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from Cleomedes, of Aberdeen, in Exposure of the Scotch Odd
No. 12. Paper Money. Temple of Reason. A Letter to Mr.
No. 13.-Notice of the Joint Stock Book Company. Letter
No. 14.-Epitome of Materialism. Letter from Ben David,
No. 15.-Phrenology. Ben David's Second Letter. Various
No. 16. To the Men and Women of Bolton, in Lancashire,
No. 17.-War with Cobbett. Various Letters on the subject.
No. 18.-To the working people of Lancashire. Letter from
No. 19.-Memoir of Wm. Cobbett.
No. 20.-War with Cobbett. Various Letters on the subject.
No. 21.-Miscellaneous Notices. Letter from R. T. Webb.
No. 22. To the Electors of Members of the House of Commons.
No. 24.-To Edward Polhill, Tobacconist, Southwark. Notice of
the Preston Election. Letter III. from Mr. J. G. Ward. Letter
No. 25.-On the General Election, Letter from Amicus Ve-
No. 26.--To the Readers of "The Republican." Correspon-
No. 27.-State of Politics. Ben David's Fifth Letter.
No. 1, VOL. 13.] LONDON, Friday, Jan. 6, 1826. [PRICE 6d.
JOINT STOCK BOOK COMPANY.
I CAN do nothing better, at the commencement of the year, than further to develope my views and purposes with respect to this Company. And to begin, it will be well, that I copy what I have before issued on the subject. About a year ago, when the rage for Joint Stock Companies was at its height, I threw out a joke, about forming a Joint Stock Book Company, for the better progress of the best books. It was taken up by a friend or two as something superior to a joke, and a correspondence was immediately opened upon the subject. Immediate commencement was proposed; but I saw obstacles which the end of the year would remove, and advised delay. My views were not ill-founded. This day, January the first, 1826, the Book Company has a real existence in the persons of seven subscribers, who have made their pecuniary deposits; and express promises, which are not to be doubted, of further deposits, as money may be wanted, have been made. The first book, which is the "Bon Sens; or, Good Sense of the Curé Meslier," was put into the hands of the printer on Friday last, and it will be proceeded with, with all the rapidity, that a careful revision and printing will admit, in an office, as yet, rather too small for the work required to be done in it.
A regular prospectus has been repeatedly asked for; but as we have no fixed capital to make up, as we hope to have no need of lawyers, and as ours is to be a growing society, I have felt a difficulty in adding, for the present, any thing to that which appeared in No. 22, vol. 12, which, with its accompanying observations, I here copy :
It is proposed to form a company to be called the BOOK COMPANY. The undersigned projector confesses that his object is to make the printing-press as powerful in his hands as combined capital can make it.
To do this, much of the direction of this company will rest with him; but that direction will be subject to the counsel and correction of a committee of subscribers, and every affair of the company will be conducted in the most open, most honourable and most business-like manner, courting the scrutiny of every subscriber.
The class of books which this company will first offer to the public will be complete editions, in the English Language, of the works of standard authors, who have written in any language, with a view to human improvement. And the general rule, though exceptions may arise, will be, to print old known standard works, that might not be in print, or that might not have been before printed in the English Language.
Printed and Published by R. Carlile, 135, Fleet Street.
The books of this company are to be finished in the best literary, editorial and operative style, avoiding all unnecessary expence as to embellishments.
The shares are to be of one hundred pounds each, transferable, and to receive an interest of five per cent. to be paid annually and regularly independent of all dividends or augmentations of shares that may arise from further profits.
A subscription for a full share can alone entitle the subscriber to an eligibility to the committee; but the undersigned will receive, and be responsible for, any sum of five pounds and upwards, that is the aliquot part of one hundred, of which he will form shares and take them in his own name, and for which a proportionate interest and dividend shall be as regularly paid as for a full share.
Any full shareholder, who may prefer the concealment of his or her name may receive the same advantage by a reliance on the undersigned.
As some responsibility will attach to the printing and publishing, the undersign. ed will take it upon himself at the low charge of five per cent. which is but the half of that which is ordinarily charged for publishing. Thus the company will have` no dealings but with the paper-merchant and the undersigned, and be exempt from every kind of liability.
Apartments will be successively taken proportioned to the extension of the company's property, and, as early as possible, it will possess its own printing materials as the cheapest means of printing.
Until printing materials can be obtained, the undersigned will get the work of the company done in the most economical manner. And until a committee can be appointed to approve or improve, he will appoint such a person or persons as are necessary to the book-keeping and wholesale publishing department.
Subscriptions for shares will be taken throughout the first quarter by the undersigned, and the press will be set to work with the new year. Such shares as are taken before the first of January, 1826, can alone be entitled to receive the first quarter's interest, and so on in succession before the first of April, July, and October.
Whatever may be the sums advanced before the first of January, the business of the company will proceed, as we could not use a large capital at once, if it were pos
The above is the outline of an important plan, which I have long purposed to make. I disclaim all idea of profit from it, beyond that of a shareholder and a bookseller. We have no Lord Nugents, no Duke of Buckingham to patronize, for pay, our joint stock company; but we have the best object in view for which an association can take place. It was well observed, by the author of Christianity Unveiled; that truth will force its way to thrones, 1 begin to think, that it has happened in this country, and it now remains, a last important point, to make truth rebound from the throne to every inhabitant of the Island. We must assist the throne in the propagation of truth, and such a throne shall have my support.
As far as I can have influence in this company, I will pledge myself, that it shall be conducted to the profit and great profit of the shareholders. Quarterly reports of progress, of books printed, printing and sold, shall be made, while I am liberty to do it, and my ambition will be, however large or however small that printing and sale may be, that it shall appear before the public in a manner that shall become no bad lesson for other companies, and for the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in reference to his public revenue and expenditure.
I have not issued this prospectus without a preparation to begin having been already made to act rather than to speculate, being my manner of motion. I am already promised various sums, the amount of one of which is of itself five hundred pounds. On the first of Jannary, 1826, the JOINT STOCK BOOK COMPANY will date its origin, and, if possible, the first work that is to issue from it, shall be published on that day.
It is distinctly to be understood, that I shall hold myself responsible for all monies intrusted to my care, and for the whole concern, until a proper committee of
direction shall take it out of my hands. Under this view, I can only offer to the shareholders my past conduct as a security for the future. As far as any persons may wish their names concealed under mine, their wishes shall be honourably complied with,
Congdon's Hotel, Exeter,
Some objections have been made to hundred pound shares being essential to an eligibility to the Committee of Direction. One or more of my Manchester Friends has called it an aristocratical rather than a republican association, and has observed that the labouring class is excluded from it. This is not the case. That is republican which is well done; and they are republicans, who do things, as public matters, well. The form or the name of the thing is not of so much consequence as the manner of doing it. But my view is to embrace the shillings of the labouring class as well as the pounds of monied men, and that in this Association, the poor man's shilling shall have the same means of improvement, as the rich man's pound. Still, it will not do to admit shilling subscribers to the management of such a concern. If such were the case, we should have a host of religious subscribers voting the production of religious books; and a book to be good must be anti-religious.
The management of this Association, though open, must be select. We shall have no secrets, no sinister purposes. And all that the labouring man with his shilling has to do, to have a shilling share in it, is, to find ninety-nine of his own mind to make five pounds. As one proof of this, I insert the following letter, though this is a case where two persons have made up the five pounds :
TO MR. RICHARD CARLILE, 135, FLEET STREET, LONDON DEAR SIR, Bradford, Dec. 29, 1825. A FRIEND of mine and yours, proposed to me a day or two ago, to join in sending you £5. as the purchase-money of a share in "Joint Stock Book Company," and the inclosed Bank of England Note, for that sum, I send you accordingly. T. L. is my friend's name, and you may enter either his name or mine as the proprietor of the share. Mine perhaps may be as proper as being best known to you.
I seize the present opportunity of congratulating you on your liberation from Dorchester Gaol unconditionally. I view this circumstance as a very important era in the struggle for freedom. A free press seems to me to be the indispensable precursor of mental and physical liberty, and if that portion of the press, which professes an attachment to the people, as distinguished from a tyrannical and plundering oligarchy, would only follow you up in the contest, the victory would not long be doubtful. The present PANIC, as the broad sheet calls it, is a powerful stroke on the side of democratical principles. Suspicion is awake, and it ought never to sleep again. I will be bound for it, that the power, penetration and foresight of the immortal Paine, are now felt by those who have calumniated, belied and