« ForrigeFortsett »
As illustrated in the Prosecution and Punishment of
WILLIAM COBBETT. 735]
[756 In order that my countrymen and that the two sureties in the sum of 1,000 ponu.is each; world may not be deceived, duped, and cheated that the whole of this sentence has been exeented upon this subjeet, I, WILLIAM COBBETT, upon me, that I have been imprisoned the two of Botley, in Hampshire, put upon record years, have paid the thousand pounds TO THE the following facts; to wit: That, ou the 24th KING, and have given the bail, Timothy Brown June, 1809, the following article was pub- and Peter Walker, Esqrs. being my sureties; lished in a London news-paper, called the that the Attorney General was Sir Vicary Gibbs, COURIER:- “ The Mutiny amongst the LO- the Judge who sat at the trial Lord Ellenborongh, “ CAL MILITIA, which broke out at Ely, was the four Judges who sat at passing sentence Eller“fortunately suppressed on Wednesday by the borough, Grose, Le Blanc, and Bailey; and that « arrival of four squadrons of the GËRMAN the jurors were, Thomas Rhodes of Hampstead « LEGION CAVALRY from Bury, under the Road, John Davis of Southampton Place, James u command of General Auckland. Five of the Ellis of Tottenham Court Road, John Richards “ ringleaders were tried by a Court-Martial, and of Bayswater, Thomas Marshani of Baker Street, 6 sentenced to receive 500 lashes each, part of which Robert Heathcote of High Street Marylebone, “punishment they received on Wednesday, and John Maud of York Place Marylebone, George. « a part was remitted. A stoppage for their knup- Bagster of Church Terrace Pancras, Thomas “ sacks was the ground of the complaint that ex: Taylor of Red Lion Square, David Deave of St. “ cited this mutinous spirit, which occasioned John Street, William Palmer of Upper Street « the men to snrround their officers, and demand Islington, Henry. Favre of Pall Mall; that the « what they deemed their arrears. The first Prime Ministers during the time were Spencer « division of the German Legion halted yesterday Perceval, uptil he was shot by John Bellingham, “ at Newmarket on their return to Bury."- and after that Robert B. Jenkinson, Earl of Li
That, on the 1st July, 1809, I published, in the verpool; that the prosecution and sentence took Political Register, an article censuring, in the place in the reign of King George the Third, and strongest terms, these proceedings; that, for soiliat, he having become insane during my impridoing, the Attorney General prosecuted, as sedi-sonment, the 1,000 pounds was paid to his son, tious 'libellers, and by Ex-Officio Information, the Prince Regent, in his behalf; tliat, during my me, and also my printer, my publisher, and one imprisonment, I wrote and poblished 364 Essays of the principal retailers of the Political Register; and Letters upon political sobjects; that, during that I was brought to trial on the 15th June, the same time, I was visited by persons from 197 1810, and was, by a Special Jury, that is to say, cities and towns, many of them as a sort of depaby 12 men ont of 48 appointed by the Master of ties from Societies or Clubs; that, at the expirathie Crown Office, found guilty; that, on the tion of my imprisonment, on the 9th of July, 1812, 20th of the same month, I was compelled to give a great dinner was given in London for the pure bail for my appearance to receive judgment; pose of receiving me, at which dinger npwards of and that, as I came up from Botley (to which 600 persons were present, and at which Sir place I had returned to my family and my farm Francis Burdett presided; that diovers and other on the evening of the 15th), a Tipstaff went parties were held on the same occasion in many down from London in order to seize me, per other places in England; that, on my way home, sonally; that, on the 9th of July, 1810, I, toge. I was received at Alton, the first town in Hampther with my printer, publisher, and the news. shire, with the ringing of the Church bells; that man, were brought into the Court of King's
respectable company met nie and gave me a Bench to receive judgment; that the three dinner at Winchester; that I was drawn from former were sentenced to be imprisoned for more than the distance of a mile into Botley by some months in the King's Bench prison; that I the people; that, upon my arrival in the village, was sentenced to be imprisoned for two years in I found all the people assembled to receive me; Newgate, the great receptacle for malefactors, that I concluded the day by explaining to them and the front of which is the scene of numerous the cause of my imprisonment, and by giving havgings in the course of every year; that the them clear notions respecting the flogging of the part of the prison in which I was sentenced to be Local Militia-men at Ely, and respecting the emconfined is sometimes inhabited by felons, that ployment of German Troops; and, finally, which felons were actually in it at the time I eutered is more than a compensation for my losses and a!! it ; that one man was taken out of it to be traus- my safferings, I am in perfect liealth and strength, ported in about 48 hours after I was put into the and, though I must, for the sake of six children, same yard with him ; and that it is the place of feel the diminution that has been made in my confinement for men guilty of unnatural crinies, property (thinking it right in me to decline the of whom there are four in it at this time; that, offer of a subscription), I have the consolation to besides this imprisonment, I was sentenced to see growing up three sons, upon whose bearts, I pay a thousand pounds TO THE KING, and to trust, all these facts will be engraven. give security for my good behaviour for seven
WM. COBBETT. years, myself in the sum of 3,000 pounds, and Botley, July 23, 1812.
Published by R. BAGSHAW, Brydges-Street, Covent-Garden.
LONDON: Printed by J. M'Creery, Black Horse-Court, Fleet-street.
COBBETT'S WEEKLY POLITICAL REGISTER.
Vol. XXII, No. 24.1
LONDON, SATURDAY, DEC. 12, 1812.
[738 judging. In the Russian accounts we can SUMMARY OF POLITICS.
rationally place no confidence, seeing that, NORTHERN WAR.-The events record - heretofore, they have uniformly proved to ed in the Gazettes, published by the Rus- be, at best, a tissue of exaggerations and sian Government, and republished by ours, misrepresentations ; seeing that, upon one as will be seen in another part of this sheet, particular occasion, we were informed, exhibit Napoleon in an entirely new light; and that, too, through the channel of our we there see him retreating; him who own ambassador, that the French had been scarcely ever before recoiled ; him whose totally, or, at least, signally defeated, and -vety name has long been synonymous with that, it afterwards appeared, that, upon that success. If we are to place implicit reli- very occasion, they won the battle which auce on the Petersburgh Gazettes, we must gave them possession of Moscow. We conclude, that this great Captain, this should, then, be setting at defiance the greatest of soldiers, has, at last, not only light of experience to believe the accounts met with complete defeat, total overthrow, published by the ministers of the Czar; but that he himself is, by this time, in the but, as far as these accounts are corroboenemy's possession; and, indeed, in the rated by the Emperor's own bulletin, we City of London, at Lloyd's Coffee-House, must believe them; and that bulletin conand upon the Royal Exchange, the firm fesses that the French army has greatly sufpersuasion seems to be, that Napoleon fered from the climate, and has experience will, in a few months, be actually to be ed great losses. Of these facts, thereseen in an iron cage, as a show in England; fore, we cannot doubt; and, if we should that the threat of Macduff towards Macbeth take it for granted, that the whole of the will be fully verified, and that we shall see French force and the Emperor himself, is written over the cage: “ Here may you see in great and imminent peril, we should not, " the monster." In short, never were in all probability, be far from the truth. forebodings so sanguine ; never were pre- -But, then, we are to consider, on the dictions so confident : 'never were there ex- other side, the character of the man, who pectations mixed with so small a portion of has to contend with all the difficulties doubt. The general opinion is, that “poor which have been described and which can "Bony," as he is now called, will have be imagined. We have to place against made all sorts of-efforts to escape in disguise those difficulties, courage, fortitude, prefrom his army, and that, failing therein, sence of mind, foresight, such as few men he will be taken, dead or alive, to Peters- have ever possessed. From Napoleon we burgh, and will thence be sent to England. have a right to expect, in this crisis of his
The joy amongst the Londoners is exces- fate, exertions far beyond what we should sive. They have, in a single moment, got naturally expect from mortals in general. rid of all their fears. In the delirium of We may be sure, that, if the Russians detheir joy, they seem to have forgotten the stroy him, they will purchase his destrucapproaching loan and the price of the gui- tion (barring mere accidents) at a dear nea. All the ports of Europe are, accord- rate. -And, after all, if he should extria ing to shem, now to be instantly opened; cale himself from his difficulties! If he trade is to resume its former channels; and should outlive all the perils that surround ati is to go on as if no Freuch Revolution him! If he should bring off the main part and no Buonaparté had ever existed. A of his army, and should set about prepatime will hereafter offer for putting upon rations for a march to Petersburgh in the record more fully the evidences of the pub- spring! If he should do this! -Grantdic persuasion at this time. The general ed, that it is not probable ; granted, that description, which I have given, may, in so numerous and so great are his difficulties, the meanwhile, suffice.- Now, as to the that such a supposition is not to be enterreality, we have, in truth, no means oftained ; granted, that, with “ three Russian
“ armies in his front” and “two in his ships and dangers, the complaint came “ rear,” with myriads of Cossacks on with a better grace while their Emperor “ his flanks,” an escape with any consider- was safe at home than they would nos able portion of his army is next to impossi- come while he is sharing all the hardships ble ; but, for argument's sake; for the sake and dangers of the army.-lam, for my of mere reasoning, while we wait for the part, wholly at a loss to discover any reason arrival of the mails, suppose he should get for supposing, that, if Napoleon gets out of off with the main body of his army. I say, this difficulty, he will have sunk in the estithat it is not to be expected; I say, that mation of his soldiers. These soldiers will she joy of the good citizens of London is in be able to judge correctly of his deeds; no danger of being thus damped; but, if they will see, that, in advancing to Moswhe should ? If he should ?Wbat, in cow, it was impossible to foresee, and im. such a case, such an unexpected case : possible to believe, that the city would be what, in such case, would be the natural burnt to ashes, such a thing never having consequences ?Why, in my opinion, been done before in the world. They will these consequences would be, despair in the see, that their leader overcaine every thing bosom of those whom he is attacking, and opposed to bim in the shape of an enemy; almost certain success to his future attacks; and that if he was unable to remain at Mosfor, as all the world will say, if he survive cow, it was because an act had been conthis, nothing can overcome him. It is mitted whiclı was no more to be expected supposed by some persons, that, if Napo- than the destruction of a city by an earthleon should escape with a considerable part quake. They did, doubtless, expect fron of his army, he will, from this retreat, him every thing that mortal man is capable have suffered in his reputation, and that of; but, they will not lose coufidence in his army will not, in future, have the same him, because he was unable to rebuild confidence in him.---Now, in the first Moscow, and restore to life its burnt and place, this is inconsistent with what has starved population. They will see, that be been generally asserted by these same per. has done more than any other mortal would sons, who have constantly described him as have been able to do; they will see, that a gloomy tyrant, “haled by his army, no difficulties are too much for him; they 66 whom he forced into the field at the will see, that, when all the world exclaie.
point of the , bayonet," though it was, ed, “he is down!” and when the enemies indeed, difficult to imagine how he was to of France had almost lost their senses in effect this, who was to hold the point of the exultation; they will see that, even then, bayonet, and the like. It is, however, now be bore up against the side, and finally discovered, that he has had the confidence swam triumphant; and, seeing, not only of his army, and this discovery is made in will they not lose coufidence in hin, bus order to tell us, that he is, in fulure, not the confidence they have hitherto had in to have il.-But, why is he not to have him will be increased and less liable to be it? This question I should like to put to shaken than it heretofore has been.--As any man, who entertains the opinion here to the fact, whether there be any chance of spoken of, and who would argue the mat- his extricating himself from his difficulties, ter fairly.- - This is not the first tiine we cannot, as I said before, come to any that the armies of Napoleon have been decision, because we have no means of compelled to retreat. Nay, they have (or judging; but, of one thing I am, for my else our veracity is in a perilous state) been part, very sure, and that is, that, if be beaten frequently. " Aye, but, then, he should extricate himself, if he should make
was not with them.' Very true; but good his retreat with the main of his army, that very circumstance was, by us, alleged his reputation will be higher than ever ; he to be ground of discontent in his army! will be dearer than ever to that army, We said, or, at least, our bireling prints whose dangers and whose sufferings he has said, that he slaid at home in safety, while shared; he will be to the glory-loving peohe sent his Iroops to the field to be slaugh- ple of France more than ever an object of tered. This was what they said when he devotion, and will be more than ever an did not accompany his arnıy. Their stu- object of terror and dismay to her enemies. pidity in saying it, while our own Sove- He is engaged in a deep and, perhaps, il
rreign is well known never to accompany his desperate, game; but, if he win, he wis pifcoumts, hry to the field, was very great, to be fortune for ever, and all, upon the continen!
sus had a right to complain of hard reasons, and for others that I shall forbex
but, say it they did; and, indeed, if at least, falls before him. For these
to state, I, for my part, do not, in any de-1" " has turned the long suffering of God gree, participate in the exultation of the “ “ into wrath ;" but it asks, with great day, though, I must confess, that I wait“ justice, “ have his slaves, and the slaves with no little impatience for intelligence of " " of their own passions, - shown themhis fate. That fate is, before now, decided, " " selves less ferocious than their leadec ?'' and, with it, in all probability, the fate of " NO! we regret to say they have no!. We the Russian Government and of the com- regret to bear testimony io so general e merce of England with the Continent of " degradation of a people once celebratect Europe. In the course of ten short days " for the suavity of their dispositions, and we shall know the result ; and, therefore," the chivalrous gallantry of their senti, all that I shall add here is, my anxious " meots: but when we see the atrocities of hope, that it will be such as shall tend to " Moscow acled over again at Madrid, and the freedom and happiness of this country " the contemptible Joseph imitating his and of mankind in general.---There is " bloody Brother, ju shooting Spanisla one passage in the Times news-paper of the “ Noblemen for their loyally, we are als 8th instant, which I cannot help noticing " most ready to join with the Russian Min before I conclude, and, according to my "pister, in exclaiming, “ It is impossible usual practice, I shall first insert the pas- " " that morality should exist in such sage itself, which is in these words :
-It is pretty well for this " The great body of the French soldiery Russian minister to accuse Buonaparte of $approaches to an almost entire disorgan- “ burning temples" and causing the bloot " ization ; their physical strength is wasted" of the innocent to reek from the earth ;' • and gone; their inoral powers (if it be it is pretty well for the Editor of the Times “ not a desecration of the term moral, to now to talk of the atrocities of Moscow,
apply it to such a horde of civilized bur- and impute them to the French, wher, only “ burians) are overcome and exhausted. three weeks ago, he asserted, that it was by 6. Man but a rush against their breasts, order of the Czar that Moscow and 30,000) “ und Ihry relire :-- in a state of despair, wounded Russians had been burnt, and “ they ofer themselves up prisoners to those who also asserted, that the said Czar “ very Cossacks, who take no prisoners, had a “ plain, full, and perfect right's “ but execute the vengeance of their coun- to order such buruing. One hardly caus " try with an unsparing hand. These discover what this unprincipled writer " wretched, these despriring creatures, is aiming at with regard to the burning “ would excite our pity, did we not remem- of Moscow; but, tliis we may conclude, “ ber the atrocities of which they have that to mention it in the way of re“ lent ihemselves to be the WILLING proach upon the French deinands a store of " AGENTS:--in Spain, in Portugal, in impudence such as falls to the lot of very “ Switzerland, in the Tyrol. Even-hauded few, even of the hirelings of our press. “ justice commends the ingredients of their Rut, what I am particularly desirous of " poisoned chalice to their own lips. drawing the reader's attention to, is, the " The South has felt their cruelty, and the general tone and jec of this paragraph, the “ North avenges its sufferings. May the writer of which inanifestly has it in view “ nations of Europe at length open their to excite hatred aud abhorreuce, uot against
eyes to the true causes of that dreadful Napoleon alone, nor against him and his s visitation which they have su long en- army only, but against the Fronch people, - " dured! We are sorry to be under the against the whole of the French nalion,
necessity of deferring till to-morrow, a who are here denominated, " the willing
nervous and manly address by the Rus- agents of Napoleon, not less ferocious "" sian Minister of the interior, which was 66 than their leader;" who are described "published at Moscow, on the 29th of Oc- as in a state of “general degradacion ; " "Cober. It will be found to contain a most and of whom it is asserted, that of it is " just exposition of the French character, -- " impossible that morality should exist in
a mosi serious admonition to all who“ such a nation."Now, reader, you 66 walk in the paths, or adopt the princi- will please to observe, that this is quite a “ples, or submit to be associated in the new lone ; you will observe that this is a
practices of such a people. Of the leader one which has not been used since the " and author of their most fagrant crimes, batile of Marengo. While the delusive “it observes, that "the measure of his hope existed of subduing and “clippinig " " iniquity is full. The burning temples, the wings” of France, the press of Enzo " " and the reeking blood of the innoceni, land held this toue ; il then laiked of alig
atrocities of the French people ; it talked holds forth a pretty good lesson to the peoof the necessity of punishing their inmo- ple of France. It tells them, in no very ralities; it imputed to them, in a mass, all equivocal language, what they have to exsorts of crimes. After the battle of Ma- pecl if their present ruler should fall ; it rengo, it directed all its hostility against tells them, that those who affect to pity Buonaparte; and, I am sure that the reader them, do, at bottom, hate them, and only will bear in mind, that this press, this base wait for an opportunity to do them all the press, has, within these ten years, a thou- mischief that lies in their power; it tells sand times spoken of the people of France, them, that all the piteous cry that our birenot as the “ WILLING AGENTS" of Na- lings have set up about the oppressions in poleon; but, on the contrary, as being held France, about the tyranny of Buonaparte, down, as being compelled to submit to his and about the forcing away of their sons in sway, by mere military force. Nay, ouly chains to fight his battles and to gratify his a few days have passed since this vile press ambition ; it tells them, that all this has assured this “ most thinking people," that proceeded from the basest hypocrisy, from the French nation were ripe for revolt, a desire to divide them from their “CHIEF and, indeed, that a revolt was actually or- MAGISTRATE," as Lord Ellenboganized and about to take effect. How rough, upon the trial of Mr. Peltier, very inany times have I had to notice the affect properly called him ; it tells them, that ed pily of these hirelings for the "oppressed these hireling writers hate them as much as " people" of France ? how often have we they do him, that their hatred, their imbeen told of the conscripts marching in placable animosity, is towards the whole of chains to the army? and, who can have ihe French nation; it tells them, that they forgotten the description of the French mo. wish to see that nation, that whole people, ther, given in the canting speech of Mr. humbled and subdued, blotted out frora Canning ?--This was the lone only a amongst the nations as destitute of all mofew days ago ; and why has it changed all rality, and of all claim to confidence or of a sudden? The reason is this : these mercy.—This is what this sudden change stupid hirelings now imagine, that the pre- of tone tells the French people; and, of sent order of things in France is upon the course, it tells them, that their fate, that eve of being wholly oversel; they anticipate their very existence as a nation, are (in the seeing of that country re-plunged into the opinion of these writers) indissolubiy confusion; they expect soon to see the day linked with the fate of Buonaparté ; aye, when, in consequence of the anticipated with the fate of that same Buonaparte, fall of Napoleon, England, in conjunction whom these writers have heretofore been with other powers, will be able to do that constantly representing as the oppressor, to France which was intended to be done the tyrant, the scourge, of the people of in 1792 ; and they are, therefore, by im. France. So much for the sound judg. puting to THE PEOPLE of Frauce a will- ment of these writers, as far as it tends to ing participation in the atrocities imputed produce impression in the minds of the to Buonaparté, preparing before-hand a people of France; and let us now see what justification for such measures lowards the is the lesson which this their change of whole nation of which he is the head.- tone ought to afford us.---Reader, in what This is the motive for their change of tone. day of your life, during the last ten years, This is their motive for now imputing to have you not heard these same writers asthe whole of the French people a character sert Buonaparté to be a tyrant ? In what aud crimes which they have heretofore im- day have you not heard his government deputed only to their chief; this is their mo. scribed as a military despotism? In what tive for now describing as the WILLING day have you not hcard it asserted, that he AGENTS of Napoleon, those whom here. had filled the country with spies and Bustofore they have affected to pity as suffering tiles? In what day liave you not heard it under his “ military despotism ;" this is asserted and taken for granted, that the their motive for holding up France as a na- people of France were, from one eud of the tion generally degraded, and amongst whoin country to the other, animated with halred it is impossible for morality to exist; this is against him? In what day have you not
their motive for thus holding up the very read, that his army was recruited by the - same nation, whom, but a few days ago, forcible seizure of persons dragged to it in
they represented as boiling over with vir- chains ? In what day have you not heard all
cuous rage against the atrocities and tyran- this asserted, not only in paragraphs, but · ny of Buonaparté. ---This change of tone in speeches and addresses from various quer