History of Co-operation (4)
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CHAPTER IX. (con't.)


    The close of 1845 and the early months of 1846 introduced to the social reader a new journal, bearing the ambitious and provoking title of the Herald of Progress.  Mr. John Cramp was the projector and editor of it.  The present writer was one among the contributors after it commenced.

    During these later years there was collateral activity in social literature in several quarters, but Co-operation seldom attracted attention.  Mr. Frederick Bate published in 1841 a play, in five acts, entitled "The Student." Mr. Goodwyn Barmby, a poet who possessed real lyrical power, an advocate of original tastes, hung up his hat in the social hall, where no hat save his could hang.  He married "Kate," the clever correspondent of the New Moral World.  Mr. Barmby founded a Communist church, and gave many proofs of boldness and courage.  He and Dr. George Bird, who afterwards obtained professional eminence in medicine, issued a prospectus of the London Communist Propagandist Society.  Dr. Bird contributed the best literary reviews which appeared in social publications of the day.  Mr. Lewis Masquerier, of New York, was a frequent correspondent, known from 1836 as a fertile and original author of social works, and was distinguished as a leader of the land reformers of America, who took for their motto certain famous words from Jefferson, namely, "The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their back, for a favoured few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately by the grace of God."

    In 1840 the Fourierites established in London a paper called the Morning Star, edited by Mr. Hugh Doherty, a writer who had puzzled the readers of the Moral World through many a wearying column.  He entitled his journal A Phalansterian Gazette of Universal Principles and Progressive Association.  Its sources of authority were the book of Scripture and the book of Nature.  Dr. Doherty published works of value afterwards to those who accept Fourierist principles.

    In 1842 a magazine, entitled The Union, and Monthly Record of Moral, Social, and Educational Progress, was edited by Mr. G. A. Fleming.  It contained papers from the fertile and ingenious pen of "Pencil'em," by January Searle, Charles Lane, Charles Bray, and a writer who used the name of Arthur Walbridge, who wrote a story of "Torrington Hall," and a very suggestive book on "Social Definitions"; and anonymous papers by eminent and popular writers, whose names the editor suppressed on the uninteresting principle that truth should stand unsupported by names which might induce people to look at it.  Reformers in those days took pride in adopting all the means they could to prevent the truth they had in hand becoming popular, and then complained that it had few friends.

    In 1843 there appeared a publication entitled the New Age, a less pretentious title than the New Moral World.  The New Age was also called the Concordian Gazette.  It represented a small band of mystics, who were inspired by James Pierrepont Greaves, one of whose doctrines was, "as man cannot do right when he himself is wrong; a right nature must be superadded to him in order to establish right institutions in society."  One of the conditions, as Mr. Greaves would say, were pure air, simple food, exercise, and cold water, which he contended were much more beneficial to man than any doctrinal creeds, or churches, chapels, or cathedrals.  Mr. Greaves was seldom so clear and intelligible as this.  He was himself the most accomplished, pleasant, and inscrutable mystic which this country has produced.  He possessed competence, which enables a man to be unintelligible and yet respected.  An American gentleman, Mr. H. G. Wright, who was a natural Greaves, described him as possessed of "a lofty forehead, a well-defined contour, a nose inclined to the aquiline, a deep, sonorous, slightly nasal voice, a stature rather above the middle height, and a marvellous eye, Mystery, God, Fathomlessness, all were written upon him."  A man of mark, after his kind, it must be owned.

    The disciples of Mr. Greaves took premises at Ham Common, in Surrey, which they called Alcott House.  The society was called the First Concordian.  It was also the last.  Their two best writers were Charles Lane, who dated from Concord, Massachusetts, and Goodwyn Bannby.  The New Age, its organ, was very intelligently edited, but was discontinued when it had existed little more than a year and a half, on the ground that "no book could represent what was passing in that establishment.  Even the proceedings of a single day were found to be of far greater moment than could be transcribed or recorded in any work whatever."  Those who visited the Concordian were certainly not of this opinion.  The inmates were scrupulously clean, temperate, transcendental, offensive to any one who ate meat, attached to Quakers, especially white ones, repudiated even salt and tea, as stimulants, and thought most of those guests who ate their cabbage uncooked.  They preached abstinence from marriage, and most things else.  Their cardinal doctrine was that happiness was wrong.  The managing director, Mr. William Oldham, was called Pater, and, like Howard, preferred damp sheets to dry ones.  Mr. Lane invited the Pater to join the Shakers at Harvard, Massachusetts, where he would find no want of liberty to carry out his self-denying plans to the utmost.  A very little liberty is sufficient to do nothing in, and a very small space would have enabled the society to carry out its only experiment, which consisted in standing still in a state of submission to the Spirit until it directed them what to do.  Mr. Greaves' disciples, however, had the great merit of pausing before they did anything until they had found out why they should do it, a doctrine which would put a stop to the mischievous activity of a great many people, if thoughtfully followed.

    So late as 1843 Mr. G. A. Fleming and Mr. Lloyd Jones opposed the Anti-Corn Law League.  An active representative of the school, Mr. Ironside, a well-known partisan of Socialism in Sheffield, reported on one occasion that he had been to hear Dr. Smiles [ED.—Samuel Smiles], editor of the Leeds Times, lecture on Complete Suffrage, and "was at a loss to imagine how Socialists could waste their time in listening to expositions of such petty measures as these."

    The Central Board issued charters authorising the foundation of branches in the different towns, when satisfied as to the zeal and respectability of the parties making application for them; which long hung up in places of honour in some of the old halls.  Occasionally a grand notification was made to the branches of the Association of All Classes of All Nations, and to all others whom it might concern, running thus: "Whereas, the Congress of the Association [with the far-reaching name] friends a scoundrel has to intrude themselves in the controversy.  Nevertheless, it ought to be said, as it honestly may, to the credit of the social party, that though its leaders lacked a clear grasp of principles of neutrality in invective, it was only on great provocation that they spoke ill of others.  Compared with the vituperation and personalities of every other party, political and religious, of their day, they were examples of forbearance to adversaries, who showed them no quarter.  A page of laughter is a better defence against a worthless adversary than a volume of anger.  Terms which impute want of honour to others, or accuse them of conscious untruth, dishonesty, or bad motives, are charges with which the judge and not the journalist may deal.

    When one person makes imputations of dishonesty upon another, the only legitimate notice is to kick him, and nobody ought to make these imputations unless he is prepared for that operation being performed upon him; and no editor ought to permit such imputations unless he is prepared to recognise that form of reply.

    Many things, social, polemical, and progressive, with which society now concerns itself, appears to have begun in one or other co-operative publications; or if not originated were espoused, and publicity accorded, when they were denied any hearing elsewhere.

    Abram Combe called his organ of Orbiston the Register of the Adherents of Divine Revelation.  The editor said that "Abram Combe was perfectly right in adopting whatever name he thought proper, as a free and unbiassed expression of his conscientious opinions."  [If Mr. Combe's object was not to establish a public community for public advantage, but simply a group of persons for the profession of Combism—he was right, but the universality of communism was gone.]  The editor added, "We are great lovers of candour and moral courage."  Yet the editor, Mr. Fleming, abandoned (when imprisonment overtook them) two social missionaries, the present writer being one, Mr. Charles Southwell, of spirited memory, was the other.  I was put upon my trial for delivering a lecture in Cheltenham upon "Home Colonies."  It was never pretended by the witnesses that the lecture was otherwise than neutral, and it was admitted by the judge, Mr. Justice Erskine, that no remark whatever was made in it which transgressed the proper limits of the subject.  In the town of Cheltenham, in which it occurred, a small Socialist poet, one Mr. Sperry, suspected of heresy, had been induced to recant, and had then been naturally abandoned and despised by those who had promised him advantage if he did so.  This affair had produced an impression in the town that Socialist speakers were wanting either in courage or honesty, and the same feeling existed in other towns.  The Bishop of Exeter had really frightened many.  When Mr. Pare was forced to resign the registrarship of Birmingham, it became a question with other gentlemen, who held official situations, how far they were prudent in standing connected with this party.  The Central Board began, under alarm, to urge the policy of theological neutrality, which they ought to have adopted earlier on principle.  Some of the missionaries took a running leap into the clerical ranks, upon which they had so long made war.  They obtained licenses as preachers, and advertisements were issued, setting forth that lectures would be delivered to the Societies of the Rational Religionists, by the "Rev. B. Swearatlast" and the "Rev. J. Swearatonce."  As the gifts of these gentlemen were not understood to lie in this direction, this step caused scandal.  When, at the Cheltenham lecture referred to, a question was put by one of the audience, having a theological object, I gave a definite and defiant answer, which, at least in that place, restored the reputation of Socialist speakers for uncalculating explicitness.  Neither the trial and imprisonment which followed, nor the parliamentary proceedings in reference to it, were ever mentioned in the New Moral World.  Room was found for articles on "Chinese Manure" and the "Sense of Beauty," but in its Samaritan pages no reference was made to the missionary, who had literally "fallen among thieves" in the discharge of his official duty.  Mr. Owen, the president, had said to the Congress, only a month before, "When we are questioned on any subject, we should declare what convictions we are obliged to have.  Such is the ground I mean to take.  What I have told you is my determination, and, though not a single individual go with me, I shall pursue the same course. [82]  A special Congress was held during the imprisonment of the missionary lecturer in Gloucester Gaol, and no allusion was made, no resolution proposed respecting him.  The Central Board addressed weekly its "Friends, Brothers, and Sisters" upon many subjects, but they never suggested that some help might be needed in a certain household, though the subscription of a penny a day, by the members of the board, would have saved one young life in it. [ED.—Holyoake refers to his young daughter, Madeline, who died during his imprisonment].

    What was wanted was neither defiance nor compliance, unless there was a change of conviction.  Then a manly and explicit retraction of what errors the convert supposed himself to have held was due as an act of honour; so that the abandoned opinions might no longer possess the influence, whatever it might be, that his authority and example could be considered to lend to them.

    The Hall of Science, in Manchester, was registered in the Bishop's Court as a place of worship belonging to a body of Protestant Dissenters called "Rational Religionists," and by that means it was brought under the Act of Parliament which licensed it to be open for divine worship.  This Act rendered all who officiated in the building liable to be called upon to take the following oath:—


I solemnly declare, in the presence of Almighty God, that I am
        First. A Christian, and
        Second. A Protestant ; that as such, I believe
        Third. The scriptures of the New and Old Testament' commonly
                  received among the Protestant churches, do contain the revealed
                  Word of God ; and that I do receive
        Fourth. The same as the rule of my doctrine and practice.


    Mr. Swearatlast (Robert Buchanan) took this oath in Manchester.  Mr. Maude, the magistrate, who administered it, first demanded to know whether this was an oath binding on his conscience, and whether he really believed in a future state after death of rewards and punishments?  This missionary, who had been several years lecturing against every one of these points, as one of the expounders of "truth without mystery, mixture of error, or the fear of man," replied that he did believe in all these things, and that the oath was binding upon his conscience.  The Central Board never repudiated the missionaries who thus lied in open court before the whole city.  Indeed, the editor of the New Moral World justified it, and stated that he would take it.  Mr. Buchanan had sufficient self-respect to make scruples about it.  He was anxious to prove to the court that he had a conscience, and to stand well before the public; and the court was adjourned to give him time to make up his mind.  On Tuesday, August 11, 1840, he appeared, took the oath, and made the declaration under 19th George II., c. 44, and received his certificate of having done so. [83]   Mr. Fleming so far respected the moral sense of his readers of the Moral World as never to publish this discreditable scene.  Mr. Swearatonce (Mr. Lloyd Jones) gave his own account of how he went through the part on February 13, 1841, in Bristol.  "On Tuesday I attended at one o'clock for the purpose of taking the oath.  The office was crowded by gentlemen who seemed anxious to see the performance.  It passed off very comfortably.  I took it with out any words.  I am now, therefore, the REV. LLOYD JONES."  The small capitals are the "REV." gentleman's and the word "performance" too. [84]

    Other gentlemen than those who were present long remembered these scenes reported in the press.  Many years after, when the present writer was concerned in getting the Secular Affirmation Bill passed through Parliament, Sir George Cornewall Lewis demanded, reproachfully (looking at me as I sat in the gallery of the House of Commons as he spoke), "Where are your cases?  Where are the men of honour who refuse the oath?  It is your free-thinker who takes it 'without any words."'

    Those of us who had consented to act as missionaries were in some sort, in our secular way, apostles of a new state of society, which, we weekly assured the public by the title of our accredited journal, was to be at least "moral," if not otherwise notable.  Then it did not become any of us—so it seemed to me and my colleagues of the protesting school—to fall, in self-respecting honour, below those other apostles with whose teaching we were in many respects "non-content."  Though sincerity does not imply errorlessness, it gives dignity to those who profess error honestly.  The Christian apostles had this personal dignity.  It seemed to me, for one, that we had no moral right to dissent from them publicly, were we content to advance our cause by meaner means than theirs.  We could not be their equals in advantage.  Our inspiration was not owing to contact with a celestial teacher: but it was in our power to be their equals in honesty, and refuse to profess the opinions we did not hold, whatever peril, or personal loss, or social discomfort followed.  We were to teach " truth without mixture of error."  Even when we follow mathematical truth—dealing with definite and palpable magnitude—we travel but a short way, into the realms of certainty; while in moral and social things—where "sense is narrow and reason frail"—who can fathom truth without error; or escape the need of hourly precaution, qualification, and moderation?  We were to teach "without fear of man."  That was the one thing possible in the humblest advocates.  Fearlessness of man—in the discharge of the duty of speaking in the spirit of relevance, conceding the same freedom to others—that was within our power.  To fail herein before the world, in the publicity of a court of law, where persecution gave us the priceless opportunity of winning respect, seemed alike a failure of policy and honour.

    He has no claim to free speech unless his object is to utter true speech and to maintain veracity among the people by example.  Though I never took an oath of any kind in my life, since I could not take it in the sense in which the court administered it, yet I am no fanatic against oaths, and respect those who take them sincerely.  The common instinct of society respects the memory of those poor and humble religionists of despised sects, who, having hardly any grace but that of sincerity, have suffered torture and death rather than say the thing which was not.  Socialists who professed to introduce a higher morality were bound to set an equal example.  Addison usefully tells us of Euripides that: "The great tragic poet, though famous for the morality of his plays, had introduced a person who, being reminded of an oath he had taken, replied, 'I swore with my mouth, but not with my heart.'  The impiety of this sentiment set the audience in an uproar; made Socrates (though an intimate friend of the poet) go out of the theatre with indignation, and gave so great offence that he was publicly accused and brought upon his trial, as one who had suggested an evasion of what they thought the most holy and indissoluble bond of human society, so jealous were these virtuous heathens of any the smallest hint that might open a way to perjury."

    It was to the credit of Socialism that the oath-taking related led to a schism in the party.  Undoubtedly we did harm of one kind—at the time.  In setting up a new camp we weakened the force which held the recognised co-operative fort; and those who may be influenced by our example should weigh well the responsibility we incurred, and be satisfied whether we were justified in our course before they imitate us.

    Others, as stout Mr. Finlay, of Edinburgh, and Mr. Paterson, then of the same city, Mr. Adams and Mrs. Adams, of Cheltenham, not missionaries but of the party, underwent imprisonment on the same account.  Dr. Watts, Mr. Jeffery, and Mr. Farn, who were all missionaries, rendered every help in their power to sustain the protesters.  Mrs. Emma Martin fearlessly aided.  Nor will I omit to mention, with what honour I can, my untiring friends in the Gloucester affair—Maltus Questell Ryall, a man remarkable alike for ability and courage, and William Chilton also. Both cared for Socialist honour; no personal peril intimidated them from vindicating it.

    It was the intention of the opponents of the propagation of social views to close the halls by forcing the oath described upon the lecturers.  The Rev. Mr. Kidd, and some other divines, took the step of indicting the owners of the halls for receiving money for admission at the doors.  As the partisans of Co-operation were not wealthy, and incurred expense beyond their means in disseminating their views, it was only by taking admission money at the doors, that they could maintain their advocacy.  The clergy knew this, and calculated that if they could prevent admission money being taken, they would succeed in closing the hall.  It was a shabby, but a well-calculated proceeding.  Accordingly, they did lodge an indictment against the hall owners in Manchester, for receiving money at the doors.  They found an Act of Parliament of the reign of George III. (fruitful in infamous Acts), which levied serious fines upon the conductors of halls if money was taken at the door on the Sunday, unless such hall was licensed as a place of worship.  The Rev. Mr. Kidd's prosecution failed, the directors producing a license which described it as the authorised place of worship of the Rational Religionists.  But, as the speakers in a licensed hall must be licensed preachers, Mr. Kidd next prosecuted the lecturer at the hall, who, we have seen, eventually took the oath.  Mr. Kidd thus triumphed.

    In various halls in the country to this day money is taken without their being licensed, and addresses are delivered by lecturers who never took any oath as preachers; but, owing to the ignorance or generosity of the clergy, no legal steps are taken against them, which, if taken, must have the effect of degrading the speaker or closing their proceedings.  These Georgian Acts are still in existence, and persons of pernicious intent still put them in force.  A few years since eminent scientific teachers in London, Huxley among them, were prevented by them from instructing the people on the Sunday.  The Aquarium at Brighton was closed by them on the same day; and in no Co-operative Hall is it legal to take money for lectures or even a tea-party on the Sunday, and the most valued forms of co-operative life are arrested by those clerical laws.  Thus Co-operation has not only to be judged by what it has done, but what it has been prevented doing.

    Amid the crowds of incidents and of persons, in connection with this movement, many remain unnamed lest the weight of detail oppress the reader.  Where two events or two persons equally serve to explain the story, like the two women grinding at the same mill, one is taken, and the other left.


 
CHAPTER X.

THE LOST COMMUNITIES


"Seeing that human society labours under a chronic want of disinterestedness and mutual consideration on the part of its members, there is a demand for select or heightened pictures of love, devotedness, and sympathy, as an ideal compensation."—PROFESSOR BAIN.


IT is a long time since Joseph de Maistre declared that "the human race was created for a few, that it is the business of the clergy and the nobility to teach the people that which is evil and good in the moral world, and that which is true and false in the intellectual world.  Other men have no right to reason upon such things: the people must suffer without murmuring."  In these days the people decline to suffer.  They resent the infliction of suffering upon them.  They see that the inequalities of nature are made greater by the wilful contrivances of men.  The people protest against inferiority being imposed upon them.  They see that some men by opportunity, energy, and enterprise are able to forfend themselves against suffering.  The people endeavour to equalise opportunities for themselves by the establishment of communities.  Though they have not much to show for their efforts, they set a self-helping example.  Their failures are not to be mourned over, but imitated.  France, which for years held political supremacy in Europe, lost it by the conspiracy of an imperial adventurer, who happened to possess a talent for assassination.

    Though France, in its own brilliant and insurgent way, has borne the palm of distinction for the propagandism of social reform, England in a quieter way has shown the capacity for comprehending equality.  A distinguished lawyer, who had great knowledge of the municipal history of his country, the late Toulmin Smith, of Birmingham, in his great book on the "History of Early English Guilds," traced the social features of English life with a research in which he had no compeer.  His daughter, Lucy Toulmin Smith, in the befitting preface which she supplies to her father's work, states that the early "English guild was an institution of local self-help which, before Poor Laws were invented, took the place, in old times, of the modern friendly or benefit society, but with a higher aim.  It joined all classes together in a care for the needy and for objects of common welfare."

    "Guilds," says this authoress, "were associations of those living in the same neighbourhood, and remembering that they have, as neighbours, common obligations, regarding love to one's neighbour, not as a hollow dogma of morality, but known and felt as a habit of life."

    It is also worthy of notice in these days, in which we flatter ourselves that social reform is being born—that there were "scarcely five out of the five hundred gilds known to history which were not formed equally of men and of women."  The British Association for the Advancement of Science has admitted ladies to read papers at its meetings.  This has been counted an astonishing step.  It is creditable, but not astonishing, seeing that in the old social days English women were counted upon to take part in the civil progress of the city.  Many women who take part in these movements think it a new thing; and many more, who stand aloof, think it unwomanly, not knowing that they are merely the degenerate daughters of noble mothers who thought it their duty to take a public part in the duties of society.

    In 1870 the Deputy Johann Jacoby, addressing his constituents in the Second Arrondissement of Berlin, said: "The great end before the people is the abolition of the wage system, and the substitution in its place of co-operative labour."  The late Mr. Frederick Cowell Stepney, a great friend of British and foreign workmen, said, in their behalf, that "The emancipation of the working classes must come from the working classes themselves.  The struggle for the emancipation of the workman is not a struggle for class privileges, but for the obliteration of all class dominion.  It is, therefore, worth while looking a little at some Lost Communities, whose romantic story has instruction and encouragement in it.

    When the tireless Welsh reformer, of whom we have spoken, was one day dining at the house of a Frankfort banker, he met a renowned German statesman, Frederick Von Gentz.  "I am in favour of seeing a social progress commence," said Mr. Owen, "for if union could replace disunion, all men would have a sufficiency."  "That is very possible," replied Von Gentz; "but we by no means wish that the masses should become at ease and independent of us.  All government would then be impossible."  This was the old idea of the higher classes.  Every one sees now that government will never be secure until competence and independence are enjoyed by the people.

    When the term "Social Science" was first employed in England it sounded as the most visionary word dreaming philosophy had suffered to escape in its sleep.  Statesmen had none of that quality which scientific men call prevision—a compassing foresight, seeing what ought to happen, and taking care that it should happen.  Society was a sort of legally arranged blunder, the costly device of public incompetence.  We are still in that state that Fourier used to call our "incoherent civilisation."  It is from this that community contrivers strive to deliver us.

    A Pantisocracy was the idea of cultivated men, a name derived from Greek words, implying a state in which all govern and all serve.  This is one of the prettiest definitions of association extant.  Communities on a superstitious basis have hitherto been the most successful.  It is easier to trust in what you are told than to find out what you ought to trust in.  Science is the latest born power of the understanding.  The knowledge of it, belief in it, the use of it, and the trust in it, are of slow growth.  Reality seems to be the last thing men learn.  When they do come to comprehend its nearness, its importance, its influence over their destiny, men will avail themselves of its teachings.  There will be heard then from platform and pulpit words of passion, of power, of fiery counsel, such as fitful, fluctuating belief in unseen influences have never yet called forth.

    It is quite true, as Italians say, "he who has a partner has a master"; and this is true of marital partnership, yet men and women enter gladly into it.  All association is sacrifice of minor things for the attainment of greater.  In religious societies sacrifice is made by authority, in secular association the authority is common sense, and that is not common.  The reason of every great step has to be made plain to the general understanding.  As intelligence increases association becomes more possible.  Co-operation to the extent it now prevails was impossible, until later years.  Association is still an almost unknown art.  Religious communists have sought peace and plainness, security and competence.  Secular communists seek peace and art, intelligence and prosperity.  Intelligent individuality will exceed anything hitherto realised by communities of mere industry and faith.

    One who gave the English people the earliest and the first unprejudiced account of American communities, Harriet Martineau, says: "If such external provision, with a great amount of accumulated wealth besides, is the result of Co-operation and community of property among persons so ill prepared for its production as these, what might not the same principles of association achieve, among a more intelligent set of people, stimulated by education, and exhilarated by the enjoyment of all the blessings which Providence has placed within the reach of man?  If there had been no celibacy amongst them they would probably have been much more wealthy.  The truth of these positions cannot be doubted by any who have witnessed the working of the co-operative system.  It can never now rest till it is made matter of experiment." [85]

    Communities are, as yet, in their infancy.  There are two causes which account for the failure of many of them.

    First.  The want of sufficient capital to maintain the place for a few years on a frugal scale, until the members could be trained in self-supporting efficiency.

    Second.  Members were not picked men, nor pledged to obey the authority established among them, and readily removable if unsuitable.

    Schemes of social life require the combination of means and intelligence, and have to be attempted many times before they succeed.  Could the present railway system have been perfected in the minds of inventors at the beginning of the century, it could not have been got into work, for no workmen were to be had of sufficient skill to make the engines or conduct the traffic.

    The most sensible account given of the English system by a foreigner is that which Buonarroti made at the end of his long life in a letter to Mr. Bronterre O'Brien.

    "Babeuf," he said, "attempted to combine a numerous people into one single grand community; Owen would multiply in a country small communities, which, afterwards united by a general bond, might become, as it were, so many individuals of one great family.  Babeuf wished his friends to seize on the supreme authority, as by its influence he hoped to effectuate the reforms they had projected; Owen calculated on success by preaching and by example."

    Mr. David Urquhart, a writer who never fails to interest the reader, and to whom the public are indebted for much out-of-the-way knowledge, gave in his work on "Turkey and its Resources," in 1833, a remarkable account of the great Co-operative Society of Ambelakia, whose varied activity was a miracle of co-operative sagacity.  It would have continued had there been a court of law in which questions in dispute could be speedily and cheaply settled.  It has been the fate of Co-operation often to be, not only before its time, but before the law.

    "Ambelakia," says Mr. Urquhart, "is the name of a spot overlooking the Vale of Tempe, where an extraordinary association had a brilliant existence of twenty years. . . . I extract," says Mr. Urquhart, "from Beaujour's 'Tableau du Commerce de la Grecque' the details he has preserved respecting it, in as far as they were confirmed to me by the information I obtained on the spot.

    "Ambelakia, by its activity, appears rather a borough of Holland than a village of Turkey.  This village spreads, by its industry, over the surrounding country, and gives birth to an immense commerce which unites Germany to Greece.  Its population has trebled in fifteen years, and amounts at present (1798) to 4,000, who live in their manufactories like swarms of bees in their hives.  The Ambelakiot faces are serene; the slavery which blasts the plains watered by the Penens, and stretching at their feet, has never ascended the sides of Pelion (Ossa); and they govern themselves, like their ancestors, by their protoyeros (primates, elders), and their own magistrates.  Twice the Mussulmans of Larissa attempted to scale their rocks, and twice were they repulsed by hands which dropped the shuttle to seize the musket.

    "Every arm, even those of the children, is employed in the factories; whilst the men dye the cotton, the women prepare and spin.  There are twenty-four factories.  This yarn found its way into Germany, and was disposed of at Buda, Vienna, Leipsic, Dresden, Anspach, and Bareuth.  The Ambelakiot merchants had houses of their own in all those places.  These houses belonged to distinct associations at Ambelakia.  The competition thus established reduced very considerably the common profits; they proposed, therefore, to unite themselves under one central commercial administration.  The lowest shares in this joint-stock company were between £600 and £700, and the highest were restricted, that the capitalists might not swallow up all the profits.  The workmen subscribed their little profits, and, uniting in societies, purchased single shares; and besides their capital, their labour was reckoned in the general amount; they received their share of the profits accordingly, and abundance was soon spread through the whole community.

    "Never was a society established upon such economical principles, and never were fewer hands employed for the transaction of such a mass of business.

    "The greatest harmony long reigned in the association; the directors were disinterested, the correspondents zealous, and the workmen docile and laborious.  The company's profits increased every day on a capital which had rapidly become immense; each investment realised a profit of from 60 to 100 per cent., all of which was distributed, in just proportions, to capitalists and workmen, according to capital and industry.  The shares had increased tenfold." [86]

    Mr. Urquhart's estimate of the causes of failure gives, first, the too great extension of the municipal body, its consequent loss of activity and control, and the evasion of responsibility by the managers; secondly, the absence of judicial authority to settle in their origin disputes and litigated interests, which, in the absence of law, could only be decided by the violence of faction.

    "That the exclusion of the workmen from a due influence in the administration, and share in the profits, was the real cause of the breaking up of the commercial association, is established by the fact of the workmen separating themselves into small societies."

    That is a very important statement Mr. Urquhart makes, namely, that "the exclusion of the workmen from a due influence in the administration and share in the profits was the real cause of the breaking up of the association."

    The Ambelakiots had, however, many points worthy of modern notice.  They were citizens as well as co-operators, and fought when occasion required for independence.  They understood the theory of industrial partnerships better than any modern companies do, and profits were divided between capital and labour long before modern discussions arose upon that subject.

    More modern instances, however, claim our attention.  No one should accuse Socialists of wanting in intrepidity when they settled down on the banks of the Wabash of Indiana, which the much-enduring German celibates were deserting.

    New Harmony—a name never applicable to it, but inherited—consisted of 30,000 acres of land, purchased by Mr. Owen in April, 1825.  In 1822 it was peopled by 700 persons, who had previously occupied a back settlement in Pennsylvania, near Pittsburg, and were chiefly German emigrants.  They had had for their spiritual teacher and temporal director Mr. Rapp.  They were ignorant, bigoted, despised intellectual attainments, and were celibates.  They greatly enriched themselves, and might have multiplied their wealth, as we have seen, had they multiplied themselves.  "New Harmony" stood in a thickly-wooded country on the banks of the Wabash and about thirty miles from the mouth of that river.  The site of New Harmony was generally flat for about a mile and a half from the river; but the neighbouring hills were covered with vineyards and orchards.  The Wabash here was an ample stream, winding its course in front of the town and beneath the luxuriant and lofty woods on the opposite banks of the Illinois.  The town was well laid out in straight and spacious streets, crossing each other at right angles, after the manner of modern American towns.  There were excellent wells in this Wabash settlement, and public ovens at convenient distances from each other.  There were well-built granaries, barns, and factories, and a pretty village church, the white steeple of which was pleasantly seen from afar.  Mr. Owen explained his intended plan of proceedings in the House of Representatives at Washington, an opportunity which would not be accorded to the angel Gabriel of speaking in the Houses of Parliament in London, if he contemplated founding a settlement on the Thames.  In three months Mr. Owen was joined by upwards of 900 individuals, which further increased, and notice had to be given to prevent more persons coming.

    Lord Brougham, being asked (about 1826) to give his opinion of schemes of industrial societies, answered: "Co-operation will, by and by, do for the worst, but it must begin with picked men."  The Indiana communists were not of this description.  In fact, they were advertised for.  Notice was given that all ready to join the new system of society might make their way to the banks of the Wabash, and all who came were accepted, just as though you could begin the New World with a job lot.  As was to be expected, the men of good sense were ultimately overwhelmed by the mass of wayward adherents, composed, in the words of Mr. Horace Greeley, for the most part of "the conceited, the crotchety, the selfish, the headstrong, the pugnacious, the unappreciated, the played-out, the idle, and the good-for-nothing generally, who, discovering themselves utterly out of place and at a discount in the world as it is, rashly conclude that they are exactly fitted for the world as it ought to be."  Nevertheless, the men of good sense ruled at first, and prevailed intermittingly throughout.  A committee was appointed to govern this heterogeneous assemblage of 1,000 Republicans.  It is clear they had business instincts, for the first thing they did was to pass a resolution that no spirituous liquors shall be retailed in New Harmony; " and this resolution has been repeated in every great co-operative society down to this day.

    For the first forty years of their career no clergyman, with a character to lose, would guarantee them Christian charity.  St. Peter was apprised to have a sharp eye upon them if they came to his gate.  Yet these Socialists were not wanting in self-denial, which the very elect, who sat in judgment upon them, often failed to practise; and they were resolute that Co-operation should always mean Temperance.  They had none of the teetotalers' tenderness for wilful inebriates, treating them with more respect than the self-sustained, self-respecting, temperate man.  They regarded intemperance as uneconomical.  They knew that drunkenness is madness at large, and in countless families children and women are shut up with these maniacs, and live in daily jeopardy and terror.  It was better to have a tiger or a snake in a community than a drunkard.  You could kill the beast or the reptile, but the drunkard might kill you.  It would not pay to manage him in a community.  Some knew the inebriate in every stage.  In the first he is amusing.  Playwriters make merry with him; comic artists put his foolishness into demoralising cartoons.  In the second stage his officious good-nature is succeeded by suspicions, which make his society a nuisance and a peril.  In the third stage he stabs those who oppose him, or does it on surmise of his own, against which there is neither warning nor defence.  The foulest suspicions grow real to the inebriate.  In some cases daughters hear infamous accusations upon testimony apparently authentic.  Waste and violence mark the days of horror and sorrow in the household.  Little children undergo frights which affect their reason (as doctors know).  Working men and women have been hanged for murder which mere self defence against drunken provocation has forced upon them.  The most brilliant men, the sweetest and most self-denying women, whom suffering, weakness, or sorrow bows low, until nervous exhaustion befals, come to this dreadful end.  There is no land of refuge, no escape for them.  The fatal temptation is ever in their sight.  At every corner of every street that which to them is the accursed spirit is blazoned.  Advertisements in newspaper or magazine carries the dreadful information where can be got the dainty drink of death.  The co-operators had knowledge enough of the causes of sin to pity the poor wretch on the inclined plane, but they would have no inclined plane laid down in their stores.  There have been drunken saints and drunken sceptics, whom both sides have deplored, but a drunken co-operator would be a nuisance, a scandal, and a fool.  Where temperance in use is the observance, moderation is expected as naturally as courtesy or truth, and immoderation held as infamous.

    In New Harmony the religious difficulty was made to submit to the co-operative conditions of liberty, conscience, and criticism.  The different sects ultimately met in church and hall, attending as they chose, when they chose, and upon whom they chose; and preachers of all denominations had free liberty to teach, and discussions are mentioned [87] as having occurred after the morning services.

    As late as 1842, New Harmony, in Indiana, was the subject of report in the New Moral World.  Robert Dale Owen was there at that time, and stated in a speech that many of those present, himself among the number, hoped to live and die in New Harmony.  They expected to leave their children, their daughters as well as their sons, behind them, the future inhabitants of the place.  Mr. R. D. Owen was occupied in replying to the objections of ministers of religion.  The co-operators would have certainly done twice as much as they accomplished but for the time spent in answering clerical critics, who had nothing whatever to do with their business.  Mr. R. D. Owen, who had not delivered a single lecture on the subject of religion for ten years, condescended to answer one Rev. B. Halstead, who all that time had been lecturing upon it every Sunday.  It cannot be said that these social reformers did nothing for the future.  They spent their time in writing papers on theological subjects, long enough to fill the bookshelves of posterity.  On their own ground ministers of religion were to be regarded with respect so long as they were unimputative; but religion, being an affair of individual conscience, for which individuals are made responsible in the future, and not the minister, he had no right to dictate opinions for which another had to answer.

    The absence of Mr. Robert Owen during the years when personal inspiration and training were most important, was a great disadvantage to the community.

    Abram Combe deserves to be ranked with Mr. Owen for the cost to himself with which he strove to prove co-operative life practicable.  He published a periodical informing the public of the progress of the Orbiston community.  It was a small neatly-printed paper, which he named The Register of the First Society of Adherents to Divine Revelation at Orbiston, which was not very civil to all the other Christian societies, which for eighteen centuries have regarded themselves as being the same description of persons.  Mr. Combe professed to derive his principles from Mr. Owen, and appeared to treat the principal things Mr. Owen had said as discoveries.  These discoveries Abram Combe had the merit of stating in his own way, and stating very well; and some thought in a much more acceptable form than the master had put them.  The Register was the least tiresome and most sensibly written of any of the publications of the class.  There were practical articles about the situation and prospects of the place, the views of the inmates, the different occupations, diversions, and departments; the proceedings of the theatre which was opened in Orbiston.  Letters, when they were good, were introduced, and extracts also from private letters when they contained passages publicly interesting.  Notices of co-operative publications were given, and of experiments elsewhere, commonly done in a very pleasant spirit.  Lectures were reported, some of which must have been well worth hearing since at this time they are interesting reading.

    In 1826 the Orbiston Community buildings were begun on the 18th of March.  An average of 100 men were employed.  The art ideas of Mr. Abram Combe were of the most sterile utilitarian order.  He held that "it ought always to be borne in mind that the sole use and end of domestic accommodation is to protect the body from painful sensations."  "To me," he said, "it has a slight appearance of irrationality to seek mental pleasure from such a source, seeing that liberty, security, and knowledge, united with social intercourse, and confirmed by the affection and esteem of all with whom we are in contact, constitute the only source from which the wants of the mind can be supplied."  The excellent gentleman must have been born without any sense of art in his soul.  Every longing for beauty in his nature must have been satisfied by the sight of mortar and whitewash.  What a genius poor-law commissioners missed in Abram Combe!  He would have been the Pugin of bare Bethels and union workhouses.  He was wise in proposing the plainest conveniences until prosperity was attained, but he need not have struck his harp in praise of naked monotony.  A building was described as possessing a centre—left centre and left wing—right centre and right wing.  The left centre contained about 120 private rooms.  The whole building was plain, was all of hewn stone, and was said to have "a rather magnificent appearance," which criticism, after what we know of the architect, must have been written by a gravedigger.  It is, however, but just to add that the Glasgow Chronicle of that day said that "the rooms intended for the inmates were neat and even elegant."  If so there must have been some departure from Mr. Combe's principle of dreariness.

    Orbiston was near Hamilton.  The funds for the settlement were raised by a joint-stock company, and were divided into two hundred shares of £250 each, paid in quarterly instalments of £10; Mr. Combe, of course, being the giant contributor.

    The community buildings are described as situated on the banks of the Calder, at that place the river being but a paltry, quick, shallow, mill stream, but the banks beautiful.  The visitor approaching the place saw only a tall white building, covered with blue slates, standing entirely by itself, without a house or tree to keep it company.  The general feature of the spot was flat, but surrounded on all sides by near or distant, high mountainous scenery.  On arriving at the building one found it to be plain, of great extent, and devoid of every ornament—yet the aim, the zeal, the sacrifices of the promotors, and the hopes they inspired, made these places sacred.

    Mr. Combe was described as a stout-built, middle-aged, farmer-looking man, giving no indication of the general knowledge he was understood to possess; known in Edinburgh as a sharp-eyed tanner—that being his business—well understanding the art of pursuing the "main chance," of a cynical turn of mind, satirical and vivacious beyond either of his eminent brothers.  He visited New Lanark in 1820.  Though he was then thirty-five years of age, he experienced an entire "change of mind," as complete, remarkable, and salutary as any recorded in the annals of religious conversion.

    Some of the many persons visiting Orbiston were naturally disposed to make some compensation to the community for the time of the members consumed in taking visitors round, and they made offer of money on account of the attendants placed at their disposal.  This was resented in a dignified and foolish article, for the community might have been eaten up, either in food or time, by visitors—a few curious to learn, but more curious to ridicule.  A charge for attendance in showing people round, at so much per hour, would have been welcome to the common fund.  However, a very sensible suggestion was made, namely, that visitors who felt desirous of serving the place should purchase some article of its produce.

    In the Co-operative Magazine of this period (1826) were prudently published several calculations of the proportion of the agriculturists, mechanics, and other workmen who should be included in a community, according to the quality of land which was to be occupied.  There were also statements of the conditions to which members were to conform in the Orbiston and New Harmony communities.  These calculations and conditions are not devoid of historic interest as showing what conceptions were entertained of the art of association, by two such eminent leaders and students of it as Robert Owen and Abram Combe.  But it would be unfair in the historian to waylay the reader with twenty pages of these technical details.

    The Orbiston estate consisted of 290 acres, for which the serious sum of £20,000 was paid.  The land was cold and poor, and has been judged to be not worth half the money; and an additional £20,000 was expended on buildings.  An ill-assorted random collection of most unsuitable persons flocked to the spot, which speedily acquired from the surrounding population the emphatic name of "Babylon."  At its breaking up the land and buildings were sold for £16,000.  But for Mr. George Combe, who, at the death of his brother Abram, forced on the total destruction of the concern, the foundry, with its "forge and water-wheel" might yet have remained to waken the echoes of that "romantic dell."  Orbiston was ridding itself of its idlers and its unsuitable members—it was gradually consolidating itself, and would, but for the forcible legal interference of the great phrenologist, have righted itself. [88]

    Orbiston was nearer succeeding than other European experiments.  Had Mr. Abram Combe lived, his practical sense and fine example, no doubt, would have sustained the community.  He was quite right in wasting no money on ornament in the erection of the earlier buildings, but he was wrong in writing against ornament; true ornament is art, and art is pleasure; and pleasure in art is refinement, and refinement is the grace of life.  It was of no consequence that the buildings were plain at first.  The enthusiastic would be quite content if the buildings were wholesome, and they might have been so contrived that the addition of comeliness could have been given when there was money to pay for it.  Mr. Combe died of his own enthusiasm.  Unfitted for much field-work, he persisted in it excessively, even after his lungs were affected.  When what he had done was explained to him, he regretted that the physiology of health had not been taught to him in lieu of other knowledge, which could not now save him.  He was a man of fine parts and many personal accomplishments, and a martyr of Co-operation.

    Subsequently Mr. William Thompson arose, with whose name the reader is already familiar.  He had a definite scheme of social life in his mind, which he had given the best years of his life to describe and define, and which he left his fortune to forward.

    In those days it was, and still is, difficult to leave money for purposes of progress, not of an orthodox character.  Religious judges at once confiscated the bequest on the ground of alleged immorality of purpose.  Any persons to whom the money might revert could successfully plead the lunacy of the testator.  Nobody believed in the sanity of any one who sought unknown improvement in an untrodden way.  The only way was to give the means while you lived.  If testators could have been persuaded of this, some projected communities never attempted would have been heard of, and some commenced would not have been lost.

    Mr. Thompson died in March, 1833, and left freehold estates to the value of £8,000 or £10,000 to thirteen trustees, to be applied in loans to communities, the purchase of shares in communities, and the reprinting for gratuitous distribution such of Mr. Thompson's works as might be supposed to further co-operative objects.  The heirs at-law disputed the will, and collections had to be made to defend it.  A plea of insanity was set up against Mr. Thompson.  Ultimately a decision was obtained in the Rolls Court, Dublin, when the counsel for the heirs brought forward the same imaginary charges of intended sexual immorality in community arrangements which were brought forward thirty years later in the Rolls Court, London, with respect to the Queenwood community.  The Cork case ended in the court taking possession of the funds.

    In September, 1831, announcement was made of a co-operative community being established in Cork, under the influence of Mr. Thompson—it was intended to consist of two thousand individuals.  Two years before his death a Congress was held in Manchester, May, 1831, for the purpose of arranging the immediate formation of a community.  The first Birmingham Co-operative Society had published, in "Carpenter's Political Letter," a recommendation that the incipient co-operative community should be upon the plan laid down by Mr. William Thompson, and that application should be made to 199 other co-operative societies to elect one member of community each, and supply him with £30, in order that the community should start with £6,000.  Mr. Owen declined to be a party to the pettiness of writing to two hundred societies only.  He proposed a committee for universal correspondence, and refused to have his name associated with any committee which was for making a beginning with a smaller sum than £240,000.  Mr. Thompson had come up to London, with other gentlemen resident at a distance, to promote practical operations. [89]  At the Manchester Congress, he wisely urged that they should commence with a small experiment in proportion to their possible means, and the Congress was disposed to advance £6,000 to him, when it could be raised upon their scheme.  A document was agreed to in which his plan was recommended, but Mr. Owen, saying that £6,000 or £20,000 would be insufficient, discouraged the attempt.

    In the Cork community, which Mr. Thompson meditated, entire freedom of thought and expression on all subjects were to prevail, guided by regard for the feelings of others; and entire freedom of action, not interfering with similar freedom in others, were amongst the mutually guaranteed rights of every member of this community.  Religion was declared to be the peculiar concern of the individual alone.  Women were to be entitled to equal means of improvement and enjoyment, and to be equally eligible with men to all offices to which their inclination or talents might lead.

    Besides his famous Scotch convert, Abram Combe, Mr. Owen made an Irish convert hardly less remarkable, who founded an Irish community which attained greater success than that of Orbiston.  It was in 1830 that Mr. Vandeleur, of Ralahine, devoted 618 acres to the uses of a modified community on Mr. Owen's plan.  His tenantry were of the lowest order of Irish poor, discontented, disorderly, and vicious.  Mr. Vandeleur had heard Mr. Owen's lectures in Dublin, and was persuaded of the suitability of his scheme of co-operative agriculture for Ireland, and he did not hesitate to trust his fortune in order to verify the sincerity of his convictions.  His expectation of success was very high, and, although he proposed to apply the co-operative principle to the most unfavourable state of society in the world, it is admitted on all hands that his experiment succeeded.

    Strange to say, the most important application of Co-operation to agriculture has occurred in the restless land of potatoes and Whiteboys, amid the bogs of Ralahine.  Mr. William Pare published a history of this Irish experiment.  The sort of treatment to which farm labourers had been subjected on the Vandeleur estate there was not calculated to promote good-will.  A reaper on a hot harvest day paused to get a drink of water from a can, when the steward kicked it over, declaring that he would not have water there as an excuse for the reapers wasting their time.  No wonder that a few wandering shots flew about this estate: and after better treatment set in, the men went out shooting as a precautionary measure, but when they saw good homesteads put up for them, a share of the produce of their labour secured to them, peace, and even prosperity, reigned in that wretched district.  This patch of Irish communism is the only one that ever flourished.  It did not come to grief of itself; its proprietor ended it.  Though a gentleman of good family, Mr John Scott Vandeleur was a gambler, and lost the co-operative farms and everything else in a dice-box.  He fled himself, and passed into outer darkness, and was never more heard of by men.  There being no equitable land laws, such as Mr. Gladstone devised, for Ireland, the co-operators had no claims for improvement of stock, and the "New Systemites," as they were called in Ireland, vanished also.  There is no doubt that the "system" answered among the worst-used people, and under the worst circumstances imaginable. The Rev. Francis Trench, brother of the Archbishop of Dublin, visited the "New Systemites," and not only expressed, but wrote his approval of what he saw.  The society had made itself rules.  One was, that "no member be expected to perform any service or work but such as is agreeable to his or her feelings."  Irish human nature must not be of bad material, since both honest and disagreeable work was daily done, and done cheerfully.  One day a mail coach traveller found a man up to his middle in water repairing a dam.

"Are you working by yourself?" inquired the traveller.  "Yes," was the answer.

"Where is your steward?" "We have no steward."

"Who is your master?"

"We have no master.  We are on a new system."  "Then who sent you to do this work?"

"The committee," replied the man in the dam.

"Who is the committee?" asked the mail coach visitor.

"Some of the members."

"'What members do you mean?"

"The ploughman and labourers who are appointed by us as a committee.  I belong to the New Systemites."

    When Mr. Craig, the co-operative steward, first went among these men, who had shot the previous steward, they sent him an interesting sketch of a skull and crossbones, and an intimation that they intended to put him to bed under the "daisy quilt."  As he went along the road, the people who did not know him saluted him with the kind country greeting of "God be with you."  One of his labourers told him that he should always reply in Irish—"Tharah-ma-dhoel."  Accordingly Mr, Craig answered everybody "Tharah-ma-dhoel"; but he observed that his rejoiner did not make him popular, when a friend explained to him that "Tharah-ma- dhoel" meant "Go to the Devil."  The man who taught this dangerous answer became one of the best members of the society; and once, when the co-operative steward was supposed to be lost behind the Crattan Wood, he met "Tharah-ma-dhoel" looking for him, and on being asked why he had come out on that errand, answered—

"We thought you were lost in the Bog Mountain."

"Suppose I was lost, what then?" said the steward.

"Sure, sir," answered Tharah-ma-dhoel, "if we lost you we should lose the system."

    Mr. Craig deserves words of honour for his courage in undertaking the post of steward, seeing that his predecessor had been shot, and that the proprietor, Mr. Vandeleur, had been under the protection of an armed force.  Between Terry-Alts, White Feet, Black Feet factions, and a "Tharah-ma-dhoel" set of labourers, Mr. Craig had a very unpleasant prospect before him.

    The government of the colony was absolute in Mr. Vandeleur, who retained the right of summary dismissal of any person brought upon the estate of whom he disapproved.  Yet during the three years and a half the Clare community (it was situated in the county of Clare) lasted, he never had occasion ''to use this summary power.  It would not have been very wonderful if he had, seeing that the members of the community were elected by ballot among the peasants of Ralahine.  The business of the farm was regulated by a committee, also elected by ballot.  The committee assembled every evening, and appointed to each man his work for the following day.  There was no inequality established among them.  The domestic offices, usually performed by servants, were assigned to the members under seventeen years of age.

    It seems quite incredible that the simple and reasonable form of government should supersede the government of the bludgeon and the blunderbuss—the customary mode by which Irish labourers of that day regulated their industrial affairs.  Yet peace and prosperity prevailed through an arrangement of equity.  From this quiet community, established in the midst of terror and murder, Mr. Vandeleur received back in full all the money he advanced for the wages of the labourers; £200 a-year interest on the working capital, the stock, and farm implements; and £700 a year rent.

    What induced the labourers to work with such profitable zeal and good will was, that the members of all ages above seventeen received an equal share in the division of profits over the above payments.  Besides, a co-operative store was established similar to the one at New Lanark, whence they obtained provisions of good quality and nearly cost price.  Pure food, honest weight, and reduced prices filled them with astonishment.  None had known such a state of things before.  None had conceived the possibility of it.  The members ate at one table, which saved much expense in cooking food and serving meals.  People who had always lived in doubt whether they should have a meal at all, made no scruple of eating with one another when a well-spread table was before them.  In addition, care was bestowed on the education of their children.  The school was conducted upon purely secular principles, and the results were highly valued by the parents.  As was the habit of communities, spirituous liquors were not permitted on the estate, and neither was smoking, which was gratuitous and petulant prohibition.

    Had the Ralahine farm continued, arrangements would have been made for enabling the members to acquire the property and hold the community as their own, by common capital.

    It was in the "enthusiastic period" when this Clare Community flourished, and needed enthusiasm to carry social ideas to these desperate districts.  Communism should no longer be counted sentimental, since it did the stout-hearted practical work it achieved in Ireland.  It is a thousand pities, all counted, that Vandeleur was a gambler, as otherwise the merriest community in the world would have been established in the pleasant land of Erin.  Men who taught their new steward to reply to the pious greetings of the peasantry by telling them to go to the devil, had an infinity of fun in them.  In racier humour than this, and in harmless drollery and wit, the Irish surpass all tribes of men; and communism in their hands would have been industry, song, and laughter.

    Yielding to a necessity always adverse, experiments were next attempted in the fens of Cambridgeshire.  The projector, Mr. Hodgson, was a handsome and lusty farmer, who heard from clerical adversaries that a community might serve harem as well as public purposes; and as he had some land, a little money, and plausibility of address, he turned out as a peripatetic orator in favour of beginning the new world in his native fens of Cambridgeshire.  No one suspected his object, he was regarded as an eager advocate for realising the new system of society.  Mr. Owen at once set his face against the ingenious schemer, whose hasty and indefinite proceedings he disapproved.  Mr. Owen's high-minded instincts always led him to associate only with men of honour and good promise.  He went down to Manea Fen, the name of the site chosen, and, having acquaintance with landowners of the neighbourhood, was soon able to properly estimate the qualifications of the new communist leader.  Some gentlemen farmers, who knew Hodgson's antecedents and unfitness for trust, did Mr. Owen the service of telling him the truth.  Mr. Fleming, the editor of the New Moral World wisely declined, on business grounds, to sanction the Manea Fen project.  It did not add to the repute of the scheme that Mr. Rowbotham, afterwards known as "Parallox," made himself the advocate of the discountenanced projector.  Many honest, and some able, men, naturally thinking that the discontent with Mr. Hodgson's plans originated in narrowness, and impatient to try their fortunes on the land themselves, went down and endeavoured to put the place in working order.  Buildings were erected and many residents were for a time established there; but the chief of the affair soon found that he had misconceived the character of those whom he had attracted, and they soon abandoned it.  Those who had the smallest means suffered most, because they remained the longest, being unable to transfer themselves.  The Working Bee, the organ of the association, edited by Mr. James Thompson, had animation, literary merit, and the advantage of appealing, to all who were impatient of delay, and not well instructed in the dangers of prematurity.

    It was in August, 1838, that Mr. E. T. Craig made the first announcement that Mr. Hodgson, who had the suspicious address of Brimstone Hill, Upwell, had an estate of two hundred acres within a few miles of Wisbech, which he intended to devote to a community.  Mr. Hodgson addressed the readers of the Moral World as "Fellow Beings," the only time in which that abstract designation was applied to them.  The editor prudently prefaced his remarks upon the communications by quoting the saying of the Town Clerk of Ephesus, "Let us do nothing rashly."  Mr. William Hodgson had been a sailor in his younger days—and many things else subsequently.  He was acting in the character of the farmer when he invented the Manea Fen community.  It was mortgaged, but this did not prevent him offering to sell it to the Socialist party.  This Fen Farm consisted of four fifty acre lots, divided by dykes, as is the Fen country plan.  The dykes acted as drains also.  Three fifties lay together, the fourth was somewhat distant—half a mile.  Twenty-four cottages, twelve in a row built back to back, were single room shanties.  There was a dining shanty, which would accommodate one hundred people.

    There were brave, energetic men attracted to this place.  To set up a paper, which was one of the features of the Fen Farm, was to enter the ranks of aspiring cities.  The members were "working bees" in the best sense, and were capable of success anywhere if moderate industry and patience could command it.

    Besides being disastrous to individuals, this Fen community was a hindrance to the greater scheme of the Queenwood community, which had then been projected, and which represented what of unity, wisdom, and capacity the Socialist party had.

    The possibility of co-operation aiding in new forms of social life was next destined to be illustrated in an unexpected manner, and by a very unlikely person—namely, Mr. Feargus O'Connor.  He soon became master of English Chartism; and he and countrymen of his carried it clear away from all the moorings to which the English leaders would have held it secure.  They vehemently protested against social reform as digressive and impossible.  Against all attempts to obtain property for the purposes of community they urged, you cannot get land—laws of primogeniture and entail forbid.  If law did let you get land, government would not let you keep it; and if law and government consented, how can those get land who cannot get bread?

    Mr. O'Connor was a man of candour, had a mind susceptible of new ideas, and ultimately came himself to project a "Co-operative Land Scheme."  He gave to it at one time the name of "Co-operative."  It was subsequently known as the National Land Scheme.  It was through contact with the social advocates that the Chartist leaders turned their attention to life upon the land.  He bought four estates and contracted for two others—O'Connorville, near Rickmansworth, formerly bore the name of Herinsgate, Herts; Snigsend, near Staunton, Gloucester; Lowbands, near Tewkesbury, on the borders of Gloucester and Worcester; Minster Lovell, near Whitney, Oxfordshire; Bromsgrove, Worcestershire; and Mathon, near Great Malvern.  The purchase of the two last was not completed.  O'Connorville cost £9,736; Lowbands, £18,903; Minster Lovell, f22,978; Snigsend, £27,237; Dodford, £12,046; and there was a deposit on Mathon of £2,005.  Mathon, however, did not come into the occupation of the company.

    There was confusion in making the allotments, which were given by ballot.  They fell, of course, often to the unprepared and unfit.  The properties, owing to an ill-devised mode of purchase, came into Chancery.  Nevertheless, there remained several persons upon these estates who lived profitably upon their holdings.  Had the occupants had sufficient capital to enable them to subsist while they built their habitations and gathered in their first crops—had the holdings been of four acres instead of two acres only, the scheme might have been of lasting benefit to many persons.  The Newcastle Daily Chronicle sent (1875) a special commissioner, Mr. Longstaffe, to visit all these places.  He recounts how the shares were fixed as low as twenty-six shillings each.  The member who had paid up four shares (five pounds four shillings) was entitled to ballot for two acres.  It was assumed that good arable land might be rented in the most fertile parts of the country at fifteen shillings an acre, or bought outright at twenty-five years' purchase at eighteen pounds fifteen shillings an acre.  As soon as the share capital realised £5,000, a hundred and twenty acres were to be bought to locate sixty persons on two acre holdings, and leave a balance of £2,750; this would allow to each occupant a sum of forty-five pounds sixteen and eightpence with which to start on his enterprise.  It was believed that thirty pounds would be sufficient to build a commodious and comfortable cottage, and that the fifteen pounds remaining would provide implements, stock, seeds, and subsistence until the land became sustaining to its occupiers.  It was thought that the allotments with dwellings might be leased for ever to the members at an annual rental of five pounds.  The Chartist land cry was: "A beautiful cottage and four acres, with thirty pounds to work it, for a prepayment of five pounds four shillings."

    When the society had the amazing number of 70,000 members, the total sum they subscribed was a little over £36,000.  It took £78,000 to locate fewer than two hundred and fifty persons.  Seventy thousand members spread all over Great Britain involved unforeseen cost to register—it was found to require £6,000 to put their names upon the books.  The cost of land, the expense of conducting the great society on Mr. O'Connor's plan, actually required an enormous sum of money and time to carry out.  When the subject was examined before a Parliamentary committee, Mr. Finlason, the actuary of the National Debt, calculated that it would require twenty-one millions to place the whole seventy thousand members on the land, and that, supposing Mr. O'Connor's most sanguine scheme of profit could be realised, it would require every minute of three centuries to get all the shareholders on their holdings.

    Thus the politicians failed, as no social reformers ever did, however, some advantages accrued from their efforts.  The attention of the great mass of working-class politicians, who were mere politicians and nothing more, was turned to the fact that progress had a social as well as political side, and Mr. Ernest Jones, instead of opposing Co-operation in public debates, became an advocate of it.

    The last of the English attempts at community to be recounted here was the one at Queenwood, in Hampshire.  This was the greatest effort of the kind made in this country.

    For more than twenty years before it began the disciples of Socialism had been forecasting the means of a decisive experiment in England.  Rich men had believed in community as a reasonable commercial speculation.  Benevolent men with a turn for statesmanship had believed in these home colony schemes as a means of easier and better government of the people.  After the rise of the socialistic agitation the working people believed in community as a means of self-help and self-government.  Their idea was that moderate labour on the part of the many, and moderate attainments in the science of society on the part of the few, would bring success.

    The Socialists understood by communism simply a society in which the fruits of intellect, art, and industry should be diffused by consent, poverty made impossible, and ordinary crime unnecessary.  The laws of the universe were not exclusive.  Light and air were common.  Life and death were common.  In the hour of his birth the young prince has to scream for air like any infantine pauper; and unceremonious Death walks into the parlour of the gentleman without sending in his card.  It had been proposed in Parliament that galleries of art should be open to the gaze of the shoeblack as well as to the connoisseur.  Books of rare value were being made accessible to all.  Fire offices insured the cottage or the mansion.  The careless were made as secure as the careful.  Life insurance was a form of equality.  The strong and the temperate were made to use their prolonged lives to pay up premiums which go to the progeny of the weak and the reckless.  The virtuous and the vicious, the base and the noble, had been all declared equal in the sight of the law.  The same police watch over the life of the scoundrel and the patriot.  Before civilisation began, the weak had to take care of themselves.  Now the feeble and the strong, the coward and the brave, are equally protected.  That personal daring which made the inspiration of Homeric song, which made Sparta a name of energy through all time, which makes the blood tingle over the pages of Sir Walter Scott, is no longer a daily requisite.  A man need neither carry arms nor use them.  A set of men are paid to defend him.  An old warrior of the romantic days would rather die than call the police.  If a man gets into a disputation he is not allowed to settle it in honest hot rage, but must refer his quarrel to the decision of a cold-blooded magistrate, who will probably fine him for his fervour.  How the brave were abashed—how courage blushed with shame—how the pride of manliness was stung, when craven, cringing law first put valour down.  There is plenty of exercise for courage without expending it in broils and bloodshed.  The equality of the law conduces to justice—and the equality of competence may lead to security and morality.

    A Hall of Science was erected in Rockingham Street, Sheffield, in 1839: a commodious and handsome building for the time.  Mr. Joseph Smith had erected the first at Salford, less pretentious, but a pleasant structure, costing £850, and capable of holding six hundred persons.  The Liverpool Hall, a building of mark for those days, cost £5,000.  The London Hall, in John Street, Tottenham Court Road, cost £3,000.  Lawrence Street Chapel, Birmingham, built or held by the Southcotians, was bought for £800.  More than £22,000 was spent in one year in securing "Social Institutions," and Mr. Pare, with that business wisdom in which he excelled, had a deed drawn on the model of that by which Methodist chapels are vested in the Conference.  Had the community plan at Queenwood succeeded, a powerful social organisation had existed in England.  A good-looking chapel was held in Glasgow, in Great Hamilton Street.  The present writer, the last of the Social Missionaries, officiated in 1845.  In other places halls were continuously occupied.  The most famous and costly erection was that of the Hall of Science in Campfield, Manchester, which has since been purchased for the City Free Library—the most honourable use to which any of these halls have come.  Dr. John Watts was chiefly or mainly instrumental in promoting this welcome destination of it.  In the early Queenwood days upwards of one hundred thousand members of Socialist Societies could be counted upon for Co-operation.  The Community Society contributions were fixed at threepence a week from each member.  As Mr. Owen calculated that £250,000 was the lowest sum which would enable a successful experiment to be conducted, the prospect of collecting it by threepence a week was a distant one.  The hope of increasing the fund more rapidly led to a recurrence to the old co-operative store plan, and a store for the sale of tea and groceries was opened at the Institution in John Street, London.  Thus the necessity of self-created capital brought back the store, for years extinct in London.  In 1837, when the National Community Friendly Society was formed, the subscription was fixed at one shilling a week, and those only who had subscribed £50 were declared eligible to go upon the land.  In 1838, the members amounted to four hundred.  In 1839, £1,200 were collected in this way, which in two hundred years or more would furnish the £240,000 Mr. Owen required.  Nothing discouraged by this circumstance, a year before, Messrs. Wm. Clegg, John Finch, Joseph Smith, by one of the formidable ukases from the Central Board, were instructed to inquire for an estate, capable of sustaining a colony of at least five hundred individuals.  There was some idea of going Fenwards again in search of a site for the new world.  They actually made an offer for an estate in Norfolk, for which they were to pay £ 11,500.

    The Community Committee contracted to buy the Wretton estates, near Wisbech, of Mr. James Hill, but, as that gentleman had social and training views of his own, he stipulated that he should have a paramount right to carry those out.  As this would confuse the public judgment of what was done by two different sets of regenerators acting in the same field, the purchase was not proceeded with.  After much inquiry, other negotiations, and more misgiving, land was rented in Hants.

    The estate consisted of two farms, one of 301 acres, named Queenwood, tithe free; the other 232 acres, extra-parochial, named Buckholt.  The annual rent was £350, having been fined down from £375 by payment of £750.  The society had the power to further fine down the rent to £300, £250, and £200 on making three payments of £1,500 each at three successive periods.  Complaints were made that the land selected at Tytherly was unsuited in several respects.  It was unfruitful, it was inaccessible for those needing to frequent it; it was too far from markets.  Even in London, where the vast number of people living together necessitates a certain tolerance from the impossibility of noticing the peculiarities of one another, it has been difficult to obtain a site for a hall of science.  In the town of Bury, in Lancashire, chiefly possessed by the house of Derby, who were not favourably disposed to Unitarians, it was impossible for a long period of years to obtain a strip of ground on which to erect a Unitarian church; and those enterprising religionists were under the necessity of waiting until they could convert a gentleman who happened to possess a little land, when they obtained a site.  When the colony projectors have succeeded in securing some spot, it has generally been one with many disadvantages, and conceded to them because nothing better could be done with the place.  The calculation of the owners has sometimes been that the social occupants would, after spending all their capital in improving the land, be obliged to relinquish it, when it would return, gratuitously improved, into their hands.

    The most important accession which was made at this time was that of Mr. William Galpin, a banker, of Salisbury, who wrote to the New Moral World a modest, comprehensive, business-like letter, saying, "he regretted that Mr. Owen did not intend being himself a resident in the community formed in his name"; arguing properly that "he who knew most should be at hand to give effect to what he knew, and that he thought a joint-stock fund was possible to be formed for the especial purpose of advancing the practical objects of the home colony contemplated."  The editor, who did not at all comprehend the quality of his correspondent, answered with more confidence than judgment, that it was not probable that much could be done in way of a joint-stock fund, till the members of the proposed community had proved the success of their undertaking; which meant that when they had succeeded without money they would be able to get it.  The unseeing and sanguine editor argued "they would get more than they knew how to use."

    In 1841 the buildings were commenced at Tytherly, from the designs of Mr. Hansom, a clever architect, who had a sympathy with social views.  He had erected a Philosophical Museum in Leicester, not distinguished for gracefulness of design, but it was never completed as he intended it.  His best known erection, the Birmingham Town Hall, was for many years considered the handsomest town hall in the kingdom.  He was a man of mechanical resource.  He was the inventor of the hansom cab, and some machines which were successful.  It was probably through Mr. Pare's municipal connection with Birmingham that he became architect of the Queenwood Hall at Tytherly.  A sketch of it appeared in the New Moral World for October 9, 1841, about the time of its completion.

    The building was a pleasant semi-baronial structure, and had a certain stateliness.  The manner of the erection was more creditable than many churches.  It was built with the care that befitted a sacred edifice.  The parts out of sight were finished as scrupulously as those that met the eye.  Owing to Mr. Galpin's wise and wholesome sense of thoroughness, the laths which formed the partitions were of the best quality, and the nails used in the obscurest part of the building were the best that could be had.  There was nothing hidden that was mean.  It is one of the pleasant recollections of the place, that its directors endeavoured to make it honest throughout.  Seven or eight hundred pounds were spent in making roads and promenades around it—spacious and enduring.  The old Romans would have respected them.  Even the kitchen and basement rooms, used by the members for evening meetings, were wainscoted with mahogany, many feet high.  Comfort and grace were consulted as far as means permitted in everything.

    To the credit of the English communists they were no Barebones party.  Had they succeeded in making a community, it had been a pleasant one.  They were not afraid of art, and beauty had no terrors for them.  Mr. Bate, who was an artist, and who ultimately gave his fortune for the advancement of the Queenwood experiment, sent eight original drawings in water colours, framed and glazed, as a beginning towards forming a gallery of drawings.  Mr. Devonshire Saull meditated bestowing his geological museum upon Tytherly.  Geology did not make much progress in his time, as the clergy imagined there was something wrong with Nature.  Indeed, many suspected Sir Charles Lyell of thinking himself wiser than Moses.  To Mr. Saull belonged the merit of enthusiasm for the suspected science, and according to his knowledge he promoted it.

    It being stated that £3,500 was required on loan for five years, bearing interest at 5 per cent., intimations were at once received that the following sums would be sent from the following places: Oldham, £38; Birmingham, £80; Sheffield, £60; Worcester, £61; Coventry, £121; Leicester, £60; Nottingham, £60; Northampton, £17; a London Friend, £100; Glasgow, £20; Brighton, £5; Chatham, £50; Suffolk, £100; Edinburgh, £230; Hyde, £184; Norwich, £50; Ashton, £56; Macclesfield, £24; Liverpool, £61; Boston, £20; Hull, £7; Louth, £20.  This celerity of subscription is good evidence of the widespread enthusiasm with which the Queenwood project was regarded.

    In 1842 Mr. Owen resigned the governorship of Queenwood, and Mr. Finch became president of the society, when a new executive was formed for carrying out the affairs of Queenwood.  At the Congress of 1843 Mr. Owen was reappointed president.  Subsequently Mr. William Pare became governor; and his suavity, accessibility, and zeal rendered him the most popular that held the office.

    Among the new and honourable expedients for diverting the mind of the public from the polemical character of the communistic movement, was that of creating a Home Colonisation Society, which proposed to take the affairs of Queenwood into its hands.  It was thought that men of money might be induced to join the society divested of controversial names which proved a hindrance to the general investment of capital.  The projectors of the new Home Colonisation Society contributed largely to its funds, and for some time the New Moral World contained frequent announcements of the receipt of a thousand pounds at a time from this society.  But its name had no enthusiasm in it, and its example produced very little outside effect.  The constitution of this society was devised by Mr, W. H. Ashurst, an eminent solicitor in the City of London.  Struck with compassion for poor people in every part of the empire who, by reason of the high rate of postage subsisting, were prevented from receiving or giving information affecting their interests or affections when separated from members of their families, Mr. Ashurst rendered invaluable and prolonged assistance to Sir Rowland Hill in the great advocacy which gave the people the Penny Postage.  No writer made a more striking impression than he by a union of sympathy and facts.  Many insurgent reformers sought his protecting counsel; he warned them against the pitfalls of the law, and when in the course of what they thought their duty they fell into them, he stretched forth a strong and generous hand to pull them out; and his son and Mr. John Morris, who succeeded him, continued like disinterested service.

    In 1843 came the resignation of Mr. W. Galpin, of his office of general secretary.  A certain grandeur of aim, which he had in common with Mr. Owen, had led him to sanction a scale of administration which promised soon to exhaust the available funds of the party to which he had himself contributed with notable liberality.  His influence in rendering the society neutral in matters of theology, destroyed the zeal of many, whose activity was necessary to sustain the movement among the branches, and his connection with the society was of too short a period for the education of new supporters, who should be content to advance economical projects by considerations purely economical.  Enforced neutrality, dictated by policy, is different from the intelligent neutrality of discernment.  Mr. Galpin took leave of the society, in a letter of good taste and dignity.  It was "enough for him," he said, "that there existed a feeling that the cause might be better served by his ceasing to be one of its officers."

    Mr. Owen had had the Tytherly Hall made to bear conspicuously outside of it the mystic letters C. M., which meant Commencement of the Millennium which, however, declined to begin its career there.

    Towards the end of 1845 the Standard announced that "Mr. Owen had taken his leave of Rose Hall, Hampshire, for America.  The Queenwood enterprise, after £37,000 was spent upon it, proved a failure."

    "Rose Hall" was the name of a house on Rose Hill, a pretty little residence on the estate generally used for boarders, or as the occasional residence of the governor.  Many ladies and gentlemen went down to Queenwood, and became residents, and contributed pleasantly both to the funds and the society of the establishment.

    When affairs at Harmony (for Mr. Owen had given Queenwood this unfortunate name, which served to exaggerate every minor difference into discord) began to present financial complications, the boarders gradually fell off.  Members' meetings ceased to be interesting, and credit was the agreeable but insidious canker-worm which ate up Queenwood.  Works were undertaken, provisions ordered, accounts with tradesmen augmented.  Had the community begun on the principle of co-operative stores—of neither giving nor taking credit—its operations would have been humbler, but might have been lasting.  It came to pass in the process of Queenwood affairs, that the branches in which poorer members predominated were able to send delegates, who were able to elect a new governor, who was unable from his own means to influence capitalists who were wanted.  Mr. John Buxton, the new governor, was a man of honesty and courage, and, in more solvent days, would have been successful.

    The three trustees of this society (Messrs. Finch, Green, and Clegg), being mainly or altogether liable, naturally became solicitous to protect themselves.  Had they proposed to take the affairs of Queenwood into their own hands, undertaken to conduct it first for their own security, subjecting their administration to annual audit, and paying any profits they could realise in proportion to all claimants, Queenwood would have ceased to be a public community, but it would have ceased without discredit.  Ultimately they hired labourers and such stray ruffians as were to be had, and put Mr. Buxton and his family forcibly into the lanes, where they all remained, for days and nights, in courageous protest on behalf of the humble community shareholders, who had subscribed their money in as much good faith as the largest lender, and were entitled to have some honourable treaty made with their chief representative.  Thus ended the affair of the Queenwood community in 1846.

    The trustees were assisted in their summary proceedings by Mr. Lloyd Jones.  Their only justification for their violence was that they rescued the property with a view to do what justice was possible to every class of subscribers.  Instead, these trustees used it for private purposes.  They brought up the claims of the tradesmen; they met the demands of the Goldsmids from whom the estate was leased; they relinquished portions of the estate, and let the Queenwood Hall and grounds for a school to Mr. Edmonson, a celebrated educator of Lancashire.  It was afterwards known as Queenwood College; it combined industrial with commercial and scientific training.  As a college it more resembled the famous school of Fellenberg, of Hofwyld; or that of Mr. Heldenmayor, of Worksop, in Nottinghamshire, unrivalled among English schools for the industrial, social, and classical education imparted—of which Charles Reece Pemberton gave a memorable account in the Monthly Repository when edited by W. J. Fox.  The Socialists were proud that Queenwood had become a college so much in accordance with their own conception of education.  The best known teacher connected with it was Dr. Yeats, of Peckham; himself a writer of authority on education.  Professor Tyndall and others of note in science and learning were teachers in it.

    Many years elapsed, and it was found that the trustees, Messrs. Finch, Green, and Clegg, who had seized the estate, rendered no account of what proceeds they derived from it, not even to the principal loan-holders, and it came to pass that Mr. Pare and others entered an action in Chancery to compel them to render an account.  The trustees held that no society existed.  But so long as a single branch of the community society continued to pay subscriptions, the society had a legal continuation.  The Congress mentioned, of which Mr. Buxton, the governor, was the legitimate officer, continued the society.  The present writer was appointed and continued to be the general secretary, and for one had always continued a subscribing member; and he, on behalf of the humble community subscribers, became a party to the action in Chancery.  The case was tried before Lord Romilly.  Corrupted, it would seem by immunity, the trustees resisted the honest demand to produce their accounts, and, incredible to relate, they set up the plea of the old enemies of social reform, that the society was constituted for the propagation of immoral principles, and was therefore illegal, and could not enforce accountability of its trustees.  This plea from men who had been vehement and passionate defenders of this society, when other persons had brought this vile charge against it, was a new scandal.  One of the trustees was certainly not of this opinion, for in 1841 Mr. C. F. Green wrote a letter from Spithead, announcing to his dear brothers and sisters of the New Moral World that he had given up competition, and exclaimed—


"Farewell, dear brothers, I have marked you well,
     Nor yet for ever do I leave you now;
 And busy thoughts of thee my bosom swell,
     And thronging recollections crowd my brow."


    Mr. Green had no intention then of filing a statement in the Court of Chancery that he and his dear brothers and sisters were members of an immoral association.  When affidavits of the false trustees (too long to quote here) were read by their counsel to Lord Romilly, he said Ah! it is all very well, my learned brother, but where is the money?" and when the learned counsel again implored the court to listen to hackneyed extracts from Mr. Owen's ill-reported lectures on marriage, Lord Romilly said: "The court is quite aware of that, my learned brother, what we want is a statement of receipts and expenditure since the trustees took possession of this property."  The reluctant accounts had to be produced, and the balance withheld had to be paid into court.  Lord Romilly was a just judge, regardless of the speculative opinions of those who sought justice at his hands.  He had known Mr. Owen from his youth, and was quite aware that his opinions were not open to the imputations sought to be put upon them by the apostate trustees.  The Queenwood Hall was sold by order of the court, and the proceeds equitably distributed among the loan-holders and preference shareholders.  There was none to be divided among original contributors to the community funds.  Hundreds of men and women, who invested all their savings in this generous and hopeless enter prise, received nothing.  And thus Queenwood passed away as a communistic scheme.

    When the trustees seized upon the effects of the society, they made an attempt themselves to sell it, and they actually advertised Harmony Hall for sale in the Times, suggesting to purchasers that it might be made available for a lunatic asylum.  In the opinion of the public, it had been used for this purpose already, and when such a use was officially pointed out for it in the future, it was quite clear that the trustees themselves were qualified to remain in it.

    The Herald of Progress aforesaid, in which I was concerned, was the continuation of that official record of the proceedings of the communist affairs which had been so long made in the New Moral World.  The society of many names—Co-operative, All Classes of All Nations, National Religionists, but always communist at heart—had been declared extinct by lapse of members, at a congress at Rose Hill.  This was not true, as in London and Sheffield members continued to pay, and therefore legally represented the interests of the society's subscribers in every town, who held what was called community scrip, and the Herald in question was maintained from a sense of duty to represent the interest of these superseded but deserving members.  To this end a new Central Board was appointed, a president and general secretary.  In the Herald of Progress, which was published from October, 1845, to May, 1846, the official addresses of the society appeared.  In May, 1846, the Reasoner was commenced, which continued the official representation of the Queenwood society, and the history of its final proceedings were given in that journal alone.  Thirty volumes of the Reasoner were issued between 1846 and 1872, edited by the present writer, in which the advocacy of Co-operation, as contemplated by its founders, was continued.  The thirtieth volume was under the commercial charge of the leaders of Co-operation in Lancashire and Yorkshire, who had arisen since the Queenwood days, and who inherited the traditions of those honourable and unsuccessful struggles.

    The cessation of Queenwood was primarily caused by insufficient capital to last while the new order of life consolidated itself, and the conditions of industrial profit were found.  Astute farmers sometimes find that they must vary the nature of their produce to realise profit.  It could be no argument against a communistic estate that its managers did not all at once make a profit by it.  The chief charge brought against the management was that too much money was spent upon the Hall, which was but another form of saying that the capital was too small—since the Hall was not out of proportion to the estate rented, the educational convenience required, and the effect to be produced upon the alien and outside public.  Miscellaneous as were the members collected together, they were all believers in the principle on which they associated; and there were none—who did not deplore the day of parting when it came.  Working members said they would rather live on an Irish diet of potatoes than go again into the old world, of which they had had experience, if that would enable the society to hold on.  Mr. Ironside, who had a few thousand pounds—all his available means—said he would throw it into a common fund, if others who had similar means would do the same, so that they might go on.  Residents—and there were many who were boarders in the community—all regretted the end of their tenancy.  To this day few who survive, who were there in any capacity, but regret the loss of the happy days which, till the end approached, were spent at Queenwood.  Ladies, who are always difficulties in a new state of association, came to prefer Queenwood life.  Some who were at first unhappy in the changed condition in which they found themselves there, and who made their husbands unhappy who brought them there, eventually liked their new life exceedingly.  Others who were tartars in their social relations in the old world—just women at heart, but impatient of the crude wayward ways of domestics—there became the most agreeable and honoured of residents.  It was not because they had to control their tempers, but because the occasions of natural irritation no longer existed under the happier circumstances of equality of duties and enjoyment.

    The inmates of Queenwood ate as they listed.  No restriction was put upon their preferences.  There was a vegetarian table, at which some twenty dined, and, to the credit of their simple diet be it said, theirs was the merriest table in the hall.  At meal-times it resounded with laughter, and often others came and surrounded it to listen to the pleasantries which abounded there.  The present writer published an account of a personal visit to Harmony Hall. [90]  My publication of it was an error.  At that time it was the duty of all members to continue to support the executive who had hitherto governed, since the party who would change the administration had not the means to take affairs into their own hands.  It was far better to suffer disappointment at the limitation of community objects than to witness the enterprise brought to a premature end.  It was long before I discovered for myself, that truth was not relevant on all occasions because it was true.  No man may speak a lie or act a lie; but of all that he knows to be true he is only warranted in stating that which is relevant and useful.  It may be a well-ascertained fact that the Home Secretary has changed his boot-maker, but it would be irrelevant in a debate upon the Budget.  It was well known to be true that Mr. Disraeli was "on the side of the angels"; nothing came of it, and we were obliged to have Moody and Sankey to put things right; therefore, however true, it was no use impressing upon public attention Mr. Disraeli's seraphic alliance.

    Inequalities of education and commercial experience were great, and conflict soon arose between the prudent and the infatuated.  The "earnest," as they were called, were (as they commonly are) anxious to go forward with other people's money.  The prudent were considered "timid," because the prudent were generally those who would have to pay if the project failed.  The infatuated had only principle to put into the concern, since if they lost their stock mayhap they could acquire another; but those who lost their fortune might not be able so easily to repair that mischief.  The enthusiastic would themselves incur all the risks they advise, were they in a position to do it.  But this does not give them any right to vote a liability to others which they do not and cannot equally share.  Yet this is constantly done in popular societies.  The cheap-tongued orators of mere "principle" talk tall, and carry off all the applause, because their irresponsible followers are the majority; while the prudent, who "want to see their way," are put down as "discouraging persons."  There is yet a subtler creature than the infatuated, to be encountered in societies of progress—the spontaneous enthusiast: sharp, quick, fertile, unthinking, who sets schemes going because they ought to go; others who regard those who have money as persons who should be made to pay, and calculate that if a good project is started, many who would not join in commencing it will subscribe rather than it should go down; and that those who have made advances will make more, in the hope of not losing what has been already lost.  These are not the architects, they are the conspirators—they are not the administrators, they are the speculators of progress.  The brilliant and plausible operators in this line commonly end in diffusing an ineradicable distrust in the minds of those who have been trepanned into their enterprises.  In matters of social progress, as in commerce, risks have to be run, and loss must be calculated upon.  Some may risk fortune, some health, some even life, as many do in the public service; and it will be an evil day for society when people are wanting to do it.  Whoever enter upon these generous enterprises with their eyes open we honour as philanthropists, or patriots, or martyrs; but they who trepan others into these sacrifices without their knowledge and consent are responsible for their ruin.  Though a philanthropic motive may mitigate indignation, it does not excuse the crime of destroying others in the name of benevolence.

    No social community in Great Britain had a long enough time allowed to give it a reasonable chance of succeeding.  Had any gentleman supplied as much money to be experimented with as Sir Josiah Mason, of Birmingham, supplied during fruitless, disappointing, and perilous years to the Messrs. Elkington for perfecting the discovery of electroplating, some of these social colonies would have pulled through.  Establishing a new world is naturally a more elaborate and protracted work than establishing a new manufacture.  Electroplating turbulent and competitive man with pacific and co-operative habits, is a more serious affair than electroplating metals.

    The social movement, indeed, had at times the good fortune to be countenanced and aided by persons of high position and large means.  When Mr. Owen held his great meeting in Dublin in 1821, the Archbishops and other prelates and many noblemen appeared on the platform to support him.  At one meeting Lord Cloncurry wrote to say that he was, to his great regret, prevented being present.  But this was no formal evasion, though expressed in the well-known terms of avoidance; he wrote a letter intended to serve the object, and afterwards sent £500 to further it.  Frequently when steps were about to be taken likely to compromise the scheme before the public, the prudent had the wisdom to come to the front and dictate the steps which would lead to a surer success than those about to be taken at the instigation of the eager and uncalculating.

    Despite all the eccentricities by which these new opinions were accompanied, and by which all new opinions are accompanied, it is right to honour these ardent agents of improvement, who both made sacrifices and incurred discomfort and disadvantages for no selfish end of their own, for their enthusiasm arose from the belief that everybody would be advantaged by the chance they sought.  Though Coleridge had warned them that it was vain to be sane in a world of madmen, yet they resolved to run this risk, and do the best they could to introduce sane arrangements of life.

    Social progress, though an old historic dream, and an anxious pursuit of so many persons, can hardly be said as yet to have a policy.  It cannot be presumed that the rich ought to aid unless they are satisfied of the soundness of the plan put before them.  To assume that Brown ought to subscribe because Jones thinks he should, is a sort of philanthropic confiscation of Brown's property.  All that can be reasonably done is to ask Brown's attention to the scheme, with a full statement of the chances against its success as well as those in favour of it, and if he declines to take part in the affair it may be matter of regret, but not of reproach.  Scrupulous care should be taken never to induce or allow any generous enthusiasts to advance more than they are ready and able to lose in case of failure.  If they do more, and yet do not show regret when the day of loss or ruin comes, their relatives will; and an unknown party of fierce and defamatory adversaries of social progress will be developed in society, active perhaps for two or three generations.  No less disadvantage occurs if humbler and poor adherents are encouraged or suffered to do their utmost "for the cause."  The Jewish tribute of a tithe of their means is as much as can be safely taken from the household resources.  If more be taken the family suffer, and, what is worse, the family complain, and diffuse among all their neighbours and friends a dislike and distrust of the philanthropy which puts upon them privations without their consent. [91]  And when the day of reaction comes to the over-taxed contributor, he forms the most dangerous disparager of the very undertaking he himself has aided beyond his means.  The extreme advocate commonly becomes the extreme adversary—defamatory, virulent, and vindictive; and his discouraging word goes farther than that of the stranger who dislikes the thing offhand.  Thus, as far as social progress is concerned, it is wise to have a policy, that it may be promoted by calculable methods.

    When confident promises are made in the name of a new project, the public expect some signal fulfilment, and when nothing comes of the great pretension, their interest in it is no more to be awakened in any generation which remembers its failure.  This should be a warning to those who believe they have important untried truth on hand, never to risk the experiment which is to decide its validity until they have at command the best conditions known to be necessary for realising it.  Better to disappoint the eager by delay, than premature action should cause failure.  A great project will live from age to age.  Delay may damage, but it never kills; whereas inadequate action is always regarded by the majority as the failure of principle rather than the failure of men.

    All this care, patience, toleration, labour, generous sacrifice, and endurance seemed fruitless. But these pioneers had, however, the proud consolation expressed for them by the great Midland poetess :


"The greatest gift the hero leaves his race
 Is to have been a hero. Say we fail:
 We feed the high traditions of the world,
 And leave our spirit in our country's breast." [92]



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