Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

is asked, do Ministers “think it necessary to justify themselves from the charge of countenancing the Bourbons in the South?’ To be sure they do not : war justifies us in doing what we can to annoy our enemy. Our orders to our Naval Commanders are to sink, burn and destroy. By land we must distress the enemy as much as we can; and even if we had no attachment to the Bourbons as the lawful family, still we should be justified in countenancing them, or any other party that was against Bonaparte.” I am willing, for once, to give the Courier writer credit for what he says about giving his support to any parly that jeclares against Bonaparte; for I verily believe, if he thought he could form a league with the Devil to overthrow Napoleon, he would put his name to the contract to-morrow. But I am not disposed to assent so readily to what he says respecting the countenance given by ministers to the Bourbons. It is true, our commanders have a right to annoy the enemy's forces by land and by sea; but this is a very different matter from giving our support to a party, who meditate the subversion of the government, established by the people with whom we are at war. In a recent proclamation of Marshal Soult, he accused my Lord Wellington, though I would fain hope unjustly, of exciting the French to civil war, —to revolt and to sedition. According to the Courier doctrine, this would be justifiable. Yet how often has this writer affected to repel the charge, with indignation, when brought against the Allies by Bonaparte, whom alone he accuses of meditating the overthrow of other States, and in whom only he considers this to be a crime. It is unnecessary to multiply words to show, what has been so often demonstrated, that no country whatever has a right to dictate the law to another, even in any circumstances; much less when the people whom it is attempted to controul, hold an elevated rank in the scale of nations. In the present instance, and supposing all that the Courier has told us about the Bourbons to be true, it is clear that this country has interfered without the concurrence of our Allies. I do not see that Alexander has declared himself explicitly on the subject, but there now remains no doubt as to the sentiments of Austria, and even the Crown Prince of Sweden, if his interference is to be considered of any importance, has actually prohibited, by a formal edict, the wearing of the white cockade in those parts

of the Netherlands belonging to the French

Empire, through which he has passed. How then we, in this country, can think ourselves capable of bringing about a counter-revolution; how, single handed, we can calculate upon restoring the throne of the Bourbons, appears to me to be one of the silliest notions that ever entered the heads of any people. Even with the forces of nearly all Europe in our pay, and the command of means almost unlimited in their extent, we have not been able, after a war of more than twenty years, to make any sensible impression upon France. She hasnodoubt been frequently brought to avery low state, much lower than she is at present; but the greatness of her difficulties, her repeated disasters and defeats, have only served as a stimulus to her energies, and, in the end, to place her on a more elewated station than the one she previously occupied. If, therefore, she has already baffled all the attempts of the former coalitions; if, when her government was in the hands of feeble administrators, and . her armies frequently betrayed by the treachery of her generals, she triumphed over all her foes; if when the South of France was almost entirely overrun by the adherents of the Bourbons, and the recollection of that unfortunate family yet alive in the minds of thousands, she was able to avert the storm that threatened her ruin; how much more must she be capable of extricating herself now when her affairs are in the hands of a chief who knows how to govern and how to conquer; who, in all circumstances, appears to possess the full confidence of his subjects; who has established a code of laws in France, calculated, in a very superior degree, to promote their happiness; and who has given to persons and to Fo a greater security than was enjoyed at any former period in that country. It is idle, it is ridiculous to say, that what has passed at Bordeaux affords evidence, that the whole people of France, or even a small portion of them, are prepared for a counter-revolution; because it is quite obvious, even supposing a fair representation to have been given of the business, that the defeat of Soult, which rendered the approach of Lord Wellington's immense army to Bordeaux almost certain, was sufficient of itself to produce an effect favourable to the Bourbons, whose cause care had been previously taken to make the inhabitants believe his Lordship had espoused, and whose misfortunes he was about to avenge. Restore Bordeaux to its former situation, by removing our army to his needy relatives, whom he knows to be in a state of pauperism.—In my letter to you of the 2d instant, I took notice of a Charity Sermon that was to be preached on the Sunday following at the parish church of St. Ann, Blackfriars', for the benefit of the German Sufferers. I also observed, that the worthy Rector had devoted the same pulpit, some weeks before, to the same laudable purpose, for the sole benefit of the poor of his flock. I should have mentioned also, that the Afternoon Lec‘turer, in both cases, took up the subject, and made some small collection. There were, therefore, two separate Sundays devoted to preaching at the same church, by the same eminent Divine, to the same congregation, and upon the same occasion,-namely, to relieve misery and distress, and that brought on by the same cause, the calamities of war.—The suffering German is expelled from his cottage and pro

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Sir, You have made some very judicious and sensible remarks on the Quakers making so prominent a part in the list of subscribers to relieve the Germans; and ou seem to think their principles would ead them to do the same for our enemies, the French; for that the latter are in the same situation as the former, you have proved by documents from the Moniteur, entitled surely to as much respect as the letters published by Ackermaun, the printseller and caricaturist. I am afraid, however, that upon due inquiry and observation, you will find the Quaker society as degenerated as the rest of us, and that they are guided by a few men, whose wealth having brought them into connexion with Government, they are eager on all occasions to evince their loyally, or, in other words, their attachment to the Powers that be. Commerce has been the evil on which this society has split; commerce, which, as Thomas Paine observed, “they follow with a step as steady as time, and an appetite as keen as death.” The influence of this banesul pursuit I remember to have been first visible during the American war; but its rapid strides during the present war are almost incredible.—We have now uaker bankers, Quaker merchants, and 3: contractors; yes, Mr. Cobbett, even contractors; men, whose dress shew them to be the pillars of “our Israel,” will go from their silent meetings, and cantract to supply Lord Wellington's army with flour, &c.! Now, if the Society allows itself, on all public matters to be guided by this description of persons, they must necessarily be widely different from what they are represented to have been in the time of Barclay and Penn.-Compare the manly and nervous address on peace of the former of these eminent men to the profligate Charles 2d, and the late *ondescript address of the Quaker body to - 1'.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the Prince Regent, and you will form a retty just idea of the degeneracy of this § of Christians, With regard to the subscription, however, it should be remarked, that the country Quakers are more modest than their London brethrea; sor they send up their reunittances under one head; while the names of the latter are displayed in the daily papers, with all Pharisaical pomp; but this, I suppose, must rest with their Secretary, Mr. Howaap, who seems to know the modern mode of working on the benevolent! Nay, this unan has taken upon him to print the naumes of the Quaker subscribers in London, and to send them all over England, to excite others to imitate their example; and, perhaps, to shame those sensible and reflecting men, who think they can take as much care of their money, and do as much good with it as other people. The dissenters are continually brawling against the degenerate clergy; but with what face can they do it, when such a proceeding as the above is tolerated in that sect, where so much manly independence used to be found ! I am ascaid I shall trespass too much, upon your indulgence; but I wish to ask, how it happens, that in this German subscription, the Royal family and nobility are quite omitted? I do not Perceive one name distinguished either in the political or literary world. Our ministers, also, do not come forward. Have no applications been made in these quarters? If so, I suppose they think proper to leave all the charity to the honest and well meaning, for such I believe are most of the subscribers, and they only want discrimination to make them good and useful citizens.—I am your sincere well-wisher, Georoe Taus MAN. Amlico, March 14.

P.S.–As Mr. Secretary Howard is a Quaker, perhaps the public will be furnished with all the items of expense attending advertisements, kc. &c. &c. occasioned by

the German subscription.

[ocr errors][merged small]

perty by a merciless enemy; the suffering Englishman by the hand of a friend, a civil

officer, who, at the command of a collector,

takes forceable possession of his house, to seize for the King's taxes, and the landlord

[blocks in formation]

too (though I cannot see it), as it is a noto

rious fact, that the suffering Germans have four times the pity and assistance of the suffering English.-What is it that these newly acquired friends, the suffering Germans, have done for us, which they have not already been paid for, that entitles them so strongly to our compassionate regard? It is not yet twelve months since they stood in battle array against us, and it is not inpossible that in less than six months they may again assume the same hostile position. whoever will give themselves the trouble to examine into the conduct of the Germans towards this country for the last hundred

- years, will easily discover that gratitude is

not their most prominent virtue. I hear many people prate about their love of country, and I have been simple enough to imagine they meant the people of the same

sountry in which they were born and brought up; but I have discovered my mis

take. It is the soil they mean, on which they tread, and not the people. The peo

[ocr errors]

to the workhouse, and that is bad enough: ——No, no, it is the Germans, the beloved Germans, who have won our hearts, and claim our solicitude, our cares, and our attentions; to such a degree, indeed, that I should not be surprised if England should be nearly deserted, as it is very natural for men to be fond of the company of those who so completely possess their esteem and affection. But, to return to the collection made for the poor of the parish of St. Ann's. The two sermons preached on that occasion produced a collection considerably under £30; but when the sermons were preached for the benefit of the German sufferers, the hearts of the hearers were certainly softened; they were thawed either by political heat, or the warm sun-beams of vanity: it is impossible it could be from humanity. The sermon in the morning produced £93, and, if I am rightly informed, that in the afternoon raised £17. —Judge, Sir, from these facts, what little feeling there is in the hearts of Englishmen for the suffering English, and that, too, in the severest weather I ever remember, and I am not a chicken. A FRIEND to HUMANITY. Blackfriars, March, 1814.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

dividuals into a kind of fame, by laying

open to the public their silly speeches or dishonest actions, I have uniformly admired your talent and your selection of subject, deeming your labours highly beneficial to humanity.—A late event, I am glad to find, has not escaped your eagle-eye, nor your still sharper pen: I do not mean any of the sormer, but the last imposition prac. tised upon that highly esteemed and truly respectable body of men, the Stock-jobbers; —men who never wish to profit by salse rumours – men who, for self-defence, ought to be particularly upon their guard against the manoeuvres of Jacobins, who make no scruple of asserting that the war and the national debt yield support to the Stock-jobber, and therefore wish to put an end to both.-Morality, forsooth, in the

mouths of Stock-jobbers!—It is certainly
very disgusting to hear men talk of a thing
they themselves neither practise nor under-
stand.—The squeamish consciences of these
gentlemen are much revolted at the late
hoax practised upon them. They are out
of pocket by it; they are losers; therefore
they have lugged in morality.—Pray what
is the foundation of the national debt?
What is the cause of its increase? What
is the nature of Stock-jobbing in the Alley?
Which bears the highest premium, Morali.
ty or Omnium ? Is it customary for the
buyers to proclaim a victory before they
buy? or for the venders to boast of bad
news before they sell? Do they not all
endeavour to buy cheap and sell dear? Do
they not all seize upon the slightest advan
tage either way? Do they not most eager-
'ly make a profit of credulity? Was this
fraud the first, the only one that has ever
taken place? Why do they appeal to Go-
vernment for present redress and future
prevention? Do they not see in our pub-
lic papers fraud practised, openly avowed
and authorized? Of what description was
the act of that Commander who obtained
the secret, and counterfeited the cypher of
the enemy? Oh! but that was a ruse de
guerreo say these gentlemen, and therefore
allowable.—Very well ; since you will
have it so, let the hoax be also deemed a
ruse de guerre. Gambling is a species of
warsare; the combatants in the one case
thirsting for blood, in the other thirsting
for money : A Cossack and a Stock-jobber
are more allied than is generally imagined;
although, upon reflection, we may easily
discover a relation's joy, a family affection,
in the excessive caresses shewn to a cousin
Cossack who visited the metropolis some
months ago. —Excuse my hasty scribble,
but I belong to a Bible Society, and some
of our members as well as myself make a
practise of going our rounds regularly, to
discover what green-grocer or what chand-
lers' shops expose their ware to sale on a
sabbath-night.
Sabbath evening.

Simon PANTEGRuel.

NAtion AL REroRM.

Mr. Cobbett, L-As your Register has been, and is now, the great means of diffusing important political truth to our think. ing nation, you will oblige one of your constant readers, as well as the friends of general liberty, by inserting the following plan of national reform, to support our minds under the present expensive contest

with France. . The plan which I propose is more certain and stable than the Sinking Fund, and is such as no honest man can, I conceive, oppose with any show of justice. It ought to unite all parties, because it is founded on general equity, and gives equal religious rights and privileges to all sects and denominations; and, as a great excellency, will do no injury to any individual.

1st. Let every person, of whatever order, office, or description, who belongs to and receives any emolument from the established national religion, enjoy his income during his life.

2d. Let the government sell all the tithes, at the death of the incumbents, and apply the church revenues to the purpose of paying off the interest of the national debt, &c.

This is the whole of my simple plan; and, besides its political usefulness, it will serve to restore religion to its primitive simplicity, as its Founder left it. It is well known, that Christianity, before it had any union with worldly establishments, or had received any support from national emoluments, even though opposed and persecuted, made its irresistible way through the Roman empire, but when it became a national institution, it lost its essence as a spiritual religion, was changed into a corrupt, mercenary, and persecuting religion, a kingdom of this world, and an engine of the state. No person of the church of England can reasonably complain of the above plan, because they may enjoy their religion on the same terms as all other sects; and being the minority, they ought to consider the good of the whole, but, as being proJessing Christians, they ought to remember that equal justice is due to all, without favour or distinction.

A Frrend To Justice.

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.
On the Vice-Chancellon's Court, and
Power of the Proctoas.

Mr. Editor, In the discussion that has taken place in Oxford, in consequence of the observations on certain statutes of that University, and on the power of the Proctors, which appeared in your Register of the 26th ult. I have heard the writer taxed with a culpable omission in not stating that the sentence of the Vice-Chancellor's Court is not final; but that any person, who conceives himself aggrieved [. any proceedings in that Court, has means of redress by an appeal.-I beg leave to say, that the

appeal is generally considered as nugatory, and so completely out of the power of a poor client, as not to be worth mentioning, and as only calculated to add insult to injury. Respecting the appeal, Blackstone informs us, that from the sentence of the Vice-Chancellor, his deputy or assessor, “an appeal lies to delegates appointed by the Congregation, from thence to other delegates of the House of Convocation; and if all three concur in the same sentence, it is final, at least by the statutes of the Uni versity, according to the rule of the civil law. But, if there be any discordance or variation in any of the three sentences, an appeal lies, in the last resort, to judges delegates appointed by the Crown under the great seal of Chancery.” Now, Sir, not to insist upon the impossibility of a poor client having recourse to so tedious and so expensive a mode of seeking redress from the sentence of this Court, I shall only observe, that the names of the ViceChancellor, of both the Proctors, and not unfrequently of some of the Pro-Proctors," are among the delegates of appeals both in Convocation and Congregation' I hope, then, we shall no more hear of the easy method of a poor person's obtaining redress, and of the utter impossibility of his being persecuted by the University officers. —I hope, as the matter is now beginning to be agitated, that the members of the University will express their abhorrence of some late disgraceful proceedings, which are well known, and which have long been the chief topic of conversation in Oxford. From my long residence in the University, I have been personally acquainted with several of the Proctors, who have been men of judgment and of acknowledged benevolence, and who have discharged the duties of their office with honour and integrity. It is to be lamented, that some others have displayed a total want of proper feeling, and have behaved like tyraunical school-boys. To produce instances of cruelty and tyranny is always an unpleasant task, and is disgusting to the reader. The cause of truth and humanity, however, requires that facts be brought forward in support of assertions. I can bring an instance of a Pro-Proctor, who carried his assumed power to such a length as to stop every woman he met walking by herself, in the streets, in the dusk of the evening, and to demand of her who she was, whence

* Blackstone's Commentaries, B. iii. ch. 6. * Each Proctor has two Masters of Arts to assist him, who are called Pro-Proctors.

[ocr errors]

she came, whither she was going. This, to say the least of it, was highly inquisitorial. It must have been done to gratify an impertinent curiosity, an insatiable lust of É. or something worse. To the inhaitants of the place, who are daily subject to the effects of such abuse of power, this conduct cannot but be irritating, and must conduce to keep up that jealousy and illwill, which have always existed between the University and city. It may, perhaps, be said, that this exertion of assumed autho. rity did not arise from any badness of heart, but merely from the excusable desire which a young man feels to display his consequence on his first entrance into office. It is difficult, indeed, to restrain the expression of our pity at the weakness of that man, who can be proud of an office, which is merely ministerial, and which places him, in the eye of the law, in nearly the same situation as that of a common constable. It must, however, be remarked, that this was not only a very foolish, but a very illegal proceeding, being totally unwarranted either by the law of the land, or by the University-charters. By the latter, the time of watch and ward is limited between nine o'clock at night and five in the morning, during which time only the University-officers have the right or power of interference in the streets with any but matriculated persons. This, however, I know to have been done with impunity. An action could not be brought against the aggressor in any other court than that of the Vice-Chancellor. I knew a Proctor, who, at the very time when several females, whom he himself had apprehended, were confined in prison, at a most inclement season of the year, had so little sense of propriety and feeling, and so much meanness and brutality, as to exult on the success of the cunning plans and stratagems by which he had entrapped his victims. To add to this unpleasant, but necessary recital, I remember a circumstance to have happened, of sounjustifiable a nature, that the very recollection of it rouses my indignation. The Proctors took the trouble of going two miles out of Oxford, late at night, and entered a cottage, where five or six girls of bad character were dancing with countrymen who lived in their neighbourhood. On finding that no gownsmen were there, it is said, that they all demurred except one of the Pro-Proctors, who declared that his walk should not be in vain. The fact, however, was, that they took the girls to Oxford, and the Vice-Chancellor commit

« ZurückWeiter »