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No. III. The last Guest.
On the death of his late Royal Highness
The Duke of Sax-Coburg Gotha

The monarch he sat in his castle hall,
              The evening sun was shining,
Round the banners that hung from the granite wall
              Garlands of golden light twining.

And age on the rays of the setting sun
              The deeds of his past life glide,
For the days of the monarch are well nigh done,
              And the gates of his grave standing wide.

They passed by his sight like the seraphs of heaven,
              His glances rekindled amain,
For they were the blessings to others he'd given
              Now visit the donor again!


A stranger strode the threshold o'er,
              Bright gleamed the monarchs brow:
King Death! since these are here before,
              Thou art right welcome now.

From oriel-panes the glory dies,
              Low burns the level sun,
And lights of life from breaking eyes
              Have fleeted one by one!

Oh happy still must be his sleep
              Whom nations bless the while
When those, who live are forced to weep,
              And he, who died, could smile!

――――――                       Ernest Jones.


Ernest Anton Charles Louis (1784 - 1844)
Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, later Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 


Page 1.

Jul 14, 1854.


    I enclose the remaining Proofs, and the Title Page and Contents.

    There will be no preface, and no dedication.

    With regard to the "Contents," I must leave you to fill it up, and put the proper pages, as I don't recollect the order in which the pieces fall—nor the pages at which they commence.

    Of course, "Cost of Glory," "Battleday," "Plough & Loom," etc., are full head, and the poems that come under the general head of "Plough & Loom" Echoes," etc., will be in smaller caps, and standing somewhat in, from the margin, as I have tried to shew in the copy—as in the following:


Page 2.

Echoes From Within:
      ≡          ≡         ≡
              The Better Hope                page....
                      =           =            =
              The Poet—
                      =           =
                        The Poet this           page....
                        The Poet that           page....
                        The Poet other         page....
                              etc.    etc.

You will see by this what I mean, there being "sub" heads, & "sub-sub" heads.  Perhaps you will oblige me with letting me see a proof—and be kind enough to remember that by the time you get this, it will the 16th of Jul, and that I have not once detained the proofs.
                                          Yours faithfully
                                                                    Ernest Jones.
Messrs Savill and Edwards.

5 October 1855

Morning Chronicle.    George Routledge and Co., 3 Farringdon-street.
THE POEMS OF ERNEST JONES—In one vol., price 3s. 6d., cloth lettered.


HE BATTLE-DAY.  By ERNEST JONES.  This volume also contains—The Cost of Glory, The Peer's Story, Cries of the Nations, Leawood Hall, Plough and Loom, Echoes from Within.  "It is noble.  Byron could have envied.  Scott could have applauded."—Walter Savage Landor to the Author.   "There is real poetry in this volume Fancies such as a poet of Arcady would bring together.  Nothing is strained, nothing exaggerated.  What we have said and quoted will send many of our readers in search of 'The Battle-day.'—The Athenæum.   "A feast of pleasing variety.  The battle pulses with living and fiery action.  Society needs to be told in oft-repeated tones what Mr. Ernest Jones has told it.  Scores of persons will derive nurture from and pleasedly listen to his minstrelsey."—The Critic.   "Persons who expect that the great Chartist leader will infuse low Radical ideas in low Radical fashion into his verses will find themselves mistaken.  He sometimes introduces the wretchedness of the poor and the oppression of the rich, but his language is not stronger than that of novelists or other poets upon the same theme."—The Spectator.   "Poetry in the strictest sense of the term—'Thoughts that breath and words that burn.'"—The Observer.   "He has a rich imagination; his diction is sparkling, and at the same time chaste; his ideas are lofty, and he throws around them a warm and ever gorgeous colouring.  Surely true poetry."—The Illustrated London News.   "A genuine poet.  He must ever be read with untiring pleasure.  In these poems he is not more democratic than Tennyson, and not more socialistic  than Lord John Manners.  The story is admirable told, intensely poetic.  We take leave of it with cordial commendation."—Tait's Magazine.   "The beautiful volume of poems before us is a real song to both the old world and the new."—New York Citizen.   "Mr. Ernest Jones is a man of great and varied talents.  His new volume of poems abounds in striking scenes, and bears the sign and sigil of genius.  Full of poetic fancy and manly sentiment."—The Morning Post.   "One of the most charming things we have ever read.  Lines that carry us away with their fieriness and beauty.  Something more than good.  We have no hesitation in heartily recommending this volume of poems."—The Morning Advertiser.

London, Geo. Routledge and Co., Farringdon-street.

MARCH 1, 1855.

Chartism—What it is.

 Parliamentary Reform, as carried in 1832 by a compromise—the Tory Peers abstaining from voting against it, at the special request of WILLIAM IV.—was not such a full measure of improvement as the British public expected, desired, or were entitled to.  For over forty years, (that is, from the time when (WILLIAM PITT, its early advocate, had turned against it,) the Tories lead earnestly resisted it.  During all that long recess, its supporters—nick-named Radicals, because they went for Radical Reform, or were under a cloud—were voted factious, and looked on so coldly by people in power that even CANNING himself, though he had latterly and gradually so liberalized his opinions that his former colleagues made it a pretext for separating from him when he became Premier, resisted Parliamentary Reform to his dying day.  After two years of exciting legislative and popular strife, which sometimes verged on Revolution, it was carried by the Whigs.  But their enrichment—partly owing to concessions engrafted on it to weaken Tory opposition, partly to an oligarchic dread of giving too much power to the masses—was but a half-measure, after all.

    From the very first, the People (who had swelled the cuckoo-cry of "The Bill, the whole Bill, and nothing but the Bill!") were discontented with it.  True, it abolished certain pocket-boroughs over which Tory influence had established a mastery, through property.  But it perpetuated certain Whig Peers and rich Commoners as masters of, and dictators in, other rotten boroughs.  The actual gain to the People was that such great towns, with vast population, as Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, (and a few more,) obtained the privilege of returning members to Parliament.  The Bill, once passed, was declared by the Whigs in office to be "a final measure;" and popular contempt fixed upon Lord JOHN RUSSELL, official mouth-piece of that declaration, the adhesive sobriquet of "Lord John Finality."

    Ever since—that is, for the last twenty-three years—the People had been pertinacious in demanding the reform of the Reform Bill, and successive Governments, Whig as well as Tory, have constantly been dodging away even from the mere discussion of the demand.  Discontent was engendered, and became the parent of Chartism.  As a popular movement, Chartism became as unfashionable as Radicalism had been in "the good old times."

    What is Chartism?  It means the organization of a party, determined to work out their Charter, (or new Bill of Rights,) to the improvement and extension of the national representation, so that every man among the population, of proper age, should have a voice, really and truly, in their own House of Commons.  As the name denotes, the members of that branch of the nation's legislature should exclusively be drawn from the people—from the Commons or Commonalty of the British Islands.  But at present every other member of that House is a Peer's son or near relative—an official, a pensioner, or a person holding some situation of profit under the Crown, and more or less subject to Ministerial influence.  Out of the present 658 members of Parliament, 270 are Peers' sons, heirs-presumptive, grandsons, brothers, nephews, sons-in-law, cousins, or near connections, and fully three-fourths of these invariably vote in favor of the Aristocracy and against the People.  Add pensioners, sinecurists, and persons holding naval or military rank, and the full tale of 500 will be made up, leaving no more than the odd 155 real representatives of "the Commons of Great Britain and Ireland."

    It may be cited, as a curious and striking illustration of John Bull's hereditary, almost innate, subserviency to whatever is connected with the Nobility, that Chartism has never gone to the length of demanding the exclusion of Peers' relatives from the House of Commons—although, without such exclusion, the Branch of the British Legislature never can truly represent the People.  The discontented have simply and solely gone for the reform of the more obvious abuses.

    The Charter, for which the objector; to this state of things contend, contains what am technically called the Five Points. They are classed as follows:

1. Annual Parliaments.
2. Vote by Ballot.
3. Universal Suffrage.
4. No Property Qualification for Members.
5. Payment of Members.

    At present, by a special enactment, no Parliament can last longer than seven years.  The Prime Minister can dissolve it at any period within this time; but on the average, owing to changes of the Administration, no Parliament, during the last half century, has sat for more than three years.

    Open voting is the present rule at the elections.  The ballot has been loudly demanded as a protection to voters, and, in the House of Commons itself, a large number, though not a majority of the members, have declared themselves in favor of it.

    The third demand is Universal Suffrage—that every man who has attained the age of twenty-one shall have a vote for the election of a representative in Parliament.  At present, in the British Islands, the possession of a certain amount of property, or the tenancy of land or houses, not beneath a certain income, qualifies a man to vote.  This restriction acts unjustly, because unequally—to say nothing of the anomaly of the vote actually being for the property, not for the man.  For example, the metropolitan County of England, (Middlesex,) containing a population of 2,000,000, has less than 15,000 electors, who return two members—exactly the same number returned for the small County of Rutland, by 1,800 electors, out of 22,983 inhabitants.  Again, the petty borough of Honiton, with 3,427 inhabitants, (out of whom only 273 are qualified to vote) seeds two members to Parliament, while Salford, adjoining the city of Manchester, has only one member returned by 2,950 electors, out of 85,108 inhabitants.  Chartism seeks to amend this injustice and inconsistency, by adapting Parliamentary representation to population.

    The necessity for each member having a property qualification is another grievance which Chartism would fain remove.  In Scotland alone, may a member be returned to Parliament without being able to show, on oath, that he possesses £600 a year, if he is to represent a county, and £300 a year if he is to sit for a city or borough.  But the exception, in favor of Scotland, is very small, there being only 53 members for the whole of that country, while there are 605 for England, Wales and Ireland.  Thus, should any constituency in these parts of the United Kingdom unanimously elect, as their Parliamentary representative, a man of character, talent and principle, in whom they place unbounded confidence, he cannot take his seat in the House of Commons, unless he shows that he possesses £600 a year, if returned for a county, and half that annual income if for a city or borough.  True it is, that even in the present Parliament, there are several members who really do not own an acre of land.  How, then, have they shown the property qualification?  Have they deceived the Legislature?  Have they sworn falsely?  No.  They have evaded perjury and taken their seats on a nominal qualification.  It is easy enough for a man to obtain a legal grant of a fictitious qualification.  If he thinks he has a chance of being elected, the party to which he belongs will easily procure him a rent-charge for the requisite amount on the property of some landowner on the same side of politics—the parchment conveyance never leaves the party who grants it—the candidate, however, can swear that he is legally possessed of the property it seems to grant.  Thus, several gentlemen enter Parliament, from time to time, on false pretences,—in plain words, their first action is as near a fraud on the Legislature as wicked ingenuity can frame.  Chartism would wholly abolish the property qualification, and allow a poor man, if duly elected, to take his seat in the House of Commons.

    The last aim of Chartism is to return to the ancient practice, (it prevailed as late as the time of Charles I.,) of allowing subsistence money to each member of Parliament—precisely as is done in America in the case of the National Legislature at Washington and the local Legislatures in the different States.

    Such are the Five Points of the Charter.  Here, where they very closely resemble our own system, they cannot he considered extravagant or impracticable.  In England they have long been unpopular with the middle class, who are more or less connected with, or cherish a slavish partiality for, the Aristocracy.  Above ally, the Whigs have been and are the bitter opponents, persecutors, and prosecutors of the Chartists.

    Chartism is essentially a popular movement.  Few men of property are connected with it.  In Parliament it has only one champion—THOMAS SLINGSBY DUNCOMBE, member for the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury.  There is a chance that, whenever the long deferred reform and extension of the Reform bill shall take place, the Tories (if then out of office,) may make a bold bid for popularity, by recognizing and adopting, against the do-little policy of the Whigs, the broad principles on which Chartism is based.  If they should do this, all the ultra-liberals will join with them.

    Is Chartism Republican?  By no means.  Mr. DUNCOMBE, its Parliamentary child and champion, has sworn allegiance to the British Monarch over and over again.  So did FEARGUS O'CONNOR.  Many of the Chartist leaders hold republican opinions.  ERNEST JONES, however, does not.  All that Chartism avowedly strives for is the amended Parliamentary representation of the people, on the basis we have here indicated.  That great failure, the Chartist monster meeting of April 10, 1848, though a demonstration in favor of the then recent revolution in France, was not a republican affair, either in speeches or action, as regards England.  Grant the Chartists what they claim—and that is not much, after all—and the concession, instead of weakening will strengthen the Monarchy in England.  In time, no doubt, it will abridge the usurped power of the Oligarchy.


27th August, 1859.



ONDAY was a great day for Nottingham—indeed for all England, for on that day the Statue the working-men of Nottingham erected to their departed champion, was inaugurated.  The statue, of Darley Dale stone, is the work of Mr. Robinson, a sculptor of Derby.  It does him the highest credit.  Admirable as a likeness, correct in detail, it is, as a work of art, an ornament to the town, and, as an evidence of political gratitude, an honour to the country.  It is situated in the Arboretum, or public garden of the town, which is, next to the Market-place, the most commanding site that could have been selected, and where the spot was granted by a vote of the Town Council, although after great opposition and long discussion.  The statue rises on the highest point in the grounds, forms one of the most conspicuous objects of the magnificent park in which it stands, and is elevated on a commanding pedestal.  On the base is inscribed "Feargus O'Connor, M.P. Erected by his Admirers. 1859."  On the opposite slope; obliquely fronting the statue, stand the two Russian cannon which the Government presented to the town of Nottingham.  Of the beauty of this public park, it is hardly possible to speak too highly, no other provincial town having such a public promenade.  On Monday that beauty was turned into grandeur by the assembling of a stupendous concourse of the working classes, who gathered to be present at the inauguration.  It is difficult to estimate their numbers, as the masses were frequently broken by the shrubs and flower-beds which they surrounded, making them appear like islands of verdure in a living sea; there could not, however, have been fewer than from 12,000 to 15,000 persons present.  The Times, and other daily papers, describe the multitude as "a vast concourse."  The numbers would have been far larger, however, had not the most assiduous steps been taken to prevent it.  The Arboretum Committee forbade the delivery of any address on the unveiling of the statue, and, although some railroad companies had promised to run special trains for the occasion, and even gone so far as to advertise them, at the last moment they rescinded their resolutions, and nothing could induce them to appoint such trains.  Had the meeting been for any exhibition of servility or adulation to the railway classes, every railroad would have provided the alluring facilities.  Had not these obstacles been thrown in the way, there would probably have been a much larger assembly present; but, as it was, the gathering proved to be one of the most noble that ever honoured a public commemoration of the kind in a provincial town, and the prohibition as to delivering an address, was, of course, a dead letter.

    Shortly after two o'clock, the committee, with Mr. Ernest Jones, on whose right and left were Mr. Henry Wilson and Mr. Robinson, the sculptor, entered the Arboretum, and, on presenting themselves beneath the statue, were loudly cheered.  At the same moment the veil was removed from around the monument amid deafening acclamations.  Mr. Marriott opened the proceedings by a few brief but pertinent remarks, and concluded by calling on Mr. Jones to address the assembly.  The latter gentleman, on mounting the pedestal of the statue, was received with enthusiastic cheering, renewed again and again.  When silence was restored, he spoke as follows:—

    "Fellow-countrymen,—The statue we inaugurate this day commemorates two facts—the greatness of a man, and the greatness of a people.  You have placed this stone here to honour O'Connor.  Men of Nottingham! you have done honour to yourselves!  You have done honour to all England.  It commemorates not only the merit of the dead, it commemorates the worth of the living.  It tells two tales:—the one, that there is still political gratitude among the people—that noblest of all virtues—that virtue which honours the dead, from whom no more can be hoped; and encourages the living, from whom their all is still to be expected.  But let us turn from the marble to the man.  You mighty thousands who surround this monument, what do you gaze at?  A perishable stone?  No! you are looking at truths eternal as the world, that shall be higher and stronger still when this granite has crumbled into dust.  We honour the man who builds a perishable temple.  A Tite is famed for erecting the palace of usury; the name of Wren has risen with the aspiring dome of St. Paul; and Michael Angelo still sanctifies the glories of St. Peter.  Si quæis moumentum, eircumspice.  But how much more should you honour the man who is departed!  Granite and marble perish, however nobly built.  The Zealander shall seek for the site of St. Paul's, and St. Peter's shall mingle its dust with the ashes of the Capitol.  Not so with the work of O'Connor—he was the architect of truth—he built not with bricks or stone, but with the thoughts of man; and he who erects fabrics in the human mind, raises a monument more durable than can be fashioned from the mountain's granite heart.  There were many, in his lifetime, who assailed the departed patriot—some, more cowardly and no less cruel, attacked him after death.  Their shafts recoil harmless from this recording stone.  He worked for us, he lived for us, he died for us; he joined us rich—he left us poor.  The manufacturer, the landlord, the banker, and the merchant, leave their millions behind them, and are honoured by servile generations.  They got their wealth from the poor—he got his poverty from them.  He bequeathed no wealth, but died in utter penury—the noblest attestation of his honest life.  Yet what am I saying?  He died rich, immeasurably rich, if riches can be measured by the legacy he bequeathed.  He left no acres, and no mills—no temples, and no palaces; but broad domains in the field of knowledge, fructified by his intellect, and fortified by his energy.  He taught the English people truths they but obscurely knew before.  There are some who have said: 'Granting his honesty, his was still a wasted life.  He toiled, and strove, and suffered—and what good has it done to him or unto you?  He drew the workman from his toil, from his wages, and from his home; he plunged him in the stormy sea of agitation—and what result has come?  Beware, then, working men! how you follow the beckoning of the agitator.'  Ah! the poor false reasoner!  I tell you, never was a truth propounded that did not make the world richer than it was before.  It never dies, though its utterer may perish piecemeal; and, though no fruit may seem to grow from its teaching, it has leavened mankind none the less, and the great heart of humanity will swell sooner or later with that germ of truth, and flash some bright new glory on the world!  Christ died in obloquy and martyrdom, but Christianity mounted from His ashes.  Believe me, no great man has ever toiled and perished, without doing good.  To such men, to hopeless martyrs, who passed unrecognised and perished unaided, we owe—aye! every liberty we have—free press, free speech, free meeting, the right of petition, union and combination, religious toleration, the right of possessing arms, and trial by jury—things we think little of, because we are born to their daily use; but let any one touch the smallest of them, how dearly, how preciously, you would value them!  These things, all these, we owe to the O'Connors of other days.  Had it not been for the Wickliffes and the Hampdens, the Russells and the Pyms and the Cromwells of the past, you dared not have stood here this day.  Had it not been for men like O'Connor, and for none more than him, the liberties your fathers conquered, you would not have kept.  I know no man who has done more for humanity.  You must not measure a man's life by the successes of other ages, but by the difficulties of his own; and none of England's heroes had such difficulties to contend with as beset O'Connor.  That which was common in the days of Sidmouth and Castlereagh, is impossible now.  Thank O'Connor, and the kindred spirits who worked in the same path, and seemed to pass away without results produced.  Trades unions and combinations are unassailable by law.  Thank the political agitators who frightened tyranny from violence, and yet sank themselves!  The noble army of martyrs is the most victorious host that ever saw the light.  Here stands the effigy of one of its noblest soldiers.  Illustrious seedsmen, who never gather the harvest they sow: but time developes it; through the spring-time of tears and sorrow it grows over their graves; it ripens to the smiles of hope, till other and far later generations celebrate the happy harvest time.  How few then think of the good old seedsman of the bygone day!  You have remembered him.  This monument is the record of a people's truth.  This monument is a foundation stone of coming freedom.  It gives the advanced minds of our country confidence in you,—confidence that there are qualities worth struggling for in England's people—confidence that a people which can honour the memory of the dead, will struggle for the emancipation of the living.  And now to him, the subject of this day's celebration, let us pay the homage due, and with uncovered heads bow in solemn silence to the memory of O'Connor."

    Every head was uncovered at the words, and that stormy approbation which even the solemnity of the scene had failed to repress, sank in sudden silence, while many an eye glistened and many a heart beat quick at the impressiveness of that magnificent and overpowering spectacle.

    The Arboretum Committee having forbidden even a dinner or tea-party to be held in the grounds or buildings, Mr. O'Connor's friends assembled at four o'clock at a banquet in St. George's Hall.  The large T-shaped table occupied all the Hall, and was completely crowded.  Mr. Taylor, of the Arboretum, provided the repast, and for elegance of arrangement and choice of viands, the entertainment was deserving of the most unqualified commendation.  Mr. Ellerthorn occupied the chair at the banquet.  The memory of Feargus O'Connor, and the healths of the Committee and sculptor were drunk, the first in solemn silence, all the company rising.  An admirable brass band performed during the dinner, and some vocal music enlivened the proceedings.  Mr. Taylor and Mr. Marriot offered a few remarks.

    After the banquet, the public was admitted, and the room was soon filled.  Mr. Dean Taylor was called to preside, and made a forcible and eloquent speech.  Mr. George Harrison then addressed the meeting; after which the chairman called on Mr. Ernest Jones, who, on rising, was greeted with a perfect storm of applause, and spoke for nearly an hour.  The company did not separate till a late period.  A letter was read from Mr. Thomas Allsopp, expressing that gentleman's deep regret at being unable to attend.


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