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FEB. 23, 1850.




On Thursday week the trial of an action for libel was begun in this case before the Chief Baron and a special jury. The defendant (the proprietor of the Nottingham Journal) pleaded a justification.

    Mr. Serjeant Wilkins opened the plaintiff's case by reading the alleged libel, which was in the following terms:—

    "The subscribers to the National Land Company, and the admirers of Feargus O'Connor, Esq., M.P. for Nottingham, who has wheedled the people of England out of £100,000, with which he has bought estates and conveyed them to his own use and benefit, and all who are desirous to witness the overthrow of this great political impostor, should order the Nottingham Journal, in which his excessive honesty in connexion with the Land Plan has been, and will continue to be, fearlessly exposed.  The Nottingham Journal is the largest newspaper allowed by law; and is the best vehicle in this county or neighbourhood for advertisements, business information, and general news.  Delivered everywhere early every Friday morning.—Price only 4½d: per annum, in advance, 18s; credit, 20s."

    The learned sergeant proceeded by observing, that, if ever there was a libel rendered undignified by the mode in which it was framed, and the object for which it was disseminated, it was that which he had read.  It was a specimen of patriotism wrapped up in dirty paper.  (A laugh.)  All he should add, in conclusion, was, let the defendant attempt to prove that libel if he dared.

    Evidence was then given in the usual way, that the defendant, Mr. Bradshaw, is the registered proprietor of the Nottingham Journal, and that copies of the placard in question were obtained at defendant's office in Nottingham.

    Mr. Roebuck addressed the Jury for the defendant, supporting the plea of justification.

    The hearing of the case occupied the whole of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

    On the latter day, the Chief Baron, at the close of the defence, summed up.  He said that it was very possible that the errors into which Mr. O'Connor had fallen were to be attributed to this fact, that he was a sanguine, unthinking man, and that, eager in the pursuit of an object no doubt delightful to contemplate, he had been betrayed by his enthusiasm into errors and oversights which left his proceedings open to suspicion.  It was for the jury, however, to consider what the defendant had meant by the word "dishonesty."  If he meant to say to Mr. O'Connor, "Your scheme is a political imposition, and you have not fully and honestly stated as much as you were bound to have stated with reference to it," why then there could be no doubt that enough had come out on the trial to show that the defendant's plea had been made out; but if the jury thought that he meant to impute personal dishonesty to the plaintiff in his individual capacity, the case then stood in a totally different position.  A man might be as philanthropic in his intentions as a Howard or a Cartwright; but he had no right under heaven to collect such a sum as £112,000, and to place it in such a position that not one of the subscribers would have any legal right of control over it.  If Mr. O'Connor had unhappily become a bankrupt, every shilling of the money so collected might have been divided amongst his creditors.  No man had a right to impose such implicit continence in his own integrity and honour—no man had a right so to set at nought the vicissitudes of this ever-changing world as to leave it to the chance of his remaining honest and solvent whether his countrymen should be enabled to recover the enormous sums they had confided to his guardianship.  There was not the least necessity to have run such a risk, for he might have placed the money in the hands of three or four persons of undoubted respectability, who might have signed a paper, stating that they held it in trust to be handed over to the treasurer of a society which it was in contemplation to institute.

    Mr. Sergeant Wilkins: As to the libel being a libel on Mr. O'Connor's personal character, allow me to remind your Lordship that it accuses him of conveying the property to his own use and interest.

    The Chief Baron: And that is true; nobody else has a legal right to it.  Of course it would be for the jury to decide on his bona fides, but it would be also for them to decide on the bona fides of Mr. Bradshaw.  As far as the evidence went, there was no man under heaven who had the least legal right to one shilling of the money collected, or to one acre purchased, excepting only Mr. O'Connor.  Every man in the community was responsible to society for the obvious inferences which might be drawn from his conduct, and could not complain if those who watched over it should censure him for that which, however remote it might be from his intention, appeared to be the natural result of what he had said or done.

    The jury retired at five minutes after five o'clock, and in eighteen minutes returned, and, amid the general hush of expectancy, gave in the following verdict:—"We find a verdict for the defendant, but beg to accompany it with the unanimous expression of our opinion that the plaintiff's character stands unimpeached as regards his personal honesty."

    The finding appeared to give general satisfaction to those of the public who were assembled in the court.





    The first meeting convened under the superintendence of the Provisional Committee of the National Association, in this hall, was held on Monday evening, April 22nd, and was more numerously attended than any meeting held on this side of the water for two years past.

    Mr. PATTINSON was unanimously called to the chair, and said, that night they would not be called upon to support the Parliamentary Reformers, but to stand firmly by, and agitate for the People's Charter.  He could not understand, for the life of him, if they expended "all their strength" in support of the Parliamentary and Financial Reformers, what use would it be "holding the Charter in view" when their energies were entirely exhausted.  The resolutions to be proposed partook both of a political and social character—they were open to discussion; and should any one have objections to or amendments to propose, let them come forward, and, as far as he (the chairman) was concerned, he would do his duty in getting them a full and fair hearing.  (Hear, hear.)  He had much pleasure in calling upon Mr. G. W. M. Reynolds to move the first resolution.

    Mr. REYNOLDS, on rising, was greeted with prolonged cheering, and moved the following resolution:—That as the life, liberty, and property of every individual is, or may be, affected by the laws of the land in which he lives; and as every person is bound to pay obedience to the same; and as no man is, or can be, actually represented who has not a vote in the election of a representative, cannot be said to be fairly protected by the laws he is bound to obey—this meeting is of opinion that every man in this realm hath a natural and equal right to vote in the choice of a representative to parliament; pledges itself not to give up agitating until the said right is granted to every man (criminals, insane persons, and infants only excepted), together with the remaining points of the People's Charter.  This meeting is also of opinion, that any agitation which will not give to others the same rights they claim for themselves, cannot be based on true and just principles—so that, while we refrain from factious opposition to any such agitation, we are, nevertheless determined not to combine nor unite with any such party, conscientiously believing the same would end in disappointment and dissatisfaction to the most needy and most deserving of the working classes."  Mr. Reynolds said, it gave him great pleasure to move that resolution, as he was for the "whole Charter," and had but little sympathy for those who advocated anything short of that measure.  (Hear, hear.)  Mr. Reynolds here reiterated his determination to move an amendment in the programme of the Parliamentary Reforms, at their Conference, which would commence to-morrow—namely, for registration, in lieu of taxation—which would, if adopted, bring them to Universal, or Manhood Suffrage.  (Cheers.)  He intended, also, to add Payment of Members.  He should do so because he believed that any measure less than that embracing the six points of the Charter would prove injurious to the working classes.  (Cheers.)  [At this moment Messrs. J. J. Bezer, Bryson, Martin, Snell, Young, and others of the liberated victims came on the platform, and were welcomed by hearty and prolonged cheering.]  Mr. Reynolds said, if any justification was required for the step he was about to take, they had it in the harsh treatment and the severity of the verdicts passed on those men who had just been liberated from prison—(loud cheers)—and he (Mr. Reynolds) believed that if a less measure of Parliamentary Reform was obtained, the middle classes would turn round upon the working classes and say—"This is a final measure, and ,if you attempt any further agitation you will be prosecuted; we shall be the jury, and will convict you."  (Loud cheers.)  The working classes now toiled almost day and night for a bare subsistence, and were scarcely thanked for their labour, and they were not infrequently called "a mere mob" of "the canaille," beings without either rights or privileges.  ( Hear; hear.)  At a recent meeting at the National Hall, he had spoken of their social rights; the Times had seized upon his speech, evidently with a view to hold him up to scorn as a spoliator; representing him as having a desire "to sell the estates of the rich," when he knew right well that he had said all change must be made by Act of Parliament, and that as first steps under the Charter, he had recommended the Repeal of the Laws of Mortmain, Primogeniture, and Entail; and that he had then said that parliament did now interfere with private property in the matter of railroads, quays, or wharves, granting compensation for the private lands and property it took for the benefit of the public, and he hoped the time would come when a government, elected by the people, would hold all the lands for the benefit of the whole people.  (Tremendous cheering.)  There could be nothing wrong in this, always providing that the present holders were duty compensated; but if he or any one else were to advocate spoliation, he verily believed that he or they would be hissed from the platform.  (Loud cheers.)  He must confess that he held it to be a wrong and a robbery for one to have superfluities, whilst another lacked the positive necessaries of life, and more especially so when the possessor happened to be a useless, indolent aristocrat.  (Loud cheers.)  He maintained that preaching Socialism, as well as Chartism, was only acting in accordance with the dictates of Common Sense; it would be worse than useless to occupy time and means in advocacy of the Charter, unless the Charter led to the adoption of social rights.  (Hear, hear.)  Socialism meant finding employment for the unemployed, food for the hungry, and raiment for the naked.  Socialism was horrified at the gross immorality and the mass of prostitution that prevailed in our streets; and the numerous suicides that took place amongst those unfortunates, was a proof that such a mode of life was unnatural and most abhorrent to them.  Where was the wisdom or patriotism of Parliament, when they looked on and saw gaunt famine prevail in Ireland—when they daily witnessed scenes of wretchedness and misery which drove poor wretches to the poor-law bastile, and separated husbands from wives, and parents from their offspring?  (Hear.)  Yet did these rulers call themselves Christians, whilst they violated the fundamental rules of Christianity.  (Hear, hear)  And here the genius of Socialism stepped in to perform its great mission of humanity; and be conceived that man could be their friend, who would attempt to stay its progress.  (Loud cheers.)  When they witnessed the enormous progress this principle was making in France he was sure that they could come to no other conclusion than that Socialism was a compound of sublime facts.  (Loud cheering.)  Sure he was, did Socialism prevail, rags and wretchedness would be chased out of existence.  (Loud cheers.)  Mr. Reynolds next reviewed the origin and progress of aristocracy, and asked was it wonderful that men so formed and trained, should be the deadly enemies of Chartism and Socialism, seeing that those measures would lay the axe to the root of their tyrannic and oppressive privileges?  Then, he said, let them discuss the social subject, and when the Charter came—as come it would—(tremendous cheering)—Socialism would be the legitimate question.  (Hear, hear.)  The upper and middle classes appeared to dread increasing intelligence of their working class brethren, and were apparently throwing a small modicum of reform by way of a sop to stay their progress.  (Hear, hear.)  The working classes had been deluded in 1832, and again on the repeal of the Corn Laws.  Hence, he said, stand staunch to principles, join the ranks of the National Charter Association, remember that every one of the members of its Provisional Committee are the advocates of political and social rights.  (Loud cheers.)  Support their efforts, and give vitality to the veritable National Charter Association; be firm and true, and political rights and social privileges must soon be theirs.  Mr. Reynolds resumed his seat amidst rapturous applause.

    Mr. D. W. RUFFY, in seconding the resolution, asked why he was there tonight, seeing that he had retired from politics for some few years?  It was because the cries of his suffering fellow-men was more than he could bear.  (Hear, hear.)  They owed those brave fellows who had just emerged from the bastile, and now stood on the platform, a deep debt of gratitude—(loud cheers)—and which he thought they would best repay by convincing them they were more determined than ever to gain their rights and liberties.  (Loud cheers.)  The resolution held in his hand contained the gems of great and glorious principles, principles which proved that when they came from their Creator they were free and that the earth and its fruits belonged by right to all.  (Great cheering.)  He trusted that the working classes would not be frightened at any bugbear their opponents might put forward.  (Hear, hear.)  Socialism meant co-operation, and when the working classes could appreciate its blessings they would co-operative for themselves.  (Applause.)  When the working man had his pittance doled out to him on Saturday nights he had to count it over and over again before he could tell how to spend it, so as to preserve an existence for the coming week for himself, wife and family.  As regarded the sympathy of the middle classes, God help them! he had seen enough of that whilst performing the duties of Inspector of Weights and measures, for his district.  (Hear, hear.)  If they required veritable sympathy and support they must look for it amongst their own order, and look neither to middle nor upper class, but band themselves together, determinedly bent on obtaining their full rights and privileges.  In their agitation, let them remember that the comparative failure in France had resulted from the ignorance of her citizens of their social rights, which caused the provinces to act against the capital.  Then let them make themselves acquainted with their social rights, and so long as they could use hand, tongue, or pen, let them never cease agitating until were in full possession of political rights and social privileges.  (Great cheering.)

    Mr. J. J. BEZER was now introduced by the chairman, and was greeted with great cheering.  He said he was a most grateful man, the Whigs had been very very kind to him and he exhibited his gratitude by attending the very first Chartist meeting after his liberation.  (Laughter.)  His eighty-six weeks' confinement had not reformed him, except it had changed his mind a little; when he went to prison he thought principles were right, but now he was sure they were.  (Cheers.)  A brother radical had met him coming to that meeting, and shook him cordially by the hand, and asked him did he mean to cause the meeting to laugh?  He hoped the meeting would remember that, although eighty-six weeks' incarceration had not broken his heart, yet he could not conceive that Newgate's sombre walls were calculated to enliven his spirits or make him gay—(hear, hear)—more especially when he remembered he had left their honest uncompromising friend (John Shaw) immured within its walls.  He had heard, too, (what should he, as a loyal man, call them,) wicked speeches.  He was not a learned man, although he had been called to the bar, (laughter)—and when there, his learned brother, her Majesty's Attorney-General, had said, pointing to him (Mr. Bezer.) "The prisoner has positively offered to sell Lord John Russell a pike—a pike, yes, gentlemen, a pike."  (Roars of laughter.)  Ah, it was easy for them to laugh, but allow him to say it put all the old ladies in court into a state of "Terroris extremis."  (Increased laughter.)  Well, he had told them that he was not a learned man, but he had searched Johnson, Entick, and others, and had there found that a pike was a fish, and of course, by a parity of reasoning, a fish was a pike.  (Laughter.)  Well, as they all knew he was a City merchant, he dealt in fish, and, of course, merchant-like, wished to have the patronage of the first Minister of the Crown; but instead of giving him (Mr. Bezer) an order for the pike, he had given him an order for the "Stone Jug", (Laughter and applause.)  When there, he had been visited by the magistrates; one in particular said:—"Oh, you are Bezer—you are a fool— I don't pity you—you not only get yourself into trouble, but you endeavour to get others into trouble by your talk—ah, 'twas lucky for you that you did not attempt to march from Kennington Common, for I so suppose you were there, or you would all have been annihilated, for I had command of the bridges; one did come roaring out, I am a Chartist—brandishing his stick—I took it from him and threw it into the water; can I do any thing for you?"  Yes, he wished to see his wife—"for what reason?"  Because he was a husband and father.  (Loud cheers.)  "Oh! that's no reason."  Four times had this "Commander of Bridges" visited him and repeated the same tale; but he hoped the meeting would not think the "Commander" was Mr. Alderman Farebrother.  (Loud laughter.)  He trusted be was addressing three parties met into one; viz., Chartists, Socialists, and Republicans; and he conceived that any one who attempted to create disunion was a rascal.  He knew they were called queer names sometimes, but somehow or other, they possessed natural affections notwithstanding, but he trusted for the future to make amends.  Mr. Bezer then called for three cheers for John Shaw, which were heartily given to and resumed his seat greatly applauded.

    Mr. SIDE said he did not stand there to oppose the resolution; he admired the Charter and had been a member of the National Union of the Working Classes, from whom some of them had sprung.  The chairman had intimated that the Charter League was going for the little Charter, leaving the People's Charter in perspective; but no one had ever said so.  He and the Charter League contended, that Chartism would be facilitated by anything the Parliamentary Reformers might gain  (Oh! oh! and laughter.)  He believed, that if the Parliamentarians gained what they were seeking that the Charter would follow in six months.  (Oh! oh! Laughter, and derisive cheers.)  Why, those who were admitted to the franchise now must be of the poorer classes, as every person paying four shillings and sixpence per week rent now, could have the franchise if they liked.  (No, no.)  Working men might even improve their sanitary condition, by taking £50 houses conjointly—each apartment of the clear value of £10—giving the vote.  Again, that portion of the middle classes called shopkeepers, were interested in the working men getting better wages.  (Shouts of derisive cheers and laughter.)  Why, would not they have more money to spend with them?  (Derisive cheers and laughter.)

    Mr. ELLIOT said he had been opposed to the Parliamentarians from the first, believing as he did that the middle classes lived entirely on what they rung from the industrial class.  (Cheers.)  Hence he called on all to join the National Charter Association.  Let those who produced all be firm, and stand together; and, whilst they support tailors, shoemakers, printers, &c., in their associations, still keep pushing onwards, and, depend upon it, home colonies would follow. (Cheers.)

    The resolution was then put, and carried unanimously.

    Mr. STALLWOOD rose to move the second resolution as follows;—"That this meeting is of opinion that a government fully possesses the means to carry out the organisation of productive labour, not only so far as regards the production of property, but also to guarantee to the producers a fair share of such production; and this meeting pledges itself not to lose sight of so important a question, but to agitate and discuss the same, so that in the event of a government being elected on the principles of pure democracy the question may be fully understood, and speedily put into practice."  Mr. Stallwood said he was most happy to propose that resolution.  The political one had preceded it, and was the "means"; the one he now proposed was a social one, which was the "end."  His friend (if he would permit him to call him so) Mr. Side had said he had belonged to the National Union of the Working Classes.  He (Mr. Stallwood) had also belonged to that body.  This being so, Mr. Side had been a political and social reformer, as the declaration of rights embodied in the rules of that defunct association would show; and he (Mr. Stallwood ) hoped Mr. Side would soon retrace his steps, and be again a social as well as a political reformer.  (Cheers.)  It seemed somewhat extraordinary to him how Mr. Side could have fallen into so many errors.  He had told them that "any occupier of a house of the clear yearly value of £10, could have a vote if he liked."  Now, he (Mr. Stallwood) would like to possess a vote; yet, although he rented a house of the clear yearly value of £10, he had not, or could not, under present circumstances, obtain the vote,—(hear,)—and his was by no means a singular case; no person who resided either in Fulham, Hammersmith, Kensington, or Chelsea, could have a vote, unless possessed of the county qualification.  (Hear, hear.)  Again Mr. Side had said, houses of £50 a year rent, could be taken conjointly, and each clear £10 would give a vote.  Now it was known that with the exception of places let out as chambers, landlords would not let houses in the way described, but simply to individuals, and if the landlord resided on the premises, why his residence, as has been decided over and over again, damnified the rights of all the lodgers.  (Hear, hear.)  Then Mr. Side had asserted that the middle class shopkeepers were interested in getting better wages, when it was a well known fact that the workmen got as much as he could for his labour, and the employer gave as little as possible.  (Hear.)  Besides did not common sense now say to the workman—you have worked long enough for others, co-operate, and divide the whole profits arising from labour amongst the producers?  (Cheering.)  Mr. Stallwood then gave a description of the reception of the working classes at a recent Parliamentary and Financial Reform dinner; showed the difference between the little and great Charter; illustrated the progress of Socialism as evinced in the progress of the tailors', shoemakers', printers', etc., etc., co-operative societies, and urged them onwards in the good work.  Mr. Stallwood resumed his seat amidst great applause.

    Mr. MILNE in seconding the resolution, said it contained the great and all-moving principle of social reform—(hear, hear)— and he believed, if they once got a taste of the blessings of co-operation, it would make them better Chartists, as they would have the vote to protect it.  (Hear, hear.)  A gentleman in that hall, in the preceding meeting had said "The Charter and something more."  What more?  He apprehended by this time the gentleman comprehended, that something more meant social rights.  (Loud cheers).  Foreign politics had been deprecated, but foreign politics had taught him much; he had seen how matters stood in France from a want of a knowledge of social rights; and he had determined to do his best to prevent such a catastrophe here.  (Loud cheers).

    The resolution was then put and carried unanimously.

    Messrs. BISHOP, BENTLEY and other friends from the City locality, came forward and sung the "Marsellaise" amidst rapturous applause.

    A vote of thanks was given by acclamation to the chairman; three cheers were given for Ernest Jones, and the other victims now incarcerated; three cheers for the Charter and our social rights.  £1.16s.10d was collected at the doors as the meeting broke up, and we learn that a gentleman also presented 10s. on the platform.  Thus peaceably, though joyously, ended the first and most enthusiastic meeting convened by the provisional Committee in South London.






    Tuesday evening, April 23rd, having been set apart for the victims, at an early hour the Hall was filled to overflowing.

    Mr. J. ARNOTT was unanimously called to the chair, and briefly opened the proceedings by announcing that thirteen of their liberated brethren, who had passed the fiery ordeal, were restored to them, and now stood on that platform. (Immense, cheering.)  He would call on Mr. Ruffy to move the following resolution:—"That this meeting is of opinion that imprisonment, or any other punishment, for the expression of political sentiments is a gross violation of that freedom of speech, which is one of the recognised rights of the people; and this meeting is further of belief that it is the duty of the people to labour unceasingly for the liberation of their friends, and the abrogation of those unjust enactments under which they were imprisoned, with the view of preventing future outrages upon the right of public discussion."

    Mr. RUFFY said, they were there to-night to protest against a government illegally constituted.  They were there to protect against the harshness with which their brethren had been treated.  They were there to protest against the violation on of justice that had been committed; and they were there to bear witness to the heroic virtues of their liberated brethren.  (Great cheering.)  He believed there was not a friend to justice or freedom but would agree to that resolution.  They met in that Hall, night after night, to discuss remedies, simply because they found their fellow men oppressed, and nearly destitute of the requirements of life.  (Hear, hear.)  Last night he was informed that a gentlemen was lecturing in that Hall on arts and sciences connected with what was termed the great exposition of industry for 1851.  He thought the greatest of all science, was the science of government.  Now, could he have his way, he would have a space in the building set apart, and call it the Ark of Government: in the centre of which he would have placed a certain little lady (of course he did not mean the Queen of these realms,) surrounded by all the tinsel and gew-gaw of the Court, and place over the head of the wax figure a large label, inscribed with the cost per day, which, summed up, makes all per. annum the gross total of £385,000.  True, he should be at some loss to describe the figure represented by the model.  Perhaps it would not be appropriate to designate it "chief creator of sinners."  Immediately opposite, he would have the model of a prince, (a foreign one of course) with his cost £30,00 per annum, labelled conspicuously, and his designation should be "second chief creator of sinners."  Facing these he would have placed a distressed needle woman, whose hard toil was requited by 2½d. per day.  In another corner he would have the bench of Bishops, with their crosiers, mitres, and lawn, inscribed with "cost ten millions per annum."  (Hear, hear.)  Facing these he would have placed some of the unfortunate creatures driven to prostitution, and over these he would, have placed a label, "effect of state Christianity."  (Loud cheers.)  Again, facing these he would have a picture of contented workmen following rational employment—wives and child in back grounds—with school rooms, pleasure ground, libraries, &c., and, as a companion picture, he would have men, women and children, free from care, with pleasure and wisdom depicted in their countenances, happiness reigning in their bosoms, revelling on the green sward in leisure hours.  Over these he would have inscribed, "Socialism as it shall be under the glorious rule of the People's Charter."  (Immense and long continued applause.)  It was now something like twenty years since he commenced in the movement, and he had seen little or no real progress, and it was time that they commenced to do something practical: this could only be effected by the discussion of their social rights.  (Hear, hear.)  Social rights would bring the land back to those to whom is naturally belonged, viz., the whole people.  (Loud cheers.)  How came it that those men, who were just liberated, had been confined?  Simply, because they attempted to waken the feeling of the people to a sense of their just rights.  He had very great pleasure in submitting that resolution to their consideration, (Loud cheers.)

    Mr. T. BROWN, in seconding the resolution said—The principal purpose of their meeting to night was to memorialise the government for the release of those political prisoners still in confinement, and whose treatment was most scandalous, and was a clear indication that the Chartists had not done their duty.  (Hear.)  Some of those men recently liberated, had, for the cause, sacrificed home, friends, employment, etc., and one or two of them were in that most unenviable position of having no home to go to,— (hear)—whilst from the long absence of husbands and fathers, some of the homes of others were reduced to be nearly as desolate as the gloomy cells from which they had just emerged.  (Hear, hear.)  He thought it their duty, not only to send one but many memorials.  (Hear, hear.)  He had heard expressions fall from noble lords much stronger than any for which Bezer and others had been convicted, which clearly proved it to be a party affair.  (Hear, hear.)  The men had been treated most harshly in prison, and it was high time that they aroused themselves on behalf of their incarcerated suffering fellow men.  (Cheers.)  Be it remembered, that those men not virtually criminals, theirs were only political crimes, and in such cases that were denominated as great crimes and misdemeanours to day, were extolled as great and heroic virtues to morrow. (Loud cheers.)

    The CHAIRMAN now introduced Mr. J. J. Bezer, one of the liberated victims who was greeted with a most rapturous welcome.  He said: On the 28th July, 1848, he was on the platform of the Milton-street Institution, but at the same date in 1849 he found himself in quite a different place.  And why? because he had spoken freely, and he meant what he then said. (Hear.)  He recollected one sentence he had uttered to the government reporters; it was "They were there, not because he feared the government, but because the government feared the uneducated costermonger,"—(great cheering)—and his saying had been verified.  When brother Shaw got out he should have a tale to tell them.  (Three cheers were called for, and heartily given, for John Shaw.)  On the occasion some of his friends had advised him to go out of the way, and he had taken himself to Highgate; only five persons knew were he was, and one of them had proved a Judas by selling the secret for sixty pieces of copper—yes, for five shillings.  (Hear, hear.)  Well, he was arrested, tried, as it was called, and convicted, of course; and what was he convicted with?  Why, with conspiring against Her Majesty, her crown, and dignity.  (Laughter.)  Now, really, he had never mentioned the little lady's name; but he was told the people, they—the producers of wealth—were respectable; of course, this was seditious—truth and sedition being synonymous terms.  (Loud cheers.)  Well, he was now out of prison, in mind and principle a wiser man than when he went, (cheers)—and to use a lady's expression—"He was as well as could be expected,"—(laughter)— and so he ought to be, considering that in eighty-six weeks he had swallowed, upon a fair computation, three hogsheads of skilly.  (Laughter)  Well, it appeared that Popes ran away, Kings had their whiskers shaved off—(laughter)—and stand ye firm, for the poet has written—

"Mitres and Thrones from this world shall be
 And Peace and Brotherhood through the universe

    (Great cheering.)

    BRONTERRE O'BRIEN was next introduced amidst applause, and said, the first thing he had to do was to congratulate them on having a baker's dozen of the liberated victims present—(loud cheers)—and it was a great pleasure to know that they had come out better men than they went in.  It was pleasing to know that persecution and imprisonment had failed in damping their energies for the People's Charter.  (Cheers.)  Their friend Shaw, and their gallant young friend Ernest Jones, and the other martyrs, were imprisoned for their excess of virtue.  Free Traders had attended meetings—made speeches—and murder had sense ensued: but those men had not been treated as Ernest Jones was—why? because that patriot had been tried by a Whig government, and middle class vampires.  (Cheers.)  He (Mr. O'Brien) could see far into the future.  Their friend Bezer had told them that kings had had their whiskers shaved off, and prophesied their heads would follow their whiskers.  (Loud cheers.)  He thought that violent speeches (although he did not anticipate any) would injure, not benefit, their cause.  It was was not only necessary that the twelve hundred persons present should be up to the mark, but also the floating millions out of doors, and how to get at these men was the subject worthy of consideration.  He would most respectfully and deferentially call the attention of Harney, Vernon, and their other friends, to the matter, with a view of finding a remedy.  Oh! he wished be could show them a letter from their friend Leyno in Paris, addressed to the Irishman, in which he asked his countrymen not to confine themselves to Universal Suffrage, but to direct their attention to their social rights.  (Cheers.)  And he wished he could induce his and their friend Harney to say what no meant by that "something more" than the Charter.  The National Reform League had endeavoured to explain what it meant by social rights.  Its members had issued seven resolutions, which resolutions would be stereotyped in Manchester, Glasgow, and London.  So much confidence did the friends of the Reform League place in the principles contained in those resolutions, that they had resolved, if possible, to get thirty millions of them distributed in Europe—(loud cheers)—fifteen millions of them on the continent.  His wish was that those resolutions should be discussed as a means to obtain social rights.  He wished his and their friend Harney would lend his assistance in inducing his continental friends to translate and circulate the principles of those resolutions, placing them in the hands of those who are now actively engaged preparing the mighty future.  (Great cheering.)  Anybody might make a profession of Chartism or Republicanism.  Even Louis Napoleon called himself a Republican; and well he might, seeing that the Republic had given him six millions of votes—thereby making him the first man in France, whereas nature had made him the last.  (Laughter, and cheers.)  Mr. O'Brien concluded by making an eloquent appeal to the meeting to give liberally to the Victim Fund, seeing that the victims had sacrificed so largely for them, and resumed his sent much applauded.

    Mr. W. J. VERNON said, he felt much pleasure in supporting that resolution, especially as he found himself—right and left—surrounded by those who had recently been liberated from prison.  (Hear.)  He contended that punishment should never be inflicted unless it had a tend tendency to prevent a recurrence of the crime for which it was inflicted.  Well, just suppose that in 1848 they had attempted to overthrow the government, the only punishment justice and wisdom would have inflicted, would have been an attempt to convince the insurgents of the error of their ways; but nothing of the sort had ever been attempted, but recurrence to brute force had been freely indulged in.  (Hear, hear.)  Mr. O'Brien had said, all the men had come out better Chartists.  Speaking from his own experience he said, they had all come out much more than Chartists, and this would ever be the case; where brutality was practised it never could induce love, but must engender piece and deadly hate.  (Hear, hear.)  As the only piece of advice he was likely to offer Sir G. Grey, in a civil way, he said, try kindness, and if that failed give up the point.  (Loud cheers.)  Mr. O'Brien had asked, what was meant by something more than the Charter? and had commended seven resolutions issued by the Reform League.  He (Mr. Vernon) had not seen the seven resolutions, but would make it a point to do so, and consider them minutely, and if he found them to contain a full measure of social rights, he would do all in his power to circulate them and insure their adoption in practice.  (Cheers.)  What he meant by something more was, in plain terms, "that the Producer of wealth should enjoy the full measure of such produce."  (Lead cheers.)

    The resolution was them put, and carried unanimously.

    JULIAN HARNEY, who, on coming forward was received with great applause, said: He should consider it out of place to say much on any other subject than the one pointedly before them, viz., that of the memorial he was about to propose on behalf of their incarcerated brethren.  (Hear.) But, nevertheless, he would say in reply to the observations of Mr. O'Brien, that his (Mr. Harney's) "something more" included the seven excellent resolutions of Mr. O'Brien, and still something more.  (Great cheering.)  He then read the following memorial—

To the Right Hon. Sir George Grey, her Majestey's Secretary of State, this Memorial, adopted at a Public Meeting, held at the Literary and Scientific Institution, John-street, Fitzroy-square,

HEWETH that the memorialists have experienced great satisfaction from the exercise of the Government's clemency in liberating from prison some of the persons who, in the year 1848, were convicted of sedition, and other political offences.

    They deplore, however, that the Government has not extended the same humane consideration and mitigation of punishment to others, who still remain in penal confinement, in consequence of convictions on similar charges.

    The memorialists, therefore, earnestly and respectfully entreat the Government, to enlarge to sphere of their mercey, and to restore to liberty Ernest Charles Jones, Joseph J. J. Fussel, John Shaw, Peter Murray McDouall, Francis Looney, and the others now suffering imprisonment in various goals in many parts of the Kingdom, for the expression of their political opinions.

    The memorialists beg leave to give the assurance that by restoring these men to their homes, the Government will secure to themselves the gratitude of their families and friends, the esteem of the humane, and the approbation of the great body of the working classes.
                                                     Signed on behalf of the meetings,
OHN ARNOTT, Chairman.

    A gentleman in the body of the meeting asked why the name of Mitchel was not included in the memorial?

    JULIAN HARNEY replied that the memorial was founded on the liberation of their friends on the platform, but he begged to say that they had not forgotten the glorious patriot Mitchel, and he and his colleagues would at any time work with their Irish brethren to obtain the freedom of that heroic man, and the other noble spirits who are suffering for their devotion to long oppressed Ireland.  (Much applause.)  [Press of matter compels the ommision of Mr. Harney's speech.]

    Mr. WALTER COOPER, on being announced, was greeted with a most cordial welcome.  He said he thought the best thing he could do at that late hour was, simply to second the resolution and resume his seat.  (Loud cries of "No, no.")  Well, then, he would say a few words.  Their friend Harney has alluded to their late and respected friend, Henry Hetherington, who sometimes entertained them with an anecdote of a farmer who called his poultry together, to ask them what sauce they would like to be eaten with; at which they clapped their wings, and cried "bravo," with the exception of a young cock, which Henry Hetherington called the Chartist cock, and he declined to be eaten at all.  "Ah," said the farmer, "that's not the question."  "Yes," said the cock, "that's the vital question to me."  (Loud cheers.)  It was too often the way with the people—that they often cheered before they knew what they were cheering for.  The people sought justice, which all the privileged classes of tyranny could never entirely eradicate from their minds.  (Loud cheers.)  He had often been amused by the cries of the party of "Order and Religion," put forward to excite and prejudice the minds of the people against progression.  First they had "The Church in Danger," but this had become stale, and the people would no longer rally to it.  The second was, "The Throne in Danger," this had proved very powerful.  The judge who had tried Thomas Muir, had said—"The English Constitution was the best that ever was or ever would be established."  However, they did not think so.  Well, another cry was Family, Property and Order; this was taken up in France, and was finding its way here.  Family was quite right, everybody felt affection for the human family; but he maintained that none had a right to surround themselves by such circumstances as would enable one family to swallow up the blood and marrow of other families.  Mr. Cooper here quoted paragraph from one Mr. Jame's novels—showing that there was but little difference between the kings of the earth and those of merry Sherwood, except that the Robin Hoods were the best.  This very apposite paragraph elicited the most hearty applause.  He did not think it right, in order to keep up family, that the Duke of Bedford should hold lands, give him for dubious services, by Henry VIII., which, by-the-by, Henry had no right to—property in this case being robbery, and he no where found history relating any great talents the original Bedfords ever possessed.  (Hear, hear.).  This question of property might be very well, but who could show God's handwriting for a single acre?  What was property?  All besides land was the result of labour, and, therefore, Proudhon was not far wrong, when he said property was theft.  He held that the Nazarene and his disciples were quite right in declaring "That he who would not work neither should he eat."  (Great applause.)  When he was asked what he meant by "the Charter and something more," he distinctly said—he meant God's earth for God's creatures—property for those who produced it!  (Great cheering.)  It was cant and humbug to tell the people they were intelligent when they are not.  He gloried in Bronterre O'Brien telling them that much required to be done in the way of instruction.  A better illustration of this could not be given than the knowledge, that a body of boot and shoemakers had been on the strike, keeping their men out of work for a long time, at a cost of £350, and now they were obliged to go to their work worse men than when they left it.  (Hear, hear.)   Another body of the same trade was about to follow their example.  Why waste capital and labour thus?  Why not work for themselves, and have all the profits?  Why with the same amount of capital, the tailors had rescued a number of their fellows from poverty and wretchedness, and set an example to the world.  Two branches of shoemakers had done the same—the needle women had followed suit, and the builders were meeting every night to see how they could effect a similar object.  (Loud cheers.)

    Mr. GERALD MASSEY said, 1,800 years ago the Christ of Nazareth preached Equality and Fraternity, but the Pharisees at that day shouted out, "away with him,—crucify him."  Rienzi had found men ignorant enough to persecute him; and even at this day Ernest Jones was being tortured out of existence.  This true poet of labour had thought, when Rome threw off her Pope, that Englishmen—the descendants of Hampden and Milton—would have been prepared.  He had hoped that the spirit of Leonidas still prevailed, but misery and degradation had done their work; the people in by-lanes and back alleys had fallen a prey to priests, who preached of gods of wrath, and of hells of torture as though they were the devil's own salamanders; but the day would come when thrones and aristocrats would no longer hang as millstone about their necks.  (Loud cheers.)

    The memorial was then put, and adopted by acclamation.

    Mr. HARNEY, in moving a vote of thanks to the Chairman, passed a high eulogy to the memories of Williams and Sharp, and made an eloquent appeal on behalf of the Williams and Sharp Widow and Orphans' Fund.  The vote of thanks was carried by acclamation.

    Three cheers were then given for "Ernest Jones," three for the "Charter and Social Rights," three for the candidature of "Eugene Sue," and the meeting then quietly dispersed.

    Four pound ten shillings were collected at the door, and several members, enrolled in the Association.





Gerald Massey's Affidavit.

Mr. Gerald Massey, of Ward's Hurst, Herts, in his affidavit, said: On the 28th of December, 1866, I met Mr. Home and Mrs. Lyon for the first time.  It was at the house of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall.  Since that time I have seen a great deal of Mr. Home, and have never had the slightest reason to look upon him other than as a man of the most honourable character and kindliest disposition; in fact a gentleman whom I should judge to be quite incapable of any such business as had been laid to his charge.  In company with Mr. Home I called twice on Mrs. Lyon, and once I called alone and breakfasted with her, at her lodgings at Knightsbridge, and sat alone with her for several hours afterwards, and on each occasion she went more or less over the story of her meeting with Home, and told me her motives in adopting him as her son and heir.  She said that since the death of her husband she had been alone in the world, nobody to care for her.  She had adopted Mr. Home as her child to have some one to love, some one to show her affection to.  She had given him £30,000 right off, she said to make him independent of everybody—independent even of herself so that there should be nothing ambiguous in their relationship in the eyes of the world.  I understood her also to say that she should make him the inheritor of her wealth.  She stated that she had sought out Mr. Home, and not Mr. Home her.  She had sought him out in the first instance, she observed, because she was a believer in what is called spiritualism.  She had been a believer all her life, and accustomed to have visions from her childhood upwards.  Of these she related several being very anxious to impress me with her great natural gifts in this respect.  Mr. Home had been shown to her in one of her visions, and that she had recognised him immediately they met.  Indeed, she said that her husband, before his death, had foretold her adopting a son.  She stated the number of years she was to be after her husband's death and told me the time was up.  She said she knew Mr. Home as the son of her adoption the moment she set eyes upon him.  She was very open in speaking of what she had done for Mr. Home, and for what she intended yet to do.  In regard to her gift of so large a sum, instead of making him depend on her for an allowance, she asked me if she had not done rightly.  I replied that I thought she had done an uncommonly handsome thing.  I inquired of Mrs. Lyon if she had acted from anything said or done at any of Mr. Home's séances.  She assured me most emphatically that she had not, and that nothing of the sort had taken place at their early interviews beyond her personal liking.  She took constant delight in hearing Mr. Home relate his astonishment at her proposals, her gifts being so unsought and unexpected; and, from what I saw of Mrs. Lyon, I should take her to be one of the last persons in the world to be influenced by any will save her own.  For example, she has taken a dislike to something done by Mr. Home's son, and nothing could soften her feeling against the child, or bend her resolute will, although this was very painful to Mr. Home.  Her mind was made up, and there was nothing more to be said. From all that I saw of Mrs. Lyon's relationship to Mr. Home, I should say that her will was the dominant one.  She made him do pretty much as she pleased, even to the going on errands for her, and carrying home trivial articles for her.  She called him her child, and assuredly treated him as one.  I saw him do very humiliating things, and put up with very strong displays of Mrs. Lyon's will.  I once remarked to him, "I could not stand that for £30,000 a year."  His reply was, "Oh, you do not know mother; she likes to have her way, but she is kindness itself."  I saw plainly enough that she liked to have her way, and I saw that she had it.  My observation would lead me to assert that the charge of Mr. Home's power and ascendancy over Mrs. Lyon is the grossest fiction, and impudently absurd on the face of it.  Why, in the charge of "undue influence" by spirit means, the falsehood to my mind stands already manifest, for Mrs. Lyon rated her own power of mediumship, far above everything shown by Mr. Home.  So far did she carry this, that I once told her I thought she was jealous of his alleged powers; but she soon demonstrated that she had no need to be after such remarkable things as had occurred to her. She, indeed, even spoke with disapproval of Mr. Home's being sometimes in trances, and having séances, because she said it weakened his natural power.  So far from being easily swayed, I found that Mrs. Lyon would agree with nothing she did not like, or that did not suit her view.  On the other hand, so potent was Mrs. Lyon's power and ascendancy over Mr. Home, that I foresaw it would in all likelihood be fatal to one so frail in health as Mr. Home; and I was one of the first, I think, to advise that he should make an effort to gain a little more personal freedom.  I saw that he had a great difficulty in getting away from her, and that she was very jealous of him going anywhere without her.  I am aware of more than one engagement he was not able to keep on this account.  Mrs. Lyon was very ambitious of meeting with and being recognised by the class of people amongst whom cases like Mr. Home's excite the largest amount of curiosity.  I mean persons of title and members of the aristocracy.  Mr. Home's acquaintanceship with such is large; and I found that Mrs. Lyon was irrepressibly anxious to meet with Lady —, or go to the house of Lord —.  She was greatly gratified with any notice shown to her by a titled lady.  I speak of what I saw.  And she was proportionately disappointed if it happened that Mr. Home was invited where she could not go.  Mrs. Lyon expressed herself as being made very happy by what she had done, and she was very lavish in her marks of affection towards him.  He was once speaking of some hardship he had undergone in early life, whereupon Mrs. Lyon embraced him, wept over him real tears, and said how glad she was to be the means of preventing anything of that kind ever again occurring.  She was at times excessively affectionate.  A more cynical looker-on might have surmised a something too fond and fervent. I only thought it rather an ostentation exhibition of late motherhood.



Feb. 16, 1877



A few hours before going to press we received a copy of a new tract from the vivid pen of the Poet-Friend of Progress, Gerald Massey.  We alter our arrangements somewhat to give it place.  It is the author's desire that it be presented to Spiritualists at the lowest price, that its publication may not be a matter of profit, and that all do their duty to place it in the hands of the people.  As soon as the author has revised it the tract will be issued, price 6d, per 100, post free, or 4s. per 1,000, carriage extra.  We hope to receive orders for hundreds of thousands.  What a grand idea to get the people to sing Spiritualism into popularity, and the enemies of freedom into oblivion!  Thank God, those who make the "Songs of the People" are essentially Spiritualists, and they exert that redemptive and enlightening influence which reform the laws and adapts them to the progressive needs of humanity.


This is seed for winds to sow,
    Spirits guide it where to go!
Bread of Heaven may it grow
    For the souls that hunger so.

    The old Spiritualism born of Myth and fed upon Tradition is dying,—surely dying.

    A new and living Spiritualism is as certainly taking its place.

    The old Spiritualism was based on Belief: the new is founded on the facts of a common Experience.

    Its truth is testified to by millions of witnesses and may be verified by all.

    The new Spiritualism offers evidence that spirits in the body can communicate with disembodied spirits.

    It affords proof palpable of the life hereafter.

    The new Spiritualism is being Tried publicly in Courts of Law, at the national expense.

    But, as it does not depend upon Professional Mediumship, there is no need to pay Public Mediums nor to be taxed for their persecutions.

    The truth of the matter can be tested and proved privately in your own family circles by those who are intent enough to try it for themselves.

    Some persons can see spirits; others hear their voices; others consciously commune with them, waking or sleeping.

    For those who cannot, other means of communication are possible.

    The simplest plan is to form a circle, in the dark or dimly-lighted room; sit round a table; be in earnest; set no traps, and tolerate no tricks.

    Singing assists; so does prayer—"uttered or unexpressed."

    If raps be heard, some one should call over the letters of the alphabet and put together those at which the raps occur.

    If communication be established, do not expect "Revelations" nor begin by imposing test conditions to prove the personal identity of the communicating intelligence.

    First, be sure of the raps as an abnormal fact, and register mentally just what does take place!  The Fact IS the Revelation; make what you can of it.

    Should more startling manifestations ensue, call in and consult some one who may be familiar with the phenomena.

Gather round the Table,
    When the day is done;
Lay the Electric Cable
    That weds two Worlds in one.
We have found the passage
    Past the frozen pole;
We have had the Message
    Flashing, soul to soul.

Gather round the Table
    In a fervent band:
Learn the Lost are able
    To join us hand in hand.
With ties no longer riven:
    Empty in the Past
We stretch'd our hands toward Heaven,
    They are filled at last.

Gather round the Table:
    The silent and the meek,
So long belied, are able
    For themselves to speak.
Only ope a portal:
    Every spirit saith,
Man is born immortal,
    And there is no death.

Gather round the Table
    By knowledge faith is fed
Ours the fact they fable;
    The Presence is the Bread.
Come with cleanliest carriage,
    Whitely-pure be dressed:
For this Heavenly Marriage,
    Earth should wear its best.





September 21, 1883.


To the Editor.—Sir,—The letter which appears in the MEDIUM headed "a Gerald Massey fund proposed" necessitates a reply from me.  Possibly the light in which I look at it may be a revelation to the writer.  But, considering my position as a exponent of unpopular thought and an announcer of the unwelcome results of original and fundamental researches, such a letter might have been written by one of "the enemy" with the intention of discrediting my sincerity, or of melting down the metal of one's manhood, and turning the edge of one's weapon, just when it is called upon for the sharpest cleanest cut.  No doubt the writer meant well, so did Romeo when he stepped in and caused the death-wound of his dear friend Mercutio, by an action both futile and fatal.  The letter was most injudicious, most unwarranted, most unauthorized, to say the least of it.  Fortunately my sense of the ridiculous is generally first.  I was instantly reminded of Andrew Jackson Davis who told me that when a deputation once waited upon him (they DID consult him) to inquire whether he had any objection to their raising a national subscription, he replied:—"Not in the least, if you will only guarantee that I shall not be saddled with the expenses.  But, I was also annoyed and chagrined past swearing.  In coming forth to lecture once more, I had no notion of being the personal herald of a forthcoming subscription to myself.  I had no thought of holding my hat in my hand on the platform, and have no intention of being posed in that position by any other person.  The writer forces me to explain that whilst inviting Evolutionists, Archæologists, Spiritualists, or others, to listen to a course of lectures, I entertained no idea of making the "men of wealth and generosity," by whom the writer of the letter found himself "surrounded," conscious that they were being counted for a Poll-Tax; and that calculations were being made as to how much the fleece would fetch at the future shearing.  I should have thought that was the way to make them sheer off from my lectures altogether.  The writer speaks of my going forth to face the world with my "tongue in my hand," but better that, extraordinary as it may be, even though torn out to realize the figure, than going forth with the tongue in my cheek.

    Nor need the writer be distressed at my slender PERSONEL.  I am thin on principle, and have never carried and ounce of spare flesh.  I live by system, and break no dietary law.  My heart is stout, a heart-and-a-half when the pull is up-hill.  It is true that I have suffered from bronchitis; nor could I shake it off whilst sitting cramped over the desk and working in the dusty atmosphere of books twelve hours a day seven days a week as I have done for years.  But my first lecture showed we that the full free clean-sweeping vivifying kind of insufflation which comes to one in lecturing, will probably clear out the troublesome tubes in another climate.  A thousand-fold more than bronchitis would be the suspicion that in going to America or Australia I was facing the world with the begging-box slung furtively at my back!  I may now have to publish "a card" for the purpose of assuring people where-ever I go that such is not my mission.  I am, ever faithfully, GERALD MASSEY.



October 12, 1883.


    The mythical nature of the Christ and his doings and sayings recorded in the Gospels is not only shown in the psycho-theistic and doctrinal phase of gnosticism, but can be traced to the natural history of the phenomenal solar god.  As the sun of day and night he was depicted in the course of navigating nightly through the lower regions during the twelve hours of darkness.  Twelve gates inclose twelve portions of space.  Through these the god passes one by one, generally having the blessèd on his right hand and the damned upon his left.  The twelve gates correspond to the twelve hours of night assigned to the sun in the lower hemisphere.  The drama of the midnight mysteries contained the scenery of this passage of the sun below the horizon.

    Har-Khuti, the Lord of Light and of the spirits or glorified elect ones, the Khu, is an especial form of the divinity who descends and passes through the twelve doors of the twelve hours of the night, and there is a formula found on at least six of the doors to this effect:—

    "The great god reaches and enters this porch; the great god is worshipped by the gods who are there."  They salute him.  "Let our doors be thrown aside; let our porches open for Pa-Har-Khuti.  He shall illuminate the darkness of the night, and he shall bring light into the hidden dwelling.  The door closes after the entrance of this great god, and those who are in this porch cry out when they hear this door shut! and the dwellers of the earth cry out when they hear the door shut."

    This is very suggestive of the parable of the ten virgins and the bridegroom who comes by night.  Har-Khutti is the lord of lights and of the elect spirits.  He too comes at midnight, and the righteous were supposed to help him through the darkness by having their lamps ready against his corning.  The ten virgins with their ten lamps are possibly reproduced from the ten uræi upright in the basin of the uræi, as in one place it is said of each uruæs "Its flame is for Ra, emitting globes of fire for Ra."  The Uræus is a type of Renen, whose name signifies the virgin, so that ten uræi emitting globes of flame are equivalent to ten virgins with their lamps of light.  Thus we can see how certain scenes in the hades were, represented in parables.

    In the book of the solar passage and the scenes in the lower hemisphere (Book of the Underworld, translated by M. Deveria) it is said that "the myth of its mysteries of the lower heaven is so hidden and profound it is not known to any human being."  The transaction of the sixth hour is expressly inexplicable.  In the gospel we read: "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour." It is in the seventh hour the mortal struggle takes place between Osiris and the deadly Apophis or the great serpent Haber 450 cubits long, that fills the whole heaven with its vast folds.  The name of this seventh hour is "that which wounds the serpent Haber."  In the conflict with the evil power thus portrayed the sun-god is designated the "conqueror of the grave."  In the gospel Christ is like-wise set forth in the supreme struggle as "Conqueror of the grave," for "the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose."

    When the god has overcome the Apophis serpent, his old nightly, diurnal and eternal enemy, he exclaims, "I come, I have made my way!  I am Horus, the defender of his father.  My mother is Isis.  I come for the protection of Osiris.  I am Horus, his beloved son.  I have come like the sun through the gate of the one who likes to deceive and destroy.  I have bruised and have passed pure."

 S. E. B.


The Brooklyn Eagle
10 February, 1884.


    Innumerable and diverse as are the opinions and readings of Shakespeare's dramas, they are far exceeded in the same kind by Shakespeare's sonnets.  Unable, naturally and properly, to frame any notion of the man from his plays, we hasten with a month's mind to his sonnets in hope to get at the wonder of his personality.  We think we have attained it at the first reading; but repeated readings involve us in doubt, often compelling the admission that the more we learn the less we know.  The mistake of most of us is that we accept the outward form as representative, as veritable even, and we are led, therefore, into errors that baffle correction.  The sonnets, understood personally, as they usually are, contradict the little we know of the poet's life, and increase instead of diminishing the mystery of the individual.  Understood dramatically in their entirety, or symbolically as some commentators claim they should be, does not help the matter.  It should seem that they would be interpreted—so Gerald Massey insists—both personally and dramatically; and whatever may be thought of his view, elaborately set forth in "The Secret Drama of Shakspeare's Sonnets Unfolded, with the Characters Identified," its great ingenuity, its verisimilitude, can hardly be gainsaid.  If a single opinion of a simple lover of Shakespeare be worth anything, I may frankly say that the sonnets were to me always more or less enigmatic in respect to the author's identity with them, until I read Massey's book.  This is very rare, since the edition was limited to 100 copies, for subscribers alone (there are, I think, but three or four copies in the Republic).  Consequently I have supposed that a synopsis might be interesting to the many who could not gain access to the work itself.  I have forborne, in the main, to express any judgement of my own, preferring to convey Massey's ideas, without his language, as clearly and compactly as limited space will allow.

    So many literary folk have taken turns at the sonnets, especially in the last fifty or sixty years, illuminating them with darkness rather than light, explaining them opaquely by far fetched theories, that Massey's generally direct, lucid method appears exceptional.  The ordinary tendency has been, is still, to look upon the sonnets as autobiographic, which, were they so, would show the mastermind of the world in such a light that we might wish they had never been written.

    There is abundant internal evidence that the bulk of the sonnets were the poet's early work; and they certainly have the characteristics of his youthful composition.  The greater portion were not addressed to William Herbert, as has been declared, but to Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, Shakspeare's intimate friend, his generous patron.  Sonnet XXVI. thus opens:

"Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
 Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit,
 To thee I send this written embassage,
 To witness duty, not to show my wit"—

proving that this was before the singer had appeared in print.  He is too modest to address his patron in a public declaration.  He is willing to wait.

    The Earl belonged to the flower of England's chivalry.  Though a gallant soldier, he was denied the scope he needed, by the ill-will of Elizabeth, whom he more than offended by his impetuosity and independence of spirit.  At first he was a prime favourite of the Queen, thereby exciting the jealousy of the Earl of Essex, who, like most courtiers of the time, affected to be fond of Elizabeth in order to flatter her egregious vanity, and so win her weak side.

Junius Henri Browne.

[Ed. — See Massey's later (1888) edition, 'The Secret Drama of Shakspeare's Sonnets'.


The Agnostic Journal
Oct. 3rd, 1891.


The following letter explains itself:—

                              "Editorial Office, 17, Lansdowne Road,
                                                   "Holland Park, W., November 2nd, 1887.

"MY DEAR MR. MASSEY,—My respected Guru in Egyptology, your correspondent is, for once (?), and yourself too, at sea, in your conjectures.  Whatever the exoteric meaning of the editorial footnote, its esoteric meaning will become clear in the third number of Lucifer.  I have read and reread your Lectures, and the more I read them the more I rejoice, for whatever there is in them (except your unjust pitching, semi-unjust at any rate, into esoteric Buddhist and our septenary idea) is a corroboration of our esoteric teaching.  No man, not initiated into the 'Gupta Vidya' (secret knowledge) of the Hindus and Buddhists could, or has, come to better understand the secret of symbolism in Egypt than you.  This I said [say] in so many words in my forthcoming article, 'The Esoteric Character of the Gospels.'  I quote you constantly, and, for me, you are the only man in Europe and America who understands that symbolism correctly.  Not being much of an Egyptologist myself, except in those cases where that symbolism is identical with the Aryan (whether India had it from Egypt, or Egypt from India, is the business of ethnology and anthropology and the priority of races), I know, nevertheless, that yours is the correct rendering, simply because I know the secret symbolism of the Hindu Buddhists.  The only object I have in view is to show this, and I can do so but by glorifying your esoteric intuition, not by representing it as exoteric.  You differ from us in several important points, such as not accepting the Avatars, or the spirit, of Christos, Buddha, Krishna, (rather Vishnu), &c. otherwise than as purely subjective manifestations.  We say that, with regard to the Gnostic Christ, you are absolutely right.  There was no such 'Avatar' since the pre-Mahabharatu times; but there is one at the close of every Kali-Yuga—every 4,320,000 years (laugh, O Scientist!), the nine Avatars shown in the Puranas being only semi, not full, 'Avatars.'  And you are absolutely right as to the Egyptian origin of Christianity, the carnalisation of purely metaphysical dogmas of the Gnostics, &c. I take your Egyptian aspect in toto, and only add to it the Aryan and what they would call the Turanian aspects, thus mutually strengthening our positions.  We, too, claim that our interpretations are 'derived from the facts themselves,' and are not the outcome of our 'own theoretic speculation.'  If you only 'flesh the skeleton of facts,' we do the same: plus, we infuse into that skeleton the soul and spirit of ancient metaphysics, which is, to say correctly, metaphysics only now, when the terrible Materialism and physicality of our modern minds has made it meta, some thing 'beyond' our physical senses.  We say there was a day when what is now meta-physical was as physical and as objective to the early races as our own bodies are now.  Your Lectures are thus only one more chapter added, and a magnificent, invaluable contribution to, and a corroboration of, the Secret Doctrine in the 'Books of Dzyan.'

    "One thing may well make you proud, and I mean to point it out.  What we know we have learned it from readymade teachings for us, from the said Books and the Sanscrit secret Books.  We avail ourselves of the ready-made Wisdom-religion of the far-away past.  We were taught, in short.  You, all you know, you have laborously acquired it by personal research and thought; you are self-initiate in the Mysteries—of the British Museum; and [have] extracted the essence and the marrow of Esotericism out of the dead letter of Egyptian papyri, and under the conceited nose of Egyptologists, who see no deeper than the surface.  I say, Mr. Massey, glory and honour to you.  I say it for no compliment, out of no politeness, but from the bottom of my heart.  It is our good Karma that sent you to us at the right moment, and the best—when Lucifer was born on earth.  Never mind that you differ from us and our views.  What matters it that your conclusions are opposed to ours, when all your fundamental premisses are identical and the same; and when, moreover, they (these conclusions) are only with regard to the aspect, or the version, of the archaic Esoteric Wisdom of one nation, the Egyptian, now radiating in so-called Christianity in a thousand broken rays.  Let us, then, work in peace, harmony, and alliance against our common foe—the modern enemy and curse of humanity—Exoteric Christianity—though we may (in appearance only) be working on two different lines.  Forgive us our mistakes, as we forgive you your exuberance of science and its strict methods.  And, lastly, forgive me my pigeon-English in favour of my sincerity.— Yours in truth,   H. P. B."

*             *             *             *             *

    And yet in one of the "Lectures," that on "The Seven Souls," I had written of Theosophy, or "Esoteric Buddhism," as it was then called, as follows:—

    "They are blind guides who seek to set up the past as superior to the present, because they may have a little more than ordinary knowledge of some special phase of it!  There were no other facts or faculties in nature for the Hindu Mahatmas or Egyptian Rekhi than there are for us, although they may have brooded for ages and ages over those of a supra-normal kind.  The faculties with which the Adepts can—as Mr. Sinnett says—read the mysteries of other worlds, and of other states of existence, and trace the current of life on our globe, are identical with those of our clairvoyants and mediums, however much more developed and disciplined they may be in the narrower grooves of ancient knowledge.  Much of the wisdom of the past depends on its being held secret and esoteric—on being 'kept dark,' as we say.  It is like the corals, that live while they are covered over and concealed in the waters, but die on reaching day!

    "Moreover, it is a delusion to suppose there is anything in the experience or wisdom of the past, the ascertained results of which can only be communicated from beneath the cloak and mask of mystery, by a teacher who personates the unknown, accompanied by rites and ceremonies belonging to the pantomime and paraphernalia of the ancient medicine men.  They are the cultivators of the mystery in which they seek to enshroud themselves, and live the other life as already dead men in this; whereas, we are seeking to explore and pluck out the heart of the mystery.  Explanation is the soul of science.  They will tell you we cannot have their knowledge without living their life.  But we may not all retire into a solitude to live the the existence of ecstatic dreamers.  Personally, I do not want the knowledge for myself.  These treasures I am in search of I need for others.  I want to utilise both tongue and pen and printer's type; and, if there are secrets of the purer and profounder life, we cannot afford them to be kept secret; they ask to be made universally known.  I do not want to find out that I am a god in my inner consciousness.  I do not seek the eternal soul of self.  I want the ignorant to know, the benighted to become enlightened, the abject and degraded to be raised and humanised; and would have all means to that end proclaimed world-wide, not patented for the individual few, and kept strictly private from the many.  That is only a survival of priestcraft, under whatsoever name.  I cannot join in the new masquerade and simulation of ancient mysteries manufactured in our time by Theosophists, Hermeneutists, pseudo-Esoterics, and Occultists of various orders, howsoever profound their pretensions.  The very essence of all such mysteries as are got up from the refuse leavings of the past is pretence, imposition, and imposture.  The only interest I take in the ancient mysteries is in ascertaining how they originated, in verifying their alleged phenomena, in knowing what they meant, on purpose to publish the knowledge as soon and as widely as possible.  Public experimental research, the printing-press, and a Freethought platform have abolished the need of mystery.  It is no longer necessary for Science to take the veil, as she was forced to do for security in times past.  Neither was the ancient gnosis kept concealed at first on account of its profundity, so much as on account of its primitive simplicity.  That significance which the esoteric misinterpreters try to read into it was not in the nature of it originally.  There is a regular manufacture of the old masters carried on by impostors in Rome.  The modern manufacture of ancient mysteries is just as great an imposition, and equally sure to be found out.  Do not suppose I am saying this, or waging war, on behalf of the mysteries called Christian, for I look upon them as the greatest imposition of all.  Rome was the manufactory of old masters 1800 years ago.  I am opposed to all man-made mystery, and all kinds of false belief.  The battle of truth and error is not to be darkly fought now-a-days behind the mask of secrecy.  Darkness gives all its advantage to error; daylight alone is in favour of truth.  Nature is full of mystery; and we are here to make out the mysteries of Nature and draw them into daylight, not to cultivate and keep veiled the mysteries made by man in the day of his need or the night of his past.  We want to have done with the mask of mystery and all the devious devilries of its double-facednees, so that we may look fully and squarely into the face of Nature for ourselves, whether in the past, present, or future.  Mystery has been called the mother of abominations; but the abominations themselves are the superstitions, the rites and ceremonies, the dogmas, doctrines, delusive idealisms, and unjust laws that have been falsely founded on the ancient mysteries by ignorant literalisation and esoteric misinterpretation."

*             *             *             *             *

    These two citations may yield instruction if thoughtfully compared.





New Southgate N.
London Oct.' 4/86.

Dear Professor Blackie.

        The bearer of this note is my Daughter Christabel who was a child at Craigcrook when we met there so many years ago.  She comes to ask if you, the representative of all that is left in Edinburgh, will kindly preside at my first lecture in Edinburgh as you did at my Very first in 1858?

        I shall think it an great favour if you can oblige yours faithfully
                                          Gerald Massey
Professor Blackie.



New Southgate           
London N.          
March 22/89

Dear Sir

      Williams and Norgate are the Publishers of a "Book of the Beginnings" and the "Natural Genesis" at 30/- each retail—60/- for the 4 Vols. But they take off 2d in the Shilling to all Purchasers over the Counter and 3d to the Trade—probably to Libraries.

    My Lectures are not published.  I send you a Set of six—all that are in print—and if you are as poor as I am you need not send any more stamps — but see the end of No 6.

    I made use of a Letter from you in Natural Genesis V. 1. 180 and refer to your Father's Book V. 2.P.258, and over.

                                    Yours faithfully
                                                     Gerald Massey.



New Southgate          
    London N.      
May 9/89

Dear Sir,
       The generous and unsolicited notice of my poems by the Old Man Eloquent appeared (of all places in the World) in the "Morning Advertiser". The Poems were published in March 1854—early I think, but have no Copy of them—and the review followed very quickly.  In must be in March or April 1854.  I am glad you will look it up.  No mention of the fact has ever been made in any of the lines or Sketches of Landor.  You see, I am not in with any of the Coteries.  But, it was a most chivalrous thing to do, and then to select the "?????" in his superb Wilfulness—wasn't it like him?  Cant something be done to make our people more familiar with his magnificent writings?

                              I am dear Sir
                                     Yours faithfully
                                             Gerald Massey

I am sorry not to have a Copy of his Letters but have always been negligent in such matters.  Have you seen my re-written book on Shakspeare? Kegan Paul & Co.



Nothing has been made obvious concerning Christabel Massey’s outside interests.  However, she was either a member of, or attached to the Froebel Institute.  Frederich Froebel (1872-1852) was a German educationalist and a student of the Swiss Johan Pestalozzi (1746-1827).  Both were concerned with the methods of education of young children in their formative years.  They had three main areas of concern.  Play and activity that included toys for sedentary and creative play, song and dance, observing and growing plants for awareness of the natural world.  These were considered to develop individualism in the children.  The Froebel Society remains active today, together with the similar and developed structuring of the Italian Maria Montessori (1870-1952) teaching methods and schools.

The first indication of Christabel’s interest in and association with Froebel comes in a Conference Report of the Froebel Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1895 where Christabel is Secretary of that Society:



A CONFERENCE was held by the Frobel Society of Great Britain and Ireland at the College of Preceptors, Bloomsbury Square, London, England, on Thursday, September 12 [1895]. The subject of the conference was: "The Kindergarten Gifts and Occupations Considered in Themselves, and in Their Relation to Manual Training and the Arts." This was arranged......

(Kindergarten-Primary Magazine vol. 8, p.69 in the 1896 American edition, otherwise p.157).

The American Froebel Society had a large number of local branches that arranged their own meetings and activities, and was noted for having strong religious overtones. Christabel Massey noted this in her article for The Reformer, 1897. Gerald Massey had Hebrew translation assistance from Claude Montefiore (1858-1938), liberal Hebrew scholar, who was Chairman of the Froebel Society at Christabel’s time, then became President in 1904. Following Massey’s death in 1907, H[enry] Keatley Moore (1846-1937) wrote a short epitaph for the Norwood News (Biog.. Ch. 8). Moore was then Mayor of Croydon Borough Council (1906-1908) and contributed to the Great Britain and England Froebel Magazine in 1910 and was co-author of a version of The Autobiography of Frederic Froebel, 1932. It appears that there was for a time, a tripartite association between the two Masseys, Moore and The Froebel Society.

Christabel Massey

The Reformer, Vol. I, June 1897, 109-11, (Bonner, London.)

There can be little doubt that the Kindergarten, in spite of its foreign name and origin, is now firmly established in England. When the Baroness von Marenholtz-Bülow came here in 1854-5, to carry out her master’s wishes and spread a knowledge of his methods of education in foreign lands, she could only hear of one Kindergarten already at work. That one was at Hampstead. Today, there are hundreds throughout the country. Though these certainly are not all conducted on strictly Froebellian principles, their existence shows the demand for them. Indeed, a great many of them are started and carried on by individuals more or less incompetent, and are not subject to any form of inspection. Although the Froebel Society sends out inspectors when applied to, and registers all Kindergartens examined and reported by them as efficient, and although the number of trained and certificated Kindergarten teachers increases each year (the number who went up for the N.F.U. examinations last year was 557), it is purely optional whether a principal appoints a trained Kindergarten mistress or whether, urged perhaps by her own limited means and the fact that her Kindergarten is a venture, and may be a failure, she secures, for a small salary, the services of someone who understands little more than the mere mechanised working out of some of the “Occupations”. Of course, this kind of Kindergarten gives a wholly false idea of Froebel’s methods of education, and stands seriously in the way of their wider adoption. Froebel’s Kindergarten is not a place designed just to “keep children out of mischief”, as I have more than once found English mothers regarding those to which they were sending their children.

Froebel’s great text that true education is achieved by means of “self-activity”, that it must proceed from within and cannot be imposed from without, was preached by Pestalozzi when he insisted on the necessity of developing faculty instead of cramming with information, and by Rousseau when he emphasised the need of educating according to nature; but Froebel alone, through years of patient observation and practice, made out the method and supplied the means of doing this. He tells us that he set himself as his life’s aim “to give man to himself”, and he demonstrates that this can only be done by “exercising the whole human being”. “All of us,” he says, “without exception feel – each in his own way, and some more, some less – the consequences of deficient culture and faulty education at every stage in our various relations of life and spheres of work, and we have had to contend against these our whole life long.”

Is not the restlessness and dissatisfaction with their lives, felt by so many, the result of having so few outlets for the activity that is in them? The directions that this would take are not perhaps sufficiently defined by what we call “talents”, that declare themselves in spite of all hindrances, but the need for the expression is there, and is a fruitful source of unhappiness.

Beginning with the infant in the cradle, Froebel shows that directly it wakes to consciousness its education begins, and he appeals passionately to all mothers to meet and cultivate the earliest signs of activity – mental and physical. The baby’s muscles are to be strengthened, its desire for movement directed and satisfied, its delight in bright colors and pleasing sounds gratified, and a perception of their likenesses and differences awakened by means of ball games and the games and songs of his “Mütter-und Kose-lieder”. Of the book he says:

“I have here laid down the fundamental ideas of my educational principles. Whoever has grasped the pivot idea of the book understands what I am aiming at .... This book is the starting-point of a natural system of education for the first years of life; for it teaches the way in which the germs of human disposition should be nourished and fostered, if they are to attain to complete and healthy development.”

Also the “connectedness of everything in life and nature – the fact that everything stands related to something else – which Froebel so strongly accentuates throughout his whole “system” of education, is, as Mr. Courthope Bowen points out (“Froebel and Education in Self-activity”), in this book “introduced on almost every occasion, but is brought out most clearly in what relates to human occupations”.

And stage by stage Froebel provides , through his wonderful series of “Gifts” and “Occupations”, both the incentive to the exercise of a particular “activity” and the channel in which it can be pleasurably exercised.

In arranging his bricks, in tablet-laying, in bead-threading, mat weaving, paper cutting, paper folding, etc., the child develops a real sense of number and form – arithmetic and geometry. A just appreciation of color and proportion are evolved. He learns to create his own patterns, and thus a power of designing comes to him. Some of his materials require careful handling and much precision; this gives manual dexterity and delicacy of touch.

But the primary object of true education, Froebel holds, is to build up character, develop faculty. Accumulation of knowledge is secondary.

A child delights in making a thing himself – in creating. Froebel would seize on this , would turn it to account, and through his interest in the thing he is making, through his desire to see it accomplished, the child shall develop perseverance, concentration, and the habit of persisting in his work shall become so thoroughly a part of his nature that it will be stronger later in life than the sense of irksomeness in anything he has undertaken to do. Also Froebel would have the thing the child is making – say a mat, for instance – be for someone else. Let him feel that he is of use to someone, that his work is helpful to them. This sense of service to others is made so much of by Madame Schräder, in the Pestalozzi-Froebel House in Berlin, that the children there take part in all kinds of household duties. Let the child delight in its work, for the work’s sake, and and also for the sake of making the lives of others happier.

Froebel considers the study of Nature, in her world of plants, animals, insects, one of the most important of all factors in a child’s education. Let him watch the development of a plant from the sown seed to the ripened fruit. Let him observe closely, and express the results of his observations in his own way, in his own phrases, and by means of his brushwork, drawing, clay-modelling. He is thus trained to observe exactly and describe faithfully. His knowledge of the plant, animal, insect, is attained by by his own mental exertion. He does not learn by heart what someone else has seen, but watches the results of causes for himself. To see truly and report accurately become a part of his nature, and tend to make him a reasoning being. Through Interest in their ways comes affection for the animals he watches. He cares for their well being, and recognises his own responsibility towards them, this making cruelty in any form to them – or to his weaker fellows – an impossibility.

In the Kindergarten game, with its story and song, Froebel appeals to the child’s imagination, and provides food for it. He gives him a means of expressing himself in dramatic action, and cultivates rhythmical and graceful movements. He forms and trains a sense of music, and the habit of clear enunciation. He lays down the foundation of a love of musical and dramatic art. And insensibly, unobtrusively, he bears in on the child that he is one member in a community. The little autocrat who orders his own games at home, and always decrees a prominent part to himself, finds at the Kindergarten that he is only a part of a whole. The other parts are necessary to him and he to them.

Though it is now possible in most English towns for parents who can pay the fees to send their children to a Kindergarten, we are a long way from realising Froebel’s idea of what Kindergarten education means for the race. And we shall not realise it until free Kindergarten are general throughout the country. This may sound a “large order”, but, when compared with our present prison, workhouse, and asylum system, the cost would look small. And is not humanity worth cultivating? Is not the neglect of it the cause of all the problems which baffle reformers on all lines?

I am told that in Hungary nearly every parish has its free Kindergarten for the children of the poor, as well as a paying Kindergarten for those who can afford to pay. All are under Government inspection and are regulated. The teachers have been trained and certificated at Government training colleges, and after a certain number of years (during which they receive a salary for their work) they are entitled to a Government pension.

At present I do not know of a single free Kindergarten in England. The Froebel Institute at West Kensington was designed to include a free Kindergarten in one wing, a paying Kindergarten in the other, and a training college for Kindergarten teachers in the centre. The paying Kindergarten and the training college have been at work for some time, but so far the subscriptions have not been sufficient to open the free Kindergarten for the children of the poor.

In the above brief sketch I have purposely left out all allusion to what Froebel’s disciples call “the intense religious element in his pedagogy”. He holds that “in every child there exists a rational and spiritual germ that may be developed into a right relation to the three great living factors of all human environment – Man, Nature, God.” This is amplified and applied continually throughout his writings, but it appears to me to be the result of his Christianity and his own individual mysticism, and in his way a necessary part of his educational method. That the Kindergarten has been identified by people of all creeds surely shows that it belongs to none. Indeed, a system of education which is calculated more than any other to awaken and strengthen a child’s powers of reasoning and induce the habit of verifying facts for himself, is little likely to end in making for Christianity or the passive acceptance of any traditional belief.

                                                                                           Christabel Massey