History of Co-operation (11)
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    About 1838 a number of youths, whose ages would range from thirteen to sixteen years, began to club their pence together with the object of renting a plot of land to grow potatoes upon.  They intended to delve the land themselves, collect manure, buy seed, plant and reap the potatoes or whatever grew, and sell them amongst their neighbours.  Of course their ideas of Co-operation were crude, but there was the germ of the principle in their minds, even at their early age.  However, their means were too slender for some of them to comply with the terms of subscription of one penny per week.  They got behind with their cash contributions before there was a sufficient sum to purchase seed, which damped the ardour of the others who had managed to muster their share weekly.  At that time pennies were as scarce in the pockets of lads as shillings are now, consequently nothing came of their juvenile attempt.

    Eight or ten years later a number of very young men directed their attention once more to co-operative effort.  They subscribed in larger sums than they had been able to do before, and actually bought a cow and had it killed in a barn.  They sold it out to their neighbours, but they either sold at too low a price, gave too much weight, or had too much waste.  Their deficiency could not arise from excessive wages paid, because all their work was done for nothing, except a trifle to a butcher for killing.  But whatever the cause, the balance was on the wrong side of their humble ledger.  So down went the society.  For about ten years after the collapse of cow-selling no one had the courage to make another attempt.  At length a few persons attempted to establish a Farming Society.  They framed a code of rules under the title of "The Self-Help Co-operative Society," and took a farm of about nine statute acres.  They bought two cows, half a dozen pigs, reared several hatches of ducks, and bred a number of rabbits.  They planted potatoes, cabbages, turnips, wheat, oats, and vetches.  But the work was uncouth to them.  They had not the practical knowledge nor physical qualifications necessary for success.  They had the misfortune to lose a cow, which proved a death-blow to their enterprise, as they never numbered more than seven members, the lowest number recognised by law, and their means were too limited to bear the strain to which this thoughtless cow subjected them.  So the farming society at Failsworth died with the cow.  They called it in reporting language "succumbing to force of circumstances."  Another attempt has since been commenced by a number of Newton Heath and Failsworth people, to solve the problem of food production on a small scale, and if they can get cows of more consideration they expect to succeed.

    A fair example of the rapidity with which little difficulties succeed each other in the establishment of a store are contained in an account sent me by Mr. John Livingston, of Macclesfield.  The wife of a member was thought to be living in a degree of affluence disproportionate to her expenditure at the store.  She became a subject of observation, and was found outside the store with butter which she did not pay for.  She was forgiven on condition of her husband leaving the society.  Then a joiner, doing a job in the shop (who was a member) mistook his instructions, and worked at the till.  The police disposed of him for a month.  This meant some pounds of loss to the society.  Next, one of the committee men, when he had learned the profits of the trade, commenced shopkeeping on his own account.  Some loaves of bread discovered to be missing from the bakery, a potato was put in another loaf for a mark.  But potato and loaf were both missing.  This baker being discharged, the next spoiled two or three large bakings, of which each loaf was 4lbs.  They were sold at a reduced rate to the poor.  The directors afterwards learned from a servant girl that she heard the baker say he was paid for spoiling the bread.  A donkey and cart were set up to carry in and out the bread baked for the members.  But the animal died, not for his country's good nor that of co-operation.  The store stood the market with potatoes on a Saturday, and chalked on a board the words "Co-operative Potatoes."  They gave checks, and it occupied half their time to explain their use amidst the derisions of the hucksters.  The store next removed to a large shop and building in the same street, which cost £1,000 to the original owner.  The store has since bought it and two cottages, now a steam bakery and drapery shop.  They obtained a very smart shopman from another county, and he had a shopman for his bondsman.  The first lot of coffee was ordered from a Liverpool house by the shopman from its traveller.  In time the directors had to take the keys from their shopman, and sell a portion of the coffee at the wholesale price to his bondsman.  The Liverpool house was written to to ascertain the weight mark.  The answer was, "We have made a mistake and should have allowed you 18 lbs. as the tare." The persevering fellows get along smoothly now (1877).

    There was a store in another energetic manufacturing town (name lost) which was held in the market-place.  It never had any other place of business than its stall there.  In what way Mr. Tidd Pratt enrolled it (if it was enrolled) has not been communicated to me.  Mr. Tidd Pratt, had he been a man of curious mind, with a taste for describing the humours of humble men, could have told amusing instances of the adventures of the provident poor.  This market store was commenced by some young men of means too small to take a shop, but with vigour of mind and determination to do something in the way of Co-operation; so they negotiated with the market authorities for a stall, and the little enterprising committee, manager, salesman, secretary, and treasurer, or whatever officers they had, stood the market on Saturday afternoon and night—the only time when they were off work.  They made more noise than profit; but some nights they cleared as much as nine shillings, when their hopes rose so high that had the Government stood in need of a loan at that time, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had certainly heard from them, to the effect that if he could wait a bit they would see what they could do for him.  Their difficulty was to make the public purchasers understand all about the division of profits.  Surrounding traders supplied gratuitous information to the effect that the buyers would never hear of any profits.  They had no checks to give—those outward and visible signs of inward "Tin," which in other stores allay suspicions.  Indeed, these market co-operators did not themselves understand the mystery of checks.  But they promised a division of profits quarterly, which they had heard was the regular thing.  The dubious purchasers of cabbage and treacle went away in hope.  But before long, at the end of a fortnight, a shrewd old woman, who was afraid they would forget her face, appeared to ask if they would pay her dividend on the three pennyworth of potatoes she had bought two weeks ago.  No doubt the store would have answered had not the salesmen, who had been all the week in hot mills, caught cold in the damp air of winter, which ended in rheumatic fever with two of them, and the co-operative stall became vacant.  A good outdoor man, who, like Sam Slick, was waterproof and lively, could have made the "Co-op. Stall," as it was called, pay.

    The Newton Heath Society, which was commenced in 1840 by a few enterprising young fellows, paid their salesman fourpence in the £ upon the sales he made—a simple way of fixing a salary, and as the sales were few and far between in those days he had a motive for endeavouring to increase the purchasers.  But in later years, when the sales at stores exceed £100 a day, some limit would have to be found where the fourpence should stop.

    Co-operation was unknown in Halifax till the spring of 1829, when the first recorded society was formed, May 29th in that year.  An old and nearly worn-out member of the Brighton Co-operator, and another of the Associate, fell into the hands of Mr. Nicholson.  These he showed to his father and three brothers, which induced them, and four others, to commence a society.  Their first co-operative tea-party was held in April the following year.  About two hundred persons, chiefly women, were present; the "Tea Feast," as they called it, being given gratis, in order that the women might get some practical and pleasant knowledge of co-operation.  In the record of the society's existence they made a levy of four shillings a member to enable them to join the Liverpool Wholesale Society.  At the end of two years and a half the Halifax co-operators found that they had made a profit on their capital of £200, twenty times as much as the same money would have yielded them in a savings bank.  This society published in the Lancashire and Yorkshire Co-operator, the first financial table of their progress which appeared.  It exhibited as follows the position of the society for the first three years:—
 

TABLE OF THE FIRST HALIFAX SOCIETY

Year

Sales

Expenses

Clear Profit

 

£    s.   d.

£    s.   d.

£    s.   d.

1830

2,266    5   9½

73   10   7½

67    7   8¼

1831

2,921   16   8¼

123    3    8  

59  13   5½

1832

3,196    2  10½

147    3   11

46    1   9½

 

8,384    5   4¼

343   18   2½

173   2  11¼


The Halifax Society of to-day is one of the mighty stores of the time, and has a history to itself like Rochdale.  If Halifax happens to lose £60,000, it still goes on its way, no more disturbed than one of the planets when an eccentric comet loses its tail.

    Mr. J. C. Farn has given instructive instances of early successes of co-operative societies occurring between 1826 and 1830.  A society had cleared £21 by the butchers' trade in one quarter; a second had been able to divide profits at the rate of 30s. per member; a third, which had commenced with 6s., had grown to £200 in eight months, £75 of which was profit; a fourth had a capital of £207, and had cleared £32 during the quarter; a fifth had its capital formed by payments of 6d. per week until it had reached £25, and in fifteen months it had cleared three times the amount in profit; a sixth, with a capital of £109, had cleared £172; whilst a seventh could boast of 700 members, who went boldly in for manufacturing.

    The story of the Burnley Society is well worth telling.  It has had great vicissitudes, years elapsing without progress or gain.  Save for incessant attention, ceaseless nights of labour at the books, and unwavering devotion given by Mr. Jacob Waring, the society had never stood its ground.  Other members worked; that Mr. Waring did so in the chief degree was acknowledged by the society when its day of success came by a public presentation to him.  Sometimes, when the books had been worked at till late on a Saturday night and almost into Sunday morning, the directors, when the balance came to be struck, were afraid to look at it, lest it should be against the society, as had so often happened before.  For two or three year's things were systematically going to the bad.  No one could discover how or why.  The stock entries, as goods arrived, were made in a small book.  Being small it got mislaid, or overlaid at the time when the quarterly accounts had to be made up.  It was so likely an occurrence that nothing was thought of it.  Everything seemed regular and yet the result was never right.  At length, not from any suspicion, but because no other change could be thought of to be tried, Mr. Waring suggested that a stock book be got so large that it could not be overlooked, so bulky that it could not be hidden, and so heavy that no one could carry it away and not know it.  After that quarter profits reappeared and never went out of sight any more.  Amid the many-advertised qualities of good account books, I never remember to have seen size and weight put down as virtues.  Yet there must be some obvious merit therein; for a bulky book saved the Burnley store.  It was not want of capital, not want of trade, not want of watchful management, the protracted deficits lay in small account-books.  Thin books brought small dividends; fat books produced fat profits.  In Burnley success seemed related to stock-book bulk.

    Human nature is porcupine in Sheffield.  Suspicion is a profession, disagreement was long an art among Sheffield operatives.

    Leeds used to have great talent in this way; hence it has presented an entirely different phase of Co-operation from Rochdale—different in its aims, its methods of procedure, and its results.  When Leeds men made profits they would spend them instead of saving them.  A noble mill and grounds were to be sold.  A year's profits would have bought the property and made a mighty store.  Years after they had to give more for the ground alone than they could have had both land and building.  Leeds has been remarkable for possessing two friends of the industrial classes, knowing them thoroughly, sympathising with them thoroughly, mixing with them, taking a personal part in all their industrial efforts, and accustomed to write and speak, and capable in both respects.  No town ever had two better industrial and co-operative expositors than John Holmes and James Hole.  Mr. Holmes's economic advantages of Co-operation in reply to Mr. Snodgrass is a notable example of practical controversy, fair, circumstantial, and cogent.  A gentleman whom nobody supposed existed save in the "Pickwick Papers," one John Snodgrass, a practical miller, was proprietor of the Dundas Grain Mills, Glasgow.  He wrote against the Leeds Corn Mill.  It was in defence of the mill that Mr. Holmes wrote in reply.  The men of Leeds showed true co-operative honesty in their corn mill affair.  When they made no profit they were advised to grind a cheap kind of Egyptian corn instead of more costly English or good foreign wheat.  The Leeds co-operators would not use Egyptian corn on principle.  Hard, suspicious, jealous, discordant, and greedy as many of them then were, they would not use it.  They could make thousands by doing it, and yet they did not do it.  They loved money, yet would not make it in a deceptive way.  Mr. Gladstone showed in his great speech at the inauguration of the Wedgwood Memorial that beauty paid—that Wedgwood had found it so.  Manufacturers may be expected to study beauty when it pays.  The Leed co-operators honourably stuck to purity when it did not pay.

    In the winter of 1847 David Green, of Leeds, John Brownless, and others, began to meet in a room in Holbeck, used as a school and meeting-house by the Unitarians.  Mr. Mill, afterwards known in London as Dr. John Mill, acted as minister.  At times Mr. Charles Wickstead officiated.  In that room the project of the Leeds Co-operative Corn Mill originated.  The Leeds Co-operative Society furnished materials for as curious a history as any store in the kingdom. [241]  Though its profits in 1905 exceed all other stores, there was a time when it lost upon everything it undertook to deal in; never were there such unfortunate co-operators.  They lost on the flour mill; they lost on the drapery—they lost always on that; they lost on the meat department—they never could get an honest manager there; they lost on the tailoring; they lost on the groceries; they lost on boots and shoes; and they lost their money which they did take, for that used to disappear mysteriously.  When Mr. John Holmes used to predict that they would surely make 5 per cent. profit, and eventually make more; that he should live to see the day when they would make £10,000 a year—the quarterly meeting, which had been looking long for dividends and seen them not, laughed at his speeches, would whistle as he spoke, and tap their foreheads to indicate there was something wrong there in the speaker, and exclaim, "Holmes has a slate off, and a very large one too!  Holmes is up in the clouds again, and will never come down!"  Mr. Holmes came to enjoy high repute as a true prophet.

    One day he met a woman whom he had long known as a steady frequenter of the store, who gave him brief, indistinct answers to his friendly greetings, nothing like her accustomed vivaciousness of speech; and he said to her, "What's the matter? Have you the faceache?"  With some confusion she at length said, "She had been having some decayed teeth taken out.  Her husband had found that he had a good accumulation of dividends at the store, and said she should have a new set of teeth and look as well as a lady, and they had not came home yet."  Mr. Holmes very properly complimented her husband on so honourable a proof of regard for his wife and pride in her good looks, and went away amused at this unexpected use of dividends which had never occurred to him.,

    Of the interest which co-operators take in their property when they eventually get it, Mr. Holmes gives me this instance.  Once when their mill was burnt down and they had some horses in the stable, hundreds of members ran from every part of the town and rushed into the stables, and, despite the fire, got the horses out safely.  Had the horses been owned by some alien-minded proprietor, all the horses would have been lost.

    For years the society had no educational fund.  It made occasional grants to enable lectures to be delivered at the chief stores in their district—Holbeck, Hunslet, Woodhouse Moor, and other places.  When I have had the honour to be one of the lecturers I have argued for knowledge on commercial grounds, and taken for my subject, "Intelligence Considered as an Investment."  The members whom it was most desirable to influence did not, as a rule, attend, not having knowledge enough to know that knowledge has value.  Wise directors, who proposed an Educational Fund, found it opposed by the general meetings lest it should diminish the dividends.  Mr. Holmes has likened making the proposal to walking in a garden immediately after rain.  The paths, as any one knows, which were perfectly clear before, are suddenly covered with crawling creatures.  They spring up out of the earth so rapidly that you can scarcely place your foot without treading upon the slimy things.  In the same manner, when a proposal for Education Funds is made to an uninformed meeting, the worms of ignorance crawl forth on every path where their existence was not suspected; elongated and—in the case of human worms—vociferous cupidity carries the day against them.

    Bradford, not far from Leeds, is another of the likely towns in which it might be supposed that Co-operation would flourish.  Yet it did not soon attain distinction there.  Its artisan population, energetic, conspiring, and resolute, suffered as much as the workpeople of any town.  Chartism could always count on a fighting corps of weavers in Bradford.  It has also had some stout co-operators, and in earlier days there was a branch of communists there who held a hall.

    Liverpool has known co-operative initiation.  Mr. John Finch, dating from 34, East Side of Salt House Dock, Liverpool (date about 1830), appeared as the treasurer and trustee of the first Liverpool Co-operative Society, and of the wholesale purchasing committee of that society.  He reported that the "First Christian Society" in Liverpool has 140 members, the business at the store being £60 per week, and that a second Christian Society had 40 members.  He mentioned the existence of five societies in Carlisle, and gave the names of five presidents, five secretaries, and five treasurers.  The highest capital possessed by one of these societies was £260, the weekly receipts £50.  He says, the "Weekly Free Press takes Co-operation up too coldly and is too much of a Radical to do the cause any good."  Yet as the most important advocates of Co-operation wrote in it, and the chief Metropolitan social proceedings were printed in it; as this was the only newspaper representing Co-operation, a public advocate of the cause should have held his disparaging tongue until there was a choice.  The Weekly Free Press was a London newspaper, of 1830, which announced that it was "exclusively devoted to the interests of Co-operation."  The Godalming Co-operative Society had passed a resolution "that every member who takes in a weekly paper shall substitute the Weekly Free Press in its stead."  This society had very decided ideas how to get an organ of the movement into circulation.  The Weekly Free Press was the earliest newspaper of repute which represented Co-operation.

    The first Liverpool Society of 1830 was the earliest which prefixed an address to its rules.  It was not very well written, but the example was a good one.  It gave the opportunity of interesting those into whose hands the rules fell.

    The Warrington Society of 1831 prefixed to its articles an excellent sentence from Isaiah, namely, "They helped every one his neighbour, and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage."  The rules of this society are remarkable, like all the rules of the co-operative societies of that time, for their anxiety concerning the moral character of their members.  They prohibited indecent and improper language in the committee-room; they would hold no meeting in a public-house; no person was refused on account of religious opinions; no person of an immoral character was admitted; and, if any member became notably vicious after he was a member, he was expelled unless he reformed.  They fixed the interest on money borrowed at 5 per cent.—the earliest instance of that amount being named in official rules.  One of their rules was that "when sufficient money was in their hands some kind of manufacture should be commenced."  They refused, "as a body, to be connected with any political body whatever, or with any unions for strikes against masters."  The society was pledged to "steadily pursue its own objects."  Had it done so they would have been going on now.  They, however, did think of progress.  This Warrington Society agreed to form a library, to take in a newspaper, and to publish tracts on Co-operation—not common with many modern societies.

    The Runcorn Economical Society of 1831 took for its motto the brief and striking passage, "Sirs, ye are brethren."  But they did not apply the spirit of this to women, for they allowed no female to serve in any office.  Neither did they permit any member to make known to any person who was not a member the profits arising from the society's store; a great contrast to the more profitable publicity of later societies.  No doubt the Runcorners made good profits.  No society ever forbids disclosures unless it has something to its own advantage to conceal.  This society was creditably fastidious as to its members.  It would have none but those of good character, who were sober, industrious, and of general good health.  They did not wish sickly colleagues, nor would they admit a member under sixteen, nor above forty years of age—as though frugality was a virtue unsuitable to the young, or not necessary for the old.

    In the rules of the first Preston Society, instituted on Whit Monday, 1834 (I quote from the copy which belonged to Mr. John Finch, then of Cook Street, Liverpool), there was one against speaking disrespectfully of the goods of the society.  It declared that "if any member did so, he should be excluded, and his share should be under a forfeit of six months' profit, together with a discount of 10 per cent. for the benefit of the establishment.  The directors of many other societies would have more peace of mind if they could get passed rules of this description.  This society accepted no member who belonged to another co-operative society, nor, if he had formerly belonged to one, unless he produced testimonials as to his character and the cause of his leaving.  Any market man neglecting to attend when sent for, or not attending on market days at proper time, was fined a sum equal to that paid for another member's attendance.  No money was paid to the wife of any member, unless her husband agreed to her receiving it.  The Rochdale Society never put any of this nonsense into its rules, but paid the woman member, and left the husband to his remedy, which wise magistrates made it difficult for him to get.

    The rules of the earlier co-operative societies form an interesting subject of study.  Some of the societies seem to have expected rapscallion associates, for they had rules for the treatment of felons who might be discovered among them.  But as a whole, a study of the rules would greatly exalt the political estimate of the capacity of the working class for self-government.  The wisdom, the prudence, the patient devices, which co-operative rules display, must be quite unknown, or we should never have heard the foolish and wholesale disparagements of working people which have defaced discussion in Parliament.

    America is not only a country where social ideas have room for expansion, but also seems a place where the art of writing about them improves.  Certainly emigrants there will relate what they never tell at home.  The Countess Ossoli used to value the "rough pieces of personal experience" (always fresh and excellent packages of knowledge when you can get them) which backwoodsmen would tell by their night fires.  At home persons imagine home facts can have no interest, or conclude that they are well known.  Few writers know everything, and it is well for the reader if an historian has but a limited belief in his own knowledge, and is minded to inquire widely of others.  Under this impression I became possessed of the following curious history of the early adventures of a Lancashire store (England) related to me by a Lowell correspondent, whose name (the printer not returning me the letter) I regret not being able to give.


    "The Blackley (Lancashire) Store commenced in the fall of 1860 with some forty members.  We lost no time in renting premises and commencing business.  The first year I acted as secretary, and then resigned my office to abler hands, which still retain it.  I was, however, elected a director, and served in the various offices of Committeeman, President, Auditor, and Librarian, six years more.  During the first year we acted on the plan of giving the storekeeper a dividend on his wages, equal to that paid to members on their purchases.  We may, therefore, claim to be the first, or about the first, society in England to adopt the device.  It was discontinued for a time—it has, however, been readopted.  Our first president, who was an overseer in one of the mills in the village, was addicted to thinking that respectability was a good thing for us, and thought us fortunate when the élite of the village smiled on us.  It was a great day for him when at one of our meetings we had a real live mayor to preside, supported by the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, a canon of the Church, the village rector and other dignitaries.  But it did us little good. [243]  When the show was over there was an end of them, because they did not really care for us.  But one gentleman, the Rev. Mr. Child, rector of a neighbouring parish, did take a kindly interest in us, and was always ready to help us when need came, and our members became much attached to him.  At the end of the first year we set about building a store of our own, and our president designed that the laying of the cornerstone should be a grand affair.  A silver trowel was to be presented to some one.  Every one of us turned to our friend, the Rev. Mr. Child, whom we wished should possess it.  Alas! our ceremoniously-minded president suggested it would not be courteous to our rector, the Rev. Mr. Deeling, to ignore him and offer it to another, though he had shown us little favour, and was under the influence of the shopocracy.  At length we agreed to offer the silver trowel to the rector, in the hope that he would refuse it, and we should be free to confer it on our friend Mr. Child.  Woe on us!  Rector Deeling accepted it!  He came and did the work, made us a short speech, took the trowel, and ever after shunned us.  During the cotton famine many of our members suffered severely, but it was an inexorable condition with the committee of relief which came into being in our quarter, that no member of the store could receive anything from them so long as he had a shilling invested; and I shall long remember seeing the poor fellows coming week after week for a few shillings out of their savings, until it was all gone, whilst their neighbours, who had as good an opportunity but saved nothing, were being well cared for.  I have often felt a wonder, on looking back to that dreadful time, how we got through it without coming to grief.  A young society, with small capital, and putting up a building that cost £1,000 yet we stood well upright.  I am certain if we had foreseen the events of the four years that were then before us, we should certainly have shrunk from encountering them.  Nevertheless, we weathered the storms, and came out prosperous.  I can only account for our success by the inherent soundness of the co-operative principle, and its self-sustaining power.  It was certainly not owing to any particular ability or foresight in the men who had the conduct of it.  I have no further facts from this American side of the water for you, and you do not ask for opinions, yet I cannot help giving some.  The people of America, I think, are not ripe for co-operation—they have not been pinched enough, and the opportunities for individual enterprise are too good.  They cannot understand anything but a speculation to make money, and the general moral scepticism is such that any one promoting a store would be suspected of wanting to make something out of it."


    The story of the silver trowel is as pretty an episode as any to be met with in the history of co-operative adventures.  The rector who took it did quite right, and the silly co-operators who offered it deserved to lose it.  How was he to know that they did not intend to honour him when they pretended they did?  The president who plotted the presentation was evidently a man well up in his line of business.  It is a sacred rule of English public life never to bring to the front actual workers of mark, lest you should deter people from coming to the front who always hold back.  If any honour is to be shown, the rule is to pass by all who have earned it, and bestow it upon some one never known to do anything.  The Blackley co-operators are to be congratulated.  They lost their trowel on sound conventional principles.  But if they had no money left to make an equal honorary present to their real friend, the Rev, Mr. Child, they ought to have stood in the market-place on Saturday nights and begged, like Homer, with their hats, until they had enough money for the purpose.

    In Radnorshire there is a parish of the name of Evenjobb—pleasant to a workman's ears.  Pleasanter than Mealsgate or Boggrow, or other extraordinarily-named places which abound in Cumberland, is the wide, watery plain of Blennerhasset, with its little bridge and quaint houses.  Here in this seldom-mentioned spot, is a very old-endowed Presbyterian meeting house, where heretics of that order once had a secure refuge to themselves.  The co-operative store there is a very primitive one; none like it exists elsewhere in England.  The members subscribe no capital and take no shares.  Mr. William Lawson provided the whole.  They have all the profits and he has all the risk and no interest, or if any accrues to him he spends it for the "public good."  He has since wisely placed at the service of the members the opportunity of purchasing the shares for themselves, and remodelling the store on the plan of those which are self-directed and managed by members, who take interest because they take the risks.

    There are stores of the self-helping type now established in the neighbourhood of Blennerhasset.  I delivered in 1874 the opening addresses of the Aspatria Society's Store in Noble Temple, and a well-built, substantial, well-arranged store it is.  From the name Noble Temple, the stranger would expect that it was some stupendous structure of unwonted beauty, or that some architect, amazed at the felicity of his conception, had given it that exalted name ; whereas the ground on which it stands happened to be named "Noble," and the very flat and ordinary fields around are called "Noble Fields."  Mr. W. Lawson built the hall for the people and considerately stipulated that it should be used on Sundays for useful addresses.

    There are many of the Scotch societies remarkable for singular features.  There was the Kilmarnock Store, which kept two cats—a black cat and a tabby cat—to catch the mice of the store.  But a prudent member, thinking this double feline expenditure told unfavourably on the dividends, attention was duly called to it.  At a Board meeting the question was argued all one night.  There was a black cat party and a tabby cat party.  It was agreed on both sides that the two could not be kept; and a strong partisan of the tabby cat moved the adjournment of the debate.  In the meantime the black cat, either through hearing the discussion, or finding a deficiency of milk, or more probably being carried off by the kind-hearted wife of some member—disappeared; and the division was never taken; and the secretary, who was instructed to ascertain what effect its support would have upon the dividends, never concluded his calculations.

    Mauchline, which Burns knew so well, never took to co-operation until the agitation for the People's Charter set men thinking of self-help.  The committee began with giving credit to the extent of two-thirds of the subscribed capital of each member.  At a later stage in their career they extended the credit to the whole of the subscribed capital.  The store must have been the most rickety thing out.  Mr. Hugh Gibb, who was its president, and who understood co-operation, resisted this discreditable policy with an honourable persistence which rendered him unpopular.  He constantly described credit as a foul blot upon co-operation, since it tended to keep the members in a state of dependence from which co-operation was intended to deliver them.  By this time the store has got off the siding of credit, and is fairly upon the main line of cash payments.

    The purchase of the Mechanics' Institution at Blaydon—Joseph Cowen, junr., was the founder—by the co-operative store is an instance of public spirit more remarkable than that displayed by any other society.  This Mechanics' Institution has fulfilled in its day more of the functions which Mechanics' Institutions were intended for, than have been fulfilled elsewhere.  Political, social, and theological lectures could be delivered from its platform.  Its news-room was open on the Sunday, when it could be of most service to the working class.  Eminent public men were honorary members of it; Garibaldi, Orsini, Kossuth, Mazzini were the chief names.  The first honorary distinction conferred upon me, and one I value, was that of placing my name on that roll.  On the Co-operative Store annexing it to their Society, they still kept the platform free and the news-room open on Sunday.  The Institution is well supplied with books and the best newspapers of the day, accessible to all the members of the store free, and to the villagers not belonging to the stores on payment of a small fee.  In addition to a free library, well supplied with desirable books, the social features of a working-man's club are added.  This liberal provision for the education and social pleasures of the co-operators illustrates the high spirit in which the best stores have been conceived and conducted.

    Co-operators have received distinguished encouragement to devote part of their funds to educational purposes whenever they have made known that they were endeavouring to form a library.  The Sunderland Society, in 1863, received gifts of books from Mr. Tennyson, Mr. Mill, Lord Brougham, and Mazzini in 1864.  Later, in 1877, Professor Tyndall gave a complete set of his works to be presented to such Co-operative Society as I might select.  They were awarded to the Blaydon-on-Tyne Society.  Blaydon-on-Tyne is merely a small village, through which the river and the railway run, and distinguished as the birthplace and residence of Mr. Joseph Cowen, M.P.  The houses are encompassed by grim manufacturing works, yet Blaydon has the most remarkable store next to that of Rochdale.  It began to grow, and went straight on growing.  Its book-keeping is considered quite a model of method.  The store has grown from a house to a street.  The library contains upwards of 1,500 volumes of new books.  Of course they have an Education Fund of 2½ per cent, net profits, reserved for instruction.  No co-operative society has outside respect which has not this feature.

    The store assets increased by upwards of £500 during 1876, notwithstanding that there had been £20,119 in shares and profit withdrawn.  After discharging horse and cart and all other accounts, there was paid in dividends £13,003.  Mr. Spotswood informs me that their Education Fund was then close upon £400 a year, and that they were busy fitting up three branches with news-rooms and libraries.  [244]  There is a good science class in Blaydon, and most of the students are the sons of members.  The pitmen and artisans of the Tyneside are distinguished among workmen for their love of mathematical science, and Professor Tyndall's gift will be read, and studied, and valued there.


 
CHAPTER XXXIV.

VICISSITUDES OF INDUSTRIAL LITERATURE.


"'Tis not the wholesome sharp morality,
 Or modest anger of a satiric spirit,
 That hurts or wounds the body of a state,
 But the sinister application
 Of the. . . ignorant . . .
 Interpreter who will distort and strain
 The general scope and purpose of an author."

DR. JOHNSON, Poetaster.


CO-OPERATIVE literature has a distinctively English character.  It is enthusiastic and considerate, advising gain only by equitable means.  If it dreams, it dreams constantly how men can best take the next step before them.  Nevertheless it would be the better in some respects for an infusion of Continental and American ideas into it.  There are what naturalists would call "specific growths" of associative conceptions in other countries, richer and loftier than ours, and they would be valuable additions to the bleak and hardier products of Great Britain.  The co-operative idea in its "germ state" has always been in the mind of man in all countries though in very atomic form.  The power and advantage of mere unity were themes of the ancient fabulists, and philosophers speculated how unity in life might produce moral as well as physical advantages.  Ancient India, as we now know, was rich in pacific thought which gave rise to pastoral communities.  Comparative co-operation would be as interesting in social science as comparative language or comparative anatomy has been in philology and osteology.

    The co-operative custom of Greek fishermen, of Cornish and Northumberland miners, of Gruyere cheese makers, of American and Chinese sailors; the devices of partnership of Ambelaika, show that for some two centuries constructive co-operation has been in action without being extended to other places or trades.

    In other countries men of the "wilder sort" are wilder than in England, and have sometimes made communistic co-operation hostile and alarming.

    One reason why the American nation is smarter than the English is, that the State has a Propagandist Department, and publishes costly books for the information of their people.  To them England must seem parsimonious, seeing that we have growls in Parliament at the expense of printing the dreary-looking Blue Books we produce.  There come over here from America, every year, volumes teeming with maps and diagrams of every kind, issued by the State Board of Health and the Bureau of Labour of Washington and Massachusetts.  But we have no Bureau of Labour, though we ewe everything to our being a manufacturing country. [245]  No minister has ever thought of creating a State Department of Labour.  It is with difficulty that we get, every three years, a few sheets printed of the Reports of Friendly and Co-operative Societies.  Deputations of members of Parliament had to be appointed to wait on the Printing Committee to get this done; and it is believed the Committee took medical advice before meeting the deputation, as no one can foresee what the effects might be.  For several years we had debates at our Annual Congress as to how the House of Commons might be approached with this momentous application.  Yet it was not a question of loss.  It is economy to give the information.  In America it is given by the State to every society or manufacturer of mark likely to profit by it.  The American reports mentioned, some years exceed 600 pages, handsomely bound and lettered, suitable for a gentleman's library.  A considerable number of these volumes are sent to England, to societies and individuals publicly known to be interested in the questions to which they relate.

    There is one instance in which the English Government, it must be owned, has done more than any other government, in publishing Blue Books upon the condition of the Industrial Classes Abroad, written by Her Majesty's Secretaries of Embassy and Legation which were issued for three years under the direction of Lord Clarendon.  The reports gave information as to the state of labour markets in foreign countries, the purchasing power of the wages paid compared with what the same money would procure at home; the manner in which workmen were hired and housed; the quality of the work executed; the kind of education to be had for families of workmen; the conditions of health in the quarters workmen would occupy, and other information of the utmost value to emigrant artisans and labourers. [246]

    So long as social ideas on the continent are sensible, we seldom hear of them in our journals or from the lips of our politicians, even though the social movement may be extensive and creditable.  But if an idiot or an enemy makes a speech to some obscure club it is printed in small capitals, as though the end of the world had been suddenly disclosed.

    The Standard is a curious and mysterious source of this information.  Though Conservative, it was long the only penny daily paper in which the working-class democrat found a full account of the proceedings in Parliament, so essential to their information.  Besides, it gives copious accounts of the revolutionary leaders, their movements and speeches abroad.  If Castelar, Gambetta, Victor Hugo, or Bakunin have made speeches of mark, or of alarming import, insurgent readers in England could find the most complete and important passages in the columns of the Standard alone.  Possibly its idea is that these reports would excite the apprehensions of Conservative supporters, and terrify the immobile and comfortable portion of the middle class.  In 1871, when the Industrial International Association met at Geneva, this journal told us that the internationalists raised the "Swiss flag without the cross, democracy without religion," and the Red Republic, and a good deal more.  The late Mr. George Odger was at the Congress.  At that time, the Emperor Napoleon being uncomfortable about the proceedings of Giaribaldi, whom the association wished to invite to their Congress, M. Boitelle had the foreign members arrested as they passed through France, and their papers seized.  Two of the members, Mr. George Odger and Mr. Cremer, "being of English birth," the Standard said "English like, they made an awful row about this insult to their country and their flag."  Lord Cowley took the matter up; the men were soon at liberty, but their papers were detained by the police, and months elapsed before the delegates received them back.  Napoleon wished to please Lord Cowley and to win the working men of Paris, so M. Rouher yielded up the documents to Odger, and "requested Bourdon, as the man whose signature stood first on the Paris memoir, to honour him with a call at the Ministry of the Interior."

    The Standard of October, 1871, gave particulars of the trial of Netschaiew, and quoted a document produced on that occasion, purporting to detail the duties of the real Revolutionists being the profession of faith of the Russian Nihilists—presenting it as "the ne plus ultra of Socialism."  A more scoundrelly document was never printed.  The conciseness and precision of its language prove it to be the work of a very accomplished adversary.  The creed contained eleven articles; but the quotation of six of them will abundantly satisfy the curiosity of the reader.  They treated of the "position of a revolutionist towards himself."


"1. The revolutionist is a condemned man.  He can have neither interest, nor business, nor sentiment, nor attachment, nor property, nor even a name.  Everything is absorbed in one exclusive object, one sole idea, one sole passion—revolution.

"2. He has torn asunder every bond of order, with the entire civilised world, with all laws, with all rules of propriety, with all the conventions, all the morals of this world.  He is a pitiless enemy to the world, and, if he continue to live in it, it can only be with the object of destroying it the more surely.

"3. The revolutionist despises all doctrines and renounces all worldly science, which he abandons to future generations.  He recognises only one science—that of destruction.  For that, and that alone, he studies mechanics, physics, chemistry —even medicines.  He studies night and day the living science of men, of characters, and all the circumstances and conditions of actual society in every possible sphere.  The only object to be attained is the destruction, by the promptest means possible, of this infamous society.

"4. He despises public opinion; and detests the existing state of public morals in all its phases.  The only morality lie can recognise is that which lends its aid to the triumph or revolution; and everything which is an obstacle to the attainment of this end is immoral and criminal.

"5. The revolutionist is without pity for the State and all the most intelligent classes of society.  Between himself and them there is continued implacable war. He ought to learn to suffer tortures.

"6. Every tender and effeminate sentiment towards relations—every feeling of friendship, of love, of gratitude, and even of honour—ought to be dominated by the cold passion of revolution alone.  There can be, for him, but one consolation, one recompense, and one satisfaction—the success of revolution.  Day and night he should have only one thought, one object in view—destruction without pity.  Marching coldly and indefatigably towards his end, he ought to be ready to sacrifice his own life, and to take, with his own hands, the lives of all those who attempt to impede the realisation of this object."


    Society is very safe if its destruction is only to be accomplished by agents of this quality.  No country could hope to produce more than one madman in a century, capable of devotion to this cheerless, unrequiting, and self-murdering creed.  What there would remain to revolutionise when everything is destroyed, only a lunatic could discover.  Poor Socialism, whose disease is too much trust in humanity, whose ambition is labour, and whose passion is to share the fruits with others, has met with critics insane enough to believe that Netschaiew was its exponent.

    So late as when the Commune was a source of political trouble in Paris, the advocates of the Commune were called "Communists," and the ignorance of the English press was so great, that these agitators were always represented as partisans of a social theory of community of property.  Whereas, in that sense, none of the leaders of the Commune were communists.  The Commune meant the parish, and the same party in England—had it arisen in England—would have been called Parochialists.  The advocacy of the Commune is the most wholesome and English agitation that ever took place in France.  It arose in a desire of the French to adopt our local system of self-government.  It was the greatest compliment they ever paid us.  And the English press repaid it by representing them as spoliators, utopianists, and organised madmen.  During the invasion of the Germans the French found that centralisation had ruined the nation.  The mayors of all towns being appointed by the Government, when the Government fell, all local authorities fell, and the Germans overran the helpless towns.  Had the Germans invaded England, every town would have raised a regiment by local authority, and every county would have furnished an army.  Every inch of ground would have been contested by a locally organised force.  It was this the Communists of France wished to imitate.  The claim for local self-government was made chiefly in Paris, and for Paris alone—there being probably no chance of sustaining a larger claim: but as far as it went the claim was wholesome.  The French have been so long accustomed to centralisation that their statesmen are incapable of conceiving how local self-government can co-exist with a state of general government.  In England we have some 20,000 parishes.  If we had centralisation instead, and any public man proposed that 20,000 small governments should be set up within the central government, he would seem a madman to us.  But we know from experience that local self-government is the strength and sanity of this nation.  The first time the French imitated this sanity, our press, with almost one accord, called them madmen.  William de Fonvielle—whose brother, Count de Fonvielle, was shot at by one of the Bonapartes—exerted himself, in the French press, to procure for the Communists the name of Communardists, to prevent the English press making the mistake about them which wrought so much mischief on public opinion here.  I assisted him where I could, but we had small success then.

    The pretty name of Socialism had got a few dashes of eccentric colour laid upon it by some wayward artists in advocacy, which casual observers—who had only a superficial! acquaintance with it, and no sympathy for it which might lead them to make inquiries—mistook for the original hue, and did not know that the alien streaks would all be washed off in the first genial shower of success.  Earl Russell pointed out, some years ago, that if the Reformation was to be judged by the language and vagaries of Luther, Knox, and other wild-speaking Protestants, it would not have a respectable adherent among us.

    The English theory of "communism," if such a word can be employed here, may be summed up in two things: 1. The hire of capital by labour, and industry taking the profit. 2. All taxes being merged in a single tax on capital, which Sir Robert Peel began when he devised the income-tax.  Labour and capital would then subscribe equitably to the expenses of the State, each according to its gains or possessions.

    Workmen are not the only men with a craze in advocacy.  No sooner does a difficulty occur in America as to the rate of railway wages, than sober journalists screech upon the prevalence of "Socialistic" ideas and put wild notions into the heads of the men.  The ancient conflict between worker and employer always seems new to journalists.  The mechanic calls his master a "capitalist," and the journalist calls the workman a "communist."  The same kind of thing no doubt went on at the building of the Tower of Babel, and the confusion of tongues—which Moses, unaware of the facts, otherwise accounted for—was most likely brought about by journalists.

    Among all the people of America, no one ever heard of a conspiring or fighting communist.  The people who form communities in America are pacific to feebleness, and criminally apathetic in regard to politics.  The communistic Germans there are peaceable, domestic, and dreaming.  The followers of Lasalle, if they had all emigrated to America, would be insufficient to influence any State Legislature to establish Credit Banks.  The railway men do not want Credit Banks.  The Irish never understood Socialism, nor cared for it.  The mass of working men of America do not even understand Co-operation.  The Russians have some notions of Socialism; but Russians are very few in America, and Hertzen and Bakunin are dead.  The French are not Socialists, and would be perfectly content as they are, were it not for the "Saviours of Society," the most dangerous class in every community.  The term "communism" is a mere expletive of modern journalism, and is a form of swearing supposed in some quarters to be acceptable to middleclass shareholders.

    In the time of the first Reform Bill, many of the active co-operators in London were also politicians, and some of them listened to proposals of carrying the Reform Bill by force of arms.  This was the only time that social reformers were even indirectly mixed up with projects for violently changing the order of things.  But it is to be observed that their object was not to carry their social views into operation by these means, but to secure some larger measure of political liberty.  The conspiracy, such as it was—if conspiracy it can be called—was on behalf of political and not of social measures.  The fact is, at that time, the action in which they took interest was less of the nature of conspiracy than of excitement, impulse, and indignation at the existence of the political state of things which seemed hopeless of improvement by reason.  Indeed, the middle class shared the same excitement, and were equally as forward in proposing violent proceedings [247] as the working class.  It is worthy to be particularised that the best known practical instigator of military action was a foreigner—one Colonel Macerone.  If the reader will turn to the pamphlets which the Colonel published he will find that the kind of men Macerone sought to call to arms were far from being dissolute, sensual, or ambitious of their own comfort.  The men who were to march on the Government were to be allowed but a few pence a day for their subsistence, and the Colonel pointed out the chief kind of food they were to carry with them, a very moderate portion of which they were to eat.  Water or milk was to be their only beverage.  A more humble or abstemious band of warriors were never brought into the field than those whom Colonel Macerone sought to assemble.

    About 1830 a penny pamphlet was published by C. Bennett, of 37, Holywell Street, entitled "Edmund's Citizen Soldier."  The first portion was "That true citizen soldier, Colonel Macerone, remarks that the population of most countries are much better acquainted with the use of arms and with the practice of military movements than the English citizens are.  Every man, and almost every boy in America possesses the unerring rifle.  In France, one man in every ten has seen military service.  England, however, is the great workshop for arms for all the world, and the fault is our own if we learn not the use of the things we make.  The pike, made of the best ash, is sold by Macerone, at 8, Upper George Street, Bryanstone Square, at 10s.  The short bayonet will not protect a man from severe cuts from the long sword of a bold horse-soldier.  The long pike will.  A walking soldier runs tenfold more danger in flying from a horse-soldier, than in showing a determined neck-or-nothing front to the mounted horseman."

    Of course, had revolvers been then a military arm, the half-famished pike-men had had a poor chance against the well-fed mounted horsemen.  But the yeoman cavalry of that day were far from being unapproachable.  My old friend James Watson, mentioned as one of the earliest co-operative missionaries on record, possessed one of the "Colonel Macerones," as these pikes were called.  When I came into possession of his publishing house in Queen's Head Passage, London, I found one which had long been stored there.  It is still in my possession.  In 1848, when the famous 10th of April came, and the Duke of Wellington fortified the Bank of England because the poor Chartists took the field under Feargus O'Connor—and a million special constables were sworn in, and Louis Napoleon, then resident in London, was reported one of them—this solitary pike was the only weapon in the metropolis with which the "Saviours of Society" could be opposed.  The Duke of Wellington could have no idea of the risks he ran.  It still stands at the door of my chambers, and I have shown it to Cabinet Ministers when opportunity has offered, that they might understand what steps it might be necessary to take, in case the entire Socialistic arsenal in England (preserved in my room) should be brought to bear upon the Government in favour of Co-operation. [248]

    Joseph Smith, the "sheep-maker" (who would not allow an audience to depart until they had subscribed for a sheep for the Queenwood community), mentioned previously, returned to England in 1873, and after thirty years' absence, unchanged in appearance, in voice, or fervour, addressed a new generation of co-operators.  He returned to Wissahickon, Manayunkway, Philadelphia, where he keeps the "Maple Spring" Hotel, where he has the most grotesque collection of nature and art ever seen since Noah's Ark was stocked.  As I have said, he certainly had as much "grit" in him as any Yankee.  There is no doubt that he began business on his own account at seven years of age in some precocious way.  There is no danger to him now, in saying that his first appearance in politics was knocking an officer off his horse by a brickbat at Peterloo in 1819, excited by the way the people were wantonly slashed by ruffians of "order."  He was the only one of the Blanketeers I have known.  The Blanketeers were a band of distressed weavers, who set out from Manchester in 1817 to walk to London, to present a remonstrance to George the Third.  They were called "Blanketeers" because they each carried a blanket to wrap himself in by the wayside at night, and a pair of stockings to replace those worn out in the journey.  Each poor fellow carried in his hand his "Remonstrance" without money or food, trusting to the charity of patriots of his own class for bread on his march.  Thus these melancholy insurgents, armed only with a bit of paper to present to as hopeless a king as ever reigned, set out on their march to London.  The military were set upon this miserable band, and Joseph Smith was one of those who were stopped and turned back at Stockport.  He claims to have devised the first social tea-party at the Manchester Co-operative Society on December 24, 1829—a much more cheerful and hopeful undertaking than Blanketeering.

    In November, 1847, we had a German Communist Conference in London, at which Dr. Karl Marx presided, who always presented with great ability the principles of Co-operation with a pernicious State point sticking through them.  He said in a manifesto which he produced, that the aim of the communists was the overthrow of the rule of the capitalists by the acquisition of political power.  The aim of the English communists has always been to become capitalists themselves, to supersede the rule of the capitalists by taking the "rule" of it, into their own hands for their mutual advantage.  A congress of the same school was held at Geneva in 1867.  Contempt was expressed for the dwarfish forms of redress which the slave of wages could effect by the co-operative system.  "They could never transform capitalistic society.  That can never be done save by the transfer of the organised forces of society."  This was no congress of co-operators, but of mere politicians with an eye to State action.  Of the sixty delegates present only seven were English, and this was not their doctrine.

    Of later literature, including chiefly publications, explanatory and defensive of Co-operation, appearing since 1841, may be named the Oracle of Reason, the Movement, the Reasoner, the People's Review, the Cause of the People, the Counsellor, the English Leader, the Secular World, the Social Economist, and the Secular Review.  These journals, extending from 1841 to 1877, were edited chiefly by myself, sometimes jointly with others.  They are named here because they took up the story of Co-operation where the New Moral World left it, and continued it when there was no other representation of it in the press.  Every prospectus of these papers dealt with the subject, and the pages of each journal were more or less conspicuously occupied by it.

    The Oracle of Reason was commenced by Charles Southwell, whose name appeared as editor until his imprisonment, in Bristol, when I took his place until the same misadventure occurred to me at Gloucester, being at the time on my way to Bristol to visit him in gaol there.  When the two volumes of the Oracle ended, Maltus Questell Ryall and myself commenced the Movement.  The Oracle and the Movement contained "Letters to the Socialists of England," and the Movement ended with the "Visit to Harmony Hall," giving an account of the earlier and final state of the Queenwood Community.

    In 1845, I published a little book entitled "Rationalism," which was then the legal name of Co-operation; the societies then known to the public being enrolled under an Act of Parliament as associations of "Rational Religionists."  The only reason for mentioning the book is, that the reader who may chance to look into it will see that the conception of the co-operative movement, the criticism and defence of its principles and policy pervading this history, were indicated there.  The Cause of the People was edited by W. J. Linton and myself, Mr. Linton well known to young politicians of that day as the editor of the National, and to artists as the chief of wood engravers, and since as an advocate of the political and associative views of Joseph Mazzini.  When the New Moral World ceased, I contributed papers on the social movement in the Herald of Progress, edited by, John Cramp, and incorporated this periodical in the Reasoner, commenced in 1846, of which twenty-six volumes appeared consecutively.  The Counsellor contained communications from William Cooper, the chief writer of the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers, and one from Mr. Abram Howard, the President of the Rochdale Society at this time. [249]  The English Leader, which appeared under two editors, and extended to two volumes, continued to be the organ for special papers on Co-operation.  The Secular World also included a distinct department, entitled the "Social Economist," of which the chief writer was Mr. Ebenezer Edger before named, who promoted Co-operation with the ability and zeal of his family, never hesitating at personal cost to himself.  Afterwards the Social Economist appeared as a separate journal under the joint editorship of myself and Mr. Edward Owen Greening, who had previously projected the Industrial Partnerships Record, published in Manchester in 1862, the first paper which treated Co-operation as a commercial movement.  Co-operative stores and productive manufacturing societies had by that time grown to an importance which warranted them being treated as industrial enterprises, affording opportunities to the general public of profitable investment.  The Industrial Partnership Record was the first paper that published "Share Lists" of those concerns.  Mr. Greening afterwards established the Agricultural Economist [250] (a name suggested by me), the largest commercial paper the co-operative movement had had, to which, at periods, I was a contributor.  Of separate pamphlets the best known is the "History of Co-operation in Rochdale," narrating its career from 1844 to 1892 (published by Sonnenschein). Mr. William Cooper, of the Rochdale Pioneers, in a letter to the Daily News (1861) reported that as many as 260 societies were commenced within two or three years after the publication of the "History" from 1844 to 1892, through the evidence afforded in the story of what can be done by people with the idea of self-help in their minds.  In some towns the story was read night after night to meetings of working men. [251]  This was also done at Melbourne, Australia.  Many years after the appearance of the work, when its story might be regarded as old, Mr. Pitman reprinted it in the Co-operator, it being supposed to be of interest to a new generation of co-operators.  It has been translated in the Courier de Lyons by Mons. Talandier and by Sig. Garrido into Spanish.  It has appeared also in many other languages, so that the Rochdale men have the merit of doing things distant people are willing to hear of.

    In 1871 the thirtieth volume of the Reasoner was commenced, which extended over two years.  I issued it at the request of a committee of co-operators and others in Lancashire and Yorkshire, who made themselves responsible for the printing expenses.  The editor was to be paid out of profits; but the comet of profits had so large an orbit that it never appeared in the editor's sphere.

    The "Moral Errors of Co-operation," a paper originally read at the Social Science Congress in the Guildhall, London, has been frequently reprinted by various societies.  The "Hundred Masters"' system, written in aid of the workmen when the famous struggle took place in Rochdale, when Co-operation halted on the way there, originally appeared in the Morning Star, a paper which gave more aid to progressive movements than any daily paper of that day in London.  "Industrial Partnerships, Divested of Sentimentality," was written to explain their business basis.  The "Logic of Co-operation" and "Commercial Co-operation" were two pamphlets of which many thousands were circulated, written in support of a question of establishing in co-operative production the same principle of dividing profits with the purchaser, which breathed life into the moribund stores of a former day.

    In maturer years, some authors are glad to have it forgotten that they have written certain works in their earlier days.  For me no regret remains.  Other persons have, in many instances, considerately come forward and taken this responsibility on themselves, either by printing editions of my books and putting their own name on the title-page; or by copying whole chapters into works of their own, as their own; or by translating a whole book into another language, where it had the honour of appearing as an original work in that tongue by an author unknown to me.  The "History of Co-operation in Rochdale" has as often appeared without my name as with it.  In Paisley a summary was made of it and sold without my knowledge.  After it was done a copy of it was sent to me, and I was asked whether I would permit it appearing without my name.  I said I would; the reason given for the request being that people would be more likely to read the book if they did not know who was the author, which I took to be a delicate way of telling me I was not a popular writer.  The Chambers Brothers published a paper in their Journal, by one of their contributors, who had interwoven essential portions of the Rochdale story into his article without reference to its origin, no doubt apprehensive lest the mention of the author might jeopardise its insertion.  But when the Chambers became aware of it, they frankly supplied the omission by a note in their Journal.

    Even distance, which lends enchantment to so many things, can do nothing for me.  A few years ago an American preacher called upon me, and told me that one of his brethren had printed an edition of one of my books, "Public Speaking and Debate" (written for co-operative advocates and others), and composed a preface of his own and put his own name on the title-page, which had done the sale a world of good.  Some of the proceeds would have done me good in those days, but my friendly informant did not advert to the probability of that.  Not long ago the editor of an International Journal, a paper issued in London with a view to furnish benighted Englishmen with original translations of foreign literature, bestowed upon his readers chapter after chapter of what he led them to believe, and what he believed himself, was a new and readable history of certain co-operative stores in England, based on the recent German work of Eugene Richter.  After this had proceeded for some weeks I sent word to the editor that if he was at any expense in providing his translation, I could send him the chapters in English, as they were part of a book published by me in London sixteen years before.  The editor sent me the volume from which he was printing, that I might see in what way he had been misled, and discontinued further publication.  The book was entitled "Co-operative Stores" and published by Leypoldt and Holt, of New York, who probably had no knowledge from what materials the work had been compiled.  Eugene Richter's work, on which the Leypoldt one is based, I have never seen.  As far as reprints of anything I have written are concerned, I have given permission without conditions to any one asking it, content that he thought some usefulness might thereby arise.  An unexpected instance of care for my reputation, as shown by the thoughtful omission of my name, occurred in the Quarterly Review.  A well-known writer [250] having supplied an article on a Co-operative topic, the "History of the Rochdale Pioneers" was one of five or six works placed at the head of it.  Of course the names of all the writers were duly added.  But when the editor came to mine, something had to be done.  To put down the book as authorless had been a singularity that might attract attention.  To avoid this the name was omitted of every other writer in the list, and for the first time an article in the Quarterly was devoted to six nameless authors, who had all written books of public interest.  The envious man in Æsop by forfeiting one eye put out two others, by losing my head five other writers were decapitated, and have gone down to posterity headless in Quarterly history.

    In June, 1860, a record of co-operative progress, conducted exclusively by working men, and entitled the Co-operator, was commenced.   Its first editor was Mr. E. Longfield.  Mr. Henry Pitman, of Manchester, was one of its early promoters.  This journal represented the Lancashire and Yorkshire co-operative societies.  By this time the reputation of the Rochdale Society continually attracted foreign visitors to it.  Professors of political economy and students of social life frequently sent inquiries as to its progress.  The letters which many of these gentlemen wrote, and the accounts they published in foreign journals of what had come under their notice in visits to England, form a very interesting portion of the papers in the Co-operator.  Professor V. A. Huber, of Wernigerode, was a frequent and instructive contributor.  Early in 1860, Gabriel Glutsak, civil engineer of Vienna, wrote to the Leeds Corn Mill Society for their statutes and those of the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers, with a view to submit them to his Government, and to ask permission to establish similar societies there.  In 1863, L. Miloradovitsch, residing at Tschernigor, in Russia, two weeks distant from St. Petersburg, contributed an interesting paper on Russian associations.  Mr. Franz Wirth, editor of the Arbeitgeber, Frankfort, contributed information concerning Co-operation in Germany, and reported concerning their German Co-operator, the Innung der Zukunft, by Mr. Schulze, of Delitzsch.

    At first the Co-operator was a penny monthly.  At the end of twelve months it was stated to have reached a circulation of 10,000 copies.  This was an illusion by confounding the number printed with those sold.  When the first shriek of debt occurred, bales of obstinate numbers were found which would not carry themselves off.  Co-operation always proceeded under greater restrictions than those which trade imposed upon itself.  Besides pledging itself to genuineness, fair weight, and fair prices, the editors of its official papers frequently refused to recognise applications of the principles, however profitable, which were not considered useful or creditable to working men.  Mr. Pitman, later editor of the Co-operator, kept no terms with any who wished to go into tobacco manufacturing or brewing, and ultimately became disagreeable to those who thought of having their children vaccinated.

    The periodical literature of the societies continued to present various drolleries of thought, though not executed with that Japanese vividness of colour observable in its primitive efforts.  If a passing notice of them is made here, it is merely that the narrative may not be wanting in the light and shade belonging to it.  If the wilful reader should bestow as much attention upon periodicals the present writer has edited as he has upon co-operative journals, such reader would no doubt find (of another kind) quite as much matter to amuse him.

    In the Co-operator the artistic imagination was again occupied, as in earlier years, in endeavouring to devise symbols of Co-operation, but nothing very original was arrived at.  Societies fell back upon the old symbol of the Hand in Hand, to which they endeavoured to give a little freshness by writing under it the following verse—


"Hand in hand, brother,
     Let us march on.
 Ne'er let us faint, brother,
     Till victory's won."


It did not occur to the poet that the worthy brothers would faint much sooner if they endeavoured to march on hand in hand.  Co-operation has many applications, but crossing the streets of London is not one of them, for if several persons should endeavour to do that hand in hand they would all be knocked down.  The revivers of the "hand in hand" symbol seem to be regardless of Mr. Urquhart's doctrine, imported from a land of lepers, that shaking hands is an unwarrantable proceeding, a liberty not free from indelicacy, wanting in self respect on the part of those who offer or submit to it.  The co-operator of 1862 had recourse to the figure of our old friend, the young man endeavouring to break a bundle of sticks; but he is now represented as doing it in so dainty and fastidious a way, that he is not likely to succeed if he operated upon them singly; and there stand by him two young co-operators, one apparently a Scotchman, wearing a kilt, both, however, watching the operation as though they were perfectly satisfied that nothing would come of it.  A belief that art must have some further resources in the way of symbols, led the editor of the Co-operator to offer a prize to students at the Manchester School of Art for a fresh emblem of unity.  The best of four designs was published, representing an arch with a very melancholy curvature, on which reposed the oft-seen figure of justice with her eyes bandaged, so that she cannot see what she is doing; and near to her was a lady representing Commerce, who appears to be playing the violin.  Underneath was a youth apparently tying the immemorial bundle of sticks, and a pitman wearing a cap of liberty, with a spade by his side, apparently suggesting that freedom was something to be dug for.  In the centre was a spirited group of three men at an anvil, one forging and two striking, in Ashantee attire, the limbs and body being quite bare.  The flying flakes of molten iron must have been encountered under great disadvantages.  The action at the forge is certainly co-operative, but the editor betrayed his scant appreciation of it by saying it would make a capital design for "our brothers in unity" (the Amalgamated Engineers were meant); but "our brothers in unity" did not take it up.

    The third volume of the Co-operator was edited by Mr. Henry Pitman.  He introduced a new illustration in which two workmen were approaching two bee-hives with a view to study the bees' habits; but, unfortunately, a stout swarm of bees were hovering over their heads, making the contemplation of their performance rather perilous.  A bee-hive does not admit of much artistic display, and bees themselves are not models for the imitation of human beings, since they are absolutely mad about work, and brutal to the drones when they have served their turn.  A society conducted on bee principles would make things very uncomfortable to the upper classes, and the capitalists would all be killed as soon as their money had been borrowed from them.  The popularity of bees is one of the greatest impostures in industrial literature.  However, the Co-operator, under Mr. Pitman's management, was a very useful paper.  Mr. Matthew Davenport Hill, Recorder of Birmingham, and Mr. William Howitt oft wrote in it very valuable letters.  Dr. King, of Brighton, sent information to it.  Canon Kingsley and the chief of the friends of industrial progress with whom he acted were contributors to its pages.  Writers actively engaged in the movement supplied papers or letters, and foreign correspondents furnished interesting facts and inquiries which will long have value.  But the success of journals of progress is not measurable by their merits.  The people the editor has in view to serve are the uninformed, and they do not care about papers because they are uninformed. It is to the credit of social propagandists that they appeal to reason.  This is against their success, since reason is seldom popular.  When Mr. Thornton Hunt left the Spectator he joined a journal which understood the popular taste, and the shrewd proprietor at once said to him, "Take note, Mr. Hunt, what we want on this paper is not strong thinking, but strong writing."  The Co-operator had little strong writing, that not being in its line, and was not over-weighted by strong thinking; but it had merits which deserved greater success than it met with.  It very early hung out signs of debt, and gave a great scream on the occasion, and actually put a black border round the statement in its own pages, as though it was anxious to announce its melancholy demise while it was yet alive.  Some one had revealed to the editor the difference between 10,000 printed and 10,000 sold.  Mr. J. S. Mill and Miss Helen Taylor gave £10 each to promote the continuance of the Co-operator, of which eight more volumes were issued.  In 1871, however, the debt amounted to £1,000.  The editor, nevertheless, refused to relinquish it, or accept an offer from the co-operators to purchase it.  It was not probable that he loved liability, though it had that appearance.  It was, doubtless, from a natural reluctance to relinquish a journal which he had conducted with usefulness and honourable perseverance during so many years, that he clung to it. It had but one printer during all that time, who had cheerfully suffered that considerable debt to accumulate.  If in patience or in faith he had shown this perseverance of trust, it was equally unprecedented and inexplicable.  Had his virtues been known in London, he would have been much sought after by editors of other periodicals, who would have appreciated such a printer.  Ultimately the debt was paid rightly and creditably, mainly by gifts from co-operative societies and votes from the Wholesale, who paid at one time the residue unliquidated, of upwards of £ 500.

    To the Co-operator has succeeded the Co-operative News, of which nine volumes had appeared, 1878.  This journal is the official representative of the societies.  A Newspaper Society was formed to establish the Co-operative News.  At the request of the committee, which included the leading co-operators of the North of England, I wrote the earlier prospectuses of the paper, and as they purposed buying up Mr. Pitman's Co-operator, I and Mr. Greening relinquished to them the Social Economist, which we conducted in London, in order that the new journal might have a clear field and the widest chance of a profitable career.  The Co-operative News is now owned by co-operative societies who hold shares in it.  For a time individuals held shares.  I was the last who did.  In 1876 I resigned mine in order that there might be that unity in its ownership which, in the opinion of its promoters, promised most efficiency for its management.  During an important period it was edited by Mr. J. C. Farn, who increased the economy of its management.  It was afterwards conducted by Mr. Joseph Smith and Mr. Samuel Bamford. Co-operative News, though a relevant, is not a profitable name.  The outside public look less into it than its general interest would repay, believing it to be a purely class paper.  Indeed, co-operators would take it in with more readiness if it bore a fresher name—a routine title tires the mind.  Working men some years ago would not take in the Working Man, one of the most instructive journals devised for them.  Working men are not fond of being advertised once a week as working men: for the same reason the middle class would not be enthusiastic on behalf of a paper called the Middle-class Man.  Mr. Cobden thought, when the Morning Star was commenced, that the public would value what they very much needed—news.  But news is only of value in the eyes of those who can understand its significance, and that implies considerable political capacity.  What the average public wanted was interpreted news—ready-made opinions—having little time and not much power to form their own.  Journals which gave them less news and more opinion had greater ascendancy than a journal which sought mainly to serve them by enabling them to think for themselves.  If men in a movement knew the value of a good paper representing it, guiding it, defending it, they would certainly provide one.  A co-operative society without intelligence, or an industrial movement without an organ, is like a steamboat without a propeller.  It is all vapour and clatter without progress.  An uninformed party is like a mere sailing boat. It only moves when outside winds blow, and is not always sure where it will be blown to then.

    In commencing their Journal the co-operators entered upon a new department of manufacture—the manufacture of a newspaper.  This is an art in which they had no experience, but in which they have displayed as much skill as people usually do who undertake an unaccustomed business.  Journalism in its business respects requires capital, skill, and technical knowledge, as other productive trades do.  Any one familiar with the mechanism of a newspaper can tell without being told—when it is conducted by charity.  Every column betrays its cheapness.  It is not the flag, it is then the rag of a party, and every page in it is more or less in tatters.  Instead of being the weekly library of the members, consisting of well-written, well-chosen articles, readable and reliable, it is the waste-paper basket of the movement, and everything goes into it which comes to hand and costs nothing.  No one is responsible for its policy; its excellences, if it has any, come by chance; its subjects are not predetermined; the treatment of them is not planned; and a journal of this description represents a movement without concert.  Poverty is always fatal to journalistic force.  Those who manage a poor journal mean well, but they do not know what to mean when they have no means.  They cannot be said to fail, because men who aim at nothing commonly hit it, and this is the general sort of success they do achieve.  Indeed, a journal may do worse than aim at nothing, because then nobody is hurt when its conductors strike their object.  It is much more serious when persons are permitted to be attacked, and local views—however excellent—are put forward in its pages in a party spirit, with disparagement of others, producing excitement instead of direction.  A representative journal owes equal respect and equal protection to all parties, guiding with dignity, securing progress with good feeling.  There is a difficulty in conducting an official paper—a difficulty everybody ought to see from the first—the difficulty of being impartial.  Impartiality is generally considered insipid.  Few writers can he entertaining unless they are abusive; and few editors are good for anything unless they are partisan.  If they have to strike out of an article the imputations in it, they commonly strike out the sense along with it, until the article has no more flavour than a turnip.  Still, if there be no choice, it is better to have a turnip journal than a cayenne pepper organ—better to have a salmon for an editor, who is always swimming about his subject, than a porcupine one, who is sticking his fretful quills into every reader, and pricking the movement once a week.

    Every new member of a store should be required to take the official paper.  This alone would increase the circulation of the Co-operative News 30,000 a year.  If every new member took the paper, every old member would be very much wondered at if he did not take it also.  No groceries carried into any member's house ought to be warranted unless the newspaper of the stores went with them.

    Co-operation is like a bicycle.  If those who ride it keep going they go pleasantly and swiftly, and travel far, but if they stop they must dismount or tumble.  There are many great measures a statesman could devise, and which he would gladly have his name associated with, which he cannot venture to bring forward unless there be educated opinion to appeal to.  He is obliged to confess that "the time has not arrived."  This is in some cases a cant excuse put forward by timid or insincere statesmen.  But the truth of the plea is too obvious where the public are ignorant.  In co-operative societies, in their smaller way, the same thing is true.  Every intelligent board of directors know that they could do much better for the society if the members were better informed.  There is not a co-operative society in the kingdom which might not be twice as rich as it is, if the members were as intelligent as they should be.  Without knowledge, all movement is like that of the vane—motion without progress, whereas Co-operation should resemble the screw steamer and unite motion with advancement.


 
CHAPTER XXXV.

FAMOUS PROMOTERS


"Of all the paths which lead to human bliss,
 The most secure and grateful to our steps,
 With mercy and humanity is marked
 The sweet-tongued rumour of a gracious deed."

RICHARD GLOVER.


IN 1848 Co-operation received unexpected recognition, great beyond anything before accorded to it, and one which only a man of singular fearlessness would have accorded: it was from John Stuart Mill.  In a work, sure to be read by the most influential thinkers, he said: "Far, however, from looking upon any of the various classes of Socialists [253] with any approach to disrespect, I honour the intention of almost all who are publicly known in that character, as well as the arguments and talents of several, and I regard them, taken collectively, as one of the most valuable elements of human improvement now existing, both from the impulse they give to the reconsideration and discussion of all the most important questions, and from the ideas they have contributed to many, ideas from which the most advanced supporters of the existing order of society have still much to learn." [254]  When this tribute was rendered to these social insurgents their fortunes were at a very low ebb.  Only three years before they had publicly failed at Queenwood.  The prophets who had done their best to fulfil their sinister predictions were exultant, contemptuous, and conceited.  It was no pleasant thing to bear the name of "Socialist" when Mr. Mill spoke of them with this generous respect.  He even went farther than vindicating their character—he suggested a justification of one of the least accepted of their schemes.  Mr. Mill said: "The objection ordinarily made to a system of community of property and equal distribution of produce—'that each person would be incessantly occupied in evading his share of the work'—is, I think, in general, considerably over-stated.  There is a kind of work, that of fighting, which is never conducted on any other than the Co-operative system: and neither in a rude nor in a civilised society has the supposed difficulty been experienced.  In no community has idleness ever been a cause of failure." [255]

    Long before Miss Martineau visited the Socialist Communities of America she held communication with co-operators at home.  "The Manchester and Salford Association for the Spread of Co-operative Knowledge" wrote to her, as her illustrations of Political Economy had interested the society.  Miss Martineau sent a reply in which she professed that their interest in her labours was very gratifying to her.  One passage is worth citing here for its valid import: "Within a short time, and happily before the energy of youth is past, I have been awakened from a state of aristocratic prejudice to a clear conviction of the equality of human rights, and of the paramount duty of society to provide for the support, comfort, and enlightenment of every member born into it.  All that I write is now with a view to the illustration of these great truths: with the hope of pressing upon the rich a conviction of their obligations, and of inducing the poor to urge their claims with moderation and forbearance, and to bear about with them the credentials of intelligence and good deserts."  Miss Martineau took care to indicate that the equality which she favoured was the equality of human right, and not of condition.

    Lord Brougham personally promoted Co-operation.  The first part of the "History of the Pioneers of Rochdale," by the present writer, was dedicated to him by his consent.  Where others were content to vaguely and generally praise a principle, Lord Brougham would single out and name for their credit and advantage those who had promoted or served it.  This is never done save by those who intend to aid a cause.  Lord Brougham was the first politician of great mark who cared about general progress, and whatever faults he had of personal ambition, he had little of the common fear of being compromised by being identified with the promotion of social welfare, because the persons caring for it had unpopular opinions of their own on other subjects.

    Those who write the most useful books have often to wait long for appreciation.  At the time of their appearance the public may not be caring about the subject, and when it does care about it, it has forgotten those who have written upon it.  This or some such cause has led to the comparative neglect of the books of Arthur John Booth, M.A., author of a work entitled the "Founder of Socialism in England" and of a volume upon "St. Simon," being a chapter on the History of Socialism in France, remarkable for its research and completeness of statement.  This work, like the previous one named, has been far less spoken of and read in socialist circles than books so conscientious deserve to be.  Several of the disciples of Robert Owen have been designated to write some memorial of him, yet to this day (1877) the most complete view of his principles and character which has appeared is that from the pen of Mr. Booth—which embraces other subjects than those in Mr. Sargent's life of Robert Owen, and gives a more detailed account of his efforts in originating public education and promoting the art of industrial association in England.  No one can peruse Mr. Booth's book without acquiring a very high estimate of Mr. Owen's character and capacity.  Mr. Booth records that Mr. Owen not only incited parliamentary committees to inquire into ameliorative plans and recommend them, but he supplied them with the designs of industrial establishments and calculations of costs which must have been the result of great labour and expense to him.

    The disciples of St. Simon were mad compared with the disciples of Robert Owen.  Gustave I'Eichthal, who had been born a Jew, and traversed many faiths, made his confession of Simonism in these terms: "I believe in God; I believe in St. Simon, and that it is Enfantin who is St. Simon's successor.  To him," I'Eichthal said, "it is given to root up and to destroy, to build and to plant, in him all human life has its development and progress: in him are peace, riches, science, the future of the world.  We know it, and it is this which gives us strength.  The world does not know it, and it is this which constitutes its weakness."  This is the crazy adulation of the genuine enthusiast who has lost all measure of men, which the world is continually hearing, with decreasing power of believing.  St. Simon was a man who had as much philosophy as enthusiasm.  When he found himself unable to complete his schemes and on the verge of starvation, he determined to shoot himself at a certain hour.  That he might not forget that unpleasant resolution, he occupied himself in the interval in looking over the schemes of reform to which he had fruitlessly devoted his life, and when the time came round he shot himself as he had intended.  Human progress never advances either rapidly or far at once.  All who undertake to introduce new views of an entirely distinct character from those prevailing, soon find themselves, as it were, outside of humanity, where, having few to sympathise with them, they oft fancy themselves deserted, when the fact is they have deserted the world.  In time their originality becomes eccentricity, their solitariness renders them morbid, and eventually, like the disciples of St. Simon, they play more or less what their compeers deem fantastic tricks, and schemes which began in hope end in ridicule.

    Onlookers continually forget that the progress of wisdom must always depend upon the capacity of the multitude to advance, whom ignorance makes slow-footed: these philosophers should not be impetuous.  We know on legal authority that a fool a day is born, and they mostly live.  Patience is as great a virtue in propagandism as fortitude.

    Jules St. Andre le Chevalier was one of the disciples of St. Simon and one of their orators.  A brother of the celebrated Père Lacordaire went to hear him address a large audience at Dijon.  The devotion in the heart of the Simonian preacher carried everybody with him.  It is wonderful to me how one so obese, adroit, and master of all the arts of this venal world, could have moved any one to enthusiasm.  By personal grace, in which he excelled when young, he might have charmed audiences, but serious enthusiasm must have been impossible to him.  Skilfulness which dazzled you, he had in abundance, but not a tone remained which could inspire trust in persons of any experience in enthusiasm; and St. Andre knew such persons by instinct, and avoided them.  He was a master in devices and resources, and amid men stronger than himself he would have been a force of value.  Under other circumstances he was a costly colleague.  At the co-operative agency, some years in operation in Charlotte Street, London, of which he was an inspirer, he saw fortunes confiscated which he should have prevented.  He had seen in his French experience what others had seen in English movements, that it is an immorality to permit without protest generous men risking more money in any cause, however good, than they are able and willing to lose.  It is either inexperienced zeal, or traitorous enthusiasm, which connives at risks and losses which warn men in the future against aiding unfriended causes.  When the secrets of the Black Chamber of the late Emperor of the French were disclosed, it was found that St. Andre had an office in it, and was in the pay of the Second Empire.  The function of agents of the Black Chamber was to corrupt the press of other countries, and obtain the insertion of articles in favour of the Bonaparte Government.  The personal knowledge St. Andre had of social and political leaders in England, it appears, he was able to sell for a price—and did it.  He died before the crash of that fraudulent Government came.

    Mazzini, in presenting some books to the Sunderland Co-operative Society in 1864, said in a letter to Mr. T. Dixon: "It is my deep conviction that we are unavoidably approaching an epoch of mankind, history, and life, in which the ruling principle in all the branches of moral, political, and social activity will be the simple one—'Let every man be judged, loved, placed, and rewarded according to his works.'  Of this all-transforming principle, you—the associated working men throughout Europe—are the precursors in the economical sphere."

    Giuseppe Mazzini was as distinguished an advocate of Association in Italy as Owen in England, or Blanc in France, but it was the nature of Mazzini to dwell more on the moral conditions of progress than upon the material.  According to Madame Venturi, who has given the most vivid account of Italian Socialism extant, associations of working men have spread rapidly in the cities of Tuscany, Lombardy, the Romagna, and Southern Italy, rising up in the footsteps of the national revolution.  That of Naples in 1860 counted more than twelve hundred members.  All these associations have been organised in imitation of one founded by Mazzini, years before that time, in Genoa; and their character is quite distinct from that manifested by similar societies in England or France, which mainly attempt social and economical progress.  The peculiarity of the Italian movement is that, while the working men of other countries start from a theory of rights, the Italian working men—like their great teacher—start from a moral point of view—a theory of duty.  They take his motto, "God and Humanity," and accept his doctrine—that rights can spring only from duties fulfilled.  This characteristic of the movement among Italian artisans is also remarkable from the contrast it presents to the materialism of the aristocratic or moderate party in Italy, one of whose most prominent members, La Farina, has written, "The only parent of revolutions is the stomach."

    In the rooms belonging to these societies in France there is sometimes written up, "It is forbidden to discuss religion or politics"; whereas in Italy, instead of limiting themselves to material economic interests, they devote themselves likewise, if not prominently, to moral instruction and patriotic work.  These societies contributed a large share of combatants to Garibaldi's expedition, and to those subsequently despatched from Genoa to Sicily.  Three-fourths of the signatures to the petition of 1860 in Italy, for the removal of the condemnation to death which had rested on the head of Mazzini for twenty eight years, were by working men.  The Genoese Society of that day wishing to celebrate the anniversary of the Sicilian insurrection, decreed that the best way was to purchase three hundred copies of Mazzini's book, "Duties of Man," and distribute them gratuitously to poor working men.

    In Florence an Association was formed, called "Fratellanza Artigiana"—Working-men's Brotherhood—which aims at a general organisation of the whole class throughout Italy, embracing the double aim of moral patriotic education—through a people's journal, schools, circulating libraries, lectures, and the emancipation of labour, through the establishment of banks for the people in different localities, destined to furnish with advances of capital, such voluntary associations of working men as give proofs of their honesty and capability, and intend to work independently of intermediate capitalists. [256]  Since that date Professor Saffi, one of the Triumvirs of Rome in 1849, has promoted the formation of co-operative societies in Italy, having also English economic features; co-operative stores, as we understand them, being established in many places.

    Whether it is good fortune or ill fortune to be able to count an emperor among socialist advocates, altogether depends whether his personal character or career is likely to awaken confidence or distrust in associative life; certain it is that an emperor has appeared on the side of modern Socialism.  During his imprisonment in Ham, between 1841 and 1845, Louis Napoleon, who had previously resided in England and had probably seen Mr. Rowland Hill's plan, published one of his own, which he called by the same name, the "Extinction of Pauperism," in which he added the project of the State organising (which includes patronising and politically controlling) "twenty millions of consciences."  The future emperor talked wonderfully like the Socialist agitators, whom he afterwards sent so liberally to Cayenne and colonised there.  He said: "Manufacturing and commercial industry has neither system, organisation, nor aim.  It is like a machine working without a regulator, and totally unconcerned about its moving power.  Crushing between its wheels both men and matter, it depopulates the country, crowds the population [who survive, he must mean] into narrow spaces without air, enfeebles both mind and body, and finally casts them into the street when it no longer requires them, those men who, to enrich it, have sacrificed strength, youth, and existence.  A true Saturn of labour, manufacturing industry, devours its children and lives but upon its destruction."  Very few workmen know anything about Saturn and its unpaternal ways; still this description with its socialistic exaggeration in every line, gives a substantially true picture that workmen have a bad time of it.  That something more than Savings Banks are needed for the ill-paid workman, he shows in an admirable sentence: "To seek to mitigate the wretchedness of men who have not sufficient food, by proposing that they shall annually put aside something which they have not got, is either a derision or a folly."  The Imperial Socialist writes: "It is a high and holy mission to strive to do away with enmity, to heal all wounds, to soothe the sufferings of humanity, by uniting the people of the same country in one common interest." [257]  But breaking oaths, cutting throats, and deportations were not socialist methods of fulfilling this mission.  This remarkable author caught the idea without caring for the principles which animated his famous teacher Louis Blanc.  His essay, however, has much merit and some phrases of felicity, as when he contrasts the old feudality of arms with the modern "feudality of money," for which he had apparently an honest contempt all his life.  This "plan" of socialism, which the late emperor sketched, it is but justice to say, has the merit of plausibleness in some respects, moderation of statement, silence on questions by which other writers have alarmed the reader, and a freedom from eccentricities of proposal which have so often submerged merciful schemes in derision.

    The Comte de Paris has written a book, neither utopian nor paternal, of singular fairness and discernment upon "Trades Unions," which, indeed, does much more than describe them; it explains industrial partnership and Co-operation to the French workman; and, more still, it distinguishes and attacks the modern middle-class ideal of a state of things in which capital reigns supreme, and attracts all profit to itself, and as the Spectator puts it, "sternly represses, in the name of economic science and of law, all attempts of the workers to secure their independence and raise their condition by combination and organisation."  It denotes great capacity for social thought in the prince to perceive that this ideal must be changed for one more equitable before society can have industrial peace within its borders.

    In the story of the Lost Communities mention is made of Dr. Yeats as a teacher at the Queenwood Hall Educational Establishment.  Dr. Yeats with honourable modesty reminds me that he was less known as a teacher and an author than the following gentlemen, who were all engaged at Queenwood, under Mr. Edmondson: John Tyndall, F.R.S., Edward Frankland, F.R.S., Thomas Hirst, F.R.S., H. Debus, F.R.S. Professor of Chemistry at the Royal College of Science for Ireland, Robert Galloway, dates from Queenwood; and his colleague, the Professor of Physics, W. F. Barrett, was a pupil at Queenwood.  An account of Prof. Tyndall's connection with Queenwood may be found in No. X, of the "Photographic Portraits of Men of Eminence" for March, 1864.  [258]

    The Dutch, who if they do dream always dream about business, succeeded in establishing successful Pauper Colonies on the east bank of the Zuyder Zee in 1818.  The idea was derived from a Chinese mandarin, who presided over a colony of agricultural emigrants from China, situated at Java, in the East Indies.  General Van Bosch brought the idea to Holland and originated the Dutch Colonies.  In England the orthography of his name would have been altered into Van Bosh.  In 1843 these colonies were visited and described by a member of the Agricultural Employment Institution of England, who reported that "Beggary and mendicity had disappeared in Holland, for in a journey of 500 miles he had seen only three little boys asking charity, one at Rotterdam and two at Delft, although the country had swarmed with beggars previously to the establishment of the Home Colonies."  In 1832 Mr. Rowland Hill (subsequently Sir Rowland) published "A Plan for the Gradual Extinction of Pauperism."  In 1857 I asked him to inform me whether the Dutch Colonies had been discredited or remained useful.  He answered, "Since 1831, the year in which the greater part of the pamphlet was written, changes have taken place which materially affect the question.  These changes are chiefly an improved poor law; the establishment of systematic emigration and (as I believe) the abandonment of the Pauper Colonies in Belgium and Holland.  With regard to any present discussion of the question, it would of course be necessary carefully to investigate the cause of such abandonment, but circumstanced as I now am, I need scarcely say that I have no time for it."  [259]

    A work long needed appeared in 1878, one calculated to give systematic form to Socialism, namely, Mr. David Syme's "Outlines of an Industrial Science."  Utterly different from many similar books, it is neither pretentious nor obscure, nor a theory of one idea.  The reader soon finds he is in the hands of a writer who can think; not over the heads of common people—in a region of his own where no one can tell whether he is right or wrong—but in the sphere in which common people think and with the power of making plain what perplexes them.  He shows there is no sense in the unexplainable name Political Economy, which if it means anything it is that the State should direct industry, which no body in England ever proposed or desired that it should.  Then economists proceed by the deductive method; that is, they assume some principle of desire in all men, and infer from what that principle implies, what men should do to obtain their object.  For instance, Mr. James Mill takes the principle that all men desire Power; his son, John Stuart Mill, assumes that all men desire Wealth mainly or solely.  They, and economists generally, from Adam Smith downwards, define political economy as the science of wealth.  This, Mr. Syme says, is treating mankind as monomaniacs of avarice, and he maintains that society would be equally impossible if men were scientifically misers or philanthropists.  Wealth is no more a universal and sole motive than power, or honour, or health, or fame.  Mr. Syme argues that there might as well be a science of each of these subjects as of wealth.  Plainly, industry being wider than all, and being pursued from a thousand motives besides that of gain, an industrial science is a far more appropriate, a more needed and more instructive term.  Mr. Syme, though a journalist, with whom writing in haste generally leads to inaccuracy of expression, is neither redundant nor careless, but brief and precise in expression.

    A work of great value, entitled a "History of English Guilds," was written by Toulmin Smith, of Birmingham, and published subsequently by his daughter Lucy, who had assisted him in the great labour of compiling it.  The information is such as could only be collected by one who had his sympathy and industry, and his immense capacity of research and peculiar knowledge where to look in the historic wilderness of early organised industry.  As respects the delineation of industrial life or utility of conception, no work has appeared which a co-operator seeking guidance from the wisdom of past times could more profitably peruse.  Mr. Smith says, "The English Guild was an institution of local self-help, which, before poor laws were invented, took the place, in old times, of the modern friendly or benefit society; but with a higher aim, for while it joined all classes together in a care for the needy and for objects of common welfare, it did not neglect the forms and the practice of Religion, Justice, and Morality."

    In 1852 appeared the Journal of Association in London.  It was conducted by several promoters of working men's associations.  It advertised the tracts of Christian Socialists and the Central Co-operative Agency.  It was a somewhat grave periodical.  "Parson Lot" contributed some poetry to it, and its selections were good.  The conductors had the advantage of knowing poetry when they saw it (which was a new and welcome feature in this species of literature), and some of them could write it, which was better.

    The Christian Socialist, like other publications devoted to questions of progress, very soon appeared in two forms.  The first volume was a tolerable large quarto, the second was a modest octavo.  The work was altogether discontinued at the second volume.  Its social creed was very clear.  Its watchwords were association and exchange instead of competition and profits.  Its doctrine as to Christianity was not quite so definable.  It maintained that Socialism without Christianity is as lifeless as the feathers without the bird, however skilfully the stuffer may dress them up into an artificial semblance of life.  Christianity may be true and sacred in the eyes of a co-operator, but he cannot well connect the special doctrines of Christianity with those of Co-operation.  When Mr. Pitman associated anti-vaccination with Co-operation the incongruity was apparent to most persons.  If an attempt was made to inculcate atheistic Co-operation few would approve the connection of an industrial scheme with that irrelevant form of opinion.  Christian Socialism is an irrelevance of the same kind, though it sins on the popular side. [260]  The editor of the Christian Socialist pointed out that "every Socialist system which has abided has endeavoured to stand, or unconsciously to itself has stood, upon those moral grounds of righteousness, self-sacrifice, and mutual affection called common brotherhood, which Christianity vindicates to itself as an everlasting heritage."  But these four qualities of righteousness in the sense of right doing, self-sacrifice, mutual affection, and common brotherhood, are equally the attributes of the moral conscience among all men, and were the sources of co-operative inspiration.  Special doctrines alone are the "heritage of Christianity" proper.  Mr. Ruskin has summed up the characteristics of the Christian Socialist school in a remarkable passage.  "I loved," he says, "Mr. Maurice, learned much from him, worked under his guidance and authority. . . . But I only think of him as the centre of a group of students whom his amiable sentimentalism at once exalted and stimulated, while it relieved them of any painful necessities of exact scholarship in divinity. . . . Consolatory equivocations of his kind have no enduring place in literature. . . He was a tender-hearted Christian gentleman, who successfully, for a time; promoted the charities of his faith and parried its discussion."  [261]

    It is right, however, to say that the spirit shown by Mr. Maurice's disciples was free alike from condescension or assumption.  They were not dogmatic; they asserted but did not insist on other persons adopting their views.  You felt that it would be a pleasure to them if you could think as they did; but they made it but a temporary offence in you if you did not, and treated with equality every one in whom they recognised the endeavour to do that which was right according to the light he had.  Mr. Thomas Hughes in his "Memoirs of a Brother" gives the authentic history of the origin of this party, in passages of robust disarming candour which is the charm of Mr. Hughes's writing.  Though the term "Christian Socialist" [262] caused Co-operation to be regarded in Parliament for a time as a "sentimental" question, yet it must be owned that it greatly improved the general reputation of social ideas, and helped to divest them of the "wickedness" at first held to be associated with them.  Since that day social science [263] has been accepted as a substitute for Socialism, and now there is a disposition to try sociology, which sounds innocent and learned.  In party warfare some good words, like some good persons, get banished and pass as it were a generation in exile.  Then there arise persons who, knowing nothing or caring nothing for the old hateful controversial connotations of the word, are struck by its simple fitness, and recall it.  Schemes, like words and persons, undergo a similar fate.  The Labour Exchange is an instance of this.

    In due course there appeared tracts on "Christian Socialism."  The first was a dialogue between "A Person of Respectability" and "Nobody the Writer."  "Nobody," however, conducts his argument quite as vigorously as though he was somebody.  He maintains that any one who recognises the principles of Co-operation as stronger and truer than that of competition is rightly called a "Socialist," and admitted that the followers of Owen, Fourier, Louis Blanc, and others came under this definition.

    Mr. E. V. Neale wrote the first "Handbook for Co-operators," which he gave me, free of conditions, to publish at the Fleet Street House for their use.  His works and papers have been very numerous on co-operative subjects.  As the General Secretary of the Central Board his legal knowledge has been of great value to the body.  Indeed, the co-operators years ago always spoke of him with regard and pride as "their lawyer."  Mr. Neale promoted industrial association with munificent trustfulness, and is remarkable among his eminent colleagues for his perception of co-operative principle and for the fertility of the applications he has devised.

    A paper by J. M. Ludlow, on "Trade Societies and Co-operative Production," was read in 1867 at the Industrial Partnership's Conference in Manchester.  Another publication by Mr. Ludlow in 1870 was upon "Co-operative Banking," described as "written at the request of Mr. Abram Greenwood," and read by Mr. W. Nuttall at the Co-operative Conference held at Bury in that year.  Mr. Ludlow, like Mr. Neale and Mr. Hughes, has written much on special co-operative questions, upon which, without legal knowledge, no one could write usefully.  It was a great gratification to the societies, Co-operative and Friendly, when Mr. Ludlow succeeded Mr. Tidd Pratt as Registrar.  Mr. Tidd Pratt is held in honourable remembrance for his patience and solicitude in promoting the soundness of the institutions in his charge, though he had never been personally interested in their welfare like Mr. Ludlow.

    Previous to 1850 there appeared a series of "Tracts by Christian Socialists."  The most remarkable was the tract by Parson Lot, entitled "Cheap Clothes and Nasty," whose vigorous pen never failed to call attention to any subject which he treated.  All these publications sought to compass the same end—the social improvement of society.  Their tone was so fair that any person might agree with their object without adopting their personal and peculiar views indicated upon other subjects.  One tract explained the principles of the "Society for Promoting Working Men's Associations"; the object was defined as that of enabling the associates and their families to receive all the net profits arising from their labour, after they shall have had a just allowance for the work done by them.  The only condition required was that the candidate for association must be of good reputation and a competent workman.  It was prescribed that none of the associations connected with the general union shall ever be made the instruments or agents of political agitation. [264]  The associates in their individual capacity were left at liberty to act in this matter as they pleased.  A curious rule was to this effect—"The work shall not be disturbed by speculative discussion"; yet one of the tracts was a "Dialogue between A. & B.," two clergymen, "on the Doctrine of Circumstances as it Affects Priests and People," a subject which had often been discussed by the followers of Mr. Owen, not much to their social advantage.  "The subject included the greatest speculative question which had agitated the secularist portion of the working class for twenty years.  It is a great merit to be noticed that the co-operators had the rare capacity of being teachable; next to possessing knowledge is the faculty of appreciating sound direction when you get it.  Without this, the progress which has been made had not been possible.  In the earlier days of the movement there were scholars in it who lent many graces to its defence, but assiduity and completeness of service have been greater in later years among its educated "promoters."

    The "Christian Socialists" were an entirely new force of opinion on the side of Co-operation.  On the part of the earlier co-operators there was the genuine sentiment of morality, else they had never maintained the struggle they did against adverse fortune and unfriendly opinion.  Defeated, they lost not hope; treated as wild, they never abandoned their purpose, nor conceived permanent dislike of those from whose scorn they suffered.  When loss and ruin came, when their hard-earned savings were gone, and they had, in old age, to begin again to save what they could, they abated not their trust that equity in industry would answer some day; and none repined at what they had attempted at so much sacrifice.  While these pages were being written grey-headed, feeble men came to the writer saying their loss had been a bad business; but it brought no regret, and their last days were gladdened that they had helped against hope.  There was a noble sense of rightness in all this.  These men were mostly bad members of Churches, as far as formal and accepted belief went, but they were good members of humanity and truth according to their light.  During the earlier period men and women—for women as well as men gave their all to the cause—when the day of life was past, and the decline came, and penury was left with the darkness; were cheered by the light of conscience and duty.  Such devotion commands generous regard, and a sort of glory seems to linger over the places where their otherwise undistinguished graves are to be found.

    Not less honour and regard are due to those gentlemen who, owning the Christian faith, and having the advantage of higher culture than befel the majority of the humble members of the movement, did not hesitate to risk the unpopularity of sympathy with their rightful aims, and made sacrifices greater in a pecuniary sense, in order that social equity might prevail in common life, and commerce be redeemed from fraud and the poor from precariousness.  With wider knowledge—with exacter aim—they with patient and laborious attentiveness, incredible save to those who saw it daily—advanced step by step the great movement to stages of legality and security.  Among these—though he came later into the field—Mr. Walter Morrison is to be numbered as not less distinguished for tireless and costly unrecorded services.


 
CHAPTER XXXVI.

LATER LITERATURE AND LEADERS


"When Cain was driven from Jehovah's land
 He wandered eastward, seeking some far strand,
 Ruled by kind gods. . . .
 Wild, joyous gods. . . .
 He never had a doubt that such gods were,
 He looked within, and saw them mirrored there."

 MORRIS'S Earthly Paradise.


SOME of these pleasant gods must have remained about until later co-operative days.  Anyhow, our story now carries us among persons who needed them.  The later literature of this movement has been comparatively free from outbursts of the pioneer times.  Very seldom now does a co-operative orator break out with Gray's bard—


"Visions of glory! spare my aching sight."


    They do.  The modern speaker does not see visions of this sort anywhere about.  Saner poets sing—


"Never think the victory won
 Till through the gloomy shades the radiant S
UN
 Of K
NOWLEDGE darts his night-dispelling beams."


    We let that sun alone now.  We think of certain societies with thousands of members which have no Education Fund.  We meet with fewer instances of permanently eccentric agitators.  Now and then one appears who digresses into oddity.  After long intervals of coherency he will act as though Nature had left a little snuff in his brains, which sets his idea sneezing unawares, and he mistakes the convulsion for vigour of thought; but as a rule enthusiasm is more equable as society has become more tolerant.

    Every party has sins and errors enough of its own to answer for; but a co-operative movement has more to answer for, as it is the nursing-mother of individuality and freedom of action.  Co-operation has not been worse off than other causes.  What a wonderful orator was the late Lord Mayo when it fell to him to state the views of the Government!  It was my lot to listen to him.  To have nothing to say, and to take three hours and three-quarters in saying it, was a feat of oratory Demosthenes could never equal.  To speak as though you were every minute going to stop, and yet never give over, was a miracle of elocution.  Members listened till they lost the power of hearing.  They went to dine; when they came back Mayo was still speaking.  They went to the theatre; when they returned he was still at it.  Some went to Brighton to dinner, and when they came back Mayo had not given over.  Lord Mayo lives in men's memories as a marvel.  At that time members of Parliament awoke in their sleep, thinking that Mayo was still speaking.  Everybody liked the Irish Secretary personally, but nobody expected to be called upon to like him so long at one time.  When he went out as Viceroy to India, every one knew there would be no more mutineers, for if his lordship made a speech to them they would disband long before it was half over. [265]  Had co-operators had an orator of this stamp the public would never have heard the end of it.

    It is difficult to separate, in some cases, the literature from the leader.  Both services are entirely blended in some persons.  The last of the world-makers who followed in the footsteps of Robert Owen was one Robert Pemberton.  He announced his scheme as that of the "Happy Colony," and he fixed upon New Zealand as the place where it was to be founded.  The New World, as he conceived it, was to be circular.  More mechanical and horticultural than any other projector, he avoided altogether parallelogrammatic devices.  He declared his system was deduced from the discovery of the true attributes of the human mind.  He had the merit of being solicitous both about education and the arts, and spent much money in publishing books which were never read, and in devising diagrams which were never examined.

    I had the pleasure to receive from the son of Dr. King a volume of "Thoughts and Suggestions on the Teachings of Christ," which I believe is quite unknown among co-operators.  A copy ought to be in their libraries, first, as a mark of respect to the old propagandist, next, because of its intrinsic interest.  It is written with more vigour and vivacity of thought than was shown in the Co-operator, which he edited, and which first made him known beyond the South Coast.  For sixty years Dr. King was an active propagandist of co-operative principle.  Lady Byron left him in her will a sum of money, "hoping," as she said, "that it might be in part dedicated to the promulgation of those ideas which had given her so much pleasure and consolation."  It was in accordance with her wish that he was at the time of his death engaged in preparing some of his papers for publication.  The volume or which I speak contains a selection from his writings published at his express request, in the hope that it might afford to others the same pleasure his conversation and writings had done to Lady Byron.

    In 1875 Pierre Henri Baume, of whose eccentricity the reader has seen an account, died at Douglas, Isle of Man.  He was born at Marseilles in 1797, and at an early age was sent to a military college at Naples, where he became private secretary to King Ferdinand.  About the year 1825 he came to London.  After being a preacher of Optimism, he became manager of a theatrical company, and subsequently by privation and calculation he amassed a considerable fortune, and bought land at Copenhagen Fields, London, and at Colney Hatch, together with a small estate in Buckinghamshire.  After living about a quarter of a century in London he went to Manchester, and engaged in a movement to establish "publichouses without drink."  He also instituted Sunday afternoon lectures to working men, which were carried on with varying success for several years.  In 1857 he settled in the Isle of Man, and purchased an estate there.  At Douglas he fitted up an odd kind of residence, the entrance to which he made almost inaccessible, and admission to which could only be obtained by those whom he had initiated into a peculiar knock.  In this little den he lived like a hermit, sleeping in a hammock slung from the roof, for the room was so crowded with dusty books that there was no space left for a bedstead, or even for a table on which to take his food.  He resided in this place for several years, but his decease occurred at a tradesman's house in Duke Street, Douglas.  In 1870 proceedings were taken by him to evict a number of squatters who had located themselves on his Colney Hatch property, which became known as "The Frenchman's Farm," as his former place at Copenhagen Fields was called the "Frenchman's Island."  In 1832 M. Baume took out letters of naturalisation.  He left the whole of his real and personal property, valued at £54,000, in trust for perplexing purposes never realised in the Isle of Man.

    Some persons are deemed eccentric because they have some peculiarity, or because they differ from others in some conspicuous way.  Whereas Mr. Baume seemed to have every peculiarity and to differ from everybody in every way.  Though born in France, he began his career as secretary to King Ferdinand of Naples, and doubtless one or other of his parents was Neapolitan, for he had all the subtlety of the Italian and more than the suspicion of the Frenchman.  Those who had earliest experience of him regarded him as a Neapolitan spy gone mad of suspicion.  He must have been a most dangerous man if employed in that capacity.  He would be always reporting plots, for he believed in them.  He spent a part of his time in correspondence.  His furtive mode was to send letters written on a half sheet of paper ready directed to himself and folded, to be returned to him.  His part of the writing would abound in small capitals and underscored words, every sentence being written in the most careful manner in thick, black characters as legible as print.  Each paragraph would be numbered and consist of questions concerning somebody of a most circumstantial and often most compromising character.  A broad margin was left by the side of his writing for the information he desired, so that he might have his question and the reply returnable to him in the form of complete evidence.  The only protection of those who wrote to him was to return the paper unsigned and have the answers filled in by another hand, and the replies composed on the plan often adopted by certain ministers in Parliament, who, with great parade of candour, circumstance, and emphasis, answer the questioner without telling him anything.  This was the precaution I took.  The Baume correspondence with publicists of every class carefully filed by him must by the time of his death be sufficient to fill several houses.  And if he has bequeathed it with his other property to the Isle of Man, a curious posterity will find wonderful entertainment some day. [266]  His favourite mode of living in London was to lodge in a coffee-house, to which he would bring in a cart the peculiar bedroom conveniences necessary for himself (and the boy whom he reared), the articles being in a state of exposure, which excited the merriment of the whole neighbourhood.  His mysterious ways as a lodger, and his frantic mode of running in and out of the house in all manner of disguises, soon alarmed the family, and his excited conduct in the coffee-room soon frightened away the customers.  He would often try to get rooms in the private house of a Socialist lecturer, and his ingenuity was such that it was very difficult to prevent him; and if he once got in, it was far more difficult to get him out.  His practice was to display a bundle of halves of banknotes, or bonds, making a show of wealth which tempted people of narrow means to put up with his ways in the expectation he might be useful to them, of which there was not the slightest chance.  His banknotes were always in halves, and useless if lost—he was very circumspect in these matters.  He was, after his kind, the greatest philanthropic impostor abroad, not in a conscious way, so much as in consequence of his manner of mind.  Like many other benefactors he wanted the credit of giving without ceasing to hold.  He had an honest craze for social and educational projects, and during his long life he was allured by them only.  He had a suspicion, which never left him, that everybody was conspiring against him, and wanted to get possession of his money or some advantage over him.  And he had as constant a conviction, very honourable of its kind, that it was a man's duty to resist injustice and knavery, and he would really make great sacrifices to defeat it.  His misfortune was that he never distinguished between knaves and honest men, but suspected them all alike.  The only persons he seemed to regard without distrust were those who never asked his co-operation in any work of theirs.  Those who were so artless as to think he might do something useful, and began to give attention to his schemes, he put to more trouble and expense than all his money was worth, and ended by laying down such impossible conditions of action that they ultimately turned away in weariness and contempt.  There could not have been a greater calamity to any struggling movement than that Mr. Baume should take an interest in it.  A man of irregular ability, considerable knowledge, great courage and audacity, an eloquent speaker, a voice of contagious force, an impassioned manner, handsome as he was, and opulent as he always gave himself out to be, he easily obtained ascendancy in working-class meetings.  His boldness, his fire, his fertility of purposes naturally influenced those who knew nothing, and had nothing of their own but expectations.  His abstemiousness of habit, which not only never diverged into indulgence—it seemed never to digress into sufficiency—lent an air of sincerity to his professions.  He lived as though his object was to show upon how little a man could subsist, and in this way he maintained a vigorous activity until his seventy-eighth year.

    In popular assemblies, where the right of the platform was given to all who entered, he could neither be repressed nor suppressed, nor without difficulty put down.  When he once got influence in a society he seemed never to require sleep or rest.  He was there the earliest and the latest, and at all intermediate times.  As ready with his pen as his tongue, he drew innumerable placards, abounding in astonishing statements which struck the public in Manchester like a loose mill band, making them smart with rage and derision.  He stuck his placards on doors and windows, and made the society he infested the ridicule and terror of the district.  Mr. Owen reasonably taught that the sympathies of ordinary people were too confined, and ought to be extended to their neighbours.  Mr. Baume brought sharp ridicule upon the wise sentiment by proposing that the mothers should suckle their children through an aperture in a metal plate, through which the mother was to place the nipple of her breast; the child was to suckle on the other side, thus concealing the child and parent from each other, lest filial and maternal ties should frustrate the universal sympathies which were to be cultivated.  The misfortune to the mother was, that as she could never see the tender face of her offspring, she could not be sure whether the right baby came to the aperture.  But this detail did not trouble the mechanical philanthropist.  A man so disastrously ingenious should have been shipped back to King Ferdinand of Naples without delay.  It is wonderful that any wise and merciful scheme of improvement of social life ever gets public acceptance, seeing how many doors a popular cause leaves open for wild partisans to enter and ruin it.

    Yet Baume's courage and subtlety could not fail to make him sometimes useful.  Julian Hibbert, mentioned before, was rich, scholarly, and retiring.  Between him and Baume, both being men of fortune, there existed the friendship of equals.  Holding proscribed opinions, the fearless companionship of Baume was interesting to Hibbert; Hibbert subsequently met his death through the public indignity put upon him by Mr. Commissioner Phillips, an Irish barrister at the criminal bar.  At his death he requested his friend Baume to take care that his skull was preserved for phrenological purposes.  Phrenology was then a discovery of great interest, and Hibbert, having respect for the teaching of Spurzheim, wished to add to its illustrations at a time when a popular dread of dissection put impediment in the way of physiological and mental science.  Hibbert's family being wealthy, and not sharing his intrepidity and love of new thought, determined to avoid this, and had the body removed at night to an undertaker's in Holborn.  By what subtlety of watchfulness and disguises by day and by night Baume fulfilled his friend's injunction were never known.  But his head found its way to the museum of Mr. Devonshire Saull.  When the hearse arrived at night to convey Hibbert's remains away, the undertaker on the box discovered a mute on the hearse more than he had provided.  His long cloak and hatband resembled the others, and it was only by getting sight of the glittering eye of the additional attendant that he became aware of a supernumerary being with him.  It is said he drove with alarm, imagining some supernatural being had entered his employ.  When the burial party assembled in church, and the family mourners stood round the bier by torchlight—for his burial took place in the night—they were astounded to see Mr. Baume uncover his head, witnessing the last rites over the remains of his valued friend.  It was remembering this, when Robert Owen was buried at Newtown, that made Mr. Rigby take precautions [267] in putting furze bushes in the grave, to prevent access to the coffin, and remaining by it until I went to relieve him at midnight, lest in some mysterious way Mr. Baume should appear in that lonely churchyard, impelled by some fanaticism for science, where he had no known authority to interfere.  I shared none of Mr. Rigby's alarm, but I took his place as watch to satisfy his apprehension.

    Only two or three years before Baume's death deeds were drawn up by which his property was to pass into the hands of the Manchester co-operators.  Mr. W. Nuttall mainly negotiated the matter.  Complicated arrangements proposed by Baume were of the old pretentious and impossible kind.  The deeds were never completed, and, as everybody expected, when death obliged him to relinquish his hold of his property, it would fall into the hands of people alien to his sympathies and his projects, rather than to that party whose objects he had cherished in his mind for fifty years, who had borne with him, who alone cared for him, despite his eccentricities, and who would have preserved his memory with some honour and distinction by carrying out, in his name, the sensible part of his ideas.  A book might be written on the Idiots of Progress.

    One who attended to everything in his time, namely, James Silk Buckingham, certainly deserves mention as being the author of a large volume, in which he proposed and described a Model Town Association.  Mr. Buckingham was sometime member for Sheffield, but before that he had travelled everywhere, and had written in favour of more schemes of improvement than any other man save Mr. Bridges Adams.  Long before he closed his fertile career he was known to have written eighty volumes.  Though devoid of originality, he had an amazing faculty for understanding every scheme of improvement made known, and had the art of presenting it in the most unobjectionable, agreeable, and—uninteresting way.  Everybody approved of what he said, but never took further notice of it.  He travelled through the most unwholesome climes, and preserved his health by inflexible temperance.  He performed a prodigious amount of work without any apparent fatigue.  He had a commanding presence, a pleasing voice, and a limitless fluency of speech.  He had the sagacity to foresee the coming improvements of civilisation, and advocated them before the public saw their significance.  Upon most subjects he gathered together all the authorities who had consciously or unconsciously favoured the project he discussed, and many historians might look into his forgotten books for information that might be long sought in vain elsewhere.  He greatly improved his readers and his hearers in his time, but the silk in his name was in his nature, and in his manners; and the gratitude of the public has slidden over his memory by reason of the smoothness of his influence.  A useful catalogue might be made of the number of projects which he advocated and which were realised during his life and since, for which he was ridiculed for proposing.  His "Model Town" was entered by eight avenues, to which he gave the names of Unity, Concord, Fortitude, Charity, Peace, Hope, Justice, and Faith.  It was this mixture of spiritual fancy with practical ideas that led the public to distrust him—not being sufficiently interested in his project to look at them discerningly. [268]

    Most men who were attracted by Mr. Owen were men who had done something, or were capable of doing something.  One of them was William Farquhar. The best steel engraving of Mr. Owen—the one in which he appeared most like a gentleman and philosopher—was executed at the cost of Mr. Farquhar, as a tribute of his regard.  He claimed to be the real inventor of the Universal Under Water Propeller, subsequently patented by Lieutenant Carpenter, R.N.  The circumstantial account he published of his invention, the spot at the London Docks where it first occurred to him, and his exhibition of it by desire of Admiral Sir Arthur Farquhar, were proofs of the paternity of the idea.  Lieutenant Carpenter, who was in the room, had a model of a gun brig with him, which the Admiral declared to be fruitless.  The lieutenant was disheartened and took his model to a side table; William Farquhar followed him in sympathy, and pointed out exactly what was wanted.  He said the idea never occurred to him, and shortly after patented it in very nearly the same words William Farquhar had described his plan of an under-water propeller.  It was a curious instance of the generous incaution of an inventor.

    In 1847 Mr. T. W. Thornton, a young English gentleman who lived upon a small fortune in Paris, published in French a life of Robert Owen, with an exposition of his social principles, which Mr. Thornton well understood.  It was his custom to translate some of the most striking social papers on social subjects, which appeared in the French press, for publications in journals in England reaching the working class interested in such subjects.  Original papers of his own, marked by much accurate thought, appeared in the early volumes of the Reasoner.  He had given promise of a career of much usefulness, when he perished by cholera in Paris in 1849.

    There has been Dr. Henry Travis, heretofore named, one of those remarkable figures who sometimes appear on the boundary of a new movement, gliding silently about, bearing the burden of a secret not vouchsafed to him, nor confided to him, but possessed by him—that secret is what Mr. Owen meant by his system.  Mr. Owen did not understand himself, that is quite clear to Dr. Travis' mind, who has published elaborate volumes to prove it.  He also demonstrates, in his way, that no one else ever understood the founder's idea.  Dr. Travis avers that Mr. Owen used to say that he was not understood by any of his disciples or opponents.  If that were so, how came Dr. Travis to understand him?  He has told us [269] that the daughter of a baronet, who paid great attention to Mr. Owen's conversation, came to the conclusion that Mr. Owen could not explain himself.  By what process, then, are we to understand that Dr. Travis understood him?  By what transformation of genius did the disciple become master?  The doctor tells us Mr. Owen's "teaching" has been so "defective" as to "produce the failure of all who have endeavoured to understand him."  If everybody has failed, Dr. Travis must have failed, unless he is that singular and extremely isolated person, separate and outside everybody!  What Mr. Owen really said was, "I do not know if I have made one disciple who fully comprehends the import of the change which I so much desire to impress on the minds, and for the practice of all." [270]  Dr. Travis quotes this passage, without seeing its "import" himself.  It does not mean that Mr. Owen's disciples did not understand the principle of his system, but that they did not "fully understand its import" in practice as conceived by himself, who had thought about it the longest, and thought about it the most.  The principles of Mr. Owen were few and simple.  They were that material circumstances were indefinitely influential on human character.  That every man is what he has mainly been made to be, by the circumstances which preceded his birth and which have operated upon him since.  Therefore the most available method of improvement is to put him under better circumstances; and if we cannot make him what we wish, we should rather compassionate than hate him, on account of the natural disadvantage from which he suffers.

    These principles Mr. Owen did explain very well.  These principles his disciples very well understood.  These principles society has very widely perceived to be true, and has accepted to a degree which has exceeded the expectation of the most sanguine of his adherents.  But this is a very different thing to perceiving, as the master perceived, all the applications of them, and all the changes that might be made in society to realise their "full" import.  Great discoverers in science commonly foresee greater changes that may result from the adoption of the new thing they have introduced, than any of their contemporaries, though thousands of observers perfectly understand the thing itself.  The law of gravitation, the circulation of the blood, the invention of travelling by steam, are all familiar instances.  Common people at once understood the nature of these additions to human knowledge and power, and it will be erroneous to say that the originators were not understood by their followers, because these originators saw with a keener glance, and throughout a wider range, the application of their discoveries.  It is creditable to Dr. Travis that he should succeed in improving the master's statement of his principle, or extending his discoveries.  But it is an error of grace or gratitude to disparage the teacher or make him appear ridiculous by representing him as incapable of educating a single disciple to understand him.  Next to Charles Bray, Dr. Travis is the most important writer who expounds Mr. Owen's views, upon the authority of long personal intimacy with him.  In the Pioneer period of Co-operation Dr. Travis was an active and much regarded officer of that adventurous movement.  But during a long period of years, which elapsed during its slow revival, he was seldom seen.  We regarded him as an enthusiast without enthusiasm.  Among those who rekindled the fire upon the old altar he was no longer prominent.  He was not discernible amongst those who fanned the spark not quite extinguished.  His voice was not heard in cheering the thin curls of ascending smoke, which surely indicated the coming flame.  But when the pile is increased, and the fire is conspicuous in the world, and thousands of devotees stand around, the doctor reappears as the lost High Priest, proclaiming himself without misgiving as the master of the master.  Nevertheless Dr. Travis was one of the few philosophers who studied the theory of Socialism and introduced the term Determinism into its discussions.

    Mr. Max Kyllman, a young German merchant who resided in Manchester, rendered generous assistance to the co-operative, as he did to other movements.  Like many other German gentlemen, he had a passion for promoting public improvement beyond that which Englishmen ordinarily display.  Germans seem to regard the promotion of liberal principles as well understood self-defence.

    Colonel Henry Clinton, of Royston, Herts, published several very interesting pamphlets upon the scientific and social arrangements of households, to which he gave the genial name of "Associated Homes."  The devisor differed from Mr. Owen, and most others who have proposed social schemes, in maintaining the separate family system.  Since this author first wrote, several schemes of the same kind have been devised, less comprehensive in spirit and detail than his.  Colonel Clinton had a reasonable respect for all the human race except the Americans, who defeated his grandfather, General Lord Clinton.  But Colonel Clinton's amusing disapproval of the Americans does not prevent him giving generous aid to many social and literary projects by which they may benefit.

    Professor V. A. Huber, of Wernigerode, died July 19, 1869.  He was regarded as the father of Co-operation in Germany, and no man was considered to have done so much as he to circulate a knowledge of English co-operative effort in that country.  In his own land he is said to have stood aloof from all parties.  This has been a peculiarity of other eminent co-operators.  A man must be intolerably wise who perceives that all his countrymen are in the wrong on everything, or intolerably dainty if there is no movement immaculate enough for him to touch or help on the way to usefulness.  English Co-operation must have been very good or very fortunate to have interested him.

    Mr. William Lovett died in London in 1877.  He was a leading co-operator in the metropolis when that party first arose, and the greatest Radical secretary of the working class.  Mr. Lovett observed everything and kept record of everything political.  He wrote resolutions, petitions, manifestoes, remonstrances, and kept notes of interviews and councils at which eminent politicians of the time took part.  He was the first person who drew up and sent to Parliament a petition for opening the British Museum and Art Galleries on Sunday.  Its prayer, creditable, just, and useful, was not complied with at the end of fifty years after it was made.  No statesman can say that progress proceeds in England in any reckless celerity.  Late in life Mr. Lovett wrote the story of his career since he came, a Cornish youth, to London in 1821.  It is the most documentary and interesting narrative of Radical days, written by an actor in them.  William Lovett excelled the average of the working class in intelligence, in probity—and suspicion.  He was distinguished alike by integrity of principle and mistrust.  In politics he was a Radical irreconcilable.  Yet he steadfastly sought to promote political ends by popular intelligence.  Excepting in political transactions, he appears to have kept no records, and when he wrote in later life from impressions of earlier years, he was often inaccurate.  In his last work he made some statements of Robert Owen's views of marriage in communities—the like of which had never been known to any of his adherents.  I reprinted them during Mr. Lovett's life-time, pointing out the manifest contradictions involved in his own narrative, and sent them to him, and also to his nearest friends, requesting his answer concerning them, lest after his death they might acquire importance from the authority of his name.  But as he never made any answer it may be presumed that in that particular his statements were not capable of confirmation.  At his burial (which took place in his 78th year) at Highgate, London, in August, 1877, I spoke at his grave on behalf of distant co-operators who held him in regard, testifying that as far back as 1821, when advocates of the people cared, some for political and some for social advocacy, it was a distinction of Mr. Lovett that he cared for both.  He has been mentioned as the keeper of the Greville Street Store, London, in 1828.  It was one of the distinctions of Mr. Lovett that it was his hand which first drew the People's Charter, which the pen of Mr. Roebuck revised.  Mr. Lovett was imprisoned in Warwick Goal in 1839.  When in prison he wrote the first book on Chartism which associated that movement with the intelligence of the people.  I well remember the dreary hopelessness of political advocacy in those days and many years afterwards.  At public meetings the same people seemed always to be present, and I knew their faces by heart.  It seems wonderful now that the humble arguments they employed should ever have radiated from those meetings into cabinets, and that their claims should have come to be conceded.  They looked forward to the glamour of a final conflict, and the splendour of a great concession, when it came to pass that all they claimed was given almost without their being aware of it, and with an air of reproach that they had made so much to do about what everybody was agreed upon.  Under the friendship of Mr. W. Ellis, Mr. Lovett had devoted the latter years of his life to promoting secular education among the working class.  He gave influence to his principles by his character, independence, intelligence, and integrity.  He advanced his principles by his life as much as by his labours.

    Robert Dale Owen died in America in 1877.  He always retained a liking for the Indiana settlement.  He said that he hoped his children would always be connected with it.  Robert Dale Owen had a great career in America in promoting enfranchisement of women, and a document he submitted to Abraham Lincoln influenced him more than any other in issuing a proclamation in favour of the slaves.  (See correspondence of the Owen family and letter of his daughter, Mrs. Rosamond Owen Templeton, Co-operative News, January, 1904.)  Mrs. Chappellsmith, of Indiana, was formerly the Miss Reynolds known to the Socialists of London in the period between 1835 and 1841, as an eloquent and accomplished lady who delivered public lectures in favour of their views.

    American papers, who best know the facts concerning Robert Dale Owen, explain that he had suffered from excitement of the brain, ascribed to overwork in his youth.  He was a man of singular moral courage, and to the end of his days he maintained the reputation of great candour.  As soon as he found he was deceived by Katie King, the Spiritist, he published a card and said so, and warned people not to believe what he had said about that fascinating impostor.  A man of less courage would have said nothing, in the hope that the public would the sooner forget it.  It is clear that spiritism did not affect his mind although he presented gold rings to pretty feminine spirits.  In his delirious days he fancied himself the Marquis of Breadalbane, and proposed coming over to Scotland to take possession of his estates.  He had a great scheme for recasting the art of war by raising armies of gentlemen only, and proposing himself to go to the East and settle things there on a very superior plan.  He believed himself in possession of extraordinary powers of riding and fighting, and had a number of amusing illusions.  But he was not a common madman; he was mad like a philosopher—he had a picturesque insanity.  After he had charmed his friends by his odd speculations, he would spend days in analysing them, and wondering how they arose in his mind.  He very coolly and skilfully dissected his own crazes.  The activity of the brain had become uncontrollable; still his was a very superior kind of aberration.  Robert Dale Owen entirely recovered and remained himself to the end of his days.  He was a graceful writer, of lightness and imagination—a species of Washington Irving among publicists.

    In 1848-9 the Spirit of the Age newspaper was issued, projected by Robert Buchanan, Alexander Campbell, and Lloyd Jones.  When they no longer were able to sustain it, "Mr. Edward Search," the trusted legal adviser of Mr. Owen, undertook to continue it, and I became the editor of it.  For three months the projectors of the paper were retained upon it from consideration for them. [271]  Mr. Search believed that a good literary social newspaper might be established, if conducted with equal fairness towards the middle class and the industrious class, whom it was designed to benefit.  Arrangements were made with new writers, and there was at last prospect of a real newspaper of general interest.  The projectors of the paper, however, desired to see it conducted in their way, and Mr. Lloyd Jones led the hostility to it, and wrote a disparaging letter in the last number over which his friends could exercise the right of inserting it.  The Spirit of the Age had been bought in the hope of rescuing co-operative journalism from its insipidity and precariousness—then well apparent.  As public support was then very limited, there was small prospect of establishing such a newspaper when a hostile one was announced to be immediately started by the first proprietors of the Spirit of the Age.  I therefore saw it was my duty to advise Mr. Search that he would lose all further money he had arranged to devote to the journal he had bought, and that it was better to consider as wholly lost the £600 he had generously spent.  And thus I relinquished an appointment which I valued more than any I had ever held.  So the Spirit of the Age ceased.  There has been no journal since like that which was then organised, and which might have been established, had co-operation been possible then among co-operators.  The most eminent representatives of social movements in the chief European nations would have written in its pages.  The last number of the Spirit of the Age contained the following announcement from the pen of Mr. Search:—


    "It is due to our readers to inform them that with this number the Spirit of the Age ceases.  He who took to the paper at No. 18, and defrayed the entire of its liabilities, has since sustained it, to see whether an addition of quantity, more care in superintendence, and a well-considered devotion to the interests of those whose views the paper was intended to advance, would obtain for it that support which would give it an independent existence.  During three months the experiment has been tried.  Three months has been a short period of trial; and, money not being essentially important, the experiment would have been continued longer; but the receipt of Mr. Jones's letter, which will be seen in another part of this paper, has confirmed a fact previously entertained, that unless the Spirit of the Age was continued in precisely the same tone and style under which it had arrived at death's door, it would not be satisfactory to those who had originally issued it.  It seemed, therefore, unwise to seek to give currency to views of which his letter shows we were, in the opinion of those who sought our aid, not satisfactory exponents.  To continue this experiment under the same title would, it is evident, subject us to imputations which we would much rather avoid, by sacrificing the money which has been expended.  And on the receipt of Mr. Jones's letter we found that the propriety of the resolution we had come to was at once established.  For the sake of the cause itself, we deeply regret this want of accordancy with the views of management, and of the tone in which it was desired our advocacy should be conducted.  Our own views are that just ends should be sought, and ought to be sought, by peaceable means.  But the difference between us seems to be this, that the parties who launched this paper do not consider that peaceable and gentle-toned language is a necessary condition of the means of progress.  All subscribers to the Spirit of the Age who have paid their subscriptions in advance, will receive the residue of the subscriptions due to them."


    Scotland has had its co-operative papers as well as England.  The Scottish Co-operator, edited by Mr. J. McInnes, was a small, neatly-printed, well-looking periodical, always clearly and sensibly written.  Scotland has now a Scottish Co-operator published weekly, often having illustrations like the English Co-operative News.  Mr. McInnes also edited the Handbook of Co-operation of the Scottish Wholesale Society, in which the subjects selected were practical, various, and stated with great clearness and relevance.

    English co-operative stores have at different times issued a small halfpenny or free journal, giving a monthly account of their proceedings, with a view to increase local information concerning them.  Mr. Butcher projected one in Banbury.  One was issued at Leicester, and others at Derby, Leeds, and Ipswich.  There was the South of England Pioneer, edited by Mr. W. P. Carter, of Worthing.  Quite a series have been devised in London for the use of the Metropolitan Society and stores of the South.  One of the tracts published in Banbury contained a dialogue between a stranger and a member of the store, bearing the pleasant name of John Joyful.  Co-operators always turn up cheerful.

    In the Constructive period disagreeable writers have been few, and one sample of them will suffice.  Mr. John Hill Burton's book on political and social economy, published by Chambers, though containing on the whole excellent advice to those whom it concerned, is as offensive to co-operators as a book can well be.  The impression left on the mind of the reader is that every person, from Plato to Louis Blanc, who thought that society might be improved by mitigating competition, were not merely fools, but fools of so hopeless an order that reasoning with them was to reduce yourself to their level.  For a people so fond of writing and so wonderfully gifted with the desire of expressing their opinions as the Scotch, we had scant contributions to co-operative literature.  Were any one asked to name a nation with whose people Co-operation would be most congenial and most successful, they would first of all name Scotland.  They are clannish, prudent, sagacious, calculating, and persevering.  Of the daring which comes from duty and is inspired by duty they have much, but the daring of self-regardless impulse they have less than the English, who have far less than the Irish.  Prudence is in the nature in Scotchmen; many wait to see whether a thing succeeds before they join it; and as success in Co-operation depends upon the concurrent action of numbers, Scotch success has been slow.  Yet in unexpected qualities the Scotch excel.  They are masters in hospitality.  An Englishman is pretty generous on impulse, on the whole more spontaneous; but he is liable to look back on what he does, and be of opinion that he has gone too far.  A Scot is not so impulsive; but when he gives it is with his understanding and his heart, and he never looks back.

    Co-operation has found its way to the Antipodes long ago, Mr. Charles Frederick Nichols, formerly an active member of the social propaganda in London, and since an active writer in Australia, has published several small works.  "The Rise and Progress of Quartz Mining in Clunes" is one in which he advocated the introduction of the co-operative principle in the gold-fields of Australia.  There was considerable prejudice to overcome in Melbourne (Englishmen when they emigrate carefully carry their prejudices with them) before a co-operative store was opened.  But in 1872 one was commenced which had 200 members; and a Conference was contemplated of all those in the colony favourable to social concert among the people.

    Many works have been written since 1844 illustrative of co-operative ideas.  Edmund About, in France, wrote a Handbook of Social Economy, or the Worker's A, B, C.  Among many eminent writers in England Professor F. W. Newman and Professor Thorold Rogers have written upon the question.  Professor Hodgson, Professor Fawcett, and Mr. Thomas Brassey, M.P., have contributed books, papers, and addresses upon it.  Mr. (since Lord) Brassey has published a work on "Co-operative Production," an indication that co-operative workmen have practical counsellors now, unknown in earlier years.  His facts are drawn from sources of authority in England and on the Continent, and interpreted as only one familiar with great commercial undertakings could interpret them. []

    Lord Brassey's father was an eminent friend of Co-operation, who promoted it practically by his example in his great business undertakings.  He had not only Co-operation, but the true co-operative spirit in his mind.  Sir Arthur Helps, in the dedication of his "Life of Thomas Brassey" to the Queen, says: "Your Majesty will find that the late Mr. Brassey was an employer of labour after your Majesty's own heart, always solicitous for the welfare of those who served under him; never keeping aloof from them, but using the powerful position of a master in such a manner as to win their affections and to diminish the distance, which is often far too great between the employer and the employed."  In recounting the facts of his life Sir Arthur says: "Mr. Brassey favoured and furthered the co-operative system; constantly giving a certain share of the profits to his agents, and thus making them partakers in the success or failure of the enterprise." [273]

    One of the social advocates, of considerable activity in his day, was Mr. Robert Cooper.  He had zeal and oratorical ambition, which was a merit so far as it showed care to render the manner of his lectures acceptable.  Though he had incurred no peril he fared better than those who had.  Mr. Fletcher, of Kennington, had given me his fortune, at that time £30,000, and for two years left his will in my possession.  In those days inflation, coarseness, and fierceness of advocacy, which deterred the best inquirers from looking at your principles, were regarded as signs of spirit, and Mr. Fletcher, who was of that way of thinking, was told that I did not much encourage books with those characteristics at my publishing house in Fleet Street; he asked for his will, and making a new one gave it to Mr. Cooper in my presence, when we were at tea together one evening at his house.  Mr. Fletcher died suddenly before I had knowledge of what had been said to him, or opportunity of explaining to him that now we had won freedom, the success of truth depended henceforth very much upon consideration, temper, and fairness in statement.  And so I lost the only fortune that ever came near to me, and I should have regretted it had it not occurred in the course of doing what I thought right. [274]

    Of the lost Pioneers, Mr. Henry Hetherington, was among the projectors of the first London Co-operative Printers' Society of 1821.  He was the foremost defender of the unstamped press, and his journal, the Poor Man's Guardian, which gave him his public name, was prosecuted 150 times before Lord Lyndhurst declared it to be a strictly legal publication.  The Government were slow in those days in making things out.  Hetherington died of cholera in 1849 at 37, Judd Street, London.  A long procession filled the New Road as we conveyed him to Kensal Green.  More than 2,000 surrounded the grave, where I delivered the oration, which afterwards appeared in the "Logic of Death," of which more than 100,000 have been sold.

    The next grave I spoke at was that of Mrs. Emma Martin, who incurred more dangers than any other lady who spoke on social platforms.  The address on her burial was reported in the Leader newspaper of 1854.  It was the first time any metropolitan newspaper had accorded that kind of notice.,

    Mightier names which have lent friendly influences and advocacy to the cause of industrial improvement, have since gone through the pass of death.  One will occur to every co-operator—Canon Kingsley.  No one was more resolute in maintaining his own opinions than he, and no one was more considerate in the judgment of opinions opposed to his own.  The last time we met he asked me to come and see him, when in residency at Westminster, and observed, "The world is very different now from what it was when you and I commenced trying to improve it twenty-five years ago."  There was no ground for taking me into comparison with himself, but it was done in that hearty courtesy which attached co-operators to him, even where some of us dissented from views he cherished.  We all owe gratitude to his memory for great services.  In no way could it profit him to befriend us, and therefore his civility was to us as a sign of sincerity.



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