Imágenes de página

which have been created for the purpose of detecting and bringing to light such frauds upon the public purse. Without refunding, I think little of the prosecution, or the verdict. Squeeze the purse, that's the way

to make them feel. “ I squeeze you, “ sponge, and you are dry again.” I

shall be very anxious to hear the result of these proceedings. If I were a member of parliament, I would never rest, 'till I had the pounds-shillings-and-pence picture of the whole affair clearly before the public. Dav Isos is, however, a person, after a!!, it seems, of a most excellent character. His sponsors, upon this occasion, were numerous. I marvel that he did not bring his corps of “Loyal North British Volunteers,” who inhabit about St. James's Square. He is famed for his loyalty; and, really, little frauds upon the public, if committed by so loyal a man, might meet with a lenient construction. Who knows but that he might have been tempted to add now and then a pound to the price of his articles, for the sake of acquiring the means of raising Volunteers, in order to keep out the French, and to keep down the wicked and seditious at home 2 We are told, indeed, by the disaffected, that the detected peculators are all famous for their loyalty; for their attachment to “regular govern“ ment, social order, and our holy religion.” But, while the truth of this is, and must be, confessed, it may be answered, that loyalty, like every other lofty virtue, subjects the possessor, or, more properly speaking, the professor, to the charge of some petty vices. Besides, who is to be loyal for nothing? Godliness, we are told, is great gain; and, is there to be no gain attached to loyalty Is a man to be loyal, while others are disloyal, or while others are said

to be so, which answers his purpose full as .

well, if not better, and is he to get nothing at all by it 2 The loyalty of my little friend, Thomas FitzGerald, the small-beer poet, is almost proverbial. He has written more Verses against Buonaparte than any man living. If the Corsican's carcass had been assailable by doggerel, he would have been killed long ago by my little friend, whose attacks upon him have been truly bloodyminded. Accordingly, little Thomas has a pension of one hundred and fifty pounds a year, duly paid him out of the fruits of the People's labour. The disaffected may say, that the pay ought to have followed the *ervice, and that Thomas's pension should not have begun, 'till after he had killed Buonaparte; but, with their leave, this is "ot fair. Soldiers are not paid thus. What

of the political machine.

is to support the loyal man, while his work is going on 2 Mr. Dallas is an able lawyer, I have heard; but, he did not, I think, sufficiently dwell upon the uncommon loyalty of his client. The newspapers state that Sir Andrew S. HAMMond, Sir Evan Neps AN, Mr. Huskisson, the Right Honourable Charles LoNG, the Honourable Wellesley Pole, and Lord Moi RA, gave evidence to Davison's character, and, I dare say, not without quite sufficient reason. Why, under the late ministry, Lord Moira made him Treasurer of the Ordnance; and, now I think of it, I was threatened with a prosecution for a libel, because one of my correspondents inveighed most bitterly against the project, then much talked of, of making him a baronet. Sir Alexander Davison ‘‘ and the heirs male of his body lawfully “ and loyally begotten " I am in tribulation for his corps of Volunteers. They will now be just like sheep that have lost their shepherd. Aye, the disaffected may sneer; but, St. James's Square may yet rue the day when loyalty thus suffered in the person of one of its most famous champions. About the time, just mentioned; that is to say, the time of the baronet project, I remember some pompous accounts, that were published of “grand

Dinners,” given by Mr. Davison, to ver

distinguished personages. It would be curious to ascertain the probable cost of one of those “ Grand Dinners,” the motive of giving them being too obvious to become a subject of inquiry with any one at all acquainted with the movement of the wheels I never hear of one of those festivals, without reflecting on the distress and misery, which they occasion. Oh! how many wretched families have spent their winter evenings supper-less and fire-less to furnish the means of carouzing at “Mr. Alexander Davison's hospitalle board,” as the paid-for o in the newspapers termed it ! “ Hospitable “ board,” indeed Are entertainments like these ; entertainments furnished from such means; given from such motives; and received upon such implied conditions: are these worthy of the heart-sheering name of hospitality ? Where is the sycophant; where is the loyalty-affecting hypocrite; where is even the hired editor or reviewer, who is bold enough to stand forward, and justify this abominable perversion of the use of words 2 — For the last three years, the daily press has teemed with paragraphs, praising this now-convicted man. The topics of praise have been of great variety; but, all the paragraphs have had for their e ident object the causing it to be generally telieved, that Mr. Davison was a most liberal and loyal and tenevolent man. To

exhibit all the marks of liberality, loyalty,

and benevolence, having such means in his hands, was very easy ; and, if the people, in every part of the country, could see to the botton of thinos, they would find, that no small part of what they term liberality ant charity, is little more than a trifling per-centage of what is derived from their labour and privations. Even the praises, the nauseous printed flatteries of this man Davison, have, in fact, been paid for by the people; by the very people, whom they were written and published to deceive. Take this man's wealth : see the annount of it ; and then consider how many of those, who now live in misery, it would, if added to their present means, make comfortable. How many hungry belies the interest of it would fill for ever; in how many families it would change water into beer; in how many fire-less hearths it would makeachearful blaze; in how many cottages it would eke out the scanty day-light of winter. This is the true way, in which to view the effect of these accumulations of the public means, in

the hands of individuals ; for, disguise the

thing how we may, it is luxury, which is the great cause of misery. When the few destroy, by themselves and their idle retinue, a great portion of the products of the earth, there must be less than sufficient for the many. That there must, and ought to be, gradations in society we all know. They are necessary to the very existence of society; but, is it, therefore, necessary or right, that one man should, by the means of tares raised upon the labour of the community, be enabled to consume the fruit of the abour of thousands, and that, too, without any corresponding services rendered to that community ? Let us suppose, for instance, that Davison has a Portune of twenty thousand pounds a year, which may be about the mark, and that this fortune has conje out of the taxes. This twenty thousand pounds a year is so much taken from the means of enjoyment in the community at large. View it as taken from a hundred gentlemen ; each of these have so much the Mess to use himself, and, of course, bo rooch the less where with to give unto then, who need. I shall be told, perhaps, that the power of giving and the act of giving, in stich cases, only change hands; but, besides that such a change is injurious to the former possessors, the objects of benevolence are also changed. The superfluities of fortune, ist-ad of being used for the relief of

unfortunate merit, go to support the idle and the vicious; and, of course, to foster and perpetuate vice. The splendour of the metropolis, the increase of houses, of carriages, of scenes of amusement, of expences and luxuries of all sorts, in that all-devouring place, have their rise, principally, in causes such as we have now been contemplating. The wealth of the whole kingdom; that part of the fruit of all its labour and industry and ingenuity; that part of these, which ought to go to the providing of assistance to the unfortunate, and to the procuring of a small portion of general convenience and pleasure; all that part, is drawn up to the metropolis, through the channel of taxation. One such man as Davison takes away the conveniences and the pleasures and the voluntary aims of several parishes. This is the scourge, under which we smart, and under which we shall smart, till a constitutional reformation in the Parliament take place, till those, whose office it is to take care of the people's money, be no longer suffered to receive from the king's servants a part of that same money. I know very well, that the ge. neral herd, in imitation of that of the forest, will now stand aloof from Davison ; will now disclaim him and swear they never tasted of his dinners. But, the people ought to be upon their guard against this: they ought to look upon him as one caly amongst the numerous herd; they ought not to join in any cry against this particular man ; they ought to be fully aware, that, however great and numerous the frauds to: he may have committed, those frauds, all put together, do not amount to a fraud so great and so wicked as the single fraud, row attempted by those, who would make the uninformed part of the people believe, that be is the only, or the greatest, peculater: they ought to look upon Davison as a songs, rather than a singularity, and to bear in mind the old saying: “as is the sample so “ is the sack.” MAJo R Hog AN's Appf AI.- In another part of this sheet will be found a letter from Major Hogan's publisher, from which it appears, that the Major himself is in America, whither he went some time after his pamphlet was published, and whence he is expected to return, in the space of two or three months. This circumstance of the Mijor's being in America does, indeed, alter the case. It totally does away the ground of that reasoning, whence I drew the conclusion, that his relation, as far as belonged to the Bank Notes, was false. Before we

come to such a conclusion, upon such ground, we must see the Major in England again; or give full time for his agent's receiving his instructions upon the subject. ----There certainly is a good deal of reason, in what the Publisher says, as to an objection to make the numbers of the notes known ; but still, I think, it would be safe enough, if there was a proviso for proving the property to be that of the claimant. As to the probability of a woman's doing what is ascribed to the “ female in a dashing barouche,” it is hard to say what is, or what is not, probable amongst such persons. But while the improbability has been urged, on this side, it has always appeared very odd to me, that nothing has been said of the impi obability, on the other side. As to the fact of the strumpet’s going to the newspaper office and to Frank's Hotel, there can be no doubt, and, indeed, no such doubt has been started. This fact being admitted, we have to inquire, whether it be probable, that such a woman was employed so to act ly Major Iłogan 2. In the first place, what motive could he have for taking so much trouble and running so great a risk Not to recover his rank in the army, which he had quitted, and from re-entering which he might be well assured, that such a device would, for ever prevent him. There appears to have been no possible motive of gain, which could have actuated him. Revenge, then ; sheer revenge most have been the motive, if he really did commit the act. Revenge is a very powerful feeling ; it will carry a non very for ; some men much farther than gain will carry then, ; indignation, rage at what the party conceives to have been gross ill-teatment from irresistible power, will, I allow, be very apt to set a man's wits to work to find out the means of vengeance, and will greatly tend to make him set risks of all sorts at defiance. Bott, after all, I cannot see, for my life, how the M jor could hope to gratify his vengeance from this scheme. I cannot see, why he shoo!d have hoped to do, with this schene, what might be left undone by the other part of his usrrative. Granting, however, that revenge did set him to work, it must be allowed, that he took time to reflect about is ; it most be allowed, that there was much of craft and invention in his conduct. Well, then, would such a man readily cou-mit himself to the hands of a strumpet, who, the very day after she had received a reward from bia, sight, and, in all probability would, betray him for a much greater reward Was the strumpet his own mistress Such persons are Lo, famed for their fidelity, co

* * * * * *

at the hotel took in the letter.

pecially to gallant men, who are bound across the Atlantic ocean. Besides, there was the “dashing barouche” to hire; there were a coachman and a footman to engage to secrecy, a sort of gentry who are not very apt to hold their tongues for a trifle, when they become possessed of saleable knowledge. Major Hogan must have been nearly a stranger in London. Was it not a difficult thing for him to set to work and produce this equipage of barouche, lady, and servants It is, I am told, very easy to trace hundred pound bank notes; but, would it not have been much easier; nay, is it not much easier now, to trace the barouche, lady, and servants : The waiter He says he took it from such a person, with such an equipage ; and, if he was bribed to tell a lie, can it be believed, that, especially now when the Major is gone abroad, he could not be induced to tell the truth : Let it be observed, too, that, if a sham lady and servants, it was to such people, that the Major had confided his four hundred founds. ks it probable, that he would have done this Is it probable, that a man, capable of such a deep-laid scheme, would have entrusted four hundred pounds to such keeping Bot, the great thing of all is ; the strokog fact is, that the lady, barouche, and servoots have not been food out, in a town where there is such a police as now exists in London. It is notorious, that the most ar; ful and experienced swindlers commot, for at v length of time, escape this police, the officers of which, when once laid upon the trail, however cold the scent, however stale the haunt, do, ninety-nine times out of every hundred, discover and hunt down their prey. To me, tharefore, it is matter of great astonishment, and so, I think, it must be to the reader, that the lady and her equipage have not been yet discovered; that is to say, upon the supposition, that they were hired by Major Hogan. There appeats to have been, upon this occasion, as strong motives for the vigilance of the police, as ever existed upon any occasion. No one will doubt of the power of the parties interested to set the police at work. The detection and exposure of the importure, of it was one, would have been worth fifty millions of the paragraphs of hireling writers, in newspapers, pamphlets, magazines, and reviews. Yet, has the police not stor, ed., that we have heard of ; yet, has there been no endeavour, that I have perceived, i, a public offer of reward to “the lady or servants '' to come forward and make the discovery. This cannot tail to imave great weight

with the public, in favour of the truth of Major Hogan's statement. There cannot have been less, supposing the thing to have been an imposture, than six or eight persons in some measure acquainted with it. Major Hogan must have hired the barouche and horses; for what person would have let them to a woman, who could have been engaged in such a service 2. The two servants must recollect the expedition. The heroine herself together with her companions, or servants, at home. This affair has made so much noise; it has been so long a matter of public conversation ; that, one would think it almost impossible, that all these parties should have kept the secret, until this day, especially as there were such strong temptations to a disclosure, and no temptation at all, in any one, except the Major himself, to prevent such disclosure. This was my reasoning before I started the question about the publication of the numbers of the banknotes; but, as that was pointed out to me as quite effectual to ascertain from whom the notes came into the Major's hands; as I could see no reasonable objection, which the Major could have, to such publication ; and, as he neither published the numbers, nor took any notice of my hint, I concluded that he dared not try the experiment. But, if it be true, as I must suppose it is, and as I am now, for the first time, informed, that he was gone abroad before my hint was given, this conclusion of mine was, of course, preImature. It is very desirable that the truth of this matter should be ascertained and publicly exposed. If the Major has really trumped up the story about the lady and the notes; if his revenge has carried him so very far, it is proper that it should be known ; and, it appears to me, that nothing is more easy than for the police to find out the heroine and the attendants. I cannot refrain from again expressing my surprize, that, upon the supposition of the thing being an imposture, no one of the parties should have yet made a voluntary discovery. They must all have heard of the noise made by their calling at the hotel ; the calling there must be fresh in their memory; they must all be aware of the advantage to be derived from turning evidence ; the sea is between them and the Major ; amongst

the vilest of man and woman kind they

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

On the other side, upon the supposition, that the Major's statement be correct, there is little or no chance of a discovery ; for, as my correspondent observex, as to the tracing of the notes, you are liable to be stopped by any one of the possessors refusing to tell how he disposed of them, or any of them ; besides which, the possessors may not be in the kingdom, or, if in it, not to be found; to say nothing about the circumstance of people's forgetting, or never looking at, the numbers of the bank-notes that fall into their hands. Then, the woman, if the story be true, having her own carriage and servants, there would be no coach-master to trace her to ; and, though the servants of such a person are not likely to be remarkable for their fidelity, they would be under no temptation to betray their mistress, or employer, there being no chance of gaining by their treachery, while there would be a pretty good chance of their losing by it.— Such is the light, in which I view this matter. I must confess that I felt great pleasure at hearing a sufficient cause assigned for the not publishing of the numbers of the notes; because, I should have been greatly mortified to find, that a gentleman of such excellent character as Major Hogan appears to be ; that so worthy a man and so very meritorious an officer, should, though from a sense of ill-treatment, have been induced to go so far as to state and to promulgate, under his own signature, a deliberate and long-intended falsehood. *** The “ Poor WATCH MAKER of a RoTTEN Borough,” in his enumeration of national calamities and disgraces, has overlooked one, which is greater than any of the rest, but which I need not name, when I add, that it is its existence which prevents me from giving to the world his excellent and admirable letter. This is our curse; this is our political pestilence. Every word he has said ought to be read by every man in the kingdom. Let us hope, that a time may come, when the public may read this very letter; and, in the meanwhile, let us wot fret ourselves much as to what so engages the hopes and fears of the coffee-house politicians. Oh how gladly would I drag forth the “rascals, who gloss over their treasons “ to their country by high-sounding declarations ; raising one hand high with energetic enthusiasm, vowing their eternal vengeance on the French tyrant, while the other is actively rummaging the pub“ lic pocket !” But, I will keep his letter treasured up for the use of family and friends; and I beg him to accept of my best thanks for taking the trouble to commu

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

nicate it to me. This “ Watch MAKER" is a man after my own heart.

Some peculator, who calls himself “A " Harmpshire Man,” has written me a letter upon the subject of the last Winchester meeting. For the reasons, stated in the beginning of my letter to Mr. Poulter, I shall not insert this letter; though I should, I must confess, be glad to see it published, particularly in this county, as a specimen of the folly as well as the baseness of those, who stand forward as the champions of corruption and peculation.

Botley, Dec. 15, 180S.

MAJok Hog AN's Appe AL.

SIR,-Respecting as I do the great talents by which you are distinguished, and still more their bold and independent exercise, any suggestion from you naturally commands my attention.—I therefore feel myself urged to submit a few remarks upon two paragraphs which have lately appeared in your Register, upon the subject of Major Hogan's Appeal. In the first of these paragraphs, you require, upon the suggestion of a friend, that Major Hogan should publish the numbers of the notes, which your friend alleges may in that case be traced with facility; and in your second paragraph,

you state, that, “if the Major does this, the

“ public will believe the account concerning “ the notes to be true; if he does not, they “ will, with very great reason, believe it to “ be a most atrosious falsehood.” If this story be really false, Sir, I agree with you, as to its atrocity, nay, I should consider even the term atrocity as too feeble to describe its character.—But if it be true, Mr. Cobbett, in what terms of reprobation would you describe all the hireling scribblers, and scurriłous slanderers, all the newspapers, pamphlets, magazines, and reviews, which have, for the last two months, teemed with such vulgar venom against the reputation of Major Hogan —This gallant officer's Appeal had not been long before the world, when several persons applied to know the numbers of the notes. But how simple must those who made the application have been, or how simple must they have conceived the person to whom they addressed it, in supposing that it would or could be safely complied with, while the agent of Major Hogan stood pledged to give up the notes to any person who could state their numbers. For, if the application had been acceded to, what security existed that some callous suindler would not avail himself of the information and immediately stand forward to claim the

notes?—The motives that would prompt such
a claim are obvious; —first, the claimant
would obtain the notes, and secondly, he
might secure favour, by producing such an
evidence of spontaneous zeal. Such a sus-
picio* you would certainly think excusable,
were I to name to you four, in particular, of
the gentry, by whom the application has
been actually made.—But the application of
these men, Sir, materially differed from
that which you have made : they required a
private communication; you call for the
publication of the notes, and with your
proposition I am entirely disposed to con-
cur.—Indeed so fully impressed have I
been for some time, with the propriety of
such a proceeding, in order to remove all
doubt, and to facilitate the detection of
guilt, that 'long before your paragraph ap-
peared, I had written to Major Hogan,
strongly advising him, first to give the notes
to some charitable institution, and then to
publish the numbers.-But Major Hogan
having gone to America, some time after
the publication of the pamphlet, in order
to make arrangements of property with his
brother, who is one of the first merchants
in the United States; the Major's agent must
wait for his acquiescence, before your pro-
position can be complied with.-The Ma-
jor assured me, that he would return to Eng-
land by February or March ; before that
period, however, I have reason to hope for
his answer to my request.—His compliance
will, I assure you, afford me much satis-
faction, although I do not feel myself in
the slightest degree implicated, in any part
of the transaction, having received the
whole of the statement from Major Hogan,
and taking it entirely upon his faith and cre-
dit, which I have no reason whatever to
doubt, as I do not find the authenticity of
any of the documents referred to in that
publication, has ever been questioned.—
Upon this affair of the bank notes, I must,
Mr. Cobbett, take leave to say, that I am by
no means disposed to adopt the doubts,
which seem to exist, as to the probability of
such an event ; for I can easily suppose,
that a woman of fashion and intrigue might
have quite sufficient motives for doing
what is, by Major Hogan, stated to
have been done by the person in question.
—One of the pamphleteers asks with
some air of triumph, “what could have
“ taken any person to a newspaper office,
“ to inquire after Major Hogan's address,
“ which could be so easily kilown, by ap-
“ plication at the Horse Guards 2"—But the
Major, having, come weeks before resigned

« AnteriorContinuar »