Imágenes de página

of the Navy to its state of 1788; a total discharge of the regular army; and an organization of a military force for the defence of the country upon the plan of MAJor CART wri GHT, which puts arms into the hands of all those who vote for members of parliament, which gives a vote to every man who pays a tax of any description or to any amount however small, and which impartially calls forth every able man to the performance of that first of all duties, the defence of his native land, its liberties and laws.


THE effect of this Trick I mentioned in my last. The reason why I enter fully into an exposure of it, is, that the public, and i. the Americans and French, imay be able to form a correct judgment of the state of the English Daily Press,

and may estimate its productions accord

ingly. I am the more desirous of doing this at the present moment, because the London newspapers, and especially the most venal of them, are labouring hard to pave the way for some measure (it must be an act of Parliament) to enable them to be sent abroad duty free, in order, say they, “that England, that the “ true character of England, that the “principles and conduct of England, may “ be known upon the Continent of Eu“ rope, where, now, owing to the influ“ence of the French press, England has “ lost, and is still losing ground, both in “ weight and character.”—It is surprising, that they should have forgotten America. That, say what they will, is the country, where we ought to endeavour to recover our eharacter. But, do these nien suppose, that the nations of the Continent do not know how to judge of the principles aud conduct of England without the illuminating influence of

their balderdash; their Lottery and Quack |

puffs: their paltry party quarrels; their -garbled reports; their endless strings of paid for paragraphs: SiR John. It RRAY, in the out-set of his most able defence, was obliged to occupy the time of his judges for half an hour in stating his complaints against the press, the paragraphs in which had actually caused him to be condemned by the public before he was brought to trial; and, he alluded particularly to au infamous paragraph in o the TiMEs newspaper, which coupled

[ocr errors]

his conduct with that of his brother, who is long since dead. The attacks upon SIR. G EOR GE PR Evost were of the same . character. The MoRNING CII RoNICLE, in the most foul manmer, assaulted this gentlemau's character, attributed our failures to his cowardice or his folly, and this too, without the smallest foundation. Indeed, there is scarcely any man, or any woman, who becomes at all pre-eminent in the eye of the public, and who caunot or will not pay the London Daily Newspapers, whose characters, and, in some cases, whose property aud whose life, is safe...The public have lately seen that the trifling private contern of my accident by fire, could not escape them. They could not o evea that pass, without an attempt (it proved rain to be sure) to deprive me of the benefit of my having insured the premises, by insinuating" that I set fire to them myself, a crime * which is death by the law. The recent attempt of these papers to prevent Mrs. Perceval from marrying, is an instance of their baseness in another line. There is no doubt of their having been paid for it any more than there is of their being paid for the puffs on private characters which they daily publish; and for their attacks ou private characters. They have carried on this trade for years; and the traffic has increased, because the severit of punishments for what are called political libels, has naturally put the Dailypress into worse and worse hands. And, yet, these are the people, who represent themselves as the organs of English Honour ! Their papers, they tell us, would enlighten all Europe, if they could but export them duty free 1 Is it not a bounden duty on every one, who is able to do it, to expose the tricks of this vile press Do not morality and political principle call aloud for this exposure ? Last year, at this season, these prints were bellowing forth invectives against those who asked for a Corn Bill; they were marshalling the worst passions of the multitude against the owners of land and the growers of corn, whom they accused of a wish to starve the people." They are now abusing those, who think a Coru. Billumnecessary, and 'ascribing to then seditious motives. And, this; this (6h, impufio is the press, which is to ENLIGHTEN all Europe? " " " '' . Now, as to the Hampshire Meeting, the facts are these: there were several newspa

[ocr errors]

per reporters at Winchester for the pur. of reporting the proceedings on Sir John Murray's Trial. About an hour before the County Meeting took place, one of these gentlemen came to me at the Inn where I had put up, to ask me, whether I should kave any papers, or memorandums, which might assist in making the report of the proceedings more coinplete, as he thought it would be important to obtain such papers ; to which H answered, that, if I should have any such, he should have them, (and as I know him) I observed, that I should be glad to see them in his hands. After the Meeting was over, the same gentleman came to me, while I was at dinner, .to apply for a copy of the l’etition which I had presented, in order that it might be forwarded for insertion, with the rest of the proceedings, in the Morning Chronicle, the Morning Herald, the Morning Post, and the British Press. I told him, that I had no copy; but, at his request, and upon his engaging to forward it for insertion, I sent to the Deputy Sheriff, obtained the original and had it delivered to him. Before I left Winchester, I saw the same gentleman again, Mr. HUNT of Andover and Mr. HINxMAN of Chilling being present. This gentleman then informed us that the PETItion was sent off to be inserted in the Report, we beinganxious,that it should appearin print if anything of oursdid appear; because our

principles and wishes would then defy,

juisrepresentation. But, upon being informed by him, that the four papers before-mentioned had CoALEscED as to reports from Winchester; and that each had one fourth of the report sent to it, and,

after setting up, sent its part to each of

the other three papers. Mr. HUNT asked, which of the papers my part and the petition was sent to. He was told, to the Morning Chrowicle: “Then,” said he, “it will never appear. That part hits “Perry's faction too hard for him to print : it.”. I was of a different opinion ; but Mr. Hunt"knew his man better than I did. Perry did suppress the Petition, and suppressed it too from the other three papers as well qs his own l I have the authority of the gentleman, who received the Petition from me, to assert, that it was sent to the Chronicle Office along with the report; and that it was “marked * in ;" that is to say, made part of the re

rt itself. To-day (Thursday) I have

received it from the gentleman, who had it from me, and who, at my request, got it back from London on Tuesday last. I have before given the substance of the Petition: I here give it word for word:— “To the Honourable the House of Com“mons of the United Kingdom of “Great Britain and Ireland, in Par“liament assembled, the Petition of the Freeholders, Landholders, and “other Inhabitants of the County of “Southampton, paying Tates; “SHEw ETH,--That the Taxes, usually “denominated War Taxes, and which by “law expire in a short time, cannot be “pretended to be necessary any longer, “since the nation is now, happily, at “ peace. “That these Taxes, especially the “Taxes on Property, Beer, and Malt, are “grievously oppressive, and have pro“duced distress, misery, and degradation “throughout the whole of the middle “and lower classes of the people, who “smart under them to an insupportable “degree. “That the Taxes, which will remain, * after all the War Taxes shall have been “taken off, will be much more than suf“ficient for the maintaining of the credit “ and honour of the nation; provided that “a system of economy and peaceful go“vernment be adopted instead of the “enormous expenditure, and the all-per“vading military establishment, whtch “now exist, and which latter, though “wholly unknown to our forefathers, now “ seem to threaten to swallow up all the “ancient civil powers and distinctions of “the country. “That it is, in the opinion of your “Petitioners, owing chiefly to the laws, “passed during the war, against perso“nal liberty, the freedom of the press and “ of public discussion, that the above “cvils have been so long endured. “Therefore your Petitioners pray, that “you will repeal all the laws, passed dur“ing the war, against personal liberty, “the freedom of the press and of public “discussion, that you will not revive or “renew any of the Taxes, called War “Taxes, and that you will not authorise “the raising of auy other Taxes in their “stead.—And your Petitioners, &c.” Such, reader, was the paper, which Mr. PERRY suppressed, though he found it incorporated into areport, sent to his office,

and though it had been obtaiod from me

under an express promisé, that it would appear. It was thus kept out of three other papers, and kept from the Register too, until after the Saturday's Register was published. I do not blame the reporters. They acted fairly and honourably by the public? but, the conduct of Mr. PERRY has been precisely the contrary. It was due, not to me, but to truth, that this petition should be published. . It had been rejected at the county Meeting; but there was nearly one half of the meeting in its favour. It did, too, embrace objects, which, one might have expected a printer to feel peculiar interest in; but, strange as it may seem at first sight, there are, perhaps, no persons in England such determined enemies of the real freedom of the press and of free public discussion as the proprietors of these paid-for-paragraph newspapers. They thrive by falsehood; and, therefore, whatever has a tendency to the triumph of truth, they abhor. They resemble those insects which fatten in a poisomous atmosphere. —And these are the men, who are to enlighten all Europe! These are the men, whose publications are to wipe away all stains from the English characters These men are to perform this work, who, in fact, have been the principal cause of all our degradation both at home and abroad.


I send, with great pleasure, the following letter for publication. I do not regularly see the Bath newspapers, and did not see the publication which is mentioned in the letter.—I am glad to perceive, that an English gentleman is anxious to deny, that he made use of expressions, worthy only of such men as the proprietors of the Times, the Courier, and the Chronicle; and, though 1 cannot blame him for expressing his reprobation of “ the President and his Party,” I wish he had not madeouse of that phrase, seeing that the President can have no party, which is not supported by a majority of the people; seeing that he has no power but what the people voluntarily put into his hands; that he is elected by the free voice ofa people, everyman of whom who pays a tax has a vote; that he can neither make war or peace without the approbation of a Congress also chosen by a free people, and in which Congress there are no sclling and buying of seats, nor amongst

the electors any bribery or corruption.This being a fact, well known to all the world, I cannot help wishing that a respectable English gentleman had refrained from the use of a phrase, fit to be applied only to the head and members of governments of a very different description.

To MR. Cob BETT.

SIR,-As you have gone to some length of animadversion upon an expression which was stated, originally, in a Bath weekly paper, and have fallen upon me, at the Somerset Meeting, I trust to your candour that you will give equal publicity to this fact—that in the same paper. in the following week, an express denial appeared, “that any such expression “was made use of by ine,” either in speaking of the Americans, in the aggregate; or of their President and his party, of whom nevertheless I am ready to admit, that I did speak in terms of strong reprobation, without adopting terms so uncharitable and even absurd as those imputed to me. I am, Sir, your very obedient Servant, J. Cox HIPPESLY.


MR. Cob BETT.—It must be in the recollection of your readers, how often and how emphatically you have raised your warning voice against the tremendous war system, and war expenditure." of our once happy country. Your calculating acuteness has been shewn in nothing more strikingly than in the full realization of the predictions which you. have, again and again, offered to the sonsideration of our unthinking people, on what would be the effects of a protracted course of warfare to this country—a course of warfare as unique in its management, as awful in its termination. It could not, Sir, have over entered into your imagination, though always on the alert in political discernment, to have conceived it possible for the councils of: a nation to have obstinately pursued a scale of expenditure that could not be sustained by even the united resources of: Europe at large :-Had this truly gigantic. exertion been instituted for objects connected with rational liberty, and not for the re-establishment of despotic rule, the virtuous and the intelligent part of: mankind night have been gratified by the enerosity of the effort, though they must ave deplored the incorrigible folly that had urged so unnatural an adventure.-

It is almost inconceiveable, though an undeniable fact, that the people of these realms, during these twenty years, have been witHessing the prodigious efforts made by their Government, to repress the growing power of France, at an immeasurable expence, as if the object could not be purchased at too high a rate, without adverting to the ways and means of meeting and enduring the ultimate burthem. The ruin of this country has been its paper credit. This Pandora's bor of tivil and political mischief, has unhappily overwhelmed our unthinking people (thinking belongs no to them) with dismay and impending ruin. how does the land lay? The expences that have been incurred, the interest of the heavy loans contracted, must be paid; peace has been obtained; Bonaparte has been deposed ; and the Sovereigns of Europe are sitting in solemn Judgment, on, what they would have to be, the future political arrangement of the world ! Now, Sir, if these splendid reveries could be carried into effect as easily as they may be imagined, we might some day see thern realised.” But how does the case stand 2 Why, the British Government has been all along foretiost in the field of expence as well as in that of battle. It has tried all sides, over and over again, and has at Fength, proved to a gaping and an as£ounded public, that though it has, ever . tually, as it were, gained all; though it jas effected every object for which it began the contest, it has actually lost infinitely more than it has won; nay, that the very wisiings themselves have turned out to be, (as you, Sir, have always held must be the case) its bitterest, its inost irretrievable losings. In short, we have been at the expenice, by all conceivable means and devices, of overthrowing the Emperor Napoleon, and of delivering from his infuence the various nations of Europe, who are now

[ocr errors]

the disposal of the secret service money of Government, gān know any thing about. —If the British Government, when it began its career of expending, when it requires for the objects of the war unlimited millions, could have contrived to have bona fide provided, that all the na-. tions receiving its subsidies, and for whom the British sword was actually unsheathed, should for ever disclaim, and abandon, all right and title to manufacture for themselves, and that they would be wholly dependent on commercial supplies from England, then indeed, some prospect would be afforded of an extended trade, and of liquidating in time the abyss of debt into which the national property is so deeply sunk. But Sir, this is not the case; it could not be the case. We have, therefore, been fighting the battles of others, and have most profigately and irretrievably sacrificed British interests to foreign and ruinous objects.--That either the British agriculturist, manufacturer, or artisan, should now have any chance of successful competition with the nations of Europe, is a vain expectation.—The miseries of an exhausting taxation are exhibited at all points. All classes of men severely feel the consequences resulting from a wasteful expenditure of public money, and, toe. late, begin to perceive that a defensive system of warfare was, and always will be, best adapted to the insulated situation and civic privileges of the British nation. The European war is at an end; that with America is also on the eve of closing; we are without a market for our agricultural produce, without a demand for our manufactured articles, and our artisans are for the best part without employment! In exchange for these won advantages, we have the renown of having extravagantly subsidised in turn most of the different powers of Europe; of sending a first rate Plenipotentiary to

beginning to discover the advantage of these subsidised Potentates; of engaging in

being at liberty to cultivate the soil, to manufacture raw materials, and to traffic in such a way as might best suit their res

treaties offensive and defensive with them; of at least amply sharing in the pleas

ing task of remunerating the services,

pective interests; and all this without ordinary and eatraordinary, connected tither feeling or acknowledging any de- with the abrupt and strange termination pendence on English commerce. All of the late European war; and finally,

they seemed to require from England was money, and that, it must be confessed, they have had almost to the last guinea, and are probably further accredited for 5. Milo that uune, but those conversant with

though not least in either tinselled gran.

deur, or aristccratic fame, we may boast, as the legitimate offspring of these poi-,

tentous times, Knights Grand Crosses, .

ditto C minanders, and ditto Companions,

in vast abundance, all animated with a chivalrous ardour for military glory that will at least render a disposition to war, if not its actual existence, the order of the day. How far this new batch and hot-bed scheme of military aristocracy, exclusively in the erection and patronage of the royal authority, can be regarded as consistent with the constitutional privileges of British freedom, no one is more competent to judge than yourself; and were the subject to fall under your usually able discussion, it may be justly presumed, that it would be salutarily operative in restraining the inordinate attempts, and, indeed, rapid strides that have been made, are making, and will hereafter be made, for subjugating this land of ancient freedom to a military sway, not unlike that experienced y the Cossael tribes of the Autocrat of all the Russias . It is high

time for Britons to turn with aversion from the senseless, the enslaving mum

mery of court pageantry. Freemen should avoid them as hostile to independence, and disdain them as utterly contemptible. The Americans, by their triumphant bravery, evince what a handful of men, determined to live and die under the sacred banner of freedom, can achieve. The issue of the contest they have had to sustain, is engraved on the heart of every friend of civil liberty in characters of indelible delight, and will be recorded in the historic page for her admiration, her solace, and the encouragement of posterity. American independence is as invulnerable and as immortal as the nature of human steadiastness can render it. A scheme of Government, founded on a correct estimation of civil and political rights, is at once matural, and practicable, and, as such, must be for ever entitled to an irresistible preference, in the feeling and judgment of those, who have the envied happiness of being born and bred under its auspices. The cause of civil liberty has gained infinitely niore, by the heart-cheering proofs that have been recently given of transatlantic patriotisin and courage, than it either has lost, or can lose by the jargon, the foppery, or the servility of European politics.

Jan. 29, 1815. A THINKING BRITon.

LoRD Coch RANE–PERRY AND THE WHIGS 1 IN the most conspicuous part of the Morning Chronicle, of yesterday, Mr. Perry inserted a string of resolutions, which that nest of iniquity, that vile crew at the Stock Erchange, have thought proper to agree to, as a sort of set off to Lord Cochrane's unanswerable letter to Lord Ellenborough. Nothing surely could be more detestable than this 1 Even that sink of corruption the Times, inserted only a modest paragraph, noticing the meeting of the Sub-committee, and with. out even naming Lord Cochrane; thus shewing a degree of moderation towardsan oppressed opponent, which the Whigs, and Perry their organ, had not decency to evince.—These resolutions (which Per. ry has evidently been paid for inserting) state, over and over again, the hacknied evidence of the hackney coachman, and the hackney post-boy, on the subject of the colour of De Berenger's coat; which evidence has been completely falsified, in the most incontestible manner. Lord Cochrane has already so ably and so effectually vindicated himself, that it would be supererrogation in me to say a syllable on this subject. It is the detestable conduct of Perry and the Whigs, in becoming the trumpet of the Stock Exchange Committee, that I wish the public not to overlook. Lord Cochrane has been ever the steady opposer of places, pensions, and corruption in all its branches. Nothing more is wanted to explain the deadly hatred of Perry and the Whigs.


“If we were to use Violence in defending the “ Faith, the Bishops would oppose it.” SARNT III lary, lib, i. TALLEYRAN d [in a memoir read at the National Institution of Paris concerning the commercial relations of the United States of America with Great Britain in the year 1794] says “That RELIGIous “To LERATION in its fullest ertent, isone. ‘‘ of the most powerful Guarantees of “social tranquillity: for where Liberty. “of Conscience is respected every other “cannot fail to be so.” A sentiment like this from a man who stands unrivalled for his knowledge in Political Science ought to have some weight. How op

\posite are the opinions of his enlightened,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »