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Secretary of State for the Home Department! Thus, then, did this very chief conspirator, Dyall, actually put the Government in possession of what was meant to be moved upon the occasion! The petition, though it must have been harmless as to intention, did nevertheless contain some very gross absurdities, some wild projects, some of those whimsical projects and sentiments belonging to the Spencean Plan. Thus was the Government in full possession of all that, as they must have thought, was going to take place. But, up came Mr. Hunt and spoiled the whole thing. When he came to the meeting and had the document of Messrs. Dyall and Gifford presented to him: “O, no !" said he, “I will have nothing to do with that." In the end, he brought forward a set of resolutions and a petition framed by himself; and, of course, the document, the precious document, the “ treasonable" document, as the Courier and Times called it, and which Gifford had so highly prized, was left to be a monument of the latter's sagacity and vigilance, but into the trammels of which Mr. Hunt's good sense and promptitude and straightforward views prevented him from falling. But, now, mark, GEORGE, and I hope the people will mark it well. The COURIER, which is printed about the middle of the day, did, on the day of the meeting, state, that the meeting was at that moment going on, that the petition had just been moved by Mr. Hunt, and that it was very seditious and treasonable, containing, amongst other things, a part of which it then inserted. But, this part, was a purt of Dyall's document, no part of which document was ever read at the meeting from first to last! So that it is clear, that, in the full tiptoe expectation that Mr. Hunt would fall into the trammels of Dyall's document, that document had been given to the proprietor of the Courier beforehand! Thus, was that son of Corruption ready armed to pour out upon Mr. Hunt the charge of treasonable language, and thus did he send that charge forth amongst all the tax-eaters and all the timid fools all over the kingdom! How thịs darling son of Corruption came in possession of Dyall's document; who it was that gave it to him ; what was the purpose which it was intended to answer : of these I shall leave the public to form their own opinion, and I am not at all afraid. that with these facts before them, the great body of the people will derive confidence in the cause of Reform from the fate of this vile attempt to make it a subject of alarm.
From this odious picture of the more general efforts of Corruption's press, I come to the particular instance of JACKSON, at Romsey, which is only a few miles from your own prince-like mansion and estate. This Jackson has published a paper, price three half-pence, the object of which is to defame me and to throw suspicion upon my motives. This paper is called a Register and my name is placed in large characters, at, or near, the head of it. So that here, merely in the typography of the thing, is a proof that this Jackson and his abettors and patrons saw no hope of selling it, unless they could entice purchasers by the lure of my name. The manifest intention of the use of these names was to make people believe, that the work was written by me. Imposture, however, seldom succeeds in the end ; and that this imposture, though well enough contrived, has failed, the fol. loving curious facts will prove. Jackson, the dirty tool at Romsey, has, it seems, a brother in London ; or, at any rate, a person not ashamed to own that degree of relationship with the Romsey man, went, a few days ago, to Mr. Hone, bookseller, in the Old Bailey, London, and offered him a parcel of the Romsey trash for sale. After some conversation upon the subject, Mr. Hone declined the purchase, giving it as his opinion, that the thing would not sell in London. He discovered from his brother, who very grossly calumniated me, that the Romsey fabrication would not sell in the country; as, indeed, how should it, seeing that it is a tissue of misre. presentation and lies, consisting of garbled extracts from my early writings, and being, altogether, a mass of incomprehensible nonsense, having nothing intelligible to plain honest people, and being, in short, a poor feeble effort at malice against any man whose writings are so clear to the understanding, are so manifestly intended and tending to produce peace and happiness in the country. Brother Jackson, not finding Mr. Hone willing to purchase at a penny each, went on lowering his price, till he came to about a halfpenny, observing to Mr. Hone that money was not so much the object as circulation. At last, though tendered at this low price he was obliged to carry his trash away, four hundred of them in number, with a recommendation from Mr. Hone to carry them to the trunk-makers ! Mr. Hone, however, upon reflection on the baseness of such a transaction. and thinking that justice towards the public required that I should have the means of exposing it, and especially reflecting on what Brother Jackson had said to him about those who were in the background in this publication and about money being no object in the affair, went to, or sent for, Brother Jackson, bought his 400 papers for ten shillings and sixpence. which is a little more than one farthing each; and, of these 400 papers Mr. Hone has been so good as to make me a present, and I have them now actually in my possession, together with Brother Jackson's receipt, in the following words : “ Received of Mr. HONE, 27. Dec. 1816, half a guinea, “ for the burdle of Romsey Register, sent to me for sale, 400 copies." “(Signed) DANIEL JACKSON.”
Now, GEORGE, this man told Mr. Hone who were the real authors of this base and foolish performance; he told him besides, that he need be in no fear of any prosecution for publishing it; and he told him that he would be sure to be safe in publishing against me. But, George, I will not imitate the baseness of my and the people's enemies. I will repeat nothing against any one upon the words of such men as the Jacksons : but, I will say, that, according to brother Jackson's story, it proves, that I was correct, when I said, that it was impossible for LORD PALMERSTON to be guilty of an act so base, so cowardly, and so infamous. Who it really was, who was thus guilty, I will leave the people to guess, and will leave the guilty party to the hearty detestation and contempt of that same people. But, that the party, be he who he might, had plenty of money at command will appear clearly enough, if we observe, that the four hundred sheets of paper did not cost less than sixteen or eighteen shillings, and that the printing could not have cost less than sixteen shillings more, to which if we add half-a-crown for carriage and a shil. ling for postage, here is a loss of one pound five shillings upon those 400 papers only; and, of course, the Romsey Jackson must be a person of rarely disinterested and most generous devotion to the cause of Cor. ruption, or he must be supplied with money from some quarter other than his own purse. Not knowing the man, I cannot decide this question : you, who are his near neighbour, possibly may be able to form a better judgment on the subject.
Base as this trick is, there is one Chappel, a bookseller, in Pall Mall, London, who has been made the tool to play off a still baser trick. This man is a downright impostor, without any possible shuffle ; for he has advertised a thing called, " The Friend of the People, an entire NEW
Work, by William Cobbett.” This is a heap of trash also, a mass of misrepresentations and falsehoods, taking detached parts of my works, written many years ago, garbling them, and disfiguring the whole. But, what a proud thing for me, that the abettors of such men as this CHAPPEL, with all their means, are unable to get people even to look into their publications without cheating them into it by the use of my name, by making them believe that the thing is actually mine! What! have I beat them all to this degree? Can they, amongst all the pensioned and sinecure authors, find no one who is able to write any thing that the public will look at, without stealing my name to put at the head of their things? If this do not satisfy my desire of fame and victory, nothing can. This imposture of Chappel has, I suppose, been borrowed from the ass, who put on the lion's skin ; and the trick answered very well till the ass began to bray, or toote ; but (and Chappel should remember it) the moment he opened his mouth, his noise betrayed him, and the people who had been imposed on by his outward appearance, cudgelled him soundly for his pains.
It has given me much satisfaction to perceive the great efforts which have been made use of to injure my character ; because, always knowing the charges against me to be either false or ridiculous, I have, of course, felt quite able at all times to answer them, while the fact of their being madle is a clear proof of the great effect which my writings are producing, and that is what I have principally in view. The press of corruption, as if it acted under one common command, abstained from even alluding to me or my writings for more than six years. This was certainly wise ; for, what was the use of showing hatred without being able to answer? Now, however, it has been unable to restrain itself. It has been so deeply stung, that it has cried out in spite of all its efforts to keep silence. Like a stubborn and hardened thief, under the lash of the beadle, it long hit its lips and writhed its limbs, seeming resolved not to crv out, but, at last, came a stripe in a tender part, anà forth it bellowed its cries, mingled, thief-like, with lies and curses.
Thai old acquaintance of the Treasury, Walter, has left a son, who is proprietor of the Times newspaper, and who first bursted forth upon this occasion. Not with any attempt to answer me. O, no! but to defame me personally and to excite suspicions as to my motives. This never did yet, and never can, weigh a hair against fact and argument. Besides, I have, many times, exposed the falsenood of thc charges which this man has made against me. Nevertheless, as some of my present readers may not have seen this exposure, and, as it embraces some very interesting and very useful information relative to the press of this country, I will here make the exposure again, and, I choose to make it in an address to you, because I mean to state some fucts of which you had a perfect knowledge, and to challi nge you to contradict me, if you can.
The charges which this man brings against me are these : First, that, when about to be brought up for judgment at the time when I was so severely punished for writing about the ligging of the English local militia-men in the County of Canıbridge, under the guard of German troops, and for which writing I was sentenced to pass two years in a felon's jail. to pay a thousand pounds 10 THE KING, and when all this had been suffered, to be held to bail for SEVEN YE 4 RS, in the amount of THREE THOUSAND POUNDS myself and ONE THOUSAND POUNDS each ny two sureties ; when this sentence was about to be
passed, Walter says that I made a proposition to the Government to this effect; that, if the proceedings were dropped ; that is to say, that if I were not brought up for judgment, but suffered to remain unmolested, I never would publish another Register or any other thing. Now, George, suppose this to have been true. Had I not a right to do this? Was there any thing dishonest or base in this ? I was under no obligation to continue to write. The country had done nothing for me. I was in no way bound to sacrifice myself and family if I could avoid it. I was in the state of a soldier surrounded by an irresistible enemy; and has a soldier so situated ever been ashamed to ask his life and to accept of it upon condition of not serving again during the wur ?
I might let the thing rest here. This answer would be complete, were I to allow the charge of Walter to be true ; but, the charge is basely false. No proposition of any sort was ever made by me, or by my authority, to the Government. The grounds of the charge were as fol. lows: a few days before I was brought up for judgment, I went home to
pass the remaining short space of personal freedom with my family. I had just begun farming, and also planting trees, with the hope of seeing them grow up as my children grew. I had a daughter fifteen years of age, whose birth-day was just then approaching, and, destined to be one of the happiest and one of the most unhappy of my life, on that day my dreadful sentence was passed. One son eleven years old, another nine years old, another six years old, another daughter five years old, another three years old, and another child nearly at hand. You and Perceval might have laughed at all this. It was your turn to laugh then ; but, the public will easily believe that, under the apprehensions of an absence of years, and the great chance of loss of health, if not of life, in a prison, produced nothing like laughter at Botley! It was at this crisis, no matter by what feelings actuated, I wrote to my attorney, Mr. White, in Essex-street, to make the proposition stated above. But fits of fear and despair have never been of long duration in my family. The letter wa bardly got to the post-office at Southampton before the courage of my wife and eldest daughter returned. Indignation and resentment took place of grief and alarm; and they cheerfully consented to my stopping the letter. Mr. Peter FINNERTY was at my house at the time; a postchaise was got, and he came off to London, during the night, and prevented Mr. White from acting on the letter. I suffered my heavy punishment, but I have preserved my life, health, and the use of my pen, and, what I value still more is, that all this family have also had uninterrupted health, are all strony in frame and sound in mind, and have imbibed an everlasting hatied against those corruptions which have finally brought their coun:ry into ils present state of misery. Now, Mr. FINNERTY, whom I have not had the pleasure to see for some years, is alive and in London. Mr. White is also alive. The public will be sure, that I should not dare to have made the above statement if it had not been true to the very letter. And thus endeth the first charye of Walter.
His Second charge is that of inconsistency ; that is to say, that I formerly held opinions, that I do not now hold; but, which former opinions were in direct opposition to those which I now hold and which I now promulgate, so much to the sorrow and the annoyance of the corrupt. Now, George, what a foolish charge is this! What do we live for but to correct our errors; to grow wiser from experience; and to
do better at last than at first? Besides have not I been the first to state not only that I was in error, but to give the reasons for the change. God forbid, that I should rely upon your example as a justification of any part of my conduct; but, have not you, after having, for years, been a strenuous supporter of friendly societies, recently declared them to be mischievous, and that saving-banks are the thing? Did you not oppose, with all your might, the Corn Bill, in 1814, and did you not support the same bill, or, at least, not oppose it, in 1815? But, has not the Parliament passed scores of laws, and afterwards repealed them upon a change of opinion ? However, I choose rather to take, as far as I can without profanity, the example of St. Paul, who was, at one time, not only not a Christian him. self, but a persecutor of the Church of Christ, and who, notwithstanding this, became at last the greatest of all the Apostles, and, in fact, was, more than all other men put together, the cause of the triumph of that religion which he had once so eagerly persecuted. I have never heard any one accuse St. Paul of inconsistency; no one, that I know of, has ever called him a turn-coat ; yet, it would be inconsistent indeed to deny that he was a turn-coat, if I am one. I can remember, when I most firmly believed, that your pamphlet about the Finances, which I first read in America, was all truth and wisdom; and am I to be called a turn-coat, because upon examination, with the advantage of additional knowledge, I find it to be a heap of falsehoods and nonsense ? I once most firmly believed, that the Ministers, Pitt, Dundas, and their associates. were the most pure and honest of men ; but, did I become a turn-coat because I did not look upon them in this light after the exposures of 1804 and 1805 ? When in America, and for a year or two after I came home, I did not believe that there could be any such thing as seat-selling ; but, was I a turn-coat, because I did believe it after the famous disclosures of the famous year 1809 ?
No, GEORGE, this is not being a turn-coat; a turn-coat means a wretch, who changes his principles and language for hire ; and, until Walter can bring some proof of my ever having received, or asked for, any thing of any sort from the Government, all his trash about my change of principles will avail corruption nothing. It may be a subject of regret with corruption, that I was not fool enough to persevere in error; but it is no subject of regret with the friends of freedom, who, on the contrary, rejoice at it exceedingly.
What has been said is quite enough to satisfy any one, that the charge is foolish and false ; but, since I have thought it right to answer the charge, I will not stop here. I will show, I will remind you, that, not only have I not changed from any bad molive, but that, if I h.d been base enough to be a dependent of the Treasury, I might have been in that state, and, doubtless, might have escaped all punishments, and might, like other writers, have grown rich at the public expense, and have quartered my family upon that same public. I will tell my story in plain language, GEORGE, and, if it makes any disagreeable disclosures, thank Walter, the Romsey JACKSON and his prompters, and others of that description
When I began writing in America, the country raged with attacks on Pirt and on ENGLAND. I was an Englishman, and following that impulse, which was so natural to my spirit and my age, under such circumstances, I took the part of my country, without knowing much, and, indeed, without caring much about the grounds of her war against the people of