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because they chose to act as men; nay, many of the fair sex felt the effects of the gentlemanly conduct of some of these defenders of our country, and their worthy coadjutors. One of them, a conspicuous officer of the 45th, for abusing a man in the pit, was brought before the Magistrates; and had not the prosecutor have taken the hush-money, he would have appeared in his true colours in a court of justice; a gentleman of high character both for property and personal respectability, was a volunteer evidence on the occasion, but who has had the tables turned upon him for his services; for this same gallant Officer has since caused him to be bound over to the Sessions, on a charge of having excited an assault upon the latter, though I do not understand that he exhibited any honourable wounds obtained in either his offensive or defensive operations. A jury will, however, set this business to rights.-As to the charge about the Somerset Officer, I will beg leave to inform you, that his valour had often been displayed against the hats of the audience in the Theatre, and that he one evening received a severe chastisement by the aid, as I understand, of a horse-whip, for which he has caused a man to be bound over to the Sessions.--As to the wound received by Brigade-Major Humphreys, I have no doubt, but every person in the town laments the unfortunate circumstance; because, since his residence here, he has invariably conducted himself as a gentleman. The truth is, however, that as he was departing from the Theatre, in company with some other officers, he was struck on the forehead hy a stone, or some other hard substance ; but, happy I am to say, so far from his life being endangered by the blow, that a gentleman of my acquaintance met him the next morning going about his business. The principal sufferer in consequence of these outrages, is Mr. Robertson, one of the Managers of the Theatre; who, as a good husband, a good father, and in other respects, a good member of society, it grieves me to say, was deprived of his benefit, the Mayor ordering the Theatre to be shut; but who, I hope, will be remunerated when he makes his appearance here at the Races.-The writer of the inflammatory article in one of the London papers, whose character and station in life, I believe, I am acquainted with, concludes by saying, “ It is a lamentable circumstance, that with the powers granted by the Watch and Ward Bill, such acts of atrocity should not be prevented.” To this I will reply, that, with the exception of the disturbances occasioned as above described, so peaceable is the state of the town, that the Magistrates have not seen it necessary to saddle the inhabitants with the expense and trouble of Watching and Warding since the 5th of June. So much for the veracity of these correspondents to the London papers!

A FRIEND TO TRUTH,

THE LUDDITES;

OR,

HISTORY OF THE SEALED BAG.

(Political Register, July, 1812.)

“ That the subjects which are Protestants, may have arms for their defence, “suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law.”—DECLARATION OF Riguts.

No. III. I have brought down this curious history to the appointment of the Committee of the House of Commons, to examine and report upon the contents of the SEALED BAG. I am now about to put upon record what has been the result of that examination; and, when I have so done, I shall offer such remarks upon the subject as appear to me likely to assist in causing the thing to be seen in its true light, and also to be re

membered for what it has been. The people of this country have been led on by degrees to their present state. No people were ever so much changed all at once. If, twenty years ago, the people of England, who were then shouting for war, had been told what their state would be in twenty years from that time, they would have been ready, like Richard, to stab the prophet in the midst of his prophecy. If they had been told, that, before that war should end, they would be compelled to pay an income-tax of ten per centum; that they would be subjected to laws of taxation such as those now in existence; that they would see German Troops brought into the heart of the country; that they would see the arms of a Local Militia put under the guard of regular soldiers ; that they would see barracks erected in, or on the side of every considerable town; that they would see districts of England put under the command of German Officers; that they would see the Judges sitting at the assizes under the protection of regular soldiers ; that they would see soldiers attending to protect the Sheriff and his officers at the execution of criminals ; that they would see soldiers called in at an election for members to serve in Parliament; and, finally, that they would see a law passed for DISARMING THE PEOPLE, or any considerable part of the people: if they had been told this, what would they have said ? Would they not have regarded the man, telling them so, as either a madman or one disposed to excite hatred against the Government? Would not such a man have been prosecuted as a seditious libeller 9 Nay; how many Gentlemen, how many real friends of England and of English liberty, were prosecuted, and some of them utterly destroyed, for endeavouring to prevent the war, and to produce that reform, without which, as they then stated, it was impossible for England to avoid ruin? But, even their forebodings; even their notions of ruin fell far short of what we now have in the reality before our eyes.

Let the reader, therefore, prepare his mind for much more than he has yet seen.

What is to be the end of the progress, in which we now are, no man can say, and I shall not pretend to conjecture; but, I beseech the reader to be prepared ; and with this caution to him, I enter upon the continuation of the history of the sealed bag.

We before saw how the Secret Committee was appointed; and we have now to see its report. This report was laid before the House of Com. mons on the 8th instant, and, in substance, it is given as stating,

“ That alarming disturbances, destructive to property, prevailed in the countics “ of Lancaster, York, &c., and had continued from the month of March down to the “ latest accounts on the 23rd of June. That the rioters assembled in the night. “ time, with their faces blackened, armed with the implements of their trades, and “ other offensive instruments, with which they destroyed the property of those “ who were obuoxious to them. That they had in many instances written threat“ening letters, had proceeded the length of setting fire to the houses of indivi“duals, and even that an atrocious murder had been committed on a person of “ the name of Horsefall, by four persons, who there was every reason to believe “ were accomplices in these disturbances. That great dread and alarm was oc“casioned in consequence of these proceedings; and that, in some instances, • sums of money were demanded and extorted. The Committee, without enter. “ing into details, thought it necessary to state, that the first object of these riot

ers seemed to be the breaking of machinery; but they had in many instances “resorted to measures infinitely more alarming, namely, the demanding of arms; “ and had even carried them off, in many instances where they allowed every “ other species of property to remain untouched. These seemed not to be the “ effect of any sudden impulse, but of an organized system of lawless violence. " Sometimes the rioters were under the control of leaders; and were distinguish.

"ed, not by names, but by numbers; were known to each other by signs and "countersigns; and carried on all with the utmost caution. They also took an " oath, that while they existed under the canopy of Heaven they would not

reveal any thing connected with the present disturbances, under the penalty of being put out of existence by the first brother whom they should meet, &c. " It did not appear to the Committee that any sums of money were distributed " among the rioters. It was extremely difficult to discover them. It was held

out to them that they might expect to be joined by other discontented per" sons from London, and that there were persons in the higher ranks who would also "lend them support; but of these insinuations the Committee were able to find ** no evidence. Whatever was their ohject, however, and whoever were the secret " moters of these disturbances, yet the secrecy with which they were carried on, “the attempts at assassination that had been made, the oaths that had been ad"ministered, and the system of terror that prevailed, had not failed to impress " the Committee deeply."

Deeply, enough, no doubt; but there was, it seems, no evidence to prove a setting on; no evidence to prove a plot, And, this is the cir. cumstance that will most puzzle the ministry. They can find no agita. tors. It is a movement of the people's own, as far as it goes; and, if the ministry say, that it does not arise from the dearness of provisions and from other causes of distress; if it does not arise from that source, it follows, that it must arise from some dislike of what the Government it, self is doing or has done; it follows, that the people are displeased with something in their rulers; and this is what is called disaffection.

There is a sad dilemma here for the eulogisis of the system, For, either it is a good system, or it is not; either it is calculated to make the people happy, or it is not: if the latter, the systein ought to be changed ; if the fornier, the people are hostile to the Government for hostility's sake; they, in this case, must hate the system under which they live.

I shall not undertake to say which is the case, It is not necessary. But, one or the other is the case ; that I will say, and, in the assertion, I am warranted by irrefutable argument, The conclusion, either way, is mortifying enough to the pride of those, who began the war for the purpose of keeping democratical principles out of England, and who, at a later period, exulted with Arthur Young, that nothing short of an iron despotism would be sufficient to keep order in France; and that, thus, the people of England would be terrified from all thoughts of reform. This malignant, this diabolical idea is clearly and unreservedly expressed by Arthur Young, in his “ Warning.” Yes ; after having seen all France; after having witnessed, described, and inveighed against the oppressions and miseries under the old Government of France, he exults at the prospect of seeing the people of France punished with an iron and everlasting despotism; and why? Because they had put down for ever that old Government, under which he had before said they were so grievously oppressed.

But, what have these sentiments of the Secretary of the Board of Agriculture to do with the subject before us? A great deal to do with it. For, we now see, that though the people of France were so far foiled by the English Government and its allies as not to be able to establish freedom in France; though they have been, after all, compelled, for the sake of tranquillity and safety, to submit to what they call monarchy, and what our hired writers call a military despotism ; though the wish, the abominable, the fiend-like wish of Arthur Young and the Anti-Jacobins has been thus far, according to their own account, accomplished ; though they assert that France labours under the most terrible of despotisms;

still are they now compelled to confess, that there are a part, at least, of the people of England who have not taken the “Warning.” These people have seen all that has passed in France. They have seen it all, and yet they are, it seems, not afraid of change! Mr. Young must be greatly surprised at this. He must be greatly mortified to see his most chari. table wish disappointed !

Returning now more immediately to the subject; upon the abovementioned report has been grounded a Bill, which is now before Parliament. Of this Bill, which is intended as a remedy for the evils stated in the report, the chief feature is a power given to the Justices (who are all appointed by the Crown) to DISARM THE PEOPLE at their discretion, or, at least, so nearly at discretion, as to leave no room for a clearly defined exception.

There are other provisions in the Bill, which would be calculated to attract attention, if unaccompanied with that which I have just stated : but this is such a thumper, that it leaves no room for surprise or any other feeling at the rest. DISARM THE PEOPLE! Disarm the people of England! And FOR WHAT? No matter what. The fact is quite enough. The simple sentence stating this one fact will save foreign statesmen the trouble of making any inquiries relative to the internal state of England. It speaks whole volumes. A law is passing for taking the arms away from a part of the people of England ! What can be added to this, in order to give Napoleon an adequate idea of our situation? Why, this : that LORD CASTLEREAGH is the man to propose the measure.

The whole of the act will be inserted by me hereafter, in order that it may be read in every country in the world ; and, in the meanwhile, I shall content myself with a few remarks upon the debates, which took place, in the House of Commons, during the progress of the Bill; but, these I must postpone to my next, for subjects now present themselves, which, in point of time, demand a preference. None can equal it in point of intrinsic importance; because the disarming of the people is de. cisive of the character, not only of our present, but of our future situa. tion ; but, in point of time, there are subjects which are still more pressing.

TO THE THINKING PEOPLE OF ENGLAND,

ON THE

AFFAIRS OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY.

(Political Register, January, 1813.)

LETTER I. THINKING PEOPLE, Amongst all the numerous subjects upon which you have discovered your acuteness of perception and profundity of thought, I know of none (except that of Pitt's sinking fund) which has drawn forth so brilliant a display of these qualities as the subjects connected with India ; and, when I reflect on your wise notions about the riches derived to the nation from our " Empire in the East," I cannot wonder at the alarm that many

of you now feel lest the curbing of the power of the East India Company, through the means of the now-proposed measure, should bring ruin upon England. In plain language, you have so long been deceived; you have so long listened, and loved to listen, to falsehoods; you have so long been the almost willing dupes of designing knaves; that there is scarcely a passage left by which truth can find its way to your minds. Nevertheless, I shall endeavour to disentangle the question, which is now so much agitating your wise and plodding noddles; I shall endeavour to strip this grand humbug of its covering; and, when I have so done, I shall leave you to the tricks of the several classes of mountebanks, who are striving for the upper hand in deceiving you.

Those, whose object is to deceive ; who have falsehoods to make pass for truths; those persons generally endeavour to confuse and confound facts and circumstances as much as possible ; and, in the present case, the real points at issue seem to have been kept wholly out of sight. Nay more, I would bet my life, that, if you were all examined one by one, not one out of 5,000 of you know what the words East India Company mean; that you have no more knowledge of the nature and effect of that Corporation than you have of what is passing in the moon; and that, when you read about the wars in India, it is with about as much knowledge and advantage as you read, in Milton, about the Devils firing off cannons in heaven.

This being my firm persuasion, I shall endeavour to make the subject clearly understood ; and, when I have so done, I shall willingly leave, to be cheated still, every one who is fool enough to join in the clamours now raised and raising against the proposed measure of opening the trade to India.

This measure, it is said, by the partisans of the Company, will ruin the Company; that it will breuk up their power ; that it will cause the loss of India as a Colony. I will not stop to dispute about this. I will take these propositions as granted ; and, still I shall contend, that the measure ought to be adopted. It is useless, therefore, to enter into any details to show what the measure will do against the Company; for I am ready to assert, and to prove, and I trust that I shall prove, that the breaking up of the Company would be a great blessing to England; that Company being, and having long been, one of our greatest scourges, one of the chief causes of corruption and oppression.

The outline of the proposed measure is this : tha whereas the trade to India is now exclusively in the hands of the Company, the Ministers mean to make such a change as shall open the trade to other merchants. At present, in consequence of an agreement, made with the Government 20 years ago (which agreement is called a Charter), no merchant of this kingdom, except the Company, can trade with the East Indies; no ships but the East India Company's ships can go thither; but, the Ministers mean to introduce a measure (now that the Company's Charter is upon the point of expiring), which shall enable any merchant of this kingdom to trade to India. Of this proposed measure it is that the Company is complaining, and in opposition to it they are exciting the most violent clamours, representing it as an act of injustice as well as of impolicy.

Faction is endeavouring to make the question a party one, and the City of London, actuated by narrow self-interest, is abetting, in some degree, the opposition, and joining in the clamours. But, the people, if they have not been quite bereft of their reason by conflicting falsehoods,

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