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designed, and most unequivocal falsehood. fvurish of pens and flowing of ink, to proAnd when the influence of flagrant false- duce a specimen about equal to that of the hood, pursued in a systematic manner, is promising devil of Lloyd's delectable Penny proved to be beneficial to society, then will Newspaper. We therefore find that their Monachism be proven to have the like effect, boldest writings are ingenious rather than but not till then. Monachism is thus false profound, and that “no idea is ever fullowed in principle, its tenets are false, its members to its ultimate consequences.
There are interested, its objects are worldly, its is not that imperturbable audacity, that spirit is avaricious, and there is scarcely one stubbornness of logic, which are displayed in relieving feature in its career from the sixth the writings of the ancient civilization.” And to the sixteenth centuries.
even the chroniclers, though their narratives As well, therefore, might "Stanislaus” were necessarily animated, from the amount assert that a tempest does no harm, because of detail which they contained, were still here and there a fragile shrub braves the insufferably dull, in consequence of the prosy storm, as maintain that Monachism, because episodes of egotistical bigotry and gross igof its few good acts, is not still, in the grand norance. Take Robert the Monk as an total of its effects, most baneful. “ Stanis- instance of this erudition without judgment, laus” instances a few of the beneficial effects and of earnest aspiration without capacity. of the monastic system; all of which, we are In the literary efforts of men out of the sorry to find, are open to objection. The church we find evidence of a philosophical monks, according to this writer, were su judgment; there is a comprehensive masrior in cultivation and in letters to the rest tery over principles, joined with a depth and of society. There may be a particle of truth sagacity in the tracing of causes and effects, in this ; but from the public life of the which we shall look for in vain in the works monk, from the literary specimens now ex- of the monks. William of Tyre is a welltant, and from his habits of narrow observa- known example of this. tion and fierce bigotry, as well as judging of We are perfectly willing, with " Stanisthe practical effect of his private creed upon laus,” to believe that the monks were the his public conduct, we infer but little of him “ good landlords” which he feelingly repreas a student. All his writings are perva led sents them; and that the influence of Moby a narrow theological spirit. “ This spirit nachism was therefore good on the monastic was, as it were,” says Guizot, " the blood tenantry. He must, however, recollect that which flowed in the veins of the European these poor tenantry formed but a minute world.” The influence of this spirit, accord- portion of European society; and therefore, ing to the same authority, was decidedly whether they thrived or failed like the mobad; " and it was not untii Bacon and Des- dern British landlord in the days of the cartes --Bacon in England, and Descartes in League—is a matter of extreme unconcern to France—who were the first to carry intellect the question at large. Further, it is scarcely out of the beaten tracks of theology." In within the province of “Stanislaus” to disthe monastic literature we find a weak, tur- cuss the pecuniary benefits conferred by Mogid, trimming vein, foolishly copied from the nachism on any body of men whatever. But schoolmen.
The monks were competent even here this apparent monastic disinterestenough to keep diaries, to cast up the ac- edness becomes suspicious when we consider counts of the monastery, to register the the fact trat the monks held their lands petty news of the times, to write epitaplıs, frequently on an insecure tenure, and that and to do other small literary labours; but therefore they were deeply interested in conwhen they ventured upon any work in which ciliating the good will of the tenantry, for a searching and an unbiassed intellect was there was danger that if any political disrequired—“Oh, Hamlet, what a falling off turbance arose, the vassals would throw off was there!” Their books, however, pos- subjection, and declare an equal right with sessed one recommendation—they were beau- their good landlords to the possession of the tifully written. Taey suggest the allegory lands. We, therefore, consider this dealing of a consummate fop, who, having assumed on the part of the monks to be worthy of a the habit of the “true man,” and possessing Barnum, rather than an example of affection. a sufficiency of assurance, contrives, after In producing Hume's authority for this fact herculean pains and labours, and a vast “Stanislaus” has apparently ignored the con
sideration that the praise of this astute his- there still may be found in great vigour that torian often flows most smoothly in those sterling honesty, that singleness of purpose, cases where an under current of irony is that ardent enthusiasm for their sacred perceptible, the thrusts from which are cause, and that disinterested attachment to far more deadly than those from an open it, which together would constitute one of blade.
the noblest and best, if not the most philosoNor is “Stanislaus" more successful in phical, of human characters. But these his effort to justify the motives which cause qualities were unknown to monkhood. Or men to join the monastic order. He thus if, indeed, they did possess one of them, it enumerates what he affirms to be the chief was the least worthy one in the list. The causes :-“Some fled to them from fear of monks were intolerant. But this was not their fellow-men; some to live more free the honest intolerance which arises out of a from the cares of a worldly life; some from fervid faith in an espoused dogma. They love of retirement; some to weep over a mis- never felt their souls on fire with the sacred spent life; some to have more time to spend importance of their own beliefs, else they in the services of God; some from love of could never have perpetrated the gross falselearning,” &c., &c. Manly motives, these! hoods which continually pervaded their One man is afraid of another; he flees to teachings. They never looked round on huhide his coward head in a monastery. A manity, and feeling, to their heart of hearts, poor creature grows mawkish over the busi- the nonentity of the opinions which it held, ness and cares of life; the monastery opens were compelled to exclaim, like truth-loving its sympathizing arms to receive the tender Coleridge, “ No! no! when such opinions are heart. A rake has spent his money, and in question, I neither am, nor will be, nor misspent his life; but instead of going to the wish to be regarded as, tolerant.” They Compter, he declares himself to the last practised deception; and therefore they were degree blasé, and straightway departs for the positively incapable of that conscientious inmonastery to weep. A fanatic is seized with tegrity, that inmost rectitude, which are the the ridiculous lunacy of being a “chosen soul of all honour and truth. This craving vessel of God;" he rushes to the monastery, after falsehood, this moral obtusity to its and he declares that he has a “mission" to despicable meanness, and this mental stupimiserable sinners. He straightway goes dity as to its shortsighted policy, are alone abroad to declare his mission, and his bad enough to have dragged these false prophets taste but worse vanity, by donning the ugly and their false system into limbo long ago. habiliments and the long face of a monk. It is this propensity to duplicity, joined with We hear in pathology of a disease which the well-known monastic enmity to the intelleads the patient to believe that his bodily lectual development of their votaries, which proportions are of mountainous magnitude; drove mankind, in the sixteenth century, to but this disease is nothing compared to that cast off the papal yoke. That religious sysby which the moral stature of a fanatic is tem, therefore, which after many centuries of self-magnified.
uncontrolled jurisdiction was at last comTo such as these the door of the monastery pelled to succumb to popular indignation, is open. Such is the stuff of which monks could at no time have exerted a very beneare made. The proper place for these people ficial influence on society. is evidently Botany Bay; the salubrious air, We find that exhaustion of the allotted exercise, and climate of which are well pages warns us to break off abruptly here, known recipes for the empty heads and emp- or we would turn to the age of the Reformatier pockets of spendthrifts.
tion, that celebrated epoch in the history of We now advance to the third and most the monastic orders. The reader must, important consideration in the question. We therefore, consider that the foregoing is allude, of course, to the moral effect of Mo- merely a prelude, embodying the principles nachism on society. For it is evidently a mat- and groundwork of our argument—an arguter of but little moment if a religious body of ment which, though we have but casually men are not found to bear the palm for their supported it by historical testimony, is neverlearning, their literary works, or even for theless to be considered as based on evidence their philosophical toleration of antagonistic of the most indubitable character. creeds. All these may be wanting ; yet
IS THE BALLOT MORE DESIRABLE THAN OPEN VOTING ?
“The interests of the individuals constituting the act more honourably, more consistently, with greatest number of the people is,
that the govern. the eyes of the world upon them than they rests of that greatest number. Thus the general will when closeted alone with their vacillating interest is each man's personal interest. When hearts, when temporary expedients or selfish any one is transacting that in which his personal interests are the tempters.” And as a cointerest alone is at stake, he need be responsible to no other person; and the interference of an rollary on this, he hurls the foregoing at the other will be more likely to lead him astray than electors of the United Kingdom as being to put him right. The elector, if uninfluenced; their general character, coupled with the results of good government to all, votes accord assertion, that “voters will act under a sense ingly for the man who, as a legislator, will act to of public opinion with more sincerity and that end. But if his vote for a person who
will honesty when their moral worth is at stake, more valuable to him than his chance in the than when they can safely play the hyposhare of the results of good government, he will, crite, and sacrifice public duty for unworthy in the general case, vote in compliance with that motives.” After this compliment to the bery and intimidation at election. Secrecy of general character of the voters, especially as suffrage, or, as it is commonly called, the Ballot, his illustrations prove the same, what can be is the remedy for this disease. As the candi- expected from an argument when the bad date cannot know whether or not the service has been performed, he will not give the wages. Since
are selected as abstract cases, and made to there is no means of detecting the non-fulfilment represent the bulk of the community! One of his bargain, the bribed elector is in the same feature in his illustrations, which we must position as to interests with the unbribed-i. e., bis admit our total incapacity to comprehend, is interest is identical with that of the public at large, and in favour of good
government; and the can- the honesty which he attaches to the chadidate, knowing this to be the case, will not throw racter of a man who receives a bribe, and away his money.-Jeremy Bentham.
whom he represents as voting in accordance MR. EDITOR.—We are told that the great with the wish of the briber. Here the barVoltaire, when on his deathbed, requested but renness and insufficiency of his reasoning bea few hours to live in order that he might comes painfully manifest; for what guaranrecant and revoke all that he had previously tee has the electioneering agent that the written. We hope that in this respect“Gray" vote will be recorded as bargained for? We will be more fortunate; and that an opportu- should like to inquire how “Gray” could nity may be granted to him in order that he repose confidence in men who were so guilty may see the folly of his reasoning on the as to vote against conscience, when they Ballot, and atone for the little credit which were so dishonest as to be bribed ? It does he therein attaches to human nature. We appear passing strange to find writers, who cannot but think that our opponent has brand as dishonest, relying upon fallen into the common error of measuring a them voting as required, more especially bushel out of his own sack; for, on reference when secrecy hides the vote from scrutiny. to his article, it will be seen that (in order to So far as we are concerned, “ Gray” may suit his argument), in each illustration of his rest assured that we shall never seek to objection to the Ballot, the voter is repre- obtain his services, although he seems to sented as being without principle and with think, judging from his article, that the out morality-as being anxious to serve his majority of men are as bad as himself. We own ends-open, either to take bribes, tell will now pass on to consider the objections lies, or turn his own accuser. He first
to the Ballot. judices the question by the following insinu- The Ballot is charged with being ation:“We all know that men generally will English;” and this, perhaps, is the only
available reason which its opponents can find should like to hear defined) the stalkingto bring against it. However correct this horse for opposition to the Ballot, and seemmay be, we should like to inquire if the mea- ing to think that men are “afraid to vote sure is any more chargeable with being un- openly” because they could avail themselves English than the practices of bribery, treat- of its protection from the ing, corrupting, and intimidating the elec- the one hand, and from bribery and cortors in order to secure their votes. Why, on ruption, on the other. He also adds, “ if the same score, do not its opponents object to men are afraid to vote openly, and pusillaMasonic lodges and other secret societies, the nimously screen themselves behind the Balmembers of which are sworn to conceal and lot, they would naturally shrink from an not to reveal the business transacted therein? open avowal of their views, avoiding everyNor can we see how the army and navy clubs, thing like free discussion," &c., &c. There &c., &c., are exempt from this rule, as “Gray” is but little truth in the conclusion drawn would have us believe. The same principle from the premise,--and for our own part we is involved, and the same duty attaches to pledge our word, should be ever be so fortueither; the functions being somewhat differ- nate as to become a returning-officer, to prove ent, though (in some places, institutions, ly- for onee his mistake on this head. We are ceums, &c.) not less important. We can rather surprised he did not assert that men only wonder at the strange inconsistency of were afraid of an open avowal of their those who can tolerate one but not both of views” on the Ballot itself
. We very much these agencies, or who are content with the question if he will find such men as he esistence of secret societies, should object to represents amongst the advocates of the the establishment of the Ballot.
Ballot. Moreover, is it not consistent that the “Gray” next refers to the House of ComBallot should be compulsory on all persons mons, and triumphantly chuckles over “ its irrespectively? The Bill is intended as a open speaking and open debating," in contraprotection for those who, under the influence distinction to the secret system; as of threat, intimidation, bribery, corruption, though there were no distinction between the &c., woưld incur great risks—by being, as man who becomes the responsible represen“ Gray” says, “thrown upon their own re- tative of the opinions of others, and indivisources,” and probably ruined for ever; and dual or personal accountability (that is, to such parties would, under the present system, one's conscience). Again; he appears to forbe necessarily compelled to yield to the pres- get, that, objectionable as the Ballot may be, sure of the “screw." Under the Ballot, for votes tendered in opposition to the party's however, they are enabled to maintain and political creed, that on two memorable occaexercise inviolate their prescriptive right to sions within the last three months, the one the franchise, --and to assert their right to on the evening of Mr. Bright's celebrated the obligations which conscience necessarily philippic on the management of the war in demands being represented in and by their the Crimea; the other, on the division on vote.
Mr. Roebuck's motion for inquiry into the Our opponent makes use of a species of same; a number of members did not scruple reasoning often resorted to when argument or hesitate to announce their intention fails, by an appeal to the passions--evoked voting in opposition to their strongest perby reference to the good old times of the sonal convictions. If the House of Com"pure and high-minded Saxon race;" and, mons can consistently act thus (which of further on, by the dignity and glory of self-course must be the case from our oppodenial, and even martyrdom, purely for prin- nent quoting it as an illustration) he has ciples' sake." The feelings are made to ap- yet to prove that the Ballot is as bad as he pear as being involved in the question, and represents it. With respect to his remarks consequently memorials of ancient fame are on the Ballot in France and America, they sought for, by which to excite reverence and are gratuitous assertions, they contain aswin admiration.
sumptions incorrect in themselves, and they On this head we consider the greater por- also charge the Ballot with evils for which it tion of his article as “cant";--making the is not in the least responsible. British constitution (which by the bye we In bringing this article to a close, we
regret that we have been compelled to speak | impartial statement of any future question in such condemnatory terms; but they are than is unfortunately the case with the preno less correct than deserved. “ Gray” has sent one. He appears to have lost all faith placed the question of the Ballot in the in voters for honesty and morality, and we worst possible light; and by bringing abstract would venture to hope he will seek some cases to apply to universal ones (which logic place to the inhabitants of which he will certainly does not sanction), he does not attribute a more upright integrity than abscruple to charge the voters of the United stract cases would appear to secure to the Kingdom with intent to devote the Ballot to supporters of the Ballot. personal aggrandizement, not national wel- To sum up; it is evident that opposition fare; and although actually charging the to the Ballot either proceeds from apprehenBallot with “increasing rather than dimin- sions of the loss of political power on the one ishing the existing corruption" (an asser- hand, or of the success of liberal and ention which we challenge him to prove), we do lightened principles on the other; and therenot find that he proposes to suppress this fore we can well understand the hostility crying evil, but looks upon it with oblivious which is directed against the measure by its indifference, which would appear to attest in- opponents. Its adoption would be fatal to sincerity in his own avowed sentiments. territorial influence not evoked by respect.
On leaving our opponent we will take this However, the measure must eventually become opportunity of expressing a wish that should law; and those who may still continue to he again engage in any discussion he will oppose its adoption must either be singudismiss that prejudice from his mind which larly prejudiced and infatuated, or influenced is displayed in his article, and avail himself still more by personal and interested motives. of appliances, which will secure a more Manchester.
J. R. G.
WHATEVER course this debate may take mutually regret the evil, we differ as to the in the Controversialist, it is not necessary means of redressing it. that the democratic and monarchical spirits The Ballot, we are told, is a sovereign be invoked to the contest. Its affirmative remedy for bribery and intimidation. Picwill, no doubt, arouse the sympathies of our tures are drawn of the straits in which unreforming friends; but there no reason scrupulous electioneering agents will be that we should be treated (as I fear we may) placed when they will no longer have the same to rhapsodies on Democratic Progress, Uni- security in the promises of the recipients of versal Suffrage, and Mutual Republicanism their money, or the victims of their threats. -their Eldorado of government. Its nega- | Thence glowing deductions are led of cortive may be loudly asserted by the believer ruption chased away, intimidation rendered in“ right divine" and passive obedience, but harmless, and purity of election secured; yet no appeals to the genius of the constitution these gratifying results are based on a very will be allowed. The discussion is narrowed slight foundation, viz., that the Ballot will to the “ desirableness” of the Ballot, per se, remove all inducement to bribe, as no man and the protection it is alleged to confer on will invest his money in so precarious a the voter. It lies with those who are satis return as the promise of an elector, who may fied with the gradual advances which our secretly vote as he pleases. There is one country is making in political science, and important consideration, however, overlooked not with the extremes of either party.
-ihat the man who is base enough to accept While perfectly willing to entertain any a bribe is destitute of principle, and is more proposal for putting an end to the gross cor- likely to vote for his paymaster than for anruption, oppression, and intimidation which other candidate. The Ballot will not remove have been proved to exist, we do not believe all inducement to bribe, nor eradicate the that the Ballot would be an effectual remedy. moral sin of bribery; it will only prevent its We cordially join with our opponents in de open proof in a registered vote. Now, what testing the influences by which the poor but more easy than for the candidate to demand honest elector is fettered in the most impor- an open proof of his vote, as well under the tant privilege of a freeman. Yet, while we new system as the old (for surely no advo