rival “American” Editors abused each other in no
measured terms.  I have always held it is the worst crime the intellect
can commit, to edit such vituperative Journals, and it is indeed well for
the community such worthless prints are few in number.  Obscure indeed,
is the mental vision of those Editors who cannot discern the iniquity of
_misleading_, instead of _leading aright_ public opinion, who with pens
of ready writers, strive to make the worse the better reason; and who
viewing all subjects through the spectacles of Party, tell us that “white
is _not_ white, _nor_ black so _very black_.”  Talk of the _Times_ as the
LEADING Journal of EUROPE!  If daily to utter unblushing falsehoods, and
odious calumnies, knowing them to be such, constitutes _leadership_ in
Journalism, in this sense [à la HEENAN, the Irish American Bouncer] the
_Times_ is “_The Champion_ of the World.” {38b}

Ever strongest on the strongest side, if ever there was a disengenuous
untrustworthy arbiter of Opinion, it is this false Oracle of Printing
House Square!  Why its leader, 16th May, on “the most extraordinary case
ever produced in a Court of Justice,” clearly denotes that I am NOT an
unjust Judge, in sentencing the _Times_ to be gibbeted as a wicked,
misleading guide.  Observe its sudden changes of doctrine, and how
rapidly it veers from N.W. to S.E.  Now that the balance of opinion has
taken a decided turn, and there is a distinct assent to the perjury of
Eugenie, and the innocence of her victim, the _Times_ tries to mislead
and insult the judgment of the public, by representing the “ingenuous”
EUGENIE PLUMMER as “the daughter of RESPECTABLE and wealthy parents!”
[Would that such “respectability” were consigned to gaol, until this
“wealthy” Mrs. Plummer paid a fine of £1000 to Mr. Hatch, as some
atonement for her neglect, and guilty connivance.]  Now the case is
closed, and the verdict is recorded, the _Times_ is “first at last” in
making the discovery that

                       “nemo repente fuit turpissimus,”

that no one, especially a clergyman, ever became lost to all sense of
decency at once.  The “leading” Journal can NOW see clearly enough the
obvious improbability, and unreasonableness of the disgusting accusation
of two girls of established precocity, against a clergyman of good
extraction, education, and behaviour, who for eight years had filled a
responsible situation without reproach, and against whose conduct, until
this time, not a charge had ever been alleged.  Could not this “organised
hypocrisy” the _Times_ (as Disraeli would call it) have said all this at
the first trial, and not cried

                   “I warn’d you when the event was o’er.”

Ah! but this great Ocean of Print, the _Times_, is a “mercantile
concern,” and does not keep a conscience, and sneers and laughs at the
least earnestness in the Editorial department.  Perhaps MR. JOHN WALTER,
the Times Manager, and Chief Proprietor, by the competition of an
unfettered Press, may find out that in Journalism, as in other pursuits,
“Honesty is the best policy.”  That maxim is now utterly discredited.
Yet even at the eleventh hour there is for such a first class moral
delinquent as the _Times_, a _locus penetentiæ_, but as a sine quâ non,
the Editor, or literary hireling, must abjure servility, and disdain to
become

                 “A constant critic at the great man’s board,
                  To fetch and carry nonsense for my Lord.”

And here let me for a moment glance at Serjeant SHEE’S speech.  Observe
this Old Bailey advocate is well aware of that most unfair rule of law,
which prohibits every person, and the wife of every person, who stands as
a defendant at a criminal bar, from giving evidence.  He well knew the
discreditable defects in our criminal jurisprudence, and yet felt no
compunction in doing his best to blacken the character of a clergyman who
is not of Rome.  Let me tell this Q.C., who delights in desperate eases,
that as a member of that church which condemns priests to celibacy, and
consecrates the revelations of the confessional, [that confessional,
which thirty-three inexperienced Italian girls have lately exemplified
the use of,] he should have paused ere flinging dirt at priests of a
purer faith.  The sentence of the Criminal Court of Turin on Don Gurlino,
an unparalleled villain, Curate of the Church of St. Carlo, was ringing
in his ears, when Serjeant Shee deemed it an honourable discharge of his
duty to try and crush an innocent man, and load the Ministry of the
English Church with undeserved censure.

Let me tell Serjeant Shee he made a sufficiently bad appearance in the
case of Palmer, the Poisoner, and if his Church so instructs him, he is
badly advised.  Let me remind him that his countryman, Charles Phillips,
as Counsel for Courvoisier, was disgraced for solemnly avowing his
“conscientious belief,” in the innocence of a wretch who had confessed
his crime to him!

Nor in reviewing a case in which sound jurisprudence and common sense
have been so scandalously violated, a case in which the most ignorant and
illiterate jurymen, some scarcely able to read, and unacquainted with the
laws of evidence, are called upon to pronounce judgment, the case of an
unoffending man rigorously punished, condemned without proof, by the bare
word, without one corroborating circumstance, of a precocious girl, who
not yet in her teens, is mature and ripe enough in artifice and feminine
subtilty, illustrating what depths of duplicity exhibit themselves in
children who are carefully trained up in the way they should NOT go.  I
am anxious to “improve the occasion” by criticizing the BISHOP OF
WINCHESTER’S share in this cruel prosecution.  If the multitude bear
false witness against their neighbour with thoughtless levity, it is not
becoming in a right reverend Prelate to play with the fire of calumny, or
lend his ear to suspicion, quite void of reason, as if “good name in man
or woman were NOT the immediate jewel of the soul.”  Of what use is a
Bishop, with a Princely stipend, and a Lordly Castle, if he cannot
personally investigate the truth of a serious charge against a “reverend
friend and Brother?”  Why condemn without a hearing?  Why this eager
credulity of clerical evil without some examination of the evidence?  Why
assume guilt?  Why this hot haste to consign Mr. Hatch to his ignominious
fate, the uncertainties of a most defective jurisprudence?  Churchmen
desire some CHARITY in Shepherds of the Sheep; they do not indeed expect
the simplicity of a Parson Adams, in a Spiritual Lord, but they look for
an example of that charity which “thinketh no evil,” and which “rejoiceth
in the truth.”

What is a Bishop but a “tinkling cymbal,” if not endowed with moral
courage to set his face like flint against vague imputations, and
ignorant prejudices?

The Rt. Rev. Lord of Farnham Castle is energetic enough in pouncing upon,
and worrying Deacons and Curates, and can deprive them of their licenses
with a celerity not very edifying.  Why not exhibit equal alacrity in
enforcing the law against the Vicar of Camberwell, a Parish for thirteen
years without a Resident Vicar?

                 “Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas.”

Why clip the wings of the dove, but give the raven, or vulture free
course?

MR. DALTON has sent me some statistics of the Liverpool Lending
Libraries.  Total number of volumes 26,009.  Individuals entitled to use
the Libraries, 8,594.  Number of volumes lent during the week, April 18th
1860, 9,520.  The pleasure derived by the sick, and those out of work, in
being able to borrow books to read at their own homes is constantly
coming under the notice of the Librarian.  A person out of employment
thus writes:

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

Ladies and Gentlemen, My task is done, and it is time to bid you adieu!

                    “Et vix sustinuit dicere lingua Vale!”

That word “Farewell” is always difficult to pronounce.  Once again I
beseech you to REVERSE the decision of 1856.  Many anxious eyes near and
far off, are watching how you will vote on this occasion; do not
disappoint their hopes, do not frustrate the intentions of the
Legislature!

_Liberavi animam meam_.  I have discoursed at some length from the same
text, but I trust, though unavoidably discursive, you have not found me a
tedious FEILDE Preacher.  Need I remind you of the opportune reduction of
the rates of halfpenny in the pound in the Parish rental.  If you look at
this question only as a Ratepayer, it must be gratifying to know that
your money goes for Libraries rather than for Dungeons, for the supply of
Books and Newspapers, NOT for the support of paupers.  Need I remind you
how favourable to the cause I am feebly advocating is the fact, that as a
Nation we are _now_ enjoying unexampled Prosperity and unbroken Peace!
If, as I have shown, none should be entrusted with the Franchise who
cannot read or write, do not grudge a trifling rate which would aid this
great cause.  Do not forget that a RATE SUPPORTED NEWS ROOM is a step,
nay, a stride, in the direction of the INSTRUCTION OF ALL.  Yes, the time
is propitious!  The course is clear before you—the race is glorious to
run!

    “Farewell! a word that must be, and hath been—
    A sound which makes us linger;—yet—farewell!”

Not in vain shall I have addressed you, if on your memories dwell some
few thoughts that shall ripen into deeds; not in vain, if at the fast
approaching Public Meeting the Libraries’ Act is carried by acclamation.
Not in vain shall I have written, if I have induced you, NOT to reject
this Act!

                                                           MATTHEW FEILDE.

29, Grove Place, Lisson Grove,
         St. Marylebone.
         ASCENSION DAY,
            May 17, 1860.

                                * * * * *

                                 LONDON:
                Printed by A. Schulze, 13, Poland Street.

                                * * * * *



FOOTNOTES.


{11}  The City of London, the wealthiest in the world, but not the best
governed, is destitute of a Public Library.  The babblement of SIDNEY the
vain, which in 1855 triumphed, now ceases to amuse and the shrill screams
of the PEACOCK are no longer heard.  If you wait for a scheme that will
please the _Peacocks_ and the _Sidneys_, you will never do anything at
all.

{13a}  It is not for me to say how the wisdom of the wise slumbered on
this particular Night, (May 21st, Paper Duty Repeal Bill—Lords Division).
What do I see?  _Mirabile dictu_!  The Earl of Shaftesbury, the Premier’s
Lord High Admiral of the _Sees_, not to support his Patrons on a Field
night like this is really too bad!  To give a vote which seriously
impedes education, and prevents the cheapening of School Books and
Tracts, is consistent in the extreme.  But not only is it refractory, but
ungrateful opposition on the part of Lord Shaftesbury.  A nobleman so
favoured by Lord Palmerston as to issue his _Congé d’élire_, permission
to choose a Bishop, and on whose _fiat_ the Lord Chancellor appoints to
Livings, ought not to have been a deserter when his vote was of so much
importance.

{13b}  That most genial Entertainer, and by far the cleverest Lecturer
ever seen in London, combining great talent, with rare common sense and
worldly knowledge, ALBERT SMITH, now, alas! no more, sent me a good
humoured note a few days ago, acknowledging “Who is my Neighbour?”

{15}  Last Autumn the sad want of knowledge of the elementary rules of
economy among Operatives was _strikingly_ and ruinously displayed, and it
is obvious what a handle it affords to employers to be apathetic, if not
hostile to extending the Franchise.  Hence the need of “more light.”

{17}  The Member for Sheffield is severe enough, is the Censor par
excellence of small offenders—and pays full tithe of mint and anise, but
with characteristic cowardice is dumb as a dog, has not one syllable of
remonstrance against the titled USURPERS in the House of Lords, who would
retain an iniquitous tax on the Newspaper Press.

{19}  There is no vote among the Pairs on the Repeal of the Paper duty
that challenges more attention than that of LORD BROUGHAM.  What a
miserable spectacle!  Conspicuous by his absence, not one word,—not one
syllable could Ex-Chancellor Brougham vouchsafe to strike off the fetters
on knowledge in Central _England_.  Let me tell his Lordship his Mission
speech on Central _Africa_ was inopportune, and unpatriotic, when on that
Monday evening there was a nobler field before him in the House of Lords
to exert his eloquence.  England FIRST.

{22}  The Meeting will be held at 12 o’clock on Monday, 18th June,
Waterloo day, at the Literary Institution, 17, Edward Street, Portman
Square.  The friends of Progress are earnestly requested to COME EARLY.

{24}  The objections to the extension of education are often ludicrous;
some complain of servants reading instead of working.  A friend at
Liverpool, who had read my pamphlet, “Who is my Neighbour?” writes to me,
“I think it is a very good thing that somebody thinks of the poor man.  I
once heard a Doctor of the Navy say, ‘if he had his way a poor man’s
child should never have any learning whatever, as it made the Big Bugs
look so small.’”  I have often thought of his words.

{26a}  The Bishop of Chichester is sagacious enough to comprehend the
dangerous tendency of educational questions to his Order.  Instinct tells
him the dark abuses of the Church would quickly disappear before the
light of intelligence.  Here is the key to his opposition to the Paper
Duty Repeal Bill, (May 21st. 1860.)  A cheap well written Press is also
denounced from the Palaces of Bangor, Cashel, and Exeter, and by several
Absentee Bishops, including St. Davids, and the Bishop of Winchester.  I
am glad to notice the Bishop of this Diocese (London) with eight other
Prelates voted for the Repeal.

{26b}  The Church of England is the wealthiest Church in the world, yet
it would scarcely be credited the number of well authenticated cases of
appalling destitution that exist amongst some of the worthiest and
hardest worked of its Clergy.

{30}  Out of the 20,000 Clergy of England and Wales there are 10,000 with
an _income of less_ than £100 a year; contrast this poverty with the rich
Clergy, and an Archbishop of Canterbury with £15,000 a year, and York and
London each 10,000, and Durham and Winchester each £8,000.  The Laity
denounce these shameful inequalities of remuneration.

{34}  The Public Libraries Committee, Birmingham, have recommended a
central _reference_ library, with Reading and News Rooms, a _museum_ and
gallery of art, and _four district lending libraries_ with _news rooms
attached_, should be established.  The cost of the lending libraries,
each to contain 3,000 volumes, and the expense of maintenance for one
year would be £3,252, and the annual cost of each, after the first year,
would be £370, or £1,480 for the four.

{35}  Nasty minds are loth to part with dirty calumnies.

{38a}  The Earl of ROSSE’S vote (Pair) against the Repeal of the duty
upon paper is inconsistent indeed!  His telescope is the wonder of the
world, but for free glass what would it be?  Here is a Peer, a great
astronomer, coming down from his high tower and clipping the wings that
carry knowledge.

{38b}  Mr. BRIGHT in a recent speech alludes to the _Times_ as a paper of
“great eminence,” I suppose he means as an enormous liar, for he tells
the Birmingham Meeting the crushing and withering truth that the _Times_
is at “this moment selling the dearest interests of this country for _its
own private purposes_.”





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "She hath done what she could - A Discourse addressed to the Ratepayers of St. Marylebone, urging the adoption of The Public Libraries Act, 1855" ***

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