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sighted blinder, mystifies the inhabitants of the mother country, and assists in keeping down the intellect and degrading the character of those among whom it exists—yet most of our colonies have only such, and that which is a blessing in England, operates upon them as a curse.
Under a press so degraded in purpose, how is it possible any of those good effects can be produced by it, on the morals and manners of the colonies, which we witness among the inhabitants of the mother country? The knowledge that a writer dares not speak the truth, utter his comments freely, or give an account of facts, unless such accounts are first garbled, is fatal to the spread of knowledge and intellectual illumination; it is better to have no colonial press at all, than one which cannot be independent. But there never has been one solid, one rational objection, made to the existence of a free press in the colonies. Its enemies have begged every question, and used only assumptive arguments respecting it; they have alleged as consequences what could never possibly happen, conjured up phantoms and bugbears, to alarm the timid and vacillating, and threatened the boldest with insurrection, tumult, and bloodshed, which they did not themselves believe could by any chance of possibility ensue. The truth is, they feel the press is a powerful instrument in their own hands, which it is politic to keep so, that by its means they may colour or suppress a thousand acts which would have a very dubious effect on the public mind at home, and in England, if placed in a true light. It is a wish to keep their own power, however unhallowed, secure, and to conceal truth, that makes the enemies of a free press cling so strongly to their present hold upon it. Had a free press existed in Demerara, the orders of Lord Bathurst would have been printed on their arrival in the country, and any misapprehension of them on the part of the slave population been prevented by a general explanation. In all events, the governor could not have kept them back, and suffered them to be first communicated from distant sources,—thus by his own conduct contributing to the irritation of mind among the slaves which it is said caused the revolt—though for our own parts, we believe the true causes of that revolt and the sanguinary display of colonial power which followed it, are at present unknown. Had the English newspapers been circulated as. freely in the colonies for the last twenty or thirty years, and been made as accessible to all who could read them as they were at home, which could not have been the case with the enormous expenses (until lately) attached to their transmission, they would not, perhaps, have remained as they are now, half a century behmd the mother country in good morals, humane feelings, the state of intellect, and just views of things. What has advanced England beyond Spain, which is two hundred years behind her in every thing that can contribute to national freedom or happiness, but the unshackled communication of knowledge, the perpetual detection and exposure of error and the application of the principles of right reason through the press, to every thing which concerns public welfare and private advantage?
Let us hope, then, that the subject of a colonial free press will be taken into the consideration of Government without delay, and that the opinions of interested individuals in the colonies will not be suffered to weigh a feather, where a broad general principle of the British constitution, and not a mere local question, is at stake. We do not ask for a press without responsibility; we merely demand that the same liberty should exist, the same right of property prevail, in one part of the British dominions as in the other; that an inherent portion of an Englishman's privileges should not be plundered from him under the flag of his sovereign, from a mean concession to the passions of persons from among the most unintellectual divisions of the British population; that an arbitrary power should not be allowed to exist, and the most grinding oppression have no appeal but to the idle foolery of law aphorisms, or be mocked on demanding relief, with impracticable theories in redress for wrong: being no better than the advice of a physician, should he recommend his patient to throw himself from St. Paul's to cure his malady, while, if he has no money to fee the doorkeeper, he cannot mount to the top, and if he be able to pay for his ascent, he will inevitably break his neck in following the prescription. The stupid and illiberal Dutch law should be superseded by the British at the Cape of Good Hope, impartially administered as at home, and the same freedom of the press conceded. There would be no need to travel seven or eight thousand miles in search of the remedy for evils which would then have no existence,—a remedy worse than the disease. It is probable that ere long there will be a thousand Englishmen at the Cape for one Dutchman, who in addition to the obstacles of colonization must contend with foreign laws, must submit to degradation, contrary to the feelings of a Briton and the right he claims under his own government. , If these laws cannot be superseded, let there be two codes until the Dutch population is merged in that of its conquerors. Let no individual, any more than in England, have his property or his actions placed at the mercy of any thing but the law. The will of a governor abroad should be allowed no more latitude over a free subject, than the king possesses at home. There never has been any necessity that it should be otherwise; and if not immediately altered (except in India, where the ten years to come of the charter, which it is hoped never will be renewed, may-prevent it) the better feelings of the times will not suffer it to remain long—yet why should it be delayed an hour?
Pastor cum traheret, &c.
As near Blackfriars, " sad by fits,"
Broke many a giant pebble,
In this unwelcome treble:—
"Vainly you wield yon pounding ase;
Shall mar your undertakings;
And break up your upbreakings.
vOL. XI. NO. XLvII. 2 C
"Ah me! what ills each house beset.
From chimney-top to basement!
Beneath a spattered casement!
"What wild pedestrians in a ring
To 'scape from oxen tossing!
The Black who sweeps the crossing.
"In vain you plead St. James's Square,
"O'er your smooth convex, coach or car
As fleetly as the wind does!
"Eyes should be sharp, for mortal ears
O'er your insidious surface:
And thrown her down on her face.
"But oh! when droves of sheep and pigs
With countless stockbrokers in gigs
Are mix'd—can aught be minded?
Can mortal sight be free to choose,
Or bunged up by your sable ooze,
Or by your white dust bliuded r
"Ne'er did my refluent billows kiss So traiterous a shore as this 1
'Tis sad beyond endurance, Such woeful accidents to meet. And see Death riot in a street
Surcharged with Life Assurance.
"Soon from my stream the two Lord Mayors
"Go then, Colossus, stick to roads,
Leave by your pick-axe undone; Go delve in some less stubborn soil, You'll find it an Utopian toil
To mend the ways of London."
SPECIMENS OF A PATENT POCKET DICTIONARY,
For the use of those who -wish to understand the meaning of things as
.well as words.
"These lost the sense their learning to display.
And those cxplain'd the meaning \;uite away."—Pope.
Damme!—An expletive of style, used to fill up vacancies of mat lev, and therefore of perpetual occurrence in the conversation of the high and low vulgar.
Dandy.—A fool who is vain of being the lay-figure of some fashionable tailor, and thinks the wealth of his wardrobe will conceal the poverty of his ideas 4 though, like his long-eared brother in the lion's skin, he is betrayed as soon as he opens his mouth.
Dangler.—An androgynous insect that flutters about ladies' toilettes, and buzzes impertinently in their ears.
Day and Martin.—See " Handwriting on the wall."
Debt, National.—Mortgaging the property of our posterity that we may be better enabled to destroy our contemporaries.
Debates.—An useless wagging of tongues where the noses have been already counted.
Delay.—See Chancery court.
Destmy.—The scapegoat which we make responsible for all our crimes and follies; a Necessity which we set down for invincible when we have no wish to strive against it.
Dice.—Playthings which the Devil sets in motion when he wants a new supply of knaves, beggars, and suicides.
Diplomatist.—A privileged cheat, hired to undermine, overreach, and circumvent his opponent, and rewarded with court dignities in proportion as he is deficient in all the moral ones.
Dinner.—A meal taken at supper-time; formerly considered as a means of enjoying society, and therefore moderate in expense and frequent in occurrence; now given to display yourself, not to see your friends, and inhospitably rare because it is foolishly extravagant'.
Discipline, military.—That subordination which is maintained upon the Continent by the hope of distinction, in England by the fear of the cat-o-nine-tails.
Disguise.—That which we all of us wear on our hearts, and many of us on our faces.
Doctor.—According to Voltaire, one whose business it is to pour drugs, of which he knows little, into a body of which he knows less.
Ditch.—A place in which those who have taken too much wine are apt to take a little water.
Dog.—A quadruped of great use in leading bipeds that have lost any of their senses, such as blind beggars, sportsmen, &c.
Dotvager.—A titled old lady, who sometimes survives herself as well as her husband, and generally sticks to the card-table till she is carried to the coffin.
Doze.—A short nap enjoyed by many people after dinner on a week day, and after the text on a Sunday.
Dram.—A small quantity taken in immoderate quantities by those who have few grains of sobriety and no scruples of conscience.
Drama, modern.—Every thing except comedy and tragedy; such as melodrama, hippodrama, &c.
Dream.—All those invisible visions to which we are awake in our sleep.
Dress.—External gentility, frequently used to disguise internal vulgarity.
Drum.—An instrument which Death commands to be played at all his great feasts.
Duty.—Financially, a tax which we pay to the public excise and customs; morally, that which we are very apt to excise in our private customs.
Dynasty.—Sovereignty, by which a particular family claim a whole people as their property; of which the- beneficial effects may be seen in France, Spain, and Naples—the patrimony of the Bourbons.
Eccentricity, of appearance.—The pleasure of being personally known to those who do not know you by name.
Echo.—The shadow of a sound.
Edition, third or fourth.—See Title pages of the first.
Education, dangers of.—See Humbug.
Egotism.—Suffering the private I to be too much in the public eye.
Elbow.—That part of the body which it is most dangerous to shake.
Elopement.—Beginning in disobedience that which commonly ends in misery.
Embalming.—Perpetuating the perishable with more pains than we take to save that which is immortal.
Envy.—The way in which we punish ourselves for being inferior to others.
Ephemeral.—The whole of modern literature.
Epicure.—One who lives to eat instead of eating to live.
Episcopacy,—The power, pomp, and vanity of those who have forsworn all three.
Equal.—That which a man of talent will seldom find among his superiors.
Errata.—Deathbed confessions of a book.
Etymology.—Sending vagrant words back to their own parish.
Exquisite.—A dandy taken at his own valuation.
Extempore.—A premeditated impromptu.
Eyeglass.—A toy which enables a coxcomb not to see.
Esquire.—A title much in use among the lower orders.
Fables, sEsop's.—Giving human intellects to "brutes, in imitation of Nature, who sometimes gives brute intellects to men.
Face.—The silent echo of the heart.
Facetiousness.—According to Lord Norbury, cutting jokes upon the death of a fellow-creature, and quoting Joe Miller instead of Blackstone from the seat of justice.
Faction.—Any party out of power.
Fame.—Being known by name to those who do not know you personally.
Fan.—A plaything, from whose motion a flirt derives her name, and which serves to hide her face when she ought to blush and cannot.