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Records of Keform.
their efforts will be useless. It is almost as reasonable to agitate for a resurrection of feudal
ism, as to ask for a re-establishment of the bread THE Freehold Land Societies are daily acquir
monopoly in England. It would be much more ing fresh strength, and are quite likely to be
reasonable on the part of the landlords and
tenant-farmers to join with the financial and come an important instrumentality in the social and political advancement of the people.
parliamentary reformers in asking for economy The Birmingham Conference has given an in
and retrenchment, and an extension of politi. pulse to all the societies in the country. Others
cal rights. “To this complexion they must are being formed in many important towns.
come at last."
Though it has been stated a hundred times The Parliamentary and Financial Reform
recently at public meetings, and in some of the Association has been putting forth its strength
newspapers, that England is fast going to the in Scotland and the north of England. The
dogs under the Free Trade regime, it must not campaign of George Thompson and Sir Joshua
be forgotten that the revenue is in an encourWalmesley, who attended as a deputation, was quite satisfactory. The London committee are
aging position, that employment in the manu
facturing districts is becoming more abundant, quite active and vigorous in the work they have taken on themselves.
that the poor rates in a vast majority of the The Anti-State Church Association has been
unions of Great Britain are gradually declin
ing. active during the past few weeks. Its various
The Vegetarians of Salford and Manchester deputations in the North and elsewhere, have
have recently held several meetings to dismet with a hearty reception wherever they
cuss the important question of human diethave appeared.
etics and health. It is high time that the peoThe Anti-Capital Punishment Movement has
ple enquired into the true philosophy of eating also made rapid strides since the execution of the Mannings. The doom of the gallows is
and drinking. It has been sadly neglected
hitherto. "The proper study of mankind is fixed and its days are numbered.
man." The celebrated series of letters which have
It must be encouraging to every reformer to appeared in the Morning Chronicle from one
know that cheap periodical literature of a useof its commissioners, have produced a deep
ful and elevatingtendency, is gradually increasimpression, and led to a great deal of enquiry,
ing, and displacing some of the poisoned literwhich must do good. The emigration scheme for
ature which perpetually streams from Lonoppressed needlewomen is the first practical re
don. sult of these valuable communications.
Several meetings of assistants and of employThe Lancashire Public School Association has had a conference and meeting. The members
ers, of a very practical character, and other for Manchester have also had a special enter
public meetings, have been held under the aus
pices of the Early Closing Association, and tainment. The north of England is at the present moment full of activity in the great pro
have been well attended. It is uphill work to
change the injurious habits of a nation, but so gress movements.
sure as the heart and mind of society continue The Wesleyan Movement maintains, if it does not increase, in its interest and intensity.
to improve, deep-rooted abuses will gradually In Scotland the Total Abstinence question
decrease. În very many provincial towns and
cities, shops are now closed at seven o'clock, has, of late, excited considerable attention,
which used to be closed at uine and ten, Why The cause in London is growing from the im
should not all shops be closed at five in winter petus given by the large Exeter Hall meetings,
and six in summer? and by the increased activity of the Working Men's Teetotal Association,
The news from California is as sparkling as The demands for cheaper and better gas, and
its“ diggings." cheaper and better water, in the Metropolis,
The Emigration and Colonization Movement
does not diminish in interest. If all were to are resulting in the means for the multiplication
emigrate and colonize who talk about it, our facilities for larger supplies of these valuable commodities,
continental neighbours might think about emi. Ragged Schools and Model Lodging-houses
grating to England to cultivate our waste lands.
With all the talk about the Pope returning have recently called into existence an increased nterest and activity in their favour.
to Rome, he has not yet done so, neither is it The acquittal of Waldeck in Berlin has dumb
likely that be soon will. But let him do so toounded the lovers of oppression in that city,
morrow or any other time, he will never again and has done much to put constitutional liber
be invested with uncontrolable temporal and
spiritual authority, or wield the supreme polity on a firm foundation in Prussia. The Peace Society has had a course of lectures
tical or ecclesiastical power which so many of delivered for it to large audiences in Crosby
his predecessors did. The power of the Pope Hall, by A. B. Stephens, John Burnet, and Asa
is a power of the past. Mahan.
The Emperor of Russia still continues to It is pleasing to see that mechanics'institutes growl at the democratic doings of Western and literary societies are gradually multiplying Europe. He can only growl. His demanding and generally increasing in influence and im the extradition of the Polish and Hungarian portance. Particular mention may be made of refugees, and then yielding to the firm deterthe Whittington Club, which numbers nearly mination of Turkey, backed up by France and 1,500 members
England. has virtually humiliated him in the Many of the agriculturists have been holding eyes of Europe. The spirit of the imprisoned large meetings to try to create an agitation for | Kossuth is a mightier thing in this world than the re-enactment of the corn laws. But all the absolute Emperor of the Russias,
should not summer lifornia
being. From the conmon and wellHAPPINESS.
known meaning of the word, it is rarely WHENEVER human life is contemplated defined with any clearness, but from apart from its temporary and imme- the manner of its application, it is not diate interests, the inquiry arises, What difficult to perceive that it is ordinarily is the authentic aim of Being ?—to what used to signify that condition of existend ought men to live? To this ques ence which affords the maximum of ention it is replied, by a prominent class joyment. In this sense it appears to be of speculators, that the evident purpose uniformly understood, whatever differof existence is the happiness of the in- ences of opinion may be entertained dividual ; and that therefore every man respecting the nature of the enjoyments is under a natural obligation to pursue most appropriate to man. According the course by which he may be most as inen incline to a material or spiritual effectually rendered happy. The desire way of thought, they will differ as to for happiness being universal, and tend- what really constitutes true happiness; ing continually to stimulate men in its but they may agree in the general nopursuit, it is conceived that nothing tion that it consists in the highest state short of its attainment is calculated to of pleasurable sensation, and that tosatisfy the reasonable aspirations of wards this it most behoves them to human nature. It may be admitted direct their efforts. There may be a that the doctrine is not devoid of plau- great diversity of sentiment concerning sibility; and being also eminently flat- the means and methods best adapted tering to the uncultivated understand- to attain the end in view ; but in their ing, it has not failed to gain a wide customary estimate of what tends to acceptance and celebrity. If the opi. make them happy, men for the most nion of the majority were sufficient to part refer to the possession of such determine the validity of any article of things as are agreeable to their desires, belief, the point in question might be -to such a condition of life as seems considered to have been long since most consonant with their inclinations established affirmatively. There has or ambition, and promises to afford always existed, however, among the them the largest measure of the gratifimore severe and independent order of cations which they most esteem. We thinkers, a small number of heretics thus perceive that Happiness is but a against the general faith, who assert synonymous term for Pleasure ;-this that the pursuit of happiness is not the latter term, however, being susceptible chief aim of man, but that there is of many explanations, according as a something infinitely higher, and of far man is a coarse sensualist, a matter-ofnobler consideration; and they instance, fact aspirant after material prosperity, as a proof of the futility of the common or a person of intelligent refinement; doctrine, that it is utterly incommen- and that, when men speak or think of surate to the furtherance of the object happiness, they usually mean only the which it inculcates, inasmuch as no utmost extent of satisfaction of which practical efforts after happiness have they are constitutionally capable. The hitherto conducted any one to its reali- pleasure desiderated may be a mero zation.
immediate excitement, or it may be It is evident that, owing to the ambi- | matter of ultimate expectation in so far guities of language, such a controversy as it relates to the entire scheme of life, might be interminable ; both parties or it may refer to the fruitions of an meanwhile contending lustily for the ulterior existence; but in each case it is truth,-as indeed is by no means un nothing more than Pleasure, of one kind frequent in controversial proceedings. or another, which is really the object of To reduce it within manageable limits, pursuit, and the desire of the incident it is obviously needful to fix the signi- enjoyment is apparently the motive fication of the term Happiness. And which induces the particular course of this will be done best by adopting the action out of which it is expected to sense attached to it by those who hold proceed. that happiness is the primary end of Now, apart from the historical fact
that the highest teachers in all ages so far as it is successful, serves mainly have borne testimony to the presence to inflame the insatiate capacity of of aspirations in man altogether foreign Appetite, and thus perpetuate both and superior to this love of pleasure, it struggle and disappointment,-it were may be remarked that the doctrine surely wiser to lower our too lofty pretends materially to frustrate the sub- tensions, and consider rather what posstantial welfare of those who consciously sibilities of good may lie in the faithful adopt it. Happiness being everywhere performance of duties which every day recognized as the only true and appro- presents, without regard to the pleasantpriate pursuit of life-the same being ness or infelicities of their execution, also taught and enforced by“ poets In literal reality, a man's welfare is not and philosophers” of great distinction attainable by the chase of happiness; and repute—the thoughtless and un- but it is his highest and blessed privicultivated man, feeling sensibly that, lege to be the willing servant of Truth as far as he is individually concerned, and Goodness, and find therein his the dogma is unexceptionable, and noblest and imperishable distinction. ought to have a practical exemplifica- If he will fritter away his life in the tion,--reckons with himself in such vain effort to be happy, he will inevi. wise as always to expect happiness; tably expend his powers without profit and whenever the contrary comes to to his manhood, and delude himself pass in his experience, he, with a plau- continually with a dream of the Unapsible shew of consequence, attributes proachable. Boundless as may seem the disagreeable anomaly to some sig- his enjoyments, his desires are still more nal maladjustment of the general affairs, boundless, and have in truth no limit whereby through human, diabolical, or short of absolute infinity. other agency, he is ungenerously de- ! By the paltry philosophy which affrauded of his proper gratifications and firms happiness to be the authentic aim immunities. Having always striven of life, the world has been grievously after happiness, and nothing else, it is misled. Nearly all the current teachincomprehensible to him that he should ing is grounded on this gross assumpever be otherwise than happy ;-philo- tion: men being most commonly urged sophy and ethics very clearly justifying to become virtuous, out of regard to the anticipation of that result, as may the pleasant or profitable advantages be shewn on reference to Pope, Paley, which virtue is supposed to be compeand Bentham, and other learned and tent to furnish; and to avoid the pracpolite writers. A morbid dissatisfac- tices of vice and folly, that so they may tion with his fate grows with every suc- not incur the perils and penalties incicessive disappointment, until the strug- dent to their commission. Such mogle for well-being declines eventually tives of appeal, indeed, may not be into weariness and distraction. With altogether useless or improper as sethe phantom of happiness forever before condary or initiatory incitements to his eyes, his fluttering efforts to grasp amendment; but the teaching which it end only in delusion; and in the respects them as final and fundamental eagerness of the insane pursuit he is in- may be safely pronounced to be spucessantly diverging, more and more re- rious, and calculated to lead men astray motely, from the paths of useful quie- from the perception of their worthiest tude, wherein alone his chances of well. prerogatives. Virtue, in its older and being are safely to be sought. Were it diviner sense, is not estimable by any not better that a man should utterly considerations of sensible loss or profit; renounce his hope of happiness altoge- but signifies emphatically that which is ther, and, with reference to the mere becoming to a man, and its possession is reward of his exertion, adjust his life to ever the indication and advertisement humble aims, bracing himself, if need of a spiritual elevation. A man by virful, to the very pitch of indifferency? tue is more godlike--more in harmony Seeing that the utmost struggle after a with the everlasting dispensations of sensuous contentedness yields nothing the Spirit of all Goodness partakes
. endurable satisfaction, but, even in more largely of that sacred celestial
HAPPINESS. Beauty which lies eternally at the heart soundest admonition, “Eat, drink, and of things, and whose beneficent loveli- take thine ease : in every imaginable ness transcends all thought of appre- sense enjoy thyself;" for to assume ciable advantage. Virtue and Wisdom that the “malady of thought,” and the are the strong and glorious pinions exercise of generosity, yield more acute whereby the soul ascends nearer to the and acceptable pleasures than result presence of that absolute and undimi- | from the concentration of all accessible nishable Purity, which we name and re- satisfactions within one's self, is to deny verence as God. What, then, is the the validity of the general experience, character of that teaching, which in- and to represent the selfishness of man structs us to measure these grand reali- as permanently opposed to its own enties by their “profits," or their “ plea- joyment. Any way considered, this sures ?" To calculate their perceptible theory of the love of happiness being compensations, in order to see whether the fundamental rule of life, leads us these do not preponderate somewhat | inevitably to base and degrading views over the opposite allurements of unin- of human nature. telligence and vice ?—thus, reducing There is a higher fact in the personal their august solemnity and significance | constitution, than that which appears to a value measureable by the profane in the desire for pleasurable sensations. material standards which are current The soul is indefeasibly divine. Herein worldly market-places. Is it not a in shall a man secure his best welfare : desecration so to estimate that sublime by doing those things which are suitand unspeakable Liberty, wherein it is able to his nature ; resolutely fulfilling a man's privilege to become established, his destination, as prefigured in the in proportion as soul is participant of laws of his own consciousness, by a Truth? If you stretch the love of hap- cheerful surrender of his will to his piness to infinitude, you cannot trans sincere and enlightened convictions, mute it into virtue; cannot make it and by working out into reality all the other than an interminable yearning presentiments of the Moral Reason. after Pleasure; a boundless unappeased The quest of happiness will not direct desire for some more or less refined him hither, till after he has tried and and sublimated species of enjoyment. exhausted all methods and modes of The doctrine which teaches this to be being, which offer him any flattering the primary aim of man, announces to prospects of enjoyment, and may in him a gospel of degradation-addresses the end leave him wretchedly incomitself not to his soul, but to his senses; petent to shape his life anew, after the disrobes him as far as possible of that nobler conditions to which he is mystical divinity, which is the highest naturally subordinate. A life in conattribute and glory of his nature : it is formity with truth is for all men the the apotheosis of appetite, the exalta- primary consideration. How he shall tion, not of his boundless unselfish love, best develop the original force wherebut of his merely sensuous inclinations, with he is constitutionally endowedlonging to be infinite and immortal. how cultivate the energies and aspiraIf man has no loftier aspirings, then as- | tions which are the seeds of life within suredly his boasted pre-eminence in the him-how deliver himself of his subcreation is but a pitiful distinction, and lime mission as a man, to whom has he must be reckoned only as a superior been committed the gift and power of organization, susceptible of subtler de- immortality, and the responsibility of lights than the more gross and inferior casting his thought and activity aright forms of being, but limited like them into the boundless and ever-active unito a range of gratifications, which ori- verse, where they shall grow and ginate and end in sensibility. And, blend themselves for ever: this, if he therefore, it were well for him to abo- | will consider it, is the supreme and lish from hi; memory any lingering genuine aim of man. Will he accomvestiges of the tradition, that he is a plish it, think you, by fuming and perfree and divinely inspired soul. This plexing himself incessantly about his Coctrine being true, it were, then, the happiness ?-by cunning and assiduous contrivances, to reap the utmost crop veins and in his soul, working through of exquisite delights ? Not so, my him and within him towards godlike friends, now or ever. The better intel- | consummations. ligence of man has in all times, and everywhere taught a purer and a braver lesson. In none of the elder systems
WOMAN THE REFORMER. of human faith was a merely sensitive
BY MRS. C. L. BALFOUR. felicity ever contemplated as being the
"The woman's cause is man's; they rise or sink together, final purpose of aspiration. This view Dwarfed or Godlike-bond or tree.” of mortal and immortal destiny is in
-Tennyson. great part peculiar to modern ages, to It seems strange that in this age of inthese latter confused times of scepti vestigation and social progress, the power cism, and decay of spiritual integrity, of woman to promote or retard improveand lingers with us now only for a ment should be so seldom adverted to. season. The day will doubtless come A multitude of plans are thought of for when a higher and worthier evangel | mitigating evil and diffusing good, but shall be preached, be more earnestly woman is only indirectly named in reand generally believed, and perhaps ference to these plans. If her influence universally accepted as the foundation is tacitly admitted, and her aid invoked, of a practical way of life. It will re- it is as an auxiliary, and not a principal. cognize the beauty of the moral nature, In many benevolent and religious enterand esteem its growth and unperverted prises she assists by her occasional premanifestation as the just and ultimate sence on public occasions; by collecting object of all endeavour. The considera- funds for carrying on the operations of tion of “happiness” will not enter per- | many societies; by the ingenuity and inceptibly into the account; but men will dustry of her hands, in providing elegant learn to regard the character of the and useful works for sale, in aid of the action, rather than the reward of it, treasury of benevolence. All this is well. and be content to know that their ef- Every woman thus employing her taforts and performances are in unison lents and leisure is doing something to· with the constituted laws of humanity wards abating the amount of human igand the world. “The ordering of our norance and misery. But the mind and fortune," as one has said, “is not de | principles of women in general are not manded of us, but only the cultivation sufficiently appealed to, as to their duty of ourselves.” We may safely trust the in actively promoting the public good. Supreme Beneficence with the latent | They leave to man not only the devising and remoter issues of our fate; our of plans for social advancement, but the olear and intelligible duty now is to comprehending and carrying out of those unfold faithfully whatever capabilities | plans. Women themselves are in error of intellectual or moral worthiness we in this matter. They misunderstand are invested with, so that the integrity their position. They live below their of the universe shall not be impaired privileges. Something more than a mere by our default. Herein we have a tacit assent to different reforms is renobler incentive to activity than any quired of them. A direct personal care that is offered to us in the expectation rying out of various great principles is of “happiness.” A true and spiritual- their unquestionable duty. And the ly enfranchised man, though not insen-world will never be regenerated, till sible to the possession of any benefit, woman understands she must be the neither solicits nor anticipates ambro regenerator. sial consolations in return for the strug It is too much the practice for woman gles he may have endured in the effort to acquiesce with a kind of unenquiring to fulfil his high vocation ; but in the ease to great public questions, or to rich enlargement thereby realized, he wrap herself up in the mantle of indifdiscerns a recompense sufficient, and ference, saying, “I leave public reforms is blessed pre-eminently in this, that to man-my sphere is home.” Ah! something of the might and stability of truly so; but homes are the centres a living and supernal Power is in his from whence radiate the good and the