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THE WRONG OF THE ENGLISH SYSTEM.
of England, for God knows they do well. But what is their drop in the bucket? It is only to help keep the kettle full, while the holes in the bottom are left. Philanthropy pours into the cask; Aristocracy keeps the spigot open.
It is the system of Government which makes things get so much out of joint—which makes everything go so badly. Who could grow vergaloo pears from such thistles?
What I complain of in English statesmanship is this- Why cannot England take care of all her people? If she cannot, it would seem to be only fair, at least, to let them take care of themselves. But I complain of the English system because it does sacrifice most of her subjects to pamper the rest. If I am disputed in this statement, her own writers and public men will come to my rescue.
So far back as the elder Greeks, I may go for my justification in saying, that any Government which takes liberty out of the hands of the people, must see that the people do not
Twenty-three hundred years have rung out their requiems over the age of Pericles and his scholars, philosophers, sages, poets, and comprehending men; but modern governments have yet to show why the helpless masses must still be crushed into the mire.
That mire means ignorance, because it cannot become intelligence; it means helplessness, because it is ignorance; it means hopelessness, because it sees no light in despair.
ET England explain to her own people, if she can, why a system of Government should be obstinately adhered to, wh ch can, has and will, as long as it lasts, foredoom one class to opulence and idleness, and another, and infinitely the larger class, to hopeless poverty and exhausting toil.
The worst attribute in African slavery has been this-forcing men to work hard to keep them from starving! This is all
DEMOCRACY NECESSARY TO MANKIND.
England has done for hundreds of years. She has millions of her own home people who know no more about Jesus Christ than about Mahomet, or Confucius. I have proved this, and (if it be possible) things still worse.
I therefore say that no population can be found on the earth, who live so near Christianity, that know so little of it; that see so much luxury, and have so few of the necessaries of life; that dwell in such filthy holes and dens; that bask in so little of the sunlight of Heaven.
Who made this system? Who keeps it up? What good is there in the Established Church and its Thirty-nine Articles, when you come to the question of bread and butter? What creed will stand between the stomach of a hungry man and a new or oldfangled creed about the Trinity, or the Unity? Christ came to see and help the poor, the forsaken, the despairing. The Established Church came to tax them, and enrich a prelacy.
It is too late in the day to set up screens between the masses and the few; between Democracy and mankind. The man of Nazareth tore those screens away long ago and His work once done, lasts. Christ had to die but once; He had to proclaim the Redemption of mankind but once, and it was done forever. Governments must comply with this philosophy or be overthrown.
Either the present British system of society must go down or it must be changed. It cannot last as it is. The men who do the work must be paid-their children must be educated-or a wild mob of wronged men will call somebody to a serious account. Let England take her choice now while she can.
Do not know, in my whole life, when I have suffered so much by looking on human misery, brought about by a sys. tem of government which grows out of society and makes society, acting and reacting, as during my first visit to England
“ THE CONDITION OF engländ question.”
-confirmed, deepened more indelibly by subsequent visits. I had read and heard somewhat of the poor of the British Islands. The essays of Elia, Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby and Oliver Twist, and some other works telling much about this state of things, I had regarded more as the limnings of romancing pencils, than sober every-day truths. But none of these gave me any adequate idea of the enormity and extent of the sufferings of the trampled herd of British people. England is a country of almost incomprehensible extremes. She is every thing that is glorious, and everything that is shameful. She has in government, what some of the old masters were so fond of showing in their chiaro oscuro pictures. Overgrown power is balanced in her cartoons by despairing helplessness. One portion of society dies slowly by surfeit-another rapidly by famine. One section of the Established Church gropes back through formulas to scholasticism and the creed of Hildebrand, without his heroism or evangelical devotion to the Founder of the Christian faith; while the other throws off its plethoric humors in the fox chase, and sanctified indulgences. The science of the universities had degenerated into learned ignorance till such men as Brougham, Arnold, Macaulay, Bulwer and their great confreres touched them with the wand of genius, and brought them somewhat nearer to, but a still dim comprehension of, the objects of Letters, Learning and Science. The other extreme left the lower classes in sottishness incomprehensible.
The condition of the helpless classes of England, Thomas Carlyle considered to be a subject worthy of the serious atten tion of statesmanship. Every thinking, reading man knows something of Carlyle's pamphlet: "The Condition of England Question." It is safe to say that a majority of the men of Great Britain know not how to gain enough by their honest labor to secure themselves and their families from want. This is a pretty important item in the estimates which England is making for herself in the future. Into these limits are crowded all the elements of England's " yet to be." The sulphur, the salt
ENGLAND IS SLOWLY ADVANCING.
petre and charcoal are there, and the strong arm of power cannot forever keep them asunder. The trouble will come when they begin to mingle. The middle classes are safe, because they are right. They are free from those wretched and dangerous elements which have, in all nations that have passed away, laid the mains which by the explosion overthrew governments and society.
UT work of is on in
B England, and she may thank her fortune that her Constitu
tion is unwritten. She makes her Constitution as she goes along. It began with the Magna Charta, and it has been like many of her old structures, growing part by part, and all the time making in the concrete a pretty complete whole; so that without any further form than concurrent votes of both houses of Parliament, and decisions in courts of final appeal, she is saved from those necessities that have sometimes pressed on us, to go through the forms of constitutional amendments, to which we are so rigidly held by the conditions of our own Federal Constitution. In this respect, England appears more Democratic than we. She has, indeed, a refined and eliminated element of Republicanism which sometimes shows itself. When all England is roused, and the angry cry for bread comes howling up to the British Parliament from the starved millions, if some relief is not given or promised, a single vote of lack of confidence in the ministry brings a change and saves a revolu tion; while under our boasted Democratic liberty, if we happen to put into power, as we have two or three times, a bad or incompetent man, and with him a bad and incompetent set of counsellors, we must either rely upon the omnipotent power and beneficent mercy of Almighty God to remove the President and his creatures of mischief to better or worse worlds, or grin and bear it till the four constitutional years of humiliation and disgrace are passed, and we can once more go on our way.
ACHIEVEMENTS IN REFORM.
'This elasticity of the British Constitution, and this inherent love of justice and of liberty, and this sacred regard which British monarchs and British nobles must pay to the rights of the people, when the people demand them, is a great lack in our American system of government; so that the American who goes bragging around the world about the intrinsic superiority of our administration of government over that of all others, is the fair object of ridicule. I love justice, and above all I love it as towards foreign men, and foreign governments. The recent events that have occurred in the United States, may well humble us, and put an end to all this balderdash about the essential superiority of Republican over monarchical forms. What I have complained of most, and shall complain of still, is, that England in the comprehension of her statesmen has not yet found herself generous, or just, enough to concede a better system of social life, and remuneration for labor that would lift her valleys up, without tum.bling her mountains down.
ES, the great work of regeneration is going on in England.
would force a reform, rather than defy it and provoke a Revolution. This was proved when the great Reform Bill was passed, and the rotten borough system partially abolished. It was made true again, when O'Connell, outside of Parliament, carried the Catholic Emancipation Bill through over the heads of the House of Lords. This was true when the Corn Laws were finally abolished. This was true when the Irish Encumbered Estates Bill became a law. This was true when, in name at least, property in human flesh and soul was abolished throughout the empire. This was true when a larger liberty of voting was granted. Again, when some concession was made, small as it was, from the Government to take a portion of some of the fruits of heavy taxation, to devote to the education of a few of the people. It will be true hereafter, when any well-prepared