History of Co-operation (5)
Home Up Autobiography Rochdale Pioneers Leeds Co-op Jubilee Derby Co-op Jubilee Bygones Public Speaking Among the Americans The Reasoner Miscellaneous Main Index Site Search


[Previous Page]



"Look closer to't; you make the evil first;
 A base, then pile a heap of censures on it.
 'Tis your own sin supplies the scaffolding,
 And mason work: you skilful, rear the grim
 Unsightly fabric, and there point, and say,
 'How ugly is it.'   You meanwhile forget
 'Tis your own handiwork."


SOME account of the adversaries which the social pioneers had to encounter, will further elucidate the early history of co-operative enterprise.

    The system of challenging everybody to discuss the new views produced some excitement.  The clergy, who then never discussed long with anybody who answered them, naturally felt that these debates ought to be put down.  Other persons did not like controversy, and though they would take no part themselves in suppressing it, were not unwilling to see it done.  The teetotalers of Liverpool, who invented a new social crime, called Moderation, and rather apologised for the sot, actually suspended Mr. Finch, who had done more than all of them put together to advance temperance, and interdicted him from speaking on platforms in their name, because of his social notions.  In Birmingham an honest Quaker shoemaker, named Empson, had to obtain a situation, but requiring testimony to his character as a sober man, he applied to Mr. John Cadbury, a well-known, influential, kind-hearted, and exemplary Quaker of the town, to give him a testimonial.  Mr. Cadbury being secretary to the temperance society, who had known Empson many years as a good teetotaler, was naturally sought to certify to the fact.  Mr. Cadbury (whose handsome calves were the admiration of Birmingham, and who wore breeches the better to show them) answered as only a conventional Quaker can, "William Empson, I want to hold no communion with thee, and I have ordered others to hold no communion with thee.  Thou recollects the conversation I had with thee about John Finch, of Liverpool, when I told thee he was a blasphemer."  "Yes," said Mr. Empson, "I said if Mr. Finch comes to Birmingham I will do all I can to get him a temperance meeting; but, Mr. Cadbury, you have long known me as a prominent member of the temperance society, will you give me a character for sobriety?"  Mr. Cadbury answered, "No, William Empson."  "But," said Empson, "are you not a Christian, Sir?"  Mr. Cadbury answered, "Yes, William Empson, I am, and I always respected thee, but I do not want to hold any communion with thee."

    The chief reason why persecution is so hateful is that it so frequently succeeds in putting down the truth.  Well-directed persecution is a great power, like assassination.  The Bishop of Exeter, whose claims for dignity in the Church were not godliness, but vigorousness and virulence, well understood that.  Tory pamphleteering had done more for him than divinity, and he naturally came forward in the House of Lords to revile the grey-headed philanthropist, Mr. Owen, who had given his fortune to mitigate the lot of the poor.  Lord Normanby had presented Mr. Owen at Court.  Her Majesty, with that queenly impartiality with which she recognised every man of distinction who has served the nation, was glad to meet the ancient friend of her father.  In Owen's intimacy loans had passed between him and the Duke of Kent, which the Queen repaid when she knew it.  Good taste, if good feeling did not, should have kept the bishop silent concerning a presentation so honourably accorded, and which in no way concerned him.  The bishop's speech in the House of Lords was thus reported in the Morning Chronicle, of January 27, 1840, by George Wallis ("Pencil 'em")—

"He wished of his task he could be rid;
 For he felt a horror, indeed he did,
 Yet had seen and heard with profound disgust,
 Their deeds of shame, and their words of lust.
 He was able to tell them all, he said,
 The nauseous tale, from A to Z.
 And he thought the Marquis of Normanby
 Might relish the tale as well as he.
 The Socialists were the vilest race
 That ever on earth or hell had place.
 He would not prejudge them—no, not he;
 For his soul overflowed with charity.
 Incarnate fiends, he would not condemn;
 No, God forbid he should slander them;
 Foul swine, their lordships must confess,
 He judged them with Christian gentleness.
 He hated all show of persecution,
 But why weren't they sent to execution?
 To hasty censures he objected,—
 But was not Lord Normanby suspected?
 He never believed a rash report,
 But who took Robert Owen to Court?
 He would not offend, but would fain be knowing,
 If Normanby was not as loose as Owen?
 And would ask, nought meaning by the hint,
 Did he believe in God? for Owen didn't."

    This was the spirit in which the Church commended itself to the people in those pleasant days.

    The bishop made no idle speech.  He meant mischief, and he did it.  This was the time when Mr. William Pare, the registrar of Birmingham, lost his situation, and the town lost a publicist of a quality of knowledge which has never been replaced.  All over the country working men of skill and character were dismissed from their employment for attending lectures upon the new principles of association.  Some of the men became masters, and blessed the day when they were dismissed; and, as they became capable and relentless rivals of their former employers, the said employers did not bless the Bishop of Exeter for his services.  Many workmen were ruined, others had to emigrate; and I have heard them say that if they can get at the Bishop of Exeter in the other world, either above or below, they will make things very uncomfortable to him.  As the sharp-tongued bishop, clever in all things, prolonged his life to a great age, some of them thought he desired to delay the day of meeting them as long as possible.

    When bishops are angry the people are grateful, Mr. Pare experienced this.  On his leaving Birmingham, a dinner was given to him, November, 1842.  Mr. Pare was then councillor of the ward of St. Thomas.  Mr. G. F. Muntz, M.P., was present, and said, "if he was asked who he should appoint to take charge of business requiring great care, great investigation, and great honesty, he should say Mr. Pare was the man to do it.  It was not the second, nor the third, nor the tenth time he had made that statement.  If every man had worked in the cause of reform as Mr. Pare had done, no man could calculate what would have been the effect."

    Men of mark who showed any civility to co-operators were scolded in a grand way.  One of the quarterlies was disagreeable to the poet laureate.  It said: "Mr. Southey brings to the task two faculties which were never, we believe, vouchsafed in measure so copious to any human being—the faculty of believing without a reason, and the faculty of hating without a provocation.  He seems to have an instinctive antipathy for calm, moderate men—for men who shun extremes and render reasons.  He has treated Mr. Owen, of Lanark, for example, with infinitely more respect than he has shown to Mr. Hallam and Dr. Lingard; and this for no reason that we can discover, except that Mr. Owen is more unreasonably and hopelessly in the wrong than any speculator of our time." [93]  Happily poet laureates have succeeded Southey equally incapable of being intimidated out of sympathy with the fortunes of honest, self-helping industry, as Tennyson did.

    A number of wandering and flockless preachers hawked challenges from town to town.  One was a Mr. John Bowes, a pachydermatous believer, who was not without the gift of imputation, and with whom many discussions were held.  In a discussion of some nights which I held with him in Bradford, he gave me the idea that he was a species of moral rhinoceros.  Apart from the religious vices of imputation which passed in those days for holy zeal, he was known as a friend of temperance and political freedom, and died in 1874 in Dundee well stricken in years, after forty years of Wesleyan-like activity as a peregrinating preacher.

    The best qualified adversary who occupied co-operative attention for a long period was the Rev. Joseph Barker, a restless Wesleyan local preacher, who had not been used well by his own party, and he avenged himself by never treating any other party well.  He published pamphlets against social principles, always readable for their invective, but not instructive, as the objections he brought were entirely theological.  The social advocates, who always had an appetite for an adversary, found Mr. Barker much occupation.  He excelled most men who as Christians destroyed respect for Christianity.  The overwhelming majority of social reformers were believers in the precepts of Christ, and desirous of being associated with what would now be admitted as practical Christianity.  Mr. Barker had great command of Saxon English and poetic imagination; so that whatever side he adopted, and he adopted every side in turns, he presented it with a force of speech which commanded attention.  He was not a man who originated thought, but in discerning all that could be made of thought which he found originated, he excelled as a popular expounder of it.  The imputations he made upon those who differed from whatever views he happened to hold at the time would have amounted to a crime, had it been an intellectual act of his mind; but, as his rotary imputations were applied by turns to every party to which he had ceased to belong, it was merely the expression of an irresponsible extremist.  He left to the adherents of every opinion that he espoused, a legacy of exposition and denunciation which no other man contributed in his time. [94]

    Of all the opponents who were encountered, the most impudent was a person known subsequently as Dr. Brindley.  Mr. Hawkes Smith, of Birmingham, having delivered some lectures on phrenology, after a visit of Mr. George Combe to that town, Mr. Brindley attacked it.  The present writer advised Mr. Hawkes Smith to answer him.  Mr. Smith knew all about the subject, and Mr. Brindley nothing.  Not being able to reply, Mr. Brindley attacked Mr. Hawkes Smith for his advocacy of Mr. Owen's views.  This excited the applause of the clergy, who were willing that the new social principles should be denounced by some one, and Dr. Brindley was engaged to do it.  He became the Caliban of the Church.  He did not issue from a Cave of Adullam, where all who were discontented were invited; but from a Cave of Vituperation, where all who uttered rude words of Mr. Owen, or had offensive imputations to make against his followers, were welcome.  He went on his mission of defamation to our manufacturing towns, and counselled employers to dismiss men of far honester repute than his own; and scores of families were brought into distress by his calumnious tongue.  His prayer was literally—

"Lord, in thy day of vengeance try them;
 Lord, visit them who did employ them."

    Brindley was originally a travelling comb-seller.  It was to his credit that he became a schoolmaster—but he continued a pedlar in piety.  As a disputant he was not without some good qualities.  He was not afraid of discussion.  He never sheltered himself under German mysticism or occult or transcendental interpretations, but stated and defended the broad, vulgar, orthodox Christianity of the day, from which abler, wiser men shrunk.  He perished at last in the streets of New York.  Ministers of religion in America were more scrupulous than in England, and did not adopt him.  Dr. Hollick, a social missionary who had debated with Brindley in England, was living in New York, but did not hear of his fate until it was too late, else, he wrote, he would have rendered succour to his old adversary in his last extremity.  Brindley had professed to follow Mr. Bradlaugh to America.  It is impossible not to feel sympathy for the fate of the old combatant.  He died like the war horse, sniffing battle from afar, when age had weakened his powers without being able to tame his spirit.

    Moved by a generous eagerness to turn men's attention to the power which dwelt in circumstances, Mr. Owen devised the instructive phrase, that "man's character was formed for him and not by him." [95]  He used the unforgettable inference that "man is the creature of circumstances."  The school of material improvers believed they could put in permanent force right circumstances.  The great dogma was their charter of encouragement.  To those who hated without thought it seemed a restrictive doctrine to be asked to admit that there were extenuating circumstances in the career of every rascal.  To the clergy with whom censure was a profession, and who held that all sin was wilful, man being represented as the "creature of circumstances," appeared a denial of moral responsibility.  When they were asked to direct hatred against error, and pity the erring—who had inherited so base a fortune of incapacity and condition—they were wroth exceedingly, and said it would be making a compromise with sin.  The idea of the philosopher of circumstances was that the very murderer in his last cell had been born with a staple in his soul, to which the villainous conditions of his life had attached an unseen chain, which had drawn him to the gallows, [96] and that the rope which was to hang him was but the visible part. Legislators since that day have come to admit that punishment is justifiable only as far as it has preventive influence. To use the great words of Hobbes, "Punishment regardeth not the past, only the future."

    Dr. Travis, an early and influential disciple of Mr. Owen, proposed a new statement of the doctrine of character; which, while it recognises the causation of the will, admits a self-determining power in man, which justifies instruction being given to him, and appeals being made to him.  One who is in the foremost rank of those who have thrown light over ravelled questions of controversy, remarks, "Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance." [97]

    It would, therefore, be unjust to imply that adversaries, clerical or lay, always gratuitously misunderstood questions.  There were statements made, which often left them open to honest misconception.  The great masters of statements some times fail to convey an exact impression of their meaning.  I have seen Mr. Cobden look at his words as though they were palpable to him in the air, retracting doubtful terms, amplifying the deficient, and qualifying those that went too far.  Those who had none of Mr. Cobden's experience and sagacity, must have misled many fair-meaning opponents.

    Mr. Owen gave emphasis to the doctrine of the mighty influence of material things over man for good or evil, because that was not acknowledged then.  As far as belief was concerned, that, he said, was so entirely commanded by evidence, that a man could not be held responsible for conclusions which evidence justified.

    There is one town (Leicester) where social views early took root—where a few men of strong understanding, of unusual dispassionateness, have, during more than two generations, maintained public interest in social ideas.  What may be called the Leicester principle of controversy is to question and try all assertions.  No person in the society meetings there advances any propositions except under the condition of submitting them to discussion.  Dr. Brindley, when I last met him on a platform, proposed to debate the question of Atheism.  This I refused to do, as it would lead the public to confound atheistic with secular principles.  That the pretensions of dogmatic Theism should not be advanced unquestioned, Mr. Josiah Gimson, a resident engineer in the town, met Dr. Brindley several nights in succession, contributing greatly to the public information upon the subject.  Elsewhere no instance has occurred in which a private gentleman had stepped forward in this way to discuss such a topic—the town fully understood and respected the courage and independence of the proceeding on his part.  This was in 1873.  Professor Tyndall, after one of his addresses at the Dundee meeting of the British Association, which had somewhat amazed the Duke of Buccleugh, the president for the year, said generously to the present writer, in reference to the toleration of modern controversies, "We do but reap where you [which included colleagues with whom I had acted] have sown."

    Jeremy Taylor, nearly two hundred years before Owen, wrote: "No man can change his opinion when he will, or be satisfied in his reason that his opinion is false, because discountenanced.  If a man could change his opinion when he lists, he might cure many inconveniences of his life; all his fears and his sorrows would soon disband, if he would but alter his opinion, whereby he is persuaded that such an accident that afflicts him is an evil, and such an object formidable; let him but believe himself impregnable, or that he receives a benefit when he is plundered, disgraced, imprisoned, condemned, and afflicted, neither his sleep need be disturbed, nor his quietness discomposed.  But if a man cannot change his opinion when he lists, nor ever does heartily or resolutely but when he cannot do otherwise, then to use force may make him a hypocrite, but never to be a right believer; and so, instead of erecting a trophy to God and true religion, we build a monument for the devil." [98]

    The conclusiveness of these authorities availed us nothing.  It was regarded as a new sin in the social party to show that eminent men had agreed in principle with them.  Vindictiveness of the enemy harmed the movement by making many resentful and retaliative, prone to follow the advice of St. Just, who destroyed many excellent reformers by his maxim that they who attempt half measures dig their own graves.  But St. Just's maxim did not keep him alive long enough to observe that they who insist upon whole measures while they are only half supported, commonly get themselves and their cause into the sexton's hands very early.

    Only theorists talk of truth being immortal—I have seen it put to death many times.  Lord Brougham in his day succeeded in terrifying Parliament into toleration of unpopular opinions, by contending that nothing could extend them but persecution.  If brave men stand by unfriended truth, persecution will spread it.  If the timid, or ease-loving, or the timeserving, have truth in hand, persecution well directed, will soon put it down.  This is the real reason why persecution is intrinsically hateful.

    Other agitations brought into play the passions: of the social agitation it must be owned that it appealed to the understanding only, and made men inquiring and reflective.  The intellect let loose proved no wild animal needing a chain to restrain it, as Cardinal Newman [99] asserts, but a salutary and self-managing agent, active in improving individual character.

    Adversaries of the Socialists were not dainty in their imputations.  The Rev. Mr. Anderson, of Glasgow was a man of character and talent, and of generous political sympathies, and from whom in later years I oft had the pleasure, through my friend Mr. William Logan, a wise city missionary, to receive valued communications; yet in his vehement days Dr. Anderson called the "Very Reverend and Preliminary Social Father" an "Incestuous Profligate."  But this was not very objectionable, in a rhetorical sense; for when an angry adversary departs from the truth the farther he departs the better, and he is placed by the concurrence of common judgment outside the pale of those who are to be regarded.  Some opponents did not know the truth when they saw it, and did not speak it even by mistake.  Some of them did garble with an ability that would have entitled them to a prize medal, had there been any board of examiners to award distinction to that kind of merit; but in controversy he who recognises these peculiarities arrests altogether the progress of his arguments, and invites attention to the adversary instead of the subject.

    In February, 1834, the "Rev. Dr. Redford" published a letter in the Worcester Journal, against Mr. Owen.  The Crisis, following the policy of helping the enemy to abuse its friends, published this letter, which I shall not reproduce.

    In Worcester, the religious opposition to co-operative speeches amounted to violence.  It was only by the effort of a strong-handed carpenter, whom I well knew, and in whose house I subsequently lived, one Robert Jones, that Mr. Owen's life was saved from an infuriated mob. [100]   The Rev. Dr. Redford was an adversary who went great lengths.  In a public discussion, he committed upon Mr. Owen an indignity which created a stronger hostility to Christianity than anything else which had occurred in the Midland counties.  He made a motion of flinging the contents of his nose into Mr. Owen's face.

    Mr. Alexander Campbell, the most fatherly-minded of all the missionaries, whose voice sounded like a truce, was forcibly prevented preaching the new gospel of industry on Glasgow Green on Sundays.  It was a common thing to have halls refused after they had been duly let, and no County Court Judge in those days would award any damages for a breach of faith.  Riots took place at the Broadmead Rooms, Bristol, upon the "social innovators."   No doubt the innovators often retaliated but the imitation generally fell far short of the original. [101]

    In Bristol there was a dangerous fight through the narrow passage leading to the Broadmead Rooms, occupied by the Socialists in that city.  Workmen were sometimes dismissed who were observed to have a copy of the New Moral World in their possession.  In some cases clergymen refused to bury co-operators, and in one case a sexton refused to dig a a grave for a Socialist's child.  Mr. Connard, a well-known speaker, who became an insolvent, was stigmatised as deranged because he honourably refused to make oath, as not in accordance with his conscience, and Mr. Commissioner Reynolds sent him back to prison with many words of outrage when he could otherwise have discharged him.  Mr. Connard was kept in prison many months, as a punishment for his creditable scruples.  The Rev. Mr. Giles, a Baptist minister of disagreeable ability, said "Socialism was a union of all practices, save those of chastity and virtue."  Had the showers of denunciation been material, like hail or rain, the pioneers would have lost their hats, and their garments would have been sodden.

    When Mr. Owen was a boy, he swallowed some scalding food in his anxiety to reach his school early.  His digestion was very much weakened by it, he was obliged to be very careful in the food which he took.  In illustrating his belief of the influence of circumstances, he related this event as one which early disposed him to observation and care.  With his oft indifference to what advantage might be taken of a casual expression, he mentioned that the food which he partook, common in Wales in his youth, was called flummery.  As this word was a slang term for untrustworthy speech, clerical speakers thought it an excellent point to say that the social system began in flummery. [102]  This was deemed very witty, and always produced peals of laughter.

    In Runcorn, a Mrs. Johnson left the Established Church and went over to the Wesleyan chapel.  She was called upon to explain her proceeding.  She replied that it was on account of her Sunday pie being exactly done when the Methodist chapel came out; whereas when she attended the church it was always overdone.  The good woman regulated her piety by her pastry, a circumstance which influenced her faith.  When the familiar vehicle we now see in the streets without terror first appeared in a university county, a peasant, in the vicinity of an Oxfordshire village, ran one night to warn the inhabitants that a frightened monster with saucer eyes, and making a strange noise, was coming towards the place.  Those who had courage got behind the hedge to look.  The monster turned out to be a post-chaise, [103] with two lamps.  The clergy always mistook social science for an Oxford post-chaise, and ran out to alarm the people.

    A fair, a clever, and gentlemanly opponent met with great respect and regard when one appeared, which was very seldom.  The Rev. J. H. Roebuck held a public discussion with Mr. Owen, in Manchester, in 1837.  He was a Wesleyan of remarkable ability and remarkable fairness, and the distinctness of his objections were well seen in consequence.  Though he was, therefore, a more influential adversary than vituperative ones, he was always spoken of with respect, and his early death was sincerely deplored.

    The old pioneers of Co-operation stood up for liberty and relevance of speech.  Some thought toleration meant indifference to what opinion prevailed.  This was the mistake which some still make.  Toleration means anxiety for the truth: it means ardour for the truth: it means confidence in the truth.  It believes that truth, like fire, is excited by collision, and that no truth can be known to be true, save that which has passed through the ordeal of controversy.  Toleration means giving new truth fair play.  Intolerance, which is prohibition, gives it none.  The conditions of truth are now well ascertained to be liberty of expression, and of criticism; it is not he who is tolerant of these, but he who is intolerant of them, who is indifferent to the truth, and upon whom the stigma of looseness and latitudinarianism of mind ought to fall.



"So when the Parthian turned his steed,
     And from the hostile camp withdrew,
 With cruel skill the backward reed
     He sent; and as he fled he slew."

LOUIS BLANC has described the Jacobin as powerful, original, sombre; half agitator and half statesman; half Puritan and half monk; half inquisitor and half tribune.  The co-operative advocates were not wanting in some of these qualities; and in perseverance and propagandist capacity they surpassed all working—class advocates of their time.  They certainly were not demagogues, as any one may see from the definition of a modern writer who comprises in one short passage a complete study of those troublesome persons. [104]   Our early advocates chose the unpopular side, which was ill-requited; they believed in their measures themselves, their lives and industry alike commanded respect, and their disinterestedness was shown in persisting in a course which was far from bringing them flattering recognition.  The Duke of Wellington, when they were brought under his notice, admitted they were clever, but added, in his coarse, vindictive way, "they were clever devils."  With more discrimination and courtesy, as befitted his station, the Bishop of London said of these social reformers, that, though they were generally men of "some education," their deficiency was that "they were wanting in humble docility, that prostration of the understanding ana will, which are indispensable to Christian instruction."  No doubt they were open to this charge; want of "humble docility" was conspicuous in them.  It never occurred to them to "prostrate their understanding." The use of it seemed to them the only way of making out how things stood.

    These adventurous and unskilled social navigators had to pull their frail skiffs through rough waters.  At that time society abounded with persons—they are not yet quite extinct—who would never do anything for the workman except think for him.  They would neither find him work nor bread, but they would supply him with opinions, either religious or political, readymade.  These people gave a very poor account of social projects.  The political economist considered them the dream of folly—the clergyman, of wickedness—the statesman, of insubordination—the employer, of idleness—the rich man, of plunder—the capitalist, of confiscation—the journalist, of demagogism.

    Co-operation in its early days was somewhat ramshackle. Mostly pale and thin, these amateur shopmen looked as though they needed themselves to eat up the commodities they tried to sell. What business they did was done in an unusual way. Every crotchet that thickened the air of Utopia was proclaimed at their doors. Poets, enthusiasts, dreamers; reformers of all things, and the baser sort of disbelievers in any, gave them a turn: for, as we all know, a nimble eccentricity always treads on the heels of change. [105]  There was nobody so mad but their right to improve the world was respected; there was not a regenerating lunatic at large who did not practise upon them.  The philosophers were scandalised at them, the political economists shook their heavy heads at them—the newspapers were scornful—politicians in Parliament proposed to put them down—bishops interdicted them in the House of Lords—and the clergy consigned them individually and collectively to perdition.  Luckily the honest fellows had a well-instructed patience.  Their advocates served them well, teaching them that every creature must be allowed to articulate after its kind, and would do better if it only knew how.  The heretics, who were their only friends, eventually silenced the clamour; and the men of sense and purpose made their way to the front, and Co-operation got a hearing, and grew in favour with men.

    As in all new parties, and as for that in old ones too, at times there were figures in the social landscape that attracted attention, without enticing adherents.  Fastidious friends of progress were not pleased that the prominent advocate of the system should be an Irish philosopher—Mr. Thompson, of Cork—who was against large families, and in favour of dissection.  Social Reformers, not knowing how to subordinate without discouraging the just efforts of others, became the Nursing Mother of all the "Crazes" of the day.

    There was a Dr. McCormac, of Dublin, who, being like Bentham, a philosopher above vulgar prejudice, prominently advocated that all co-operators should leave their bodies for anatomical purposes.  He was called the "Skeleton-Man" of the movement; and some Christian partisans did not hesitate to say that Mr. Owen wanted to get men into communities in order to sell their bodies for dissection.  Every friend of the new system was supposed already to have sold his soul to a certain eminent and enterprising contractor for that article.  As to Mr. Owen, it must be owned charity was his sole religion, and this was a religion which God may recognise but which has not found favour in the world yet; and one which had no followers in Mr. Owen's days except a few perilous persons, of whom the Rev. Robert Hall, with his fine talent for contemptuousness, said "lived in the frigid zone of Christianity."  Mr. Owen himself was called the "Circumstantial Philosopher"—a name not without honour, for circumstances were in very bad want of a philosopher.

    One of the strange and inexplicable figures that flitted about the early co-operative movement was a gentleman who usually signed himself as P. Baume, "reforming optimist." [106]  In after-years two or three other initials would appear between the P. and the B.  Who, indeed, he was, or whence he came, nobody ever knew.  Common repute said he acquired a fortune as a foreign spy.  If so, it was doubtless in the interest of freedom, for he always appeared to care for it.  He had spent the greater part of a long and wondrously active life in bequeathing property which nobody ever came to possess.  For thirty years there was hardly any meeting held anywhere in reference to social reform at which he was not present in some part.  He was ubiquitous.  In distant towns, in Manchester or Liverpool, the eyes in search of mysterious faces would be sure to light, in some quarter of the room, upon a disguised figure, whose brilliant, penetrating eye alone revealed his identity.

    Mr. Baume had what he called Experimental Gardens, in the New North Road, leading from Battle Bridge to Holloway, where he invited all practical men and women to meet him, with a view to agree upon something which would settle everything.  The presumption is that they never did agree upon anything, since everything has not been settled yet.  His proposal at that time was to establish a Co-operative College, for which purpose he said he would unhesitatingly and most cheerfully give up to them his most valuable leases and ground rents—several extensive plots for building and gardening ground, fourteen acres altogether, his funded property, his ready money, in a word, everything he possessed; "including his most unrelenting exertions through life."  Mr. Baume had made a proposition to advance money to any amount, and on the most liberal terms, to any carpenter or bricklayer willing to build cottages on his land, on speculation, or for the location of their families.  He stated then that all his property was vested in the hands of trustworthy characters; his unremitting exertions being devoted to the establishment of a Co-operative College and Community.

    At one of Mr. Owen's Sunday lectures he sent a little boy with a note, saying the lad had been born three years before, and had been entrusted to his care, but he had never allowed him to be christened because he had never found any character in history sufficiently perfect to warrant him in adopting his name; but now Julian Hibbert was dead, he requested Mr. Owen to christen him by that name.  Mr. Owen, and many of his disciples after him, were accustomed to christen children who were brought to them, and they commonly made little speeches to the parents, counselling them to remember how much sensible treatment and pure material conditions might influence the child for good.

    This gentleman continued to give his property away.  He gave it to nearly every community that was formed.  He gave it to the United Kingdom Alliance.  He has given it to the co-operators, and to other persons and parties, certainly too numerous to mention.  A considerable portion of his property lay in the neighbourhood of Colney Hatch.  He always professed to be afraid that some one would confine him in a lunatic asylum, and yet he established himself in the neighbourhood of one.  There was not the slightest fear for him.  There was no asylum which would have undertaken to manage him.  He would have driven the governors and directors all mad in a month, by the inexhaustible fertility of his projects.  He was quite sincere in saying he would give the whole of his possessions away, as well as his "unrelenting life exertions," for he appeared never to require anything whatever to live upon.  A few peas, which he commonly carried in his pocket, seemed to be his chief source of subsistence.  With ample means he would live in one obscure room, or rent a railway arch, and deposit himself there, and he did not, like the parties in Mr. Pickwick, select the dry ones, but took a damp one as being the cheapest.  He would carry about with him bundles of bank-notes in a dress-coat pocket, and keep a small live monkey there; so that if any adventurous hand found its way there, it would meet with a very unexpected remonstrance.  His property, at the site of the Experimental Gardens, lay over what is now known as the Caledonian Road, and the Pentonville Prison part, and had he retained it a few years longer than he did, he might have derived an immense income from it.  At that time his land was covered with furze and mysterious-looking cottages, in one of which he lived.  It was known as the "Frenchman's Island," where very unpleasant visitors were frequently attracted; but as he was known to go about at night with a pistol in his pocket, and as he was very likely to fire it, and knew perfectly well how to do it, a good deal of curiosity was repressed by that peculiar reputation.  He had projects for a community experiment there, and he brought more scandal upon the cause by his eccentric proposals than any other man.

    One of the curious enthusiasts of 1837 was Samuel Bower, of Bradford.  He was one of the abstemious co-operators who lived, like the Reforming Optimist, chiefly upon grey peas, of which he carried a supply about, and strenuously insisted that that peculiar diet should be universally adopted.  Nevertheless, he was a strong-thinking man, and had many useful and self-denying views, which he illustrated in many curious and impracticable papers.

    There were many among the advocates whose position and attainments commanded respect, else the movement could never have attained the ascendancy it did.  One who remained longest known was "Dr. King, of Brighton." [107]  This gentleman was educated for the Church, at Trinity College, Cambridge.  He married a daughter of Dr. Hook, Vicar of Rottingdean.  He subsequently adopted the medical profession, from intellectual preference, and settled in Brighton, where he originated and edited the first publication, called the Co-operator.  He was a man of notable friendships, and promoted many liberal movements in conjunction with Dr. Birkbeck, Ricardo, Owen, and Lord Brougham.  His daughter married Mr. John Robertson, well known as one of the early editors of the Westminster Review, during Mr. Mill's connection with it.  Dr. King was justly considered one of the founders of Co-operation.

    Dr. King continued his interest in Co-operation until the end of his life.  On entering his eightieth year he wrote to the Co-operator a letter as enthusiastic as those he wrote half a century earlier, and which might have been written by a young convert.  He had the honour of being consulted by Lady Noel Byron, who had contributed f300 towards the success of a productive association established among those Brighton societies.

    Dr. King's Co-operator was a source of inspiration in many parts of the country, mere fragments of numbers being treasured up by the recipients.  Stores have been founded in consequence of their perusal.  The fairness, temper, and the certain moderation of tone rendered Dr. King's little paper, all the articles being written by himself, one of the wisely influential precursors of Co-operation.

    P. O. Skene, Esq., who is always mentioned as an "Esq.," appears frequently in early co-operative reports as a promoter, contributor, and medium by whom ladies and others made contributions.  There was also a Mr. G. R. Skene, his brother; but being less personally distinguished he is described as Mr. G. R. Skene.  Being very watchful and workful as a secretary, he deserves equal mention in these pages.  In those days, when Co-operation was struggling, it was no doubt necessary to mark when one of its adherents held a position of more conventional respectability than others.  "Philip O. Skene, Esq.," was really a very accomplished gentleman, an eminent teacher of languages in his day.  He held a German class in the upper room of the first-named London Co-operative Store, 19, Greville Street, Hatton Garden.  Mr. J. S. Mill and Mr. J, A. Roebuck, when young men, were among the remarkable pupils who attended.

    The Times of 1837 gave a very honourable notice of Philip Orkney Skene.  "His father, Major Skene, and grandfather, Governor Skene, were both attainted of high treason against the United States, as British Loyalists; and his great-grandfather was attainted of high treason in the rebellion of 1715.  The Times stated that the Earl of Fife, who is a branch of the Skene family, had taken the estate which had previously descended from father to son for eight hundred years in the Skene family.  Before Philip O, Skene was twenty years of age, he was sent to superintend the erection of the military fortification at Hoy Island, in the Orkneys.  He joined the English army, entering Paris, in 1815, and from his great knowledge of the French and German languages, was appointed to attend the Crown Prince of Prussia, whose sovereign, in distinction of his services, presented Mr. Skene with a valuable ring, set with numerous brilliants.  After attaining much scientific distinction abroad, he returned to England, entered the Middle Temple, and ate several terms; when Mr. Owen's efforts at New Lanark, in its best days, so impressed his mind, that he devoted afterwards much of his time and means to promoting similar objects.  Mr. Skene died at the age of 44, at Lewes, from exhaustion, after a protracted state of debility, brought on by over-exertion in his duties as surveyor of roads, a post which he had held for several years."  The Times added, that "he left elementary works in German, Italian, French, Spanish, Latin, and Greek, besides works which bear other names than his."

    At the (Third) Co-operative Congress, of 1832, a very remarkable letter was received from a distinguished man, Leigh Hunt, who dated it from 5, York Buildings, New Road, London.  He alleged that "increasing avocations and ill-health alone prevented his attendance."  Happily neither killed him until nearly thirty years later.  He stated he believed he was the first journalist who endeavoured to impress upon the public the propriety of considering Mr. Owen's views.  Touching the supposed contradiction between the claims of this life and a future one, he cited what was said by a wise man, "that it would be a very strange and ungrateful thing if we behaved ourselves gloomily or indifferently in a beautiful garden which some friend gave us, because by and by he had promised us a better."

    Another name, always one of interest and respect, was that of Mr. Thomas Allsop, who, to the manners and cultivation of a gentleman, united an originality of sentiment and generous enthusiasm for political as well as social change, displayed with the same force and boldness by no other adherent of social views.  A member of the Stock Exchange, he understood the conditions of business as well as those of the social state contemplated.  He was the adviser of Feargus O'Connor in his best days, and conferred upon him the necessary property qualification which Mr. O'Connor did not possess when he was first elected a member of Parliament viz., £300 a year derived from land.  On one occasion Mr. Allsop, who was also connected with a large and fashionable business in Regent Street, alarmed the law courts and the press by refusing to be sworn upon a grand jury, on which he had often served, on the ground that he objected to find a prisoner guilty, alleging as a reason that in every part of London the criminal class was recruited by flagrant social neglect.  This was done for the express purpose of forcing public attention to the subject.  Such an act by one in Mr. Allsop's position produced a great impression. [108]  In the late Mr. Justice Talfourd's memorial of Charles Lamb, the reader will find graceful acknowledgments of Mr. Allsop's long and helpful friendship to the great Essayist.

    Another writer, who impressed society with the opinion that persons of taste and means were favourable to social views, was Mr. John Minter Morgan, author of "Hampden in the Nineteenth Century."  This work appeared in two handsome volumes, and was printed in the costliest manner of books, with original copperplate illustrations of great skill, of good design, and finished execution, in mezzotint.  Some of the scenes, dramatic and communistic, surpass in conception anything produced either before or since.  The events of the story carry the reader into the highest society, and the dialogues conducted with the most eminent men of the day are gracefully rendered—their known and published sentiments being skilfully interwoven in the speeches made.  If cooperative views had always been presented with as much judgment, they would have made wider way in the world.  Mr. Morgan wrote other works, as the "Reproof of Brutus," and the "Revolt of the Bees," which attracted considerable attention in their day.  The "Reproof of Brutus" was written in verse, but excited no jealousy among the poets of his time.

    When a young man, Mr. Morgan displayed more courage than was to be expected from his gentle character.  He appeared as a lecturer in the theatre at the Mechanics' Institution in defence of Mr. Owen's Sunday lectures.  Mr. Morgan's lecture was delivered on Thursday, May 6, 1830.  Mr. Owen had been permitted to deliver Sunday lectures in that theatre morning, afternoon, and evening, on the "Moral and Social Duties of Man."  The clergy, however, had interfered.  Bishop Blomfield had spoken at King's College and said that "all other sciences and acquirements than those of the Church of England and Ireland ought to be held subservient to those principles of action furnished by the doctrines of the Gospel."  The members of the Mechanics' Institution were compelled, in deference to clerical opinion, to recommend a discontinuance of the Sunday morning lectures, as they were delivered during the hour of divine service.  Mr. Tooke, the eminent solicitor of the institution, gave it as his opinion that the lectures were illegal, besides being calculated to compromise the usefulness of the institution.  Mr. Tooke is mentioned by Mr. Morgan, who said that he had consulted with Mr. Brougham on the subject, who entirely concurred in that view.  Mr. Morgan said that if Mr. Brougham was right in his opinion as to the lectures being illegal, it was incumbent on him, who stood so committed to the cause of mental liberty, to move the repeal of the Act.  The Act is still unrepealed.  Lord Amberley boldly endeavoured to procure its repeal.  By ignominious evasions, lectures have continued to be delivered in London since; but as often as Christianity opens its dangerous eyes, and chooses to make itself offensive, it sends the philosophers home mute, with their lectures in their pockets. [109]  Those who think that social reformers have at times troubled themselves needlessly with theology should take into account that their way has been blocked up by it all their days.  Mr. Morgan, later in life, took fruitless trouble to induce the clergy to interest themselves in social reform.  Gentlemen who were his guests at Sackville Street still tell how they were always escorted after dinner to see his model of a community, in which a church formed one of the ornaments.  Mr. Morgan made his fortune as a papermaker, which is probably one reason why he excelled other social writers in producing elegantly-printed books, whose clear and thick leaves and broad margins felt in the hard like a lucid and substantial argument.

    Mr. William Pare was the first recognised co-operative lecturer, and the most persuasive and persistently practical of them all.  The editor of The Co-operative Miscellany, of 1830, introduced him for the first time to its readers in curious deferential terms as being their "very respectable and indefatigable friend."  His first lecture was delivered where he spoke three times, in the Music Hall, Bold Street, Liverpool.  There were four co-operative societies established in Liverpool at that time.

    Mr. Thompson, of Cork, had the merit of satisfying Mr. William Pare of the utility and practicability of the co-operative system.  His conviction was converted into ardour by Mr. Thompson's "Enquiry into the Distribution of Wealth."  Mr. Pare first appears in co-operative literature at the anniversary of the first Birmingham Co-operative Society, at which he presided, on the 28th of December, 1829, at the Vauxhall Tavern, Ashted.  Nearly a hundred persons were present, including some thirty of the members' wives, for co-operative tea-parties were from the first sociable, and included wives and children as well as husbands.  Mr. Pare began by proposing the health of "the king in his social capacity of father of his people," which denoted the benevolence rather than the accuracy of the social imagination of the period.  Mr. Pare quite understood then, and expressed at that early date, the policy of Co-operation as being "a scheme of voluntary equality"; and contended that the English were not to be confounded with French agitators.  "The French," he said, "worked by force, the English by persuasion.  The French cried 'Down with the aristocrats!' the co-operators said 'Let them alone.'"  Mr. James Guest, the well-known bookseller of Birmingham, was vice-president on the occasion, and gave "Success to the numerous co-operative societies then established in England, Scotland, and America."  One of the toasts was "The immortal memory of John Bellers, the first known projector of a co-operative community in England."

    The sixth number of the United Trades' Co-operative Journal records that on Tuesday evening, March 30, 1830, Mr. Pare, the corresponding secretary to the First Birmingham Co-operative Society, delivered his first public lecture at the Mechanics' Institution, Manchester, remarking—"Mr. Pare is a young man of very extensive practical information, deeply impressed with the evils which afflict the working classes of this Country, and most zealous in his endeavours to disseminate that information which he thinks must ultimately produce a beneficial effect."

    At Manchester, later in the year, he held a meeting at the house of one of the members of the first society, which was well attended, several persons were present belonging to the Stockport society.  On three successive evenings he spoke in the theatre of the Mechanics' Institution.  At his first lecture there were not less than one thousand persons present.  Mr. Owen seldom distinguished any of his adherents by notice, but in Mr. Pare's case he did.  He said, describing a visit he (Mr. Owen) made to Birmingham: "I found him engaged in the business of railways, which he appears to understand in his department of it, if we are to judge from the approbation he has received from the committees of both Houses of Parliament." [110]  This instance shows with what judgment Mr. Owen could praise when he chose.  Nothing could be more delicate, indirect, and uncompromising.  Had he said more, or said it differently, it might have been disastrous to Mr. Pare.  For more than forty years Mr. Pare was the tireless expositor of social principles.  He learned early from Robert Owen the golden principle which Leigh Hunt so finely expressed, that "the errors of mankind proceed more from defect of knowledge than from defect of goodness."  All the acerbities which ever arise in any of our societies arise from members who do not know this, or who forget it if they do.  Mr. Pare seldom forgot it.  His angerless voice and his pleasant patience were an endowment as strong as his general zeal, which never hasted and never rested until envious death took him from us.

    Besides Mr. Pare, Mr. Hawkes Smith, and Mr. Murphy, there was Mr. John Rabone, also of Birmingham, whose pen was often to be met with in early co-operative literature.  His letters in the volumes of the Crisis were always earnestly and pleasantly written, mainly appealing to Christians to recognise the spirit of Christianity in co-operative effort.  It was his writings which first caused the name "Christian Socialist" to be used, and in 1837 persons began to sign themselves by that name.

    Another man of mark and promise in the early social movement was Rowland Detrosier, who died prematurely very much regretted by all politicians of the people in every part of Great Britain.  Though well cared for at times by opulent friends, he had no sustained support, and exposure upon a coach, after a night lecture, when he was in a weakly state, brought on inflammation of the lungs, which killed him. [111]  He was a man of greater promise than any who arose among the political and co-operative classes, and had he lived he would have been a leader.  He had all the qualities of knowledge, enthusiasm, geniality, respect for the convictions of others, and powers of commanding address.  Detrosier was the natural son of Mr. Robert Norris, of Manchester, and was abandoned, when a boy, by his French mother, whose name he bore.  He was put to the trade of a fustian cutter.  At nineteen he unfortunately married.  By self-study, continued when he and his family were nearly famishing, he taught himself French and Latin, and acquired a knowledge of the sciences, which enabled him to lecture upon them in a manner which few professional lecturers of the day could excel, in communicating animated knowledge.  He preached in a Swedenborgian chapel in Hulme, where he used to astonish the congregation by filling his pulpit with geological specimens, and placing electric and galvanic machines on the desk where his Bible and hymn-book should lie.  He had the distinction of founding the first two Mechanics' Institutions ever established in England.  As he had no support but that which his daily labour brought him, he often suffered extreme distress.  His reputation, however, reached London, where he was welcomed.  Jeremy Bentham had been so struck by some of his discourses that he sent him a present of his books, and showed him marks of flattering regard until his death.  Lady Noel Byron sent him £20, and often invited him to her house in London.  Mr. Mordan is said to have bestowed some of the earlier proceeds of his gold pens upon him, and Mr. John Stuart Mill not only befriended him while he lived, but befriended his family for many years after his death.  It was, however, Leigh Hunt to whom he was indebted for his introduction to London: his name was first mentioned in a generous and discerning article in the Examiner, Leigh Hunt being greatly struck, as everybody was at that time, by his lecture on the Necessity of the Extension of Moral and Political Instruction among the Working Class.  Detrosier had a voice and eloquence resembling Lord Brougham's, and his mind was distinguished by rapidity and power.

    Mr. James Watson, one of those few publishers of forbidden literature, who gave consideration how far the reputation of his party might be promoted by his judgment in the books he sold, and by his personal probity, came up from Leeds, when a young man, to take the place of one of Carlile's shopmen, 500 of whom were imprisoned for selling unstamped publications, a fate which very soon befel Mr. Watson.  He is recorded as acting as a co-operative missionary in Leeds, Halifax, Barnsley, Todmorden, and other places in connection with the British Association for Promoting Co-operative Knowledge.  He is spoken of as "the first missionary to the country, and as having done great and permanent good."  In one of his speeches Mr. Watson put the case of the working class co-operators in a suggestive form, thus:—"The co-operators would have those who had hitherto lived upon the labour of others henceforth live upon their own capital.  They would then discover how long it would last"—unless recruited by the exertions of the industrious.

    The name of Mr. Henry Hetherington appears as far back as the report of the fourth quarterly meeting of the British Association for the Promotion of Co-operative Knowledge, 1830, when he was elected one of the committee of the first Soho society.  He was another publisher distinguished by a long career of peril.  Straightforward, intelligent, hearty, genial, he was best known by the Poor Man's Guardian, which he edited, printed, and published, when no one else out of prison could be found to undertake the peril of it.

    Another man of subsequent note, who took part in the early Congresses, was Mr. James Bronterre O'Brien, then the editor of the Midland Representative. He subsequently suffered imprisonment in the cause of Chartism.  An animated and able speaker, of very varied information, and possessing a considerable knowledge both of French and English literature, he was regarded as the political schoolmaster of the Chartists, but, like most Irishmen, his genius lay much in suspicion, in which he excelled; and he undid, by the distrust which he diffused, the good he was capable of accomplishing by his generous fervour.  He it was who translated Buonarroti's "History of Babœuf," as we have said elsewhere.  Bronterre had all the geniality of his countrymen.  It was pleasant to be his friend.

    Among other qualifications for the millennium displayed by energetic Socialists, was that of originality in figures of speech.  One of the greatest masters in the rhetoric of the "New Moral World" was Mr. Joseph Smith, of Salford.  When the Queenwood community was in force he went about the country collecting sheep with which to stock the farm.  His plan was to rise at the end of a public meeting, and propose that all who had enthusiastically passed communist resolutions should prove their sincerity by joining there and then in subscribing a sum sufficient to buy a sheep.  The most ardent who had held up their hands in favour of the motion of the evening, were not always prepared to put them in their pockets.  To incline the surprised enthusiasts to that operation, Mr. Smith would apprise them that he had ordered the doors to be locked, so that no one could leave until the price of the sheep arrived on the platform.  Then he would say they had bought a community, they must pay for the community, and they must stock the community, "else they would all fall into the abyss which was hanging over their heads."  In view of this unforeseen calamity, reluctant shillings were produced until the market price of the coveted sheep was made up.  When this was done, they were rewarded by being assured by Mr. Smith that "now they would all sail into port on the top of their watch-towers," a kind of vessel quite unknown to Her Majesty's constructor of the navy.  This inventive rhetorician was described in the organ of the society as "the high priest of the New Moral World."

    On other occasions he proved himself not deficient in old-world illustration.  He had been descanting with his accustomed fervour upon the deceptions of competitive commerce, when a curious auditor put the question—what did he mean by deception?  The ardent and good-natured orator, who was commonly right when he felt, and wrong when he thought, had probably never given a public definition in his life, and was without any idea how to define deception.  The meeting was large, hostile, and impatient, and the hesitation of the lecturer was loudly resented, when it suddenly occurred to Mr. Smith that his head was quite bald, and his black, curly, and unsuspected locks were not his own, so he boldly snatched off his wig and exclaimed "That is deception."  His raven hair, hanging in his hand like a scalp, and the sudden sight of his unimagined and naked pate was so ludicrous, that his adversaries were confounded and convinced, and with the generosity of an English audience, the enemy applauded him as heartily as his friends.

    In those exalted days social editorial art went for nothing.  No one troubled himself as to how the world would regard his language.  Just as the early apostles never reflected how distracted fathers of the future Church would labour to reconcile their sayings (believing, as they did, that the end of all things was at hand, and there never would be any fathers to be perplexed), so these social seers expected that the "old immoral world" was played out, and that nobody in the new substitute they had in hand could ever heed anything said or done in it.  Their least impulsive writer called the attention of two counties "to the active, the energetic, the devoted Fleming," [112]  I and the editor asked "Where did Joseph Smith get his superior spirit of prophecy, and give us tablets of remembrance chiselled as it were in alabaster for purity, and gold for splendour and endurance." [113]  I first visited him in 1879 at Wissahiccon, in America, where he kept a hotel whose great attraction was a large room, where ranging around it were small bushes of the district, on the branches of which he had carved, with his own hand, hundreds of political coteries, known to all the land—so life-like and natural, with likenesses so unmistakable, that they were the wonder and diversion of thousands of visitors.  Afterwards I sent him the first edition of these volumes, which he had never seen, and his sudden joy at the remembrance of him when he thought he had been forgotten—killed him.  He had left England more than thirty years then.

    Mr. Finch was the earliest and greatest pamphleteer of the party.  Mr. Owen first introduced Mr. Finch to the co-operative public at his institution, in Charlotte Street, in 1834, as "a new labourer in the field."  The "new labourer" actually got inserted in the Liverpool Albion a series of letters on the "Fooleries of Sectarianism."  These "fooleries" were sincerities to those who entertained them, and they naturally resented this mode of describing them.  But it is always your religious man who is most offensive to pious people.  A man who dissents from the newspaper religions is respectful to them; and if he cares to oppose them, reasons against them without offensive imputation: but your religious mail, who has a little infallibility of his own, can venture to commit outrages on others, knowing that his rudeness will pass for holy wrath.

    In 1842, Mr. John Gray, of Faldonside, Galashiels, published "An Efficient Remedy for the Distress of Nations."  Mr. Owen having set a fashion of devising "an entirely new system of society," Mr. Gray put forth one.  Society profits in a silent, sulky way, by suggestions made to it: yet it dislikes any one who proposes to overhaul it.  Mr. Gray had a great plan of a Standard Bank and Mint.  The Duke of Wellington made known this year, in one of his wonderful notes, that "he declined to receive the visits of deputations from associations, or of individual gentlemen, in order to confer with them on public affairs; but if any gentleman thinks proper to give him, in writing, information or instruction, on any subject, he will peruse the same with attention."  The modest, painstaking duke had not Mr. Gray before his eyes when he said this.  That gentleman would have taken the duke at his word, and soon have brought him to a standstill.  The pleasantest part of Mr. Gray's "Efficient Remedy" is where he tells the reader that he had published a previous work which had not sold, so that in issuing another he could only be actuated by a desire to advance the interests of mankind, and this was true.  He was a well-meaning, disinterested, and uninteresting writer.  His books never sold, nor could they be given away; and there was for long a stock at two places in London where they could be had for the asking, and those who applied were looked upon with favour.

    Those who have read much of the rise and career of new opinions will be aware that religious history would present a plentiful series of ridiculous situations and deplorable absurdities.  And one reason why similar eccentricities are continually being reproduced in new movements is because party historians do not think it a duty to relate them.  If they did, they would be warnings to ardent adherents to consider how they may best guard the truth they represent from misapprehension or dislike.  It is true that many of the disciples of social science were flaccid, dreaming people, possessed of a feeble goodness; but there were also a larger number of strong, wise, cultivated, and determined adherents who sustained the movement when only men of courage would espouse it.

    Eccentricities are not confined to any party; but when a party becomes established, vagaries are set down to the conduct of irresponsible individuals, by whom nobody is bound; but in the case of an unpopular association every act of folly is considered as its natural outcome.

    Of the accredited representatives of Socialism who put S. M. after their names, the first in order of editorial service is Mr. George Alexander Fleming, who was the chief editor of the official journal of the party.  Mr. Fleming was a native or Scotland, a man of considerable energy and maturity of self-acquired talent.  He wrote as well as he spoke.  He was the first in office, and he kept there.  He was under no delusions of fervour, as others were liable to be.  His talent lay in making the movement safe rather than great, and certainly there was room for his order of skill.  He was afterwards connected with journals immediately under his own management, always consistently giving effect to the principles he early entertained.  He died in the service of the Morning Advertiser.

    Mr. Lloyd Jones, who ought to be named next in order of platform distinction, had the repute of having the best voice of any of the social lecturers, and that readiness of speech which seems the common endowment of Irishmen.  He was always regarded as the best debater who appeared on the platform; and if it was possible to perfect that talent by practice, he certainly had the opportunity, for more discussion fell to his lot than to any other of his compeers.  To Mr. Jones belongs the distinction of being the most active to defend social views when its adherents were weakest, and to meet more of the enemy when the enemy were strongest than any other missionary.  While he was a Manchester district missionary he had continually to be despatched to meet furious adversaries, or furious audiences.  After a venomous tirade was delivered, he would present himself to answer it, when it was matter or common experience that the confident adversary, who had gone up like a rocket in his lecture, came down like a stick in the discussion.  Mr. Jones joined the Salford Co-operative Society as early as 1829, and was all his days an influential leader of the movement.

    Mr. James Rigby was one of the earliest, merriest, and pleasantest speakers among the missionaries.  His vivacity of illustration was remarkable.  He had genuine imagination; not, perhaps, always well in hand.  If he did not obscure the facts by the fecundity of his fancy, he cast such a glamour over them that the hearer forgot to look for them.  As an expositor of Socialism, he was the most fascinating of all his compeers.  His vivacity, his graphic language, his brightness of imagination, his agreeable garrulity, always made him a popular speaker.  He was long remembered for his happiness of expressing the immense hopes and prospects of the party without any sense whatever of the limited means which alone were at the command of social reformers to realise them.  He first came into notice from the active part he took in the laborious agitation for the Ten Hours' Bill.  After the fall of Queenwood, he was associated with Mr. Owen as a personal attendant, having charge of his manuscripts.  He was entirely a communist, echoing literally Mr. Owen's material views on that subject; but when a semi-spiritualism came in after-days to be engrafted upon them by the master, Mr. Rigby proved that, though he was a disciple, he was not a follower in the sense of departing from the ancient way.  He was with us when we buried Mr. Owen at Newtown.  Among all who stood at that grave, none were so assiduous, so faithful, so wary, as he.  When I went down to relieve him late at night, as he kept watch over his master's tomb, it was with difficulty that he could be induced to go home, until I satisfied him that certain fears which he entertained were all anticipated, and that no unauthorised hands could disturb those honoured remains.  His faithful fears dated as far back as the days of Julian Hibbert, at whose death Mr. Baume interfered by virtue of some personal warrant which he was understood to hold, and his head was preserved for purposes of science.  All his life Mr. Rigby remained constant to the abstemious habits of his youth, and died at fifty-six years of age, without having tasted animal food.  Up to the day of his burial no change from life was observable in his pleasant and placid countenance.  Since I have often doubted whether he was really dead when I made an oration over his coffin.

    The missionary who excelled all in vigour of speech, in wit, boldness, and dramatic talent, was Charles Southwell, or London, the youngest of thirty-six children, with activity enough on the platform for them all.

    The Bishop of Norwich, Dr. Bathurst, was the youngest of thirty-six brothers and sisters. [114]  So there was nothing heretical on Mr. Southwell's part in this peculiarity, for which, otherwise, he might have been held accountable.  He was more brilliant than relevant.  On one occasion he volunteered a lecture on behalf of imprisoned colleagues, from which myself, Maltus Questell Ryall, and William Chilton expected that some aid would arise.  A good audience was assembled at the City Road Hall of Science, the same that Mr. Mordan provided for Detrosier.  After Southwell had spoken three-quarters of an hour it was remarked by us that he had not arrived at his subject.  Half an hour later he concluded amid a storm of applause, when we said to him, "Why, Southwell, you never mentioned your subject."  "No," he added, "it did not occur to me."  And, to do him justice, neither did it occur to his audience till next day, so much had he diverted and entertained them.

    Ultimately Mr. Southwell left England, and settled in New Zealand, a singularly unsuitable retreat for so fiery and active a spirit, unless he intended to set up as a chieftain.  On the stage, on the platform, or in the secular press, he might have found a congenial sphere; but nothing fell to him available except the editorship of a Wesleyan newspaper.  It must have been a livelier publication in his hands than its readers had known it before.  Its orthodox articles must have been written by proxy.  When death befel him, as it did after a few years' sojourn there, he was waited on by members of the proprietary whom he served, to offer him the religious consolations available to that body, and were surprised to be told by their patient that he had edited their paper because no other employment was open to him, but he never undertook to edit their tenets.  He, however, preferred to die in his own principles, which were atheistic.  He probably never professed to be a Wesleyan, and they took his silence for concurrence.

    Frederick Hollick was a young Birmingham man, who cast his lot with the social movement in 1837-8.  He and the present writer were townsmen, each engaged in mechanical industry, were fellow-students in the same Mechanics' Institution, both became speakers in the same movement, and were nearly of the same name.  But to Mr. Hollick belonged the palm of seeing more things at once, seeing them soon, seeing them clearly, and stating them with a lucidity beyond any compeer of the social platform.  When the missionaries were dispersed he went to America, where he studied dentistry and medicine, and published many works on physiology, and acquired both fortune and reputation; sixty years of absence have not diminished the regard in which he was held in England.

    Thomas Simmons Mackintosh was a Socialist lecturer of note and popularity.  He was a man of considerable scientific reading, and published a book entitled the "Electrical Theory of the Universe," which attracted attention.  The simplicity and boldness of his theory seemed true to those who did not understand it, or who did not possess that reach of knowledge necessary to verify so vast a theory.  It certainly showed originality and great capacity in focussing the limited electrical knowledge which then existed.  Mr. Mackintosh was a ready and animated speaker, with a faculty for vivid and humorous scientific illustration.  He ultimately perished in Ottawa, being drowned while bathing in the river in the cold season.

    Mr. Alexander Campbell was an earnest, pacific advocate.  He was, as most of the co-operative missionaries were, early connected with trade unions.  He shared the mystic doctrines of "Being" of Mr. Greaves, and was one of the vegetarians of the Concordium at Ham Common.  He trusted himself among the White Quakers.  Mr. Campbell is remembered as one of the managers of the Orbiston community; one of his daughters married Mr. William Love, known as the chief Liberal bookseller of Glasgow.  Mr. Campbell discovered the principle of distributing profits in stores in proportion to purchasers as early as 1829; which was acted upon in some stores in Scotland. The principle was re-discovered fifteen years later in Rochdale by James Howarth.  Mr. Campbell was many years connected with the Glasgow Sentinel, a paper established by Robert Buchanan, the social missionary.  An excellent three-quarter portrait, in oil, of Mr. Campbell hangs in the hall of the Secular Society, Glasgow, where he was a valued speaker.

    Coventry furnished two missionaries, Dr. John Watts and Mr. John Colier Farn.  Dr. Watts became distinguished for high character and practicable ability.  When two of the editors of the Oracle of Reason were in prison, he conducted a publication of an alarming name. [115]  The repeal of the taxes upon knowledge was accelerated by the lucid and powerful speeches he made in London and elsewhere upon the economical folly of those imposts.  In Manchester he received a valuable testimonial in acknowledgment of political and educational services.  Of the Economy of Co-operation he was an original and very suggestive expositor.

    Mr. Farn was known as an animated lecturer, familiar alike with co-operative, trades-union, and political questions.  He was subsequently connected with newspaper journalism, and at one time held the position of editor of the Co-operative News.  He continued all his life the same ardent and zealous worker on behalf of the principles which first brought him into distinction.

    One of the pleasantest advocates of early Co-operation was Henry Jacques Jeffery, a bright, quick-speaking, energetic lecturer, distinguished for ardour and variety of exposition.  He made generous exertions for the defence of his colleagues who incurred imprisonment.  Mr. Jeffery was equally known in Edinburgh and London for the fervour with which he espoused social principles.  He long held a place of considerable trust in one of the greatest publishing houses in London.

    John Green was one of the early lecturers, some time stationed at Liverpool.  He was a useful advocate, and took an honest interest in the movement.  My recollection of him is very distinct.  When a very young man, I had been wandering on foot for purposes of health for some three weeks, and embarking at Liverpool for a short voyage, which, as I had never seen the sea, seemed an immense adventure, a pleasant, homely voice called out to me from the quay, "Mr. Holyoake, Mr. Holyoake."  As I had not heard my name for three weeks, I felt like Robinson Crusoe, when he was first addressed by his parrot, and thought so at the time.  I was grateful to Mr. Green for that greeting.  He afterwards went to America, where, before he had acquired the faculty of seeing two ways at once, necessary in that land, he was cut into halves by a railway train.  He held some official position upon the line.

    Robert Buchanan was another Scotch advocate who joined the missionary propaganda of 1837.  An ardent and ready speaker, he was also addicted to poetry, in which he succeeded better than any of the competitors in verse by whom he was surrounded.  After the social movement subsided, Mr. Buchanan became connected with journalism, both in Glasgow and London, until his death a few years ago.  His son, Robert Buchanan, had far more than his father's genius, and was a poet, a novelist, and dramatist of accredited reputation.

    Another poet who made some noise, and obtained considerable notice among those for whom he sang, was John Garwood, whose protracted performance, "The' Force of Circumstances," appeared in many numbers of the weekly publications of the party.

    Eben Jones was a young poet, who made several contributions to the New Moral World.  He really could write readable verses.  His poems being, like Shelley's, heretical, contributed strongly to impart that character to the party publishing them, without distinguishing them as unofficial contributions.

    One speaker, a man of real capacity, was a tailor, named Robert Spiers.  In social condition he, too, was a person to whom any form of the millennium would have been welcome.  I first met him at the opening of the Social Institution in Huddersfield, at which I was to speak morning and evening; but when I saw my name in large letters, rainbow-coloured, on the walls of the town, I was dazed and abashed, and did not make much of the speaking, except for one ten minutes in the evening, when I forgot the placard.  I had walked front Sheffield, twenty-six miles, the preceding day, which did not conduce to energy of speech or imagination.  But I well remember that Mr. Spiers, who spoke in the afternoon, he being regarded as a secondary person to the luminary who was imported to speak in the morning and evening, amazed me by the mastery of statement which he displayed.  In capacity or logical, not merely subtlety of, sequence, but of obvious dependence of one part on the other, and all the parts leaving one whole impression upon the mind, I still think him the ablest lecturer we had.

    Napier Bailey was a strange figure, who flitted across the social platform.  He had been a Lancashire schoolmaster, and he always remained a schoolmaster.  He had not a particle of imagination, but possessed more literary information than any other of his platform colleagues.  He was the first and only contributor to the New Moral World who quoted Greek.  It would be a fortunate thing if everybody who knew Greek and Latin could be allowed to wear some intimation of the fact upon them, that the general public might honour them accordingly without being obliged to recognise the acquirement by quotations which, being assumed to be highly rare and interesting, are therefore presented to ordinary readers in a language they do not understand.  Mr. Bailey's article must have been delayed a fortnight while the printer, in a Midland town, where Greek is not the language of the inhabitants, sent to London for the necessary type.  Mr. Bailey was an active writer, and communicated a great deal of interesting information to all who read or heard him.  As he had far more literary knowledge than the majority of opponents in his time, he silenced more adversaries than any other lecturer by overwhelming them with quotations which they could not answer, because they could not understand them.  Mr. Bailey was the writer of the "Social Reformers' Cabinet Library."  He passed away suddenly from the view of men, and has never been heard of since.

    G. Simkins, whose name frequently occurs in early reports of the Charlotte Street Institution, was a shoemaker by trade; a tall, pale, spare-looking man, who looked as if the old world had not done much for him.  Like some other lecturers of that time, he took the principles pretty much as he found them; but if he did not make them plainer he did not obscure them, nor compromise them by extravagance of statement.

    Henry Knight was another young speaker, who after a few years of activity went to America.  He wrote a series of short letters in explanation of the principles he represented as a missionary, which were by far the freshest and most interesting statement of them produced by any advocate of the time.  His papers appeared under the title of "Short Essays on Socialism."  Though a very young man, he had the merit of being the first lecturer who attempted to select from the collection of principles set forth by Mr. Owen, those which were essential to the community scheme.

    J. R. Cooper, an active newsagent and bookseller of Manchester, was favourably known as a lecturer on social questions.  His younger brother, Robert Cooper, became a Social Missionary.  He (Robert Cooper) wrote several pamphlets, chiefly on theological subjects, which had a considerable sale.  In later years he came into possession of a fortune which was intended for Mr. Southwell, to whom it was first bequeathed.  But on his leaving for New Zealand, Mr. Fletcher, in his disappointment, bequeathed it to the present writer, who was Mr. Southwell's coadjutor on the Oracle of Reason, who held Mr. Fletcher's will two years.  Acting on treacherous information, which Mr. Fletcher did not know to be untrue, he altered the will in favour of Mr. Cooper, and, dying suddenly, Mr. Cooper inherited it.  The giver honourably remembered Mrs. Emma Martin's children by a small legacy to each.

    One of the writers who contributed most to the pleasant information and poetic amusement of the New Moral World, was a gentleman who signed himself "Pencil'em," with a knowledge of, and a taste for, art and literature.  His verses had a pleasant sparkle of wit and humour, which often relieved the perennial disquisitions upon the Five Fundamental Facts, and Twenty Laws of Human Nature.  Some who have acquired distinction have owed the inspiration and practice of art to him.  He held an official situation at South Kensington, in which his attainments were beneficial to the nation. [116]

    Mrs. Wheeler attracted considerable attention by well-reasoned lectures, delivered in 1829, in a chapel near Finsbury Square.

    Miss Reynolds was another lady lecturer who excited great admiration for her effective speaking.  She afterwards became Mrs. Chapel Smith, went to America, and is understood to be the same lady who frequently wrote to the Boston Investigator, and whose letters are dated from New Harmony, Indiana.

    Among the new writers of 1835 appears one under the signature of "Kate," afterwards the wife of Mr. Goodwyn Barmby.  "Kate's" papers were always fresh, pleasant, and sensible.

    In 1841, Mary Hennell wrote an interesting "Outline of the various Social Systems and Communities which have been founded on the principle of Co-operation."  It appeared as an appendix to Charles Bray's "Philosophy of Necessity."  Sara Hennell, her sister, has written many works of considerable originality and literary completeness.

    Madame D'Arusmont was the most accomplished and distinguished woman, who personally identified herself with the propagation of social views.  As Frances Wright, her lectures were popular both in England and America.  She was known as the friend and associate of General Lafayette, and in the days of slavery she bought lands and endeavoured to establish a free negro community at Nashoba.  She had a commanding presence, and was a cultivated and eloquent lecturess in days when only women of great courage ventured to lecture at all.  She is reported as declaring, in 1836, in favour of the immediate abolition of Southern slavery.  This occurred at Tammany Hall.  Mr. J. S. Mill held her in regard as one of the most important women of her day, and pointed this out to the present writer on her last visit to England. [117]

    Notable among the ladies who have been social lecturers was Mrs. Emma Martin, who had wit and the courage of several men, and delivered lectures in the stormiest times and to the most dangerously disposed audiences.  She was a small lady, of attractive expression, with dark luminous eyes, a pleasant, far-reaching voice, and a womanly woman.  The vivacious "Vivian," of the Leader, whom the public now know as G. H. Lewes, with various admiration under his own name, used to say that he disliked "bony priestesses, learned in all theologies and destitute of hips."  Co-operators have not been wanting in beautiful advocates; but they remembered that wise men were not always beautiful, and they esteemed greatly a pleasant mind.  Mrs. Martin studied medicine and practised with success, and during the cholera of 1849 displayed great courage, as she did in everything.

    Among the well-known pioneers of the earlier period was E. T. Craig, mentioned for the intrepidity shown by him at Ralahine.  The following letter from lady Noel Byron to him serves to explain the diversified nature of the social work done in those days, and the respect in which Mr. Craig was held by eminent persons.  The honourable and practical interest Lady Byron took in promoting the betterment of the humbler classes led her to give him the direction of an industrial agricultural school, which she founded at Ealing Grove, on land formerly belonging to the Duke of Newcastle.  Her ladyship's letter was as follows:—

"SIR,—I had the satisfaction of receiving your letter yesterday.  After Mr. Finch had informed me of the possibility or obtaining your valuable assistance I addressed you on the subject, directing my letter to Mr. Barry's residence (Glandore, Ireland), where you were supposed to be.  I am, however, glad to find that you are not so far distant, and if you feel disposed to enter into the scheme, of which I send you the prospectus, I shall be happy to defray the expenses of your journey from Manchester, in order that you may communicate with the gentlemen who are engaged in the undertaking.  I do not consider myself as having a right to settle anything individually, as I am only one of the parties concerned, and have not the knowledge requisite to direct the arrangements of such an institution.  It has, however, been my advice that the master should be found before the land was bought or rented (for that point is not decided), and before any of the economical details were finally determined upon; because I thought that the person chosen to conduct the establishment would be the best adviser on such questions.  The locality will be within eight miles of London.  The amount of funds not yet ascertained.  You will therefore perceive that there is not at present an absolute certainty of the whole of the above plan being carried into effect; but there can scarcely be a doubt that the day-school, with land attached to it, might be speedily established if a competent director were found.

    "I am strongly impressed with the belief of your possessing the energy, experience, and benevolence necessary to execute our design.  The remuneration to be afforded you must depend in part on the success and extension of the school.  You will be enabled to form your own judgment if you take the trouble to come to London.  I could see you either there or here, and will refer you in the first place to a friend of mine, who feels great interest in the agricultural school plan."

    Mr. Craig accepted the appointment from Lady Byron, and while the buildings were being prepared he went on a commission to the Continent to examine the industrial schools of Rotterdam, and of Switzerland, including the famous one of E. de Fellenburg, at Hofwyl, near Berne.  Lady Byron's school, which he organised at Ealing Grove, on the plan pursued at Ralahine, obtained considerable distinction, and was much visited.  The Duchess of Roxburgh, the Lady Lytton Bulwer, Ada Byron, Lord King, Sir William Molesworth, and Mrs. Somerville were among those who came.

    In the course of this narrative it will necessarily happen that many persons will be omitted who really are entitled to a place in it.  A difficulty which besets every writer is, that whatever trouble he takes to be well informed, he will not escape giving evidence that he does not know everything.  My care has been to include all those whose services were most obvious and influential in the movement.

    Many will remember the familiar names of Mr. Vines and Mr. Atkinson, who promoted associated homes, as they did in earlier years; Mr. Alger and Mr. Braby, long actively connected with the movement; Walter Newall, long held in regard as one of the general secretaries of the central board; Mr. Nash, a familiar name to the friends of Labour Exchanges; Mr. Ardell, one time treasurer in community days; Lawrence Pitkeithly, of Huddersfield, alike regarded by Chartists and Socialists; H. Constable, an earlier and later friend of the old cause; J. Cross, of Shoreditch, who lost two fortunes in his later years, and gallantly earned a third, and equally, rich or poor, worked for the promotion of social ideas; Mr. Austin, who, like Philip O. Skene, wore himself out with his enthusiasm; Robert Adair, whom the poet Wordsworth selected to give the first appointment he bestowed, when he became Her Majesty's Distributor of Stamps.  Many others in the chief towns of England and Scotland might, if space permitted, be named for services by which this generation is benefited, and for which they obtained no requital.

    Several of the missionaries were remarkable instances of monotony of power.  As young men they manifested sudden and unusual ability.  They "struck twelve all at once," and never struck anything after.  They were a sort of petrified publicists.  Some of these social apostles were pleasant persons to know, but a few of the most endurable were the least worthy, inasmuch as they gave thought and talent to their cause, but did not consider how far they could advance it by giving it also the tribute of their conduct.  They did not consider that their credit and connections belonged to it.

    Others adorned their principles by their career; they took, as it were, the weight of the disordered world upon their shoulders.  I remember one, and he was an outlying propagandist, who had the martyr-spirit without the martyr-manner.  Like Talleyrand, he waited for the hour of action, and never acted before it came.  He knew that things were going round, and he watched until the turn came for him to do his part, and he did it with the full force those only can exert who have reserved their strength for the blow.  He was thin, poor, and seedy; but even his seediness had a certain charm of taste, cleanness, and care.  There was no seediness in his soul.  His Spirits were always bright.

    The majority of these social advocates had clear, strong, worldly sense.  Their principles and conduct refuted everything which the world commonly alleged against communists.  They were innovators without hatred, advocating change without bitterness or selfishness.

    Mr. Fleming challenged Richard Carlile to discussion.  Lloyd Jones also met him.  Mr. Green challenged a Mr. Halliwell, of Oldham.  Mr. Haslam "challenged all the ministers of the Gospel in the country," and other missionaries challenged everybody else who had been omitted.  Mr. Booth has collected statistics of the propagandist activity of this party from 1839 to 1841.  In two years and a half two millions of tracts were circulated.  At Manchester one thousand were distributed at public meetings every Sunday.  In London 40,000 were given away in one year.  During the Birmingham Congress half a million were dispersed.  Fifty thousand copies of Mr. Owen's manifesto in reply to the Bishop of Exeter were sold.  The outline of the rational system was translated into German, Polish, and Welsh.  At one meeting £50 was received for the sale of pamphlets.  During one year fifty formal discussions were held with the clergy.  During another 1,450 lectures were delivered, of which 604 were upon theology and ethics.  Three hundred and fifty towns were regularly visited by missionaries, and the country was divided into fourteen missionary districts.  This was genuine propagandist activity and intrepidity.  If collision of thought leads to enlightenment, the co-operators certainly promoted it.  Every hall in the kingdom that could be hired resounded with debate; the corner of every street had its group of disputants; every green and open place where speakers could hold forth was noisy with controversy; no fireside was silent; pulpits were animated; the press abounded with articles; Unitarians in those days were less Evangelical than now and mercifully helpful of secular improvement, and at all times more liberal than any other English sect, often opening their chapels and schoolrooms to lectures and even discussions.  Often social lectures had to be delivered in the streets, in the market-place, and often in a field belonging to some fearless friend of free opinion in the town.  Though most of the social reformers were total abstainers, they had to occupy rooms in public-houses.  Respectable inn-keepers were afraid of the licensing magistrates, who commonly threatened them with the loss of their license.  The leading advocates of temperance had often to go down obscure, miserable passages, jostling against beery people frequenting the house.

    Theologians would accept an act of liberality from others, but would not show it in return.  When the Rev. Edward Irving and his followers were deprived of their own church, they were admitted into the Gray's Inn Institution; but when the co-operators wanted to hold a meeting only in the schoolroom of the Rev. J. Innes, of Camberwell, a minister of the same church, they were refused it.  It was frequently the lot of the social advocates to find themselves in the streets; sometimes they met in an old barn, or a back room, lying far down a mysterious court, where the audience could ill find their way, and had often more trouble to get out than get in.  Persons were often sent to break up the meeting by violence, and attack the speakers outside on leaving the place.  The ascent to the lecture-room was often up a rickety ladder, with a penny candle outside, which was always blowing out, to indicate to the public the Hole in the Wall, through which they were to enter.  Inside, two or three miserable candles, stuck up among the rafters with soft clay, shed flickering and precarious light over the interior.  The lecturer (on the subject of the New World) had to stand upon an old table, which, when he mounted it, was discovered to have but three legs, which was generally propped up by some enthusiastic disciple, who put his knee under it; but when he was carried away by some point which his friend on the table made successfully, he joined in the applause, which altered his position, and let the orator down.  In some towns a desolate theatre was the only place that could be obtained, and it was sometimes necessary, as in Whitehaven, when the present writer lectured there, to fortify it the day before the lecture, and to select, as a sort of body-guard, those converts to the new views who had the thickest heads, in the event of bludgeons being employed; as the audience threatened to assemble with stones in their pockets, I left my friends in the wings, and presented myself on the platform alone, judging that only good marksmen would be able to hit a single target.  Mr. Owen, Alexander Campbell, and other lecturers incurred far more serious danger.  Sometimes the lecture-room was situated, as in Leeds, over a series of butchers' shops, which in summer-time gave a carnivorous odour to the principles promulgated above.  It was a common thing to find the place of meeting over a stable, when a stranger entering would be struck by the flavour of the principles before hearing them explained.

    Two movements of great hope failed through very opposite conduct—the associative colonies and the mechanics' institutions.  The co-operators opened their doors to all sorts of discussion, and the mechanics' institutions closed theirs against any.

    As social speakers welcomed all comers, they had to encounter a strange assortment of adversaries.  Now and then a fat disputant appeared, and very welcome his presence was.  We never had a large speaker among our advocates, which was a great disadvantage.  It would have suggested a well-fed system.  Obesity has weight in more senses than one.  A fat look is imposing.  A mere self-confident turn of a rotund head has the effect of an argument.  An attenuated visage always seems illogical to the multitude, while a mellow voice rolls over an audience like a conclusive sequence.

    The early advocates, like many others, who have done the world some service, and made a lasting name in it, were better inspired than informed.  Many of them had no more notion than Jesus had of political economy, or the Apostles had of the manufacturing system, and often talked beside the time and needs of the day.  It was, nevertheless, freely owned that the missionary representatives of Mr. Owen's views not only held their own, but made important captures from the enemy.  Mr. Owen himself, when he had relinquished public life, continued the most untiring travelling advocate of the time; and his addresses were undoubtedly successful, and excited both interest and enthusiasm wherever he appeared.  When adversaries appeared after his lectures, he always proved equal to returning a prompt and effective reply.  For instance, when lecturing in Edinburgh in 1838, one of the acute opponents, always to be met with in that city, derided Mr. Owen's statement, that human beings could be trained to believe anything ever so absurd and contradictory.  "Is it possible," demanded a sharp-tongued querist, "to train an individual to believe that two and two make five?"  "We need not, I think," said Mr. Owen, "go far for an answer.  I think all of us know many persons who are trained to believe that three make one, and think very ill of you if you differ from them."  This was a good instance of his repartee.  The answer seemed most obvious when it was made, but it occurred to nobody till it was given.

    It was no uncommon thing for an adverse hearer to be wantonly offensive, and plead that "he was the creature of circumstances over which he had no control," when a vigorous adherent of ready wit would reply—"That's very true, we are all in the same case, and your behaviour is a circumstance which compels me to knock you down"—and in a moment the adversary would be reflecting on the floor.  Anon a disputant shot like a meteor over the darkness of debate.  Some men's thoughts are like matches, they ignite by the mere attrition of sentences, and throw light on the dim places of an argument.  Other men's never ignite at all.  Some have fusee ideas, and smoulder merely.  Others have tar minds, and give out more odour and smoke than flame.  Now and then a man would get up and strike his arguments together like the old flint and tinder box, producing more noise than sparks.  Occasionally a speaker burnt with a strong, steady, flame of speech, which both lighted and warmed every one, and the hearer saw clearer ever after.  There are hearers with india-rubber minds, which stretch with a discourse.  Some understandings are like porcelain, and crack if you hit them with a hard syllogism—and the parts never unite any more.  There are speakers whose influence, if not their intellect, is in their throats, and their wild, strong, musical cadences charm the ear.  They who listen do not well know what they have said, and speakers do not know themselves, and do not need to know.  Their speech is applauded like a song, of which no one knows the words.  Others speak like a railway whistle, and impart knowledge and the headache together.  The scatter-brained men would come forward in force, and some with no brains at all.  Not infrequently a disputant did not know what the point was he was replying to; or if he did, his speech, like Mrs. Gamp's, went elsewhere, and not there.  We had all sorts of opponents, lay and clerical.  Some would swell the truth until the audience thought there was something the matter with it; others thinned it until it seemed in a decline, while the rough, handed dislocated it and made it appear out of joint.

    Many people are inclined to take a poetic view of life: and so long as they keep their feet upon the earth they are the most agreeable persons to know.  Their innovatory vivacity renders progress brilliant.  When, however, they leave the earth it is not worth while looking up in the air after them.  There is nothing to gain until they alight.  There used to be whole meetings in which there were no persons on the ground, they were all up above.  A man thoroughly sane is a very interesting person.  He stands firm upon the earth, and you know where to find him.  He sees things as they are, and the people who do that are rare.  They are the spectacles of their friends, enabling the dim or dazed to look discerningly and steadily at what is before them.  A wise man consults the sane seeing man as he would a telescope, when he wishes to make out the danger appearing in the uncertain distance.

    It is one of the lessons of party experience to perceive that the loftiest precepts have but limited force, as a rule hearers need to be educated to receive them.  Only partial results ought to have been expected until this was done, whereas no doubt was entertained of the immediate and permanent effect of right principles.  It was thought that reason would operate at once, and for ever influence the mind which apprehended it.  It was not foreseen that only very powerful minds act on principles from energy of personal insight.  New opinion is a burden which few men continue to carry unless they are instructed in all its advantages as well as disadvantages, and enter upon the duty with their eyes fully open to what will follow, then hostility gives them no surprise.  In the enthusiastic period of a movement principles are masters of the advocates, instead of the advocates being masters of the principles.  It was debate, and debate alone, that taught co-operators this lesson; and where they have learned it Co-operation advances.

    Off hand advocates trusted to a sort of Wesleyan readiness and impulse, and accomplished what they did more by fervour than by art.  On the canvas on which they worked they put in some figures of great force, but they executed no finished picture of power.  Cabet, who succeeded Mr. Owen in order of time, was an equable, but mild, delineator of social life; he was the most practical and coherent of French world-makers.  Nothing was produced in the literature of English Socialism comparable to the writings of Louis Blanc.

    At times learned lecturers appeared among us.  Some were lawyers, who endowed the new system with attributes of categorical profundity, which held us all in amazement.  There was, in what they said, a protracted coherence, an illimitable lucidity, which compelled ordinary hearers to fall out of the line of proof on the way, exhausted, and enthusiastic.

    No one continues a propagandist unless he be a person of courage, industry, and self-denial.  In the case of new thought most people do not like to think at all; others, who have no minds to think with, are still more difficult to deal with.  You cannot convert vacuity; and you have to create mind by teaching the very elementary principles of thinking.

    If a man's mind moves on some hinge of prejudice, you have to provide that it turns on some pivot of principle.  In Co-operation new objects, new feelings, new habits had to be proposed.  Men had to be shown that their welfare and security were best attained by an arrangement of business, which gave fair advantages to others.

    A propagandist is an agent of ideas, a cause of change, a precursor of progress.  To do his work well, he must have some mastery of his own language, for grammar is merely the law of intelligible speech.  He must know how to set his facts in the order in which they can be seen as he sees them; and able to reason upon his facts, when he has set them forth, else their purport can never be enforced.  The practical effect of grammar is economy in speech; the practical effect of logic is economy in thinking.  The propagandist has to remember that his life is an argument.  A man may give good advice who never follows it, as a finger-post may point the right way though it never moves in that direction.  But he who is seen to do himself what he counsels, will always have more influence over men than those who say one thing and do another.  There is a sin of consistency when a man professes opinions after he sees their error, not liking to own his altered convictions.  But consistency between conviction and conduct is a very different thing.  Inconsistency between belief and practice is hypocrisy, whether before man or God.  He who urges others to be true, should be true himself.  Hence he must be at the service of the principles he proposes to advance.  The Italian proverb says, thoughtfully, "Beware of being too good."  There seems that no harm could come of that.  When a man acts disinterestedly among others who do not, they will disbelieve him, for none believe heartily in what they do not feel capable of themselves; and these persons, finding the conduct of others a reproach to themselves, descry it.  A propagandist must take this as he takes other risks, and do the best he can.  He will be believed in the end if he keeps doing the right thing to the best of his power.  So that a propagandist should either incur no family obligations like Mazzini, or count upon the pain of involving them in consequences of his own convictions, which they may not share, and yet will have to bear the penalty, and he be helpless to prevent it.  The wife and children may be nobly willing to share any consequences which may result through the father maintaining his convictions, and count the bearing of an honest name an honourable inheritance.  But these cases are not common.  Privation, the consequence of social exclusion, comes in so many ways that, however bravely borne, it must be painful to the propagandist to contemplate.  He who chooses to embark in the service of mankind must make up his mind to this; and he had better know it from the beginning.  There may come regard and honour, before which all days of peril and labour pale in the memory; but these are happy accidents on which no man may count.

    The reader can now form his own opinion of the school of Social Improvers, whose careers and fortunes we have now followed through the Pioneer Period.  They fought not for their own hand, but for the hand of the people.  They taught the new doctrine of self-help and industrial emancipation.  Milton, who had a militant spirit, who could not think of heaven without thinking of the fighting there, whose spirit strode the earth in stormy times, understood better than most men, as he wrote—

"Peace hath her victories,
 Not less renowned than those of war."

    And this is the victory the Social Pioneers won; Louis Blanc, in his "Organisation of Labour," began with the impassioned cry, "Christ has come; but when cometh salvation?"  It has been this long-promised, much-needed, long-delayed, material salvation, which these social propagandists have advanced.

[Next Page]



[Home] [Up] [Autobiography] [Rochdale Pioneers] [Leeds Co-op Jubilee] [Derby Co-op Jubilee] [Bygones] [Public Speaking] [Among the Americans] [The Reasoner] [Miscellaneous] [Main Index] [Site Search]

Correspondence should be sent to Webmaster@Gerald-Massey.org.uk