The newspaper press of this country has become a scandal and a shame throughout Europe. With a few honourable exceptions, the course it has pursued in respect to democratic agitations at home and revolutionary proceedings abroad, has been diabolical, fiend-like, and atrocious to a degree. Not contenting itself with the basest misrepresentations and the most damnable lies that ever were concocted by an unprincipled set of hireling scribes, it has applauded deeds of an atrocity from which savages would shrink and hounded kings and generals on to acts from which cannibals would recoil in horror.
To what conclusion, then, do I come respecting the third experiment which has been made of Universal Suffrage in France? That as a principle it has experienced no failure whatsoever; because if some evil results have transpired, it is quite clear that its existence has prevented consequences ten thousand times more fatal. It has preserved the Republic: and what is more, it will continue to preserve it, unless the sudden exercise of that brute force which is concentrated in an army of 400,000 men should raise up an Empire or restore a Monarchy. At all events it is a myriad times more hazardous for any ambitious man to make such an attempt in the face of a nation enjoying Universal Suffrage, than in a country where a very limited franchise renders it facile to appease, bribe, and win over the electors to a particular cause.
Thousands and hundreds of thousands of pounds are annually lavished upon titled paupers and on foreign beggar-princes and mendicant-princesses. Yes – and enormous pensions are annually paid to the Richmond, the Grafton and the St. Albans families because they happen to be descended from certain filthy strumpets who sold their persons to Charles the second.
By Susannah Frances Reynolds Hast ever mark’d the fading spirit fly- The parting of the body and the soul? There is a kind of metal agony, As it would seem, that often thrills the whole Of the decaying frame, as to its goal The vital breath is ebbing sure and fast: - Perchance a secret … Continue reading Death and Eternity
Oft does th’ unconscious vessel fly To distant coasts were billows high And of the danger unaware, Hoping to find a refuge there,
Stain’d with the mem’ry of a hundred crimes, For which he ne’er was penitent before, Oh! in such hour, the guiltless martyr’s doom Were enviable for him who fears the tomb!
Let us call to mind the mysterious Esmerelda, in Victor Hugo’s celebrated Notre Dame de Paris, that interesting and friendless girl, for whom the eye can shed tears, as if her sad destinies were those of no fabulous being. We know of no heroine of humble life that ever created so deep an interest in our mind as Esmerelda. The narratives of queens, and the biographies of great ladies teem with incidents which excite our imaginations: but none produces that soft and calm melancholy which seizes upon the mind, during a perusal of Esmerelda’s woes. Again, there is a charm in the character and sorrows of Lucy of Lammermoor, in Sir Walter Scott’s beautiful romance, - a charm which enlists all the sympathies of the reader in the hapless loves and tragical fate of that truly poetic creation of genius. Elizabeth, in the Exiles of Siberia, is somewhat too masculine a character to produce the same effect upon the mind; and, in Paul and Virginia, the interest is no sooner created in favour of the heroine, than the denouement puts an end to all suspense, the tale being so short.
By Mrs Reynolds There be not deeds alone to cause us care – A word may also fill us with despair: The crimes of men against us never bring Such pangs, as Conscience’ inward whispering, That, faithful as the planets to the sun, Praises or blames us when a deed is done! – Mankind may … Continue reading Conscience
By Mrs. Reynolds Time, the magician ‘neath whose hand The strongest totter as they stand, - E’en as they stand, a heap of clay, Rife with an animating ray. Time beckons, and they fall away! Under the influence of his smile, Youth flourishes serene awhile, As the … Continue reading Time
Society was for a long while, in its intellectual progress, like a traveller, who, - fixing his eye on the point of his departure,- keeps steadily in view all its features while he can- reproduces in his imagination such as he can no longer see- and has neither concern nor attention for the objects which surround him, save as by some accidental resemblance recal the objects he has left. The pure, clear landscape of the present, with its broad masses of fertility, its virgin soil that asked but the slightest tillage, was contemned as an unfruitful waste- while the future seemed but as the prolongation of the desert which the exile must pass in his eternal pilgrimage from home. But the scene has changed: our long vigil at the tomb of antiquity is broken – and forever! The spirit song of the past may still float melodiously around some few: but to the many it is a music fraught with barbarism and breathing the notes of slavery, – so that they joyously welcome to their ears a louder, a nearer, and a dearer strain – the paean of an enfranchised intellect!