Imágenes de páginas

as the Virgin Mary's house at Loretto; the shrine of Saint Anthony ; the Holy Cross; the exhibition of Saint Catherine's wheel, of the Holy Thorn that penetrated Christ's cheek. Hundreds and thousands of thousands of these ac venerable" things, naturally followed the overthrow of him who had overthrown them. All the persecutions of the Protestants ; all the frauds, insolence, and cruelty of the Romish Priests must have been in your view, You are not ignorant men. You knew to a moral certainty that the Pope, whom you had formerly led your flocks to believe was Antichrist, would be restored. You knew that, instead of a milder sway, he would naturally be more rigid than ever in the exercise of his power. All this you knew. You knew, that the toleration of all Protestant sects, the encouragement of them, the free use of reason on religious subjects, and the free circulation of religious opinions, which were so complete under Napoleon, would be instantly destroyed in the far greater part of Europe.

The holy father, whom you formerly called the “ scarlet whore," dyed in the blood of the Saints, the “ beast," as you used to call him, whose “ mouth was full of blasphemies," remounted his chair even before “the Most Christian King” got upon his throne. One of his first acts was to restore the Jesuits, that “ ancient and venerable institution," which had become so odious, on account of its wicked acts, that it had been abolished by all the Princes of Europe, and even by a former Pope him. self. The next remarkable step was the re-establishment of the Inquisi. tion in Spain, where it had been abolished by Napoleon on the day that he took possession of the Government of that country.

You yourselves well know what that tribunal was; but as some of the good people may not know the precise nature of that “ venerable insti. tution," which Napoleon abolished, and which has been restored in con. sequence of the successes of the war, I will here insert an account of it from the last edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, under the words Inquisition " and " Act of Faith,as follows :

“ INQUISITION.- In the Church of Rome, a tribunal in several Roman “ Catholic countries, erected by the Popes for the examination and punishment “ of heretics.—This Court was founded in the 12th century, by Father Dominic « and his followers, who were sent by Pope Innocent III. with orders to excite “ the Catholic Princes and people to extirpate heretics, to seareh into their “ number and quality, and to transmit a faithful account thereof to Rome. “ Hence they were called Inquisitors; and this gave birth to the formidable tri. " bunal of the Inquisition, which was received in all Italy and the dominions of “ Spain, except the kingdom of Naples, and the Low Countries. This diabolical “ tribunal takes cognisance of heresy, judaism, mahometanism, sodomy, and “ polygainy; and the people stand in so much fear of it, that parents deliver up “ their children, husbands their wives, and masters their servants, to its officers, " without daring in the least to murmur. The prisoners are kept for a long “ time, till they themselves turn their own accusers, and declare the cause of their “ imprisonment; for they are neither told their crime, nor confronted with " witnesses. As soon as they are imprisoned their friends go into mourning, and 6 speak of them as dead, not daring to solicit their pardon, lest they should be s brought in as accomplices. When there is no shadow of proof against the “ pretended criminal, he is discharged, after suffering the most cruel tortures, a u tedious and dreadful imprisonment, and the loss of the greatest part of his " effects. The sentence against the prisoners is pronounced publicly, and with " the greatest solemnity. In Portugal, they erect a theatre capable of holding “ 3000 persons; in which they place a rich altar, and raise seats on each side in “ the form of an ainphitheatre. There the prisoners are placed ; andover against “them is a high chair, whither they are called, one by one, to hear their doom, “ from one of the Inquisitors.-These unhappy people know what they are to " suffer by the clothes they wear that day. Those who appear in their own

" clothes are discharged, upon payment of a fine ; those who have a santo benito “ or strait yellow coat without sleeves, charged with St. Andrew's cross, have "their lives but forfeit all their effects; those who have the resemblance of flames * made of red serge, sewed upon their santo benito, without any cross, are pardoned, " but threatened to be burnt if ever they relapse ; but those who, besides these “ flames, have on their santo benito their own picture, surrounded with figures of “ devils, are condemned to expire in the flames. The Inquisitors, who are ec"clesiastics, do not pronounce the sentence of death; but form and read an “act, in which they say, that the criminal being convicted of such a crime, by “his own confession, is, with much reluctance, delivered to the secular power to " be punished according to his demerits ; and this writing they give to tho seven judges, who attend at the right side of the altar, who immediately pass sentence.

“ ACT OF FAITH.- In the Romish church, is a solemn day held by the In. “quisition for the punishment of heretics, and the absolution of the innocent “accused. They usually contrive the Auto to fall on some great festival that the

execution may pass with the more awe and regard; at least it is always on a “ Sunday.—The Auto da or set of Faith, may be called the last act of the In* quisitorial tragedy ; it is kind of gaol-delivery, appointed as oft as a competent "number of prisoners in the Inquisition are convicted of heresy, either by their “ own voluntary or extorted confession, or on the evidence of certain witnesses. “ The process is thus:- In the morning they are brought into a great hall, where " they have certain habits put on, which they are to wear in the procession. The “ procession is led up by Dominican Friars; after which come the penitents, some “ with san benitos, and some without, according to the nature of the crites; being “ all in black-coats without sleeves and barefooted, with a wax candle in their “ hands. These are followed by the penitents who have narrowly escaped being " burnt, who over their black coats have flames painted with their points " turned downwards. Fuego revolto. Next come the negative and relapsed, who " are to be burnt, having flames on their habits pointing upwards. After these " come such as profess doctrines contrary to the faith of Rome, who, besides “ flames pointing upwards, have their picture painted on their breasts, with

dogs, serpents, and devils, all open-mouthed about it. Each prisoner is attended “ with a familiar of the Inquisition ; and those to be burnt have also a jesuit on “ each hand, who is continually preaching to them to abjure. After the prisoners “ come a troop of familiars on horseback, and after them the Inquisitors, and “ other officers of the Court, on mules ; last of all, the Inquisitor-General, on a " white borse, led by two men with black hats and green hat-bands. A scaf“ fold is erected in the T'eneiro de Pacs, big enough for two or three thousand “ people; at one end of which are the prisoners, at the other the Inquisitors " After a sermon made up of encomiums on the Inquisition, and invectives “ against heretics, a priest ascends a desk near the middle of the scaffold, and “ having taken the adjuration of the penitents, recites the final sentence of “ those who are to be put to death; and delivers them to the secular arm, “ earnestly beseeching at the same time the secular power not to touch their “ blood, or put their lives in danger. The prisoners being thus in the hands of " the civil Magistrate, are presently loaded with chains, and carried first to the “ secular gaol, and from hence in an hour or two brought before the civil Judge ; " who, after asking in what religion they intended to die, pronounces sentence " on such as declare they die in the communion of Rome, that they shall be “ first strangled, and then burnt to ashes ; on such as die in any other faith, " that they be burnt alive. Both are immediately carried to the Ribera, the “ place of execution ; where there are as many stakes set up as there are

prisoners to be burnt, with a quantity of dry furze about them. The stakes of " the professed, that is, such as persist in their heresy, are about four yards “ high, having a small board towards the top for the prisoner to be seated on. u The negative and relapsed being first strangled and burnt, the professed “ mount their stakes by a ladder; and the Jesuits, after several repeated “ exhortations to be reconciled to the Church, part with them, telling them they “ leave them to the devil who is standing at their elbow to receive their souls, “ and carry them with him into the flames of hell. On this a great shout is “ raised, and the cry is, Let the dogs' beards be made! which is done by thrusting “ flaming furzes fastened to long poles against their faces, till their faces are “ burnt to a coal, which is accompanied with the loudest acclamations of joy. " At last, fire is set to the furze at the botom of the stake, over which the pro

“ fessed are chained so high, that the top of the flame seldom reaches higher " than the board they sit on; so that they rather seem roasted than burnt.“ There cannot be a more lamentable spectacle; the sufferers continually cry « out, while they are able, Misericordia per amor de Dios ! Pity for the love of “ God !' yet it is beheld by all sexes and ages with transports of joy and satis. “ faction."

Is there a man in the whole world, whose heart is not steeled against all the cries of nature, who can read this without feeling his blood run cold ? Yet this horrible institution has been restored by that Bourbon, whom we, by our wars, and at our expense, reseated on the throne of Spain! Aye, and we are now taxed to pay the interest of the enormous debt, contracted for this purpose! And yet, there are men so basely impudent as to assert, that our money was expended in obtaining the freedom and happiness of Europe !

GENTLEMEN, even laying the clergymen aside, can you, when you dismiss all prejudice ; when you coolly reflect on what has been done ; when you consider, that we found the Pope dethroned, the Jesuits scattered, the Bourbons driven out, and the Inquisition put down, and that our success has caused them all to be restored, and that the wars which produced that effect have reduced the people of England to such misery as to accept of charity at the hands of a Bourbon Prince ; when you coolly_ oh, no! not coolly, for coolness on such a subject is impossible--but, when you reflect on these things, and, at the same time remember what noble struggles our fathers maintained in the cause of religious liberty, are you not half maddened with shame and confusion ? And do you, or can you, either believe or hope, that a state of things eo unnatural, so monstrous, can possibly last? If you do, more words are useless ; and if you do not I have already said more than enough.





On the Workings of Corruption's Press.-On the Romsey Impostor, JACKSON.

On CHAPPEL, the Pall-Mall Impostor.-On the vile Calumnies published by WALTER of the Times. On the Saving. Bank Bubble. - On the Scheme for preventing the Labouring People from Marrying.-On his Sinecures.

(Political Register, January, 1817.)

Peckham Lodge, January 1, 1817. Well, George ! how do you feel now? Do you not think, that the drama is drawing towards a close ? Since the time, when I was shoul. dering a musket in the army, and when you were serving out grog and slops in the navy, what wondrous events have taken place! We have

both been considerable actors in this grand drama; and our manner of acting may now be reviewed with a better chance of justice to us both than upon any former occasion. You have received immense sums of the public money; I have never received a farthing of that money, while I have paid away from my family more than fifteen thousand pounds in taxes. You have written pamphlets to urge the people on to war against the people of France; you have frequently foretold, in these publications, that the sinking fund would lower the Debt, and that prosperity would be the result of the measures of the Government, in which mea. sures you have had a great share. I have, for more than eleven years, been opposed to all your assertions and opinions; I have foretold national ruin and misery as the result of those measures ; you have become possessed of immense wealth and fine mansions and estates, while I have been put two years into a felon's jail and have paid to THE KING a thousand pounds sterling, in the shape of a fine. Yet, GEORGE, I question whether I am not pretty nearly as happy as you are ! I am convinced, besides, that time and events have not yet done with us. Our hostile assertions and opinions have been pretty well put to the test already; but, the exposure of the trial is not yet nearly so full as it shortly will be. The approaching Session of Parliament will open mil. lions of pairs of eyes, which have been glued up by false alarms for the last twenty-five years. And, here am I, at my post, fresh from the fields, with a brace of sons, bred up in a mortal hatred of all that I so lustily hate, ready to stick fast to the skirts of the system, having only to regret, that Pitt, Dundas, and Perceval are not alive, and most sincerely wishing good health to you, to Canning and to Castlereagh.

In the meanwhile, I think it not unuseful to address you upon some matters by way of preparation to the grand scenes that we are about to behold. And, first, on the base attempts of Corruption's press, particularly with regard to myself, and more especially through the means of one JACKSON of Romsey in Hampshire, and of a bookseller named CHAPPEL, in Pall Mall, London.

I was not weak enough to suppose, that, when the Register began to find its way throughout the kingdom to the extent of between twenty and thirty thousand every week, that Corruption's sons would not make a stir. Indeed, when, after a silence of more than seven years, the corrupt proprietors of the Times, Courier, Morning Post, and Sun, were galled into the assertion of that audacious falsehood of Mr. Hunt and myself being engaged in plotting with my Lord Cochrane in the King's Bench Prison, while I was at Peckham in Surrey and Mr. Hunt at Wanstead in Essex, I was not at all surprised. I knew, that there was no falsehood, of which they were not capable ; I knew their minds and hearts to be fashioned to the inventing and the perpetrating of any species and any degree of villany; and, I was well aware, that the more decided their conduct in this way, the greater they would expect their profit to be.—These vile men appear to have believed, that something like a treasonable plot would be made out, by hook or by crook; and, upon this belief, they, at once, ventured upon the infamous assertion before-mentioned, and added, in the most positive terms, that I, having assisted in contriving and preparing the plot, set off to Botley, the night before it was to be put in execution; though I have been in and near London from the middle of November to this day. And yet these atrocious men have the effrontery to call upon the law-officers of the Crown to punish even petitioners as libellers! Their object in these bold falsehoods, was, to eause the nation to believe, that all who contend for a Reform of the Parliament, have it in view to excite people to riot and to commit assassinations. About 200 desperate men, consisting chiefly of starving sailors, they magnify into a formidable insurrection, and, which men, though they had arms in their hands, did no violence to any body, except in the unlawful seizure of the arms and in the wounding (if that really was so) of one man wlio attempted to stop them, and who laid hold of one of them. This con. temptible riot, which consisted of a less number of persons than one. half of the police-officers and constables who were actually on foot, was swelled up into a most formidable insurrection, and, though it was well known to every one in London, that the rioters had no connection whatever with the Meeting in Spa-fields, every endeavour was made use of by the corrupt press so to connect the two, that every person of property should feel alarmed whenever a Meeting for Reform was about to take place.

The people in the country now know how false and malicious these representations were ; but, the people in the country are not yet fully acquainted with the infamy of the corrupt press upon this memorable occasion. As the matter now stands exposed, the exposure will do great good; but, still, justice has not yet been done to it. It is already known, that the first meeting in Spa-fields was called by an advertisement, signed by a person of the name of DYALL; that Mr. Hunt was invited and requested to attend that meeting ; and that the meeting was conducted chiefly by him. It is already well known, that the words plot, conspiracy, and insurrection, found in what were called Mr. PrestoN's “confessions” were foisted in by the infamous press, and that Mr. PRESTON never uttered any such words. And is not this a species of wickedness committed by nobody in the world but by the men who conduct this corrupt press ? Was it ever before known, that men could with impunity publish a false statement of the exa. mination of a prisoner, brought before a magistrate on a criminal charge af. fecting the life of the prisoner ? Was it ever before known, that men could, with impunity, put into the mouth of such prisoner, words which amounted to a confession of his having been guilty of treason? What means of defence has Mr. Preston against the prejudices which these men have thus excited against him ? What means has he of obtaining justice against them? He must possess a large sum of money, before he can take one single step towards the prosecution of them. And, they know that he has no money, while they are wallowing in wealth. Here, indeed, is a case which calls for the activity of the law-officers of the Crown; for, if a poor man's liberty and life are thus to be assailed with impunity, what safety is there for him ?

But, still, base and infamous as the conduct of these sons of corruption must appear, it is not seen in its true colours, until the following curious facts (stated in Mr. Hone's Account of the Riots, part ii.) are known to the world. DYALL, as appears by this statement, long before Mr. HUNT came to town for the first meeting in Spa-fields, was taken before GIFFORD, a police justice. After some talk with Dyall, Gifford got him to show him the petition, or address, or whatever else it was called, which he (Dyall) and his associates intended to bring forward at the said first meeting. Dyall, who had no idea of anything wrong in what he was doing, suffered Gifford to take a copy of this curious document. “This to Lord Burleigh shall," Gifford seems to have parodied ; and away he sent it to Lord Sidmouth, the

« AnteriorContinuar »