" Would they not be entitled to say, “ If | “ of this country as a nation. Being once « I, by libelling, be enabled to make a for “ brought before the Court, they (the

tune, and to amass wealih, when, in re “ Public) knew that they might have conturn,

I will only have to sustain so slight“ fidence in their protection, and that they a punishment as that passed on Mr. Cob " would no longer have occasion to dread at beit, will I not cheerfully incur the pe a repetition of such outrageo's insult.

nalty ?" If the Court should now visit 66 He called on the Court, therefore, for “ Mr. Cobbett with a light punishment, “ judgment on the Defendant. He called “ could they answer for it that their arm " for justice; and that justice he knew " would be strong enough, next year, to “ would be tempered with mercy, but he “ check the evil to which he (the Attorney " trusted, that the Court would not forget “ General) contended they were called on " that mercy was equally due to the public "10 give a vital blow this day? It now as to the Defendant at the bar.""lay in the Court to inflict on the Defen- Now, as to the necessity of a great military s dant, Mr. Cobbett, a just and whole force in this country, and as to the cause of “ sone punishment, adequate to his of that necessity; as to the general treatment s fence. They had had before them libel- of the soldiers in this country and their " lers on the private character of indivi- being better treated than at any former pe“ duals; such they had esteemed proper riod; as to the punishment inflicted upon “ objects of punishment; and that the the Local Militia at Ely; as to the em

punishment so inflicted would tend to ploying of the Germans upon that occasion; 6 diminish the frequency of the offence, if as to the use of German Troops in this 6 not to prevent it entirely. They had country at all; as to the people of Ely be. " had before them those even who had | ing able to look oue another in the face; as 66 been guilty of libelling the administration to the manner in which Napoleon would 6 of justice in the country. That was a have treated the Local Militia; and as to

high offence, because it tended to take my “ delicacy' towards the enemies of my 6 from the credit and authority due to the country: these are all matters upon

which judgments of the Courts of Law, and I shall say nothing at all. They have all - jended to make them of less effect. Such been fully discussed; they are all well un6 ossences, and justly too, were visited derstood; there can be, in the mind of no 61 with a severe chastisement. But, if that man of common sense, a mistake with reo offence, great as it was, were to be com- spect to thein. There is, indeed, one little “ pared with that now under consider- sentence, made use of by the Attorney Ge66 ation, it must sink into ulter insignifi- neral, respecting the treatinent of the Sol

The present libel went to sub-diers, which is rather obscure; at least to “ vert society itself, and, whatever might me it is so. He is stated to have said : “ be thought of the atrocity of others which “How essential is it that the community 6 had preceded it, the present was one of 6 should be satisfied, that nothing tyranni

a much darker and blacker hue. The cal, that no force beyond the law, is em" Court were therefore called on to inflict ployed in compelling the inhabitants of 6s such a punishment as should, at least, this country into the ranks of the army." “ make men pause before they embarked I do not understand the meaning of this. " in libels similar to that published by the These two phrases are, in my view of “ Defendant, Mr. Cobbett. The army, things, by no means synonymous; because, « against whom this libel was in a peculiar if they were, the oppressions, which, as

mauer directed, called on the Court for we are told, and, perhaps, truly, the peojustice against its traducer. The Co-ple of France are compelled to undergo, 66 vernment called on them for confirmation would not properly form a subject of com

of its legal powers; for what Govern- plaint, seeing that they are all exercised ment could possibly exist, if it were not under the sanction of law. There are De

protected against such attacks as these? crees or Senatus Consulla for the forcing of 6. The country, which looked with horrorf the young men of France to go into the " on the mischievous tendency of the libel army; yet, the forcing of them so to go has

now under consideration, called on them been, and yet is, represented, in this coun" for protection against the numerous evils try, as being most abominably tyrannical, " which the propagation of such publi- I perfectly agree with the Attorney General, " cations were calculated to engender, that it is essential, that the community “ going, as they did, to the total subver- should be satisfied that "nothing lyrannical “sion of social order, and to the existence " is employed in compelling the inhabitants

66 cance.


" of this country into the ranks of the were brought forth in answer to, and in " army;" but, towards the producing of contradiction of, assertions made by him in this desirable effect his statement is not at his first speech. It is, therefore, very all likely to contribute ; and, indeed, unless surprising, that he should not have made he had stopped at the word tyrannical," an attempt, at least, to refute them. and spared the subsequent definition, he seems to have been very anxious to put would have done well to hold his tongue every thing right in the public mind; and upon this part of the subject. --There how comes he, then, to have left these are two assertions made by the Attorney " calumnies" totally unanswered, especiGeneral, during this memorable speech, ally when he looked upon them as being which assertions materially affect me, and 's almost as bad as the original libel ?”. upon which, therefore, I must beg leave Upon the Second assertion, that I had to trouble my readers with some observa- written the publication in question for gain's tions. The First of these assertions is, sake; that I had amassed wealth, made a that I made my “defence a vehicle for fortune by libelling; and that, I had, in other calumnies and slanders, alınost as short, in my writings, been actuated by a bad as the original libel.”—The Second, craving after base lucre ; upon this, the that I wrote the publication in question, first observation to make, is, that it conand, generally, every thing I wrote, for tains a beautiful compliment to the people base lucre." He does not say this in so of this country, and comes in with peculiar many words ; but, in speaking of the cases fitness close after the assertions, that their of the other defendants, as contradislin- good sense prevented the mischiefs which guished from mine, he says, that whatever the publication was calculated to excite, arose from it (the publication) of " base and that they even called upon the court to lucre and gain" accrued to me alone. And punish me. No: the people of this counthen, in another part of his speech, where try were so sensible, so discerning, so he is stating the evil consequences, which, loyal, and held libelling in such abhorin the way of example, will arise from a rence, that they were not to be excited to slight punishment of ine, he asks if other sedition by me; and, in a minute afterlibellers will not, in such case, be entitled wards, to publish libels is, in this country, to say: “ If I, by libelling, be enabled to the way to make a fortune. The Army, " make a fortune, and to amass wealth, too, abhorred this work of libelling, and “ when, in return, I will only have to even called upon the court to punish me " sustain so slight a punishment as that for it; and yet, but only a minule before, “ passed on Mr. Cobbett, will I not cheer- there was great danger of my creating dis-' " fully incur the penalty ?"- There are affection in the army, of throwing every several other assertions, which, as occasion thing into confusion, and of producing the offers, I may be disposed to notice; but, destruction of “ Social Order and our Holy these two are all that I shall notice at pre Religion," as John Bowles has it. The sent. With respect to the First, Attorney General was in a difficulty. It namely, that I had made my defence a would not do to say, that my writing had vehicle for other calumnies and slanders, no effect upon either the people or the much more need not be said, than was army; it would not do to say, that what I said by every one who heard or read the wrote dropped still-born from the press, or, speech, and that is, that it is very strange, that it made no impression upon any body; that these new calumnies were not named it would not do to say this, and yet it was by the person who was speaking in aggra- paying me too great a compliment to supvation. He had had nearly a month to pose that I had the power of inducing any consider of, and to inquire into, the facts body to think or to feel with ine; there(for I dealt not in insinuations, stated by fore, I was, in one and the saine speech, me in my defence ; and, how comes it that represented as a most mischievous and a he did not contradict any one of those facts? most insignificanl writer. ------ But, to re

How came he to content himself with a turn to the charge of writing for “base · general assertion, unsupported with even“ lucre," I think the public will have

an alleged fact? Had he not lime to go perceived, that there was nothing original more minutely into the matter"; or did he, in this part of the Attorney General's out of mercy, forbear to prove these new speech; for, the charge had, in all forms · calumnies upon me? Was it compassion of words, been long before made by the that operated with him upon this occasion ? basest of my calumniators, by the vile

These “ calumnies," as he calls them, wretches, who notoriously use their pens

and their pencils for pay, and who do not, writings, not excepting their sermons; and like me, look for remuneration to the sale is not that hunting after “ base lucre ?" It of their works to the public. The idea of is equally notorious that Lawyers are daily my having " amassed wealth," arose, in in the habit of selling reports of cases and the first place, perhaps, from the envy of other writings appertaining to their profesthe worst and most despicable part of those, sion; and what can their gain thereby be who wished to live by the press, but who called, then, but “ base lucre ?". Burke did not possess the requisite talents to en- sold his writings as well as Paine did his; sure success to their endeavours, and at nay, the former, for many years, and being the same time preserve their independence; a member of the Honourable House all the or, who were so deficient in point of in- while, actually wrote for pay in a periodidustry as lo render their talents of no avail; cal work, called the Annual Register; and, and who, therefore, resorted to that spe- of course, he sought therein after “base cies of traffic, which exposed them to my 6 lucre. Base lucre it was, according to lash. Such men would naturally hate me. this doctrine, that set Malone to edite Such nen would naturally wish for my de- Shakespeare, and that induced Mr. Tooke struction. Such men would naturally stick to write his Diversions of Purley; and, in at no falsehood, at no sort or size of ca- short, every writer, whether upon law, lumny against a man, whose success was physic, divinity, politics, ethics, or any at once an object of their envy and the means thing else, if he sell the productions of his of their continual annoyance. But, from a pen, is exposed to this new and hithertoperson in the situation of Attorney General, unheard-of-charge. There is, indeed, a one might have expected a little more cau- species of gain, arising from the use of the tion in speaking of the character and motives pen, which does well merit the appellation of any man. Let me, before I come to my of os base lucre;" but, the “Learned particular case, first ask why the gains of a “ Friend" seems to have mistaken the writer or of a book or news-paper proprietor mark. When a man bargains for the price are to be called “ base lucre," any more than of maintaining such or such principles, or the gains of any other description of per- of endeavouring to make out such or such a sons? Milton and Swift and Addison re case, without believing in the soundness of ceived money for their works ; nay, Pope the principles or the truth of the case; such received more, perhaps, than all of them a man, whether he touch the cash (or paput together, and wrote, too, with ten per-money) before or after the performance times more severity and more personality of his work, and whether he work with bis than I ever did ; and yet, no one ever tongue or his pen, may, I think, be pretty thought, I believe, of giving to his gains fairly charged with seeking after "base the name of " base lucre.This is a most “ lucre;" for he, in such case, manisestly sweeping blow at the press. Let no one sells not only the use of his talents, but his connected with it, in any way whatever, sincerity into the bargain, and drives a trafimagine that his pecuniary possessions or his fic as nearly allied to soul-selling as any estate, if he has gained one, will, or can, thing in this world can be; nor does it sigescape the application of this liberal charge. nify a straw from what quarter, or in what The fortunes of Mr. Walter, and Mr. Perry, shape, the remuneration may come, for the and Mr. Stuart, and Mr. Longinan, and Mr. motive being base, the gain or lucre must Cadell, and of all the rest of them, are all be base also. Again, if a man receive from to be considered as "base lucre." Base the taxes, that is to say, from the people's Jucre is the fruit of the industry and talents money, a reward for writing any thing, of every man who works with his pen; especially upon controverted political and those whose business it is to inform questions, the lucre accruing to him may and instruct mankind are either to be steep- fairly be called base; for here, as in the ed in poverty, or to be regarded as sordid former case, he makes a base bargain for and base hunters after gain. Dr. Johnson, the use of his talents. It is the same with if now living, must, at this rate, be liable those, who are inere proprietors of works to be charged with hunting after “ base and not writers, and who vend their pages “ lucre," for he really lived by the use of for a like consideration, coming from a

Paley also sold his writings, and like source. But, if a man sell to the pubso, I dare say, did Locke; and why not, lic, sell to any one that chooses to buy then, impute baseness to them on this ac- with his own money, and resort to no count? It is notorious, that thousands of means of cheating the purchaser out of the priests, and even Bishops, have sold their price of what is sold, there can be nothing

his pen;

of baseness attached to his gains. The ar- | fers of service to me, on the part of the miticle is offered to the public; those who do nistry at home. The offer was put as of not choose to purchase let it alone; there is service to any relations that I might have no compulsion; there is no monopoly in in England, and my answer was, that if I the way of purchasing elsewhere, and could earn any thing myself wherewith to there is nothing of baseness belonging to assist my relations, I should assist them, the transaction; the gain is fair and ho- but that I would not be the cause of their nourable, it is the right of the possessor, receiving any thing out of the public purse. and more perfectly his right, perhaps, than Mr. Liston, then our minister in America, gain of any other sort can possibly be. can bear testimony to the truth of this stateAfter these general observations, it is hard ment. And was this the conduct of a ly necessary for me to say much upon my man, who sought after 6 base lucre ?" Is particular case, it being impossible that the this the conduct which is now fashionable reader should not have already perceived among those, who call themselves “ the clearly, that the charge of seeking after " loyal," and the King's friends ;" Do “ base lucre” is quite inapplicable to me. they reject offers of the public purse? Do But, I cannot, upon such an occasion, re- they take care to keep their poor relations frain from stating some facts, calculated to out of their own earnings or property; or show the injustice and falsehood of this do they throw them, neck and heels, upon charge, when preserred against me as pro- the public, to be maintained out of the taxes, prietor of a public print. I have now as a higher order of paupers ? I have acted been, either in America or England, sole up to my professions. I have, at this time, proprietor of a public print for upwards of dependent upon me, for almost every thing, fourteen years, with the intermission of nearly twenty children besides my own. I about a year of that time, and I never did, walk on foot, where others would ride in a upon any occasion whatever, take money or coach, that I may have the means of yieldmoney's worth, for the insertion or the sup- ing them support; that I may have the pression of any paragraph or article what means of preventing every one belonging to soever, though it is well known, that the me from seeking support from the public, practice is as common as any other branch | in any shape whatever. Is this the fashion of the business belonging to news-papers in of "the loyal ?" Do u the loyal? act general. Many hundreds of pounds have thus ? Do they make sacrifices in order that been offered to me in this way, as my se- their poor relations may not become a charge veral clerks and agents can bear witness ; to the public? Let that public answer this and, had I hankered after “base lucre," question, and say to whom the charge of the reader will readily believe, that I should seeking after “base lucre" belongs. Į have received all that was so offered. From wonder whether it has ever happened to the the daily news-paper, which I published Attorney General to reject the offer of two after my return to England, I excluded all services of plate, tendered him for the sucQuack-Advertisements, because I looked cessful exertion of his talents? This has upon them as indecent, and having a mis happened to me, though the offer, on each chievous tendency, and because to insert occasion, was made in the most delicate them appeared to me to be assisting impos- manner, though the service had been alture. These advertisements are, it is well ready performed, though the thing was known, a great source of profit to the pro- done with, and the offer could not have a prietors of news-papers; and, if I had prospective view, and though the service been attached to " base lucre,” should I had been performed without any previous have rejected my share of that profit? I application. I wonder whether Sir Vicary lost many hundreds of pounds by my daily Gibbs did ever reject an offer of this sort? news-paper, which failed, not for want of And I do wonder, how many there are readers, but solely because I would not amongst the whole tribe of " learned take money in the same way that other pro “ friends," who have, or ever will have prietors did. Whether this were wise or to accuse themselves of such an act? Yet foolish is now of no consequence; but, the has he the assurance to impute my writings fact is, at any rate, quite sufficient to repel to motives of " base lucre.” The truth is, the charge of seeking after “ base lucre." that I am hated by the pretended “ loyal," -From iny out-set as a writer to the because I am proof against all the temptapresent hour I have always preferred prin- tions of base lucre. I have spoken of the ciple to gain. In America ihe King's mi- offer made me, while in America. Upon nister made, and not at all improperly, of my return home the ministers made me

other offers, and, amongst the rest, they way or another, of the means of making such offered me a share of the True Brilon news provision? Was it not manly and brave paper, conducted and nominally owned by for the Attorney General, when he knew Mr. Herriot. I, who was what the that I should not be permitted to answer country people call a green-horn, as to such him, to make such an attack, not only upon matters, and who was gull enough to think, me, but upon the future comfort of those, that it was principle that actuated every who depend upon me for support ? Verily, writer on what I then deemed the right this is not to be forgotten presently. As side; I was quite astonished to find, that long as I or my children are able to rememthe Treasury was able to offer me a share ber, this will be borne in mind ; and, I in a news-paper. I rejected the offer in have not the smallest doubt of seeing the the most delicate manner that I could; but, day, when Sir Vicary Gibbs, and those I never was forgiven. I have experienced, who belong to him, will not think of any as might have been expected, every species such thing as that of reproaching us with of abuse since that time; but, I did not, I the possession of our own earnings.-Durmust consess, expect ever to be accused of ing the time that I was absent from home writing for “base lucre.” This is a charge, for the purpose of giving bail, as before which, as I shewed upon the trial, origi- stated, a man, dressed like a gentleman, nated with the very scum of the press, and

went upon my

land in the neighbourhood of had its foundation in the worst and most | Botley, got into conversation with my servillainous of passions.- In general it is a vants, asked them how much property I topic of exultation, that industry and talent had, where it lay, of whom I had purchasare rewarded with the possession of wealth. ed it, what I had given for it, whether I The great object of the teachers of youth, was upon the point of purchasing any more, in this country, seems always to have been and a great many other questions of the the instilling into their minds, that wealth same sort. When he went away from one was the sure reward of industry and ability of them, he told him: “ You will not have Upon what ground, then, is it, that the Cobbett here again for one while ;' or

amassing of wealth," the “ making of a words to that effect. I leave the public to fortune," by the use of industry and ta- form their opinions as to the object of this lents, is to be considered as meriting re- visit, and of the person who made it, proach in me?

The fact is not true. I The truth of the fact can, at any time, be have not amassed wealth, and have not verified upon oath. If this scoundrel had made a fortune, in any fair sense of those been put to the test, I wonder what account phrases. I do not possess a quarter part he could have rendered of the source of his as much as I should, in all probability, means; of the money which had purchased have gained, by the use of the same degree the clothes upon his back. Not long before of industry and ability, in trade or com the time just mentioned, another person of merce. But, if the fact were otherwise, a similar description went to another man and if I rode in a coach and four instead of who works for me, asked him what sort of keeping one pleasure horse, and that one a man I was, what he had ever heard me only because it is thought necessary to the say about the King or the government, and health of my wife; if I had really a fortune told him that some people thought me a very worthy of being so called, what right great enenty of the government. The perwould any one have to reproach me with son went into a litile public house in the the possession of it? I have been labour- neighbourhood of my farm, where he got ing seventeen years, since I quitted the into conversation with those whom he found army. I have never known what it was to there, and contrived soon to make that conenjoy any of that which the world calls versation turn upon me. He heard nothing pleasure. From a beginning with nothing, but good of me as a neighbour and a masI have acquired the means of making some ter; and, as to politics, not a soul that he little provision for a family of six children talked to knew what he meant, never have (the remaius of thirteen), besides having, ing in their lives heard me utter a word for several years, maintained almust whol- upon any subject of that sort. of the two ly, three times as many children of my re servants, whom I have alluded to above, lations. And, am I to be reproached as a the name of the former is John Dean, and lover of "base lucre," because I begin to that of the latter James Cowherd; both of have a prospect (for it is nothing more) of them men, upon whose word I can rely, making such provision! And, am I now, and who, as I said before, are ready to veriupon such a charge, to be stripped, in one fy this statement upon their oaths. The

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