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knowledge of this fact which alarms you. Yet, what are you to do ? What do you propose to accomplish? What is the professed object of your Association ? Do you associate against “ Jacobins and Levellers ? " Alas! there was a " Loyal Association against Republicans and Levellers" held at the Crown-and-ANCHOR, London, four-and-twenty years ago, aided and supported by all the immense means which the Government had in its power, having a settled correspondence with all clergymen and benches of magistrates, and having at its command hundreds and hundreds of spies and informers. This GRAND ASSOCIATION against Jacobins published thousands upon thousands of pamphlets and hand-bills. The Treasury, the Post-Office, the Police officers, the Hue and Cry, almost all the newspapers were at its back. And, after all, what did this famous Association accomplish? Why it succeeded in frightening the rich and timid, in deluding the ignorant, in inflaming thoughtless vigour and zeal, and in causing Paine to be burnt in effigy in almost every part of the kingdom. But, mark! At the end of twenty-five years of war and taxation, and loans, the principles of Paine have been established by the fulfilment of his predictions; and if what the pigtail meeting at Manchester have declared, be true, "social order is in as much danger as ever, and Jacobins and Levellers more numerous ! What a hopeless task is it, then, to endeavour to get rid of these Jacobins in this way? What! expend more than a thousand millions in taxes, and contract a debt besides of more than another thousand millions ; waste half a million of lives of the stoutest and most vigorous of our population ; restore the Bourbons and the Inquisition ; efface the very name of republic in Europe ; establish legitimacy and proclaim a holy league of kings and emperors ; and, after all this, form loyal associations in England against republicans and levellers and enemies of “Social Order!”
The truth is, that principles are not to be stifled by force of any sort; and, if the nobility, the clergy, and the gentlemen of England do not see this now, they never will see it. The very same principles which were on foot in 1792, 3, and 4; the very same principles for which so many scores of men suffered, are now in as full activity as they were then. Messrs. Tooke and Hardy were tried for their lives, and were proved to have been guilty of nothing but seeking for that Reform which Pitt and WILBERFORCE had been seeking, in co-operation with Mr. Tooke, ten or twelve years before. We still seek the same thing. Major CARTWRIGHT, who acted with Pitt and Mr. Tooke in those times, is still at bis post with the same principles on his lips and the very same publications to enforce those principles. Where, then, is the ground for hope, that these principles are capable of being subdued, especially now that the people have experience of the past and present to bring forward in proof of the misery and degradation which acting against those principles produce ?
At the period to which I have just alluded, the social-order men did not content themselves, however, with writing, speaking, and associating. Great as were the advantages that they possessed in this way, they dared not rely upon them. Bills to suspend the sacred right of petitioning ; bills to suspend the Act of Habeas Corpus; bills to make that treason which was not treason before; bills to enable the Privy Council to imprison men for any length of time without trial by jury; bills to license presses and to curtail the freedom of the press. These were the means
resorted to in order to keep down the Reformers of that day. These were the means that came to the aid of the arguments and facts, contained in the pamphlets and hand-bills of the “Loyal Associations against Jacobins and Levellers ;” that is to say, against those who called for a Reform on the principles of Magna Charta ! But do the pigtail order suppose that such means will be resorted to NOW? They are evidently driving at this point; but they do not reflect far enough. They do not see how such measures would operate now. They do not perceive what complete confusion such measures would create. They do not perceive that all the pretences then put forward for the necessity of such measures would now be wanting.
At the time when the above-mentioned bills were passed, the pretences were that the powerful and populous kingdom of France was in a state of hostility against all “regular government;" that the chiefs of those levellers had invited every other people to revolt, and had offered them their assistance ; that there were numerous persons in this country willing and ready to obey the call; that the people in France had killed their king, and that there were people in England disposed to do the same by theirs; that all property had been despoiled and all religion destroyed in France, and that the agitators in England were bent upon the same project, hoping for the assistance of the rebels and atheists in France ; that the French had an immense army ready to pour on our coast at any moment of a wind unfavourable to the movements of our fleet; that Ireland was in almost open rebellion ; that our property and religion and the life of the king were in imminent danger, and, therefore, the said measures were absolutely necessary to the safety of these and of the very independence of the nation.
NOW all is changed. By our blood, and money, and debt, we have restored the Bourbons; we have re-established “social order” and the Pope in Italy, and “social order” and the Inquisition in Spain ; the Republicans of France have all been killed, banished, or silenced ; the priests in that country have got all back but the tithes; the French people, the Times, and Courier tell us, love the Bourbons and look back with sorrow and shame on the republican days; that country is in close alliance with our Government; all the republics in Europe are destroyed; there is a holy-league of all the emperors and kings; the divine principle of legitimucy is recognised all over Europe ; there is nowhere any example or any aid to which republicans and levellers can look; our Government is, we are told, the envy and admiration of the whole world; it has triumphed after a long and most arduous trial. "The play is over,” said the Courier, just after the battle of Waterloo, “and we may now sit down to supper."
TO LORD SID MOUTH.
(Political Register, February, 1817.)
London, 30th January, 1817. MY LORD,
It is now about twenty-seven years, since Burke, who soon afterwards became a great pensioner for life, with a reversionary pension to his wife, and on whose executors, for three lives, two large grants of the public money, annually paid out of the taxes, is settled; it is now about twenty-seven years since that man drew his quill against the Parliamentary Reformers, whom he designated by all sorts of foul appellations, and, to stifle the principles of whom, he cried aloud for that war, which, after having, by its final success on the Continent of Europe, restored the Bourbons and the Inquisition, has left this country in a state of misery, which I believe to be without a parallel in the history of civilized man. It is now about twenty-four years, since Mr. Grey (now Lord Grey) presented to the House of Commons a Petition on the subject of the state of the representation, and praying for a Reform of that House. That petition has laid on the table of the House from that day to this, and nothing has been done respecting it. No one has ever attempted to deny its allegations, or any part of them. It is now about twenty-four years since the sword was drawn, and the leagues entered into against the people of France, and since new, and heretofore unheard of, penal statutes were passed to keep down the spirit of Jacobinism, as it was called, but which was visible only in the shape of Reform.
Now, my Lord, look back over these years of prosecutions, imprisonments, transportings, hangings, quarterings, and bloodshed, in every way in which blood can be shed! Look back across this scene of human woe, and reflect on the situation of this kingdom at the outset of the contest! In the year 1792, before the fatal war begun, the annual expense on account of the Debt was less than nine millions ; that charge is now more than forty-four millions. The annual amount of the poorrates was then about two and a quarter millions; that amount was, last year, eight millions, and, this year, it will, probably, be nearer twelve millions than eight. Crimes, the increase of which is the most certain as well as the most lamentable proof of an increase of the misery and de. gradation of a people, bave increased in a degree equal to the increase of the Debt and Taxes. The whole of the taxes, in 1792, amounted to less than sixteen millions. Last year they amounted to nearly seventy mil-. lions. We do not possess an account of all the crimes in so accurate a way; but, from returns laid before the House of Commons up to
1 809, it appeared, that, taking the country all througli, crimes had increased with the increase of taxes ; and, from a paper transmitted to me some time ago by Mr. W. GOODMAN of Warwick, and which paper he also transmitted to Sir Richard Phillips, who has inserted it in his excellent Magazine for this month, it appears, that for the county of Warwick, the number of prisoners tried in 1792, was one hundred and six; and that the number of prisoners tried for the same county in 1816 was five hundred and twenty. There can be little doubt, that the increase of crimes is in nearly the same proportion throughout the whole kingdom; and, surely, a more melancholy fact never was made known to the world.
When the war was at an end ; when the “new doctrines," as they were called, had been trampled under foot by our Government and its allies upon the Continent, your Lordship must remember into what insolent strains of triumph the Times newspaper and its readers burst forth! However, these persons, not satisfied yet, then began to put forth their declarations, that the republic of America must also be subdued; they said (or, at least, Walter did), in direct terms, that it was necessary to the tranquillity of the world, that the American Government should be overthrown; that “this mischicvous erample of the success of Democratic Rebellion” should be destroyed. And, all the London newspapers published, under the title of a speech, delivered by Sir Joseph YORKE (one of the Lords of the Admiralty) in the House of Commons, just after the fall of Napoleon, a declaration, that more was yet to do, for that James Madison was not yet dethroned !
Alas! My Lord, you know but too well how that war was carried on, and how it ended! And you also know, that Mr. Madison, after a most glorious career as the Chief Magistrate of a free and happy people, has now retired to spend his old age as a private citizen, beholding his country settled in perfect peace and uncommon prosperity.
And, how does your Lordship, at the end of this quarter of a century of war, find Old England ? How does she stand at the close of this long contest against the principles of democracy, as we called them ? How has peace found her ? in 1814, when the kings and “Old Blucher” were feasted and huzzaed, and when the country was all in a blaze with bonfires and illuminations and fires to roast oxen ; in that hour of the triumph of Walter and Stewart and all the swarm of corruption; in that hour of drunken joy, I, for my part, not only mourned, but I openly expressed my mourning, and I gave my reasons for that mourning, and put the upon indelible record. I saw that my country was ruined; I saw that days of deep and lasting misery were at hand. When the overseer of my tithing came to ask my subscription towards the ox, which had been led by my door, decorated with orangecoloured ribbons : “ No," said I, “ Mr. HAINES, I will keep my money “ for the time, when this bawling and feasting and boozing will be turned “ into cries of distress and starvation, which time is at no great distance." Mr. Haines's civility prevented him from laughing in my face, in which respect he was more civil than the public in general. But, my Lord, a short time has proved my apprehensions to have been but too well founded. I had long seen, that the system of Paper-Noney, and Debts and Funds and Standing Armies could not go on in peace, without the utter ruin and starvation of all labouring classes. This was proved in “ Paper against Gold," and the principles had been asserted and enforced by me many years before. It was under this conviction, that,
so early as the year 1804, when the annual charge of the Debt was not much more than the half of its present amount, I most anxiously laboured to produce a change of system. After thirteen years of unpopularity and obloquy, I have lived to see the truth of my opinions recognised by ninety-nine hundredths of the people, and not openly denied, or, if denied at all, by mere assertion, unsupported by any show of argument. I have lived to see more than a hundred public newspapers adopting all my formerly reprobated doctrines about the Debt, the Sinking Fund, the Funding System, the effects of Taxation, the Pauperizing degradation, and, indeed, the whole of that set of doctrines, by wbich I was distinguished only to be censured or ridiculed.
Now, my Lord, this is a wonderful change! It is a complete revolution in the mind of a whole nation. A far more important revolution it is than that of 1688, which very justly expelled one Royal Family and introduced another in its stead ; and, if there be any two points, upon which men are now more unanimous than upon any of the others, connected with politics, it is these two : namely ; first, that taxation produces misery, and misery crimes; and, second, that the only effectual remedy for these dreadful evils, under which the nation is now smarting, writhing, and groaning, is, a Radical Reform in the Commons', or People's House of Parliament. Upon these points the public mind is made up. The truth of the positions has been demonstrated so clearly ; and the impression of this truth upon the public mind is so deeply engraven, that it is impossible for any human power to remove it,
This being the state of things, it is hardly necessary for me to tell your Lordship, that your Letter to the Lord-Lieutenant of the County of Leicester, as published in the COURIER of Saturday last, has given me an uncommon degree of pain, and especially as being signed with your name. Saving much of disapprobation, which I have often expressed with as much openness as I dared, I have had some things to say in cordial approbation of your Lordship as one of the servants of the King; and, I shall always recollect, that, when, just upon the eve of that trial which ended in so heavy a punishment on me, some of the base wretches of the press had asserted, that you paid me money for writing a paper, in 1803, calling upon the people to defend their country against the menaced attack of the French; I shall always recollect, with what promptitude and kindness your Lordship, in a paper under your own hand, enabled me to refute this base and malignant accusation. There is also another fact, which, in justice to your Lordship, I ought, at this critical moment, to state. And that is, that GILLRAY, the cariculurist of St. James's-street, who, when your Lordship became Prime Minister in 1801, exhibited you in such odious colours, confessed to me, that he did it, because you had stopped his pension of two hundred pounds a year. I could mention others, whose enmity your Lordship was honoured with on the same ground; and, my real belief now is, that if you had had a Reformed Parliament to co-operate with you, England would have recovered from her blows, and would have been, at this day, a flourishing, happy, and contented nation. But, alas ! the system was too strong for your wishes. You were compelled, either to sink, or to go with the stream.
My Lord, all the means of national wealth, power, and happiness, save and except good laws and liberty, must arise from the land. We are not, on this account, to ésteem those who own or who till the land more