pearance. The question was, how was the public lowed 8 or 9,000 organised insurgents to peace to be preserved and the law enforced? A very march upon an important town, without by my advice that the counsels of government were a suspicion that such a thing was possito be particularly governed. I trusted to the good ble ; if they had then shot dead, by the sense of the people of Great Britain, and to the old military force, fifteen or twenty of the decommon law of the land (Loud cheers.) Jould luded rioters, if the means of resistance no countenance to schemes for the employment of were, as far as depended on the foresight force. But prosecutions were instituted for the sup- of the government, * so feeble and so ill. port of the established laws; and in every instance combined, that Newport, and probably the the juries did their duty to the country - verdict whole of South Wales, owed their preserthe consequence? Without one drop of blood being vation to the personal intrepidity of two spilled, tranquillity was restored: Chartism, as re- or three magistrates and military officers, marked by my Lord Provost, actually vanished from and about thirty men, who defended themthe land.

selves from the bay-window of an innOn this we cannot help exclaiming, in what would the Whigs have said of such the slightly altered words of the ballad - culpable, such indefensible negligence in

a Conservative government ? "Ah, luckless speech ! ah, bootless boast, And again-in what violent terms For which he paid full dear!

would they not have inveighed against For while he spake, rebellious Frost Belied him loud and clear!'

the “defective institutions of the country,

and the gross abuses of its administraIt is quite evident that the gift of second tion,' with which great masses of the insight is lost in Scotland, and that Sir telligent working population could be so James Forrest and Sir John Campbell, so dissatisfied ? --- Would they not have adfar from having the celebrated Caledonian duced the insurrection of 9000 men as a inklings of futurity, have not even the conclusive proof against the whole con. common cottage sagacity of knowing that stitution of our government—assuming a fire may be covered without being ex- --- as they always had done, till they themtinguished, and that the spark which is selves were in office--that every turbulent smouldering at night may be a flame before agitator, and every seditious assemblage morning.

must have a grievance fully justifying the But ludicrous-farcically ludicrous— sedition and the turbulence i How, on the as is the personal position of the Attorney other hand, have the Conservatives acted ? General, the tragedy to which he spoke Have they harangued about the “Newport so light a prologue has been deep and Massacres,' and talked of WestGATELOO? bloody; and the most painful part of the No; while they unfeignedly pity the catastrophe is not yet over!

deluded victims, and execrate the authors Our readers will recollect that all the of the delusion-while they lament the Whig speeches and publications of the former indiscretion and recent negligence day, and, still more recently, Lord John of Her Majesty's Ministers, they afford Russell himself

, in his celebrated speech the most unhesitating countenance and at Stroud, and on some subsequent occa- support to the tardy vindication of the sions, charged all the disorders which oc

law : from them the disaffected will recurred in the autumn of 1830 to the ac

ceive no factious encouragement, and the count of the then ministers.

repressive measures of the government The general system of government was no vexatious opposition: condemned with wholesale virulence, be

But Lord John Russell, though he stands cause the populace were so maddened by pre-eminent in these unhappy transactions, the Three glorious Days, and by the in- does not stand alone. In every other de flammatory speeches of Whig and Radical orators, that it was thought imprudent

* It is stated in the letier of the Mayor of Newto allow the King to visit the City in a in procuring ammunition for the troops, and we find

port, that there was some difficulty, at one moment, November night, lest mischievous people in the proceedings on the Coroner’s inquest, Demight provoke disturbances from which cember 3d, the following deposition :the innocent were more likely to suffer

• Edward Hopkins, Superintendent of Police, than the guilty. But, let us suppose for short of ammunition, and I went and searched the

sworn I was there informed that the soldiers were a moment that a Conservative ministry bodies, and in the pockets of the one who was dying were to show themselves so utterly ig- in the pantry, I found 25 rounds of ball cartridge, norant of the real state of the country as which I handed over to Lieut. Gray, and he immeto boast of profound tranquillity on the diately divided it among the soldiers.

We have, however, heard from other authority, very eve of a rebellion ; if they had al-Ithat there was no deficiency of ammunition.


partment of the government a similar de- shall presently see); but that, when the reliction of duty, a similar disinclination duty should be lowered to a moderate to exert the power of the law, whenever rate, the law could be, and should be, enit might be at all distasteful to Chartists, forced against all violators. Radicals, or any other species of agita- Now, this allegation was false and holtors, is equally observable. We shall low, and only made to conceal the real give some further important examples of motive of the proceeding, which was the this general tendency of Lord Mel. contemptible weakness of the governbourne's administration.

It is very true that exorbitant In 1835 the publication of unstamped duties on any description of goods render newspapers had proceeded to a great ex- it very difficult to prevent 'smuggling'tent; and, although the government were in goods of great value and small comvery remiss in executing the law-in- pass, and undistinguishable in their nadeed it was to their remissness that the ture from duty-paid goods of the same great growth of the evil may be wholly species, nearly impossible ; and as this attributed-still a considerable number of had grown into a kind of financial axiom, the publishers and venders of such works the government with its characteristic had been imprisoned-chiefly, we believe, duplicity, thought to facilitate their measby the interference of some subordinate ure, and conceal their real difficulty, by officer,-few, if any, by the immediate or calling the sale of unstamped papers ders of the Ministers or the Attorney-Ge- smuggling--though all the world sees neral, whose early and active interposition that it is not what the said political axiom would, we are satisfied, have stopped the means by the word smuggling, which is mischief at once. We need not inform necessarily clandestine ; while, on the our readers that the general character of other hand, it is equally notorious that a these papers was immoral and seditious. bona fide order from the Home Depart

This part of the evil-in our antiquated ment to the Police, and from the Treasopinion, the greatest---does not seem to ury to the Stamp-office, to stop the open have made any impression whatsoever on vending of these unstamped publications, the government; but they found it neces- would have altogether prevented the sary to attend to two opposite classes of abuse--and, even after it had attained complainants, with whom the growing its greatest height, would have stopped extent of the illegal practice brought them it in four-and-twenty hours. But in into contact. The one were those who these enlightened days anything that were suffering punishment for repeated looks like an axiom of political econobreaches of the law, whose advocates my is sure to pass unquestioned. The were stirring the matter in the House of public sale of unstamped newspapers in Commons, and becoming very loud in Piccadilly was voted to be smuggling ; their invectives against the stamp-duty on and the only remedy for this as for every newspapers, which they, facetiously, one other kind of smuggling (vide M'Cul. might suspect, called a tax upon know- loch and Co.) was to lower the duty, ledge : the other were the proprietors of which we were assured by the Chancellor the more respectable proportion of the of the Exchequer would render the breach periodical press, who very justly com. of the law so inexcusable, that the govern plained that this almost impunity of un- ment--yea, even Lord Melbourne's pusilstamped publications was a fraud on the lanimous and nerveless government,legally conducted trade. This also was promised to punish, and eventually to a body too powerful to be disregarded. prevent, any infraction of the law; and Perplexed between these antagonist com- under this plausible engagement, on the plainants, the government resolved to part of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, make their usual compromise by a sacrifice the stamp-duty was reduced. of the public : the stamp duty was reduced What was the consequence ? Not only from 3d. to 1d the Chancellor of the was the smuggling not prevented, but it Exchequer stating, as his chief motive has increased an hundredfold. Not only for this reduction, that as long as the du- does the government not vindicate the ties were so high it was in vain to at-law, but the few prosecutions that used to tempt to counteract the smuggler (so he afford some degree of check are now ne. is reported to have called the publishers ver heard of-the smugglers, that is, doz. and venders of unstamped papers-Deb. ens of newsmongers at every stage-coach 15th Mar. and 20th June 1836—why, we door, on board every steam-packet, along



every street, thrust into the hands of every
passenger dozens of unstamped sheets of
the vilest, the most libellous, the most
seditious garbage! Where are now the
prognostics of Mr. Spring Rice that the
smuggling would be extinguished? where
the promises of the government that the
smuggler should be prosecuted and pun
ished? It would lead us too far from our
present purpose to detail the monstrous
injury to public morals and domestic hap-
piness which this profusion of obscenity,
blasphemy, and libel must inflict; nor
could we, consistently with our principles, ing the following title :-
give any additional publicity to such trash,


which, trash though it be, is working wide, and, we fear, irremediable mischief.


VOL. I.-No. 40.]

But, passing over the mere morality of the case of which, as we have said, Lord Melbourne's government seems to take no note-can any one doubt what must be the political effect of this unbounded and uncontrolled effusion of sedition and treason? We shall so far break through our resolution not to mention individual papers as to give one example, which has already engaged public attention. have before us an unstamped paper bear



'Moral force has failed, by the united opposition of Prejudice, Villany, and Physical Force. 'What remains then to be done? How shall the Chartists proceed?

And are we to sit quietly down and relinquish our canse? Are we to become tacit slaves to our oppressors, content with what they, in their mercy, shall be pleased to mete out to us. Never! Chartists, remember the words of Mr. Vincent last week -"Let there be no unmanly shrinking." Desert not your incarcerated friends!


This 'HENRY VINCENT, now resident in Monmouth gaol,' is, as our readers will recollect, imprisoned there for sedition: yet he is suffered to direct, and his colleagues are permitted to publish, this unstamped newspaper, which, even if other-nize! wise innocent, is illegal, and, according Agitate, agitate, agitate, is grown luketo the promises of Mr. Spring Rice, ought warm and stale, and treason must now orto have been suppressed. Even if other-ganize, organize, organize: such is the wise innocent- -but let us give one or practical advice of this paper. Let us add two specimens of its intrinsic character. a specimen of its doctrines:

An article on the defeat of the late treasonable outbreak at Newport, too long to be quoted in extenso, after stating the leading principles of Chartism to be universal suffrage,'' annual parliaments,' ballot,'' no property-qualification,' 'pay-law, it is not man's, but God's doing.' ment of members of parliament,' thus concludes:

And again,

not fight with them! Be wary in your movements, ye are beset with spies! Be cautious in your speeches, for anything is sedition. But, in the name of Liberty -cease not to worry your enemies! Your name is

Legion, for ye are many; and your rights must be enforced, if not conceded. Our counsel is-OrgaOrganize! Organize!'

God, oppressors and murderers of their subjects, 'When kings or rulers become blasphemers of they ought no more to be accounted kings or lawful magistrates, but, as private men. to be examined, accused, and condemned and punished by that law of God, and, being convicted and punished by that

The people may kill wicked princes as monsters and cruel beasts.'

The effect which such exhortations and such doctrines must have on an ignorant

and, if they can read such poison, worse than ignorant-population, might be easily imagined à priori, but we have unfortunately a practical and touching example of its deplorable effects. We extract the

'But to the question-How shall the Chartists

proceed? Let them raise the standard of "Resist-case from the report of the inquiry before ance to Oppression!" Beware of soldiers, ye can- the magistrates at Newport :




Shell, the Pontypool leader, who was killed by the illegal and seditious press into one the soldiery in the passage of the Westgate Inn, in view,-the original reduction of the stamp the very act of thrusting his pike at the breast of the mayor, evidences the traitorous objects [of the in- duty on the pretence of extinguishing surgents] in the following letter, written to his father, smuggling,' the subsequent impunity and having, it appears, a melancholy presentiment of his hundred fold growth of that same ' coming death:gling,' the uninterrupted continuance of • Pontypool, Sunday Night, Nov. 4, 1839. 'Dear Parents,-1 hope this will find you well, as this smuggling,' by a prisoner in MonI am myself at present. I shall this night be engaged mouth gaol, its certain connection with in a struggle for freedom, and, should it please God the fatal insurrection in Wales, and its to spare my life, I shall see you soon; but if not, natural effect in perverting, possibly thougrieve not for me-I shall have fallen in a noble cause. My tools are at Mr. Cecil's, and likewise sands, of honest and loyal and respectable my clothes. men, like poor George Shell into traitors thirsting for the lives of others and prod igal of their own-whether, we say, such a case, beginning in fraud and ending in blood, ever before stained the annals of a civilized government? And what answer will the ministers under whose misrule these facts occurred-what answer can they give concerning their respective shares in these lamentable transactions? We cannot doubt that some explanation will be wrung from them on the very first day of the meeting of parliament. Tis not by the imprisonment of one victim or the execution of another that these questions can be answered. Unhappy men! whose fate will be a new exemplification of the melancholy observation of the Roman moralist-

Farewell, dear parents.
'Your's truly,


This young man, endowed with a courage and devotion worthy of a better cause, was, up to May, 1839, a special constable, universally respected, and possessing the confidence of the magistracy. He then, unfortunately, listened to the fallacious reasonings of Frost and Jones, and the melancholy result has been a traitor's death at the early age of nineteen. I have been informed by the bereaved parent of this youth that he ascribes his ruin to the scandalous pubfications of the day, and to the "Vindicator," edited by the notorious Henry Vincent.'-Times, 18 No


And, after all this, will it be believed that the unstamped and seditious 'Vindicator' was still allowed to diffuse its poison with impunity, until the Mayor of Cardiff, in the name of the magistrates of the county and borough, was driven, so late as the 5th of December, to remonstrate with the Secretary of State on its uninterrupted publication, to which they attribute the rebellious spirit in those districts? This appears so incredible, that we insert the representations of the ma gistrates:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Committunt eadem diverso crimina fato :-
ILLE crucem, pretium sceleris tulit, HIC diadema.
One is rewarded with the gallows, and
ANOTHER with a coronet !

But it is not by mere connivance alone that the government appears to encou rage the abuses of the press. We believe that the present is the first ministry that ever permitted itself to be publicly identified with any newspaper, except the London Gazette. All governments have occasionally given more or less of their confidence to a particular paper, but even this to a very limited extent, and never avowedly: indeed, the prudence of gov ernments and the independence of editors have alike disclaimed any such copartnership. As to the personal countenance and interference of the Sovereign in any such matters, we will venture to say that no man ever imagined anything so wild and so

4 TO THE MARQUIS OF NORMANBY. Cardiff, Dec. 5, 1839. 'My Lord Marquis,-The county and borough magistrates, who have this day met at the Town Hall here, for the purpose of investigating charges against persons connected with the late outrages at Newport, being fully persuaded that a paper called "The Western Vindicator," published for Henry Vincent (now a prisoner in Monmouth gaol) by Francis Hill, of No. 14 Northumberland-place, Bath, has been one of the principal causes of such outrage, have caused to be intercepted a packet of these papers, of the date of the 30th November, directed to Mr. Davis, Newbridge, Glamorganshire (12 miles from Cardiff,) a district in which Chartism has very widely spread, earnestly beg leave to call your lordship's attention to the extensive circulation and mischievous tendency of the said paper, and herewith transmit to your lordship the intercepted_packet; indecorous-never-before the present and I am authorised by John Bruce Price, Esq., and hour. The Observer,' Sunday newspathe Rev. George Thomas, county magistrates, and Charles Crofts Williams, Esq., late Mayor of Cardiff, per, has of late been a kind of accredited to add their names to mine in making this communi- organ of the ministry of that, however cation to your lordship. blameable particular articles may have been, no complaint is to be made; but for some time past it has publicly assumed a new and absolutely unprecedented character. It now dignifies its columns by

'I have the honour to be, &c.,

'R. REECE, Mayor of Cardiff.' We now appeal to the country at large, whether taking the whole of this case of

the following programme, which we copy | illustration should be equally asinine with exactly: the text the royal arms affixed to this announcement of the Queen's patronage' happen to be, NOT her Majesty's distinctive arms, but those of the King of Hanover, if he were to become King of England! The blunder is much more piquant than the libel.


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

It is one of the specious sophisms of the day to charge tumults and sedition, as well as all other crimes, to the ignorance of the people; and this has been, and is now, and will be again, used as an argument in favour of the government and other sectarian schemes of public education. This is not an occasion in which we could enter at large into that important question; but so much we will say, that, although ignorance in the more extended meaning of the term is indeed the prolific parent of crime, it is not by such ignorance as can be cured by a poor smattering of what my Lord Lansdowne calls secular instruction-that riots

and other political offences are excited; on the contrary, it has been proved in every case in which the fact could be tested, and most fully in all the late disturbances, that the low degree of education-not, indeed, deserving that name— which teaches the poor to read without accompanying that gift with such moral and religious instruction as may regulate and purify the use of it, is an infliction worse than ignorance; it is like giving children razors for playthings, and arsenic in sugar-plums. It was not the being unable to read that made poor Shell a traitor, but the unfortunate capacity of reading those infamous and seditious publications which are everywhere corrupting our population; and against which there can be no guard or barrier, but by inseparably combining the rudiments of secular education with the great and vital-but easily taught and easily

We will not throw away a word in exposing the flagrant falsehoods, monstrous absurdity, and infamous calumnies, accumulated in these half-dozen lines of the leading paragraph of a paper patronized by the QUEEN. We will only say, that if it be not 'imagining' and imputing high treason, we know not what is; and that in all the annals of libel we do not recollect so foul a one. We admit that, as against the personages whom it intends to vilify, learned-lessons of morality and religion. it is wholly innocuous-to them it can do The author of a work whose title we no harm the real insult is to her Majesty, have prefixed to this article seems to atwhose name is thus abused, and to her tribute 'popular tumults' to social ignoministers, who permit it. But this inde-rance. But that is only an ad captandum cency is rendered, if possible, still more title: he does not mean, so much, ignocontemptible by the bungling folly with rance in the ordinary sense of the word, which it is executed: for, first, this libel as anti-philosophical prejudices, ignorance on the second member of the Royal House of political economy, and so forth-a speis said to be under the patronage,' not cies of ignorance which may certainly be only of the Queen,' but of ALL the Royal said to produce popular tumults of one Family,' as if that member of the royal class, such as burning corn-stores, breakfamily patronised these libels on himself, ing machinery, and so forth but long and that his illustrious brothers and sisters, before the people can be taught right nephews and nieces, all concurred in the principles on these subjects they will calumny; but, secondly, that the graphic have learned other things, which, we


« ForrigeFortsett »