Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

that, in general, they have been shallow

THE LUDDITES. and mischievous in proportion to their gift

No, I. of talking. We have been brought to our present miserable state by a lawyer-like Message of the Prince Regent to the two policy, defended in lawyer-like debates.

Houses of Parliament.--Sealed Papers

and Secret Commillee.- Nalure of the Plain good sense has been brow-beaten out of countenance; has been talked down, by

Ballol for a Commillee.- Publications in

the Times and Courier news-papers for the politicians from the bar; haranguing and special pleading and quibbling have

lhe purpose of feeling the public pulse. usurped the place of frank and explicit

“ Englishmen, now is your time to watch statement and unsophistical reasoning. In “ the WHIGS!". Mr. Hunt you have no lawyer, but you have a man who is not to be brow-beaten

This is the title which I intend to give into silence. You have a man not to be to the several articles, which I shall necesintimidated by the frowns or the threats of sarily have to write upon the subject of the wealth or of rank; a man not to be induced measures now about to be adopted by the to abandon his duty towards you from any government, with regard to the counties of considerations of danger to himself; and, I England, which have, for some time past, venture to foretel (begging that my words been in a state of disturbance.--It is well may be remembered) that, if you elect known, that the frame-breakers in Nothim, the whole country will soon acknow- tingham took the name of Luddiles; that Jedge the benefit conferred on it by the city this name has since spread into the neighof Bristol.

bouring counties; and that several counties Gentlemen, this letter will, in all likeli- have, for many months, been in a state of hood, find you engaged in the bustle of an great trouble. On Saturday, the 27th election. With all the advantages on the of June, the following Message was deliside of your adversary, you may not, per- vered to the two Houses of Parliament, to haps, upon the present occasion, be able to the Lords by ViscounT SIDMOUTH and to defeat him. But, you will have a chance; the Commons by Lord CASTLEREAGH.you will have an opportunity of trying; “ GEORGE P.R.-His Royal Highness you will have an election ; and this you “ the Prince Regent, in the name and on would not have had if it had not been for " behalf of his Majesty, has given orders Mr. Hunt, for the whole affair would have " that there be laid before the House of been over before you had scarcely heard of " Commons, Copies of Information reit. At the very least you will have some "ceived by his Majesty's Government, redays of liberty to speak your minds; to tell " lative to certain violent and dangerous Mr. Davis what you think of him and of “ proceedings, in deliance of the laws, his predecessor; to declare aloud your " which have taken place, and which congrievances and your indignation ; and even " tinue to take place, in certain counties of for this liberty you will be indebted to Mr. " the kingdom.--His Royal Highness conHunt, and solely to Mr. Hunt. You are “ fidently relies on the wisdom of the told of the zeal of Mr. Prothero and Sir “ House of Commons that they will adopt Samuel Romilly in your service; you are " such measures as are necessary to secure told of their desire to promote your interest " the lives and property of the peaceable and your honour; but, where are they " and loyal inhabitants of the disturbed now? Where are they when the enemy is “ districts, and to restore order and tranin your city, when you were to have been " quillity. -The first remark that prehanded over from Bragge Bathurst to Hart sents itself here is, that, so long as three Davis as quietly as if you had been a cargo weeks ago, Lord Castlereagh assured the of rallow or of corn? It is now, it is in House of Commons, that the accounts this moment of real need, that Mr. Hunt which were received by government from comes to your aid; and, if he fail in de- the disturbed counties were very satisfacfeating, he will, at the least, harass your tory, more and more so every day. enemy, make his victory over you cost him Either, therefore, he was misinformed, or dear, and by exposing the sources and the people have relapsed. – On Monday means of his success, lay the foundation of the 29th of June, both Houses voted, witlihis future defeat and disgrace.

out a division, an Address to the Regent, I am, your friend, promising to take the subject into their con

WM. COBBETT. sideration, and to adopt such measures as Slale Prison, Newgale,

might be necessary to ensure the end pointMonday, 29th June, 1812.

ed out in the latter part of the Message.

Upon this VITAL subject we must be " which the Committee was formed, if the very particular as to the names of all the satisfaction of the people were looked to, actors. Lord Liverpool supported the “ was of the utmost importance. (Hear, motion in the Lords, which was made by hear!)-It ought to be of such a deLord Sidmouth; and Lord Stanhope moved scription, that the country would place an amendment, the object of which was to “ reliance upon its wisdom and impartialishut out any project for suspending the Ha- "ty, and not to be merely composed of beas Corpus Act. Lord Holland went with " the creatures of ministerial nomination. Lord Stanhope ; but the motion was adopt " -- The question, that the Committee be ed. - N. B. Not a word against the mo " chosen hy ballot was then put and carlion by Lord Grenville or Lord Grey. “ ried, though there were a long number In the Commons the motion was made by 66 of dissentient voices.-On the question LORD CASTLEREACH. Mr. Whitbread and 66 that Members prepare lists, and appear Sir Francis Burdett expressed their hope “ to-morrow to put them into the classes that nothing was about to be attempted “ appointed for their reception, Mr. WHITagainst the great constitutional law's of “ BREAD declared that he should not attend England. - The next thing that was done “ for that purpose, as experience had shewn was the making of a motion in both Houses " that it would be useless, since any list he for the appointment of a SECRET Com " might prepare would be smothered in mittee to examine and report upon certain " the vast heap of names supplied by the papers that were laid upon the table, " Noble Lord and his political friends.SEALED UP! The motion was, in the " It was ordered that the Papers commuHouse of Commons (to which we will now " nicated by the Prince Regent should reconfine ourselves), that the Committee “ main sealed until the appointment of the should be appointed by ballot; that is to " Committee."--From this the reader say, in fact, appointed by the ministry. will form his opinion of the nature of a What passed upon this subject was very in- ballot. But, indeed, a ballot is no more teresting indeed. I will, therefore, insert than this. Every member present at a it, ülid I beg the reader, especially if he be given time, puts a ballot into a box, or a young man, to make a point of bearing something, with a list of any 21 members' it in mind. Lord CASTLEREAGH then names that he may choose to write on a “ moved, that the Papers he had this day ballot. When the Speaker takes out the “presented, should be referred to a Com- ballots, he counts the number of times that “ mittee, that it be a Committee of Se- he finds the several names written. These crecy,

and that the number of Members 21 meinbers whose names are written the “ be 21, which were severally ordered. greatest number of times are the Commit“ His Lordship likewise moved, that the tee. From this it follows, of course, that 66 members be chosen by ballot.-MR. the majority of the House select the Com" WHITBREAD protested against this mode mittee. The name of ballot does, doubt“ of proceeding, since, it would give the less, lead some persons to suppose, that the 66 Noble Lord the appointment of every names of all the members are put into a “ Member of the Commillee. He wished box, aud that, as in the case of a common " that the Members of it should be public- jury, the first twenty-one names drawn " ly nained and chosen, that the House, out are the names of the Committee; but, " and not the Noble Lord, wight have the after what has been said above, no one “ formation of the Committee. (Heur!) will be deceived upon this subject again. "-LORD CASTLErEach persisted in his -The ministry did not, during the de“ motion, since he was certain that on no bate, develope iheir intended schemes. “ side of the House on such a question But, on the contrary, appeared extremely " would party feelings be exercised; he anxious to avoid making any explicit slate

was convinced that it would be treated ment upon the subject. Mr. Whitbread, " by Parliament in a manner, which while however, took occasion to anticipate any at

it did it honour, would give satisfaction tempt upon the constitutional laws, as did “ to the people.—Sir F. Bup. Dett, looking also Sir Francis Burdett, and the former " at the precedents to which Mr. Whit-warned the ministers (by bidding them look ( bread had referred, could not help feel at the example of other countries) of the

ing great jealousy as to the conduct of consequences of resorting to measures un“ Government; he hoped that the bounds warranted by the usual laws of the country. 66 of the Constitution would not a-new be Mr. Wilberforce said something, and, as it " transgressed by them. The mode in was curious, we will have it upon record.

they put

“He entirely participated in the hope, that I " they became assassins and incendiaries, “ nothing would be found in the documents

themselves out of the protection “ laid upon the table to call for any extra " of the LAW, and JUSTICE must be " ordinary measures. He would not allow" done upon them.” This is an excellent “ himself even to express an opinion, lest phrase? 'The law is to be laid aside, and " it might give rise to feelings that ought juslice is to be done! Very good, indeed!

to be banished from all minds, that might But, this is the sort of trash that delight the "produce dissent instead of union, for the readers of this corrupt vehicle. Iu his “ accomplishment of an object of the great- paper of the 30th of June, this writer calls “est magnitude, not being at all acquainted the people in the disturbed counties aban" with the nature of the papers supplied, doned revolutionary miscreants." In " and not having been present on Saturday short, he says every thing which malice " when the Message was brought down, he and cruelty can suggest to him in order to

was, perhaps, of all men, the least com- prepare beforehand for a justification of

petent to offer any thing to the House, any measures of severity that may be " but he could not avoid rising to express adopted. The Courier, the faithful sellowa wish, that the ulmost calmness and labourer of the former print, sets about moderalion might be observed in the deli- its work in a more elaborate manner. It beration. Nearly connected as he was begins, on Monday, the 29th of June, a

with accounts of acts of violence commitLurbed, he felt it necessary to conjure the ted in Yorkshire, Staffordshire, and Not“ House, that the case of these unfortunate tinghamshire. And, having inserted those " and misguided people might be fully and accounts, the hireling next sets about his "candidly weighed, that the result might work, the recommending of a suspension “ be the restoration of order, unanimity, of the Habeas Corpus Act, and the putting

prosperity, and happiness. This is the country under martial law. These a very curious speech. To speak, and suy things he talks of as coolly as Lord Liver. less than is here said, I should think ex. pool, some years back, talked of a march. tremely difficult. We will, reader, if you

lo Puris. -Reader, does not this last please, shew our respect towards this ho sentence bring you back to the outset of the nourable member by keeping a steady eye French Revolution, when this nation went upon him all through this affair, to war to keep down republicans and lemember his conduct at the times when for- vellers ? Really the contest has brought mer measures of the kind now in contem us to something at last! How far farther plation were proposed. I reinember him it will take us I do not know. - To reat the time of the Bank stoppage, and upon turn now to the accounts from the troubled various other trying occasions. -While counties, I think it necessary to insert them these things were going on in parliament, here; because, it will, hereafter, be very the venal press was not idle; especially the useful to be able to recur to these dawnings news-papers called the Times and the Cou- of a state of things, the like of which this rier. These prints began, at once, to pave country has not seen for a great while, and the

way for what was intended to follow; which will, if I mistake not, make a very they began to feel the pulse of the people. considerable ligure in history. The The Message was carried down, as we have Courier begins with Nottingham, a place seen, on Saturday, and, on Monday morn at the very name of which every hireling's ing the former of these prints began to ao- knees knock together. To be sure, he has nounce, that it wished to see the rioters nothing here to speak of but a squabble at " put out of the protection of the law;" the play-house; but, of that he makes the allegiug, as a reason, that they were be- most. I beg the reader to pay attention to come assassins and incendiaries. But, even the Story: « Nollingham, 26 June.—The assassins and incendiaries have hitherto had - Theatre at this place has been abruptly the taw applied to their case. I do not

6 closed by command of the Town Magisknow why the word assassin is now so " trates in consequence of the tumultuous much in use. It seems that there are peo proceedings that have taken place on ple who think it more horrible in its sound o several successive evenings, occasioned than the word murderer. Be this as it by a request made to the Orchestra lo may, however, we have laws for the pu “ play the NATIONAL air of God save nishment of persons guilty of murder and " the King. On the tune being called for arson, If this is all, we want no new it has generally been accompanied with laws.

“ When," says the vile Times," a cry of " hats of;" which has produced

I re

46

" the most violent opposition on the part this right exists in no case, it surely cannot “ of those who are any thing but loyal. exist when, as appears to have been the “ Instead of complying with the request, case here, the party, taking upon them to “the Oppositionists answer it with a cry give the command is the least numerous. " of " Alllions be free!and rising with Well might the theatre be shut up, if the " their hats on, place themselves in the manager would suffer the few amongst his 6 most menacing attitude of defiance. This audience to hector over the many.

This " act of INDECENCY has frequently led writer calls the tune of God save the King 10 blows, and individuals in the boxes - the NATIONAL air."

But, he has es have been obliged to seek their personal not cited to us any law by which we are " safety by leaping into the pit, while compelled to rise and pull off our hats at " those in the pit have placed themselves the playing of it. He may like it, and so “ in array against the boxes, and a general may the Officers at Nottingham, though as contest' or tunult lias been the result. the language is a rare specimen of stupid 6 In several instances tickets have been dis verbosity and tautology; though some of

iribuied, gratis, lo the amount of several the sentiments, as far as they can be called pounds, with a view to beat down the sentiments, are at once malignant, abject,

loyal party by main force, in consequence and impious ; and though the whole, when 6 of which several OFFICERS have been considered with reference to the unfortu" insulted, and mal-treated, particularly nate personage whose naine is the chief s on Wednesday evening last, when a burden of the song, amounts to a species " number of those desperadoes surrounded of burlesque the most disgusting that can of Brigade. Major HunPRYS, on coining be conceived, still it may accord with the

out of the Theatre, hooled him along taste of the military officers quartered at " the streets to his quarters, and threw a Nottingham, and they may, if they choose, « bottle in liis face which cut him severely. consider the air as national and have it

Brigade-Major Humoukys is a most gen- played accordingly at their mess-rooms. tlemanly character, who had never taken But, if we leave them to their taste, we any part whatever in the disturbances, shall not agree to subject the people of but that he was a military officer was Nottingham thereto; we shall not agree quile sufficient. On another occasion, a that they have a right to crain their party way-laid an officer of the 2d So- sentiments down the throats of the peo

merset Militia who had been forward in ple of that town, or any other town or "displaying his real and loyalty to his county. -- Observe, reader, that it is King at the Theatre, in the Park, late not the people who begin the quarrel. " in the evening, and beat him in a most The others call for the tune; it is played ; 56 inhuman nanner.

Several have been no interruption is given by the people. compelled to enter into recognizances for But, this is not enough. The people must " their good behaviour, and two or three not only sit and hear that which they dis

are bound over to appear at the Quarter approve of; but, they must, at the word “ Sessions, for the assault committed on Of command, pull off their hats, as a mark " the officer in the Park. This evening of approbation of that which they are known

was fixed for the benefit of Mr. Robert to disapprove of, and that, 100, at the "son, one of our highly respected Ma- order of a comparatively small part of the

nagers, who calculated upon a net re- audience. Can subservience ; can slavery, 66 ceipt of at least £100.; but by the ab go lower than this? And, if the people

rupt closing of the Theatre, his benefit of Nottinghanu were compelled to submit " is niecessarily postponed until after the to this, what impudence would it be in

races, which it is supposed will be a them to affect to revile any other people as great loss to him."

-Now, reader, if slaves ! - To this last stage of servility you examine this matter, you will find, the people of Nottingham were not, it that, even upon their own showing, the seems, disposed to submit; but, in anGod-save-the-King party have been the swer to the word of command, they rose aggressors. - What right, I should like and exclaimed, “ MILLIONS BE FREE; to know, has one part of an audience at a placing themselves, at the same time, public theatre to compel the other part, " in a most menucing attitude of DEFIhowever small that other part may be, to " ANCE." Of defiance, mind. Not of stand up, or to pull off their hals, upon aggression. And, what could be more the playing of a tune or the singing of a proper ? Yet this hireling calls it an “act song, called, foabrlle former? And, if of indecency!" Slave, dost thou, then,

think an act of indecency in English-pears to me to have tacitly taken part with men to answer an arbitrary and insolent insolent commanders. I am not, therefore, command by an exclamation expressive of at all sorry for his loss; and, I hope, that, their love of freedom? Dost thou, then, unless he makes atonement by restoring slave as thou art, think this an act of in- freedom to his theatre, he will be left to decency; and hast thou the impudence to exhibit his scenes to his exclusively " loyal" give utterance and publicity to thy thought? customers and to them only. So much

-If the people of Nottingham were to for the accounts from Nottingham. Let us submit to this command to pull their hats now hear those from other places. I shall off in the play-house, why not in the street ? insert them one after another without any And, if to pull off their hats, why not to interruption. go down upon their knees, or to turn out 6. HUDDERSFIELD (Yorkshire), June 25. their pockets? Loss of property and loss" — Last Monday, about midnight, a great of liberty are never far asunder.

-As to

66 number of armed men, with their faces the assaults, committed on the bodies of " disfigured by broad black marks down the two military officers, if they were un

66 each cheek and over the forehead, asprovoked, the parties ought to be punished; " sembled near the dwelling-house of Mr. but, it will be observed, that we here have “ Fisher, a shopkeeper of Briestwistle, in but one side of the story, and that every " this neighbourhood, and after firing two story has two sides. The story comes, too, guns or pistols, demanded admittance from a man (if one ought to call him such), “ino Mr. Fisher's house, which he rewho looks upon it as an act of indecency for 56fi:sed. They then broke open the door, Englishmen, when arbitrarily and insolent 66 and two of them rushing into the house, ly commanded to pull off their hats, refuse " seized Mr. Fisher, who had just got out to comply, and exclaim that they are free. " of bed; they each presented a pistol to This being the sort of persons from whom " his breast, and threatened him with in. the story comes, we ought to distrust, and, 66 stant death if he stirred a foot. Not inindeed, to disbelieve every word of it that s timidated by this threat, Mr. Fisher rushmakes against the people of Nottingham. " ed from them towards the door, when he

One of these officers had, we are told, was seized by other six men, who placing so been forward in displaying his zeal and a sheet over his head, face, and arms, " loyaliy to his King at the theatre.” That kept him in that situation while their is to say, he had been (according to this " comrades ransacked the house, and took writer's previous account) forward in com “ from his pocket-book bills to the amount manding the men of Nottingham to pull off"

66 of 1161. besides 201. in notes and some their hals. The gentleman, whoever he cash; they also took a quantity of notes is (and he is not named), might have found " and cash out of a drawer, but to what a better way than this of displaying his amount Mr. Fisher does not exactly zeal and loyalty. There is very little loy " know. When the depredation was comally in the bawling out of a stupid song; “ pleied, the leader cried out to the guard but, that would have been a good in en. placed over Mr. Fisher, “Let him go; deavouring to conciliate the people, amongst don't hurt him; we have got what we whom he was quartered. In short, it is “wanted, and we will bring it back in clear, that these rows at the theatre at " three months,' and immediately made Nottingham have been provoked by the unbearable insolence of a few of those persons, “ SHEFFIELD (Yorkshire), June 27.who assume to themselves the exclusive “ We are sorry to learn, from the resolumerit of loyally. Nothing can be clearer " tions of the meeting of Lieutenancy and than this, even from the statement of this " Magistrates, that the nightly depredahireling himself; and, therefore, it appears tions, and other most violent breaches of to me, that the conduct of the manager of " the peace, in a great part of the manuthe theatre has been unjustifiable. It was “ facturing districts of this Riding, still for him to express his disapprobation of the " continue. The most effective measures conduct of those, who were taking upon are immediately to be taken to stop the them to give commands to the audience,

of the lawless offenders.” and turn a place of recreation, where every “ STAFFORD (Staffordshire), June 27.man had equal rights, into a scene of poli-“ In the beginning of the last week, a tical triumph of the few over the thoughts strong body of those deluded men, calland wishes of the many; and, in not have "sing themselves Luddites, surrounded the ing expressed this disapprobation, he ap- " house of a lady, the widow of an of

66 off.”

career

« ForrigeFortsett »