Imagens das páginas

ing after evening, unweariedly endeavour to gain the ear of this or that friend or shopmate; another, less advanced, less able to teach, may be studying in his chamber some yet not thoroughly mastered principle; and another be even better employed, discussing the point of difficulty alongside of some fellow-republican, so helping and being helped at once. Nothing to do will be impossible if men are in carnest. If they are not in earnest, they had better cease talking about the English Republic.

Beyond this individual sphere of duty two courses of combined action would arise : one through the general meetings of the Associations, and one which I will explain here.

In addition to the ordinary general meetings of Associations, it seems to me that it would be well to hold separate meetings, certainly not less often than once a week. For this purpose divide the Association into small parties or knots of four, five, or six members (according to circumstances), which knots might be called families. Let these families' meet at each other's houses. The ooject of this method of meeting is to insure a more frequent and a more friendly intercommunication of the menibers than would take place if there was no regular meeting except of the whole Association. Personal friendships would thus grow up between the members : even between those of different stations in society. The great cxpense, too, of frequent meetings would be avoided. The classing of the families, the determining how many and who of the members should compose such and such a 'family,' would depend mainly on locality. But the 'family'should never exceed six or seven members—better be only five; and it would be well to change occasionally, that is to say that at least one old member of each ‘family' should be transferred to another, and one new one be admitted in the vacaut place, every month: so that the friendship thus formed and the knowledge thus acquired might circulate as speedily as possible throughout the Association, making the whole one band of friends and brothers. The business of these weekly meetings of families' would be to hear the accounts of the four or five or six members, of how each had been bestowing himself during the week, what work he had done, what proselytes made, -as it were 'taking stock' of the republican progress of the family;" and discussing points of interest or difficulty, perhaps maturing some important question for the general meeting. So the four or five would act as mutual encouragers and advisers, wholesomely inciting each other to persevering action, or checking each other in any false

At these meetings one would act as 'head'; and it would be his business to condense the individual report and the proceedings of the meetings, and to forward this condensed report to the Secretary of the Association.

At these and, indeed, at all meetings strict punctuality should be observed as a matter of conscience.

The aggregate meetings of the Association should take place at least once in every month.

Their principal business would be to hear the reports of the 'heads of families,' and to advise together as to what means might be necessary, either to render their regular operations more effective, or to take any particular course required by the need of the hour. At these meetings also would be

Let it be always borne in mind that these Republican Associations are by no means intended to supersede other associations for special objects, One portion of their business


discussed and decided any doubtful points of doetrince which had already beon debated in the 'families. Subscriptions would be paid at these meetings, either by individuals or through the heads of families.' Special mcetings might be called by the Secretary at the bidding of the President, or upon the written requisition of the majorities of any two 'families.'i

An account of the proceedings of all general and special meetings should be published, for the information and encouragement of the Republicans of other places, in the 'English Republic's or any other Journal which may advocate the principles of the Associations.

For matters to be avoided, -beyond the general caution, on which too much stress can not be laid, of associating only with the trustworthy (those of good character), --all that need be pointed out as dangerous will be, firstly the corresponding of one association with another, \ which is an offence against the law, incolving every member of the offending association ; and secondly, any action, ovest or secret, or recommendation of action, against the Royal Authority. Of this last there can be no fear, if the Associations will constantly bear in mind their object, which is not to act, but TO TEACH REPUBLICAN PRINCIPLES. The Associations are for mutual instruction and for propagandism. That will be the business of the Associations I am anxious to form. Their aim is not to conspire or rebel for the Republic, but tÓ MAKE REPUBLICANS.

Action will not depend on them. Of course as independent bodies, they will be able to attempt any kind of action for which they have a mind, without caring to consult similar bodies of their brethren throughout the country: but

would be to throw their weight in favour of any agitation of the day in which their principles were involved, and so indirectly, as well as directly, to work for the Republic. As to the Chartist agitation, they must help that, seeing that it goes for the very first principle of Republicanism, viz.-equal right.

I give here only such regulations and arrangements as seem advisable to be common to all the republican associations. Other matters, such as lecturing, calling public meetings, fixing amount of subscription, establishing libraries, reading-rooms and clubs, may all be left for future consideration, and to be then determined on according to the various means of different localities. What I chiefly aim at here, is to put forth something like the model of an association which in its most essential features might be adopted by all localities. Some little difference would of course obtaip, in this or that place, vecessitated by peculiar circumstances. There could be no need either of retaining the wording of the Rules given here. No circumstances however could overrule the necessity of having one common profession of faith, assented to by every member. The object is to found a Republican Church, in harmony with the European Republican Party; not to add to the too great number of Republican sects already existing.

For this purpose, so soon as any associations are formed, reports may be sent to me, at Miteside, near Ravenglass, Cumberland : such reports to reach me not later than the 17th or 18th of every month. I should have some for next month.

* Private individuals, or individuals acting in their private capacity, nray of course correspond with whomsoever they please. But the officers of a society, as such, or any persons in the name of a society, are forbidden to correspo

with the officers of any other society, or with any persons acting for it. But it is not illegal to publish the resolu. tions of associations; nor for me, or any other, as an individual, to make proposals based npon those resolutions.

they will have learned very little of republican devotion (in which word discipline is included), have very poorly comprehended the neeessity of republican unity and organization, to be guilty of so gross a blunder. Action should only be determined by, a Central Committee chosen by all the Republicans throughout the Country. Any partial action is a treason against the whole.

Through whatever republican journal the proceedings of the Associations are published, the formation of the CENTRAL COMMITTEE can at any time be proposed; and its election take place, so soon as an absolute majority of the enrolled Members of Associations throughout the country can be obtained. That is to say, it will be formed so soon as a majority of the English Republicans require it. Not till then. The Central Committee should consist of as many men as can muster fifty votes in any part of the country.' THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE ENGLISH REPUBLICANS would conduct the future organization of the whole party. Up to this time every thing will be merely provisional,

Does all this seem a work of so much time and difficulty that you are disheartened. Take away your hand from the plough! Do not lay hold of it, to lialt in mid-furrow. Time !-the veriest weed must have time to grow. Difficulty ! no great work ever was done without it. Difficulty is the seed of triumph, and - time its necesary fructifier. Mazzini and his compatriots, and how many of them exiles, wait patiently for twenty years. Recollect again what has already been effected by some young men without great means, without the influence of rank, without material force! In Italy they are keeping the Eve of the Republic. When shall we do so in England ? When we are as brave and as devoted. Three herdsmen made Switzerland a Republic. Twelve poor fishermen and mechanics, unlearned and despised, by the energy of their faith revolutionized the world. Twelve apostolic men in England, be they never so poor in station, one for each of as many of our English towns, working as apostolic men do, withcut fear, without ceasing, and without counting their own sacrifice,-and in twelve months we would have the strongest party in the country: the strongest because the most zealous and the best organized. Which of you who have declared your readiness to join me, which of you who now read these words, will be the twelve founders of the English Republic?

In any part of the country, becanse else there might be a very large minority, perhaps nearly half the whole Republican force, without any representatives. As new members were added to the Associations, every fifty would be entitled to send a member to the Central Committee. It would be easy enough to keep accounts of voters (open voters) so that none should vote twice. Fifty, or any other number that might be agreed upon; such agreement being very easily obtainable by circular from any private individual, through the pages of a Republican Journal.



PAPOLEON bad fallen ; Despotism was triumphant. The Holy-Alliance of

Kings, meeting at Vienna, reparcelled out Europe among them,-'lo

them and to their heirs for ever.' One generation passed away; and spite of popular efforts, some called successful, 1847 found the Despots in good heart. The three days of July had been excellently turned to the very advantage of the defeated : it was but a happy change from an imbecile to the very wiliest and most unscrupulous of crowned usurpers, Poland had arisen and been crushed: at Cracow the Vultures had gorged their last morsel. Italy, ever struggling in her fetters, secmed everlastingly doomed to partial and useless attempts. As for the new kingdoms of Greece and Belgium, they did not alter the relations of Europe: the Powers' were undisturbed; there were but two crowned heads the more. But in 1847 Switzerland, that focus of insurrection and republicanism, dared refuse to continue in the impotent state of division to which the Treaties of Vienna had doomed ber; and before intervention could be decided on by the diplomatists a rapid march had overthrown the Sonderbund, the first step toward a real federation of the Republican Cantons.

1 848 As if a beacon fire had been lit upon the Alps to rouse the whole of Europe, the New Year sprung to arms. Sicily first. In Palermo, JANUARY 12, the Sicilians proclaimed a provisional government, demanding the Constitution of 1812. FEBRUARY 23, the stones arose in Paris streets : 30,000 barricades. One day's skirmishing, and the Citizen Dynasty was at an end; the French Republic was proclaimed-for ever. It was the commencement of the European revolutionary era. March 13, Vienna itself followed the example: Metternich was driven out and the Kaiser compelled to grant a constitution. On the 18th the Anstrian Viceroy had fled from Milan, barricades were raised, the Italian tricolour floated over Lombardy. On the 19th Berlin too was in full revolt, and the Prussian Monarchy bowed its head to receive sentence.

Three days later Frederic-William assumed the German colours, as leader of the German Revolution. The revolt of Schleswig-Holstein followed On the 23rd Charles-Albert of Piedmont declared himself the Soldier of Italian Freedom, and crossed the Lombard frontier. The Reaction had begun. The old Governments, recorering from their surprise, considered how they might exploit the improvized revolutions to their own purposes. In Posen the Germans were crastily set against the Poles : desperate conflicts ensued; and in spite of all that heroism could accomplish, the Poles were forced to succumb. Then began the bewildering of Germany with kingly treacherous promises of a dreamy nationality, or royalty, when the only aim should have been the Republic.

In France, though universal suffrage was proclaimed, the elections were deferred till the old parties had time to turn their accustomed organization to account. So at home the Republic was damaged, while abroad the fratricidal non-intervention manifesto of M. de Lamartine flung dismay into the insurrectionary camps. May 15th the French people protested against this foreign policy : when some few intriguers, availing themselves of an accidental tumult, thought to overthrow the Assembly and the Government, and afforded the first pretext for the Party of Order.'

was shot.

On the same day Naples was sacked by the Lazzaroni, by order of their Bourbon King. On the 18th, the German Parliament, elected by universal suffrage, met at Frankfort-to do nothing. On the 29th a provisional government was formed at Prague; and on the 29th and 30th Charles-Albert defeated the Austrians at Goito and Peschiera. JUNE 12th Radetzky bombarded Vicenza; on the 15th Padua surrendered; the whole of the Venetian territory, except Venice, was again at the mercy of the Hun: and by the 19th Prague had been bombarded by Windischgrätz, and the Bohemian insurrection was put down.

Yet more disastrous the course of events in France. Played with by the bourgeoisie, hurried blindly forward by vague hopes excited by competing schools of Socialism, urged by desperate want, and used by political intriguers, 40,000 of the Paris proletarians rose in arms. The enemies of Freedom laughed to see Republican fighting against Republican. 8000 prisoners, and twice that number killed or wounded, evidenced the deadly character of the struggle; and on the ruins of the barricades of St. Antoine the shopkeeping Republicans--Republicans only in name-enthroned themselves.

Meanwhile the Austrian Cabinet, following the course of Prnssia in the duchy of Posen, was organizing dissension in Hungary, with Jellachich and his Croats for their tools; aud Charles Albert, failing in his ambition, was betraying Italy to save his taruished crown. AUGUST 4th Milan was sold to Austria, and Radetzky returned in triumph. SEPTEMBER 7th Messina was taken by the Neapolitans, after five days bombardment.

OCTOBER 6th another insurrection broke out in Vienna : the emperor fled. On the 28th Windischgrätz and Jellachich with 75,000 men invested the city. NOVEMBER Ist they were masters. The Hungarian armies, slowly travelling to the assistance of the citizens, arrived too late. NOVEMBER 9th Robert Blum

Prussian royalty also was again rampant. In the beginning of November, the Constituent Assembly was forcibly ejected from its place of meeting at Berlin; the civic guard was disarmed; Berlin placed in a state of siege; and at length, DECEMBER 5th, the Assembly was altogether dissolved.

Hungary, after too long patience with the House of Hapsburg, was at last goaded to serious resistance. DECEMBER 2nd, Ferdinand, the idiot emperor, abdicated in favour of his nephew, a lad of eighteen. The Hungarian Diet refused to acknowledge him king of Hungary. Their first campaign was disastrous. DECEMBER 18th Windischgrätz entered Presburg; on the 28th Schlick defeated them at Szikszö; on the 29th Jellachich was victorious at Mohr. Almost with the new year the Austrians entered Pesth, Kossuth and the Diet retiring to Debreczin.

One turn of fortune. NOVEMBER 24 the reforming' Pope, tired of playing his constitutional game, fled from Rome to his friend, the Sacker of Naples. A provisional government was appointed; and on DECEMBER 28th a Constituent Assembly, to be elected by universal Suffrage, was summoned to meet in the Capitol.

18 49 FEBRUARY 5th the Assembly met in Rome; and on the 8th pronounced the deposition of the Pope and proclaimed the Roman Republic. On the 7th the grand duke of Tuscany fled from his states; and a provisional government was proclaimed in Tuscany.

MARCH 12th the old traitor of Carignan, Charles Albert, again interfered to ruin the Italian Cause, and resumed 'hostilities' against Austria. On the 23rd his army was routed at Novara.

On the 30th Haynau bombarded Brescia. APRIL 6tb Catanea was bombarded by the Neapolitans. On the 8th Syracuse surrendered. On the 12th Genoa, which had flung out its garrison and pro

« AnteriorContinuar »