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Heath ought himself to do his utmost to promote its success, by expressing his regret for having used language which has conveyed a sense to his readers, that he declares was utterly unlike the sense it conveyed to him. Should the Privy Council, after such an apology, reverse the decree, no one, perhaps, will be more relieved than the admirable judge of the Inferior Court. A more reluctant sentence was evidently never passed. It seemed to him necessary for the sake of maintaining the credit of the Articles. Should it be found necessary for their credit, for the interests of Theology, for the peace of the Church, to deal more gently with the defendant-a few bitter divines may be angry, a benevolent layman will certainly rejoice.
3. And now I will venture to ask why I am bound by the opinions I have expressed, or by any which I have not expressed in this letter, to wish myself free from the obligations of those terrible sixteenth century articles? I find the nineteenth century spirit—the spirit which expresses itself in these prosecutions, and in the shouts of triumph which the religious newspapers utter over every man who has been deprived of a living
- very tyrannical and very, mean I find the construction which nineteenth century wisilom puts upon the Articles, exceedingly hard and narrow, utterly inconsistent, it seems to me, with the Theology of the Fathers or of the Reformers, of the Creeds and of our Prayers. I find each nineteenth century sect and school ready to spring at the throat of every other. I find divines and prelates
of the nineteenth century ready, or at least, submitting to accomplish the wishes of these sects, and of the journals that represent them. I fully believe that if these sects and journals, and their instruments, have their way, there will be an end of the documents which restrain their violence, to which they mustappeal, and which, by fair means or foul, they would compel to speak their language. But is that a reason why I should enthrone these sects and journals, and denounce what I believe to be so much deeper, larger, less cruel than they are? The doctrine of the National Review is, that one must exalt the present above the past in order that the future may be better than the present. I utterly repudiate that doctrine. Reculer pour mieux sauter is, I hold, the maxim of all true reformation. I know of none which has not appealed to the past against the present, and which has not thus won blessings for the future. Old charters have always been the barriers against prerogative, the grand helps to the assertion of eternal principles. Let the Spectator rebuke our cowardice as much as it pleases ; let it warn us of the danger of preferring our ecclesiastical emoluments to truth ; but let it not hope to make us more true and less selfish, by binding us in slavery to an age which has tried long to worship God and mammon together, and which, if a better spirit is not infused into it, will end with proclaiming mammon to be the only God. Your obedient servant,
F. D. MAURICE.
TWO SONNET S.
BY SYDNEY DOBELL.
1.—TO MRS. J. S. B.
Bends to a circle life's proverbial span
II.—TO TOCHTERCHEN, ON HER BIRTHDAY.
As one doth touch a flower wherein the dew
Or hold thee against adverse life and death,
BY THOMAS HUGHES, AUTHOR OF “TOM BROWN AT OXFORD.”
A FEW weeks ago public attention was again called to the state of the press in France. The law by which the signature of articles in newspapers has been made cumpulsory there was commented on by special correspondents, and a contrast drawn between the signed newspaper articles in that country and the anony
mous pamphlets which have of late become so prevalent there, in favour of the latter.
One might have looked for some further notice of the matter, some weighing of the merits of the two systems—the personal and in personalin our papers. But nothing happened. · With the exception of one leader in a sketch of the present state of the
the Times, on which I propose to make French press, goes on, “Ministers and a few remarks, not a word was said on “ writers in France are alike convinced the subject. This is a great pity, for it “that anonymous writing carries power, is a most important one, and deserves "and that the power is lost as soon as the best attention we can give to it. “the anonymous character is given up.” People tell us, and very truly I think, Everybody in England will agree with that the press has become a fourth estate the French ministers and writers so far. in the realm. Many believe it to be, No doubt anonymous writing does carry or at any rate that it is likely soon to power. In other words, over and above be, the most powerful of the four. We the weight or power which a given are all interested then in thinking about article would carry by reason of its it, and making up our minds, each for him- intrinsic worth, it does, in fact, carry a self, how far at present it is in a healthy surplus weight and power by reason state—whether we ought to be satisfied that it is anonymous. Certainly that with it as it stands, or to try to get surplus power which its anonymous it amended, and in what particulars, character gives it the article will lose Each of us may be able to do but little when that anonymous character is given towards any reform which he may think up. But the article will still carry the desirable, but that is no reason why he weight and power which its intrinsic shouldn't do what he can. And so worth gives it; and the question for us every Englishman, who values the is, not whether anonymous writing freedom which we have, and is anxious carries power, not whether power is lost that it should take no taint in our when the anonymous character is given generation, ought to give as much spare up-both these we all answer at once thought as he can to the consideration with the Times in the affirmative-but of what the press ought to be like in a whether it is good or not for the country free country. As soon as he turns to that this extra power should be taken this part of his social duties he will off the article, that the article should find this question of anonymous writing stand for what it is worth, and for meet him at every step. Any man's neither more nor less. This question is honest thoughts on the subject may be just the one which the Times, and all of some use to others ;' so I shall make other thick and thin advocates of anono excuse for giving nine ; and I hope nymous writing, simply ignore. the intelligent part of my countrymen Then comes one of those knock-mewill give me a hearing. I do not ask this down assertions which meet one so often as an outsider, but as a member of the in the leading journal, and to the fourth estate myself, and one who has liberal use of which I believe it owes had much experience of public writing much of its undoubted power,—“There both in his own name, and anonymously. " is not the smallest doubt in any quarter At any rate, I have this claim on their “but that anonymous writing is the attention, that I am writing against my “ only eligible or effective form of public own interest ; for, selfishly speaking, “ writing. About that fact there is no anonymous writing is to my taste by far “question at all. The only question is, the pleasantest, and, if I didn't believe “ whether public writing should be that there are serious objections to it on “allowed to be powerful or not-in public grounds, I most assuredly should “ other words, whether the action of never say a word against it.
" a free press should or should not be Let us see then, in the first place, “tolerateil.' what the Times has to say on the subject. This is what was familiarly known in There is nothing like having a text, and our younger days as “a facer." . One the higher the authority from which the feels fairly grassed and on one's back text is taken the better.
for a moment or two after reading it. The article in question, after giving “Anonymous writing the only effective
“ public writing! About that fact there “Public writing" must mean all writ“is no question at all !” No question ing that is published. But, taking the at all! Then the less said the soonest words in their narrowest sense, are they mended, and we had better lie quietly true then ? By no means. To go no where we have fallen, and look placidly farther than the Times itself, what up into the sky. But presently, when portions of it are the most effective ? Leviathan has passed right over us, and I believe that the letters on important we are conscious that we have still some questions, signed by persons who are
ower of discerning what is and what known to understand their subjects, are is not left in us, we sit up, and far more effective than leaders. Take look the matter in the face again. one question which has been up lately, “ Anonymous the only effective form “ rifled ordnance." Does not a letter of public writing ?” Why, who are in signed “ Armstrong," or “Whitworth," very fact the most effective living public carry more weight here than a dozen writers, the few men who are moulding leaders, and ought it not to do so ? the thought of our day ? Maurice in Besides, to judge by my own experitheology, Mill in political science, Dar- ence, so far from there being no doubt win in natural science, Ruskin in art, that anonymous writing is the only and the rest of them! Take what realm eligible and effective form of newspaper of thought we will, and what do we writing, I find the persons amongst find ? The effective men, the most whom I live constantly debating the serious writers, scarcely ever write point whether anonymous writing ought anonymously ; several of those above to be tolerated. There is none on named, never. Come down a step lower which opinions are more honestly and to current literature and what do we widely divided; but I must say that, on find ? Why, that the custom of signing the whole, the persons who are generally or at any rate of ear-marking articles in the right lean against anonymous and dropping the impersonal, is coming writing, or at most hold it to be an into use more and more in periodical unavoidable evil. literature, in the monthly and weekly There is in fact, then, a very grave magazines more especially. Surely this question on this point, where the Times is one form of public writing, and an says there is none at all. Let us now look eligible and effective one for certain at the other half of the proposition. purposes, or it would not be so much “The only question is, whether public in demand.
66 writing should be allowed to be powerBut on this point of the comparative “ful or not-in other words, whether efficiency of anonymous writing take “ the action of a free pres3 should or the most notorious case in point for the “should not be tolerated.” I should last dozen years—the volume of Essays say that, on the contrary, here there is and Reviews. There is no one of them no question at all. In England, it is that would not have passed unnoticed our great boast and blessing that, in one or other of the Quarterlies had
-- "girt by friend or foe, they been published anonymously. Their effectiveness lay, somewhat per
A man may say the thing he will.” haps in the grouping, but chiefly in the Public speech and public writing are, names which were affixed to them. Has and must be allowed to be, just as it been for the good of the nation, the powerful as they can manage to become. Church, the writers themselves, that Not only the most absolute freedom their names were published ? I can of speech and writing is tolerated, but have no hesitation in answering, yes. no single voice in the nation is lifted up
If, however, by public writing," against that freedom. And the question writing for newspapers only is intended, of the freedom of the press has nothing surely it is throwing dust in our eyes whatever to do with, and should be kept to put the proposition in this form. wholly apart from, that of anonymous writing. It may be a question indeed some single man, and, if an honest one, whether I, having in my own person contains as forcible a statement as that and name the acknowledged right of man can make of what he thinks on a saying and printing whatever I please, given subject. No doubt the responsishould have the further right of doing bility of publishing it rests with the it without giving my name, behind an conductors; that is to say, with the abstraction called “we,” which may editor or editors. They can accept or mean anybody, or every body, or nobody. reject it; the writer can consult with Just as in the case of voting, I have now them, and may modify some of his the unquestioned right of giving my opinions in deference to theirs. He has vote openly at an election for any candi- access to any books or documents which date I please. The most bigoted advo- belong to the establishment, and has cate of the ballot will not deny this, thus facilities for getting at facts which although he will contend that I ought he would otherwise be without. But to have the further right of giving it after all the article is his, and the more secretly; in which contention the Times, his responsibility for it is brought home and the greater part of the nation, to him the better for himself and his would be against him. I cannot see readers. It is no more a fraud on the why the same rule should not be good public to issue it as the work of a single for voting and for writing.
man than it is to issue the speech of a Again, while we are on the question Secretary of State as his speech : the of the power of “public writing,” it fraud, if any, lies in issuing it as the does not matter how powerful writing work of a mysterious “we.” The is, provided the power be genuine. Any notion that he is to put aside his own power which a man gains from his individuality, that he is to “reflect " character for ability, honesty, disinter- the opinions of a journal, or of the conestedness, is of the right sort. It has ductors of a journal, or, indeed, that been fairly earned, and may fairly be he is to “reflect” anything, is about used. Abuse of it will soon tell, and as mischievous a one as a man can he will lose it. But power which a have in his head when he sits down man gains from being shrouded in to write ; and it is this which lowers mystery—which he owes, not to his own the character of so much of our public character, but to the vague sort of belief writing. that he is the representative of some The Times then returns to its text, great unknown which haunts the majo- and tells us that the French press may rity of readers of newspapers—is not trace many of its misfortunes to “the genuine, and can benefit neither himself “neglect of that impersonality by which nor any one else.
“ a real press is necessarily characThe Times goes on to state its own “terized.” One is rather puzzled to theory on the subject of the responsi- get it clear in one's head how any thing bility of journalism :-“ The respon- can be characterized—that is, distin" sibility of an article rests with the guished from any other thing—by " conductors of a newspaper. It reflects impersonality. But assuming that it " the opinions of the journal, and it can be so in some sense, how can it be “ would be nothing but a fraud on the more real for being impersonal ? 6 public if it were issued as the work. The chief writers for the French “ of a single man.” The statement that press were men who were aiming at an article reflects the opinions of the political power and promotion, and journal in which it appears has no real found their work as writers tell for this meaning, for a journal can no more end. “ The result was," says the Times, have opinions than the printing press “ that a French journal, instead of being which is used to bring out each succeed- “ what an English paper is, was simply ing number. A thing can have no “an organ of a particular section, conopinions. Each article is the work of “ducted not for the instruction or