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ing myriads of animated beings, and innumerable groups of beautified materialism, to trace out the varieties of which would yield us ample employment, through

centuries and millennia of active existence.

A REFORMER'S SOLILOQUY. I LOOK upon governments as necessary evils, and I am satisfied the less we have to do with them the better. I have a right to live, to live as well as I ean, and to live as long as I can. While men remain in ignorance of their own natures, and the true sources of their happiness, it is reasonable to suppose they will err, and in erring trench on the rights of their brethren. This being the case, governments will be called for, and it is my duty to see that the best of the kind should exist. I am a political reformer, because I wish to remove out of my way certain incumbrances-incumbrances which might at one time have answered good purposes, but which are now obstructive and injurious. If I could, unaided and alone, remove such obstructions, I would not call on a government to do so for me. Such would be calling in a foreign power to do my work. Let me perform my own work, and in performing it, educate and elevate myself. I could not repeal a corn law. I cannot alter our fiscal legislation, and put our system of taxation on a more righteous footing. I cannot remove the taxes which press on knowledge. I cannot repeal the stamp duty, which prevents the circulation of ideas; or the duty on paper, or the window tax, which prevents the light of heaven falling on the pale face of my hard-working sister. If I desired to go and cultivate a certain barren part of the country, and try to make it bloom and blossom as the rose, and if I had sufficient money to pay the marketable value for that piece of soil, I could not come into possession of it. Why? Because there are certain laws which prevent me or any one else doing so. And I cannot, without the assistance of others, and then only through governmental instrumentality, destroy that law. I want to see such a law repealed, and I ask the government to do so. It refuses. The government

is stronger than I am. From whom does it derive its power? The people. If the people did not exist, it could not. Then I will go direct to the people, and ask them to co-operate with me in obtaining my right to live as beautifully and happily as I can, and as enduringly as I can. A majority of the people call on the governing power to displace this or that piece of injustice. This is at first refused, but it cannot be refused long. The 'government cannot master its master. It must do the behests of that which gave it being.

As I find we must have laws, and that those laws must be binding on all, I ask who shall be the law-makers? Shall a few, or the many? If a few, who shall that few be? Shall I be one of that few? Who told me to make a rule of life binding on my brother, without his consent? Is my brother a man? Am I more than a man? Who gave me an authority to make him do my bidding? I may do it by force. But that would be might not right, and I should be veritably a tyrant. If I say that he shall obey my laws, cannot he with equal propriety say that I shall obey his? And what is this but civil war? And from whence does this war arise? Why, from my arrogating to myself the right of governing my brother without his consent. If I get his consent, I no longer govern him; he governs himself. I am then a political reformer, because I wish to unmake what the ignorance of my fathers made; and because I wish that all should participate in the government of all, with the full assurance that all would not only be better pleased, but that justice would more likely be done to all.

Governments at best are only temporary expediencies, I would use them as conditional instrumentalities; and as soon as I could do my duty to the world, and answer my highest purpose without them, I would leave them alone to perish of neglect. I avow that, individually, I do not want anything to do with governments at all. I would not even use them as instruments to sweep my pathway, did I not see that some of my fellow men are hindered and hampered more by old laws and regulations than I am. The time I might


expend in removing rubbish might be passed in communing with Nature, or talking with Plato. But not so my neighbour. He is bound down by circumstances which he cannot control, and I must fly to his assistance, even if I forsake more congenial pursuits. That neighbour may be despoiled of his goods because he will not voluntarily pay church-rates, or his children may be ill clad, while undeserving men riot in luxury from taxes drained from the proceeds of his industry; and, consequently, I must go and see that justice is done for his sake, and for the general well-being and honour of my country.

I would make governments means to ends-not ends in themselves. The science of politics should occupy a secondary and not a primary place in the minds and affections of a people. One of the chief faults of the peoples of Europe is their too strong faith in the efficacy of governments to cure the wounds of society. They think too much of law-making and law-breaking, and on the work of legislation for its own sake. The people, to be really great, must think more of individual reform, and the development of the inner spiritual life by personal means. Let them by all means try to modify the political institutions of their respective countries in obedience to the prevailing spirit of the age; but let them not place too much trust in external changes. The external is sure to modify itself in accordance to the demands of the internal. Let the soul of a nation be fed and fostered, and its outward manifestations will be sure to correspond with its inward life and growth. I do not wish to wean the masses of the people from politics-far from it; neither do I wish to see them bestow more attention and waste more life on secondaries than secondaries are entitled to. Laws and constitutions, when they are the legitimate offspring of the will of the majority, are at best but transient things. Born of the hour, to meet the necessities of the hour, they perish with the hour. They are the ever-changing particulars which float on the eternal stream of generalities. Suited to life as it may be in some particular phase of society, in some


country, at some age, governments ar only valuable as long as such phases or ages last. My principal duty, as a man, is to obey the moral, immutable laws of the universe, which existed before all governments, and will survive all governments. I do not exist because institutions exist; they exist because I do. If they were to fall to-morrow, my soul, and God its author, are secure. Surround me with bad laws, habits, regulations, institutions, and I will continue to live, think, doubt, enjoy, despair, hope, aspire, and love. Surround me with better laws, customs, constitutions, and I will live, think, doubt, aspire, and worship more.

THE NEW YEAR'S GIFT. SITTING by my fireside, and musing on the past, I was aroused by a gentle rattat at the door, and was not a little surprised at hearing a lady's voice addressing the domestic by whom it was opened, with "Accept this little book, I wish you a happy new year." The door was closed and the book brought into the parlour, and I glanced at the cover whereon I read, "The Public Good." A strange title for a book, thought I; but being accustomed to read announcements of persons who profess to cure some of the most distressing maladies to which our race is heir, "more from benevolence than gain," yet never forgetting to demand the respectable "fee of one guinea," with many similar instances; I threw the book carelessly aside as some new catch-penny," intended to ease the pocket of two ounces of copper in exchange for so much waste paper. Some few hours passed by, and the "Public Good" was forgotten. Evening came, and the lady's visit was recalled to my mind by another knock at the door. This was a poor woman soliciting a new year's gift." My first impulse was to give her "The Public Good." This, however, I was prevented doing by a suggestion that "It might be called for again." The applicant was dismissed with a substitute, and the little book again thrown aside. It happened that I sat alone that evening-ard I could not help smiling at the circumstance of



our two visiters-the one presenting, the other soliciting a "new year's gift." Well, thought I, if I had given that poor woman the "Public Good," how do I know that I might not have given her an injurious publication under the guise of a pleasing title? Would it have been right to have given with pretended generosity that which cost me nothing, and which I had thrown aside as useless, or perhaps worse than useless? I felt condemned. Again I thought, if each of these books cost the lady twopence, besides the trouble of distribution, it is but fair to suppose she must have read a copy, and must be conscious of doing much good, or disseminating much evil, and had I given that book without examination, I should have been equally culpable for any bad results. Need I say the book was sought-the first article read and the second, and so on, till at a late hour I came to the end. I commenced reading with indifference; in a little time I felt interested, and, as I proceeded, approbation and admiration followed in their turn; and when I closed the book, it was with a feeling of regret that there was no more to read. My eye again rested on the title, and I involuntarily exclaimed, "If this be a fair specimen of what thou art, thou art no hypocrite! Go on and prosper! I bear thee witness that thou hast done me good! I regret the ungracious reception at first given thee, and the ingratitude to the fair donor. But as a fault confessed, is said to be 'half forgiven,' I trust, I may obtain the other half by this acknowledgment of my fault, hoping it may meet the eye of some one who like myself may have been tempted to condemn thee unheard, thus losing his share in the 'Public Good.'" I shall now return the complimentary salutation of the unknown lady, and wishing you and her a happy new year, and abundant success,

I remain, Mr. Editor,
Your new subscriber,
Dalston, Jan. 4, 1850.

Time in the long run will give the victory to Truth. Be not therefore afraid to enlist under her banner; the conflict may be fierce and long, but the laurel wreath will be won at the close.

THE BOY AND THE BUTTERFLY. A FEW months since, when I was walking through a very pleasant part of the rested by the sight of a butterfly on the west of England, my attention was arsurface of a little brooklet which rippled at my feet. "Poor butterfly," said I," thou hast seen thy day, and answered thy part in the great theatre of life; perhaps this morning thou arose with the sun, and gambolled from flower to flower, but, by some means or other thy career has been arrested, and thou art dead." These words no sooner passed from my lips than I saw the stream, which was bearing it onward the insect struggle, as if it tried to rise from to destruction. Seeing that it was not dead, I immediately went towards it with the intention of rescuing it from its perilous position. This I could not do for a moment or two, as the moving water carried with it the struggling insect. There were some boys playing near me at the time, and one of them seeing that my steps and attention were directed towards the stream, ran to the spot. He asked me what I was looking for? I told him, and he being more nimible than myself, got before me, reached in his hand, and took up the wet, dying, drowning insect on his finger. After a few surveys of it, and a few expressions of pity for its condition, it was put on the grassy turf. I felt an inward satisfaction that I had been instrumental in rescuing a butterfly from death. And I saw from the glistening eye. and smiling countenance of the boy, that he realized a similar feeling. And why should

he not? Does not the exercise of benevo

lence, at all times, impart gratification to the benevolent? It is almost impossible that a disinterested action should be performed without rewarding the performer. But how did I know that the butterfly would not die. I would remain with it a short time and ascertain whether it recovered or not. This I did-I went on my knees, and bent towards the ground, and examined with a great deal of curiosity and solicitude the little panting half-dead creature. A few minutes passed away, during which time the sunbeams danced,

and the zephyr gently passed over the little invalid. It was not long before its wings got dry, and they gradually unfolded, and its body recruited life and energy. This pleased me much. But I was more pleased when I saw the insect rise on its legs, and slowly walk over the grass. This was at first done faintly and tremblingly, and accompanied with occasional falls. But strength and vigour gradually came, Attempts were at first made in vain. But


they were not many. It was not long before it flew several yards at a time. I followed it as long as I was able. In a few moments it flaunted over the fields, and mounted towards the azure sky as if it had not witnessed danger for the day or the year it went on and on, capering from flower to flower, and sipping their sweets as if altogether unconscious of the benefit conferred on it or its benefactor. Such is half-an-hour's history of a butterfly-and certainly it is not without interest, neither is it incapable of pointing a moral.

After the butterfly had gone further than my eye could follow it, I felt quite satisfied that I had performed a useful act. Then, if I performed my duty, thought I, in benefiting an insect, certainly I am bound to do my best on behalf of my fellow men, who are of more value than many butterflies. It struck me that perhaps I might never have another chance to assist a butterfly, but there was no necessity for me to wait a moment for an opportunity to benefit my brother man.

This reflection was the forerunner of several others of a kindred character. I sat down on a mossy bank of the brooklet and imagined I saw before me a mighty river. It was not pure and placid as the one from which the butterfly was rescued. No, it was black, loathsome, and deadly, and it bore on its surface myriads of human beings. It was the River of Evil which flowed through the heart of the moral universe. It received tributary streams from intemperance, war, infidelity, sensualism, deception, selfishness, ignorance, and innumerable other sources-it flowed on and on, bearing on its breast men who were steeped in sin, And I fancied I saw standing on the margin of the river a great many good men, who were doing their utmost to prevent their brothers from perishing. I saw preachers of all denominations-I saw philanthropists of all shades of opinion-ah, and I saw those whom'the world calls sceptics too, labouring with all their might for the restoration of their brethren. I saw teetotalers and schoolmasters, and peace men, and antislavery reformers, and literary men, and missionaries, and many unostentatious men and women, who were labouring with all their power to save their fellow mortalsand they seemed pleased and happy in their labour of love. Well then, I thought, I will not remain idle, I will join the philanthropists in their devoted and disinterested work.

I arose from the pleasant bank, and resolved to consolidate my desires into acts. I wended my way home, but before I reached it, I saw a man staggering drunk.


I knew him well-I knew him to be a man who neglected his wife and children, who spent his money and his time at the public house, and who frequently broke the peace of the neighbourhood by blasphemous words and dreadful acts. How should I reclaim him? Why, certainly, by getting him to join the Temperance Society. This I knew to be a difficult and almost an impossible thing;-but I would try. I did


By repeated persuasions and other acts of kindness, I succeeded. He joined the temperance society, and promised to abstain from the liquors which had been his curse. His promise he faithfully kept. I soon had the satisfaction of seeing him an altered man. He improved in his health, in his circumstances, in his appearance, in his mind, and in his morals. He became a better father, husband, and citizen. He was completely revolutionized in his habits, conversations, and desires. If assisting to promote the restoration of a butterfly gave me pleasure, what infinitely more satisfaction accompanied the consciousness of my being instrumental in blessing a fellowcreature. The little boy stretched forth his hand and saved an insect-I put forth mine and socially saved a man. That man was a short time before deeply plunged in the stream of intemperance, and driven hither and thither by its pitiless billows. But now he is on the firm dry land of temperance, with cheerful friends around him, and hope strong within him. But it was some time before he stood up in the strength of his manhood, and exulted in his existence. Intemperance had weakened him, impoverished his circumstances, withered his home, and separated him from friends. But he, like the butterfly, gradually got stronger. He, step by step, inspired confidence in those who once were his friends, and who became his friends again, the sun of prosperity shed its beams on his fortunes, the breezes of social happiness played around his home. He cultivated an acquaintanceship with the most respectable of his neighbours, he read some of the best books, and, like the butterfly that gamboled over the vales and flowers, he, the reformed drunkard, hovered over the regions of imagination which Milton and Scott had created, and descended into the mines of philosophy which Bacon and Locke had explored. Whether the rescued butterfly lives or not, I cannot say;-it inspires me with delight that it lived longer on my account. But that the restored man lives I am certain, and it is my highest pride and pleasure to know that I assisted in his emancipation.




land in a constant state of unwholesome

evaporation, with about two hundred acres of ditches. Many of them are very offensive from their being open sewers. The following is an extract from the evidence:—

"The marsh land along the river Lea from

Stratford to the Thames is of an excellent
quality for market-garden ground; both it and
about half of the Plaistow Level, comprising to-
gether about 1,600 acres, might be inore than
doubled in value by drainage; and as garden
upon it, for one employed at present.
ground, twenty persons might be employed
800 acres of the Plaistow Level, and the whole
of East Ham Level, which contains about 1,700
acres, might by drainage be very much im-
proved for pasture, and rendered fit for culti
vation. As pasture land, the value would be
increased at least L.1 per acre; for although
a less weight of grass would be produced, the
would yield a larger amount of hay.
quality would be greatly improved, and it
grass of the marshes is of a rich, succulent
character; and cattle brought to feed upon it
first, and if in a sickly state they die. Butchers
will not purchase sheep or cattle that have
been only a short time on the marsh pastures;
and hence they cannot be made available as
they might be, in feeding up for the shambles

are rendered feverish for a month or two at

SOME valuable evidence has been given before an official body, the Metropolitan Sanitary Commission. In shewing the importance of land drainage in the neighbourhood of large towns, as one means of lessening the virulence and frequency of epidemic and contagious diseases, and improving the salubrity of large towns, they enter upon inquiries of some moment in another point of view. They shew the extent of land in the neighbourhood of London only partially cultivated, and then give some estimates, putting in striking contrast the capabilities of the land with its present state. If drained and cultivated, its value would be incalculably increased, and the produce would pay from 15 to 20 per cent. upon the outlay. In the immediate neighbourhood of London there is much valuable land in a marshy and animals, brought from a distance half-fed, or unproductive condition. The Isle of two-thirds fat. The same remarks are appliDogs is spoken of as one of the richest, cable to the Hackney marshes. The Tottenham if not the richest pasture land in Eng- drainage, other than a free outlet to the surmarshes, having a gravelly subsoil, need little land. Its soil is described as contain- face water, which is now prevented by the mills ing the elements of fertility in abund- and canal locks that obstruct the river." ance, and the pasture is luxuriant where the soil is sufficiently dry to let it grow. One of the witnesses, who seems to have made it a matter of special investigation, states that he does not suppose it furnishes employment regularly to ten persons, whereas if it was drained and cultivated as market garden ground, it would give employment to 1,000 persons, at the rate of two persons to the acre. present it is in a wretched condition, being intersected with numerous ditches, and covered occasionally with dense fogs, exceedingly injurious to the health of the neighbourhood for miles round. The cattle fed upon the land are subject to several diseases, the primary cause of which is the impurity of the water, and the effluvium from the soil, owing to the decomposition of the vegetable matter in excess upon the marshes. In Essex and adjoining marshes, it is computed that there are above 3,500 acres, and upwards of five square miles of undrained


The remark of the Commissioners upon this, is :

"By the thorough drainage of all these marshes, not only would the Metropolis be saved from a vast amount of noxious vapours, but an additional value of many thousands of pounds annually would be conferred on the land in those districts."

suburban land, the Poplar marshes, the This will apply to the large tracts of Isle of Dogs, the Essex marshes, and the Greenwich and Plumstead marshes, as well as to other land to the west of

London, all of which at present are in which might be made productive of an exceedingly bad condition, and employment in the first instance, and food in the second. Another witness states:

By cultivation as market-garden ground, a great extent of the marsh land would be worth a rent of £10 per acre, and would give employment to at least twenty individuals for every one now employed upon it."

Here then is a scope for benevolent exertion, of a much more beneficial tendency than many of the thousand

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