KING AND BRADLAUGH DEBATE - PART 21
SIX NIGHTS' DISCUSSION
DAVID KING AND CHARLES BRADLAUGH
[The following section copied by permission of The British Library, No. 4018a2(1).]
WHAT IS SECULARISM? - WHAT CAN IT DO FOR MAN THAT CHRISTIANITY CANNOT?
Wednesday Evening, 26th October, 1870
MR. KING'S OPENING ADDRESS
MR. KING: - On the last evening in entering upon the discussion of this question I endeavoured to state what Secularism appeared to be, as gathered from the statements of Mr. Bradlaugh. I put before you his affirmation, that the principles of Secularism include Atheism. I urged that as he is not a Christian who does not embrace Christianity; as he is not a Teetotaller who does not embrace total abstinence, so he is not a Secularist who does not embrace Secularism. And further, that as Christianity embraces a belief in the Deity and Teetotallism embraces total abstinence from intoxicants, so Secularism embraces, according to Mr. Bradlaugh, the principles of Atheism, and that, therefore, I should not in this discussion recognize any man as a Secularist unless he be an Atheist; so that where there is no Atheist there is no Secularist and where there is no Atheism there is no Secularism. I would not take this ground with Mr. Holyoake, because he denies that the principles of Secularism necessary embrace Atheism. But I do take it with Mr. Bradlaugh because he affirms the opposite to Mr. Holyoake and, therefore, I hold him to the logical result of his own affirmation. But my opponent speaks as though he could not understand my plain dealing with this matter and represents me as putting forth the idea that he would not co-operate with Secularists who are not Atheists. Of course I intimated nothing of the sort. I am quite aware that a great proportion of Secularists are not Atheists, but then I was dealing with my opponent's definition of Secularism - dealing with what he asserts in reference to it, and holding him to the logical consequence of his own position. I pointed out the difference between Mr. Holyoake and Mr. Bradlaugh on this question. But I thought it better to take the Secularism of the man who is present and not trouble you with that of the gentleman who is absent. You will remember, then, that in going over the ground I looked at the moral basis of Secularism and at its scheme of rights. I pointed out that these rights are not distinctive of Atheism; that they are not in any way peculiar to Secularism; that I claimed to exercise the four so-called rights of Secularism - the right to think, the right to assert difference of opinion, and so forth - that I adhere to them; practice them; plead for them on behalf of all men, and hold them absolutely as in accordance with Christianity. [Hear, hear]. In like manner I called your attention to the principles of Secularism as put forth in the Secular Almanack, I showed that with one exception they could be accepted by Christians. I then went to the line of work - the work marked out and paraded as appertaining to Secularism - and I endorsed the whole of that work, except so far as it implied the advocacy of Atheism. National secular education, change in the character of the House of Peers, the introduction of better Land Laws, the disestablishment and disendowment of the State Church and such general changes that all might stand equal before the law in reference to religious opinions. I urged upon your attention that I accepted the whole of this work, and not only so, but that I was willing to do it so far as circumstances permit, and I have been doing something to promote most of these great and good purposes. I, therefore, decline to recognize the rights and work claimed by Secularists as at all distinctive of Secularism. We then proceeded to consider the moral basis of Secularism; taking Mr. Holyoake's statement of the case - "that there is in human nature guarantees of morality in utility and intelligence." I argued that if there were in human nature guarantees of morality we could not have immorality. I asked Mr. Bradlaugh how immorality came and whence it came? He could not attribute it to the devil, because he does not believe in the existence of a devil. Where did it come from, then? It can only have come from human nature, and if it thus came of course there can be no guarantees against it in that human nature from which it comes. Then as to Mr. Bradlaugh's code of morals. I did, perhaps, an imprudent thing last night when I ventured to turn prophet, because I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet; but I ventured to predict that he would not give us his moral code last night. But I have nothing, as yet, to regret in regard to the prophecy, because it has been fulfilled. [Laughter]. Well, then, having been thus far successful, I venture the assertion that he will not, during this debate, produce his moral code. As I have not been able to get his code of morals, and having only received, in its place, a statement as to the results of morality, I must proceed to look a little into that demoralizing literature which has so largely gone forth, in consequence of the recommendations of Mr. Bradlaugh and the assistance of the National Reformer. Of course I fully join with Mr. Holyoake in regard to this matter. He does not only denounce what Mr. Bradlaugh recommends, but even goes the length of intimating, that any superstition - and he is not a lover of superstition - is preferable to this Sexual Religion. It was then objected, on the other side, that I am not right in attributing these things to Mr. Bradlaugh. But why am I abused? In fact I have simply given you Mr. Holyoake's statement, as sustained by that of Mr. Barker, and if wrong is chargeable on any one it must be on Mr. Holyoake. Mr.Bradlaugh's storm of abuse against me is most inconsistent, seeing I did but repeat what Mr. Holyoake affirmed. [Applause]. Let him deal with Mr. Holyoake like a man. Why insist upon treating his sayings as though they were harmless and abuse me for merely repeating them. [Hear, hear]. Well, then, in reference to the literature so denounced by Mr. Holyoake and others - the literature, as it has been called, of the "Unbounded Licence party," - I proceed to note, that about the old Socialist movement there was one thing, in this particular, which recommended itself to me; it was open, frank and manly; its statements were put forth, upon public platforms and printed with the names of the men who wrote them, and, therefore, they could be got at and grappled with. And I believe, as the result of that openness, Socalism came to a close. It failed and was crumpled up and done with so soon as the public came to understand its morality and when its Sexual Religion was fully understood. On the 64th page of the debate between Mr. Bradlaugh and Mr. Hutchings I read thus, as from R. Owen: "For people to be trained to say my house, my wife, my estate, my children, or my husband, our estate, and our children; or my parents, my brothers, my sisters and our house and property, is most ignorant and selfish, and that wives, children, etc., should all be as common as in a flock of sheep or in a herd of swine." Now, you are not to think I imply that Mr. Hutchings quoted this and that Mr. Bradlaugh acknowledged the sentiment. Nothing of the kind. I do not attribute it to Mr. Bradlaugh. I give it as an illustration of the kind of thing put forth by the old Socialist movement; and I insist that if anything in that direction is to be advocated in connection with the Secularism of today, it ought to come in an open way and not in an underground manner. [Hear, hear]. I complain of the kind of advocacy against which Mr. Holyoake protests, which has not been characterized by ordinary manliness. Now, the literature against which I speak, and against which Mr. J.G. Holyoake inveighs, gains its circulation very largely through the medium of the National Reformer. Mr. Austin Holyoake has a good deal to do with matters connected with that paper and has used the National Reformer frequently, if not constantly, for advertising certain papers and pamphlets adapted to pioneer the way of the works denounced by his brother, J.G. Holyoake. The National Reformer, then, is the agency by which his small pamphlets (designed to promote the circulation of the larger work) are brought into circulation. For instance, in his "Large or Small Families," on the first page, he gives a list of books tending in this direction and finishing with the one in question - about which Mr. Austin Holyoake says - "It has had the honour of reviving a subject which had become dormant from the close of the Socialist agitation of 1844." By the bye, you may note here that Mr. Austin Holyoake says that the Socialistic movement closed in 1844. Movements of that kind usually close from one of two causes - either because they have gained their end or have failed. Now, certainly, the end proposed by Mr. Owen's Socialism has not been gained. He proposed to produce a "New Moral World," and the old immoral one is still here. Yet it closed, and, therefore, it failed, which, however, Mr. Bradlaugh denied last night. But I leave him to settle that with Mr. Austin Holyoake. But to return to the pamphlets. On the first page of this little paper of Austin Holyoake's, and on the last page he recommends for further information, in reference to this matter, another penny tract. That tract on its first pages, on its last, and in the middle, largely quotes and recommends the same abominable book in the highest possible terms. Then in another penny book by the author of the "Elements" (therein recommended), we read "That about one third of the births in Paris are illegitimate. This is not in itself a proof of licentiousness, it is only a proof that the institution of indissoluble marriage is held in far less estimation in France than in this country." [Shame, shame]. Now I ask what is the moralizing, or rather demoralizing effect of that teaching? We now turn to the National Reformer of August 28th, and we find another book reviewed by Mr. Bradlaugh. It is a book by one Richard Harte. Mr. Bradlaugh comments upon it thus: "With Mr. Harte's view as to what ought to be essential in the inception, duration, and termination of the marriage contract we cordially concur." So then I take it that, in this particular, we are enabled at once to ascertain Mr. Bradlaugh's views in reference to the inception, duration, and termination of the marriage contract. We shall, therefore, refer to Mr. Harte on this point. He defines marriage thus - "That union of the sexes which is most in accordance with the moral and physical necessities of human beings; and which harmonises best with their other relations in life." Now that is one of those Secularistic definitions which leave the subject undefined and the hearer no wiser than he was before. It compels us to reply, "Oh yes, but what kind of sexual union is that which is thus concordant with men's best moral and physical necessities?" There is sexual union in the farm yard and in the pig stye. Is it that? If not, is it in any way or measure approached in that direction? The definition given by Mr. Harte does not define anything, but leaves the entire question open for such enquiries as we have just suggested. But let us hear Mr. Harte further. Turning to page 26 we read - "Love is a combination of three sympathies - the moral, the intellectual, and the physical. And since it is impossible to develop these sympathies, or even to be certain that they actually exist without the experience of intimate association, it is imperative that marriage should be, to a certain extent, a matter of experiment. Not only are human beings exceedingly liable to judge wrongly in matters of love, but moreover they are liable to develop in character unequally and in different directions; therefore the dissolution of marriage should be as free and honourable a transaction as its formation." That is, that two persons live together as man and wife for some time to know whether they suit each other. [Laughter and shame]. The again Mr. Harte writes - "The dissolution of marriage should be as FREE and as honourable a transaction as its formation." Well then, any person would be at liberty to enter into a marriage contract today, and equally at liberty to revoke the contract tomorrow. That is the result as I understand it. If not accurately interpreted, I shall be glad to be corrected. On page 47 of the same book we read (of course I understand I am now reading Mr. Bradlaugh's sentiments) thus - "Far from making all women prostitutes, the effects of freedom to dissolve the marriage contract at will," (that is whenever you please), "would, by reason of the pecuniary and social independence it presupposes, make prostitution impossible." I only quote this to show that the theory is, that marriage should be dissolved at will - that we should be free to marry one day, and as free to dissolve the union on any subsequent day. [Hear, hear from Mr. Bradlaugh]. My opponent says "Hear, hear" so that I presume I do not misunderstand him and that we are going on, so far, all right. Then turn to page 66, and read "Finally there can be little doubt that much of that a priori contempt and hatred for free love which has hitherto been a fruitful source of want of self-respect in the classes deemed disreputable, and consequently of their degradation, is disappearing from the philosophy of our time." Here then you have free love coming into vogue. On the next page we read - "And we may conclude that, even if the effect of the changes I have advocated be to cause all women to become little better than prostitutes; that, at all events, they will also have the effect of putting all women into a much better position than wives." Now, I confess I do not understand what this means, unless it is that now the position of the wife is worse than the position of the prostitute. Thus, then, we have what this book sets forth in reference to marriage, and which Mr. Bradlaugh heartily endorses. Now, it is only fair to state that Mr. Bradlaugh is not responsible for what this book contains beyond this one topic - marriage. It was only on this point that he endorsed it. Mr. Bradlaugh warmed up very considerably last night when I read Mr. Holyoake's statement that the Elements of Social Science seemed, in the estimation of some people to imply that seduction is a sort of physiological virtue, and in a very violent way he designated it a lie in my teeth, whatever that may mean. [Hear, hear, from Mr. Bradlaugh]. But I was simply reading Mr. Holyoake's statement, therefore if there be any lie about it the lie is Mr. Holyoake's and not mine. [Applause]. Here, in this book, (Mr. Hart's) we have something said about seduction. On page 84 we read - "The evil effect of seduction lies in the treatment that society accords to the seduced woman. Were she no longer consigned to misery and degradation, there would be little or no evil effect produced by yielding to the promptings of love." Passing a few lines we read - "Where there is no punishment there is no crime; neither seducer nor seduced should be punished for the seduction." Now, certainly, this is strange doctrine. I cannot accept the theory that "where there is no punishment there is no crime." You say that murder is a crime, and the law awards punishment. But if you annul the law and say there shall be no punishment for murder, will the nature of the act be changed - will murder be less immoral and less wrong? Is not the idea of the author perfectly absurd and extremely demoralizing? I insist, without at all affirming that Mr. Bradlaugh holds this item of the book - that he does damage to society by recommending the volume that contains it, without distinctly making known what he repudiates and what he accepts. [Hear, hear]. We now turn to the Elements of Social Science. We quote from page 425 these words - "The merit of all men is, in one respect, equal;" in another part of the page, "As the true moral principle is not 'Love this man and hate that one,' so it is not 'reverence this one and despise the other,' but have an equal reverence for all, no matter what they are." Well, now, that is a very hard lesson - I think I understand what it means, but I confess I cannot see may way to put it into practice. If you tell me to love the sinner I may do it; I may hate the sin and love the man; but if I am asked to reverence and esteem the murderer as I would do the philanthropist I cannot do it; and if the thing were done we should at once break down all distinction between vice and virtue and open the flood-gates of immorality. [Applause]. I judge then that these principles of sexual union and crime, if brought into operation, could only prove most decidedly injurious and most fearfully demoralizing. [Applause].
MR. BRADLAUGH'S FIRST REPLY
MR. BRADLAUGH: - There are several fashions of lying; one is the lie direct, when a man pretends to read from a pamphlet and omits about four-fifths of it in order to give an incorrect notion of the rest. The lie of suppression has been followed in several instances in the quotations from Mr. Harte's book. Unfortunately, I have not a copy of the book with me and I must take the other - the lie direct. The lie with regard to the "Elements" I shall be able to combat in each case, and I will give you the following words from the book: - page 424: "A reverence which depends on accidents is unworthy of our attention. Which of us can tell to what lot in life he might have been born, or reduced by circumstances? Whether he should inherit a noble fortune, power, talents, virtues; or be born in a garret, amid rags and wretchedness, constitutionally prone to disease and crime, from being ill suited to contend with surrounding circumstances? As long as reverence is to be given merely to fortune's favourites, to the rich, the powerful, the virtuous, the intellectual, what is it worth? Who can tell that he will possess it? Alas! those who are born without these advantages need our reverence, love, and assistance, most of all; so that we may in part make up to them for the niggardliness of fortune. And after all, to him who looks beneath the surface, the merit of all men is, in one respect, equal." Mr. King, in his quotation, actually left out the words "in one respect." Why the lying is contemptible and scoundrelly. [Hisses]. But I have not finished the sentence. "For all strive towards good in a measure exactly proportional to their natural powers, and to the suitability of their external circumstances. While this accidental reverence is the rule of our actions, no man is safe, no man can depend upon his fellows; do what we may we are constantly exposed during life to the contempt of others, which must always degrade us. As the true moral principle is not 'love this man and hate that one' so it is not 'reverence this one, and despite the other,' 'but have an equal reverence for all,' no matter what they are. While the philosophic mind should ever keep in view this great principle, so should we strive in every way to make it generally felt throughout society, by removing as far as possible those obstacles, which oppose the dignity, the freedom, and the independence of mankind; for it is upon the universal possession of these great advantages alone, that a state of satisfactory mutual reverence can be based." Now I ask you could there be a more contemptible specimen of lying by innuendo than that to which you have listened with regard to that page from which the quotation was made; and we have had it worse, for while pretending to compliment Robert Owen for plain speaking this man has repeated extracts taken entirely without reference to the context. He was purer-minded than Mr. King, or any of his followers ever can be. Aye, my opponent may well look at the page now; he should have read it from the page before, instead of lying. ["Don't get vexed"]. Don't get vexed! -
Mr. Webb: - I suggest to Mr. Bradlaugh that it is exceedingly undesirable to use such expressions - the one disputant to the other.
Mr. Bradlaugh: - Is it not worse to charge a man with encouraging prostitution than with uttering a lie?
Mr. Webb: - I was just going to say that if Mr. King applied such terms to Mr. Bradlaugh, as Mr. Bradlaugh has to him, I should rebuke him. I feel it is not suitable that such phrases be used. [Applause].
Mr. Slater: - I understood the terms meant something. If they are not to be applied to us, why are they used?
Mr. Bradlaugh: - If Mr. King has not meant that I encouraged books that advocated prostitution, then his language had no meaning at all. If such was the meaning, the only answer we can given is that it is a wicked and deliberate lie and I will prove it. I am asked not to be warm and I say suppose your women were assailed by a vile man who, dealing with dead Robert Owen even - [Hisses] - I repeat, a vile man dealing with dead Robert Owen - [Hisses] - a vile man, I repeat, who, dealing with dead Robert Owen, could not go to Robert Owen's own words, but must take fourth-hand Hutching's quotation of Taylor, who quoted Bardsley as to what Owen said. I ask if this is not worst of all vileness which could possibly be adopted?* Then he says that at least Mr. Owen was open in the inculcation of his views and Mr. Bradlaugh is not. Let us see, now, how the debate stands. I opened with a fair statement of Secular principles and the basis of Secular morality. The basis of Secular morality has not been touched. Mr. King ventured to tell you that I gave some of the results. I did nothing of the kind. He asked for a creed and I told him to apply the principles. He has not ventured to do it, but he has repeated, to occupy your time, a great part of the speech of last night and then he says that he quoted Mr. Holyoake, and if there was lying Mr. Holyoake lied, and why did not Mr. Bradlaugh abuse Mr. Holyoake? First, because I am debating with David King, and secondly because Mr. Holyoake never put by innuendo that which Mr. King put by innuendo to me. Mr. King says that he did not mean to imply that Mr. Bradlaugh was immoral, but that he circulates the vilest immorality! Well, if I can distinguish between the two things - being personally immoral and giving circulation to that which leads to the vilest immorality, I shall require to take a different stand to that which I take tonight. Then I must use no hard words. Last evening you heard the words cheat and subterfuge, and I should like to know whether the word liar is the harder of the three; and the words cheat and subterfuge were used most impudently, because all that I said was that Lord Amberley had been attacked because he had taken part in a debate on this question at which I was present. I myself heard Lord Amberley say that this book - the Elements of Social Science - is the best book that has been written on the subject and ought to be in the hands of every working man; and he said that in my hearing and in the presence of some seventy or eighty of the most respectable physicians in the city of London; so that, so far from its being a cheat or subterfuge, I did not try to put it upon him at all. It is only when men object that I feel bound to tell them of the lie. I will tell you what I shall do tonight. For every attempt to put filth upon me I will read an equally filthy thing from your Bible, and it will be seen who will come worst out of it. It will not be my fault. I do not, like some men, on visiting a palace, go to the back of it and, finding a cesspool, say "Oh, here's a cesspool, the people here advocate cesspools." You must not put it that this is the character of our system, it is only the character of my opponent's vileness, which only inclines into the lowest and filthiest parts and takes up that which is most congenial to its own nature. [Hisses]. We have had a most unfair and uncalled for introduction of the name of Mrs. Cattle into this debate. It was dragged in by Mr. King, who complains that I called him a slinking coward because he attacked a woman behind her back, and after I had explained that, he repeats the attack here, and says he did not mean anything by it. Why, Mr. King knows that to label a woman in her business as an infidel is the best thing that would possibly be done to ruin her, and it is a part of the "starving out" policy - a policy which will only fall upon this man's own head, and which no one but a man contemptibly vile, without honour or honesty, would try to do. Mrs. Cattle had done nothing that her name should be introduced, before this audience, as a proof that Secularists tell lies. Christopher Charles Cattle was announced on a placard to lecture as Christopher Charles, Esq. It is common enough for lecturers and others to assume a nom de plume, and does that justify man in trying to ruin another's business? It was mean to do so, for her bonnet shop was as respectable as Mr. King's chapel, and her bonnets are as respectable as his congregation. And this is the sort of argument that the prize champion of Christianity, in this town, brings to uphold the truth of Christianity and refute Secularism? Now let us go, if you please, to the reference made to Mr. Watts. I did not remember the particular passage, but to my astonishment, in looking at it, I find it is exactly the opposite of what he said it was. I'll read it to you. Mr. Watts, quoted by Mr. Holyoake says that "The question of the existence of a God, being one of conjecture, Secularism leaves it for persons to decide for themselves. Atheism includes Secularism, but Secularism does not exact Atheistical profession as the basis of co-operation. It is not considered necessary that a man should advance as far as Atheism to be a Secularist." That is precisely in accordance with what I read to you last night, and what Mr. King did not venture to contradict, and I ask if it is not utterly monstrous to make such utter misrepresentations. We have next to do with a review of a book written on marriage by Mr. Harte. As usual Mr. King thinks it the wisest course to suppress the whole review excepting one sentence. Let us see for a moment whether the English people are quite so clear as to the marriage contract as is supposed. Here to marry certain forms have to be gone through. Where I was last week in this kingdom, if I had simply said to a woman, "I, being unmarried, before three people, take you as my wife," that woman would have been my wife according to the law, if I had lived with her one day afterwards as my wife. I refer you to the case of Longworth, in which a woman was held to be not a wife after a solemn ceremony had been gone through, and yet another woman, who had gone through the same ceremony in another church was held to be a wife; and I ask you whether the marriage contract in this country is as clear as Mr. King would have us think. And I declare that a woman who sells herself to an old man for money, or title, is as much a prostitute, despite the ceremony of the marriage, as any woman who sells her person in the street. [Hisses]. You may hiss, but I hold that a woman the women who sells her person in marriage for money, does not get any additional sanctity in the sale by getting a clergyman to mumble a few words to the couple. The affectation of chastity is worse than open profligacy. Now my friends permit me to put to you the very abominable course taken in this debate. If I had had a fair, a respectable, a manly opponent, taking a fair view of our principles and of their consequences, then I could not have complained however far anything might have been forestalled; but when a man suppresses the whole of the arguments in connection with which this marriage question arises, knowing what they are, I have a right to complain. He knows that the purpose of the book called the - good, bad or indifferent - he knows that the purpose of the book, from beginning to end, whether it be right or wrong, is to deal, as Malthus tried to deal, with the existence of poverty and the evils arising in connection with it in the world, and nothing could be more utterly vile than to urge that this is a secular book, any more than Nicholls on Astronomy, Lyell on Geology, Forbes Winslow on Insanity, or any other the the many books which have been reviewed in the Reformer. "Oh," but says Mr. King, "the party elected you their President, and they are responsible for you." That would be perfectly true if we had Thirty-nine Articles as a creed which our members are to believe, no less and no more, but it is not true when all the creed of the Secular Society is included in certain principles, and there are positive declarations in connection with them that no man connected with the movement has the whole truth on any subject - no man is so false but that some truth is in him, and may be made of advantage. I admit that in the case of Mr. King it will be reduced to the most infinitesimal point possible - [Laughter] - but still, even in him there will be found some small amount of truth if you will look for it. The writer of this book points out that there is a tendency in the population to increase faster than the means of subsistence, and that the want of good acts as a check; and poverty, prostitution, crime, ignorance, and disease are all traceable to over-crowded and over-populated cities, as the writer thinks, and I think too; but the bulk of the Secular party at present are anti-Malthusians, because the tendency of political thought in England has been to regard the doctrines of Malthus and those who followed him as doctrines directed against the people and not for them. I have done something to get these matters stated, because I believe that we shall never get a perfect and complete reform for the masses until, in addition to the evils that press immediately upon them, they go deeper and deal with the things out of which those evils grow, and this book does it. It deals with the sexual relations, because prostitution is to be found in every one of the old cities. It deals with marriage, because that lies at the root of all the evil. Mr. King asks if the marriage contract is to begin at will and end at will. Why not? Under what conditions is it not? Why should it not? What is to be the motive by which it should be determined? Why should two people be doomed to live together when the life of both has become obnoxious and hurtful to one another? It has never been considered immoral for rich people to buy divorces; bishops and rich people general need them; why should not the poor people have facilities towards that end? It is utterly untrue that the facility for divorce will provoke vice. Where that facility appertains there are fewer crimes of adultery than where facilities for divorce do not exist. But this cannot be dealt with by talking here. If this man wants a fair debate on this question I am willing to meet him on the question - "Is the law of population laid down a true law, and what are the remedies for the poverty that exists in the country" That would be a fair question, but to say that the Elements of Social Science is the text book of Secularism is a lie without qualification, or to say that I have recommended it without qualification, except as one of those works on political economy, written with a view to the redemption of the masses, is equally a lie within the knowledge of the speaker. I will read you now a portion of the 21 chapter of Exodus - "If a man sell his daughter to be a maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed; to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. If he take him another wife, her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go free without money." - Ex. 21:7-11. As Mr. King is a great scholar, he will know that the word "deceitfully" in the Douay or the English version meant "deflowered." There is no mistake about it. The next verse puts it very clearly. Does it not mean that after a man has bought a girl, paid for her as his wife, and then does not like her, he may turn her out into the world? It is just the same as in the passage I read to you from Deuteronomy last night. If a man take a woman as his wife, and then find that he had no delight in her, he shall "Let her go," having humbled her, and the words of the verse before that showed that he had previously deprived her of her virtue. And yet we are asked about Richard Harte recommending people to live together before they are married to see whether they like it or no. Now, I put it whether the Elements of Social Science and Mr. Harte's work would not be an improvement on that which I refer to, because both of them put it that a woman is to be the victim of the caprice and lust of man, because she is not strong enough to resist him, and then is to be cast out upon the world. Richard Harte's book, or the Elements are at any rate an improvement on these laws of Christianity, which are diabolical, inhuman, and damnable, and therefore against which I plead. [Cheers and hisses]. I confess myself that anybody who does not want to be shocked had better not stop, because I intend to pay back coin by coin any filth that may be cast at me out of the pages of this book, which contains matter so terrible that nothing can justify it. I should not have alluded to these things were it not for the utter, vile wickedness of this man, endeavouring to pass these things off in the way he does. [Hisses]. Take if you please a passage from Judges, and here I confess it is so horrible that I cannot trust my tongue to read it, but will leave it with you, I mean Judges 19, and the conduct recorded therein is so infamous, so disgusting, so depraved, and so brutal that I cannot read it, but yet there is not one word against it from the other side. A man to save himself puts his wife outside the door, and lets her be put to death, and finds her on the door-step next morning. Why I am so terribly and horribly grieved that this kind of thing should be deemed a fitting way for such a debate, that if it was possible to heighten my feelings of contempt and abhorrence for the utter unscrupulousness of the advocate, this alone is required to do it. It is not alone his dealing with Malthus, but he has not ventured to tell right out what he meant, but sheltered himself by saying "No, I don't say this; it is Joseph Barker and Mr. Holyoake who say so." No, it is Mr. King who has insinuated it, which is viler still; and I have got him here and I will nail him down, dealing with him as such people deserve. And if all his quotations are to be like the one read from the 425th page of the Elements of Social Science, if they are to be taken without reference to the context; to be dragged out of the books without reference to what comes before and after; why then any sort of crime may be put upon anybody connected with it, and I say it is simply infamous that such a style of quotation should be permitted in such a debate. [Applause and hisses].
DAVID KING INDEX