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are put in practice to sow dissensions between them. She was just on the point of seeing her diabolical exertions crowned with success, when the son and his wife are summoned to Ireland, and in their departure are accompanied by the firebrand, which they little knew how much cause they had to dread. The journey is fatal to her character; there Charles meets and exposes her, tells of his wicked marriage with her, explains her crimes, and proves, by his previous marriage with her, that her son by Lord Blessingham is an unlawful child. The wretched woman fled; Charles is surrendered to justice and executed; the son of the accursed woman dies of a broken heart: her daughter-in-law, widowed by the loss of her broken-hearted husband, betook herself to an hos pital in France, where she assumed the office of a sister of charity, and, in that capacity, has the opportunity of witnessing the melancholy end of the unhappy cause of all this calamity, who died a maniac in the institution. The poor woman herself did not long survive. Such is the plot which, from the complicated details of the author, we have been enabled at great pains to disengage. The volumes are boldly and powerfully written, and several of the scenes both conceived and executed with great spirit.
Art. VIII.-Hampden in the Nineteenth Century: or Colloquies
on the Errors and Improvement of Society. 2 Vols. 8vo.
London: Moxon, 1834. This work is a remarkable specimen of that strange tendency to mystification, which constitutes one of the epidemic diseases that now periodically rage in the literary sphere. The contents of these volumes form a very fair subject for publicity, and might, with great propriety, have been put forth to take the fate of all other productions of the same character. But this compliance with ordinary practice would be beneath those minds which are destined to effect mighty changes in the human race; and hence, this collection of colloquies must needs be revealed to the world through some dim, confounding medium, which, like the oracles of old, will be venerated in the inverse ratio as they become visible. The reader will find from the following analysis, that the objects and nature of the volumes before us experience no injustice at our hands, when we designate them as “New Missionary Reports;" for it will be found, that the whole nearly of the contents purport to be accounts of the proceedings of a triumvirate, whose zeal is by no means outdone by their prudence.
At the outset of this work, we are informed by the writer of the preface, that he had accompanied his friend Fitzosborne to, Torbay, on the coast of England, with the view of seeing the former safe on board a ship which was bound for Sicily. The
friend, on his departure, entrusted the writer of the preface with a large manuscript, at the same time enjoined it as a duty upon him, that he would superintend the publication of his memoirs contained in it. Fitzosborne observed at the same time, that he was ignorant of the reception which they would meet with from the public; but that it would give him happiness to know that they were successful in diminishing, to the smallest extent, the antipathies arising amongst men from differences of opinion. “My health," continued the author of the manuscript, "has been impaired, and 'my strength exhausted in ineffectual endeavours to contend with the prejudices of mankind. Earnestly advocating the cause of truth and justice, so far from awakening sympathy, I have been stigmatized and assailed with opprobious epithets, and classed with the enemies of social order. But let us hope for the dawning of a brighter day: intelligence is widely diffusing itself, and that good which we fondly hoped to accelerate will perhaps descend upon the next generation. I quit the shores of my country with a heavy heart, but, I trust, with a conscience void of offence towards men. Should I live to revisit my native land, and behold the seed that has been sown springing up with the promise of a future harvest, I shall be amply repaid for all the obloquy that has been heaped upon my exertions.
The work being introduced in this mysterious manner, opens with a.sketch of the life of the author. It appears, that though not endowed with fortune, and not even entitled to expect the good things of life from any other source than his own exertions, still Fitzosborne had talents and tastes which justified him in aspiring to professional rank. By the advice of some friends, he devoted himself to the study of the classics, from which he was suddenly diverted by the necessity which he experienced of satisfying his mind upon the truths of the Christian religion. Happily for himself, conviction of their certainty was the result of an investigation, to which Butler's Analogy contributed no small share of assistance. Fitzosborne appears to have read much, and to have directed his attention, and indeed all his cares, to the establishment of some permanent system for effecting a change in the existing condition of society. In 1817, a meeting having been called in London, by the author of the “ Essays on the Formation of Character,” (Mr. Owen,) to consider certain plans for the relief of the labouring classes, Fitzosborne attended, and the effect of the proceeding upon him was striking and permanent. He happened to be accompanied by two young friends; the first was Charles Bertrand, a polished young gentleman, distinguished for his attention to his religion, and who had given a proof of his attachment to it by publishing, at his own expense, what he regarded as a more correct copy of the Bible than that in general use; yet his was not a religion of forms, by which we understand that
he was a dissenter. The other friend alluded to, boasted of the name of John Hampden, a scion of the illustrious family in the west of England of that name. The three young men being warm and enthusiastic, entered into a league, whereby they bound themselves collectively, and individually, to do all in their power to circulate and impress on the public the errors which had been suffered so long to exist in our social system.
We here pause to offer some explanation to the reader of the nature of the narrative which we are now pursuing. Are we making a statement which is strictly founded in fact? Are the
persons now spoken of in existence, or have they ever been in existence? Was the meeting above alluded to, held at the period fixed, and did these young men meet and enter into an engagement as is here announced? Our reply to all this is, that there is a remarkable degree of circumstantial evidence which tends to shew that we are stating the exact truth; for in almost every sentence there is an allusion to some public living person, who is introduced openly and in such a manner as to render it impossible for the writer to be acting upon a mere assumption. A still stronger circumstance is found in connexion with this statement, that a descendant of the Hampdens, Henry John Pye, Esq. of Chacombe Priory, allowed Fitzosborne, or his locum tenens, permission to make a drawing of the patriot of Charles's time, and the engraving from that drawing stands in front of this very work as one of its decorations, and as being capable of conveying some notion of the countenance of the Hampden who performs so important a part in the scenes which are here depicted. These are faets which must strike the most casual reader, who, in this information, possesses the whole of our knowledge of the mystery that conceals the authorship of these volumes.
The young friends mutually agreed, as we have seen, to devote themselves to the diffusion of right social doctrines; and they imposed upon each other the obligation of making personal appeals to all those, especially influential men, who might, if converted to their principles, serve them as useful disciples.
In pursuance of the compact, we find Fitzosborne himself commencing by making a direct assault upon no less a personage than Howley, then Bishop of London, a prelate who was not exceeded by any member of the hierarchy, in the activity with which he discharged his duties--in piety, learning and humanity, The Bishop received his visitor with politeness, and the account of the dialogue, and indeed of the whole interview between them, is quite remarkable. The subject on which Fitzosborne addressed his lordship was, that of the increase of delinquency, which the visitor proposed to abolish by forming communities of about two thousand individuals each, and in granting land which should be the joint property of the members of each community, and that
all the exertions of the said members should be conducted on the principle of a union of interests. The Bishop instantly discovered that there would be no provision here for a unity of religion; and he observed that this was the sort of scheme which had been : proposed by an individual who confessed that he did not join in any of the religions which had hitherto been taught. Fitzosborne, notwithstanding all his eloquence and zeal, could not pass this barrier in the Bishop's 'mind, and he gave up the attempt, contented with presenting to his lordship the copy of a “Catechism of Society," which was to accomplish by degrees what he himself was unable to effect at the time.
The next experiment undertaken by Fitzosborne was upon that great apostle of forbearance, the Rev. Mr. Malthus, whose principles, it should be remembered, bore the same relation to those of Fitzosborne, as the antipodes do to each other. As Fitzosborne calculated upon the very likely: result of making Mr. Malthus renounce his errors within a few hours, he took with him, as a reinforcement, his colleague Charles Bertrand, and both proceeded one fine morning to Hertford College. A letter of recommendation, with which they were provided to Mr. Malthus, soon gained them admittance to his apartments. The Professor's table was strewed with papers, and he appeared to be occupied in preparing some work for publication. The letter which Bertrand brought announced, it should seem, the object of their visit, and Mr. Malthus said, that he should be happy to explain any part of his work, for truth was his only object; that, notwithstanding his motives had been misconstrued, he was sincerely desirous of promoting the welfare of mankind, and of the poorer classes in particular. Of this, Bertrand assured him that they were fully sensible, or they should not have taken the liberty of calling upon him; there were, however, some remarks upon systems of equality which they were unable to reconcile with the general tenour of the book. Mr. Malthus reached down the volume, and requested them to read them; at the same time desiring them to make their remarks with perfect freedom.
The two young visitors certainly availed themselves most unreservedly of the freedom which they received. Bertrand read and taxed Mr. Malthus with a boldness which the latter must have been surprised at, but it does not appear that he ever allowed his equanimity to be even ruffled. Bertrand, after reading a paragraph, says to Mr. Malthus, “I suppose you consider your principle of population quite established in the public mind, and you calculate, of course, on your book becoming a standard work of reference?"
Why," responded that author, “the number of facts adduced in support of my theory, could not fail to render it unassailable, and accordingly it is appealed to by almost every individual high in authority.
One of the next charges which they bring against Mr. Malthus
is, that, in condemning the cases in which societies were formed on the principle of equality, he only quoted a single example which happened to be on his own side. They say, “ You have not mentioned one of the instances of equality of property in ancient or in modern times, excepting that of the Moravians, which is. the most imperfect example of all, although it is notorious that many societies of the Shakers and of the Harmonists have long flourished upon this principle, and are still increasing in wealth. You notice not the Essenes mentioned by Josephus, or the celebrated establishments of the Jesuits in Paraguay. “But really, after such an enormous increase in the application of scientific power to almost every branch of industry, as will render the employment of each individual for two hours in the day adequate to the liberal supply of his wants, it is quite unnecessary to fear the absence of sufficient stimuli.".
After a long argument in which the visitors, of course, have by far the best of the combat, Fitzosborne concludes, by challenging him to deny the statement, that there was no proof whatever adduced by him (Mr. Malthus) of a superfluity of numbers in our present population, or that the fertility of the soil was inadequate to their support. Fitzosborne at the same time admitted, that the interposition of unjust laws, and the monopoly of lands, might deprive human beings of the means of subsistence. Mr. Malthus is made to say to this, that he has heard no argument which could induce him to retract his statements, but, that having an appoint. ment of consequence to attend to at that moment, he would have no objection to meet the gentlemen on any future occasion.
Fitzosborne mentions, that after an unsuccessful attempt upon Mr. Wilberforce, who pleaded as an excuse his bad eyes, and a sick amanuensis, he proceeded on an excursion to Loch Lomond. At Edinburgh, at Glasgow, with the heads of the College in the first city, and with Dr. Chalmers in the last, he was surprised at the cold reception which he had met with in urging the adoption of Mr. Owen's “New Views.” At Tarbert, where he accidentally stopped during his northern excursion, he happened to find himself in the next house to Mr. Jeffery, the present Lord Advocate of Scotland. He instantly, on finding himself close to such a neighbour, sent in his “parcel,” requesting an interview. It should be stated, that in this parcel was also a prospectus by William Allen and Mrs. Fry. „Mr. Jeffery, instead of seeing Fitzosborne, thought it most prudent to express his determination in a remarkable, and probably, not useless epistle, of which the following is a copy:
""SIR,—Mr. Owen is a very old friend of mine, and I believe that there are not many persons who are more fully acquainted with the scope
of his speculations. With the greatest esteem for his character, and the greatest admiration for the zeal and ingenuity with which he has arranged many details of the utmost utility, I must say, that I have a very decided opin