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Political Register at New-York, with a letter in each Number addressed • To the People of the United States in general, and to his old English friends in that country in particular.'
• Gratified,' he says, ' at perceiving that what I have dared to pub. lish here (that is in England) appears to bave assisted in causing many amorrgst you to see the character, conduct, and views of our government in their true light, I am by no means content with efforts confined within the limits of a press, whence to publish even in the most moderate language, truths disagreeable to men in power, exposes the publisher to punishment little short of death; and I am the less disposed to this mental bondage, to this mere sighing under the terrors of the lash, when I see that there are many even amongst you, who still have a hankering likeness to this government, and some who have the folly to hold it up as the bulwark of religion and liberty.'
His object, therefore, is to remove the error of those persons who are ignorant enough to think well of England, and to effect this, he describes the state of abject slavery' to which the English are reduced, a people who are compelled to crouch to insolent Hanoverian soldiers, and some of whom in the very heart of England have been flogged by those Hanoverians. A nation,' he says of the English,' who in their eagerness to enslave and entail slavery on other countries—who in their mischievous zeal for restoring tyranny and persecution in every country where they had been abolished, have plunged themselves into misery, and laid their own breasts bare to those very bayonets, for the employment of which against the breasts of others, they have so cheerfully paid.' • What a shame is it,' he says, 'for any one to pretend to believe that there is any thing worthy of the name of public liberty, or of private property left in England! What base hypocrisy for any writer to affect to consider us in the light of a free nation!
The charges which this miscreant makes against his country are so absurd, as well as so atrocious, that their notorious falsehood would have exposed him to universal contempt in England. Thus he informs the Americans that the English government sent Buonaparte back to France from Elba, because they were at once envious and fearful of the happiness and good fortune of France, where the ease, the comfort, the manners, and the morals of the people, and in short every thing, bad been improved by the revolution. Buonaparte's return was a premeditated scheme of the English government, and having let him loose, the Guelphs,' he says, ! had the impudence to call him an usurper.' He says that by chicanery we kept the French prisoners to rot in England, even at the expense of lives of Englishmen in France; and that tortures were inflicted upon these prisoners to make them enter into our service against their own country, at the very time that this govern
ment was hanging and cutting out the hearts and bowels of Englishmen who had entered into the service of France for the sake of getting out of French prisons. He says that after the peace with America was ratified, an English officer at Dartmoor availed him self of a pitiful pretext for causing several of the Americans who were his prisoners, to be murdered in cold blood,—and the villain insinuates that this officer was selected by the government as a fit person to inflict tortures and commit murder. The hanging of two French prisoners on a charge of forging Bank notes, he calls the foulest murder that ever was committed.
We will not sully our pages by transcribing the coarse and disgusting language with which he insults the royal family in all its branches; if the miscreant had not eloped from his creditors the laws would probably bave been called upon to decide whether an Englishman residing in England can cause the most treasonable libels against his own sovereign and his own government to be printed and published in America with impunity. We will only select one passage which might excite the indignation even of bis most deluded disciples: it is from a letter dated March 9, 1816, and published at New York on the 22d of June; the intended marriage of the Princess Charlotte being the subject. Of the Prince Regent he says, 'I much question whether the man knows anything at all about his daughter's being about to be married; and then, alluding to that part of Lord Castlereagli's speech, in which it was said the House of Brunswick had • largely contributed to the happiness and liberties of England,' he says, ' as if our liberties had been, or could have been, or ever can be owing, in any degree, to a set of beggarly Germans being put upon the throne, and kept there by a band of boroughmongers as niere tools in their hands!
Such is the language which this brutal ruffian sent across the Atlantic to be published in America while he remained in England, endeavouring to subvert the institutions of his country by arousing the poor and the ignorant against all who were above them. And how truly bis followers had imbibed the same vulgar and ferocious spirit was shown at Maidstone, at one of those meetings
Where gentry, title, wisdom,
Of general ignorance. After such specimens the reader will not be surprized at finding him call Mr. Perceval one of the most cruel, as well as most corrupt and hypocritical of men, the most malignant of all the tools of tyranny;" saying "he was exposed to so much detestation that he could hardly hope to escape a violent death;' and asking, if it was possible for justice or humanity to follow this corrupt, cruel, and hypocritical tyrant to the grave.'— You in America,' he says,
will wonder how I can express openly my satisfaction that the time of suffering is arrived, -how I can laugh at and mock the sufferings of these people ;-you will wonder that I do not lose all my readers.--To be sure, this consideration would have no weight with me, for what is life without pleasure-and how can I have any pleasure as to public affairs if I stiffe my sentiments ? It is, perhaps, quite impossible for any writer to be more unpopular than I There are, to be sure, a great many thousands who are my staunch friends; but comparatively speaking, these are nothing.' He declares that he should have sunk into a state of inelancholy if he had not felt confident that a short time would verify all his predictions of calamity to this nation and thereby give him ample vengeance; and he boasts that he never laughed so much in his life as at seeing the distress of the Hampshire
farmers and freeholders. The definition of a true patriot,' says the Examiner,' is a good hater;'--and it may be admitted that, according to this definition, Mr. Cobbett is as true a patriot as Mr. Examiner biinself.
This latter patriot has drawn his own portrait, certainly with no intention of presenting an unfavourable resemblance:--it is the picture of a true Jacobine drawn by himself. A true Jacobine, he
says, is one who does not believe in the divine right of kings, or any other alias for it, which implies that they reign in contempt of the will of the people; and lie holds all such kings to be tyrants and their subjects slaves. To be a true Jacobine a man must be a good bater; but this is the most difficult and the least amiable of all the virtues.-The love of liberty consists in the hatred of tyrants. The true Jacobine hates the enemies of liberty, as they hate liberty, with all his strength, and with all his might, and with all his heart, and with all bis soul. His memory is as strong, and bis will as strong as theirs, but his hands are shorter.—The sense of wrong, and the barefaced assumption of the right to inflict it, deprives bim of his rest. It stagnates in his blood. It loads his heart with aşpics' tongues, deadly to venal pens. It settles in his brain. It puts ķim beside himself.'—Here the reader will agree with this true patriot. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness, and the end of his talk is inischievous madness. One of the last Numbers of this patriotic Journal contains a tolerably explicit confession of the writer's faith, political and religious. The former is conveyed in a parallel between Paganism and Christianity. Disputes and bloodşled on holy accounts,' he says, 'were phenomena in the ancient world. It may be said that these are the abuses of religion, pot religion itself; but, the abuses of Paganism led to no such horrors: they were chiefly on the pleasurable side of things, whereas the former irere on the
painful. They dealt in loves and luxuries, in what resulted from the first laws of nature, and tended to keep humanity alive: the latter have dealt in angry debates, in intolerance, in gloomy denouncements, in persecutions, in excommunication, in wars and massacres, in what perplexes, outrages, and destroys humanity, The gentleman who thus admires the morality of paganism would do well to consider what was said by an old divine of such morality and of its consequences. Men debauch themselves out of their religion; and atheism is not the persuasion of the man, no, nor the belief of the devil, but the punishment of the beast. "Tis that hardness of heart, that reprobate serise to which God delivers up an obstinate sinner; 'tis the last of judgments inflicted by God upon him that has refused all the methods of his mercy. God has forsaken him, and delivered him up to the worst of all evils,—that is, to himself.
Now for the political avowal of this votary of the loves and luxuries. We contend,' he says, ' in opposition to Mr. Southey and all that servile crew, that the only possible preventive of one or other of these impending evils, namely lasting slavery, famine, and general misery on the one hand, or a sudden and dreadful convul, sion on the other, is the liberty of the press, which Mr. Southey calls sedition, and the firm, manly, and independent expression of public opinions, which he calls rebellion. We detest despotism, we deprecate popular commotion, but if we are forced upon an alternative we have a choice; we prefer temporary to lasting evils.' Here it must be acknowledged that, as far as respects the writer's own opinions, we have something very like naked truth,—though not in company with uncorrupted faith.
All the other confluent causes of discontent are trilling in them, selves and light in their consequences compared to the seditious press.
Two years ago it was computed that above 500,000 newspapers were printed every week. ' Cobbett boasted that he liad sold more than a million of his papers within the last six months, and that a single paper frequently served for an hundred auditors. The country indeed is rid of this libeller, but the food-gates of sedition are still open; and what Wesley recommended to the government in the days of Wilkes and Liberty, is even more needful now than it was then,' vigorously to execute the laws against incendiaries, against those who by spreading all manner of lies inflame the people even to madness; to teach them that there is a difference between liberty which is the glory of Englishmen, and licentiousness wanton abuse of liberty, in contempt of all laws divine and human.' • Can any thing be done,' he asks, ' to open the eyes, to restore the senses of an infatuated nation ? Not unless the still-renewed still operating cause of that infatuation be re
moved.' And again, in his excellent remarks upon Dr. Price's Observations on Civil Liberty, this extraordinary man expresses himself with an anxiety which subsequent events have amply justified. “I am in great earnest,” he says, I have need to be, for I am pleading the cause of my King and country, yea of every country under heaven where there is any regular government. I am pleading against those principles that naturally tend to anarchy and confusion, that directly tend to unhinge all governments, and overturn it from the foundation. Their natural tendency is to plunge every nation into total amarchy.'
The laws, and nothing but the laws, can preserve us from this catastrophe. Meantime individuals may do much in their respective spheres toward that amelioration of the people which is the only true reform, and upon which our security mainly depends.
The question is whether revolution, whether this endemic moral malady of this distempered age, can be averted till time be gained for educating the populace and improving their condition. We must make the poor,' says Sir Egerton Brydges, by a wise application of their labours, not only create the funds of their own subsistence but add to the wealth of the rest of society.-We must do that which will equally restore their moral and physical happiness,—that which, while it will supply them with a sufficiency of food and bodily comforts, will, in the same degree, ameliorate their morals and their hearts. For this we may look to the legislature. What is required of us is that we be as active in good as the malevolent are active in evil; let each man do his duty in his respective station,-above all, let the magistrates and the clergy exert them: selves; and it will be found that the good principle is mightier than the evil one. The laws are with us and God is on our side.
CORRIGENDUM, Page 334, line 18. Read, " some of which are highly honourable, &c. There are some from Marcus Aurelius which would ill deserve this character, did we not suppose. with the learned editor, tbat they were sportive allusions to some parts of the writing of Plato."