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After doing something in his father's trade he became clerk to a smith, opened a school on his own account, took two posts in the schools of others, and then prepared "the Spencean system." By this system, designed to suit all the peoples of the earth, he proposed to divide the nation into parishes, to which the land should be inalienably attached; the rents were to be paid quarterly to the parish officers, and after subtracting the necessary expenses of the country and of the State, the remainder was to be equally divided among the parishionEvery parish was to have its schools and libraries, and its annual representative in Parliament, every man was to be a militiaman, and every fifth day was to be a Sabbath. This effusion procured him expulsion from the Philosophical Society, before which he read it. None the less he proceeded to develop it in a Utopian work, on Owen's model, entitled, The Constitution of Spensonia," and when the French Revolution was succeeded by the Napoleonic flood, this was seriously adduced as evidence for the necessity of suspending the Habeas Corpus Act. In the mean while the eccentric author had turned his attention to phonetics, and produced a treatise indifferently entitled "The Grand Repository of the English Language," or the "Ensiklopedea Britanika. Requiring the caresses of married life, he took to him Miss Elliott, of Hexham, but neither she nor her one child made him happy, and he came to London. In Holborn he kept a stall, at one end of which he sold saloop,' and at the other had a board stating that he retailed books in numbers. After this many of his publications were dated from "The Hive of Liberty, No. 8 Little Turnstile, High Holborn." Among them was one of the strangest periodicals ever issued from the pressOne Pennyworth of Pig's Meat, or Lessons for the People, alias (according to Burke) the Swinish Multitude. Published in Penny Numbers weekly. Collected by the Poor Man's Advocate (an old, persecuted Veteran in the cause of Freedom) in the course of his reading for more than twenty years." This was carried on from 1793 to 1795 ;'
* In 1794 a work of yet more unsavory
and on January 5th of the latter year the Morning Chronicle contained a letter showing that abundant attempts had been already made to prosecute him in respect of it. For more than seven months he stated he had been confined; four times he had been dragged from his business by runners and messengers, thrice indicted before grand juries, twice had true bills been found against him, thrice had he been lodged in prison for different periods, and once put to the bar, yet never once convicted. Worse luck both in matrimony and authorship--those perennial cradles of capacity and fear-was in keeping. For Spence adds to that eccentric batch of persons who have married maidshapless their destiny, piquant their charms-from a doorstep. Carrying a parcel of No. 1 of "The World turned Upside Down," he perceived a pretty girl cleaning the steps of a gentleman's house, asked her whether she was disposed to marry, and was accepted on the spot. Alas! his wife had been moved but by jealousy of an inconstant swain, who proved too conscious of the duty of reconciliation to suffer variety in the status of his beloved to balk it. Nor was the matron content with that adventure, but, sailing to the West Indies with an unstable captain, broke conjugal joys for a term of years. so passionate was this curiously initiated love that the philosopher received his returned wife with adoration, and only after intolerable wrongs pensioned her off. No wonder if such treatment raised feelings less urbane which required an outlet in literary warmth. Unhappily the public is callous to domestic circum-. stances, and Sir Edward Law, AttorneyGeneral, found it necessary in 1801 to file an injunction against the author of "The Restorer of Society to its Natural State" a natural state so cruelly exemplified in his own surroundingsfor which Lord Kenyon and a special jury adjudged that society in its polished .condition required the satisfaction of £50, with twelve months' imprisonment of its would-be disturber. Still there was the hope of posthumous compensation. It was realized. His numerous
title was aimed at by prosecution-the "Hog's Wash" of Daniel Isaac Eaton.
disciples gathered round their perished master, distributed appropriate medallions to his honor, and caused the funeral pageantry to be preceded by a huge pair of scales, typical of the dispensation of justice Thomas Spence had founded. The influence of Napoleon was seen at work throughout the Continental. press in modes much more direct than the casting about with ridicule of the speculative timidity of the British House of Commons. Not only was there that utter abandonment of any guidance of public opinion which culminated so farcically in the announcements, ingeniously graduated, describing on March 9th and 10th, 1815, how the cannibal had escaped from his den and the Corsican ogre had landed at Cape Juan, and on the 21st and 22d how the Emperor was at Fontainebleau, and his Imperial and Royal Majesty had with acclamation made his entrance into the palace of the Tuileries; but there was downright and unscrupulous suppression of whatever was adverse, with very little care from what part of the world it had issued. Borne aloft on the shield of magnificent deeds, which need magnificent comment, he was too astute not to see that the vast waste attendant on glory might overlap his supporters, blinding their eyes to splendor, and awaking their consciousness to burden. Imagine, then or is it not more true that, throbbing with praise, he was attuned to a sphere so celestial, but so hollow, that the thin wave of resonance from the cry of the land tracked out not a fissure, but shattered the form-threatening not perfection, but life? Imagine, then, what sanctity the law of nations, or the law of individual liberty, had for this minion of power. Yet sometimes his swoop was not too overwhelming to admit of romance. So at least it was in one case. I mean in 1809; when the corpus delicti, in a state of manufacture, was a pamphlet describing his policy, for sooth, as ambitious, to which indignation gave rapid touches in the hands of a certain citizen of Leipsic. Fouché immediately set his emissaries at work; the man's house was stripped, but nothing found. This, however, was learned -that he had been visited a few days earlier by a friend, one Herr Schustler, who lived in the outskirts of Prague,
and numbered among his weaknesses a particular attachment to women. was immediately discerned that the manuscript had passed to this friend, and as immediately decided to detach one of the nymphs of the "Cytherian Cohort" to rescue it. Assuming the name of Madame Saulnier, the beautiful spy established herself opposite her prey's house. A day or two had but passed before she ascertained that it was his periodic habit to ride into the town, and had planned to meet him on his homeward journey. Providing herself and her servant with, a couple of horses, as soon as she descried her man at a distance, pretending to be wearied with the heat, she alighted, and reclined on the grassy turf by the roadside, with the bridle of her horse dangling on her arm, and her veil, with luxurious negligence, drawn over her face. As if alarmed by the sound of his carriage, she sprang up with the semblance of fear. The horse, unconscious of his mistress's design, was seasonably restless, and the gallant Herr Schustler had in a moment leaped from his carriage and run to her aid. Magic moment, when, with the predisposing glow of generosity, the enchantress lifted her veil! The German was lost, the more utterly that, with charmingly assumed modesty, his captor allowed it to be learned that she was his near neighbor. To complete all, as it seemed, early on the morrow the gallant called. The charms of voice and music drew from him the confession that he could not live without her. Here surely was the moment of triumph. But it was not; for the corruptress who had succeeded as a woman, as a woman succumbed. She felt an admiration, new in experience to her, for the man she was sent to inveigle; and after tampering with. love and the duty bribery had set through three weary, brilliant months, she received at the altar, her mission unwrought, the hand of the man she should have seduced. However, a wife has opportunities. Seeming to have casually learned of the misfortune of her husband's friend, she found that her husband had indeed received the fatal manuscript, but on the first intimation of the seizure had consigned it to the flames.
It is noteworthy that Napoleon, so bitter an opponent of the freedom of the press, was in youth himself, in a way more trivial perhaps in fact than reminiscence so strange is the distinction that accrues to demeanor in reflexive aspects the subject of censure. When fourteen, in writing to his family, he chanced to use terms disrespectful to the King. According to the practice of the school, the letter was submitted to his superior, who, noticing the offensive passage, extemporized a suitable lecture and insisted on the document being burned. Long afterward, in 1802, the professor was commanded to attend a levée, in order to receive a pupil, when, good-humoredly, the First Consu! reminded his old tutor how times had changed since this episode of his boyhood. Revision of the work of English kings has sometimes occurred in the fulness of life under circumstances less pleasant. It was so, for instance, with James II. He had quitted England for the Court of Louis XIV. on December 23d, 1688. On March 12th in the following year he chose to arrive at Dublin, and was so far justified as to be received with blazing bonfires and the customary symbols of a noisy pomp. A fortnight later a proclamation was issued for assembling a parliament, and early in May those that heeded the summons were addressed by the Abdicator at the King's Inn. The inaugurating speech claimed the championship of liberty of conscience for James-a very good principle, on the strength of which the mock parliament sat till July 20th. The whole of its proceedings," says a writer in the Dublin University Magazine for 1843, "were subsequently declared null and void, and the Acts passed by it were burned. They had been printed at His Majesty's printing-house, Ormond Quay, and at the College Arms in Castle Street. But great pains were taken to destroy the original editions of the Acts; and while such as were found were burned in the Castle Chamber, the imposition of any others subjected the offender to a penalty of £500. It is said that one only-the Act for raising £20,000-is in existence, and that is to be found in the King's Inn Library." From an entry in the Lords' Journals for November 7th, 1745, it appears that
others of the Stuarts suffered similar contemptuous treatment. Two certain papers signed "James R., and four signed "Charles P. R., were, we read, directed to be burned by the common hangman at the Royal Exchange on Tuesday, November 12th. Proclamations of about the time of the battle of Worcester, and, above all, James's Royal "Book of Sports," would show yet further instances.
But if pretenders to royalty have been. pursued out of England, the representatives of English kings de facto have been sustained in foreign lands. In 1682, for example, the Count de Maiole's "History of the War of Holland," written in Italian, was suppressed at the instance of Lord Preston, the English Ambassador in Paris, because of the discoveries it made of transactions between the Courts of England and France about entering into the war and for carrying it on. A more conspicuous case-one, at least, more personal -connects itself with the Sir Dudley Carleton, whom we have already heard of as giving succor to the hapless Antonio de Dominis. The fact was that about January, 1610, it became apparent in Holland that divisions between those who leaned to Calvinistic and those who leaned to Arminian views on questions of predestination, co-operation in grace, final perseverance, and other mighty and might-provoking doctrines, had reached an unpleasant climax. The Arminians had drawn up a statement in which they called themselves Remonstrants-a name destined to become fixed on them-and as they differed from the Coutra-Remonstrants in points only which require very fine explanation, it was apparent that the battle, like all those fought on narrow strips of ground, must be fierce as that of Horatius, Chabrias, or Haring of Horn. And so, indeed, with occasional intermittances, it was till September, 1617, when a new phase of the feuds was developed. The magistrates of Amsterdam (who sided with the Contra-Remonstrants) carefully raised this quarrel with the province of Holland, when to inflame it they hit on the capital expedient of proposing the holding of a National (before a Provincial) Synod. There were all sorts of resistances and
replies, and the result was as unsettled as ever when, on October 6th, Sir Dudley, the envoy of Great Britain, spoke on behalf of the holding of the Synod, and stoutly blamed the Remonstrants. The States of Holland thereupon made their answer, shelving the blame; and in November their designs were supported by the appearance of an anonymous pamphlet, called "The Balance or Scales," "as prepared to weigh that writing, which, while it defended the Remonstrants, handled the English envoy so freely." This pamphlet, subtly conceived, the envoy naturally resented. He even induced the States-General not only to forbid it "by placard," as proclamations were termed, but to promise a reward of a thousand guilders to any who should discover and convict the author, and of five hundred to any who should so deal with the printer, in whose behalf a pardon was offered as the price of betrayal of his employer's name. Now the deputies of the province of Holland had, as a matter of fact, fearful of this too vigilant service, issued orders for the "Balance's" suppression, but they scrupled at offering a reward, and were supported in this resistance by the deputies of Utrecht and Over-Yssel. Against the will of these provinces, the States General showed intention of proceeding, and sought to issue a censure in the name of all the States. The Hollanders took a strong practical step, by forbidding their enemies' printer, Hillebrandt Jacobson van Won, to print the placard, and he, distressed by conflicting authorities, thought inactivity best. The other four provinces accordingly employed their own printers; and the general consequence was that the placard got about in some districts, but was in most towns diregarded, while at the same time the original pamphlet was translated into French and enjoyed a vigorous circulation. Some, adds the Dutch historian, Gerrit Brandt, "took great pains to discover the author (who was Jacobus Taurinus, a minister of Utrecht), but at that time in vain; for such inquiries have seldom any success when they are made against the will of the magistrates and so great a part of the community." As for the English envoy, he blustered about the matter again some few weeks later,
charging the author of the "Balance" with raising sedition; but then, recognizing that the dignity of the Imperial Kingdom he served was satisfied by what, to eyes not diplomatic, must appear a pitiful pother, suffered the matter to drop.
Occasionally, very occasionally, pure, literary ardor has resulted in governmental or municipal destruction of books. The bonfires which consumed on English soil now a work of Milton's, now one of Defoe's or Hobbes's, of Swift's or Steele's, may have been heaped the higher through those men's literary eminence; and prudery has slain its thousands. But it is seldom that there has been a parallel to the action of the canton of Uri, which, in honor of the dubious Tell, long held to be the mighty son of its contracted acres, ordered the burning of the pamphlet wherein the eldest son of Haller sought to show that that distinguished hero was a mythical growth, one stage of whose existence was portrayed by a Danish legend to be found in Saxo Grammaticus. No; it is rather against science, which has threatened ever and anon to out-boom the reverberant siren voices of religion in their temporal and ecclesio-political aspects, that the halloos and horns of the censor have sounded. It must be confessed that in the echo that has met them too often has been discernible poverty of spirit, or else perhaps a misconception in philosophy that they that will not receive truth should not be allowed the chance of conquest against, not those who can receive it, but those that hold it.
Was it some such misconception that led Descartes, on hearing of the imprisonment of Galileo, to retard his treatise upon the system of the world? He clearly himself did little of which he was ashamed, or he would scarcely have written as he did to Père Mersenne, in a letter of November 19th or 20th, 1633. He claims, he says, the position of a debtor in begging time just as the period for payment is arriving with respect to
effected two centuries and a half ago I lately made inquiries of friends in Sweden and Amsterdam for the work of Galileo, which I understood had been published in Italy last year, that I might examine it before completing my own; whereupon I was advised that it had indeed been published, but that all the copies had been burned and the author condemned in some penalty or other, ce qui m'a si fort étonné que je me suis presque résolu de brûler tous mes papiers, ou de moins de ne les laisser voir à personne. Car je n'ay pu m'imaginer qu'un homme qui est Italien, et qui plus est très-bienvenu du Pape, à ce que j'apprens, ait pu être criminalisé pour autre chose que parce qu'il aura sans doute voulu établir le mouvement de la terre, que je sçay bien avoir été autrefois censuré par quelques cardinaux." No doubt; qui bene latuit bene vixit. All the same he did not escape. A fine was imposed, and his works also were ordered to be burned.
But however problematical is the justness of the connection of State with science through religion, it is indisputable that the affairs of Cabinets may raise cases which fitly lie well within its determinative and punitive province. Accordingly English history alone presents not one or two cases in which professed secret memoirs" have been dragged somewhat austerely to the light. One of the most interesting of these, the circumstances of which have retained something of their mystery to this day, is a compilation of the year 1699, entitled, Memoirs of Secret Service. By Matthew Smith." These memoirs consisted chiefly of letters from which it was made to appear that Smith had given to the Duke of Shrewsbury early information of the assassination plot against William III. the plot of which the public discovery was due partly to Fisher, a little to De La Rue, but chiefly to Pendergrass. This Smith, who thus placed the Duke in the odious light of a conspirator, was, says Macaulay, "a wretched spy'. -a description to which exception cannot be taken. With some excess of emphasis, but with the advan tage of becoming thereby able to draw a pretty parallel between Shrewsbury and Peterborough-Shrewsbury with.
of those minds in which the slightest
scratch may fester to the death;" and Peterborough with "one of those minds of which the deepest wounds heal and leave no scar"-he adds that the contents of the memoirs which bear Smith's name constituted a foul calumny'' beyond the doubt of any one who has examined the evidence. He gives, however, no intimation that there has been dispute whether the "wretched spy" was the author of the opprobrious volume. In this it is difficult to say he is not right. It would have lent dramatic interest, of which the noble historian would not have failed to avail himself, to attach weight-where weight indeed cannot reasonably be attached, the tacit acceptance of a contrary doctrine by bibliographers notwithstanding to an assertion in the Memoirs of Secret Service of John Macky;" for in these memoirs are drawn those characters of the Court of Great Britain," made famous by the pungent, racy, contemptuous, misanthropic marginalia of Dean Swift; and the assertion of one of them gives the authorship to this very Earl of Peterborough, though allowing him the assistance of Dr. Davenant. It is hardly so clear that the composition--the mere secretarial work and arrangement -was not a product of the facetious Tom Brown, whose memory (loath one is to say it) by no means tells anything which prevails against the likelihood of his compliance with a scheme which brought guineas to his pocket, wit to the aid of his employers, and disrepute to a man of a sensitive conscience. However, it must be allowed that Smith was either clumsy enough, generous enough, or well enough paid to draw the whole blame on himself. He was originally laid hold of during the progress of the investigation of Sir George Barclay's plot. "I was taken up,' says he piteously, "by a messenger at midnight in my lodgings, and my papers seized. But Providence (for I can think it no less) put it into my head to show the messenger proofs of my correspondence with the Secretary's office, which convinced the fellow that he was under a mistake, there being another gentleman of the same name hard by, to whose house he immediately went and broke it open, and took the gentleman (who might well be surprised at such a visit)