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the article of the Courier of the 29th instant, which, as I before observed, was published for the purpose of feeling the public pulse, and which, before I proceed to my remarks, I shall, agreeably to my usual practice, insert. I shall insert the whole of it, because it will hereafter be to be referred to. We are now, I am convinced, at the dawn of a set of memorable measures and events. It is, therefore, of great consequence to note down, and to fix clearly in our minds, all the preliminary steps. History often becomes wholly useless for want of a knowledge of the little springs which first set the machine in motion.

With this preface I hope the reader will enter upon the article, which is not long, with a disposition to attend to its contents.

“ The Message of the Prince Regent to both Houses on Saturday, related to " the violent proceedings which have taken place in several counties of England. “ Copies of the information which has been received by Government, relative to " them will be laid before Parliament to-day. The intention of Government is to “move an address this afternoon to the Regent, thanking him for his communi“cation, and to refer the information to a Secret Committee of Inquiry. Of

course we do not presume to state what their report will be ; but it is rumoured " that a suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act will be proposed. We have, from the “ country papers received this morning, extracted accounts of the situation of “ several districts, where, we regret to state, the practice of stealing arms, admi“nistering treasonable oaths, and assembling in large numbers nightly, is carried “ on with increasing violence. More vigorous measures have therefore become ne“cessary. That the Government have hitherto endeavoured to put down these

outrages without demanding inore extensive powers ; that they hoped the laws

as they stood would be sufficient; that they trusted the trials and punishment “ of some prominent offenders would operate as a salutary example and warning, " is now adduced against them as a crime; and falsely imputing these outrages “ to the Orders in Council, the Opposition ask whether it is not alarming that "measures of such extent should be brought into discussion at this season of the “.year;' when it is added, “almost all the independent Representatives of the "people are on their return to the country? What! are measures necessary to “ the public peace and safety not to be discussed because independent Represen. “tatives do not choose to attend their duty in Parliament? If they prefer their “ own business or pleasure to the public business, are Ministers to blame? The evil which it is wished to remedy has grown to an alarming height only within a short time, how then was it possible to bring it into discussion earlier ? And “ with respect to the Orders in Council, is there the least shadow of proof that the outrages were occasioned by them ? Nay, is there not abundant evidence to “show that they had nothing to do with them? Did the Orders in Council pro“ duce the destruction of the stocking-frames in Nottinghamshire ? Did they “ lead to the burning of the mills in Yorkshire? Did they cause the horrible “ assassinations in Lancashire? Have they produced the Luddite Associations "and the oaths of treason which have been the consequence of them? Are arms “ seized and large numbers of persons drilled and disciplined nightly because of " the Orders in Council ? It is absurd, if not worse, to endeavour so to mislead the .public mind. But the Orders in Council have been repealed! It is known in every part of the disturbed counties that they bave been repealed, and yet these

outrages, so far from having abated in violence, are on the increase. TREA“ SON is the object of these associations, and their weapons bave hitherto been “ burnings and assassination. Are these crimes to be palliated or excused, and " are we to characterize the perpetrators of them inerely as poor deluded mis. « taken men ? They are neither deluded nor mistaken ; their hatred is against the whole form of our Government, and their object is to destroy it. The SUSPEN“ SION OF THE HABEAS CORPUS, and the PROCLAMATION OF MAR“TIAL LAW may be and are measures to be deplored, but the question is, whe“ther a lesser evil shall be incurred to avoid a greater ; whether disaffection shall “ be put down and punished, or sutfered to pursue its march with impunity."

The object of this article clearly is to prepare a justification of a suspension of the Habeas Corpus, or PERSONAL LIBERTY ACT, and also of the subjecting of the seople of England to MARTIAL LAW.

Reader, English Reader! Reader, of whatever country you may be, do think a little of the nature of the measures here unequivocally pointed out for adoption. As to the first, it would expose us, it would expose any of us, it would expose every man in England, TO BE PUT IN PRISON, INTO ANY PRISON, AND KEPT THERE, DURING THE PLEASURE OF THE MINISTRY, WITHOUT ANY SPECIFIC CHARGE AGAINST US, AND WITHOUT EVER BEING BROUGHT TO TRIAL. This would be the effect of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, which, by all our great lawyers, is described as the safeguard of our liberties and our lives.

The other measure, the proclaiming of martial law, would SUBJECT US ALL TO BE TRIED BY COURTS-MARTIAL, AND TO BE IMPRISONED, FLOGGED, HANGED, OR SHOT, AS SUCH COURTS-MARTIAL MIGHT ADJUDGE.

I do not say, mind, that Lord Castlereagh has these measures in his budget for us. No, no; I do not say that; but it is very clear, that the vile Editor of the Courier newspaper is prepared to justify the proposing and the adopting of these measures, which he calls “ a lesser evil” than that of suffering "disaffection to go unpunished;" and this he says, too, while he is calling upon us to fight for our liberties.

However, having seen his measures, let us now see what are the grounds upon which he would justify them. He says, that " treason is " the object of the rioters; that they are neither deluded nor mistaken : but that their hatred is against the whole form of our government, " and that their object is to destroy it.This must be news indeed to the Emperor of France, who will, doubtless, be anxious to hear to how many counties of England this hatred extends itself. He will, I dare say, be amused with the reflection that a twenty years' war to keep down republicans and levellers has brought us to this; and, really, we cannot be much offended even if he should laugh at us, when he recollects that our newspapers have been expressing so anxious a desire to have to record the events of disturbances and insurrections in France.—But, where is the proof of the truth of this assertion of the Courier ? Upon the strength of what evidence is it, that he sends forth these tidings so pleasing to the Emperor of France and to all the enemies of England? Where are his proofs of that treason and of that hatred of the whole form of the government, of which he talks ? If he has the proofs, why does he not give them? And, if he has them not, how dares he make such an assertion ? How dares he thus blacken the character of the people of the most populous and most valuable part of the kingdom ?-He denies, that the Orders in Council have had any thing to do in the producing of the disturbances, though the evidence of a crowd of most respectable witnesses, given before both Houses of Parliament, prove that the Orders in Council have been one cause, at least, of the distresses which exist in the troubled counties; and also prove, that the distresses have been, or, at least, originally were, the cause of the disturbances. Yet does this unfeeling man endeavour to make the world believe, that distress has had nothing at all to do with the matter.-It has been proved, in the clearest possible manner, that, in the troubled counties, the people have suffered and are suffering, in a most cruel manner; that the food of many of them is of the worst sort, and not half sufficient in quantity; that hundreds and thousands of poor mothers and their children are wholly destitute of bread, and that even potatoes are too dear for them to yei at; that the

VOL. IV.

food of these unfortunate creatures is oatmeal and water, and that they have not a sufficiency of that. It has been proved, that many have died, actually expired for want of food. And, it has been proved, that this want bas, in part, at least, arisen from the existence of the Orders in Council - Yet, with this proof all before him, does this unfeeling writer, this inexorable man, deny that any part of the disturbances bas arisen from distress, and that a treasonable intention, “a hatred to the whole form of the government, and a desire to destroy it,” are the sole causes.

This pampered hireling does not know what hunger is. It is charity to suppose that he is incapable of forming an idea of the sufferings of a human being under the craving of an appetite which there are not the means to satisfy. Let him read a passage in the history of Trenck, who, having travelled for two or three days without eating, and being in a house where he saw some victuals without having money to purchase any, says, he rushed out of the door lest he should commit murder in order to obtain the food, which he felt himself violently tempted to do. Let the hard-hearted hireling read this passage ; let him put himself, for a moment, in the place of a father who sees a starving family around him ; and, then, I should hope, that he, even he, will feel and express some compassion for the suffering manufacturers.-Far be it from me to attempt to justify people in the commission of unlawful acts. I do not wish to justify the woman who, according to the newspapers, committed highway robbery in taking some potatoes out of a cart at Manchester, and who, according to the newspapers, was HANGED FOR IT. I do not pretend to justify her conduct. But there is, I hope, no harm in my expressing my compassion for her; and, I further hope, that my readers would think me a most inhuman brute, if I were to endeavour to deprive her and her unhappy fellow-sufferers of the compassion of the public; by asserting that she was actuated by a treasonable motive, and that she hated the whole form of our government, and wished to destroy it. No, reader, I will not lend my aid to this. I allow her to have been guilty of highway robbery in forcibly taking some potatoes out of a cart at Manchester ; I allow this; and I allow that the law has made highway robbery a crime punishable with death, if the judges think proper ; but I cannot and I will not allow, that her forcibly taking of some potatoes out of a cart at Manchester, was any proof of a treasonable design and of hatred against the whole form of our government.-Upon some future occasion I will give a picture of the mode of living of a poor man and his family in England, and will show how far his wages will go with the quartern loaf at 20 pence. At present I shall add only one remark to what has been said above, and that is, that though this hired writer could see nothing but treason to arm the Government against, LORD SID. MOUTH could. He could see, not only an insurrection of the head to provide against, but also an insurrection of the belly; for, in the speech by which he introduced his motion for thanks to the Regent for his Message, he is reported to have said :-" They (the government) ought “ to be prepared for the worst. If their hopes should prove to be unfounded; if it should please Providence to afflict the country with “ another BAD HARVEST ; how heavy would be the responsibility of " the Government; how heavy that of their Lordships, if they neglected “ to take such precautionary measures as the occasion required ?" Very true, my loid! Really, very true! And, doubtless, as you are so sensible of the heavy responsibility that will fall upon you both as a minister and a lord, if precautionary measures are not taken to meet the affliction of another bad harvest ; this being the case you, doubtless, have in view some means either of augmenting the wages or incoine of the poor, or, of lowering the price of their food. There appears to me to be only these two sets of means; and, as your lordship seems to be so fully sensible of the responsibility, there can be no doubt that one or the other will be employed. The former object might be accomplished, to a great extent, at least, by certain suvings which I will hereafter take the liberty to point out to your lordship; and the latter, by adding to the quantity of corn by importation. But, I have not now room to do anything more than merely open this most interesting of all subjects.

We must now, before we take our leave of this subject for the present, return to the House of Commons, where, on Tuesday, the 30ih June, we find the ballot producing the following members for the Secret Com. mittee : G. Canning

Lord G. L. Gower
W. Wilberforce

Lord Milton
Lord Castlereagh

C. Long
H. Lascelles

H. Goulburn
W. Lambe

J.S Wortley
Samuel Whitbread

Lord Newark
The Master of the Rolls

Paget
D. Davenport

G. Tierney
J. Blackburne

H. Leicester
W. W. Booile

T. Babbington.
C. Yorke

Upon the names being read over Mr. Whitbread said, “ this List contained the identicul names that he had seen handed about this morning. The present was therefore neither more nor less than the Treu

sury List, as all Committees ballotted for in this manner were uniformly " found to be"

The reader will ask, perhaps, how it comes, then, that Mr. Whitbread's own name was put on it: but, reader, of what use is his name, if there be a majority on the side of the minister ?

Such, then, is this SECRET Commiitee. And, what is this Committee to do? Why, it is to examine the SEALED UP papers ; and, then it is to make a report to the House of the result of its inquiries, and of the measures which it thinks proper to recommend in consequence. And then the House is to decide without seeing the papers! Or, I suppose, at least, that this is the course, it having been so in other cases of Secret Committees.

Having now given this subject an opening, and having brought the history of the Luddite measures down to the appointment of the Committee of Secrecy; I shall, for the present, take my leave of it, with once more requesting my readers to WATCH THE WHIGS, and mark what their conduct will be through the whole of this transaction. In neither House have they yet opened their lips upon the subject.

WM. COBBETT.

THE LUD DITES;

OR,
HISTORY OF THE SEALED BAG.

(Political Register, July, 1812.)

No. II.

In my last, under this head, I inserted and commented on, an article, published by the hireling press, about a row at the Theatre at Nottingham. The following letter, published in the Nottingham Review of the 3rd of July, will show how false and how base were the charges contained in that article :

LIBELS AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF NOTTINGHAM.

To the Editor of the Nottingham Reviero

SIR: It seems that a dark scheme has been laid by several character assassins, for the purpose of exciting the particular resentment of Government against the inhabitants of this town, as several of the London papers of this week have teemed with abuse against them, equally false and malignant. We are told that a man has been shot at, who had been active in bringing the “ evil-dis posed people to justice;" that “parties of these deluded people are in the habit of assembling in different parts of the town, to carry their revengeful designs into execution; that it is dangerous for the military to walk the streets in the evening; that on the 24th ult. Brigade-Major Humphreys, who is on the Staff here, was laid wait for on his return from the Theatre (which seems to be a favourite resort of these lawless ruffians) by a large party, and without the slightest provo. cation on his part, was knocked down by a shower of stones, two of which took effect, and one, which struck him on the forehead, nearly terminated his existe ence; and that an Officer of the Somerset Militia, wbo was quietly walking along the streets, was assaulted by a considerable party of these desperadoes, and nar. rowly escaped with his life," &c. Now, Sir, the truth or falsehood of these grave charges will show what credit is due to the testimony of these calumniators, who seem to ape the conduct of those worthy gentry, that some time ago corresponded with the celebrated and honest John Bowles. It is true that a man was shot at eight miles hence on the 20th ultimo; but the writers in question might with as much propriety have charged the Lord Chancellor of England with having been accessary to the assassination of Mr. Perceval, as to implicate the people of Nottingham with an attempt on the life of a man eight miles hence, for his Lordship was very likely much nearer the House of Commons when Bellingham drew the fatal trigger.-As to the other charges, brought by these scribbling gentlemen, they are still of a more infamous

complexion; but a short statement of facts will set the business to rights.—The Theatre is described as having been the rallying point for a set of ruffians; and, perhaps, this may prove correct; for it can be proved by many respectable witnesses, that few evenings passed over during the late season of performance at that should be place of social amusement, without a row being kicked up by certain military characters, and a few stripling ruffians who had honourably enlisted under their warlike banners. The practice generally was for these worthies to make their sober appearance at half-price, and as soon as the curtain fell, to vociferate “ God save the King;" and those who did not immediately obey their second imperious mandate, which was "Hats off," were instantly assailed with oaths, sticks, swords, &c. Party in politics made no distinction here; for many persons of great respectability, who are known to be staunch friends to what is called “the high party,” met with much abuse,

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