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which attach to citizenship. It must, therefore, follow and not lead; rate-books and rate-paying must clearly, under any sound system, be a result, and not the foundation, of the roll or register. In the time of Æthelstan, the wise provision was—not that those who paid should join in tens and hundreds, but—that all should be enrolled, and being 80 enrolled, it was the business of the functionaries to see that they discharged this among other obligations.'—P. 37.
The same reasoning applies against the imposition of fines on the admission of citizens to civic rights under any circumstances. As Mr. Toulmin Smith justly observes, in his excellent letter to Mr. Alderman Duke, it is a degradation and dishonour to it (as well as being unlawful), that while the Church of Rome has ceased for some centuries to sell ecclesiastical indulgences, this corporation should now condescend to traffic in civil indulgences.' But corporate sexagenarians, when hard pressed on the point, are wont to exclaim,' We paid £50 for our freedom. Why should you grumble at £4 or £5? Fifty pounds or fifty pence, the principle is the same; the exaction is unlawful in either case. But in addition to the illegality and injustice of the imposition, there is also the iniquity of inequality in exaction. It is not long since a corporate crusade was made against the small retail traders, and legal proceedings were taken to force them to take up their freedom. The attempt we believe failed, and in practice the law now only operates against publicans, fellowship porters, and persons requiring licenses from the city magistrates to carry on their trades or callings within the city. No attempt, so far as we are aware, has ever been made to compel the rich bankers and merchants to pay for their freedom. Can it be that the great corporation of London dared only to exact toll from the weak? Doubtless the legislature of England has been accessory to the iniquity ; for, as we learn from the official statement by the city solicitor, cited in the title, since 1814, a stamp duty of £3 on each freedom has been exacted under the Stamp Act, 55 Geo. III. c. 184. Mr. Hume's bill proposes to exempt both corporation and commonwealth from the disgrace of the transaction, by a return in the one case to the true principles of the civic constitution, and in the other by a repeal of the stamp duties.
A word as to the numbers of the constituency. While population has increased to the utter consternation of all Malthusians, the civic constituency of London has progressed backwards.' We know from the pleadings of Sir George Treby, that in 1683 it amounted to about 50,000. In 1849, as we learn from the official return presented to the common council, on the 22nd of November, it was just 6,682! The return, such as it is, is curious in illustration of civic progression, and we subjoin an abstract:
Abstract of Returns of the number of Householders, distinguishing Freemen and Non-Freemen, together with the numbers on the List of Voters made under the Act 12 and 13 Victoria.
740 706 258 Aldgate.
678 750 302 Bassishaw
136 150 106 Billingsgate
245 267 199 Bishopsgate
1,297 1,300 654 Bread-street
355 383 200 Bridge
201 205 173 Broad-street
181 193 127 Castle-Baynard
565 522 301 Cheap
354 289 161 Coleman-street
419 357 153 Cornhill
256 206 156 Cripplegate Within.
487 204 Cripplegate Without 719 963 392 Dowgate
197 174 128 Farringdon Within. 866
913 1,440 Farringdon Without 2,167 2,532 1,202 Langbourn
407 445 263 Lime-street
205 213 142 Portsoken
1,177 1,235 379 Queenhithe
177 229 117 Tower
683 1,103 483 Vintry
246 198 138 Walbrook
227 218 145
82 214 518 174 153 247 132 268 166 284 143 135 168 380 126 407 997 260
92 367 103 499 114 119
264 54 61 264 254 193 123 223 296 266 214 100 71 300 219 324
583 69 48 426 506 965 1,525 144
63 121 798 868
126 200 192 108 84 82 99
84 182 460 132 135 355 147 212 166 233 112 124 147 250
86 450 691 311
13,958 15,119 7,324 6,682 6,634 8,025 6,018 In Tower Ward 412 persons refused to say whether they were free or not.
The accuracy of the return has been challenged, and doubtless, on their own showing in the note relative to Tower Ward, the corporation officers seem to admit that they do not know who are their freemen. One fact, however, has been deduced from the return, that the enfranchising act of last session has deprived at least 1,168 'freemen householders' of their civic franchise. Mr. Hume's bill proposes a simple and legitimate mode of ensuring accurate returns for the future, by requiring that the roll of citizens for each ward shall be adjusted at each quarterly wardmote.
We have left little space in which to speak of the origin and proceedings of the wardmotes in which this constitutional course of action was adopted; but a few words will suffice. It originated in a meeting held at Anderton's Hotel, on the 27th of November last, to consider what steps should be adopted to extend the municipal franchise to all parliamentary electors. Under the judicious counsel of Mr. Toulmin Smith, who pointed out the frailty of the fabric on which they proposed to take their stand, it was wisely resolved to assert their rights as free men, not by invoking the aid of Hercules, but by at once themselves setting their shoulders to the wheel. At various regular wardmotes held in the succeeding month, Mr. Toulmin Smith, by a series of clear and convincing expositions of the constitutional law, and facts, called forth a free discussion of the question, and declaratory resolutions, on which the bill was subsequently founded, were unanimously passed. It was at the same time resolved, that in order to understand and effectually to discharge their duties as members of the corporation, the occupiers within the ward should meet in wardmote at least
month. This, however, has been defeated by Mr. Alderman Duke, who, though he made no objection at the time the resolution was passed, has, nevertheless, failed to carry it out by summoning wardmotes for the 10th day of each month; a course which we apprehend can neither be justified in law nor reason. The frequent and regular meetings of old were entirely and necessarily independent of any superior summoning authority ; the alderman, or other superior officer, being simply and properly required to give notice of each regular meeting, in order that the time and duty of attendance should not be forgotten. It is, we presume, to prevent any Aldermanic display of irresponsible authority for the future, that a clause redeclaring the ancient custom of quarterly wardmotes has been inserted in the bill.
The proceedings of these wardmotes were in all other respects most gratifying. Men who had been taught to scorn all that belonged to antiquity, seemed surprised to find a liberalism almost beyond their desires in the old beaten path of the ignored constitution. Only two objections seemed to be raised to the course of self-dependence and self-exertion pointed out. One of them has just been indicated. It was objected that these appeals to antiquity were beautiful exceedingly, but they were laid in dark and barbarous times. We, therefore, who live in an age of en
lightenment and progress, should trust to our own guidance, and follow our own path. But like the profound dialectics of Martial, when he argued
• Non amo te, Sabidi; nec possum dicere quare,
Hoc tantum possum dicere : non amo te,' the objections were confined to generalities, and practically to silent dissent. A kind of dog in the manger objection was likewise raised. 'I paid £50 for my freedom,' said a ponderous Theban, the very oldest inhabitant of his precinct ; 'why should you go scot free? This kind of artillery, however, is not very hurtful, except to the luckless gunner himself. The laugh was clearly against him. From the movement we augur the best results. It is well calculated to teach men their social duties as freemen—it will foster kindly habits by drawing them from the cold selfishness of mere material being, into the sunny ways of public duty ; above all, it is of vital importance to the right advance of all measures of progress and improvement, in showing the necessity of full and free discussion.
The introduction of the measure into the House of Commons has been temporarily delayed, through some doubt whether the bill comes within the class of a private or public measure. The parliamentary authorities seem to incline to the former supposition. On the other hand, Mr. Toulmin Smith has submitted an array of precedents, supported by legal reasoning, which appear incontrovertible. But be the bill private or public, it has our best wishes of success, not only for the well-being and welldoing of our fellow-citizens, whom we desire to see, rich and poor, recognised as all law-worth men of London ; but for the example and encouragement of all throughout the land, who would be true men and free men.
Since these remarks were written, we observe that a society has been formed for maintaining and extending local self-government in opposition to centralization. The society professes to take its stand on our historical constitution, not on any novel theories. It will be devoted to the exposition and maintenance of our old and fundamental institutions, in contradistinction to the stealthy legislation of individual speculations, and to that sweeping experimental legislation to which there is now so great a disposition. The means it proposes to employ are, first, the furnishing a point of union for those against whose functions of local self-government, or rights of private enterprise, any encroachment shall be attempted ; and secondly, the taking active steps to make the unconstitutional character of any special measures known, and thus to hinder their passing ; and further, to make the general principles of English constitutional selfgovernment well and widely understood through the press, as the most effective means of making their value and practical importance felt.
ART. II.-Narrative of Scenes and Events in Italy, from 1847 to 1849,
including the Siege of Venice. By Lieutenant-General Pepe, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Expedition of Naples, and of the Forces of the Venetian Republic. Translated from the unpublished Italian Manuscript. In Two Volumes. London :
Colburn. 1850. Nothing in the history of the late struggles for liberty on the Continent has more deeply excited the sympathy of good and generous men throughout Europe, than the plunging back of Italy into servitude. One of the characters in an old play exclaims, ' Virtue is never wounded but I suffer;' and there is not a noble-minded man throughout Christendom who would not repeat the sentiment in the case of the Italian Peninsula. That early seat of Christianity and the arts must always be viewed with interest by all who desire the prosperity of the one or the other; and at this moment we are more than ever called upon to commiserate its calamitous and degraded condition.
Our readers will remember that we have more than once gone over those considerations which should induce the civilized portion of the world to extend at least its moral support to Italy. The appearance of General Pepe's Narrative affords us an opportunity of making some few remarks on several points which we had not dwelt on before, and particularly on the prospects of Protestantism in that country.
We trust we shall not be accused of bigotry, when we state it to be our belief that unadulterated Romanism is not to be reconciled with political freedom. Such at least is the conviction of many Italian patriots, as well as of numbers of thinking men in France and England ; and during the existence of the Roman republic, many efforts based on this persuasion were made to naturalize the tenets of the Reformed Churches on the banks of the Tiber. Protestant Bibles were printed, and largely distributed among the people; and it is now generally thought that, had the democratic form of civil polity been able to