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THE WORKS 



or 



THE REV. SYDNEY SMITH. 



VOLUME II. 



tOKDOVI 
pmlHTSD BT 8POTCTBWOODB AND 00. 
SBW-STBXBY SQCABB. 



THE WORKS 



OP 



THE KEV. SYDNEY SMITH 



IirCI<T7DIKO HI8 00NTBIBTTTI0N8 TO THX XDIKBUBaK RXVIXW. 



IN TWO VOLS. 



VOLUME THE SECOND. 



LONDON 
UOSQMAN, BBOWN, GREEN, LONGMANS, AND ROBERTS. 

1859 



CONTENTS 



or 



THE SECOND VOLUME 



AKTICLBS OBIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE '^EDmBTJAGH REVIEW.' 



PBBSECuTiiro Bishops 

BoTAKT Bat .... 

Game Laws ..... 

CsuEL Tbbatmevt of UimuED Prisokbbs . 

Amesica ..... 

MSMOIBS OE Caftain Boce . 

Sbntham ok Fallacies 

Wateetok ..... 

Geaitbt ..... 

HAMiLT0ir*8 Method of teachiito LAFGUAem 

COUEBEL EOH PBISOITEBS 

Catholics ..... 

teEB Pltmlbt*b Lettebb . 

The Jxtdob that smites coktbaet to the Law .* a Sebmoe 

The Lawyhb that tempted Christ : a Sebmoh 



Page 
1 

. 12 

. 25 

. 82 

. 42 

. 62 

. 69 

. 74 

. 84 

. 92 

. 106 

. 120 

. 135 

. 184 

. 190 



SPEECHES. 

Speech at a Mebtikq op the CuiBaT op Cleyblakd . . .197 

Speech oh the Catholic Claims . . . . . .201 

Speech at the Taunton Bepobm Meeting . . . . .207 

Speech at Taunton at a Meeting to celebrate thb Accession op King 

William IV. . . . . . . .212 

Speech at Taunton in 1831 on the Bjbpobm Bill not being passed . 214 

Speech bbspecting the Bjbpobm Bill . . . .215 



A Letteb to the Elbctobs upon the Catholic Question . 
A Sbbmon on the Bulbs op Chbistian Chabity 
Sbbmon on thb Duties of the Queen 



228 
242 
249 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



Page 

A Pbaybb . . . . . . . . .254 

FiBST Letter to AscsDEACoif Sikgletoit . . . .236 

Second ditto . . . . . . . .275 

Thisd ditto . . . . . . . . .287 

Letteb to Lobd John Bussell . . . . . .297 

Letteb ov the Gsabactbb 07 Sib Jaueb Mackintosh . . . S02 

The Ballot . . , . . . . . . .805 

Letteb to Hb. Hobneb . . . . . . . S19 

Lettebs on Railways :— 

" Locking in " on RailMrays . . . . . . .821 

" Locking in" on BAQways . . . . . . .323 

Burning alive on Railroads . . . . . . .825 

Lettebs on Akebican Debts :~ 

The Humble Petition of the Biev. Sydney Smith to the House of Congress at 

Washington . . . . . • . .826 

Letter L ......... 827 

Letter U. . . . . . . • . . SCO 

MODEBN ChANOEB . . . . . . . .832 

A Pbaoment on the Ibibh Roman Catholic Ghubch . . .833 



Indes 



343 



ARTICLES 



OUOIVjILLT rUZlMBKD IV 



THE EDINBURGH REVIEW. 



PERSECUTING BISHOPS. 
(E. Review, 1822.) 

1. An Appealto the Legislature andPublic; 
or.fhe Legality of the Eighty-Seven Ques- 
tions proposed by Dr. Herbert Marsh, the 
Bish^ qf Peterborough, to Candidates 
for Holy Orders, and for Licences, ioith- 
in that Diocese, considered. 2nd Edition. 
London, Seeley, 1821. 

2. A Speech, delivered in theHotiseofLords^ 
on Friday, June 7, 1822, by Herbert, Lord 
Bishop qf Peterborough, on the Presen- 
tation qf a Petition agairut his Exami- 
nation Questions; with Explanatory 
Notes, a Supplement, and a Copy qf the 
Qtiestions, London, Bivington, 1822. 

8. The Wrongs of the Clergy cf the Diocese 
of Peterborough stated and iUustrated. 
By the Bev. T. S. Grimshawe, M.A., 
B«ctor of Burton, Northamptonshire; 
and Yicar of Biddenham, Bedfordshire. 
London, Seeley, 1822. 

4. Episcopal Innovation; or, the Test qf 
Modem Orthodoxy, in EightySeven 
Questions, impost, as Articles qf Faith, 
upon Candidates for Licences and for 
Holy Orders, in the Diocese qf Peter- 
borough ; wiOi a Distinct Answer to each 
Question, and General Btfflections rela- 
tive to their lUegal Structure and Per- 
nicious Tendency. London, Seeley, 1820. 

6. Official Correspondence between the 
Bight Reverend Herbert, Lord Bishop qf 
Peterborough, and the Rev. John Green, 
respecting his Nomination, to the Curacy 
<if Blatherwycke, in the Diocese qf Peter- 
borough, and County qf Northampton : 
Also, between His Grace Charles, Lord 
Archbishop cf Canterbury, and the Bev. 
Henry William Neville, M.A., Bector qf 
Blathertoycke, and qf Cottesmore in the 
County qfButland. 1821. 

It is a great point in anj qaestion to 
clear away encnmbrances, and to make 
Vol. II. 



a naked circle abont the object in dis- 
pute, so that there may be a clear view 
of it on every side. In pursuance of 
this disencumbering process, we shall 
first acquit the Bishop of all wrong 
intentions. He has a very bad opinion 
of the practical effects of high Cal- 
vinlstic doctrines upon the common 
people; and he thinks it his duty to 
exclude those clergymen who profess 
them from his diocese. There is no 
moral wrong in this. He has accord- 
ingly devised no fewer than eighty-seven 
interrogatories, by which he thinks he 
can detect the smallest taint of Calvin- 
ism that may lurk in the creed of the 
candidate; and in this also, whatever 
we may think of his reasoning, we sup- 
pose his purpose to be blameless. He 
believes, finally, that he has legally the 
power so to interrogate and exclude; 
and in this, perhaps, he is not mis- 
taken. His intentions, then, are good, 
and his conduct, perhaps, not amenable 
to the law. All this we admit in his 
favour: but against him we must 
maintain, that his conduct upon the 
points in dispute has been singularly 
injudicious, extremely harsh, and, in 
its effects (though not in its intentions), 
very oppressive and vexatious to the 
Clergy. 

We have no sort of intention to avail 
ourselves of an anonymous publication 
to say unkind, uncivil, or disrespectful 
things to a man of rank, learning, and 
character — we hope to be guilty of no 
such impropriety; but we cannot be- 
lieve we are doing wrong in ranging 
ourselves on the weaker side, in thQ 

B 



PERSECUTING BISHOPS. 



cause of propriety and justice. The 
Mitre protects its wearer from indig- 
nity] but it does not secure impunity. 

It is a strong presumption that a 
man is wrong, when all his friends, 
whose habits naturally lead them to 
coincide with him, think him wrong. 
If a man were to indulge in taking 
medicine till the apothecary, the drug- 
gist, and the physician, all called upon 
him to abandon his philocathartic 
propensities — if he were to gratify his 
convivial habits till the landlord de- 
murred, and the waiter shook his head 
— we should naturally imagine that 
advice so wholly disinterested was not 
given before it was wanted, and that it 
merited some little attention and re- 
spect. Now, though the Bench of 
Bishops certainly love power, &r\^ love 
the Church, as well as the Bishop of 
Peterborough, yet not one defended 
him — not one Tose to say, "I have 
done, or I would do, the same thing." 
It was impossible to be present at the 
last debate on this question, without 
perceiving that his Lordship stood alone 
— and this in a very gregarious pro- 
fession, that habitually combines and 
butts against an opponent with a very 
extended front. If a lawyer is wounded, 
the rest of the profession pursue him, 
and put him to death. If a church- 
man is hbrt, the others gather round 
for his protection, stamp with their feet, 
push with their horns, and demolish 
the dissenter who did the mischief. 

The Bishop has at least done a very 
unusual thing in his Eighty-seven Ques- 
tions. The two Archbishops, and we 
believe every other Bishop, and all the 
Irish hierarchy, admit curates into their 
dioceses without any such precautions. 
The necessity of such severe and scru- 
pulous inquisition, in short, has been 
apparent to nobody but the Bishop of 
Peterborough ; and the authorities by 
which he seeks to justify it are any- 
thing but satisfactory. His Xiordship 
states, that forty years ago he was 
himself examined by written interro- 
gatories, and that he is not the onfy 
Bishop who has done it; but he men- 
tions no names ; and it was hardly 
worth while to state such extremely 
slight precedents for so strong a devia- 



tion from the common practice of the 
Church. 

The Bishop who rejects a curate 
upon the Eighty-seven Questions is 
necessarily and inevitably opposed to 
the Bishop who ordained him. The 
Bishop of Gloucester ordains a young 
man of twenty-three years of age, not 
thinking it necessary to put to him 
these interrogatories, or putting them, 
perhaps, and approving of answers 
diametrically opposite to those that are 
required by the Bishop of Peter- 
borough. The young clergyman then 
comes to the last-mentioned Bishop ; 
and the Bishop, after putting him to the 
Question^ says, "You are unfit for a 
clergyman,** — though, ten days before, 
the Bishop of Gloucester has made 
him one! It is bad enough for ladies 
to pull caps, but still worse fof.Bishops 
to pull mitres. Nothing can be more 
mischievous or indecent than such 
scenes; and no man of common pru- 
dence, or knowledge of the world, but 
must see that they ought immediately 
to be put a stop to. If a man is a 
captain in the army in one part of 
England, he is a captain in alL The 
general who commands north of the 
Tweed does not say, You shall never 
appear in my district, or exercise the 
functions of an officer, if you do not 
answer eighty-seven questions on the 
art of war, according to my notions. 
The same officer who commands a ship 
of the line in the Mediterranean, is 
considered as equal to the same office 
in the North Seas. The sixth com- 
mandment is suspended, by one medi- 
cal diploma, from the north of England 
to the south. But, by this new system 
of interrogation, a man may be ad- 
mitted into orders at Barnet, rejected 
at Stevenage, readmitted at Brogden, 
kicked out as a Calvinist at Witham 
Common, and hailed as an ardent 
Armenian on his arrival at York. 

It matters nothing to say that sacred 
things must not be compared with pro- 
fane. In their importance, we allow, 
they cannot; but in their order and 
discipline they may be so far compared 
as to say, that the discrepancy and con- 
tention which woald be disgraceful and 
pernicious in worldly affain, thoold, 



PERSECUTING BISHOPS. 



8 



in common prudence be ayoided in the 
affairs of religion. Mr. Greenoagh has 
made a map. of England, according to 
its geological varieties; — blue for the 
chalk, green for the claj, red for the 
sand, and so forth. Under this system 
of Bishop Marsh, we must petition for 
the assistance of the geologist in the 
fabrication of an ecclesiastical map. 
All the Arminian districts mast be 
purple. Green for one theological ex- 
tremity — sky-blue for another — as 
many colours as there are Bishops — 
as many shades of these colours as 
there are Archdeacons — a tailor's pat- 
tern card ^ the picture of vanity, 
fashion, and caprice. 

The Bishop seems surprised at the 
resistance he meets with; and yet, to 
what purpose has he read ecclesiastical 
history, "if he expect to meet with any- 
thing but the most determined opposi- 
tion? Does he think that every sturdy 
supralapsarian bullock whom he tries 
to sacrifice to the Genius of Orthodoxy, 
will not kick, and push, and toss; that 
he will not, if he can, shake the axe 
from his neck, and hurl his mitred 
butcher into the air? His Lordship has 
undertaken a task of which he little 
knows the labour or the end. We 
know these men fully as well as the 
Bishop; he has not a chance of success 
against them. If one motion in Par- 
liament will not do, they will have 
twenty. They will ravage, roar, and 
msh, till the very chaplains, and the 
Masters and Misses Peterborough re- 
quest his Lordship to desist He is 
raising up a storm in the English Chnrch 
of which he has not the slightest con- 
ception ; and which will end, as it ought 
to end, in his Lordship*s disgrace and 
defeat. 

The longer we live, the more we are 
convinced of the justice of the old 
saying, that an ounce of mother wit is 
toorih a pound of clergy; that discre- 
tion, gentle manners, common sense, 
and good nature, are, in men of 
high ecclesiastical station, of far greater 
importance than the greatest skill in 
discriminating between sublapsarian 
and supralapsarian doctrines. Bishop 
Marsh should remember, that all men 
wearing the mitre work by character, I 



as well as doctrine; that a tender re- 
gard to men's rights and feelings^ a 
desire to avoid sacred squabbles, a fond* 
ness for quiet, and an ardent wish to 
make everybody happy, would be of far 
more valae to the Church of England 
than all his learning and vigilance of 
inquisition. The Irish Tithes will pro* 
bably fall next session of Parliament; 
the common people are regularly re- 
ceding from the Chnrch of England 
— ^baptizing, burying, and confirming 
for themselves. Under such circum- 
stances, what would the worst enemy of 
the English Church require? — a bitter, 
bustling, theological Bishop, accused 
by his clergy of tyranny and oppres- 
sion — the cause of daily petitions and 
daily debates in the House of Commons 
— the idoneous vehicle of abuse against 
the Establishment — a stalking-horse to 
bad men for the introduction of revo- 
lutionary opinions, mischievous ridicule, 
and irreligious feelings. Such will be 
the advantages which Bishop Marsh 
will secure -for the English Establish- 
ment in the ensuing session. It is in- 
conceivable how such a prelate shakes 
all the upper works of the Church, and 
ripens it for dissolution and decay. Six 
such Bishops, multiplied by eighty- 
seven, and working with five hundred 
and twenty-two questions, would fetch 
everything to the ground in less than 
six months. But what if it pleased 
Divine Providence to afflict every pre- 
late with the spirit of putting eighty- 
seven queries, and the two Archbishops 
with the spirit of putting twice as many, 
and the Bishop of Sodor and Man' 
with the spirit of putting only forty- 
three queries? — there would then be a 
grand total of two thousand three 
hundred and thirty-five interrogations 
Oying about the English Church ; and 
sorely vexed would the land be with 
Question and Answer. 

We will suppose this learned Prelate, 
without meanness or undue regard to 
his world^ interests, to feel that fair 
desire of rising in his profession, which 
any man, in any profession, may feel 
without disgrace. Does he forget that 
his character in the ministerial circles 
will soon become that of a violent im- 
practicable man — whom it is impos- 

B 2 



PERSECUTING BISHOPS. 



Bible to place in the highest situations — 
who has been trusted with too much 
fih^adj, and must be trasted with no 
more? Ministers have something else 
to do with their time, and with the time 
of Parliament, than to waste them in de- 
bating squabbles between Bishops and 
their Clergy. They naturally wish, and, 
on the whole, reasonably expect, that 
everything should go on silently and 
quietly in the Church. They have no 
objection to a learned Bishop; but they 
' deprecate one atom more of learning 
than is compatible with moderation, 
good sense, and the soundest discre- 
tion. It must be the grossest igno- 
rance of the world to suppose that the 
Cabinet has any pleasure in watching 
Calvinists. 

The Bishop not only puts the ques- 
tions, bat he actually assigns the limits 
within which they are to be answered. 
Spaces are left in the paper of interro- 
gations, to which limits the answer is 
to be confined ; — ^two inches to origi- 
nal sin : an inch and a half to justifica- 
tion ; three quarters to predestination ; 
and to free will only a qoarter of an 
inch. But if his Lordship gives Uiem 
an inch, they will take an ell. His 
Lordship is himself a theological writer, 
and by no means remarkable for his 
conciseness. To deny space to his bro- 
ther theologians, who are writing on 
the most difficult subjects, not from 
choice, but necessity; not for fame, 
but for bread ; and to award rejection 
as the penalty of prolixity, does appear 
to us no slight deviation from Chris- 
tian gentleness. The tyranny of call- 
ing for such short answers is very 
strikingly pointed out in a letter from 
Mr. Thurtell to the Bishop of Peter- 
borough; the style of which pleads, 
we think, very powerfully in favour of 
the writer. 

" Beccles, BuffdOc, August 23^, 182L 

« My Lord. 

" I ought, in the first place, to apologise 
for. delaying so long to answer your Lord- 
ship's letter : hut the difficulty in which I 
was involved, by receiving another copy of 
your Lordship's Questions, with positive 
directions to give short answers, may be 
sufficient to account for that delay. 

" It is my sincere desire to meet your Lord- 



shijj's wishes, and to obey your Lordship's 
diroctions in every particular ; and I would 
therefore immediately have returned an- 
swers, without «dlj * restrictions or modifi- 
cations,' to the Questions which your Lord- 
ship has thought fit to send me, if, in so 
doing, I could have discharged the obliga- 
tions of my conscience, by showing what 
my opinions really are. But it appears to 
me, that the Questions proposed to me by 
your Lordship are so constructed as to elicit 
only two sets of opinions; and that, by 
answering them in so concise a manner, I 
should be representing myself to your Lord- 
ship as one who believes in either of two 
particular creeds, to neither of which I do 
realljf subscribe. For instance, to answer 
Question L chap. ii. in the manner your 
Lordship desires, I am reduced to the alter- 
native of declaring, either that ' mankind 
are a mass of mere corruption,' which ex- 
presses more than I intend, or of leaving 
room for the inference, that they are only 
partiaUy ixampty which is opposed to the 
plainest declarations of the Homilies ; such 
as these, ' Man is altogether spotted and 
defiled' (Hom. on Nat.), ' without a epark 
of goodness in him ' (Serm. on Mis. of Man, 
Ac). 

" Again, by answering the Questions com- 
prised in the chapter on ' Free Will,' accord- 
ing to your Lordship's directions, I am 
compelled to acknowledge, either that man 
has such a share in the work of his own 
salvation as to exclude the sole agency of 
God, or that he has no share whatever ; 
when the Homilies for Rogation Week and 
Whitsunday positively declare, that God is 
the * only Worker,* or, in other words, s(de 
Agent ; and at the same time assign to man 
a certain share in the work of his own sal- 
vation. In short, I could, with your Lord- 
ship's permission, point out twenty Ques- 
tions, involving doctrines of the utmost 
importance, which I am unable to answer, 
so as to convey my real sentiments, without 
more room for explanation than the printed 
sheet affords. 

** In this view of the subject, therefore, 
and in the most deliberate exercise of my 
judgment, I deem it indispensable to my 
acting with that candour and truth with 
which it is my wish and duty to act, and 
with which I cannot but believe your Lord- 
ship desires I should act, to state my opi- 
nions in that language which expresses 
them most fUlly, plainly, and unreservedly. 
This I have endeavoured to do in the an- 
swers now in the possession of your Lord- 
ship. If any further explanation be re* 
quired, I am most willing to give it, even 
to a minuteness of opinion beyond what the 
Articles require. At the same time, I would 



PERSECUTING BISHQPS. 



humbly and reepectftilly appeal to your 
Lordship's candour, whetJter U If not hard 
to demand my decided opinion upon points 
which have been the themes of volumes; 
upon which the most pious and learned 
men of the Church have conscientious 
differed ; and upon whu^ the Artides, in 
the judgment qf Bishop Burnet, have pro- 
nounced no definite sentence. To those 
Articles, my Lord, I hare already subscribed; 
andl Mn willing again to subscribe to every 
one of them, ' in its literal and grammatical 
sense,' according to His Majesty's declara- 
tion prefixed to them. 

**1 hope, therefore, in consideration of 
the above statement, that your Lordship 
will not compel me, by the condseness of 
my answers, to assent to doctrines which I 
do not believe, or to expose myself to infers 
enoes which do not fairly and legitimately 
follow from my opinions. 

" I am, my Lord, &c. Ac." 

We are not much acquainted with 
the practices of courts of justice ; but^ 
if we remember right, when a man is 
going to be hanged, the judge lets him 
make his defence in his owli way, 
without complaining of its length. We 
should think a Christian Bishop might 
be equally indulgent to a man who is 
going to be ruined. The answers are 
required to be clear, concise, and cor- 
rect — short, plain, and positive. In 
other words, a poor curate, extremely 
agitated at the idea of losing his live- 
lihood, is required to write with bre- 
vity and perspicuity on the following 
subjects : — Bedemption by Jesus Christ 
— Original Sin — Free Will — Justifica- 
tion - Justification in reference to its 
Causes — Justification in reference to 
the time when it takes place — Ever- 
lasting Salvation — Predestination — 
Begeneration on the New Birth — Re- 
novation, and the Holy Trinity. As 
a specimen of these questions, the an- 
swer to which is required to be so brief 
and clear, we shall insert the following 
quotation : — 

" Section II,—CfJustificationt in nferenee 
to its cause, 

** "L Dora not the eleventh Article de- 
clare, tbat we are 'justified by 
Faith ofOy?' 

** 2. Does not the expression ' Palth only ' 
derive additional strength from the 
negative expression in the same 



Article ' and not for our own 
works?* , 

** 8. Does not therefore the eleventh Ar- 
ticle exclude good works fh>m all 
share in the office of Justifyii^? 
Or can we so construe the term 
' Paith' in that Article, as to mkke 
it include good works ? 

** 4 Do not the twelfth and thirteenth 
Articles fkirther exclude themi, the 
one by asserting that good works 
/o22(Hoc|/V0r Justification, the other 
by maintaining that they cannot 
precede it? 

" 5. Can that which nerer precedes an 
effect be reckoned among the causes 
of that effect? 

" 6. Can we then, consistently with our 
Articles, reckon the performance of 
good works among the causes of 
Justification, whatever qualifying 
epithet be used with the term 
cause 7 ** 

We entirely deny that the Calvinis- 
tical Clergy are bad members of their 
profession. We maintain that as many 
instances of good, serious, and pious 
men— of persons zealously interesting 
themselves in the temporal and spiri- 
tual welfare of their parishioners, are 
to be found among them, as among the 
clergy who put an opposite interpreta- 
tion on the Articles. The Articles of 
Religion are older than Arminianism, 
eo nomine. The early Reformers ' 
leant to Calvinism ; and would, to a 
man, have answered the Bishop*s ques- 
tions in a way which would have 
induced him to refuse them ordination 
and curacies ; and those who drew up 
the Thirty-nine Articles, if they had 
not prudently avoided all precise in- 
terpretation of their Creed on free will, 
necessity, absolute decrees, original sin, 
reprobation, and election, would have, 
in all probability, given an interpreta- 
tion of them like that which the Bishop 
considers as a disqualification for Holy 
Orders. Laud's Lambeth Articles were 
illegal, mischievous, and are generally 
condemned. The Irish Clergy in 1 64 1 
drew up one hundred and four articles 
as the creed of their Church ; and these 
are Calvinistic and not Arminian. 
They were approved and signed by 
Usher, and never abjured by him; 
though dropt as a test or qualification. 
Usher was promoted (even in the days 

B 3 



PERSECUTING BISHOPS. 



of Arminianism) to bishoprics and 
archbishoprics — ^so little did a Calvi- 
nistic interpretation of the Articles in 
a man*8 own breast, or even an avowal 
of Calvinism beyond what was required 
bj the Articles, operate even then as a 
disqualification for the cure of souls, 
or any other office in the Church. 
Throughout Charles II. and William 
IIL's time, the best men and greatest 
names of the Church not only allowed 
latitude in interpreting the Articles, 
but thought it would be wise to di- 
minish their number, and render them 
more lax than they are ; and be it ob- 
served that these, latitudinarians leant 
to Arminianism rather than to high 
Calvinism; and thought, consequently, 
that the Articles, if objectionable at all, 
were exposed to the censure of being 
** too Calvinistic," rather than too Ar- 
minian. How preposterous, therefore, 
to twist them, and the subscription to 
them required by law, by the machinery 
of a long string of explanatory ques- 
tions, into a barrier against Calvinists, 
and to give the Arminians a monopoly 
in the Church I 

Archbishop Wake, in 1716, after 
consulting all the Bishops then attend- 
ing Parliament, thought it incumbent on 
, him •* to employ the authority which the 
ecclesiastical laws then in force, and the 
custom and laws of the realm vested in 
him" in taking care that ^no unworthy 
person might hereafter be admitted into 
the sacred Ministry of the Church; " and 
he drew up twelve recommendations to 
the Bishops of England, in which he 
earnestly exhorts them not to ordain 
persons of bad conduct or character, or 
incompetent learning ; but he does not 
require from the candidates for Holy 
Orders or preferment any explanation 
whatever of the Articles which they 
had signed. 

The Correspondence of the same 
eminent Prelate with Professor Tur- 
retin in 1718, and with Mr. Le Clerc 
and the Pastors and Professors of Ge- 
neva in 1719, printed in London, 1782, 
recommends union among Protestants, 
and the omission of controverted points 
in Confessions of Faith, as a means of 
obtaining that union ; and a constant 
reference to the practice of the Church 



of England is made, in elucidation of 
the charity and wisdom of such policy. 
Speaking of men who act upon a con- 
trary principle he says, O quantum 
potuit insana tpiKavria ! 

These passages, we think, are con- 
clusive evidence of the practice of the 
Church till 1719. For Wake was not 
only at the time Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, but both in his circular recom- 
mendations to the Bishops of England, 
and in his correspondence with foreign 
Churches, was acting in the capacity of 
metropolitan of the Anglican Church. 
He, a man of prudence and learning, 
publicly boasts to Protestant Europe, 
that his Church does not exact, and that 
he de facto has never avowed, and never 
will, his opinions on those very points 
upon which Bishop Marsh obliges every 
poor curate to be explicit, upon pain 
of expulsion from the Church. 

It is clear, then, the practice was to 
extract subscription, and nothing else, 
as the test of orthodoxy — to that Wake 
is an evidence. As far as he is autho- 
rity on a point of opinion, it is his con- 
viction that this practice was whole- 
some, wise, and intended to preserve 
peace in the Church ; that it would bo 
wrong at least, if not illegal, to do 
otherwise ; and that the observance of 
this forbearance is the only method 
of preventing schism. The Bishop of 
Peterborough, however, is of a different 
opinion ; he is so thoroughly convinced 
of the pernicious effects of Calvinistic 
doctrines, that he does what no other 
Bishop does, or ever did do, for their 
exclusion. This may be either wise or 
injudicious, but it is at least zealous 
and bold ; it is to encounter rebuke, 
and opposition, from a sense of duty. 
It is impossible to deny this merit to 
his Lordship. And we have no doubt, 
that, in pursuance of the same theolo- 
gical gallantry, he is preparing a set 
of interrogatories for those clergymen 
who are presented to benefices in his 
diocese. The patron will have his 
action of Quare impedit, it is true ; and 
the judge and jury will decide whether 
the Bishop has the right of interro- 
gation at all; and whether Calvinistical 
answers to his interrogatories disqualify 
any man from holding preferment in 



PERSECUTING BISHOPS. 



the Chnrch of England. If either 
of these points are given against the 
Bishop of Peterborough, he is in honour 
and conscience bound to give up his 
examination of curates. If CalTinistic 
ministers are, in the estimation of the 
Bishops, so dangerous as cbrates, they 
are, of course, much more dangerous 
as rectors and vicars. He has as much 
right to examine one as the other. 
Why, then, does he pass over the 
greater danger, and guard against the 
less ? Why does he not show his zeal 
when he would run some risk, and 
where the excluded person (if excluded 
unjustly) could appeal to the laws of 
his country? If his conduct be just 
and right, has he anything to fear from 
that appeal ? What should we say of 
a police officer, who acted in all cases 
of petty larceny, where no opposition 
was made, and let off all persons guilty 
of felony who threatened to knock him 
down ? If the Bishop value his own 
character, he is bound to do Lss, — or 
to do more. God send his choice may 
be right! The law, as it stands at 
present, certainly affords very unequal 
protection to rector and to curate ; but 
if the Bishop will not act so as to im- 
prove the law, the law must be so 
changed as to improve the Bishop ; an 
action of Quare impedit must be given 
to the curate also — and then the fury 
of interrogation will be calmed. 

We are aware that the Bishop of 
Peterborough, in his speech, disclaims 
the object of excluding the Calvin ists 
by this system of interrogation. We 
shall take no other notice of his dis- 
avowal than expressing our sincere re- 
gret that he ever made it; but the ques- 
tion is not at all altered by the inten- 
tion of the interrogator. Whether he 
aim at the Calvinists only, or includes 
them with other heterodox respondents 
— ^the fact is, they are included in the 
proscription, and excluded from the 
Church, the practical effect of the prac- 
tice being that men are driven out of 
the Chnrch who have as much right 
to exercise the duties of clergymen 
as the Bishop himself. If heterodox 
opinions are the great objects of the 
Bishop's apprehensions, he has his Eccle- 
siastical Courts, where regular process 



may bring the offender to punishment, 
and from whence there is an appeal to 
higher courts. This would be the fair 
thing to do. The curate and the 
Bishop would be brought into the light 
of day, and subjected to the wholesome 
restraint of public opinion. 

His Lordship boasts that he has ex- 
cluded only two curates. So the Em- 
peror of Hayti boasted that he had 
only cut off two persons' head^ for dis- 
agreeable behaviour at his table. In spite 
of the paucity of the visiters executed, 
the example operated as a considerable 
impediment to conversation ; and the 
intensity of the punishment was found 
to be a full compensation for its rarity. 
How many persons have been deprived 
of curacies which they might have en- 
joyed but for the tenonr of these inter- 
rogatories? How many respectable 
clergymen have been deprived of the 
assistance of curates connected with 
them by blood, friendship, or doctrine, 
and compelled to choose persons for no 
other qualification than that they could 
pass through the eye of the Bishop's 
needle ? Violent measures are not to 
be judged of merely by the number of 
times they have been resorted to, but by 
the terror, misery, and restraint which 
the severity is likely to have produced. 

We never met with any style so en- 
tirely clear of all redundant and vicious 
ornament as that which the ecclesias- 
tical Lord of Peterborough has adopted 
towards his clergy. It, in fact, may 1)e 
all reduced to these few words — " Be- 
verend Sir, I shall do what I please. 
Peterborough."— Even in the House of 
Xiords, he speaks what we must call 
very plain language. Among other 
things, he says that the allegations of 
the petitions are false* Now, as e^ery 
Bishop is, besides his other qualities, a 
gentleman ; and as the word false is 
used only by laymen who mean to 
hazard their lives by the expression ; and 
as it cannot be supposed that foul lan- 
guage is ever used because it can be 
used with personal impunity, his Lord- 
ship must therefore be intended to 
mean not false, but mistaken — ^not a 
wilful deviation from truth, but an 
accidental and unintended departure 
from it. 

^4 



8 



PERSECUTING BISHOPS. 



His Lordship talks of the drudgery 
of wading through ten pages of an- 
swers to his eighty-seven questions. 
Who has occasioned this drudgery, 
but the person who means to be so 
much more active, useful, and impor- 
tant, than all other Bishops, by pro- 
posing questions which nobody has 
thought to be necessary but himself? 
But to be intolerably strict and harsh 
to a poor curate, who is trying to earn 
a morsel of hard bread, and then to 
complain of the drudgery of reading 

' his answers, is much like knocking a 
man down with a bludgeon, and then 
abusing him for splashing you with his 
blood, and pestering yon with his 
groans. It is quite monstrous, that a 
man who inflicts eighty -seven new 
questions in Theology upon his fellow- 
creatures, should talk of the drudgery 
of reading their answers. 

A Curate — there is something which 
excites compassion in the very name 
of a Curate ! I ! How any man of 
Purple, Palaces, and Preferment, can 

* let himself loose against this poor 
working man of God, we are at a loss 
to conceive, — a learned man in an 
hovel, with sermons and saucepans, 
lexicons and bacon, Hebrew books and 
ragged children — good and patient — 
a comforter and a preacher — the first 
and purest pauper in the hamlet, and 
yet showing, that, in the midst of his 
worldly misery, he has the heart of a 
gentleman, and the spirit of a Chris- 
tian, and the kindness of a pastor ; 
and this man, though he has exercised 
the duties of a clergyman for twenty 
years — though he has most ample tes- 
tiihonies of conduct from clergymen 
as respectable as any Bishop — though 
an Archbishop add his name to the 
list of witnesses, is not good enough 
for Bishop Marsh ; but is pushed out 
in the street, with his wife and children, 
and his little furniture, to surrender his 
honour, his faith, his conscience, and 
his learning— or to starve ! 

An obvious objection to these inno- 
vations is, that there can be no end to 
them. If eighty-three questions are as- 
sumed to be necessary by one Bishop, 
eight hundred may be considered as the 
minimum of interrogation by another. 



When once the ancient faith-marks of 
the Church are lost sight of and 
despised, any misled theologian may 
launch out on the boundless sea of 
polemical vexation. 

The Bishop of Peterborough is po- 
sitive, that the Arminian interpretation 
of the Articles is the right interpreta- 
tion, and that Calvinists should be 
excluded from it ; but the country 
gentlemen who are to hear these mat- 
ters debated in the Lower House, are 
to remember, that other Bishops have 
written upon these points before the 
Bishop of Peterborough, and have 
arrived at conclusions diametrically 
opposite. When curates are excluded 
because their answers are Calvinis- 
tical, a careless layman might imagine 
that this interpretation of the Articles 
had never been heard of before in the 
Church — that it was a gross and pal- 
pable perversion of their sense, which 
had been scouted by all writers on 
Church matters, from the day the 
Articles were promulgated, to this hour 
— that such an unheard-of monster as 
a Calvinistical Curate had never leapt 
over the pale before, and been detected 
browsing in the sacred pastures. 

The following is the testimony of 
Bishop Sherlock : — 

" * The Church has left a latitude of sense 
to prevent schisms and breaches upon 
eveiy different opinion. It is evident the 
Church of England has so done in some 
Articles, which are most liable to the hot- 
test disputes; which yet are penned with 
that temper as to be willii^^ subscribed 
by men of different apprehensions in those 
matters.'" — (SheblocIl** D^enoe qf 
SHUingfle^s Unreasonableness qfSeparc^ 
Hon.) 

Bishop Cleaver, describing the diffi- 
culties attending so great an under- 
taking as the formation of a national 
creed, observes : — 

^' These difficulties, however, do not 
seem to have disoouraged the great leaders 
in this work from forming a design as wise 
as it was liberal, that of flnmiiig a confes- 
sion, which in the enumeration and method 
of its several articles, should meet the ap- 
probation, and engage the consent of the 
whole reformed world. 

** ' If upon trial it was found that a com- 
prehension so extenalTe oould not be re* 



PERSECUTING BISHOPS. 



dnoed to practice, still as large a compre- 
hension as could be contrived, within the 
narrower limits of the kingdom, became, for 
the same reasons which first suggested the 
idea, at once an object of prudence and 
duty in the formation and government of 
the English Church.' 

** After dwelling on the means necessary 
to accomplish this object, the Bishop pro- 
ceeds to remark : —* Such evidently appears 
to have been the origin, and such the actual 
complexion of the confession comprised in 
the Articles of our Church ; the true eoope 
and design qf which wiU not, I conceive, be 
eorreeUy apprehended in any other view 
than that cf one drawn up and adSutted 
with an intention to comprehend the assent 
€f dU, rather than to exclude that qf any 
who concurred in the necessity qf a r^or- 
motion, 

** ' The means of comprehensicm intended 
were, not any general ambiguity or equivo- 
cation of terms, bui a prudent forbearance 
in cM parties not to insist on theftUl extent 
qf their opinions in matters not essential 
or fundamental ; and in all cases to waive, I 
as much as possible, tenets which might di- 
vide, where they wish tounite,' ** (Bemarks 
on the Design and Formation of the Articles 
of the Church of England, by William, 
Lord Bishop of Bangor, 1802.— pp. 28—25.) 

We will finish with Bishop Horsley. 

** It has been the foshion of late to talk 
about Arminianism as the system of the 
Church of England, and of Calvinism as 
something opposite to it, to which the 
Church is hostile. That I may not be mis- 
understood in what I have stated, or may 
have occasion further to say upon this 
subject, I must here declare, that I use the 
words Arminianism and Calvinism in that 
restricted sense in which they are now 
generally taken, to denote the doctrinal 
part of each system, as unconnected with 
the principles either of Arminians or 
Gblvinists, upon Church discipline and 
Church government. This being premised, 
I assert, what I often have before asserted, 
and by God's grace I will persist in the 
assertion to my dying day, that so fiEur is it 
from the truth that the Church of Eng- 
land is decidedly Arminian, and hostile to 
Calvinism, that the truth is this, that upon 
the principal poitUs in dispute between the 
Arminians and the CaUnnists—upon all 
the points qf doctrine characteristic qf 
the two sects, the Church (^England main- 
tains an absolute neutrality; her Articles 
erpUcitly assert nothingbuiwhatis believed 
both by Arminians and by CaUnnists. 
The Calviniste indeed hold some opinions 
relative to the same points* which the 



Church of England has not gone the length 
of asserting in hor Articles; but neither 
has she gone the length of explicitly contra- 
dicting those opinions; insomuch, that 
there is naUiing to hinder the Arminian 
and the highest supralapsarian Calvinist 
from walking together in the Church qf 
Bngland and Inland as friends and bro^ 
thers, if they both approve the discipline qf 
the Church, and both are willing to submit 
to it. Her discipline has been approved ; it 
has been submitted to ; it has been in former 
times most ably and zealously defended by 
the highest supralapsarian Calvinists. Such 
was the great Usher ; such was Whitgift ; 
such were many more, burning and shining 
lights of our Church in her early days (when 
first she shook off the Papal tyranny), long 
since gone to the resting-place of the spirits 
ofthe ju9t."— (£i«Aop HossLXY'tf Charges, 
p. 218.— pp. 25, 26.) 

So that these unhappy Curates are 
tamed out of their bread for an expo- 
sition of the Articles which such men 
as Sherlock, Cleaver, and Horsley 
think maj be fairly given of their 
meaning. We do not quote their au- 
thority, to show that the right inter- 
pretation is decided, but that it is 
doubtful — that there is a balance of 
authorities — that the opinion which 
Bishop Marsh has punished with po- 
verty and degradation, has been con- 
sidered to be legitimate by men at 
least as wise and learned as himself. 
In fact, it is to us perfectly clear, that 
the Articles were originally framed to 
prevent the very practices which Bishop 
Marsh has used for their protection ^- 
they were purposely so worded, that 
Arminians and Calvinists could sign 
them without blame. They were in- 
tended to combine both these descrip- 
tions of Protestants, and were meant 
principally for a bulwark against the 
Catholics. 

"Thus," says Bishop Burnet, "was the 
doctrine of the Church cast into a short and 
plain form; in which they took care both 
to establish the positive articles of religion 
and tocut off the errors formerly introduced 
in the time of Popery, or of late broached 
by the Anabaptists and enthusiasts of 
Germany ; avoiding the niceties qf schooU 
men, or theperemptoriness qf the writers qf 
controversy; leaving, in matters that are 
more justly controvertible, a liberty to di* 
vines to follow their private opinions with' 
out thereby disturbing the peace qf the 



IQ PERSECUTING BISHOPS. 

CAtewA.** — (History of the Eeformation, i opinions upon other people. 

~ * " ^■^'~ ^ was purposely left indefinite, 

make finite and exclusive. 



Book L part u. p. 168, folio edition.) 
The next authority is that of Fuller. 

•* In the Convocation now sitting, wherein 
Alexander Nowel, Dean of St. Paul's, was 
Prolocutor, the nine-and-thirty Articles 
were composed. Por the main they agree 
with those set forth in the reign of King 
Edward the Sixth, though in some particu- 
lars allowing more hberty to dissenting 
judgments. For instance, in this King's 
Articles it is said, that it is to he believed 
that Christ went down to hell (to preach 
to the spirits there) ; which hist clause is 
left out in these Articles, and men left to a 
latitude concerning the cause, time, and 
manner of his descent. 

« Hence some have unjustly taxed the 
composers for too much favour extended in 
their large expressions, clean through the 
contexture of these Articles, which should 
have tied men's consciences up closer, in 
more strict and particularislngpropositions, 
which indeed proceeded from their com- 
mendable moderation. Children's clothes 
ought to be made of the biggest, because 
afterwards their bodies, will grew up to 
their garments. Thus the Articles of this 
English Pretestant Chureh, in the infancy 
thereof, they thought good to draw up in 
general terms, foreseeing that posterity 
would grow up to fill the same : I mean 
these holy men did prudently predisoover, 
that differences in judgments would un- 
avoidably happen hi the Chureh, and were 
loath to unchurch any, and drive them off 
from an eeeUHasticalcommwnion^for 8uc\ 
petty differences, which made them pen the 
Articles in comprehensive words, to take 
in aU who, differing in the branches, meet 
in the root of the same religion, 

** Indeed most of them had formerly been 
sufferers themselves, and cannot be said, in 
compihng these Articles, (an acceptable 
service, no doubt,) to offer to God what cost 
them nothing, some having paid imprison- 
ment, others exile, all losses in their es- 
tates, for this their experimental knowledge 
in religion, which made them the more mer- 
ciful and tender in stating those points, 
seeing such who themselves have been most 
Ijatient in bearing, will be most pitiful in 
burdening the consciences of others."— (See 
PuLLES's Church History, book ix. p. 72, 
folio edit.) 

But this generous and pacific spirit 
gives no room for the display of zeal 
and theological learning. The gate of 
admission has been left too widely 
open. I may as well be without 
power at all, if I cannot force my 



What 
I must 
Ques- 
tions of contention and difierence must 
be laid before the servants of the 
Church, and nothing like neutrality in 
theological metaphysics allowed to the 
ministers of the Gospel. / came not 
to bring peacCf &c. 

The Bishop, however, seems to be 
quite satisfied with himself, when be 
states, that he has a right to do what he 
has done — just as if a man's character 
with his fellow-creatures depended 
upon legal rights alone, and not upon 
a discreet exercise of those rights. A 
man may persevere in doing' what he 
has a right to do, till the Chancellor- 
shuts him up in Bedlam, or till the mob 
pelt him as he passes. It must be 
presumed, that all men whom the law 
has invested with rights, Nature has 
invested with common sense to use 
those rights. For these reasons, chil- 
dren have no rights till they have 
gained some common sense, and old 
men have no rights after they lose 
their common sense. All men are at 
all 'times accountable to their fellow- 
creatures for the discreet exercise of 
every right they possess. 

Prelates are fond of talking of my 
see, my clergy, my diocese, as if these 
things belonged to them, as thei|; pigs 
and dogs belonged to them. They 
forget that the clergy, the diocese, and 
the Bishops themselves, Bll exist only 
for the public good ; that the public 
are a third, and principal party in the 
whole concern. It is not simply the tor- 
menting Bishop versus the tormented 
Curate, but the public against the system 
of tormenting; as tending to bring scan- 
dal upon religion and religious men. 
By the late alteration in the laws, the 
labourers in the vineyard are given up 
to the power of the inspectors of the 
vineyard. If he have the meanness 
and malice to do so, an inspector may 
worry and plague to death any la- 
bourer against whom he may have 
conceived an antipathy. As often as 
such cases are detected, we believe they 
will meet, in either House of Parlia- 
ment, with the severest reprehension. 
The noblemen and gentlemen of £ng- 



PERSECUTING BISHOPS. 



11 



Jand will never allow their parish 
clergj to be treated with craeltj, in- 
justice, and caprice, by men who were 
parish clergymen themselves yester- 
day; and who were trusted with power 
for very different purposes. . 

The Bishop of Peterborough com- 
plains of the insolence of the answers 
made to him. This is certainly not 
true of Mr. Grimsbawe, Mr. Neville, 
or of the author of the Appeal. They 
have answered his Lordship with great 
force, great manliness, but with perfect 
respect. Does the Bishop expect that 
humble men, as learned as himself, are 
to be driven from their houses and 
homes by his new theology, and then 
to send him letters of thanks for the 
kicks and cuffs he has bestowed upon 
them? Men of very small incomes. 



be it known to his Lordship, have very 
often very acute feelings ; and a Curate 
trod on feels a pang as great as when 
a Bishop is refuted. 

We shall now give a specimen of 
some answers, which, we believe, would 
exclude a curate from the diocese of 
Peterborough, and contrast these an- 
swers with the 'Articles of the Church 
to which they refer. The 9th Article 
of the Church of England is upon 
Original Sin. Upon this point his 
Lordship puts the following question :— 

" Did the fall of Adam produce such an 
effect on his posterity, that mankind be- 
came thereby a mass of mere corruption, 
or of absolute and entire depravity? Or 
is the effect only such, that we are very /ar 
ffons firom original righteousness, and of 
our own nature inclined to evil P " 



ExclucUing Answer. 
*'The fall of Adam pro- 
duced such an effect on hUi 
posterity, that mankind be- 
came thereby a mass of mere 
corruption, or of absolute and 
entire depravity.' 



** 



The Ninth AHicle, 
** Original sin standeth not in the foUowii^ of Adam 
(as the Pelagians do vainly talk) ; but it is the ftuilt or 
OOTTuption of the nature of every man, that naturally is 
engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is 
very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his 
own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth 
always contrary to the spirit; and therefore, in every 
person bom into the world, it deserveth Gtod's wrath and 
damnation.*' 



The 9th Question, Cap. Srd, on Prep 
Will, is as follows : — " Is it not contrary 



to Scripture to say, that man has no 
share in the work of his salvation?" 



Excluding Anewer. 
" It is quite agreeable to 
Scripture to say, that man 
has no share in the work of 
his own salvation." 



Tenth Article, 
" The condition of man after the Ml of Adam is such, 
that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own 
natund strength and good works, to faith, and calling 
upon Qod. Wherefore, we have no power to do good 
works pleasant and aooeptable to God, without the 
grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have 
a good will, and working with us when we have that 
goodwiU." 



On Redemption, his Lordship has 
the following question, Cap. 1st, Ques- 



tion Ist: — "Did Christ die for all men, 
or did he die only for a chosen few?" 



Excluding Anewer. 
** Christ did not die for aU 
men, but only for a chosen 
few." 



Part qf Article Seventh. 
" Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of 
God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were 
laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel, secret 
to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom 
he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring 
them 1^ Christ unto everlasting salvation, as vessels 
made to honour." 



Now, whether these answers are 
right or wrong, we do not presume to 
decide ; but we cannot help saying, 
there appears to be some little colour 



in the language of the Articles for the 
errors of the respondent. It does not 
appear at first sight to be such a devia- 
tion from the plain, literal, and gram- 



12 



BOTANY BAY. 



matical sense of the Articles, as to 
merit rapid and ignominious ejectment 
from the bosom of the Charch. 

Now we have done with the Bishop. 
We give him all he fisks as to his legal 
right ; and onlj contend, that he is 
acting a very indiscreet and injudicious 
part — fatal to his quiet — fatal to his 
reputation as a man of sense — blamed 
bj Ministers — blamed by all the Bench 
of Bishops — vexations to the Clergy, 
and highly injurious to the Church. 
We mean no personal disrespect to the 
Bishop ; we are as ignorant of him aJB 
of his victims. We should have been 
heartily glad if the debate in Parlia- 
ment had put an end to these blamable 
excesses ; and our only object, in med- 
dling with the question, is to restrain 
the arm of Power within the limits of 
moderation and justice — one of the 
great objects which first led to the 
establishment of this Journal, and 
which, we hope, will always continue 
to' characterise its efforts. 



BOTANY BAY. 
(E. Review, 1823.) 

1. Letter to Earl Bathurtt. By the Honour- 
able H. Grey Bennet, M.P. 

2. Seportqfthe Commiwioner qf Inquiry 
into the State qf the Colony qfNew South 
Wales, Ordered by the House cf Com^ 
mons to be printed, 19th June, 1822. 

Mb. Bioob's Report is somewhat long, 
and a little clumsy; but it is altogether 
the production of an honest, sensible, 
and respectable man, who lias done his 
duty to the public, and justified the ex- 
pense of his mission to the fifth or 
pickpocket quarter of the globe. 

What manner of man is Governor 
Macquarrie ? — Is all that Mr. Bennet 
says of him in the House of Commons 
true? These are the questions which 
Lord Bathurst sent Mr. Bigge, and 
very properly sent him, 28,000 miles to 
answer. The answer is, that Governor 
Macquarrie is not a dishonest man, nor 
a jobber j but arbitrary, in many things 
scandalously negligent, very often 
wrong-headed, and, upon the whole, 
very deficient in that good sense and 



vigorous understanding, which his new 
and arduous situation so manifestly 
requires. 

Ornamental architecture in Botany 
Bay! How it could enter into the 
head of any human being to adorn 
public buildings at the Bay, or to aim 
at any other architectural purpose but 
the exclusion of wind and rain, we are 
utterly at a loss to conceive. Such an 
expense is not only lamentable for the 
waste of property it makes in the par- 
ticular instance, but because it destro3r8 
that guarantee of sound sense which 
the Government at home must require 
in those who preside over distant 
colonies. A man who thinks of pillars 
and pilasters, when half the colony are 
wet through for want of any covering 
at all, cannot be a wise or prudent 
person. He seems to be ignorant, that 
the prevention of rheumatism in all 
young colonies is a much more impor- 
tant object than the gratification of 
taste, or the display of skilL 

"I suggested to Governor Macquarrie 
the expediency of stopping all work then in 
progress that was merely of an ornamental 
nature, and of postponing its execution 
till other more important buildings were 
finished. With this view it was, that I re- 
commended to the Governor to stop the 
progress of a large church, the foundation 
of which had been laid previous to my 
arrival, and which, by the estimate of Mr. 
Greenway the architect, would have re- 
quired six years to complete. By a change 
that I recommended, and which the Go- 
vernor adopted, in the destination of the 
new Court-house at Sydney, the accommo* 
dation of a new charch is probably by this 
time secured. As I conceived that consi- 
derable advantage had been gained by in- 
ducing Governor Macquarrie to suspend 
the progress of the larger church, I did not 
deem it necessary to make any pointed ob- 
jection to the addition of these ornamental 
parts of the smaller one ; though I regretted 
to observe in this instance, as well as in 
those of the new stables at Sydney, the 
turnpike gate-house and the new fountain 
there, ss well as in the repairs of an old 
church at Paramatta, how much more the 
embellishment of these places had been 
considered by the Governor than the real 
and pressing wants of the colony. The 
buildings that I had recommended to his 
early attention tn Sydney were, a new 
gaol, a Bohool-house, and a market-house. 



BOTANY BAT. 



18 



The defects of the first of these buildings 
will be moire luurticularly pointed out when 
I oome to describe the buildings that have 
been erected in New South Wales. It is 
sufficient for me now to observe, that they 
were striking, and of a nature not to be 
remedied by additions or repairs. The other 
two were in a state of absolute ruin ; they 
were also of undeniable importance and 
necessity. Having lefb Sydney in the month 
of November, 1820, with these impressions, 
and with a belief that the suggestions I had 
made to GovOTnor Macquarrie respecting 
them had been partly acted upon, and 
would continue to be so during my absence 
in Yan Diemen's Land, it was not without 
much surprise and regret that I learnt, 
during my residence in that settlement, 
the resumption of the work at the large 
church in Sydney, and the steady continua- 
tion of the others that I had objected to, 
especially the Governor's stables at Sydn^. 
I felt the greater surprise in receiving the 
information respecting this last-mentioned 
structure, during my absence in Yan Die- 
men's Land, as the Governor himself had, 
upon many occasions, expressed to me his 
own regret at having ever sanctioned it, 
and his consciousness of its extravagant 
dimensions and ostentatious character.'*— 
(Report, pp. 61, 52.) 

One of the great difficulties in 
Botany Bay is to find proper employ- 
ment for the great mass of convicts 
who are sent out. Governor Mac- 
quarrie selects all the best artisans, of 
every description, for the use of GoTem- 
ment; and puts the poets, attomies, 
and politicians ap to auction. The 
evil consequences of this are manifold. 
In the first place, from possessing so 
many of the best artificers, the Governor 
is necessarily, turned into a builder j 
and immense drafts are drawn upon 
the Treasury at home, for buildings 
better adapted for Regent Street than 
the Bay. In the next place, the poor 
settler finding that the convict attorney 
is very awkward at cutting timber, or 
catching kangaroos, soon returns him 
upon the hands of Government in a 
much worse plight than that in which 
he was received. Not only are gover- 
nors thus debauched into useless and 
expensive builders, hut the colonists 
who are scheming and planning with 
all the activity of new settlers, cannot 
find workmen to execute their designs. 

What two ideas are more inseparable 



than Beer and Britannia? — what event 
more awfully important to an English 
colony, than the erection of its first 
brewhonse? — and yet it required, in 
Van Diemen's Land, the greatest soli- 
citation to the Government, and all the 
infiuence of Mr. Bigge, to get it efiected. 
The Government, having obtained pos- 
session of the best workmen, keep 
them ; their manumission is much 
more infrequent than that of the use- 
less and unprofitable Convicts ; in other 
words, one man is punished for his 
skill, and another rewarded for his in- 
utility. Guilty of being a locksmith 
— guilty of stonemasonry, or brick- 
making; — these are the second verdicts 
brought in, in New South Wales; and 
upon them is regulated the duration or 
mitigation of punishment awarded in 
the mother-country. At the very 
period when the Governor assured 
Lord Bathnrst, in his despatches, that 
he kept and employed so numerous a 
gang of workmen, only because the 
inhabitants could not employ them, 
Mr. Bigge informs us, that their ser- 
vices would have been most acceptable 
to the colonists. Most of the settlers, 
at the time of Mr. Blgge*s arrival, from 
repeated refusals and disappointments, 
had been so convinced of the impossi- 
bility of obtaining workmen, that they 
had ceased to make application to the 
Grovernor. Is it to be believed that a 
governor, placed over a land of con- 
victs, and capable of guarding his 
limbs from any sudden collision with 
odometrous stones, or vertical posts of 
direction, should make no distinction 
between the simple convict' and tbo 
double and treble convict — the man of 
three juries, who has three times ap- 
peared at the Bailey, trilarcenous — 
three times driven over the seaS? 

" t think it necessary to notice the want 
of attention that has prevailed, until a very 
late period, at Sydney, to the circumstances 
of those convicts who have been trans- 
ported a second and a third time. Although 
the knowledge of these fiicts is transmitted 
in the huUc Hsts, or acquired without dif- 
ficulty during the passage, it never has 
occurred to Governor Macquarrie or to the 
superintendent of convicts, to make any 
difference in the condition of these men, 
not even to disappoint the views they may 



T4 



BOTANY BAY. 



be supposed to have indulged by the success 
of a criminal enterprise in England, and 
by transferring the fruits of it to New 
South Wales. 

" To accomplish this veiy simple but im- 
portant object, nothing more was necessary 
than to consign these men to any situation 
rather than that which their friends had 
selected for them, and distinctly to declare 
in the presence of their comrades at the 
first muster on their arrival, that no con- 
sideration or favour would be shown to 
those who had violated the law a second 
time, and that the mitigation of their 
sentences must be indefiultely postponed." 
—(Beport, p. 19.) 

We were not a little amused at 
Governor Macquarrie's laureate — a 
regular Mr. Southey — who, upon the 
king's birth-day, sings the praises of 
Governor Macquarrie.* The case of 
this votary of Apollo and Mercury was 
a case for life ; the offence a menacing 
epistle, or, as low people call it, a 
threatening letter. He bins been par- 
doned, however,^- bursting his shackles, 
liiie Orpheus of old, with song and 
metre, and is well spoken of by Mr. 
Bigge, but no specimen of his poetry 
giveiL One of the best and most en- 
lightened men in the settlement appears 
to be Mr. Marsden, a clergyman at 
Paramatta. Mr. Bennet represents 
him as a gentleman of great feeling, 
whose life is embittered by the scenes 
of horror and vice it is his lot to wit- 
ness at Paramatta. Indeed he says of 
himself, that in consequence of these 
things, ** he does not enjoy one happy 
moment from the beginning to the 
end of the week I*' T\\\s letter, at 
the time, produced a very consider- 
able sensation in this country. The 
idea of a man of refinement and feeling 
wearing away his life in the midst of 
scenes of crime and debauchery to 
which he can apply no corrective, is 
certainly a very melancholy and af- 
fecting picture ; but there is no story, 
however elegant and eloquent, which 
does not require, for the purposes of 
justice, to be tnnied to the other side, 
and viewed in reverse. The Rev. Mr. 
Marsden (says Mr. Bigge), being him' 
self accustomed to traffic in spirits^ must 
necessarily feel displeased at having so 

• Ffd0 Beport, p. 14S. 



many public houses licensed in the 
neighbourhood. — (p. 14.) 

" As to Mr. Marsden's troubles of mind " 
(says the Governor) "and pathetic display 
of sensibility and humanity, they must be 
so deeply seated, and so ftr removed finom 
the surfkoe, as to escape all possible obser- 
vation. His habits are those of a man for 
ever engaged in some active, animi^«ed 
pursuit. No man* travels more firom town 
to town, or firom house to house. His 
deportment is at all times that of a person 
the most gay and h^py. When I was 
honoured with his society, he was by fiur 
the most cheerful person I met in the 
colony. Where his hours of sorrow were 
spent it is hard to divine; for the variety of 
his pursuits, both in his own concerns, and 
in those of others, is so extensive, in tatm." 
ing, grazing, manufactories, transactions^ 
that with his clerical duties, he seems, to 
use a common phrase, to have his hands 
full of work. Aiid the particular subject 
to which he imputes this extreme depres- 
sion of mind, is, besidra, one for which few 
people here will give him much credit.'*— 
{Maequarri^e Letter to Lord Sidmouth, 
p. 18.) 

There is certainly a wide difference 
between a man of so much feeling, that 
he has not a moment's happiness from 
the beginning to the end of the week, 
and a little merry bustling clergyman, 
largely concerned in the sale of rum, 
and brisk at a bargain for barley. Mr. 
Bigge*s evidence, however, is very 
much in favour of Mr. Marsden. He 
seems to think him a man of highly 
respectable character and superior un- 
derstanding, and that he has been dis- 
missed from the magistracy by Go- 
vernor Macqnarrie, in a very rash, nn- 
justifiable,and even tyrannical manner; 
and in these opinions, we must say, the 
facts seem to bear out the Beport of 
the Commissioner. 

Colonel Macquajrrie not only dis- 
misses honest and irreproachable men 
in a country where their existence is 
scarce, and their services inestimable, 
bnt he advances convicts to the situa- 
tion and dignity of magistrates. Mr. 
Bennet lays great stress upon this, and 
makes it one of his strongest charges 
against the Governor ; and the Com- 
missioner also takes part against it. 
But we confess we have great doubts 
on the subject ; and are by no means 



BOTANY BAY. 



15 



satisfied that the system of the Go- 
remor was not, upon the whole, the 
wisest and hest adapted to the situation 
of the colony. Men are governed by 
words ; and under the infamous term 
convict, are comprehended crimes of 
the most different degrees and species 
of guilt. One man is transported for 
stealing three hams and a pot of sau- 
sages ; and in the next berth to him 
on board the transport is a young sor- 
geon, who has been engaged in the 
mutiny at the Nore ; the third man is 
for extorting money ; the foarth was 
in a respectable situation of life at the 
time of the Irish Bebellion, and was so 
ill read in history as to imagine that 
Ireland had been ill-treated by England, 
and so bad a reasoner as to suppose, 
that nine Catholics ought not to pay 
tithes to one Protestant. Then comes 
a man who set his house on fire, to 
cheat the Phoenix Office ; and, lastly, 
that most glaring of all human yillains, 
a poacher, driyen from Europe, wife 
and child, by thirty lords of manors, at 
the Quarter Sessions, for killing a par- 
tridge. Now, all these are crimes no 
doubt — particularly the last; but they 
are surely crimes of very different de- 
grees of intensity to which different 
degrees of contempt and horror are 
attached — and from which those who 
haye committed them may, by subse- 
quent morality, emancipate themselves, 
with different degrees of difficulty, and 
with more or less of success. A warrant 
granted by a reformed bacon-stealer 
would be absurd; but there is hardly 
any reason why a foolish hot-brained 
young blockhead, who chose to favour 
the mutineers at the Nore when he was 
sixteen years of age, may not make a 
very loyal subject, and a very respect- 
able and respected magistrate, when 
he is forty years of age, and has cast 
his Jacobine teeth, and fallen into the 
' practical jobbing and loyal baseness 
which so commonly developes itself 
about that period of life. Therefore, 
to say that a man must be placed in 
no situation of trust or elevation, as a 
magistrate, merely because he is a 
convict, is to govern mankind with a 
dictionary, and to surrender sense 
and usefulness to sound. Take the 



following case, for instance, from Mr. 
Bigge: — 

"The next penon, ttom the same class, 
that was so distinguished by Governor Mao- 
quarrie, was the Re^r. Mr. Fulton. He 
was transported by the sentence of a court- 
martial in Ireland, during fhe RebelUon; 
and on his arrival in New South Wales, 
in the year 1800, was sent to Norfolk Island 
lo officiate as chaplain. He returned to 
New South Wales in the year 180i, and 
performed the duties of chaplain at l^dney 
and Paramatta. 

*' In the divisions that prevailed in the 
colony previous to the arrest of Governor 
Bligh, Mr. Fulton took no part; but, hap- 
pening to form one of his funily when the 
person of the Governor was menaced with 
violence, he courageously opposed himself 
to the military party that entered the 
house, and gave an example of courage and 
devotion to the authority of Governor 
Bligh. which, if partaken either by the 
officer or his few adherents, would have 
spared him the humiliation of a personal 
arrest, and rescued his authority f^m the 
disgrace of open and violent suspension.*' 
— (■B0|H>rf,pp.8S,84) 

The particular nature of the place 
too must be remembered. It is seldom, 
we suspect, that absolute dunces go to 
the Bay, but commonly men of active 
minds, and considerable talents in their 
various lines — who have not learnt, 
indeed, the art of self-discipline and 
control, but who are sent to learn it in 
the bitter school of adversity. And 
when this medicine produces its proper 
effect — when sufficient time has been 
given to show a thorough change in 
character and disposition — a young 
colony really cannot afford to dispense 
with the services of any person of 
superior talents. Activity, resolution, 
and acuteness, are of such immense im- 
portance in the hard circumstances 
of a new State, that they must be 
eagerly caught at, and employed as 
soon as they are discovered. Though 
all may not be quite so unobjectionable 
as could be wished — 

*' Res dura^ et regni novitas me talia oogunt 
Moliri"— 

as Colonel Macquarrie probably quoted 
to Mr. Commissioner Bigge. As for 
the conduct of those extra-moralists, 
who come to settle in a land of crime. 



16 



BOTANY BAY. 



and refuse to associate with a convict 
legally pardoned, however light his 
original . offence, however perfect his 
subsequent conduct — we have no tole- 
ration for such folljr and foppery. To 
sit down to dinner with men who have 
not been tried for their lives b a luxury 
which cannot be enjoyed in such a 
country. It is entirely out of the 
question ; and persons so dainty, and 
so truly admirable, had better settle at 
Clapbam Common than at Botany Bay. 
Our trade in Australasia is to turn 
scoundrels iuto honest men. If you 
come among us, and bring with you 
a good character, and will lend us your 
society, as a stimulus and reward 
to men recovering from degradation, 
you will confer the greatest possible 
benefit upon the colony ; but if you 
turn up your nose at repentance, in- 
sult those unhappy people with your 
character, and fiercely stand up as a 
moral bully, and a virtuous bragga- 
docio, it would have been far better 
for us if Providence had directed you 
to any other part of the globe than 
to Botany Bay — which was colonised, 
not to gratify the insolence of Phari- 
sees, but to heal the contrite spirit of 
repentant sinners. Mr. Marsden, who 
has no happiness from six o*clock 
Monday morning, till the same hour 
the week following, will not meet par- 
doned convicts in society. We have 
no doubt Mr. Marsden is a very re- 
spectable clergyman ; but is there not 
something very different from this in 
the Gospel ? The most resolute and 
inflexible persons in the rejection of 
pardoned convicts were some of the 
marching regiments stationed at Botany 
Bay — men, of course, who had uni- 
formly shunned, in the Old World, the 
society of gamesters, prostitutes, drunk- 
ards, and blasphemers — who had ruined 
no tailors, corrupted no wives, and had 
entitled themselves, by a long course 
of solemnity and decorum, to indulge 
in all the insolence of purity and 
virtue. 

In this point, then, of restoring con- 
victs to society, we side, as far as the 
principle goes, with the Governor ; 
but we are far from undertaking to say 
that his application ofthe principle has 



been on all occasions pmdent and judi- 
cious. Upon the absurdity of his con- 
duct m attempting to force the society 
of the pardoned convicts upon the un- 
detected part of the colony, there can 
be no doubt These are points upon 
which everybody must be allowed to 
judge for themselves. The greatest 
monarchs in Europe cannot control 
opinion upon those points — sovereigns 
far exceeding Colonel Lachlan Mac- 
quarrie, in the antiquity of their dy- 
nasty, and the extent, wealth, and im- 
portance of their empire. 

" It was in vain to assemble them " (the 
pardoned convicts), " even on public occa- 
sions, at Government House, or to point 
them out to the especial notice and favour 
of strangers, or to favour them with par- 
ticular marks of his own attention upon 
these occasions, if they still continued to be 
shunned or disregarded by the rest of the 
company. . ' 

''With the exoeption of the Beverend, 
Mr. Fulton, and, on some occasions, of Mr. 
Bedf ern,. I never observed that the other 
persons of this class participated in the 
general attentions of the company; and the 
evidence of Mr. Judge>Advocate Wylde and 
Major Bell both prove the embarrassment 
in which they were left on occasions that 
came within their notice. 

'* Nor has the distinction that has been 
conferred upon them by Governor Mac- 
quarrie produced any effect in subduing the 
prejudices or objections of the class of f^ee 
inhabitants to associate with them. One in- 
stance only has oocurred,in which the wifeof 
a respectable individual, and a magistrate, 
has been visited by the wives of the officers 
of the garrison, and by a few of the married 
ladies of the colony. It is an instance that 
reflects equal credit upon the individual 
herself, as upon the feelings and motives 
of those by whom she has been so noticed : 
but the circumstances of her case were very 
peculiar, and those that led to her intro- 
duction to society were very much of a 
personal kind. It has generally been 
thought, that such instances would have 
been more numerous if Governor Mao- 
quarrie had allowed every person to have 
followed the dictates of their own judgment 
upon a subject, on which, of all others, men 
are least disposed to be dictated to, and 
most disposed to judge for themselves. 

''Although the emancipated convicts, 
whom he has selected fh>m their class, are 
persons who generally bear a good character 
in New South Wales, yet that opinion of 



BOTANY BAT. 



17 



them is by no means uniTeraal. Those, 
however, who entertained, a good opinion of 
them would have proved it by their notice, 
as Mr. M'Arthnr has been in the habit of 
doing, I7 the kind and marked notice that 
he took of Mr. Fitzgerald; and those who 
entertained a different opinion would not 
have contracted an aversion to the principle 
of their introduction, from being obliged 
to witness what they considered to be an 
indiscreet and erroneous application ot it." 
—(Report, p. 160.) 

We do not think Mr. Bigge exactly 
seizes the sense of Colonel Macquarrie*s 
phrase, when the Colonel speaks of 
restoring men to the rank of society 
they have lost. Men may either be 
classed by wealth and education, or by 
character. All honest men, whether 
counts or cobblers, are of the same 
rank, if classed by moral distinctions. 
It is a common phrase to say that such 
a man can no longer be ranked among 
honest men ; that he has been degraded 
from the class of respectable persons ; 
and, therefore, by restoring a convict 
to Uie rank he has lost, the Governor 
may Tery fairly be supposed to mean 
the moral rank. In discussing the 
question of granting offices of trust to 
convicts, the impcrtance of the Scele- 
rati must not be overlooked. Their 
numbers are very considerable. They 
have one eighth of all the granted land 
in the colony ; and there are among 
them individuals of very large- fortune. 
Mr. Bedfern has 2600 acres, Mr. Lord 
4365 acres, and Mr. Samuel Terry 
19,000 acres. As this man's history 
is a specimen of the mud and dirt out 
of which great families often arise, let 
the Terry Filiiy the future warriors, 
legislators, and nobility of the Bay, 
learn from what, and whom, they sprang. 

*' The first of these individuals, Samuel 
Terry, was transported to the colony when 
yomig. He was placed in a gang of stone- 
masons at Paramatta, and assisted in the 
bmlding of the gaoL Mr. Marsden states, 
that during this period he was brought be- 
fore him for neglect of duty, and punished; 
but, by his industry in other ways, he was 
eoablol to set up a small retail shop, in 
which he continued till the expiration of 
his term of service. He then repaired to 
SydiK^, where he extended his business, 
and, by marriage, increased his capital He 
for many yean kept a public house and 
Vol. n. 



retail shop, to which the smaller settlers 
resorted from the country, and where, after 
intoxicating themselves with spirits, they 
signed obligations and powers of attorney 
to confess judgment, which were always 
kept ready for execution. By these means, 
and by an active use of the common arti 
of over-reaching Ignorant and worthless 
men, Samuel Terry has been able to aocu- 
mu]ateaconsiderablecapital,andaquantity 
of land in New South Wales, inferior only 
to that which is held by Mr. D*Arcy Went- 
worth. He ceased, at the late regulations 
introduced by the magistrates at Sydney, 
in Februaiy, 1820, to sell sphituous liquors, 
and he is now become one of the principal 
speculators in the purchase of investments 
at Sydney, and lately established a water- 
mill in the swampy plains between that 
town and Botany Bay, which did not 
succeed. Out of the 19,000 acres of land 
held by Samuel Terry, 140 only are stated 
to be cleared ; but he possesses 1460 head of 
homed cattle, and 3800 Bh&ep**— {Report, 
p. 141.) 

Upon the subject of the New South 
Wales Bank, Mr. Bigge observes, — 

*'Upon the first of these occasions, it 
became an object both with Governor Mac- 
quarrie and Mr. Judge-Advocace Wylde, 
who took an active part in the establish- 
ment of the bank, to unite in its fiftvour the 
support and contributious of the individuals 
of all classes of the colony. Govomoc 
Macquarrie felt assured, that, without such 
co-operation, the bank could not be es- 
tablished; for he was convinced that the 
emancipated convicts were the most 
opulent members of the community. A 
committee was formed for the pivpose of 
drawing up the rules and regulations of 
the establishment, in which are to be found 
the names of George Howe, the printer of 
the Sydney Gazette, who was also a retail 
dealer; Mr. Simon Lord, and Mr. Edward 
Eager, all emancipated convicts, and the 
last only conditionally. 

** Governor Macquarrie had always under- 
stood, and strongly wished, that in asking 
for the co-operation of all classes of the 
community in the formation of the bank, a 
share in its direction and management 
should also be communicated to them."— 
{Report, p. 150.) 

In the discussion of this question, 
we became acquainted with a piece of 
military etiquette, of which we were 
previously ignorant. An officer, invited 
to dinner by the Gorernor, cannot re- 
fuse, unless in case of sickness. This 
is the most complete tyranny we ever 

C 



18 



BOTANY BAT. 



heard of. If the officer comes oat to 
his duty at the proper minnte, with his 
proper number of buttons an^ epau- 
lettes, what matters it to the Governor 
or any body else, where he dines ? 
He may as well be ordered what to eat, 
as where to dine — be confined to the 
upper or under side of the meat — be 
denied gravy, or refused melted butter. 
But there is no end to the small tyranny 
and puerile vexations of a military life. 

The mode of employing convicts 
upon their arrival appears to us very 
objectionable. If a man is skilful 
as a mechanic, he is added to the Gro- 
Yemment gangs ; and in proportion 
to his skill and diligence, his chance 
of manumission, or of remission of 
labour, is lessened. If he is not skilful, 
or not skilful in any trade wanted by 
Government, he is applied for by some 
settler, to whom he pays from 5«. to 
10«. a week; and is then left at liberty 
to go where, and work for whomsoever, 
he pleases. In the same manner, a 
convict who is rich is applied for, and 
obtains his weekly liberty and idleness 
by the purchased permission of the 
person to whom he is consigned. 

The greatest possible inattention or 
ignorance appears to have prevailed in 
manumitting convicts for labour — and 
for such labour! not for cleansing 
Augean stables, or draining Pontine 
marshes, or damming out out a vast 
length of the Adriatic, but for working 
five weeks with a single horse and cart 
in making the road to Bathurst Plains. 
Was such labour worth five pounds ? 
And is it to be understood, that liberty 
is to be restored to any man who will do 
five pounds' worth of work in Austrd- 
asia? Is this comment upon transpor- 
tation to be circulated in the cells of 
Kewgate, or in the haunts of those per- 
sons who are doomed to inhabit them? 



u 



■ Another principle by which Governor 
Hacquarrie has been guided in bestowing 
pardons and indulgences, is that of con- 
sidoring them as rewards for any particular 
labour or enterprise. It was upon this 
principle, that the men who were employed 
in working upon the Bathurst Boed, in the 
year 1816, and those who oontribnted to 
that operation hy the loan of their own 
carts and horses, or of those that they 
procured, obtained pardons, emandpatious, 



and tickets of leave. To 89 men who were 
employed as labourers in this work, three 
fi*ee pardons were given, one ticket of leave, 
and 35 emancipations; and two of them 
only had held tickets of leave before they 
commenced their labour. Seven convicts 
received emancipations for supplying horses 
and carts for the caariage of provisions and . 
stores as the party was proceeding ; six out 
of this number having previously held 
tickets of leave. 

"Eight other convicts (four of whom 
held tickets of leave) received emancipa- 
tions for assisting with carts, and one horse 
to each, in the transport of provisions and 
baggage for the use of Governor M acquanie 
and his suite, on their journey from the 
river Nepean to Bathurst, in the year 
181ft; a service that did not extend b^ond 
the period of five weeks, and was attended 
with no risk, and very little exertion. 

** Between the months of January, 1818, 
and June, 1818, nine convicts, of whom six 
held ticket of leave, obtained emancipation 
for sending carts and horses to convey pro* 
visions and baggage from Paramatta to 
Bathurst, for the use of Mr. Oxley, the 
surveyor-general, in his two expeditions 
into the interior of the country. And in the 
same period, 23 convict labourers and me- 
chanics obtained emancipations for labour 
and service performed at Bathurst. 

** The nature of the services performed 
by these convicts, and the manner in which 
some of them were recommended, excited 
much surprise in the colony, as well as 
great suspicion of the purity of the chan- 
nels through which the recommendations 
passed."— (226!por«, pp. 122, 123.) 

If we are to judge from the number 
of jobs detected by Mr. Bigge, Botany 
Bay seems very likely to do justice to 
the mother- country from whence it 
sprang. Mr. Redfem, surgeon, seems 
to use the public rhubarb for his pri- 
vate practice. Mr. Hutchinson, super- 
intendent, makes a very comfortable 
thing of the assignment of convicts. 
Major Druit was found selling their 
own cabbages to Government in a very 
profitable manner; and many comfort- 
able little practices of this nature are 
noticed by Mr. Bigge. 

Among other sources of profit, the 
superintendent of convicts was the 
banker ; two occupations which seem 
to be eminently compatible with each 
other, inasmuch as they afford to the 
superintendent the opportunity of 
evincing his impartiality, and loading 



BOTANY BAY. 



19 



with equal labour every convict, with, 
out reference to their banking ac- 
counts, to the profit they afford, or the 
trouble they create. It appears, how- 
ever (very strangely), from the Report, 
that the money of convicts was not 
always recovered with the same readi^ 
ness it was received. 

Mr. Richard Fitzgerald, in Septem- 
ber, 1819, was comptroller of provi- 
sions in Emu Plains, storekeeper at 
Windsor, and superintendent of Go- 
vernment works at the same place. 
He was also a proprietor of land and 
stock in the neighbourhood, and kept 
a public house in Windsor, of which 
an emancipated Jew was the ostensible 
manager, upon whom Fitzgerald gave 
orders for goods and spirits in payment 
for labour on the public works. . These 
two places are fifteen miles distant 
from each other, and convicts are to be 
watched and managed at both. It 
eannot be imagined that the convicts 
are slow in observing or following 
these laudable examples ; and their 
conduct will add another instance of 
the vigilance of Macquanie's govern- 
ment. 

"The stores and matenals used in the 
different buildings at Sydney are kept in a 
magaasine in the lumher yard, and are dis- 
tributed according to the written requisi- 
tions of the different overseers that are 
made during the day, and that are ad- 
dressed to the storekeeper in the lumber 
yard. They are conveyed twm thenoe to 
the buildings by the convict mechanics; 
and no account of the expenditure or em- 
ployment of the stores is kept by the over- 
seers, or rendered to the storekeeper. It 
was only in the early part .of the year 1820 
that an account was opened by him of the 
different materials used in each work or 
building; andin7ebruary,1821«thi8aooount 
wasoonsiderBblyin arrear. The temptation, 
therefore, that is afforded to the oonvict 
mechanics who work in the lumber yard, 
in secreting tools, stores, and implements, 
and to those who work at the different 
buildings, is very great, and the loss to 
OoTomment is considerable. The tools, 
mo!reoTer, have not latterly been mustered 
as they used to be once a month, except 
where one of the convicts is removed fh)m 
Sydney to another station."— (f^por^, pp. 
86,37.) • 

If it were right to build fine houses 



in a new colony, common sense seems 
to point out a control upon the expen- 
diture, with such a description of work- 
men. What must become of that 
country where the buildings are use- 
less, the Governor not wise, the public 
the paymaster, the accounts not in ex- 
istence, and all the artisans thieves ? 

A horrid practice prevailed, of the 
convicts accepting a sum of money 
from the captain, in their voyage out, 
in lieu of their regular ration of provi- 
sions. This ought to be restrained by 
the severest penalties. 

What is it that can be urged for 
Governor Macquarrie, after the follow- 
ing picture of the Hospital at Para- 
matta ? It not only justifies his recall, 
but seems to require (if there are means 
of reaching such neglect) his severe 
punishment. 

" The women, who had become most pro- 
fligate and hardened by habit, were asso- 
ciated in their daily tasks with those who 
hadverylately arrived, to whom the customs 
and practices of the colony were yet un- 
known, and who might have escaped the 
consequences of such pernicious lessons, if 
a little care, and a small portion of expense, 
had been spared in providing them with a 
separate apartment during the hours of 
labour. As a place of employment, the 
flictory at Paramatta was not only very 
defective, but very prejudiciid. The in- 
sufficient accommodation that it afforded to 
those females who might be well disposed, 
presented an early incitement, if not an 
excuse for, their resorting to indiscriminate 
prostitution ; and on the evening of their 
. arrival at Paramatta, those who were not de- 
ploring their state of abandonment and dis- 
tress, were traversing the streets in search 
of the guilty means of fdture support. The 
state in which the place itself was kept, 
and the state of disgusting filth in which I 
found it, both on an early visit lifter my 
arrival, and on one preceding my departure; 
the disordered, unruly, and licentious ap- 
pearance of the women, manifested the 
little degree of control in which the female 
convicts were kept, and the little attention 
that was paid to anything beyond the mere 
performance of a certain portion of labour.** 
•—{Report^ p. 70.) 

It might naturally be supposed, that 
any man sent across the globe with a 
good salary, for the express purpose of 
governing, and, if possible, of reforming 
convicts, would have preferred the 
' 2 



20 BOTANY BAT. 

morals of his convicts to the accommo- 1 public liberty, without knowing or 
dation of his horses. Let Mr. Bigge, taring how it is preserved, to attack 
a very discreet and moderate man, be every person who.complams of abuses, 



heard upon these points. 

** Having observed, in Governor Mao- 
quarrie's answer to Mr. Marsden, that he 
justified the delay that occurred, and was 
still to take place, in the construction of a 
proper place of reception for the female 
convicts, by the want of any specific in- 
structions from your Lordship to under- 
take such a building, and which he states 
that he solicited at any early period of his 
government, and considered indispensable, 
I felt it to be my duty to call to the recol- 
lection of Governor Macquarrie, that be 
had undertaken several buildings of much 
less urgent necessity than the foctory at 
Paramatta^ without waiting for any such 
indispensable authority ; and I now find 
that the construction of it was announced 
by him to your Lordship in the year 1817, 
as then in his contonplation, without mak- 
ing any specific allusion to the evils which 
the want of it had so long occasioned ; that 
the contract for building it was announced 
to the public on the 21st of May, 1818* and 
that your Lordship's approval of it was not 
signified until the 24th August, 1818, and 
could not have reached Governor Mac- 
quarrie's hands until nearly a year after 
the work had been undertaken. It appears, 
therefore, that if want of authority bad 
been the sole cause of the delay in building 
the flEtctory at Paramatta^ that cause would 
not only have operated in the month of 
March, 1818, but it would have continued 
to operate until the want of authority had 
been formally supplied. Governor Mac- 
quarrie, however, must be conscious, that 
after he had stated to Mr. Marsden in the 
year 1816, and with an appearance of r^ret, 
that the want of authority prevented him 
from undertaking the construction of a 
building of such undeniable necessity and 
importance as the factory at Paramatta, he 
had undertaken several buildings. Which, 
though useftd in themselves, were of less 
comparative importance; and had com- 
mencedt in the month of August, 1817, ^£ 
laiboriou8 and expensive constrttcUon if his 
own stables at Sydney, to which I have 
already cUluded, without any previous com- 
munication to your Lordship, and in direct 
opposition to an instruction that must have 
then reached him, and that forcibly warned 
him of the oonsequenoes.*'— (£e!i>oW; p. 71.) 



It is the fashion very much among 
the Tories of the House of Commons, 
and all those who love the effects of 



and to accuse him of gross exaggeration. 
No sooner is the name of any public thief, 
or of any tormentor, or oppressor, men- 
tioned in that Honourable House, than 
out bursts the sphrit of jobbing eulo- 
gium, and there is not a virtue under 
heaven which is not ascribed to the delin- 
quent in question, and vouched for by 
the most irrefragable testimony. If Mr. 
Bennet or Sir Francis Burdett had at- 
tacked them, and they had now been 
living, how many honourable members 
would have vouched for the honesty of 
Dudley and Empson, the gentleness of 
Jeffries, or the genius of Blackmore ? 
What human virtue did not Aris and 
the governor of Ilchester jail possess ? 
Who was not ready to come forward to 
vouch for the attentive humanity of 
Grovemor Macquarrie? What scorn 
and wit would it have produced from 
the Treasury Bench, if Mr. Bennet had 
stated the snperior advantages of the 
horses oVer the convicts ? — and all the 
horrors and immoralities, the filth and 
wretchedness, of the female prison of 
Paramatta ? Such a case, proved as 
this now is, beyond the power of con- 
tradiction, ought to convince the most 
hardy and profligate scoffers, that there 
is really a great deal of occasional 
neglect and oppression in the conduct 
of public servants ; and that, in spite 
of all the official praise, which is ever 
ready for the perpetrators of crime, 
there is a great deal of real malversa- 
tion which should be dragged to the 
light of day, by the exertions of bold 
and virtuous men. If we had found, 
from the Report of Mr. Bigge, that the 
charges of Mr. Bennet were without 
any, or without adequate foundation, 
it would have given us great pleasure 
to have vindicated the Governor ; but 
Mr. Bennet has proved his indictment. 
It is impossible to read the foregoing 
quotation, and not to perceive that the 
conduct and proceedings of Governor 
Macquarrie imperiously required the 
exposure they have received ; and that 
it would have been much to the credit 
of Government if he had been removed 
long ago from a situation which, but 



BOTANY BAT. 



21 



for the exertions of Mr. Bennet, we 
belieTe he would have held to this 
day. 

The sick, from Mr. Bigge's Report, 
appear to have fared as hadly as the 
sinful. Good water was scarce, proper 
persons to wait upon the patients could 
not he obtained ; and so numerous 
were the complaints from this quarter, 
that the Governor makes an order for 
the exclusion qf all hospital grievances 
and complaints, except on one day in 
the month — dropsy swelling, however, 
fever burning, and ague shaking, in 
the meantime, without waiting for the 
arrangements of Governor Macquarrie, 
or consulting the mollia tempora fandi. 

In permitting individuals to distil 
their own grain, the Government of 
Botany Bay appears to us to be quite 
right. It is impossible, in such a colony, 
to prevent unlawful distillation to a 
considerable extent; and it is as well to 
raise upon spirits (as something must 
be taxed) that slight duty which ren- 
ders the contraband trade not worth 
following. Distillation, too, always 
insures a magazine against famine, by 
which New South Wales has more than 
once been severely visited. It opens a 
market for grain where markets are 
very distant, and where redundance and 
famine seem very often to succeed each 
other. The cheapness of Spirits to such 
working people as know how to use 
them with moderation, is a great bless- 
ing ; and we doubt whether that mode- 
ration, after the first burst of ebriety, is 
not just as likely to be learnt in plenty 
as in scarcity. 

We were a little surprised at the 
scanty limits allowed to convicts for 
sleeping on board the transports. Mr. 
Bigge (of whose sense and humanity 
we really have not the sHghtest doubt) 
states eighteen inches to be quite suffi- 
cient — twice the length of a small 
sheet of letter paper. The printer's 
devil, who carries our works to the 
press, informs us that the allowance to 
the demons of the type is double fools- 
cap length, or twenty-four inches. The 
great city upholsterers generally con. 
sider six feet as barely sufficient for a 
person rising in business, and assisting 
occasionally at official banquets. 



Mrs. Fry*s* system is well spoken of 
by Mr. Bigge ; and its useful effect in 
pi*omoting order and decency among 
floating convicts fully admitted. 

In a voyage to Botany Bay by Mr. 
Read, he states that, while the convict 
vessel lay at author, about to sail, a 
boat from shore reached the ship, and 
irom it stepped a clerk of the Bank 
of England. The convicts felicitated 
themselves upon the acquisition of so 
gentlemanlike a compan ion ; but it soon 
turned out that the visitant had no in- 
tention of making so long a voyage. 
Finding that they were not to have the 
pleasure of his company, the convicts 
very naturally thought of picking his 
pockets; the necessity of which profes- 
sional measure was prevented by a 
speedy distribution of their contents. 
Forth from his bill-case this votary of 
PiutusdrewhisnitidNewlands ; all the 
forgers and utterers were mustered on 
deck ; and to each of them was well and 
truly paid into his hand a five pound 
note ; less acceptable, perhaps, than 
if privately removed from the person, 
but still joyfully received. This was 
well intended on the part of the Direc- 
tors : but the consequences it is scarcely 
necessary to enumerate ; a large stock 
of rum was immediately laid in from 
the circumambient slop- boats; and the 
materials of constant intoxication se- 
cured for the rest of the voyage. 

The following account of pastoral 
convicts is striking and picturesque : — 

* We are sorry It should have been ima- 
guied, flrom some of our late observations 
on prison discipline, that we meant to dis- 
piarage the exertions of Mrs. Fry. Por 
prisoners before trial, it is perfect; but 
where imprisonment is intended for punish- 
ment, ana not for detention, it requires, as 
we have endeavoured to show, a very dif- 
ferent system. The Prison Society (an 
excellent, honourable, and most useful in- 
stitution of some of the best men in Eng- 
land) have certainly, in their first Numbers, 
f^en into the common mistake, of suppos- 
ing that the reformation of the culprit, and 
not the prevention of the crime, was the 
main object of imprisonment: and have, in 
consequence, taken some fal^ views of the 
method of treating prisoners— the exposi- 
tion of which, after the usual manner of 
flesh and blood, makes them a little angry. 
But, in objects of so h^h a nature, what 
matters who is right P — the only question is, 
TFAo* is right? 

C 3 



22 



BOTANY BAY. 



4(- 



'I observed that a great many of the 
convicts in Van Diemen's Land wore jackets 
and trousers of the kangaroo skin, and some- 
times caps of the same material, which they 
obtain from the stock-keepers who are em- 
ployed in the interior of the country. The 
labour of several of them differs, in this 
respect, from that of the convicts in New 
South Wales, and is rather pastoral than 
agricultural. Permission having been given, 
for the last five years, to the settlers to 
avaU themselves of the ranges of open plains 
and valleys that lie on either side of the 
road leading from Austin's Ferry to Laun- 
oeston, a distance of 120 miles, their fiocks 
and herds have been committed to the 
careof convict shepherds and stock-keepers, 
who are sent to these cattle ranges, distant 
sometimes 30 or 40 miles from their masters' 
estates. 

"The boundaries of these tracts are de- 
scribed in the tickets of occupation by 
which th^ are held, and which are made 
renewable every year, on payment of a fee 
to the lieutenant-Qovernor's clerk. One 
or more convicts are stationed on them, to 
attend to the flocks and cattle, and are sup- 
plied with wheat, tea, and sugar, at the 
monthly visits of the owner. They are al- 
lowed the use of a musket and a few 
cartridges to defend themselves against the 
natives; and they have also dogs, with 
which they hunt the kangaroos, whose flesh 
they eat, and dispose of their skins to per- 
sons passing from Hobart Town to Laun- 
ceston, in exchange for tea and sugar. 
They thus obtain a plentiftU supply of food, 
and sometimes succeed in cultivating a few 
vegetables. Their habitations are made of 
turf, and thatched ; as the bark of the dwarf 
eucalyptus, or gum-trees of the plains, and 
the interior, in Van Diemen's Land, is not 
of sufficient expanse to form covering or 
shelter."— (jBcpor^, pp. 107. 108.) 

A London thief, clothed in kanga- 
roo's skins, lodged under the bark of the 
dwarf eucalyptus, and keeping sheep, 
fourteen thousand miles from Picca- 
dilly, with a crook bent into the shape 
of a picklock, is not an uninteresting 
picture; and an engraving of it might 
have a very salutary effect — provided 
no engraving were made of his convict 
master, to whom the sheep belong. 

The Maroon Indians were hunted 
by dogs — the fugitive convicts are re- 
covered by the natives. 

"The native blacks that inhabit the 
neighbourhood of Port Hunter and Port 
Stephens have become very active in re- 



taking the ftigitive convicts. Th^ aocom- 
puiy the soldiers who are sent, in pursuit ; 
and, by the extraordinary strength of sight 
they possess, improved by their daily ex- 
ercise of it in pursuit of kangaroos uid 
opossums, they can trace to a great dis- 
tance, with wonderful accuracy, the im- 
pressions of the human foot. Nor are they 
afraid of meeting the ftigitive convicts in 
the woods, when sent in their pmrsuit, 
without the soldiers ; by their skill in throw- 
ing their long and pointed wooden darts, 
they wound and disable them, strip them 
of their clothes, and bring them back as 
prisoners, by uiJuiown roads and paths, to 
the Coal River. 

" They are rewarded for these enterprises 
by presents of maize and blankets; and, 
notwithstanding the apprehensions of re- 
venge from the convicts whom they bring 
back, they continue to live in Newcastle 
and its neighbouroood; but are observed 
to prefer the society of the soldiers to that 
of the convicts.**— (iZcpor^, p. 117.) 

Of the convicts in New South Wales, 
Mr. Bigge found about eight or nine 
in a hundred to be persons of respect- 
able character and conduct, though the 
evidence respecting them is not quite 
satisfactory. Bnt the most striking 
and consolatory passage in the whole 
Report is the following : — 

** The marriages of the native-b<nii youths 
with female convicts are very rare; a cir- 
cumstance that is attribulable to the ge- 
neral disinclination to early marriage that 
is observable amongst them, and partly to 
the abandoned and dissolute habits of the 
female convicts ; but chiefly to a sense of 
pride in the native-bom youths, approach- 
ing to contempt for the vices and depravity 
of the convicts, even when manifested in 
the persons of their own parehts.'*— (£e- 
port, p. 105.) 

Everything is to be expected from 
these feelings. They convey to the 
mother-country the first proof that the 
foundations of a mightj empire are 
laid. 

We were somewhat surprised to find 
Governor Macquarrie contending with 
Mr. Bigge, that it was no part of his, 
the Governor's duty to select and sepa- 
rate the useless from the useful convicts, 
or to determine, except in particular 
cases, to whom they are to be assigned. 
In other words, he wishes to effect the 
customary separation of salary and 
duty — the grand principle which ap<« 



BOTANY RAT. 



23 



pears to pervade all human institutiong, 
aad to be the most invincible of all 
human abases. Not only are Church, 
King, and State, allured by this princi- 
ple of vicarious labour, but the pot-boy 
has a lower pot-boy, who for a small 
portion of the. small gains of his prin- 
cipal, arranges, with inexhaustible sedu- 
lity, the subdivided portions of drink, 
and intensely perspiring, disperses, in 
bright pewter, the frothy elements of joy. 

There is a very awkward story ot a 
severe flogging inflicted upon three free- 
men by Governor Macquarrie, without 
complaint to, or intervention of, any 
magistrate; a fact not denied by the 
Governor, and for which no adequate 
apology, nor anything approaching to 
an adequate apology, is offered. These 
Asiatic and satrapical proceediogs,how- 
ever, we have reason to think, are ex- 
ceedingly disrelished by London juries. 
The profits of having been unjustly 
flogged at Botany Bay (Scarlett for the 
plaintifi^) is good property, and would 
fetch a very considerable sum at the 
Auction Mart. The Governor, in many 
instances, appears to have confounded 
diversity of opinion upon particular 
measures, with systematic opposition to 
his Government, and to have treated 
as disaffected persons those whom, in 
favourite measures, he could not per- 
suade by his arguments, nor influence 
by his example, and on points where 
every man has a right to judge for 
himself, and where authority has no 
legitimate right to interfere, much less 
to dictate. 

To the charges confirmed by the 
statement of Mr.^ Bigge, Mr. Bennet 
adds, from the evidence collected by the 
Jail Committee, that the fees in the 
Governor's Court, collected by the 
authority of the Grovemor, are most 
exorbitant and oppressive ; and that 
illegal taxes are collected under the sole 
authority of the Governor. It has been 
made, by colonial regulations, a capital 
offence to steal the wild cattle; and in 
1816, three persons were convicted of 
stealing a wUd huW^ the property of our 
Sovereign Lord the King, Now, our 
Sovereign Xx}rd the King (whatever be 
his other merits or demerits) is certainly 
a very good-natured man, and would 



be the first to lament that an unhappy 
convict was sentenced to death for kill- 
ing one of his wild bulls on the other side 
of the world. The cases of Mr. Moore 
and of William Stewart, as quoted by 
Mr. Bennet, are very strong. If they are 
answerable, they should be answered. 
The concluding letter to Mr. Stewart is, 
to us, the most decisive proof of the un- 
fitness of Colonel Macquarrie for the 
situation in which he was placed. The 
Ministry at home, after the authenticity 
of the letter was proved, should have 
seized upon the first decent pretext of re- 
calling the Governor, of thanking him in 
the name of his Sovereign for his valu- 
able services (not omitting his care of 
the wild bulls), and of dismissing him 
to half-pay — and insignificance. 

As to the Trial by Jury, we cannot 
agree with Mr. Bennet, that it would be 
right to introduce it at present, for 
reasons we have given in a previous 
Article, and which we see no reason for 
altering. The time of course will come 
when it would be in the highest degree 
unjust and absurd, to refuse to that set- 
tlement the benefit of popular institu- 
tions. But they are too young, too few, 
and too deficient for such civilised ma- 
chinery at present *' I cannot come . 
to serve upon the jury — the waters of 
the Hawksbury are out, and I have a 
mile to swim — the kangaroos will 
break into my com — the convicts have 
robbed me — my little boy has been 
bitten by an omithorynchus paradoxus 
— I have sent a man fifty miles with a 
sack of fiour to buy a pair of breeches 
for the assizes, and he is not returned.'* 
These are the excuses which, in new 
colonies, always prevent Trial by Jury; 
and make it desirable, for the first 
half century of their existence, that they 
should live under the simplicity and 
convenience of despotism — such modi- 
fied despotism (we mean) as a British 
House of Commons (always containing 
men as bold and honest as the member 
for Shrewsbury) will permit in the 
governore of their distant colonies. 

Such are the opinions formed of the 
conduct of Governor Macquarrie by 
Mr. Bigge. N ot the slightest insinua- 
tion is made against the integrity of 
his character. Though almost every- 

4 



84 



BOTANY BAT. 



body else has a job, we do not perceive 
that any is imputed to this gentleman ; 
bat he is negligent, expensive, arbitrary, 
ignorant, and clearly deficient in abili> 
ties for the task committed to his charge. 
It is our decided opinion, therefore, 
that Mr. Bennet has rendered a valn- 
able service to the public, in attacking 
and exposing his conduct. As a gen- 
tleman and an honest man, there is not 
the smallest charge against the Gover- 
nor; but a gentleman, and a very honest 
man, may very easily ruin a very fine 
colony. The colony itself, disencum- 
bered of Colonel Lachlan Macquarrie, 
will probably become avery fine empire ; 
but we can scarcely believe it is of any 
present utility as a place of punishment. 
The history of emancipated convicts, 
who have made a great deal of money 
by their industry and their speculations, 
necessarily reaches this country, and 
prevents men who are goaded by want, 
and hovering between vice and virtue, 
from looking upon it as a place of suf- 
fering — perhaps leads them to consider 
it as the land of hope and refuge, to 
them unattainable, except by the com- 
mission of crime. Ai)d so they lift up 
their heads at the Bar, hoping to be 
transported, — 

'^Stabont orantes primi transmittere 
cursum, 
Tendebantque manus, rlp» ulterioris 
amore." 

It is not possible, in the present state 
of the law, that these enticing histories 
of convict prosperity should be pre- 
vented, by one uniform system of 
severity exercised in New South Wales, 
upon all transported persons. Such 
different degrees of guilt are included 
under the term of convict, that it would 
yiolate every feeling of humanity, and 
every principle of justice, to deal out 
one measure of punishment to all. We 
strongly suspect that this is the root 
of the evil. We want new grada- 
tions of guilt to be established by law 
— new names for those gradations — 
and a different measure of good and 
evil treatment attached to those de- 
nominations. In this manner, the 
mere convict, the rogue and convict, and 
the incorrigible convict, would expect, 



upon their landing, to be treated with 
very different degrees of severity. The 
first might be merely detained in New 
South Wales without labour or coer- 
cion; the second compelled, at allevents, 
to work out two-thirds of his time, 
without the possibility of remission; 
and the third be destined at once for 
the Coal River.* If these consequences 
steadily followed these gradations of 
conviction, they would soon be under- 
stood by the felonious world at home. 
At present, the prosperity of the best 
convicts is considered to be attainable 
by all ; and transportation to another 
hemisphere is looked upon as the 
renovation of fallen fortunes, and the 
passport to wealth and power. 

Another circumstance, which de- 
stroys all idea of punishment in trans- 
portation to New South Wales, is the 
enormous expense which that settlement 
would occasion if it really were made a 
place of punishment. A little wicked 
tailor arrives, of no use to the architec- 
tural projects of the Governor. He is 
turned over to a settler, who leases this 
sartorial Borgia his liberty for five 
shillings per week, and allows him to 
steal and snip, what, when, and where 
he can. The excuse for all this mock- 
ery of law and justice is, that the 
expense of his maintenance is saved to 
the Government at home. But the 
expense is not saved to the country at 
large. The nefarious needleman writes 
home, that he is as comfortable as a 
finger in a thimble ! that though a frac- 
tion only of humanity, he has several 
wives, and is filled every day with rum 
and kangaroo. This, of course, is not 
lost upon the shopboard; and, for the 
saving of fifteen pence per day, the 
foundation of many criminal tailors is 
laid. What is true of tailors, is true of 
tinkers and all other trades. The 
chances of escape from labour, and of 
manumission in the Bay, we may de- 
pend upon it, are accurately reported, 
and perfectly understood, in the flash- 
houses of St. Giles; and while Earl 
Bathurst is full of jokes and joy, pub- 
lic morals are thus, sapped to their 
foundation. 

* This practice is now resorted to. 



GAME LAWS. 



25 



GAME liAWS. 
(E. Rbvibw, 1823.) 



A Letter to the Chairman qf the Committee 
qf the House qf Commons^ on the Game 
Lotos. By the Hon. and Bev. WUliain 
Herbert. Eid«^way. 1823. 

About the time of the publication of 
this little pamphlet of Mr. Herbert, a 
Ck>mmittee of the Hoase of Commons 
pablished a Report on the Game Laws, 
containing a great deal of very carious 
information respecting the sale of game, 
an epitome of which we shall now lay 
before our readers. The country hig- 
glers who collect poultry, gather up 
the game from the depots of the 
poachers, and transmit it in the same 
manner as poultry, and in the same 
packages, to the London poulterers, 
hy whom it is distributed to the public; 
and this traiSic is carried on (as far as 
game is concerned) even from the dis- 
tance of {Scotland. The same business 
is carried on by the porters of stage 
coaches ; and a great deal of game is 
sold clandestinely by lords of manors, 
or by gamekeepers, without the know- 
ledge of lords of manors; and princi- 
pally, as the evidence states, from 
Norfolk and Suffolk, the great schools 
of steel traps and spring guns. The 
supply of game, too, is proved to be 
quite as regular as the supply of 
poultry ; the number of hares and 
partridges supplied rather exceeds that 
of pheasants ; but any description of 
game may be had to any amount. 
Here is a part of the evidence. 

"Can you at ai^ time procure any 
qiiantil7 of game ? I have no doubt of it. — 
If you were to receive almost an unlimited 
order, coidd you execute it? Tes; I would 
supply the whole city of London, any fixed 
day once a week, all the year through, so 
that every individual inhabitant should 
have game for his table.— Do you think you 
could procure a thousand pheasants ? Tes ; 
I would be bound to produce ten thousand 
a week.— You would be bound to provide 
every fiimily in London with a dish of 
game P Tes ; a partridge, or a pheasant, or 
a hare, or a grouse, or something or other. 
— How would you set about doing it P I 
Should, of course, request the persons with 
whom I am in the habit of dealing, to use 
their influence to bring me what they could 
by a certain day; I should speak to the 



dealers and the mail-guards, and coachmen, 
to produce aquantity ; and I should send to 
my own connections in one or two manon 
where I have the privilege of selling for 
those gentlemen; and should send to Scot- 
land to say, that every week the largest 
quantity they could produce was to be sent. 
Being but a petty salesman, I sell a veiy 
small quantity; but I have had about 4000 
head direct from one man.— Can you state 
the quantity of game which has been sent 
to you during the yearP No : I may say, 
perhaps, 10,000 head; mine is a limited 
trade; I speak comparatively to that of 
others ; I only supply private fiunilies."— 
(Beportt P- 20.) 

Poachers who go out at night cannot, 
of course, like regular tradesmen, pro- 
portion the supply to the demand, but 
having once made a contract, they kill 
all they can ; and hence it happens 
that the game market is sometimes 
very much overstocked, and great 
quantities of game either thrown away, 
or disposed of by Irish hawkers to the 
common people at very inferior prices. 

'* Does it ever happen to you to be obtiged 
to dispose of poullnryat the same low prices 
you are obliged to dispose of gameP It 
depends upon the weather; often when 
there is a considerable quantity on hand, 
and, owing to the weather, it will not keep 
till the following day, I am obliged to take 
any price that is offered ; but we can always 
turn either poultry or game into some price 
or other; and if it was not for the Irish 
hawkers, hundreds and hundreds of heads 
of game would be spoiled and thrown away. 
It is out of the power of any person to con- 
ceive for one moment the quantity of game 
that is hawked in the streets. I have had 
opportuni^ more than other persons of 
knowing this ; for I have sold, I may say, 
more game than any other person in the 
city; and we serve hawkers indiscrimi- 
nately, persons who come and purchase 
probably six fowls or turkeys and geese, and 
th^ will buy heads of game with them." — 
(Report, p. 22.) 

Live birds are sent up as well as 
dead ; eggs as well as birds. The 
price of pheasants' eggs last year was 
Ss. per dozen ; of partridges* eggs, 2s. 
The price of hares was from Ss. to 
5s. 6d. ; of partridges, from Is. 6d. to 
2s, Gd. ; of pheasants, from 5s. to 
5s. 6dL each, and sometimes as low as 
Is. 6d, 

"What have you given for game this 



26 



GAME LAWS. 



year? It is very low indeed; I am nek of 
it ; I do not think I shall ever deal again. 
"We have got game this seaflon as low as 
half-a-crown a brace (birds), and pheasants 
as low as 7«. a brace. It is so plentiful, 
there has been no end to spoiling it this 
season. It is so plentiful, it is of no use. In 
war tone it was worth having; then they 
fetched 7<. and Bs, a brace." — {JSeportt 
p. 88.) 

All the poulterers, too, even the 
most respectable, state, that it is abso- 
lutely necessary they should carry on 
this illegal traffic in the present state 
of the game laws ; because their regu- 
lar customers for poultry would infal- 
libly leave any poulterer's shop from 
whence they could not be supplied 
with game. 

" I have no doubt that it is the general 
wish at present of the trade not to deal in 
the article ; but they are all, of course, com- 
pelled from their connections. If they can> 
not get game from one person they can from 
another. 

'* Do you believe that poulterers are not 
to be found who would take out licenoet, 
and would deal with those very persons, 
for the purposes of obtaining a greater profit 
than they would have de^ngas you would 
do P I think the poulterers in general are 
a respectable set of men, and would not 
countenance such a thing ; they feel now 
that they are driven into a corner;, that 
there may be men who would countenance 
irregular proceedings, I have no doubt.— 
Would it be their interest to do so, consider- 
ing the penalty? No, I think not. The 
poulterers are perfectly well aware that 
they are committing a breach of the law at 
present.— Do you suppose that those per- 
sons, respectable as they are, who are now 
committing a breach of the law, would not 
equally commit that breach if the law were 
altered? No, certainly not ; at present it 
is so connected with their business that 
they cannot help it.— You said just now, 
that they were cbriven into a corner ; what 
did you mean by that? We are obliged to 
add and abet those men who commit those 
depredations, because of the constant de- 
mand for game, ftx>m different customers 
whom we supply with poultry.— Could you 
carry on your business as a poulterer, if you 
refused to supply game? By no means; 
because some of the first people in the 
land requure it ofme,**'-{BepoH, p. 16.) 

When that worthy Errorist, Mr. 
Bankes, brought in his bill of addi- 
tional severities against poachers, there 



was no man of sense and reflection 
who did not anticipate the following 
consequences of the measure:— 

"Do you find that less game has {»een 
sold in consequence of the bill rendering it 
penal to sell game? Upon my word, it did 
not make the slightest difference in the 
world. — Not Immediately after it waa 
made? No; I do not think it made the 
slightest difference. — It did not make the 
slightest sensation? No; I never sold a 
bird less.— Was not there a resolution of 
the poulterers not to sell game? I was 
secretary to that committee.— What was 
the consequence of that resolution? A 
great deal of ill blood in the trade. One 
gentleman who just left the room did not 
come in to my ideas. I never had a head 
of game in my house ; all my neighbours 
sold it ; and as we had people on the watch* 
who were ready to watch it into the houses, 
it came to this, we were prepared to bring 
our actions against certain individuals, 
after sittii^, perhaps, ftx)m three to four 
months, every week, which we did at the 
Crown uid Anchor in the Strand ; but we 
did not proceed with our actions, to prevent 
ill blood in the trade. We regularly met, 
and, as we conceived at the time, formed a 
committee of the most respectable of the 
trade. I was secretary of that committee. 
The game was sold in the city, in the 
vicini^ of the Royal Exchange, cheaper 
than ever was known, because the people 
at our end of the town were afraid. I, as a 
point of honour, never had it in my house. 
I never had a head of game in my house 
that season.— What was the consequence? 
I lost my trade, and gave offence to gentle- 
men: a nobleman's steward, or butler, or 
cook, treated it as contumely ; ' Good Qod ! 
what is the use of your runnii^ your head 
against the wall?'— You were obliged to 
begin the trade again ? Yes, and sold more 
than ever.*'— (.Bepor^, p. 18.) 

These consequences are confirmed 
by the evidence of every person before 
the Committee. 

All the evidence is very strong as 
to the fact, that dealing in game is not 
discreditable ; that there are a great 
number of respectable persons, and, 
among the rest, the first poulterers in 
London, who buy game knowing it to 
have been illegally procured, but who 
would never dream of purchasing any 
other article procured by diiihonesty. 

"Are there not, to your knowledge, a 
great many people in this town who deal in 



GAME LAWS. 



27 



game, by buying or seUing it, that would 
not on any account buy or sell stolen pro- 
perty? Oertunly; there are many capital 
tradesmen, poulterers, who deal in game, 
that would have nothing to do with stolen 
propwt^; and yet I do not think there is a 
poulterer's shop in London, where they 
oould not get game, if they wanted it.— Do 
you think any discredit attaches to any 
man in this town for buying or selling 
game? I think none at all; and I do not 
think that the men to whom I have just 
referred would have anything to do with 
stolen goods.— Would it not, in the opinion 
of the inhabitants of London, be considered 
a veiy different thing dealing in stolen 
game or stolen poultiyP Certainly.— The 
one would be considered disgraceful, and 
the other not P Certainly ; they think no- 
thing of dcalii^ in gune; and the farmers 
in the country will not give information ; 
they will have a hare or two of the very 
men who work for them ; and they are 
afraid to give information.*' — (Report, 
p.SL) 

The evidence of Daniel Bishop, one 
of the Bow Street officers, who has 
been a good deal employed in the ap- 
prehension of poachers, is curious and 
important, as it shows the enormous 
extent of the evil, and the ferocious 
spirit which the game laws engender 
in the common people. " The poach- 
ers," he says, ** came sixteen miles. The 
whole of the village from which they 
were taken were poachers ; the consta- 
ble of the village, and the shoemaker, 
and other inhabitants of the village. I 
fetched one man twenty- two miles.There 
was the son of a respectable gardener ; 
one of these was a sawyer, and another 
a baker, who kept a good shop there. 
If the village had been alarmed, we 
should have had some mischief ; but 
we were all prepared with fire-arms. 
If poachers have a spite with the game- 
keeper, that would induce them to go 
out in nnmbers to resist him. This 
party I speak of bad something in 
their hats to distinguish them. They 
take a delight in setting-to with the 
gamekeepers ; and talk' it over after- 
wards how they served so and so. 
They fought with the butt-ends of 
their guns at Lord Howe's ; they beat 
the gamekeepers shockingly." — "Does 
it occur to you (Bishop is asked) to 
have had more applications, and to 



have detected more person* this season 
than in any former one ? Yes ; I 
think within four months there have 
been twenty-one transported that I 
have been at the taking of, and throngh 
one roan taming evidence in each case, 
and without that they could not have 
been identified ; liie gamekeepers 
could not, or would not, identify them. 
The poachers go to the public-house 
and spend their money ; if they have 
a good night's work, they will go and 
get drunk with the money. The gangs 
are connected together at diflferent 
public-houses, just like a club at a 
public-house ; they are all sworn 
together. If the keeper took one of 
them, they would go and attack him 
for so doing." 

Air. Stafford, chief-clerk of Bow 
Street, says, ** AH the ofiences against 
the game laws which are. of an atro- 
cious description I think arc generally 
reported to the public office in Bow 
Street, more especially in cases where 
the keepers have either been killed, or 
dangerously wounded, and the as- 
sistance of an officer firom Bow Street 
is required. The applications have 
been much more numerous of late 
years* than they were formerly. Some 
of them have been cases of mulrder ; 
but I do not think many have amounted 
to murder. There are many instances 
in which keepers have been very ill- 
treated — they have been wonnded, 
skulls have been fractured, and bones 
broken ; and they have been shot at. 
A man takes a hare, or a pheasant, 
with a very difierent feeling from that 
with which he would take a pigeon or 
a fowl out of a farm-yard. The 
number of pecsons that assemble to- 
gether is more for the purpose of 
protecting themselves against those 
that may apprehend them, than from 
any idea that they are actually com- 

* It is only of late years that men have 
been transported for shooting at night. 
There are instances of men who have been 
transported at the Sessions for night poach- 
ing, who made no resistance at all when 
taken; but then their characters as old 
poachers weighed against them— characters 
estimated probably by the very lords of 
manors who had lost their game. This dis- 
graoefiil law is the occasion of all the mur- 
ders committed for game. 



28 



GAME LAWS. 



mitting depredation upon the property 
of another person ; thej do not con- 
sider it as property. I think there is a 
sense of morality and a distinction of 
crime existing in the men's minds, 
although they are mistaken about it: 
Men feel that if they go in a grbat 
body together, to break into a house, 
or to rob a person, or to steal his 
poultry, or his sheep, they are commit- 
ting a crime against that man's pro- 
perty ; but I think with respect to the 
game, they do not feel that they are 
doing anything which is wrong : but 
think they have committed no crime 
when they have done the thing, and 
their only anxiety is to escape de- 
tection." In addition, Mr. Stafford 
states that he remembers not one single 
conviction under Mr, JSankes's Act 
against buying game ; and not one con- 
viction for buying or selling game 
within the last year has been made at 
Bow Street. 

The inferences from these facts are 
exactly as we predicted, and as every 
man of common sense must have pre- 
dicted — ^that to prevent the sale of 
game is absolutely impossible. If game 
be plentiful, and cannot be obtained at 
any lawful market, an illicit trade will 
be established, which it is utterly im- 
possible to prevent by any increased 
severity of the laws. There never 
was a more striking illustration of the 
necessity of attending to public opinion 
in all penal enactments. Mr. Bankes 
(a perfect representative of all the or- 
dinary notions about forcing mankind 
by pains and penalties) took the floor. 
To buy a partridge (though still con- 
sidered as inferior to murder) was 
visited with the very heaviest infliction 
of the law ; and yet, though game is 
sold as openly in Ix)ndon as apples 
and oranges, though three years have 
elapsed since this legislative mistake, 
the officers of the police can hardly 
recollect a single instance where the 
information has been laid, or the 
penalty levied ; and why ? because 
every man's feelings and every man's 
understanding tell him, that it is a 
most absurd and ridiculous tyranny to 
prevent one man, who has more game 
than he wants, from exchanging it 



with another man, who has more 
money than he wants — because m&gis-' 
trates will not (if they can avoid it) 
inflict such absurd penafties— because 
even common informers know enough 
of the honest indignation of mankind, 
and are too well aware of the coldness 
of pump and pond, to act under the 
bill of the Lycurgus of Corfe Castle. 

The plan now proposed is, to un- 
dersell the poacher, which may be 
successful or unsuccessful ; but the 
threat is, if you attempt this plan there 
will be no game — and if there is no 
game there will be no country gentle- 
men. We deny every part of this 
enthymeme — the last proposition as 
well as the first. We really cannot 
believe that all our rural mansions 
would be deserted, although no game 
was to be found in their neighbour- 
hood. Some come into the country 
for health, some for quiet, for agricul- 
ture, for economy, from attachment to 
family estates, from love of retirement, 
from the necessity of keeping up pro- 
vincial interests, and from a vast 
variety of causes. Partridges and 
pheasants, though they form nine- 
tenths of human motives, still leave a 
small residue, which may be classed 
under some other head. Neither are 
a great proportion of those whom the 
love of shooting brings into the country 
of the smallest value or importance to 
the country. A Colonel of the Guards, 
the second son just entered at Oxford, 
three diners out from Piccadilly — 
Major Rock, Lord John, Lord Charles, 
the Colonel of the regiment quartered 
at the neighbouring town, two Irish 
Peers, and a German Baron ; — if all 
this honourable company proceed with 
fustian jackets, dog-whistles, and che- 
mical inventions, to a solemn destruc- 
tion of pheasants, how is the country 
benefited by their presence? or how 
would earth, air, or sea, be injured by 
their annihilation ? There are certainly 
many valuable men brought into the 
country by a love of shooting, who, 
coming there for that purpose, are 
useful for many better purposes ; but 
a vast multitude of shooters are of no 
more service to the country than the 
ramrod which condenses the charge, or 



GAME LAWS. 



29 



the barrel which contains it We do 
not deny that the annihilation of the 
game laws would thin the aristocratical 
popalation of the country ; but it 
would not thin that population so much 
as is contended ; and the loss of many 
of the persons so banished would be a 
good rather than a misfortune. At 
all events, we cannot at all comprehend 
the policy of alluring the better classes 
of society into the country, by the 
temptation of petty tyranny and in- 
justice, or of monopoly in sports. How 
absurd it would be to offer to the 
higher orders the exclusive use of 
peaches, nectarines, and apricots, as 
the premium of rustication — to put 
vast quantities of men into prison as 
apricot eaters, apricot buyers, and 
apricot sellers — to appoint a regular 
day for beginning to eat,' and another 
for leaving off — to have a lord of the 
manor for green gages — and to rage 
with a penalty of five pounds against 
the unqualified eater of the gage 1 And 
yet the privilege of shooting a set of 
wild poultry is stated to be the bonus 
for the residence of country gentlemen. 
As far as this immense advantage can 
be obtained without the sacrifice of 
justice and reason, well and good — 
but we would not oppress any order 
of society, or violate right and wrong, 
to obtain any population of squires, 
however dense. It is the grossest of 
all absurdities to say the present state 
of the law is absurd and unjust, but it 
must not be altered, because the altera- 
tion would drive gentlemen out of the 
country ! If gentlemen cannot breathe 
fresh air without injustice, let them 
putrefy in Cranborne Alley. Make 
jast laws, and let squires live and die 
where they please. 

The evidence collected in the House 
of Commons respecting the Game Laws 
is so striking and so decisive against 
the gentlemen of the trigger, that their 
only resource is to represent it as not 
worthy of belief. But why not worthy 
of belief ? It is not stated what part 
of it is incredible. Is it the plenty 
of game in London for sale? the 
infrequency of convictions ? the occa- 
sional but frequent excess of supply 
above demand in an article supplied by 



stealing ; or its destruction when the 
sale is not without risk, and the price 
extremely low? or the readiness of 
grandees to turn the excess of their 
game into fish or poultry ? . All these 
circumstances appear to us so natural 
and so likely, that we should, without 
any evidence, have had Uttle doubt of 
their existence. There are a few 
absurdities in the evidence of one of 
the poulterers ; but, with this excep- 
tion, we see no reason whatever for 
impugning the credibility and exact- 
ness of the mass of testimony prepared 
by the Committee. 

It is utterly impossible to teach the 
common people to respect property in 
animals bred the possessor knows not 
where — ^which he cannot recognise by 
any mark, which may leave him the 
next moment, which are kept-, not for 
his profit, but for his amusement. 
Opinion never will be in favour of such 
property : if the animus furandi exists, 
the propensity will be gratified by 
poaching. It is in vain to increase the 
severity of the protecting laws. They 
make the case weaker instead of 
stronger : and are more resisted and 
worse executed, exactly in proportion 
as they are contrary to public opinion : 
—the case of the game laws is a memo- 
rable lesson upon the philosophy of 
legislation. If a certain degree of 
punishment does not cure the offence, 
it is supposed by the Bankes' School, 
that there is nothing to be done but 
to multiply this punishment by two, 
and then again and again, till the 
object is accomplished. The efficient 
maximum of punishment, however, is 
not what the Legislature chooses to 
enact, hut what the great mass of man' 
kind think the maximum ought to be. 
The moment the punishment passes 
this Rubicon, it becomes less and less, 
instead of greater and greater. Juries 
and Magistrates will not commit — 
informers* are afraid of public indig- 

* There is a remarkable instance of this 
in the new Turnpike Act. The penalty for 
taking more than the legal number of out- 
side passengers is ten pounds per head, if 
the coachman is in part or wholly the owner. 
This \rill rarely be levied ; because it is too 
much. A penalty of 1002. would produce 
perfect impunity. The mMimnm of prao- 



30 



GAME LAWS. 



nation — ^poachers will not sobitfit to be 
sent to Botany Bay without a battle — 
blood is shed for pheasants — the public 
attention is called to this preposterous 
state of the law — and even ministers 
(whom nothing pesters so much as the 
interests of humanity) are at last com- 
pelled to come forward and do what is 
right. Apply this to the game laws. 
It was before penal to sell game : 
within these few years it has been 
made penal to buy it. From the 
scandalous cruelty of the law, night 
poachers are transported for scTen 
years. And yet, never was so much 
game sold, or such a spirit of ferocious 
resistance excited to the laws. One 
fourth of all the commitments in Great 
Britain are for offences against the 
game laws. There is a general feeling 
that some alteration must take place — 
a feeling not only among Reviewers, 
who never see nor eat game, but 
among the double-barrelled, shot- 
belted members of the House of Com- 
mons, who are either alarmed or 
disgusted by the vice and misery which 
their cruel laws and childish passion 
for amusement are spreading among 
the lower orders of mankind. 

It is said, ** In spite of all the game 
sold, there is game enough left ; let 
the laws therefore remain as they are i*^ 
and so it was said formerly, ** There is 
SDgar enough ; let the slave trade 
remain as it is.*' But at what expense 
of human happiness is this quantity of 
game or of sugar, and this state of 
poacher law and slave law to remain 1 
The first object of a good government 
is not that rich men should have their 
pleasures in perfection, but that all 
orders of men should be good and 
happy ; and if crowded covies and 
chuckling cock-pheasants are only to 
be procured by encouraging the com- 
mon people in vice, and leading them 
into cruel and disproportionate punish- 
ment, it is the duty of the Government 
to restrain the cruelties which the 
country members, in reward for their 

tical severity would have been about five 

I)oundB. Any magistrate would cheerfully 
evy this sum ; while doubling it will pro- 
duce reluctance in the Judge, resistance in 
the culprit, and unwiUingness iu the in- 
. former. 



assiduous loyalty, have been allowed to 
introduce into the game laws. 

The plan of the new bill (long since 
anticipated, in all its provisions, by the 
acute author of the pamphlet before 
us), is, that the public at large should 
be supplied by persons licensed by 
magistrates, and that all qualified per- 
sons should be permitted to sell their 
game to these licensed distributors ; and 
there seems a fair chance that such a 
plan would succeed. The questions are, 
Would sufficient game come into the 
hands of the licensed salesman ? 
Would the licensed salesman confine 
himself to the purchase of ganie from 
qualified persons ? Would buyers of 
game purchase elsewhere than from the 
licensed salesmen ? Would the poacher 
be undersold by the honest dealer? 
Would game remain in the same 
plenty as before ? It is understood 
that the game laws are to remain as 
they are ; with this only dificrence, 
that the qualified man can sell to the 
licensed man, and the licentiate to the 
public. 

It seems probable to us, that vast 
quantities of game would, after a 
little time, find their way into the hands 
of licensed poulterers. Great people 
are very often half eaten up by their 
establishments. The quantity of game 
killed in a lai^e shooting party is very 
great: to eat it is impossible, and to 
dispose of it in presents very trouble- 
some. The preservation of game is 
very expensive ; and, when it could be 
bought, it would be no more a com- 
pliment to send it as a present than it 
would be to send geese and fowls. If 
game were sold, very large shooting 
establishments might be made to pay^ 
their own expenses. The shame is 
made by the law ; there is a disgrace 
in being detected and fined. If that 
barrier were removed, superfluous 
partridges would go to the poulterers 
as readily as superfluous venison does 
to the venison butcher — or as a gentle- 
man sells the corn and mutton off his 
farm which he cannot consume. For 
these reasons, we do -not doubt that 
the shops of licensed poulterers would 
be full of game in the season ; and this 
part of the argument, we think, the arch- 



GAME LAW& 



31 



enemj, Sir John Shelley, himself would 
concede to ns. 

The next question is, From whence 
would they procore it ? A licence for 
selling game, granted by conntry 
magistrates, would, from their jealousy 
upon these subjects, be granted only 
to persons of some respectability and 
property. The purchase of game from 
unqualified persons would, of course, 
be guarded against by very heavy 
penalties, both personal and pecuniary ; 
and these penalties would be inflicted, 
because opinion would go with them. 
** Here is a respectable tradesman,** it 
would be said, " who might have bought 
as much game as he pleased in a lawful 
manner, but who, in order to increase 
his profits by buying it a little cheaper, 
has encouraged a poacher to steal it" 
Public opinion, therefore, would cer- 
tainly be in favour of a very strong 
punishment ; and a licensed vendor of 
game, who exposed himself to these 
risks, would expose himself to the loss 
of liberty, property, character, and 
licence. The persons interested to put 
a stop to such a practice, would not be 
the paid agents •f Government, as in' 
cases of smuggling ; but aH the gentle- 
men of the country, the customers of 
theftradesmen for fish, poultry, or what- 
ever else he dealt in, would have an 
interest in putting down the practice. 
In all probability, the practice would 
become disreputable, like the purchase 
of stolen poultry ; and this would be 
a stronger barrier than the strongest 
laws. There would, of course, be some 
exceptions to this statement A few 
shabby people would, for the chance of 
gaining sixpence, incur the risk of ruin 
and disgrace; but it is probable that 
the general practice would be othe rwise. 

For the same reasons, the consumers 
of game would rather give a little more 
for it to a licensed poulterer, than 
expose themselves to severe penalties by 
purchasing from poachers. The great 
mass of London consumers are sup- 
plied now, not from shabby people, in 
whom they can have no confidence — 
not from hawkers and porters, but 
from respectable tradesmen, in whose 
probity they have the most perfect 
confidence Men will brave the law 



for pheasants, but not for sixpence or 
a shilling; and the law itself is much 
more difficult to be braved, when it 
allows pheasants to be bought at some 
price, th^n when it endeavours to 
render them utterly inaccessible to 
wealth. All the licensed salesmen, 
too, would have a direct interest in 
stopping the contraband trade of game. 
They would lose no character in doing 
SO; their informations would be 
reasonable and respectable. 

If all this be true, the poacher would 
have to compete with a great mass of 
game fairly and honestly poured into 
the market. He would be selling with 
a rope about his neck, to a person who 
bought with a rope about his neck ; his 
description of customers would be much 
the same as the bustomers for stolen 
poultry, and his profits would be very 
materially abridged. At present, the 
poacher is in the same situation as the 
smuggler would be, if rum and brandy 
could not be purchased of any fair 
trader. The great check to the profits 
of the smuggler are, that, if you want 
his commodities, and will pay a higher 
price, you may have them elsewhere 
without the risk of disgrace. But forbid 
the purchase of these luxuries at any 
price. Shut up the shop of the brandy 
merchant, and you render the trade of 
the smuggler of incalculable value. 
The object of the intended bill is, to 
raise up precisely the same competition 
to the trade of the poacher, by giving 
the public an opportunity of buying 
lawfully and honestly the tempting 
articles in which he now deals exclu- 
sively. Such an improvement would 
not, perhaps, altogether annihilate his 
trade ; but it would, in all probability, 
act as a very material check upon it 

The predominant argument against 
all this is, that the existing prohibition 
against buying game, though partially 
violated, does deter many persons 
from coming into the market ; that if 
this prohibition were removed, the 
demand for game would be increased, 
the legal supply would be insufficient, 
and the residue would, and mast be, 
supplied by the poacher, whose trade 
would, for these reasons, be as lucrative 
and fiourishing as before. But it is 



32 



CRUEL TREATMENT OF 



only a few jears since the purchase of 
}raine has been made illegal ; and the 
market does not appear to have been 
at all narrowed by the prohibition ; not 
one head of game the less has been 
sold by the poulterers ; and scarcely 
one single conviction has taken place 
imder that law. How, then, would the 
removal of the prohibition, and the 
alteration of the law, extend the market, 
and increase the demand, when the 
enactment of the prohibition has had 
no effect in narrowing it? But if the 
demand increases, why not the legal 
supply also ? Game is increased upon 
an estate by feeding them in winter, by 
making some abatement to the tenants 
for guarding against depredations, by 
a large apparatus of game-keepers and 
spies — in short by expense. But if 
this pleasure of shooting, so natural to 
country gentlemen, be inade to pay its 
own expenses, by sending superfluous 
game to market, more men, it is rea- 
sonable to suppose, will thus preserve 
and augment their game. The love 
of pleasure and amusement will pro- 
duce in the owners of game that desire 
to multiply game, which the love of 
gain does in the farmer to multiply 
poultry. Many gentlemen of small 
fortune will remember, that they can- 
not enjoy to any extent this pleasure 
without this resource; that the legal 
sale of game will discountenance 
poaching ; and they will open an ac- 
count with the poulterer, not to get 
richer, but to^ enjoy a great pleasure 
without an expense, in which, upon 
other terms, they could not honourably 
and conscientiously indulge. If coun- 
try gentlemen of moderate fortune will 
do this (and we think after a little time 
they will do it), game may be multi- 
plied and legally supplied to any ex- 
tent. Another keeper, and another 
bean-stack, will produce their pro- 
portional supply of pheasants. The 
only reason why the great lord has 
more game per acre than the little 
squire, is, that he spends more money 
per acre to preserve it. 

For these reasons, we think the 
experiment of legalising the sale of 
game ought to be tried. The game 
laws have been carried to a pitch of 



oppression which is a disgrace to the 
country. The prisons are half 'filled 
with peasants shut up for the irregular 
slaughter of rabbits and birds — a 
sufficient reason for kilUng a weasel, 
but not for imprisoning a man. Some- 
thing should be done ; it is disgraceful 
to a Grovemment to stand by, and see 
such enormous evils without . inter- 
ference. It is true, they are not con- 
nected with the struggles of party : 
but still, the happiness of the common 
people, whatever gentleqien may say, 
ought everv now and then to be con- 
sidered. 



CRUEL TREATMENT fOP UN- 
TRIED PRISONERS. 
(E. Review, 1824.) 

1. A Letter to the Sight HonowrabUBobert 
Peel, one qf His Mc^jesty's Principal Se- 
cretariea qf State, ^e. dte. dbc. on Prison 
Idtbour. By John Headlam, M Jl, Chair- 
man of the Quarter SessionB for the North 
Riding of the Goonly of York. London, 

. Hatchard and Son. 182S. 

2. Information and Observations, respect- 
ing the proposed Improvements at York 
Castle, Printed by Order of the Com* 
mittee of Magistrates, September, 182S. 

It has been the practice all over Eng- 
land, for these last fifty years*, not to 
compel prisoners to work before guilt 
was proved. Within these last three 
or four years, however, the magistrates 
of the North Riding of Yorkshire, con- 
sidering it improper to support any 
idle person at the county expense, have 
resolved, that prisoners committed to the 
House of Correction for trial, and re- 
quiring county support, should work 
for their livelihood ; and no sooner was 
the tread-mill brought into fashion, than 
that machine was adopted in the North 
Riding as the species of labour by which 
such prisoners were to earn their main- 
tenance. If these magistrates did not 
consider themselves empowered to bur- 
den the county rates for the support 
of prisoners before trial, who would not 
contribute to support themselves, it does 
not appear, from the publication of the 
Reverend Chairman of the Sessions, 

* Headlam, p. 8. 



UNTRIED PRISONERS. 



that anj opinions of Counsel were taken 
as to the legality of so patting prisoners 
to work, or of refosiog them mainten- 
ance if they choose to be idle ; but the 
magistrates themselves decided that 
such was the law of the land. Thirty 
miles off, however, the law of the land 
was differently interpreted ; and in the 
Castle of York large snms were annu- 
ally expended in the maintenance of 
idle prisoners before trial, and paid by 
the different Ridings, without remons- 
trance or resistance.* 

Such was the state of affairs in the 
county of York before the enactment 
of the recent prison bill After that 
period, enlargements and alterations 
were necessary in the county jail ; and 
it was necessary also for these arrange- 
ments, that the magistrates should know 
whether or not they were authorised to 
maintain such prisoners at the expense 
of the county, as, being accounted able 
and unwilling to work, still claimed 
the county allowance. To questions 
proposed upoil these points to three 
barristers the following answers were 
returned: — 

" 2nd]y, I am of opinion, that the magis- 
trates are empowexed, and are compelled 
to maintain, at the expense of the county, 
such prisoners h^ore trial as are able to 
work, unable to maintain themselves, and 
not willing to work; and that they have 
not the power of compelling such prisoners 
to work, either at the tr^-mill, or any 
other species of labour. 

" J. GmUTBT. 

** Littcoln't Inn Fidda^ 2nd September, 
1823." 

" I think the magistrates are empowered, 
under the tenth section (explained hy the 
37th and 38th) to maintain prisoners before 
trial, who are able to work, unable to main- 
tain themselves by their own means, or by 
employment which they themselves can 
procure, and not willing to work ; and I 
think also, that the words * shskll be law- 
ful,' in that section, do not leave them a 



* We mention the case of the North Si- 
ding, to convince our readers that the prac- 
tice of condemning prisoners to work before 
trial has existed in some parts of England ; 
for in questions like this we have always 
found it more difficult to prove the exist- 
ence of the facts, than to prove that they 
were mischievous and unjust, 

Vol IL 



33 

discretion on the subject, but are compul- 
sory. Such prisoners can only be employed 
in prison labour with their own cotuent; 
and it cannot be intended that the Justices 
may force such consent by withholding 
from them the necessaries of life, if thQr4o 
not give it. Even those who are convicted 
cannot be employed at the tread-mill, which 
I consider as a species of severe labour. 

" J. Pjlbee. 
" September Wi, 1823." 

" 2nd]y, As to the point of compelling pri- 
soners confined on criminal charges, and 
receiving relief from the magistrates, to 
reasonable labour; to that of the tread- 
mill, for instance, in which, when properly 
conducted, there is nothing severe or un- 
reasonable ; had the question arisen prior 
to the late Act, I should with confidence 
have said, I thought the magistrates had a 
compulsory power in this respect. Those 
who cannot hve without relief in a jail, 
carmot live without labour out of it. Labour 
then is their avocation. Nothing is so in- 
jurious to the morals and habits of the pri- 
soner as the indolence prevalent in prisons ; 
nothing so injurious to good order in the 
prison. The analogy between this and 
other cases of public support is exceed- 
ingly strong ; one may almost consider it 
a general principle that those who live at 
the charge of the community shall, as tax 
as they are able, give the community a 
compensation through their labour. But 
the question does not depend 'on mere ab- 
stract reasoning. The stat. 19 Ch. 2. c. 4. 
sect. 1. entitled, ui * Act for Belief of poor 
Prisoners, and setting them on work,' 
speaks of persons committed for felony and 
other misdemeanours to the common jail 
who many times perish h^ore trial; and 
then proceeds as to setting poor prisoners 
on work. Then stat. 31 G. 3. c. 46. sect. 13. 
orders money to be raised for such prison- 
ers of every description, as, being confined 
within the said jails, or other places of con^ 
finement, are not able to work. A late stat. 
(52 G. 8. 0. 160.) orders parish relief to such 
debtors on mesne process in jails, notcounty 
jails, as are not able to support themselves ; 
but says nothing of finding or compelling 
work. Could it be doubted, that if the 
Justices were to provide work, and the 
prisoner refused it, such debtors might, 
like any other parish paupers, be refUsed 
the relief mentioned by the statute? In 
aJl the above cases, the authority to insist 
on the prisoner's labour, as the condition 
and consideration of relief granted him, is, 
I think, either expressed or necessarily 
implied : and, thus viewing the subject, I 
think it was in the newer of magistrate^ 

D 



i 



34 

prior to the late statute, to compel pri- 
flonen, nibaisting in all or in part onpubhc 
relief, to work at the tread-mill. The ob- 
jection commonly made ia, that prisoners, 
prior to trial, are to be accounted innocent, 
and to be detained, merely that they m^ 
be secured for trial; to this the answer is 
obnous, that the labour is neither meant 
as a punishment, or a disgrace, but simply 
as a compensation for the relief, at their 
own request, afforded them. Under the 
present statute, I, however, have no doubt 
that poor prisoners are entitled to public 
support, and that there can be no compul- 
sory labour prior to triaL The two statutes 
adverted to (19 Ch. 2. c. 4. and 81 G. 8.) are. 
as &r as this subject is concerned, expressly 
repealed. The Legislature then had in 
contemplation the existing power of magis- 
trates to order labour before trial, and 
having it in contemplation, repeals it ; sub- 
stituting (sect. 88.) a power of setting to 
labour onhf sentenced pereons. The 13th 
rule, too. (p. 777.) speaks of labour as con- 
nected with convicted prisoners, and sect. 
87. speaks in general terms of persons com- 
mitted for trial, as labouring with their own 
'consent. In opposition to these clauses, I 
think it impossible to speak of implied 
power, or power founded on general reason- 
ing or analogy. Sostrong,however,apethe 
arguments in favour of a more extended 
authority in Justices of the Peace, that it 
is scarcely to be doubted, that Parliament, 
on a calm revision of the subject, would be 
willing to restore, in a more distinct man- 
ner than it has hitherto been enacted, a 
general discretion on the subject. Were 
this done, there is one observation I will 
venture to make, which is, that should 
some unfortunate association of ideas ren- 
der the tread-mill a matter of ignominy to 
common feelings, an enlightened magis- 
tracy would scarcely compel an untried 
prisoner to a species of labour which would 
disgrace him in his own mind, and in that 
of the public. ^ 

" S. W. NiOOLL. 

** York, August mh, 1328.** 

In consequence, we believe, of these 
opinions, the North Riding magistrates, 
on the 13th of October (the new bill 
commencing on the Ist of September), 
passed the following resolution : — 
*'Tbat persons committed for trial, who 
are able to work, and have the means 
of employment offered them by the 
visiting magistrates, by which they may 
earn their support, but who obstinately 
refuse to work, shall be allowed bread 
and water only.** 



CfiUEL TREATMENT OF 

By this resolution they admit, of 
course, that the counsel are right in 
their interpretation of the present law; 
and that magistrates are forced to 
maintain prisoners before trial who do 
not choose to work. The magistrates 
say, howeyer, by their resolution, that 
the food shall be of the plainest and 
humblest kind, bread and water; mean- 
ing, of course, that snch prisoners 
should have a sufficient quantity of 
bread and water, or otherwise the eva- 
sion of the law would be in the highest 
degree mean and reprehensible. But 
it is impossible to suppose any sach 
thing to be intended by gentlemen so 
highly respectable. Their intention is 
not that idle persons before trial shall 
starve, but that they shall have barely 
enough of the plainest food for the 
support of life and health. 

Mr. Headlam has written a pamphlet 
to show that the old law was very 
reasonable and proper ; that it is quite 
right that prisoners before trial, who 
are able to support themselves, but un- 
willing to work, should be compelled 
to work, and at the tread-mill, or that 
all support should be refused them. 
We are entirely of an opposite opinion : 
and maintain that ^ it is neither legal 
nor expedient to compel prisoners be- 
fore trial to work at the tread-mill, or 
at any species of labour, and that those 
who refuse to work should be supported 
upon a plain healthy diet. We impute 
no sort of blame to the magistrates of 
the North Riding, or to Mr. Headlam, 
their Chairman. We have no doubt 
but that they thought their measures 
the wisest and the best for correcting 
evil, and that they adopted them in 
pursuance of what they thought to be 
their duty. Nor do we enter into any 
discussion with Mr. Headlam, as Chair- 
man of a Quarter Sessions, but as the 
writer of a pamphlet. It is only in 
his capacity of author that we have 
anything to do with him. In answer-* 
ing the arguments of Mr. Headlam, we 
shall notice at the same time, a few 
other observations commonly resorted 
to in defence of a system which we be*- 
lieve to be extremely pernicious, and 
pregnant with the worst consequences ; 
and so thinking, we contend against it. 



UNTRIED PRISONERS. 

« 

and in support of the law as it now 
stands. 

We will not dispute with Mr. Head- 
lam, whether his exposition of the old 
law he right or wrong ; because time 
cannot be more unprofitably employed 
than in hearing gentlemen wbd are not 
lawyers discuss points of law. We 
dare to say Mr. Headlam knows as 
much of the laws of his country as 
magistrates in general do ; but he will 
pardon us for believing, that for the 
moderate sum of three guineas a much 
better opinion of what the law is now, 
or was then, can be purchased, than it 
is in the power of Mr. Headlam or of 
anj county magistrate, to give for 
nothing — CuUibet in arte sua creden-- 
dum est It is concerning the expe- 
diencj of such laws, and upon that 
point alone, that we are at issue with 
Mr. Headlam ; and do not let this gen- 
tleman suppose it to be any answer to 
our remarks to state what is done in 
the prison in which he is concerned, 
now the law is altered. The question 
is, whether he is right or wrong in his 
resisoning upon what the law ought to be ; 
we wish to hold out such reasoning to 
public notice, and think it important 
it should berefnted — doubly important 
when it comes from an author, the 
leader of the Quorum, who may say 
with the pious JSneas,— 



■ Quasque ipse miserrima vidi. 



Et quorum pars magna fui. 

If, in this discussion, we are forced to 
insist upon the plainest and most ele- 
mentary truths, the faalt is not with 
us, but with those who forget them ; 
and who refuse to be any longer re- 
strained by those principles which have 
hitherto been held to be as clear as they 
are important to hnman happiness. 
• To begin, then, with the nominative 
case and the verb — we must remind 
those advocates for the treadmill, a 
parte ante (for with the, millers a parte, 
poet we have no quarrel), that it is one 
of the oldest maxims of common sense, 
common humanity, and common law, 
to consider every man as innocent till 
he is proved to be guilty ; and not only 
to consider him to be innocent, but to 
treat him as if he were so ; to exercise 



85 
upon his case not merely a barren 
speculation, but one whidi produces 
practical effects, and which secures to 
a prisoner the treatment of an honest, 
unpunished man. Now, to compel pri- 
soners before trial to work at the tread* 
mill, as the condition of their support, 
must, in a great number of instances, 
operate as a very severe punishment. 
A prisoner may be a tailor, a watch- 
maker, a bookbinder, a printer, totally 
nnaccQstomed to any such species of 
labour. Such a man may be cast into 
jail at the end of August"*^, and not 
tried till the March following; is it no 
punishment to such a man to walk up 
hill like a turnspit dog, in an infamous 
machine, for six months ? and yet there 
are genUemen who suppose that the 
conmion people do not consider this 
as punishment ! — that the gayest and 
most joyous of human beings is a 
treader, untried by a jnxy of his coun- 
trymen, in the fifth month of lifting up 
the leg, and striving against the law of 
gravity, supported by the glorious in- 
formation which he receives from the 
turnkey, that he has all the time been 
grinding flour on the other side of the 
wall ! If this sort of exercise, neces- 
sarily painful to sedentary persons, is 
agreeable to persons accustomed to 
labour, then make it volantary — give 
the prisoners their choice— give more 
money and more diet to those who can 
and will labour at the tread-mill, if 
the tread-mill (now so dear to magis- 
trates) is a proper punishment for 
untried prisoners. The position we are 
contending against is, that alf poor 
prisoners who are able to work should 
be put to work upon the tread-mill, 
the inevitable consequence of which 
practice is, a repetition of gross injus- 
tice by the infliction of undeserved 
punishment ; for punishment, and se- 
vere punishment, to such persons as we 
have enumerated, we must consider it 
to be. 

* Mr. Headlam^ as we understand him, 
would extend this labour to all poor pri- 
soners before trial, in jails which are deli- 
vered twice a year at the Assizes, as well as 
to Houses of Correction delivered four 
times a year at the Sessions ; i.0. not extend 
the labour, but refuse all support to those 
who refuse the labour — a distinction, but 
not a difference. 

D 2 



A 



S6 



But punishments are not merely to 
be estimated by pain to the limbs, but 
by the feelings of the mind. Gentle- 
men punishers are sometimes apt to 
forget that the conmion people have 
any mental feelings at all, and think, 
if body and belly are attended to, that 
.persons under a certain income have 
.no right to likes and dislikes. The 
labour of the tread-mill is irksome, 
doll, monotonous, and disgusting to 
the last degree. A man does not see 
his work, does not know what he is 
doing, what progress he is making ; 
there is no room for art, contrivance, 
ingenuity, and superior skill — all which 
are the cheering circumstances of hu- 
roan labour. The husbandman sees 
the field gradually subdued by the 
plough ; the smith beats the rude mass 
of iron by degrees into its meditated 
shape, and gives it a meditated utility ; 
the tailor accommodates his parallelo- 
gram of cloth to the lumps and bumps 
of the human body, and, holding it up, 
exclaims, ** This will contain the lower 
moiety of a human being/' Bat the 
treader does nothing but tread ; he sees 
no change of objects, admires no new 
relation of parts, imparts no new quali- 
ties to matter, and gives to it no new 
arrangements and positions ; or, if he 
does, he sees and knows it not, but is 
turned at once from a rational being, 
by a justice of peace, into a primum 
mobile, and put upon a level with a rush 
of water or a puff of steam. It is im- 
possible to get gentlemen to attend to 
the distinction between raw and roasted 
prisoners, without which all discussion 
on prisoners is perfectly ridiculous. 
Nothing can be more excellent than 
this kind of labour for persons to whom 
you mean to make labour as irksome 
as possible ; but for this very reason, 
it is the labour to which an untried 
prisoner ought not to be put. 

It is extremely uncandid to say that 
a man is obstinately and incorrigibly 
idle, because he wiU not submit to such 
tiresome and detestable labour as that 
of the tread-mill. It is an old feeling 
among Englishmen that there is a 
difference between tried and untried 
persons, between accused and 
victed 



CBUEL TREATMENT OP 

were in fashion before this new magis- 
trate's plaything was inrented ; and 
we are convinced that many indus- 
trious persons, feeling that they have 
not had their trial, and disgusted with 
the nature of the labour, would refuse 
to work at the tread-mill, who would 
not be averse to join in any commoa 
and fair occupation. Mr. Headlam 
says, that labour may be a privilege as 
well as a punishment So nuiy taking 
physic be a privilege, in cases where it 
ifl asked for as a diaritable relief, but 
not if it is stuffed down a man's throat 
whether he say yea or nay. Certainly 
labour is not necessarily a punishment ; 
nobody has said it is so ; but Mr. 
Headlam's labour is a punishment, 
because it is irksome, infamous, un- 
asked for, and undeserved. This gen- 
tleman however observes, that com- 
mitted persons have cffended the laws; 
and the sentiment expressed in these 
words is the true key to his pamphlet 
and his system — a perpetual tendency 
to confound the convicted and the 
accused. 



con- 



"With respect to those sentenced to 
labour as a punishment, I apprehend there 
is no di£ferenoe of opinion. All are agreed 
that it is a great defect in any prison where 
such convicts are unemployed. But as to 
all other prisoners, whether debtors, per- 
sons committed for trial, or convicts not 
sentenced to hard labour, if they have no 
means of subsisting themselves, and must, 
if dischai^d, either laboiur for their liveli- 
hood or apply for parochial relief; it seems 
unf&ir to society at lai^, and especiidly to 
those who maintain themselves by honest 
industry, that those who, by offending the 
laeot, have subjected themselves to imprp- 
sonment, should be lodged, and clothed, and 
fed^jrithout being called upon for the same 
exertions which others have to use to obtain 
such advantages."— (fltftuUam, pp. 28, 24.) 

Now nothing can be more unfair 
than to say that such men have of- 
fended the laws. That is the very 
question to be tried, whether they have 
offended the laws or not ? It is merely 
because this little circumstance is taken 
for granted, that we have any quarrel 
at all with Mr. Headlam and his schooL 



" I can make," says Mr. Headlam, " every 

delicate consideration for the rare case of a 

persons. These old opinions 1 person perfectly innooent being committed 



UNTRIED PRISONERS. 



37 



to jail on suapieioii of crime. Snch person 
is deservedly an object of oompaasion, for 
having fallen under circumstances which 
subject him to be charged witii crime, and, 
consequently, to be deprived of his liberty: 
but if he has been in the habit of labouring 
for his bread before his commitment, there 
does not appear to be any addition to his 
misfortune in being called upon to work 
for his subsistence in prison."— {Seadlam, 
p. 24.) 

And yet Mr. Headlam describes this 
▼ery pnnishment, which does not add 
to the misfortunes of an innocent man, 
to be generally disagreeable, to he duU, 
irksotne, to excite a strong disliket to be a 
duQ, monotonous labour^ to be a contriv- 
ance which connects the idea of diseont' 
fort with a jail (p. 36.). So that Mr. 
Headlam looks upon it to be no in- 
crease of an innocent man's misfor- 
tunes, to be constantly employed npon 
a dull, irksome, monotonous laboar, 
which excites a strong dislike, and 
connects the idea of discomfort with a 
jaiL We cannot stop, or stoop to con- 
sider, whether beating hemp is more or 
less dignified than working in a mill. 
The simple rule is this,— whatever 
felons do> men not yet proved to be 
felons should not be compelled to do. 
It is of no use to look into laws become 
obsolete by alteration of manners. For 
these fifty years past, and before the 
invention of tread-mills, untried men 
were not put npon felons' work ; but 
with the miU came in the mischief. 
Mr. Headlam asks, How can men be 
employed upon the ancient trades in 
a prison ? — certainly they cannot ; but 
are human occupations so few, and is 
the ingenuity of magistrates and jailers 
so limited, that no occupations can be 
found for innocent men, but those which 
are shameful and odious ? Does Mr. 
Headlam really believe, that grown up 
and baptized persons are to be satisfied 
with such arguments, or repelled by 
snch difficulties. 

It is some compensation to an ac- 
quitted person, that the labour be has 
gone through unjustly in jail has taught 
him some trade, given him an insight 
into some species of labour in which he 
may hereafter improve himself; but 
Mr. Headlam's prisoner, after a verdict 
of acquittal, has learnt no other art 



than that of walking up hiU ; he has 
nothing to rememl^r or recompense 
him but three months of undeserved 
ftnd unprofitable torment* The verdict 
of the Jury has pronounced him steady 
in his morals ; Uie conduct of the Jus- 
tices has made him stiff in his joints. 

But it is next contended by some 
persons, that the poor prisoner is not 
compelled to work, because he has the 
alternative of starving if he refuses to 
work. Ton take up a poor man upon 
suspicion, deprive him of all his usual 
methods of getting his livelihood, and 
then giving him the first view of the 
tread-mill, he of the Quorum thus ad- 
dresses him: — ** My amiable friend, 
we use no compulsion with untried 
prisoners. Yon are free as air till 
yon are found guilty ; only it is my 
duty to inform yon, as you have no 
money of your own, that the disposi- 
tion to eat and drink which you have 
allowed you sometimes feel, and upon 
which I do not mean to cast any degree 
of censure, cannot possibly be gratified 
bnt by constant grinding in this ma« 
chine. It has its inconveniences, I 
admit ; but balance them against the 
total want of meat and drink^ and de« 
cide for yourself. You are perfectly 
at liberty to make your choice, and I 
by no means wish to influence your 
judgment." Bat Mr. Nicoll has a 
curious remedy for all this miserable 
tyranny; he says it is not meant as a 
pnnishment. But if I am conscious that 
I never have committed the offehce, 
certain that I have never been found 
guilty of it, and find myself tost into 
Uie middle of an infernal machine, by 
the folly of those who do not know 
how to use the power intrusted to 
them, is it any consolation to me to be 
told, that it is not intended as a punish-* 
ment,that it is a lucubration of Justices, 
a new theory of prison-discipline, a va- 
luable county experiment going on at 
the expense of my arms, legs, back, 
feelings, character, and rights? We 
must tie those prsBgustant punishers 
down by one questioui Do you mean 
to inflict any degree of punishment 
upon persons merely for being sas- 
pected ? — or at least any other degree 
of punishment than that without which 

D 3 



38 



CRUBL TREATMENT OF 



criminal justice cannot exist, detention? 
If 70a do, why let anyone ont upon 
baU ? For the question between us is 
not, bow suspected persons are to be 
treated, and whether or not they are to 
be punished ; but how suspected poor 
persons are to be treated, who want 
county support in prison. If to be 
suspected is deserving of punishment, 
then no man ought to be let ont upon 
bail, but every one should be kept 
grinding from accusation to trial ; and 
so ought all prisoners to be treated for 
offences not bailable, and who do not 
want the county allowance. And yet no 
grinding philosopher contends, that all 
suspected persons should be put in the 
mill — but only those who are too poor 
to find bail, or buy proTisions. 

If there are, according to the doc> 
trines of the millers, to be two punish- 
ments, the first for being suspected of 
committing the offence, and the second 
for committing it, there should be two 
trials as well as two punishments. Is 
the man really suspected, or do his 
accusers only pretend to inspect him ? 
Are the suspecting of better character 
than the suspected ? Is it a light sus- 
picion which may be atoned for by 
grinding a peck a day ? Is it a bushel 
case ? or is it one deeply criminal, 
which requires the flour to be ground 
fine enough for French rolls ? But we 
must put an end to such absurdities. 

It is very untruly stated, that a pri- 
soner, before trial, not compelled to 
work, and kept upon a plain diet, 
merely sufficient to maintain him in 
health, is better off than he was pre- 
vious to his accusation ; and it is asked, 
with a triumphant leer, whether the 
situation of any man ought to be im- 
proved, merely because he has become 
an object of suspicion to his fellow- 
creatures ? This happy and fortunate 
man, however, is separated from his 
wife and family ; his liberty is taken 
away ; he is confined within four walls; 
he has'the refiection that his family are 
existing upon a precarious parish sup- 
port, that his little trade and property 
are wasting, that his character has 
become infamous, that he has incurred 
ruin by the malice of others, or by his 
own crimes, that in a few weeks he b 



to forfeit his life, or be banished from 
everything he loves upon earth. This 
is the improved situation, and the re- 
dundant happiness which requires the 
penal circumvolutions of the Justice's 
mill to cut off so unjust .a balance of 
gratification, and bring him a little 
nearer to what he was before impri- 
sonment and accusation. It would be 
just as reasonable to say, that an idle 
man in a fever is better off than a 
healthy man who is well and earns his 
bread. He may be better off if you 
look to the idleness alone, though that 
is doubtful; but is he better off if all 
the aches, agonies, disturbances, deli- 
riums, and the nearness to death, tcre 
added to the lot ? 

Mr. Headlam's panacea for all pri- 
soners before trial, is the tread-mill: 
we beg bis pardon — for all poor pri- 
soners; but a man who is about to be 
tried for his life, often wants all lua 
leisure time to reflect upon his defence. 
The exertions of every man within the 
walls of a prison are necessarily crip- 
pled and impaired. What can a pri- 
soner answer who is taken hot and 
reeking from the tread-mill, and asked 
what he has to say in bis defence? 
his answer naturally is — ''I have been 
grinding com instead of thinking of 
my defence, and have never been al- 
lowed the proper leisure to think of 
protecting my character and my life.** 
This is a very strong feature of cruelty 
and tyranny in the mill We ought to 
be sure that every man ^has had the 
fullest leisure to prepare for his de- 
fence, that his mind and body have 
not been harassed by vexatious and 
compulsory employment The publio 
purchase, at a great price, legal ac- 
curacy, and legal talent, to accuse a 
man who has not, perhaps, one shilling 
to spend upon his defence. It is atro- 
cious cruelty not to leave him full 
leisure to write his scarcely legible 
letters to his witnesses, and to use all 
the melancholy and feeble means which 
suspected poverty can employ for its 
defence against the long and heavy 
arm of power. 

A prisoner, upon the system recom- 
mended by Mr. Headlam, is committed, 
perhaps at the end of August, and 



UNTRIED PRISONERS. 



39 



brought to trial the March following ; 
and, after all, the bill is either thrown 
oat by the grand jury, or the prisoner 
is fall/ acquitted; and it has been 
found, we belieye, by actual returns, 
that, of committed prisoners, about a 
half are actually acquitted, or their ac- 
cusations dismissed by the grand jury. 
This may be very true, say the adro- 
cates of this system, but we know that 
many men who are acquitted are guilty. 
They escape through some mistaken 
lenity of the law, or some corruption 
of evidence ; and as they have not 
had their deserved punishment after 
trial, we are not sorry they had it 
before. The English law says, better 
many guilty escape, than that one in- 
nocent man perish; but the humane 
notions of the mill are bottomed upon 
the principle, that all had better be 
punished lest any escape. They evince 
a total mistrust in the jurisprudence of 
the country, and say the results of trial 
are so uncertain, that it is better to 
punish all the prisoners before they 
come into Court Mr. Headlam forgets 
that general rules are not beneficial in 
each individual instance, but beneficial 
upon the whole; that they are preserved 
becaase they do much more good than 
harm, though in some particular in- 
stances they do more harm than good ; 
yet no respectable man violates them 
on that account, but holds them sacred 
for the great balance of advantage they 
confer upon mankind. It is one of the 
greatest crimes, for instance, to take 
away the life of a man; yet there are 
many men whose death wotdd be a 
good to society, rather than an evil 
Every good man respects the property 
of others; yet to take from a worthless 
miser, and to give it to a virtuous man 
in distress, would be an advantage. 
Sensible men are never staggered when 
they see the exception. They know the 
importance of the rule, and protect it 
most eagerly at the very moment when 
it is doing more harm than good. The 
plain rule of justice is, that no man 
should be punished till he is found 
guilty; but because Mr. Headlam oc- 
casionally sees a bad man acquitted 
under this rale, and sent out un- 
punished upon the world, he forgets 



all the general good and safety of the 
principle is debauched by the excep- 
tion, and applauds and advocates a 
system of prison discipline which ren- 
ders injustice certain, in order to pre- 
vent it from being occasional. 

The meaning of all preliminary im- 
prisonment is, that the accused person 
should be forthcoming at the time of 
trial. It was never intended as a 
punishment Bail is a far better in- 
vention than imprisonment, in cases 
where the heavy punishment of the 
offence would not induce the accused 
person to run away from any bail 
Now, let us see the enormous differ- 
ence this new style of punishment 
makes between two men, whose only 
difference is, that one is poor and the 
other rich. A and B are accused of 
some bailable offence. A has no bail 
to offer, and no money to support 
himself in prison, and takes, therefore, 
his four or five months in the tread- 
mill. B gives bail, appears at his triaU 
and both are sentenced to two months* 
imprisonment. In this case, the one 
suffers three times as much as the other 
for the same offence : but suppose A 
is acquitted and B found guilty, — 
the innocent man has then laboured 
in the tread-mill five months bec-ause 
he was poor, and the guilty man labours 
two months because he was rich. We 
are aware that there must be, even 
without the tread-mill, a great and an 
inevitable difference between men (in 
pari delicto), some of whom can give 
bail, and some not ; but that difference 
becomes infinitely more bitter and ob- 
jectionable, in proportion as detention 
before trial assumes the character of 
severe and degrading punishment 

If motion in the tread-mill was other- 
wise as fascinating as millers describe 
it to be, still the mere degradation of 
the punishment is enough to revolt 
every feeling of an iintried person. It is 
a punishment consecrated to convicted 
felons — and it has every character that 
such punishment ought to have. An 
untried person feels at once, in getting 
into the mill, that he is put to the labour 
of the guilty ; that a mode of employ- 
ment has been selected for him, which 
renders him infamous before a single 

D 4 



40 



CRUEL TRBATifENT OF 



fact or argument has been advanced 
to establish his guilt. If men are put 
into the tread-mill before trial, it is 
literally of no sort of consequence 
whether they are acquitted or not. 
Acquittal does not shelter them from 
punishment, for they have already been 
punished. It does not screen them 
from infamy, for they have already 
been treated as if they were infamous ; 
and the association of the tread-miU 
and crimes is not to be got over. This 
machine flings all the power of Juries 
into the hands of the magistrates, and 
makes every simple commitment more 
terrible than a conviction ; for, in a 
conviction, the magistrate considers 
whether the offence has been committed 
or not ; and does not send the prisoner 
to jail unless he think him guilty ; but 
in a simple commitment, a man is not 
sent to jail because the magistrate is 
convinced of his guilt, but because he 
thinks a fair question may be made to 
a Jury whether the accused person is 
guilty or not. Still, however, the con- 
victed and the suspected both go to the 
same mill ; and he who is there upon 
the doubt, grinds as much flour as the 
other whose guilt is established by a 
full examination of conflicting evidence. 
Where is the necessity for such a vio- 
lation of common sense andx^ommon 
justice ? Nobody asks for the idle pri- 
soner before trial more than^a very 
plain and moderate diet. Offer him, 
if you please, some labour which is less 
irksome, and less infamous than the 
tread-mill, — bribe him by improved 
diet, and a share of the earnings ; there 
will not be three men out of an hun- 
dred who would refuse such an invita- 
tion, and spurn at such an improvement 
of their condition. A little humane 
attention and persuasion, among men 
who ought, upon every principle of jus- 
tice, to be considered as innocent, we 
should have thought much more con- 
sonant to English justice, and to the 
feelings of English magistrates, than 
the Rack and Wheel of Cubitt.* 

* It is singular enough, that we use these 
observations in reviewing the pamphlet 
and system of a gentleman remmable for 
the urbanity of Ms manners, and the mild- 
ness and humanity of his disposition* 



Prison discipline is an object of con- 
siderable importance ; but the common 
rights of mankind, and the common 
principles of justice, and humanity, 
and liberty, are of greater consequence 
even than prison discipline. Right and 
wrong, innocence and guilt, must not 
be confounded, that a prison-fancying 
Justice may bring his friend into the 
prison and say, " Look what a spectacle 
of order, silence, and decorum we have 
established here ! no idleness, all grind- 
ing ! — we produce a penny roll every 
second, — our prison is supposed to be 
the best regulated prison in England, — 
Cubitt is making us a new wheel of 
forty-felon power, — look how white 
the flour is, all done by untried pri- 
soners — as innocent as lambs !** If 
prison discipline be to supersede every 
other consideration, why are penniless 
prisoners alone to be put into the mill 
before trial ? If idleness in jails is so 
pernicious, why not put all prisoners in 
the tread-miil, the rich as well as those 
who are unable to support themselves ? 
Why are the debtors left out? If 
fixed principles are to be given up, 
and prisons turned into a plaything for 
magistrates, nothing can be more un* 
picturesque than to see one half of the 
prisoners looking on, talking, gaping, 
and idling, while their poorer brethren 
are grinding for dinners •and suppers. 

It is a very weak argument to talk 
of the prisoners earning their support, 
and the expense to a county of main- 
taining prisoners before trial,— as if 
any rational man could ever expect to 
gain a farthing by an expensive mil), 
where felons are the moving power, 
and justices the superintendents, or 
as if such a trade must not neces- 
sarily be carried on at a great loss. If 
it were just and proper that prisoners, 
before trial, should be condemned to 
the mill, it wonld be of no consequence 
whether the county gained or lost by 
the trade. But the injustice of the 
practice can never be defended by its 
economy ; and the fact is that it in« 
creases expenditure, while it violates 
principle. We are aware, that by 
leaving out repairs, alterations, and 
first costs, and a number of little par- 
ticulars, a very neat accoant, signed by 



UNTRIED PRISOKEltS. 



41 



a jailer, may be made up, which shall 
make the mill a miraculons combina- 
tion of mercantile speculation and 
moral improvement ; but we are too 
old for all this. We accase nobody of 
intentional misrepresentation. This is 
quite out of the question with persons 
so highly respectable; but men are con- 
stantly misled by the spirit of system, 
and egregiously deceive themseives — 
even very good and sensible men. 

Mr. Headlam compares the case of a 
prisoner before trial, claiming support,, 
to that of a pauper claiming relief from 
his parish* But it seems to us that no 
two cases can be more dissimihir. The 
prisoner was no pauper before yon 
took him up, and deprived him of his 
customers, tools, and market It is by 
your act and deed that he is fallen into 
a state of pauperism ; and nothing can 
be more preposterous, than first to 
make a man a pauper, and then to 
punish him for being so. It is true, 
that the apprehension and detention of 
the prisoner were necessary for the 
purposes of criminal justice; but the 
consequences arising &om this neces- 
sary act cannot yet be imputed to the 
prisoner. He has brought it upon him- 
self, it will be urged ; but that remains 
to be seen, and will not be known till 
he is tried; and till it is known you 
have no right to take it for granted, 
and to punish him as if it were proved. 

There seems to be in the minds of 
some gentlemen a notion, that when 
once a person is in prison, it is o^ little 
consequence how he is treated after- 
wards. The tyranny which prevailed, 
of putting a person in a particular dress 
before tnal, now abolished by act of 
Parliament, was justified by this train 
of reasoning: — The man has been 
rendered infamous by imprisonment. 
He cannot be rendered more so, dress 
him as you will. His character is not 
rendered worse by the tread-mill, than 
it 18 by being sent to the place where 
the tread-mill is at work. The sub- 
stance of this way of thinking is, that 
when a fellow-creature is in the frying- 
pan, there is no harm in pushing him 
into the fire ; that a little more misery 
—a little more infamy — a few more 
links, are of no sort of consequence in 



a prison-life. If this monstrous style 
of reasoning extended to hospitals as 
well as prisons, there would be no harm 
in breaking the small bone of a man*s 
leg, because the large one was fractured, 
or in peppering with small shot a per- 
son who was wounded with a cannon* 
balL The principle is, because a man 
is very wretched, there is no harm in 
making him a little more so. The 
steady answer to all this is, that a man 
is imprisoned before trial, sol^ for the 
purpose of securing his appearance at 
his trial ; and that no punishment nor 
privation, not clearly and candidly 
necessary for that purpose, should be 
inflicted upon him. I keep you in 
prison, because criminal justice would 
be defeated by your flight, if I did not ; 
but criminal justice can go on very well 
without degrading you to hard and 
infamous labour, or denying you any 
reasonable gratification. For these 
reasons, the first of those acts is just, 
the rest are mere tyranny. 

Mr. NicoU, in his opinion, tells us, 
that he has no doubt Parliament would 
amend the bill, if the omission were 
stated to them. We, on the contrary, 
have no manner of doubt that Parlia- 
ment would treat such a petition with 
the contempt it deserved. Mr. Peel is 
much too enlightened and sensible to 
give any countenance to such a great 
and glaring error. In this case, — and 
we wish it were a more frequent one 
— the wisdom comes from within, and 
the error firom without the walls of 
Parliament 

A prisoner before trial who can sup« 
port himself, ought to be allowed every 
fair and rational enjoyment which he 
can purchase, not incompatible with 
prison discipline. He should be allowed 
to buy ale or wijie in moderation, — to 
use tobacco, or anything else he can 
pay for, within the above-mentioned 
limits. If he cannot support himself, 
and declines work, then he should be 
supported upon a very plain, but still 
a plentiful diet (something better, we 
think, than bread and water) ; and all 
prisoners before trial should be allowed 
to work. By a liberal share of earnings 
(or rather by rewards, for there would 
be no earnings), and also by an im* 



42 



AMEBICA. 



proYed diet, and in ibe hands of humane 
magistrates*, there would soon appear 
to be no necessity for appealing to the 
tread-mill till trial was over. 

This tread-mill, after trial, is cer- 
tainly a very excellent method of 
punibhment, as far as we are yet ac- 
qaainted with its effects. We think, 
at present, however, it is a little abused ; 
and hereafter it is our intention to ex- 
press our 'opinion upon the limits to 
which it ^ught to be confined. Upon 
this point, however, we do not much 
differ from Mr. Headlam ; although in 
his remarks on the treatment of pri- 
soners before trial, we think he has 
made a very serious mistake, and has 
attempted (without knowing what he 
was doing, and meaning, we are per- 
suaded, nothing but what was honest 
and just), to pluck up one of the 
ancient landmarks of human justice.! 

* All magistrates should remember, that 
notlung ia more easy to a person entrusted 
with power than to convince himself it is 
his duty to treat his fellow-oreatures with 
severity and rigour,— and then to persuade 
himself that he is doing it very reluctantly, 
and contrary to his real feeling. 

t We hope this article will conciliate our 
old friend Hr. Eoscoe; who is very angry 
vritluus for some of our former lucubrations 
on prison discipline,— and, above alL be- 
cause we are not grave enough for nim. 
The difference ia thus stated : — Six ducks 
are stolen. Hr. Boscoe would commit the 
man to prison for six weeks, perhaps,— 
reason with him, argue with him, give him 
tracts, send clergymen to him, work him 
gently at some useftil trade, and try to turn 
him from the habit of stalling poultry. 
WewovHd keep him hard at work twelve 
hours every day at the tread-mill, teed him 
only BO as not to impair his hnlth, and 
then give him as much of Hr. Boacoe's ejs- 
tem as was compatible with our own; and 
we think our method would diminish the 
number of duck-stealers more efTectually 
than that of the historian of Leo X. The 
primary duck-stealer would, we think, be 
as effectualhr deterred from repeating the 
offence by the tenror of our imprisonment, 
as 1^ the excellence of Hr. Boacoe's educa- 
tion—and, what is of infinitely greater 
consequence, innumerable duck-stealers 
woula be prevented. Because punislmient 
does not annihilate crime, it is foUy to say 
it does not lessen it. It did not stop the 
murder of Hrs. Bonatly ; but how many 
Hrs. Donattys has it ke)jt alive 1 When we 
recommend severity, we recommend, of 
course, that d^nree of severity which will 
not excite compassion for the suflierer, and 
lessen the horror of the crime. This is why 
we do not recommend torture and amputa- 
tion of limba. When a man has been 



AMERICA. (E. Beyiew, 1824.) 

1. Travelt throuffh Part qf the United 
State* and Canada, in 1818 and 1819. Sy 
John H. Duncan, AJB. Glasgow. 1828. 

2. LetterB from North AmerieOt written 
during a Tour in the United Stmtee and 
Canada. By Adam Hodgson. London. 

1824 

8. An . JSErottrsum trough the United 
Statet and Canada, during the Tears 
1822-8. By an English (xentleman; Lon- 

* don. 1824. 

There is a set of miserable persons in 
England, who are dreadfully afraid of 
America and everything American — 
whose great delight is to see that 
country ridiculed and vilified — and 
who appear to imagine that all the 
abuses which exist in this country ac- 
quire additional vigour and chance of 
duration from every book of travels 
which pours forth its venom and false- 
hood on the United States. We shall 
from time to time call the attention of 
the public to this subject, not from any 
party spirit, but because we love trutb* 
and praise excellence wherever we find 
it ; and because we think the example 
of America will in many instances tend 

proved to have committed a crime, it is 
expedient that society should make use of 
that man for the diminution of crime: he 
belongs to them for that purpose. Our 
primary duty, in such a case, is so to treat 
the culprit that many other persons may be 
rendered better, or prevented from being 
worse, by dread of the same treatment; 
and, making this the principal obiect, to 
combine with it as much as possible the 
improvement of the individual. The ruffian 
who killed Mr. Humford was hung within 
forty-eight hours. Upon Hr. Boeooe's 
principles, this was wrong ; for it certainly 
was not the way to reclaim the man : — We 
say on the contrary, the object was to do 
anything with the man which would render 
murders less frequent, and that the conver- 
sion of the man was a mere trifle compared 
to this. His death probably prevented the 
necessity of reclaiming a dozen murderers. 
That death will not, indeed, prevent all 
murders in that county; but many who 
have seen it, and many who have heard of 
it, will swallow their revenge trcin the 
dread of being hanged. Hr. Bosooe is very 
severe upon our style : but poor dear Hr. 
Boscoe should remember that men have 
different tastes and different methods of 

Soing to work. We feel these matters as 
eepiy as he does. But why so cross upon 
this or any other subject f 



AMERICA. 

to open the ejes ef Englishmen to their 
trae interests. 

The Economy of America is a great 
and important object for our imitation. 
The salary of Mr. Bagot, our late Am- 
bassador, was, we believe, rather higher 
than that of the President of the United 
States. The Vice-President receives 
rather less than the second Clerk of the 
House of Commons ; and all salaries, 
civil and military, are upon the same 
scale; and yet no country is better 
served than America! Mr. Hume has 
at last persuaded the Englbh people 
to look a little into their accounts, and 
to see how sadly they are plundered. 
But we ought to suspend our contempt 
for America, and consider whether we 
have not a very momentous lesson to 
learn from this wise and cautious people 
on the subject of economy. 

^ A lesson on the importance of Reli- 
gions Toleration, we are determined, 
it would seem, not to learn, — either 
from America, or from any other 
quarter of the globe. The high sheriff 
of New York, last year, was a Jew. It 
was with the utmost difficulty thart a 
bill was carried this year to allow the 
first duke of England to carry a gold 
stick before the King — because he was 
a Catholic I — and yet we think our- 
selves entitled to indulge in impertinent 
sneers at America, — as if civilisation 
did not depend more upon making 
wise laws for the promotion of human 
happiness, than in having good inns, 
and post-horses, and civil waiters. 
The circumstances of the Dissenters' 
Marriage Bill are such as would excite 
the contempt of a Chictaw or Cherokee, 
if he could be brought to understand 
them. A certain class of Dissenters 
beg they may not be compelled Jo say 
that they marry in the name of the 
Trinity, because they do not believe in 
the Trinity. Never mind, say the cor- 
ruptionists, you must go on saying 
you marry in the name of the Trinity 
whether you believe in it or not. We 
know that such a protestation from 
you will be false: but, unless you make 
it, your wives shall be concubines, and 
your children illegitimate. Is it pos- 
sible to conceive a greater or more 
useless tyranny than this? 



49 

I " la the reUgiouB freedom which America 
enj<^ I see a more unquestioned supe- 
riority. In Britain we enjoy toleration, 
but here they enjoy hberty. If Gtovernment 
has a right to grant toleration to any par- 
ticular set of religious opinions, it has also 
a right to take it away ; and such a right 
with regard toopinions exclusively religious 
I would deny in all cases, because totally 
inconsistent with the nature of religion, in 
the proper meaning of the word« and equally 
irreconcilable with dvil liberty, rightly so 
called. God has given to each of us his 
inspired word, and a rational mind to 
which that word is addressed. He has also 
made known to us, that each for himself 
must answer at his tribunal for his prin- 
ciples and conduct What maii, then, or 
body of men, has a right to tell me, • You 
do not think aright on religious subjects, 
but we will tolerate your error?* The 
answer is a most obvious one. ' Who gave 
you authority to dictate?— or what exclu- 
sive claim have you to infallibility ? ' If my 
sentiments do not lead me into conduct 
inconsistent with the welfiare of my fellow- 
creatures, the question as to their accuracy 
or fallacy is one between God and my own 
consdenoe; and, though a fair sulgect for 
ailment, is none for compulsion. 

"The Inquisition undertook to regulate 
astronomical science, and kings and par- 
liaments have with equal propriety pre- 
sumed to l^slate upon questions of 
theology. The world has outgrown the 
former, and it will one day be ashamed 
that it has been so long of outgrowing the 
latter. The founders of the American 
republic saw the absurdity of employing 
the attorney-general to refiite deism and 
infidelity, or of attempting to influence 
opinion on abstract subjects by penal en- 
actment ; they saw also the injustice of 
taxing the whole to support the religious 
opinions of the few, and have set an exam- 
ple which older governments will one day 
or other be compelled to follow. 

" In America the question is not, * What 
is his creed?— but, What is his conduct? 
Jews have all the privil^es of Christians ; 
Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Indepen- 
dents, meet on common ground. No 
religious test is reqiured to quality for 
public office, except in some cases a mere 
verbal assent to the truth of the Christian 
religion; and, in every court throughout 
the country, it is optional whether you give 
your affirmation or your oath."— (2>imcan'« 
2Vawto, Vol II. pp. 828—330.) 

In fact, it is hardly possible for any 
nation to show a greater superiority 
over another than the Americans, in this 



44 

particular, have done over this country. 
They have fairly and completely, and 
probably for ever, extinguished that 
spirit of religious persecution which has 
been the employment and the curse 
of mankind for four or five centuries, 
— not only that persecution which 
imprisons and scourges for religious 
opinions, but the tyranny of incapaci- 
tation, which, by disqualifying from 
civil offices, and cutting a man off from 
the lawful objects of ambition, endea- 
vours to strangle religious freedom in 
silence, and to enjoy all the advantages, 
without the blood, and noise, and fire 
of persecution* What passes in the 
mind of one mean blockhead is the 
general history of all persecution. 
**This man pretends to know better 
than me — ^I cannot subdue him by ar- 
'gument ; but I will take care he shall 
never be mayor or alderman of the 
town in which he lives ; I will never 
consent to the repeal of the Test Act 
or to Catholic Emancipation; I will 
teach the fellow to differ from me in 
religious opinions!" So says the Epis- 
copalian to the Catholic — and so the 
Catholic says to the Protestant. But 
the wisdom of America keeps them all 
down — ^secures to them all their just 
rights — gives to each of them their 
separate pews, and bells, and steeples 
— ^makes them all aldermen in their 
turns — and quietly extinguishes the 
faggots which each is preparing for the 
combustion of the other. Nor is this 
indifference to religious subjects in the 
American people, but pure civilisation 
—a thorough comprehension of what 
is best calculated to secure the public 
happiness and peace — and a determi- 
nation that this happiness and peace 
shall not be violated by the insolence 
of any human being, in the garb, and 
under the sanction, of religion. In this 
particular, the Americans are at the 
head of all the nations of the world : 
and at the same time they are, espe- 
cially in the Eastern and Midland 
States, 80 far from being indifferent on 
subjects of religion, that they may be 
most justly characterised as a very 
religious people . but they are devout 
without being unjust (the great problem 
in religion); a higher proof of civilisa- 



amcrica; 



tion than painted tea-ctips, water proof 
leather, or broad cloth at two guineas a 
yard* 

America is exempted, by its very 
newness as a nation, from many of the 
evils of the old governments of Europe. 
It has no mischievous remains of 
feudal institutions, and no violations of 
political economy sanctioned by time, 
and older than the age of reason. If 
a man find a partridge upon his ground 
eating his com, in any part of Ken-» 
tucky or Indiana, he may kill it, even 
if his father be not a Doctor of Divi- 
nity. The Americans do not exclude 
their own citizens from any branch of 
commerce which they leave open to all 
the rest of the world. 

"One of them said, that he was well 
acquainted with a British subject, residing 
at Newark, Upper Canada, who annually 
smuggled flrom 600 to 1000 chests of tea 
into that province firom the United States. 
He mentioned the name of this man, who 
he said was growing very rich in conse- 
quence } and he stated the manner in which 
the fraud was managed. Now» as all the 
tea ought to be brought from England, it 
is of course very expensive; and therefore 
the Canadian tea dealers, after buying one 
or two chests at Montreal or elsewhere, 
which have the Custom-house mark upon 
them, fill them up ever afterwards with tea 
brought from the United States. It is cal- 
culated that near 10,000 chests are annually 
consumed in the Canadas, of which not 
more than 2000 or 8000 come from Europe. 
Indeed, when I had myself entered Canada, 
I was told that of every fifteen pounds of 
tea sold there thirteen were smuggled. The 
profit upon smutting this article is ftvm 
60 to 100 per cent., and, with an extensive 
and wild frontier like Canada, cannot be 
prevented. Indeed it every year increases, 
and is brought to a more perfect system. 
But I suppose that the English Govern- 
ment, whidh is the perfection of wisdom, 
will never allow the Canadian merchants to 
trade direct to China, in order that (from 
pure charity) the whole profit of the tea 
trade may be given up to the United 
SUdeA/*— (Excursion, pp. 384^ 896.) 

" You will readily conceive, that it is with 
no small mortification that I hear these 
American merchants talk of sending their 
ships to London and Liverpool, to take in 
goods or specie, with which to purchase 
tea for the supply of European ports almost 
within sight of our own shores. They often 
taunt me, by asking me what our govern* 



AMERICA. 



45 



jnent can possibly mean by prohibiting us 
from engaging in a profitable trade, which 
is open to them and to all the world? or 
where can be onr boasted liberties, while 
we tamely snbmit to the infiraction of our 
natural rights, to supply a monopoly as 
absurd as it is imjust, and to honour the 
caprice of a company who exclude their 
fellow-subjects firom a branch of commerce 
which th^ do not pursue themselves, but 
leave to the enterprise of foreigners, or 
commercial rivals? On such occasions I 
can only reply, that both our government 
and people are growing wiser ; and that if 
the charter of the East India Company be 
renewed, when it n«ct expires, I will allow 
them to infer, that the people of England 
have little influence in the administration 
of thehr own aflJEdrs.**— (J7od^»on'« Letters, 
Vol. IL pp. 128, 129.) 

Thoagh America is a confederation 
of republics, they are ia many cases 
much more amalgamated than the 
yarloos parts of Great Britain. If a 
citizen of the United States can make 
a shoe, he is at liberty to make a shoe 
anywhere between Lake Ontario and 
New Orleans, — he may sole on the 
Mississippi, — ^heel on the Missouri, — 
measure Mr. Birkbeck on the little 
Wabash, or take (which our best poli- 
ticians do not find an easy matter) the 
length of Mr. Mnnro*s foot on the baoks 
of the Potowmae. But woe to the cob- 
bler, who, having made Hessian boots 
for the iddermen of Newcastle, should 
venture to invest with these coriaceous 
integuments the leg of a liege subject 
at York. A yellow ant in a nest of 
red ants — a butcher's dog in a fox 
kennel^a mouse in a bee-hive, — all 
feel the effects of untimely intrusion ; 
— but far preferable their fate to that 
of the misguided artisan, who, misled 
by sixpenny histories of England, and 
conceiving his country to have been 
united at the Heptarchy, goes forth 
from his native town to stitch freely 
within the sea-girt limits of Albion. 
Him the mayor, him the alderman, 
him' the recorder, him the quarter ses- 
sions would worry. Him the justices 
before trial would long to get into the 
tread-mill*; and would much lament 

* This puts us in mind of our friend Mr. 
Headlam, who, we hear, has written an 
answer to our Observations on the Tread- 
mill before Trial. It would have been a 



that, hj a recent act, they eonld not do 
so, even with the intruding tradesman's 
consent; but the moment he was tried, 
they would push him in with redoubled 
energy, and leave him to tread himself 
into a conviction of the barbarous in- 
stitutions of his corporation*divided 
country. 

Too much praise cannot be given to 
the Americans for their great attention 
to the subject of Education. All the 
public lands are surveyed according to 
the direction of Congress. ^ They are 
divided into townships of* six miles 
square, by lines running with the car- 
dinal points, and consequently crossing 
each other at right angles. Every 
township is divided into 86 sections, 
each a mile square, and containing 640 
acres. One section in each township 
is reserved, and given in perpetuity for 
the benefit of common schools. In 
addition to this the states of Tennessee 
and Ohio have received grants for the 
support of colleges and academies. 
The appropriation generally in the new 
States for seminaries of the higher 
orders, amount to one fifth of those for 

very easy thing for us to have hung Mr. 
Headlam up as a spectacle to the united 
Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ire- 
land, the princi^ility of Wales, and the 
town of Berwick-on-Tweed ; but we have 
no wish to make a worthy and resnectable 
man appear ridiculous. For these reasons 
we have not even looked at his pamphlet, 
and we decline entering into a controversy 
upon a point, where -among men of sense 
and humanity (who had not heated them- 
selves in the dispute), there cannot possibly 
be anv difference of opinion. All members 
of both Houses of Parliament were unani- 
mous in their condemnation of the odious 
and nonsensical practice of working prison- 
ers in the tread-mill before trial. It had 
not one single advocate. Mr. Headlam and 
the msgistrates of the North Biding^ in 
their eagerness to save a relic of their prison 
system, forgot themselves so far as to 
petition to be intrusted with the ])ower of 
putting prisoners to work before trial, witfh 
their own consent— the answer of the Legis- 
lature was, ** We will not trust you/*— the 
severest practical rebuke ever received by 
any public body. We will leave it to others 
to determine wnether it was deserved. We 
have no doubt the great body of magistrates 
meant well. They must have meant well- 
but they have been sadly misled, and have 
thrown odium on the subordinate adminis- 
tration of justice, which it is far from 
deserving on other occasions, in their hands. 
This strange piece of nonsense is, however, 
now well eu.6Jdd.—£equie8cat in pace ! * 



46 



AMERICA. 



common schools. It appears from Sej* 
ben's Statistical Annals, that the laud, 
in the states and territories on the east 
side of the Mississippi, in which appro- 
priations have been made, amounts to 
237,300 acres ; and according to the 
ratio aboTe mentioned, the aggregate 
on the east side of the Mississippi is 
7,900,000. The same system of appro- 
priation applied to the west, will make, 
for schools and colleges, 6,600,000; and 
the total appropriation for literary pur- 
poses, in tjie new states and territories, 
14,500,000 acres, which, at two dollars 
per acre, would be 29,000,000 dollars. 
These facts are very properly quoted 
by Mr. Hodgson ; and it is impossible 
to speak to6 highly of their yalne and 
importance. They quite put into the 
back-ground everything which has 
been done in the Old World for the 
improvement of the lower orders, and 
confer deservedly upon the Americans 
the character of a wise, a reflecting, and 
a virtuous people. 

It is rather surprising that such a 
people, spreading rapidly over so vast 
a portion of the earth, and cultivating 
all the liberal and useful arts so suc- 
cessfully, should be so extremely sen- 
sitive and touch V as the Americans are 
said to be. We really thought at one 
time they would have fitted out an 
armament against the Edinburgh and 
Quarterly Reviews, and burnt down 
Mr. Murray's and Mr. Constable's 
shops, as we did the American Capitol. 
We, however, remember no other anti- 
American crime of which we were 
guilty, than a preference of Sfaakspeare 
and Milton over' Joel Barlow and 
Timothy Dwight. That opinion we 
must still take the liberty of retaining. 
There is nothing in Dwight comparable 
to the finest passages of Paradise Lost, 
nor is Mr. Barlow ever humorous or 
pathetic, as the great Bard of the Eng- 
lish stage is humorous and pathetic 
We have always been strenuous* advo- 

* AruAeat women, whether in or out of 
breeches, will of course ima^ne that we are 
the enemies of the institutions of our 
country^ because we are the admirers of the 
institutions of America: but circumstenoes 
di£fer. American institutions are too new, 
English institutions are ready made to our 
hands. If we were to build the house 



cates for, and admirers of, America— 
not taking our ideas from the over- 
weening vanity of the weaker part of 
the Americans themselves, but from 
what we have observed of their real 
energy and wisdom. It is very natural 
that we Scotch, who live in a little 
shabby scraggy comer of a remote 
island, with a climate which cannot 
ripen an apple, should be jealous of the 
aggressive pleasantry of more favoured 
people ; but that Americans, who have 
done so much for themselves, and re- 
ceived so much from nature, should be 
flung into such convulsions by English 
Reviews and Magazines, is really a sad 
specimen of Columbian juvenility. We 
hardly dare to quote the following ac- 
count of an American rout, for fear of 
having our motives misrepresented, — 
and strongly suspect that there are but 
few Americans who could be brought 
to admit that a Philadelphia or Boston 
concern of this nature is not quite equal 
to the most brilliant assemblies of 
London or Paris. 



C( 



A tea party is a serious thii% in this 
ooimtry; and some of those at which I 
have been present in New York and else- 
where, have been on a very large scale. In 
the modem houses the two principal apart- 
ments are on the first floor, and communi- 
cate by large folding-doors, which on gala 
days throw wide their ample portals, con- 
verting the two apartments into one. At 
the largest party which I have seen, there 
were about thirty youngs ladies present, and 
more than as many gentlemen. Every 
aotk, chair, and footstool were occupied by 
the ladies, and little enough room some at 
them appeared to have after all. The gen- 
tlemen were obliged to be content with 
walking i^> and down, talking now with 
one lady, now with another. Tea was 
brought in by a couple of blacks, carrying 
large trays, one covered with cups, the 
other with cake. Slowly making the round« 
and retiring at intervals for additional sup- 
plies, the ladies were gpradually gone over; 



afresh, we might perhaps avail ooraelves of 
the improvements of a new plan; but we 
have no sort of wish to pull down an excel- 
lent house, .strong, warm, and (»mfortable, 
because, upon second trial, we might be 
able to alter and amend it,— a principle 
which would perpetuate demolition and 
construction. Our plan, where circum- 
stances -are tolerable, is to sit down and 
enjoy ourselves. 



AMERICA. 



47 



uid ftfter ranch patience Hie gentiemen 
b^an to enjoy the heverage * which cheers 
but not inebriates ; ' still walking about, or 
leaning against the wall, with the cup and 
saucer in their hand. 

. "As soon as the first course was over, the 
hospitable trajys again entered, bearing a 
chaos of preserves— peaches, pine4q>ple8, 
ginger, oranges, citrons, pear^ && in tempt- 
ing display. A few of the young gentlemen 
now accompanied the resolution of the 
trays, and sedulously attended to the plea- 
sure of the ladies. The party was so 
numerous that the period between the 
commenconent and the termination of the 
round was sufficient to justify a new solici- 
tation; and so the ceremony continued, 
with Tery little intermission, during the 
whole CTening. Wine succeeded the pre- 
senres, and dried fhiit followed the wine ; 
which, in its turn, was supported by sand- 
wiches in the name of supper, and a forlorn 
Itoipe of confectionary and frost work. I 
pitied the poor blacks who, like Tantalus, 
had such a proftision of dainties the whole 
evening at their finger ends, without the 
IXMsibility of partaking of them. A little 
music and dancing gave variety to the 
scene; whi<di to some of us was a source of 
considerable satisfiiction; for when a num- 
ber of ladies were on the floor, those who 
cared not for the dance had the pleasure of 
getting a seat. About eleven o'clock I did 
myself the honour of escorting a lady home, 
and was well pleased to have an excuse for 
escaping.*'— (i>»nca»'* Travels, VoL IL 
pp. 279, 280.) 

The coaches must be given up ; so 
must the roads, and so must the inns. 
Thej are of course what these accom- 
modations are in all new countries; 
and much like what English great- 
grandfathers talk about as existing in 
Uiis country at the first period of their 
recollection. The great inconvenience 
of American inns, however, in the eyes 
of an Englishman, is one which more 
sociable travellers must feel less acutely 
— ^we mean the impossibility of being 
alone, of having a room separate from 
the rest of the company. There is 
nothing which an Englishman enjoys 
more than the pleasure of sulkiness, 
— of not being forced to hear a word 
from anybody which may occasion to 
him the necessity of replying. It is 
not so much that Mr. Bull disdains to 
talk, as that Mr. Bull has nothing to 
say. His forefathers have been out of 



spirits for six or seven hundred years, 
and seeing nothing but fog and vapour, 
he is out of spirits too; and when there 
is no selling or buying, or no business 
to settle, he prefers being alone and 
looking at the fire. If any gentleman 
were in distress, he would willingly 
lend a helping hand ; but he thinks it 
no part of neighbourhood to talk to a 
person because he happens to be near 
him. In short, with many excellent 
qualities, it must be acknowledged that 
the English are the most disagreeable 
of all the nations of Europe, — more 
surly and morose, with less disposition 
to please, to exert themselves for the 
^ood of society, to make small sacri- 
fices, and to put themselves out of their 
way. They are content with Magna 
Charter and Trial by Jury; and think 
they are not bound to excel the rest of 
the world in small behaviour, if they are 
superior to them in g^at institutions. 

We are terribly afraid that some 
Americans spit upon the floor, even 
when that floor is covered by good 
carpets. Now all claims to civilisation 
are suspended till this secretion is 
otherwise disposed of. No English 
gentleman has spit upon the floor since 
the Heptarchy. 

The curiosity for which the Ameri- 
cans are so much laughed at, is not 
only venial, but laudable. Where men 
live in woods and forests, as is the case, 
of course, in remote American settle- 
ments, it is the duty of every man to 
gratify the inhabitants by telling them 
his name, place, age, office, virtues, 
crimes, children, fortune, and remai'ks: 
and with fellow-travellers it seems to 
be almost a matter of necessity to do 
so. When men ride together for 300 or 
400 mil^ through wo^s and prairies, 
it is of the greatest importance that 
they should be able to guess at subjects 
most agreeable to each other, and to 
multiply their common topics. With- 
out knowing who your companion is, 
it is difficult to know both what to say 
and what to avoid. You may talk of 
honour and virtue to an attorney, or 
contend with a Virginian planter that 
men of a fair colour have no right to 
buy and sell men of a dusky colour. 
The following is a lively description of 



48 



the rights of ii)tent>gation, as mider- 
stood and practised in America. 

" As for the InquisiUvettets of the Ameri- 
cans, I do not think it has been at ail 
exaggerated.— They certainly are, as they 
profess to be, a very inquiring people ; and 
if we may sometimes be disposed to dispute 
the claims of their love qf knowing to the 
character of a liberal cariosity, we must at 
least admit that they make a most liberal 
use of every means in their power to gratify 
it. I have seldom, however, had any diffi- 
culty in repressing their home questions, if 
I wished it, and without ofTending them; 
but I more frequently amused myself by 
putting them on the rack, civilty, and ap- 
parently unconsciously, eluded their inqui- 
ries for a time, and then awakening their 
gratitude by such a discovery of myself as 
I might choose to make. Sometimes a man 
would place himself at my side in the wil- 
derness, and ride for a mile or two without 
the smallest communication between us, 
except a slight nod of the head. He would 
then, perhaps, make some grave remark on 
the weather, and if I assented, in a mono- 
syllable, he would stick to my side for 
another mile or two, when he would com- 
mence his attack. ' I reckon, stranger, you 
do not belong to these partsf— *No, sir; 
I am not a native of Alabama.'— ' I guess 
you are fh)m the north ? *— * No, Sir ; I am 
not from the north.' — ' I guess you found 
the roads mighty muddy, and the creeks 
swimming. Ton are come a long way, I 
guess?*— *No, not so very tar; we lutve 
travelled a few hundred miles since we 
turned our faces westward.' — * I guess you 

have seen Mr. -, or General f * 

(mentioning the names of some well-known 
individuals in the Middle and Southern 
States, who were to serve as guide-posts to 
detect our route) ; but ' I have not the plea- 
sure of knowing any of them,' or, * I have 
the pleasure of knowing all,' equally de- 
feated his purpose, but not his hopes. ' I 
reckon, stranger, you have had a good crop 
of cotton this year?' — 'I am told, sir, the 
crops have been imusuaUy abundant in 
GaroUna and Georgia.'—' You grow tobacco, 
then, I guess?' (toti^ick me to Yirginia). 
— ' No ; I do not grow tobacco.' Here a 
modest inquirer would give up in despair, 
and trust to the chapter of accidents to 
develope my name and history ; but I gene* 
rally rewarded his modesty, and excit^ 
his gratitude, by telling him I would tor- 
ment him no longer. 
**The courage of a thorough-bred Yankee * 

• In America, the term Yankee is applied 
to the natives of New England only, and is 
geuerally used with an air of pleasantry. 



AMEBICA. 

would rise with his difficulties ; and after a 
decent interval, he would resume : ' I hope 
no offence, sir ; but you know we Yankees 
lose nothing for want of asking. I guess, 
stranger, you are from the old country P *— 
* Well, my firiend, you have guessed right at 
last, and I am sure you deserve something 
for your perseverance : and now I suppose 
it will save us both trouble if I proceed to 
the second part of the story, and tell you 
where I am going. I am going to New 
Orleans.' This is really no exaggerated 
picture: dialogues, not indeed in these very 
words, but to thU ttffeett occurred continu- 
ally, uid some of them more minute and 
extended than I can venture upon in a 
letter. I ought, however, to say, that many 
questions lose inuch of their familiarity 
when travelling in the wilderness. 'Where 
are you from ? ' and, ' Whither are yon 
bound? ' do not appear impertinent inter- 
rogations at sea; and often in the western 
wilds I found myself making inquiries 
which I should have thought very f^ree and 
easy at liomA.**—{Sodsfton*s Letten, VbL IL 
pp. 82—86.) 



In all new and distant settlements 
the forms of law must, of coarse, be 
very limited. No justice's warrant is 
current in the Dismal Swamp; consta- 
bles are exceedingly puzzled in the 
neighboorhood of the Mississippi; and 
there is no tread-mill, either before or 
after trial, on the Little Wabash. 
The consequence of this is, that the 
settlers take the law into their own 
hands, and give notice to a justice- 
proof delinquent to quit the territory. 
If this notice is disobeyed, they as- 
semble and whip the culprit, and this 
failing, on the second visit, they cut off 
his ears. In short. Captain Rock has 
his descendants in America. Mankind 
cannot live together without some ap- 
proximation to justice ; and if the 
actual government will not govern 
well, or cannot govern weU, is too 
wicked or too weak to do so — then 
men prefer Rock to anarchy. The 
following is the best account we have 
seen of this system of irregular justice. 

"After leaving Garlyle, I took the Shaw- 
nee town road that branches off to the 
S.E., and passed the Walnutt Hills, and 
Moore's Prairie. These two places had a 
year or two before been infested by a noto- 
rious gang of robbers and forgers, who had 
fixed themselves in these wild parts in 
order to avoid justice. As the country 



AMERICA. 

became more settlecl, these desperadoes 
became more and more troublesome, llie 
inhabitants therefore took that method of 
getting rid of them that had been adopted 
not many years ago in Hopkinson and 
Henderson counties, Kentucky* and which 
is absolutely necessary in new aqd thinly 
settled districts, where it is almost impos- 
sible to punish a criminal according to legal 
forms. 

**(>& such occasions, therefore, all the 
quiet and industrious men of a district 
form themselves into companies, under the 
name of ' Regulators.' They appoint offi- 
cers, put themselves under their orders, 
and bind themselves to assist and stand by 
each other. The first step they then take 
is to send notice to any notorious vaga- 
bonds, desiring them to quit the State in a 
certain number of dajrs, under the penalty 
of receiving a domiciliiEKry visit. Should the 
person who receives the notice refuse to 
comply, they suddenly assemble, and when 
unexpected, go in the night time to the 
rogue's house, take him out, tie him to a 
tree, and give him a severe whipping, every 
one of the party striking him a certain 
number of times. 

"This discipline is generally sufficient to 
drive off the culprit; but should he con- 
tinue obstinate, and refuse to avail himself 
of another warning, the Emulators pay him' 
a second visit, inflict a still severer whip- 
ping, vrith.the addition probably of cutting 
off both his ears. No culprit has ever been 
known to rranain after a second visit. For 
instance, an old man, the fistther of afiamUy, 
all of whom he educated as robbers, fixed 
himaelf at Moore's Prairie, and committed 
numerous thefts, &c. &c. He was hardy 
enough to remain after the first visit, when 
both he and his. sons received a whipping. 
At the second visit the Begulators punished 
him very sevemly, and cut off his ears. 
This drove him off, together with his whole 
gang; and travellers can now pass in per- 
fect HKfety where it was once dangerous to 
travel alone. 

"There is also a company of Begulators 
near Yincennes, who have broken up a 
notorious gang of coiners and thieves who 
had fixed themselves near that place. 
These rascals, before they were driven off, 
had parties settled at different distances in 
the woods, and thus held communication 
and passed horses and stolen goods from 
one to another; firom the Ohio to Lake Erie, 
and from thence into Canada or the New 
England States. Thus it was next to im- 
possible to detect the robbers, or to recover 
the stolen property. 

** This practice of Beffidating seems very 
strange to an European. I have talked 
Vol. U. 



49 

with some of the chief men of the Begula- 
tors, who all lamented the necessity of such 
a system. They veiy sensibly remarked, 
that when the country became more thickly 
settled, there would no longer be any 
necessity tar such proceedings, and that 
they should all be delighted at being able 
to obtain justice tn a more formal manner. 
I forgot to mention that the rascals pun- 
ished have sometimes prosecuted the Begu- 
lators for an assault. The juries, however, 
knowing the bad character of the prosecu- 
tors, would give but trifling damages, 
which, divided among so many, amounted 
to next to nothing for eadi individual^"— 
{Exeurtion, pp. 28»— 23«.) 

This same traveller mentions his 
having met at table three or four Ame- 
rican ex-kings — presidents who had 
served their time, and had retired into 
private life; he observes also upon the 
effect of a democratical government ia 
preventing mobs. Mobs are created 
by opposition to the wishes of the 
people ;— but when the wishes of the 
people are consulted so completely as 
they are consulted in America— all 
motives for the agency of mobs are 
done away. 

** It is, indeed, entirely a government of 
opinion. Whatever the people wish is done. 
If they want any alteration of laws, tariffs, 
&o., they inform their representatives, and 
if there be a majority that wish it, the 
alteration is made at once. In most Euro- 
pean countries there is a portion of the 
population denominated the mob, who, not 
being acquainted with real liberty, give 
themselves up to occasional flts of licen- 
tiousness. But in the United States there 
is no mobt for every man feels himself free. 
At the time of Burr's conspiracy, Mr. Jef- 
ferson said, that there was little to be 
apprehended firom it, as every man felt 
himself a part of the general sovereignty. 
The event proved the truth of this asser- 
tion; and Burr, who in any other country 
would have been hanged, drawn, and quar- 
tered, is at present leading an obscure life 
in the city of New York, despised by every 
oiie.**—(£!xcurHon, p. 70.) 

It is a real blessing for America to 
be exempted from that vast bnrthen of 
taxes, the consequences of a long series 
of foolish just and necessary wars, 
carried on to please kings and queens, 
or ihe waiting-maids and waiting-lords 
or gentlemen who have always go- 
verned kings and queens in the Old 



50 



X 



World. The Americans owe tiiis good 
to the niewness of their government ; 
and though there are few classical 
associations or historical recollections 
in the United States, this barrenness is 
well purchased bj the absence of all 
the feudal nonsense, inveterate abuses, 
and profligate debts of an old country. 

*'Tlie good effects of a firee government 
are visible throughout the whole country. 
There are no tithes, no poor-rates, no ex- 
cise, no heavy intenial taxes, no oommercial 
monopolies. An American can make can- 
dles if he have tallow, can distil brandy if 
he have grapes or peaches, and can make 
beer if he. have malt and hope, without 
asking leave of any one, and much less with 
any fear of incurring punishment. How 
would a Ikrmer's wife there be astonished, 
if told that it was contrary to law for her 
to make soap out of the potass obtained on 
the fkrm, and of the grease she herself had 
saved! When an American has made these 
articles, he may build his little vessel, and 
take them without hlnderanoe to any part 
of the world ; for there is no rich company 
of merchants that can say to him, *You 
shall not trade to India ; and you shall not 
buy a pound of tea of the Chinese ; as, by 
so doing, you would infringe upon our privi- 
leges.' In consequence of this fireedom, all 
the seas are covered with their vessels, and 
the people at home are active and indepen- 
dent. I never saw a beggar in any part of 
the United States ; nor was I ever asked for 
charity but once— and that was by an Inah- 
man."— (.Erewrftoii, pp. 70, 71.) 

America is so differently situated 
from the old governments of Europe, 
that the United States afford no poli- 
tical precedents that are exactly- appU- 
cable to our old governments. There 
is no idle and discontented population. 
When they have peopled themselves 
np to the Mississippi, they cross to the 
Missouri, and will go on till they are 
stopped by the Western Ocean; and 
then, when there are a nnmber of 
persons who have nothing to do, and 
nothing to gain, no hope for lawful 
industry and great interest in pro- 
moting changes, we may consider tiieir 
situation as somewhat similar to oar 
own, and their example as touching us 
more nearly. The changes in the con- 
stitution of the particular States seem 
to be very frequent, very radical, and 
to us very alarming;— they seem, how- 



AMERICA. 

ever, to be thought very little of in that 
country, and to be very little heard of 
In Europe. Mr. Duncan, in the fol- 
lowing passage, speaks of them with 
European feelings. 

"The other great obstacle to the pros- 
perity of the American nation, universal 
suflhige*, will not exhibit the fUU extent of 
its evil tendency for a long time to come; 
and it is possible that ere that time some 
antidote may be disooverA, to prevent or 
alleviate the mischief which we might 
naturally expect from it. It does, however, 
seem ominous of evil, that so little ceremony 
is at present used with the constitutions of 
the various States. The people of Connec- 
ticut, not contented with having prospered 
abundantly under their old system, have 
lately assembled a convention, composed of 
del^ates from all parts of the country, in 
which the former order of things has been 
condemned entirely, and a oompletdy new 
constitution manufactured ; which, among 
other things, provides for the same process 
being again gone through as soon as the 
prqfanum tmlffus takes it into its head to ' 
desire it.t A sorry legagr the British Con- 
stitution would be to us, if it were at the 
mercy of a meeting of delegates, to be smn- 
moned i^henever a mqority of the people 
took a fiancy for a new one; and I am afhtid 
that if the*Americans continue to cherish a 
fondness for such repairs, the Highland- 
man's pistol with its new stock, lock, and 
barrel, will bear a close resemblance to 
what is ultimately produced.*'— (DwncoM** 
TraveU, YoL II. pp. 835, 336.) 

In the Excursion there is a list of 
the American navy, which, in conjunc- 
tion with the navy of France, wiU one 
day or another, we fear, settle the 
Catholic question in a way not quite 
agreeable to the Earl of Liverpool for 
the time being, nor very creditable to 
the wisdom of those ancestors of whom 
we hear, and from whom we suffer so 
much. The regulations of the Ame- 
rican navy seem to be admirable. The 
States are making great exertions to 
increase this navy ; and since the cap- 
ture of so many English ships, it has 



* In the greater number of the States, 
every white person, 21 years of age, who has 
paid taxes lor one year, is a voter; in 
others, some additional qualifications are 
required, but they are not such as materi- 
ally to limit the privilege. 

f The people of the State of New York 
have subsequently taken a similar fancy to 
clout the cauidtxm. (1822.) 



AMERICA. 



51 



become the faToorite science of the 
people at large. Their flotillas on the 
lakes completelj defeated ours daring 
the last war. 

Fanaticismof every description seems 
to rage and flourish in America, which 
has no Establishment, in about the same 
degree which it does here under the 
nose of an Established Church ; — they 
have their projects and prophetesses, 
their preaching encampments, female 
preachers, and every variety of noise, 
foUy, and nonsense, like ourselves. 
Among the most singular of these 
fanatics, are the Harmonites. Bapp, 
their founder, was a dissenter from the 
Lutheran Church, and therefore, of 
course, the Lutheran clergy of Stut- 
gard (near to which he lived) began to 
put Mr. Kapp in white sheets, to prove 
him guilty of theft, parricide, treason, 
and all the usual cpmes of which men 
dissenting from established churches 
are so often guilty, — and delicate hints 
were given respecting faggots ! Stat- 
gard abounds with underwood and 
clergy ; and — away went Mr. Bapp to 
the United States, and, with a great 
multitude of followers, settled about 
twenty-four miles from our country- 
man Mr. Birkbeck. His people have 
here built a large town, and planted a 
vineyard, where they make very agree- 
able wine. They carry on also a very 
extensive system of husbandry, and 
are the masters of many flocks and 
herds. They have a distillery, brewery, 
tannery, make hats, shoes, cotton and 
woollen cloth, and everything neces- 
sary to the comfort of life. Every one 
belongs to some particular trade. But 
in bad weather, when there is danger 
of losmg their crops, Bapp blows a 
horn, and calls them all together. 
Over every trade there is a head man, 
who receives the money, and gives a 
receipt, signed by Bapp, to whom all 
the money collected is transmitted. 
When any of these workmen wants a 
hat or a coat, Bapp signs him an order 
for the garment, for which he goes to 
the store, and is fitted. They have one 
large store where these manufactures 
are deposited. This store is much 
resorted to by the neighbourhood, on 
accoant of the goodness and cheapness 



of the articles. They have built an ex- 
cellent house for their founder, Bapp, 
— as it might have been predicted they 
would have done. The Harmonites 
profess equality, community of goods, 
and celibacy, for the men and women 
(let Mr. Malthus hear this) live sepa- 
rately, and are not allowed the slightest 
intercourse. In order to keep up their 
numbers, they have once or twice sent 
over for a supply of Germans, as they 
admit no Americans, of any intercourse 
with whom they are very jealous. The 
Harmonites dress and live plainly. It 
is a part of their creed that they should 
do so. Bapp, however, and the head 
men have no such particular creed for 
themselves; and indulge in wine, beer, 
grocery, and other irreligious diet. 
Bapp is both governor and priest, — 
preaches to them in church, and directs 
all their proceedings in their working 
hours. In short, Bapp seems to have 
made use of the religions propensities 
of mankind, to persuade one or two 
thousand fools to dedicate their lives 
to his service ; and if they do not get 
tired, and fling their prophet into a 
horse-pond, they will in all probability 
disperse as soon as he dies. 

Unitarians are increasing very fast 
in the United States, not being kept 
down by charges from bishops and 
archdeacons, their natural enemies. 

The author of the Excursion remarks 
upon the total absence of all games 
in America. No cricket, foot-ball, nor 
leap-frog — all seems solid and profit- 
able. 

** One thing that I could not help remark- 
ing with regard to the Americans in general, 
is the total want of all those games and 
sports that obtained for our oountiy the 
appellation of ' Merry England.' Although 
children usually transmit stories and sports 
firom one generation to another, and al- 
though many of our nursery games and . 
tales are supposed to have been imported 
into England in the vessels of Hengist and 
Horsa^ yet our brethren in the United 
States seem entirely to have forgotten the 
childish amusements of our oommcm ances- 
tors. In America I never saw even the 
schoolboys playing at any game whatsoever. 
Cricket, foot-ball, quoits, &c. i^pear to be 
utterly unknown ; and I believe that if an 
American were to see grown-up men playing 
at cricket, he would express as much as- 

B 2 



MEMOIRS OF CAPTAIN EOCK. 



52 

tonishment an the Italians did when some 
Englishmen played at this finest of all 
games in the Casina at Florence. Indeed, 
that joyous spirit which, in our country, 
animates not only childhood, but also ma- 
turer age, can rarely or never be seen 
among the inhabitants of the United 
Btate8."~(.Er<n«r9um, pp. 602, 603.) 

These are a few of the leading and 
prominent circamstances respe<!ting 
America, mentioned in the various 
works before us : of which works we 
can recommend the Letters of Mr. 
Hodgson, and the Excursion into 
Canada, as sensible, agreeable books, 
written in a very fair spirit 

America seems, on the whole, to be 
a conntry possessing vast advantages, 
and little inconveniences ; they have 
a cheap government, and bad roads ; 
they pay no tithes, and have stage 
coaches without springs. They have 
no poor-laws, and no monopolies — 
but their inns are inconvenient, and 



more than we do, or more despise the 
pitiful propensity which exists among 
Grovernment runners to vent their small 
spite at their character ; but on the 
subject of slavery, the conduct of 
America is, and has been, most repre- 
hensible. It.is impossible to speak of 
it with too much indignation and con- 
tempt ; but for it we should look for- 
ward with unqualified pleasure to such 
a land of freedom, and such a magni- 
ficent spectacle of human happiness. 



MEMOIRS OF CAPTAIN BOCK. 
(E. Review, 1824.) 

Memoirs qf Captain Bock, the celebrated 
Irish Chieftain; with sopie Account qf 
Me Ancestors, Written by Himself. 
Fourth Edition. 12mo. London. 1824. 

This agreeable and vritty book is 
Dui uieir luiiB ttio lu^^uuvcuioiiu, «•"*« ■ generally suppo 
travellers are teased with questions, ten by Mr. Thomas Moore, a gentle- 
They have no collections in the fine man of small stature, but full of gemus, 
arts 5; but they have no Lord Chan- 
cellor, and they can go to law with- 
out absolute ruin. They cannot make 
Latin verses, but they expend immense 
sums in the education of the poor. In 
all this the balance is prodigiously in 
their favour : but then comes the great 
disgrace and danger of America — the 
existence of slavery, which, if not 
timously corrected, will one day entail 
(and ought to entail) a bloody servile 
war upon the Americans — which will 
separate America into slave States and 
States disclaiming slavery, and which 
remains at present as the foulest blot 
in the moral character of that people. 
A high-spirited nation, who cannot 
endure the slightest act of foreign ag- 
gression, and who revolt at the very 
ibhadow of domestic tyranny, beat with 



and a steady fiiend of all that is honour- 
able and just. He has here borrowed 
the name of a celebrated Irish leader, 
to typify that spirit of violence and 
insurrection which is necessarily gene- 
rated by systematic oppression, and 
rudely avenges its crimes ; and the 
picture he has drawn of its prevalence 
in that unhappy country is at once 
piteous and frightful. Its effect in 
exciting our horror and indignation is 
in the long run increased, we think, — 
though at first it may seem counter- 
acted, by the tone of levity, and even 
jocularity, under which he has chosen 
to veil the deep sarcasm and substan- 
tial terrors of his story. We smile at 
first, and are amusisd— and wonder, as 
we proceed, that the humorous nar- 

.iiauuw ui uvi^^^v. v-""/» — '^ati^e s^°^^^ P^^^'"''® conviction and 

cart-whips, and bind with chains, and pity-shame, abhorrence, and despair! 



murder for the merest trifles, wretched 
human beings, who are of a more 
dusky colour than themselves ; and 
have recently admitted in their Union 
a new State, with the express per- 
mission of ingrafting this atrocious 
wickedness into their constitution ! 
No one can admire the simple wisdom 
and manly firmness of the Americans 



England seems to have treated Ire- 
land much in the same way as Mrs. 
Brownrigg treated her apprentice — 
for which Mrs. Brownrigg is hanged 
in the first volume of the Newgate 
Calendar. Upon the whole, we think 
the apprentice is better off than the 
Irishman : as Mrs. Brownrigg merely 
starves and beats her, without any 



attempt to prohibit her from going to 
any shop, or praying at any church, 
her apprentice might select ; and once 
or twice, if we rememb^ rightly, 
Brownrigg appears to have felt some 
compassion. Not so Old England, 
who indulges rather in a steady base- 
ness, uniform brutality, and unrelent- 
ing oppression. 

Let us select from this entertaining 
little book a short history of dear Ire- 
land, such as even some profligate idle 
member of the House of Commons, 
voting as his master bids him, may 
perchance throw his eye upon, and 
reflect for a moment upon the iniquity 
to which he lends his support. 

For some centuries after the reign 
of Henry II. the Iri^h were Idlled like 
game, by persons qualified or unqu2^ 
lified. Whether dogs were used does 
not appear quite certain, though it is 
probable they were, spaniels as well as 
pointers ; and that, after a regular 
point by Basto, well backed by Ponto 
and Caesar, Mr. 0*Donnel or Mr. 
O'Leary bolted from the thicket, and 
were bagged by the English sports- 
man. With Henry IL came in tithes, 
to which, in all probability, about one 
million of lives may have been sacri- 
ficed in Ireland. In the reign of 
Edward L the Irish who were settled 
near the English requested that the 
benefit of the English laws might be 
extended to them ; but the remon- 
strance of the barons with the hesi- 
tating king was in substance this : — 
"You have made us a present of these 
wild gentlemen, and we particularly 
request that no measures may be 
adopted to check us in that full range 
of tyranny and oppression in which we 
consider the value of such gift to con- 
sist Ton might as well give us sheep, 
and prevent us from shearing the wool, 
or roasting the meat.** This reasoning 
prevailed, and the Irish were kept to 
their barbarism, and the barOns pre- 
served their live stock. 

"Bead 'Orange fMstion' (says Captain 
Rock) here, and you have the wisdom of 
cor rulers, at the end of near six centuries, 
in statu quo, — The grand periodic year of 
the stoics, at the close of which everything 
was to begin again, and the same events to 



MEMOIRS OF CAPTAIN ROCK. 



53 

be all reacted in the same order, is, on a 
miniature scale, represented in the history 
of the English Government tn Ireland — 
eveiy succeeding century being but a new 
revolution of the same follies, the same 
crimes, and the same turbulence that dis- 
graced the former. But *Vive rennemi!' 
say I: whoever may suffer by such meap 
sures, Captain Rock, at least, will prosper. 
"And such was the result at the period 
of which I am speaking. The rejection of a 
petition, so humble and so reasonable, was 
followed, as a matter of course, by one of 
those diuring rebellions into which the 
revenge of an insulted people naturally 
breaks forth. The M'Car^, the O'Briens, 
and all the other Macs and 0*8, who have 
been kept on the alert hy similar causes 
ever since, flew to arms under the command 
of a chieftain of my family ; and, as the 
proffered handle of the sword had been 
rejected, made their inexorable masters at 
least feel its «t^d."— (pp. 23—26.) • 

Fifty years afterwards the same 
request was renewed and refused. Up 
again rose Mac and O, — a just and 
necessary war ensued ; and e^ter the 
usual murders, the usual chains were re- 
placed upon the Irishiy. All Irishmen 
were excluded from every species of 
ofiice. It was high treason to marry 
with the Irish blood, and highly penal 
to receive the Irish into religious 
houses. War was waged also against 
their Thomas Moores, Samuel Rogerses, 
and Walter Scotts, who went about 
the country harping and singing against 
English oppression. No such turbulent 
guests were to be received. The plan 
of making them poets-laureate, or con- 
verting them to loyalty by pensions 
of lOOZ. per annum, had not then 
been thought of. They debarred the 
Irish even from the pleasure of run- 
ning away, and fixed them to the soil 
like negroes. 

** I have thus selected," says the historian 
of Rock, " cursorily and at random, a few 
features of the reigns preceding the B^or» 
mation, in order to show what good use 
was made of those three or four hundred 
years in attaching the Irish people to their 
English governors; and by what a gentle 
course of alteratives thqr were prepared for 
the inoculation of a new religion, which 
was now about to be attempted upon them 
by the same skilful and firiendly hands. 

** Henry the Seventh appears to have 
been the first monarch to whom it occurred 

S 3 



54 

that matters were not managed exactly as 
they ought in this part of his dominions; 
and we find him— with a simplicity which 
is still fresh and youthful among our rulers 
—expressing his surprise that * his subjects 
of this land should be so prone to faction 
and rebellion, and that so little advantage 
had been hitherto derived from the acqui- 
sitions of his predecessors, notwithstanding 
the fruitftdness and natiual advantages of 
Ireland.'— Surprising, indeed, that a policy, 
such as we have been describing, should not 
have converted the whole country into a 
perfect Atlantis of happiness — should not 
have made it like the imaginary island of 
Sir Thomas More, where ' tota insula velut 
una familia est I '— most stubborn, truly, 
and ungrateful, nmst that people be. upon 
whom, up to the very hour in which I 
write, such a long and unvarying course of 
penal laws, confiscations, and Insurrection 
Acts has been tried, without making them 
in the least degree in love with their rulers. 
*' Heloise tells her tutor Abelard, that the 
correction which he inflicted upon her only 
served toincrease theardour of her afTection 
for him; but bayonets and hemp are no 
such 'amoris stimuU,'—OD» more charac- 
teristic anecdote of those times, and I have 
done. At the battle of Knocktow, in the 
reign of Heniy V II., when that remarkable 
man, the Earl of S^Idare, assisted by the 
great O'Neal and other Irish chiefs, gained 
a victory over Clanricard of Connaught, 
most important to the English Government, 
Lord Gormanstown, after the battle, in the 
first insolence of success, said, turning to 
the Earl of Kildare, ' We have now slaugh- 
tered our enemies, but, to complete the 
good deed, we must proceed yet further, 
and— cut the throats of those Irish of our 
own party t ' * Who can wonder that the 
Bock family were active in those times ? " 
—(pp. sa-^.) 

• Henry VIII. persisted in all these 
outrages, and aggravated them by in- 
sulting the prejudices of the people. 
England is almost the only country in 
the world (even at present) where there 
is not some favourite religious spot, 
wherjB absurd lies, little bits of cloth, 
feathers, rusty nails, splinters, and 
other invaluable relics, are treasured 
np, and in defence of which the whole 
population are willing to turn out and 
perish as one man. Such was the 
shrine of St. Kieran, the whole trea- 
sures of which the satellites of that 

* Leland gives this anecdote on the 
authority of an Englishman. 



MEMOIRS OF CAPTAIN ROCK. 



corpulent tyrant turned out into the 
street, pill^ed the sacred church of 
Clonmacnoise, scattered the holy non- 
sense of the priests to the winds, 
and burnt the real and venerable cro- 
sier of St. Patrick, fresh from the 
silversmith's shop, and formed of the 
most costly materials. Modern princes 
change the uniform of regiments : 
Henry changed the religion of king- 
doms, and was determined that the 
belief of the Irish should undergo a 
radical and Protestant conversion. 
With what success this attempt was 
made, the present state of Ireland is 
sufficient evidence. 

"Be not dismayed," said Elizabeth, 
on hearing that O'Neal meditated some 
designs against her government ; ** tell 
my friends, if he arise, it will turn to 
their advantage — there will he estates 
for those who want** Soon after this 
prophetic speech, Munster was de- 
stroyed by famine and the sword, and 
near 600,000 acres forfeited to the 
Crown, and distributed among En- 
glishmen. Sir Walter Raleigh (the 
virtuous and good) butchered the 
garrison of Limerick in cold blood, 
after Lord Deputy Gray had selected 
700 to be hanged. There were, during 
the reign of Elizabeth, three invasions 
of Ireland by the Spaniards, produced 
principally by the absurd measures of 
this princess, for the reformation of its 
religion. The Catholic clergy, in con- 
sequence of these measures, abandoned 
their cures, the churches fell to ruin, 
and the people were left without any 
means of instruction. Add to these 
circumstances the murder of M*Mahon, 
the imprisonment of M*Toole* and 
O'Dogherty, and Ae kidnapping of 
O'Donnel — all truly Anglo-Hibernian 
proceedings. The execution of the 
laws was rendered detestable and in- 
tolerable hy the queen's officers of jus- 

* There are not a few of the best and most 
humane Englishmen of the present day, 
who, when under the influence of faar or 
anger, would think it no great crime to put 
to death people whose names be^n with O 
or Mac. The violent death of Smith, Green, 
or Thomson, would throw the neighbour- 
hood into convulsions, and the rMrular 
forms would be adhered to — but little 
would be really thought of the death of 
anybody called aDogherty or OTCoole. 



MEMOIBS OF CAPTAIN ROCK. 



56 



tice. The spirit raised by these trans- 
aetions, besides innumerable smaller 
insurrections, gave rise to the great 
wars of Desmond and Hugh O'l^eal ; 
which, after tbejr had worn out the 
ablest generals, discomfited the choicest 
troops, exhausted the treasure, and em- 
barrassed the operations of Elizabeth, 
were terminated bj the destruction of 
these two ancient families, and by the 
confiscation of more than half the ter- 
ritorial surface of the island. The two 
last years of O'Neal's wars cost Eliza- 
beth 140,000t per annum, though the 
whole revenue of England at that pe- 
riod fell considerably short of 500,Q00iL 
Essex, after the destruction of Norris, 
led into Ireland an army of above 
20,000 men, which was totally baffled 
and destroyed by Tyrone within two 
years of their landing. Such was the 
importance of Irish rebellions two cen- 
turies before the time in which we 
live. Sir G. Carew attempted to assas- 
sinate the Lugan Earl — Mountjoy 
compelled the Irish rebels to massacre 
each other. In the course of a few 
months, 3000 men were starved to 
death in Tyrone. Sir Arthur Chiches- 
ter, Sir Richard Manson, and other 
commanders, saw three children feed- 
ing on the flesh of their dead mother. 
Such were the golden days of good 
Queen Bess ! 

By the rebellions of Dogherty in the 
reign of James I. six northern coun- 
ties were confiscated, amounting to 
500,000 acres. In the same manner, 
64,000 acres were confiscated in Ath- 
lone. The whole of his confiscations 
amount to nearly a million acres ; and 
if Leland means plantation acres, they 
constitute a twelfth of the whole king- 
dom according to Newenham, and a 
tenth according to Sir W. Petty. The 
most shocking and scandalous action 
in the reign of James, was his attack 
upon the whole property of the pro- 
vince of Connaught, which he would 
have effected, 5 he had not been 
bought ofi^ by a sum greater than he 
hoped to g^in by his iniquity, besides 
the luxury of confiscation. The Irish, 
during the reign of James I., suffered 
under the double evils of a licentious 
soldiery, and a religions persecution. [ 



Charles I. took a bribe of 120,000^ 
from his Irish subjects, to grant them 
what in those days were called Gractt^ 
but in these days would be denomi- 
nated the Elements of Justice. The 
money was paid, but the graces 
were never granted. One of these 
graces is curious enough : ** That the 
clergy were not to be permitted to 
keep henceforward any private pri- 
sons of their own, but delinquents 
were to be committed to the public 
jails.*' The idea of a rector, with his 
own private jail full of dissenters, is 
the most ludicrous piece of tyranny 
we ever heard of. The troops in the 
beginning of Charles's reign were sup- 
ported by the weekly fines levied upon 
the Catholics for non-attendance upon 
established worship. The Archbishop 
of Dublin went himself, at the head of 
a file of musketeers, to disperse a 
Catholic congregation in Dublin — 
which object he effected, after a con- 
siderable skirmish with the priests. 
"The favourite object*' (says Dr. 
Iceland, a Protestant clergyman, and 
dignitary of the Irish church) " of the 
Irish Government and the English 
Parliament, was the utter extermituUion 
of all the Catholic inhabitants of Ire- 
land." The great rebellion took place 
in this reign, and Ireland was one 
scene of blood and cruelty and confis- 
cation. 

Cromwell began his career in Ire- 
land by massacring for five days the 
garrison of Drogheda, to whom quar- 
ter had been promised* Two millions 
and a half of acres were confiscated. 
Whole towns were put up in lots, and 
sold. The Catholics were banished 
from three-fourths of the kinp^dom, 
and confined to Connaught. After a 
certain day, every Catholic found out 
of Connaught was to be punished with 
death. Fleetwood complains peevishly 
** that the people do not transport rea- 
dffy,** — but adds, ** t( is dovbdess a 
work in which the Lord will appear" 
Ten thousand Irish were sent as re- 
cruits to the Spianish army. 

"Such was CromwtXFs way of settling 
the aflkirs of Ireland--and if a nation is to 
be ruined, this method is, perhaps, as good 
as any. It is, at lesst^ morehumone than the 

B 4 



56 



MEMOIRS OP CAPTAIN ROCK. 



slow lingering process of exclusion, disap- 
pointment, and degradation, lyy w)iich their 
hearts are woni out under mora specious 
forms of tiyranny ; and that talent of des- 
patch which Molitoe attributes to one of 
bis physicians, is no ordinaiy merit in a 
practitioner like Cromwell:— 'Cost un 
bomme exp^tif, qui aime ik d6pteher ses 
malades ; et quand on a ik mourir, oela se 
ftit avec lui le plus yite du monde.' A oer- 
tain militaiy ]>uke, who complains that 
Ireland is but half-conquered, would, no 
doubt, upon an emergency, tiy bis band in 
the same line of practice, and, like that 
' stem hero,' MirmUlo, in the Dispensary, 

'While others meanly take whole months 
to slay, • 

Despatch the grateftil patient in a day I ' 

''Among other amiable enactments against 
the Catholics at this period, the price of five 
pounds was set on the head of a Bomish 
priest-— being exactly the same sum offered 
by the same l^slators for the head of a 
wolf. The Athenians, we are told, encou- 
raged the destruction of wolves by a similar 
reward (five draclunas) ; but it does not 
appear that these heathens bought up the 
beads of priests at the same rate— such zeal 
in the cause of religion being reserved for 
times of Christianity and Protestantism.*'— 
(pp. 97—99.) 

Nothing can show more strongly the 
light in which the Irish were held by 
Cromwell, than the correspondence 
with Henry Cromwell, respecting the 
peopling of Jamaica from Ireland. 
Secretary Thurloe sends to Henry, the 
Lord Depaty in Ireland, to inform 
him, that *' a stock of Irish girls, and 
Irish young men, are wanting for the 
peopling of Jamaica.'* The answer of 
Henry Cromwell is as follows: — " Con- 
cerning the supply of young men, al- 
though we must nse force in taking 
them up, yet it being so miteh for their 
own good, and likely to be of so great 
advantage to the public, it is not the 
least doubted but that you may have 
such a number of them as you may 
think fit to make use of on this ac- 
count. 

** I shall not need repeat anything 
respecting the girls, not doubting to 
answer your expectations to the full in 
that; and I think it might be of like 
advantage to your affairs there, and 
ours here, if you should think fit to 
send 1500 or 22000 boys to the place 



above mentioned. We can weU spare 
them; and who knows but that it may 
be the means of making them English- 
men, I mean rather Christians? As 
for the girls, I suppose you will make 
provisions of clothes, and other accom- 
modations for them." Upon this, 
Thurloe informs Henry Cromwell that 
the council have roted 4000 ghrU, and 
€u many hoyty to g^ to Jamaica. 

Every Catholic priest found in Ire- 
land was hanged, and five pounds paid 
to the informer. 

'* About the years 1652 and 1653," 
says Colonel Lawrence, in his Interests 
of Ireland, ** the plague and famine 
had so swept away whole counties, 
that a man might travel twenty or 
thirty miles and not see « living crea- 
ture, either man or beast, or bird, 
they being all dead, or had quitted 
those desolate places. Oar soldiers 
would tell storied of the places where 
they saw smoke — it was so rare to see 
either smoke by day, or fire or candle 
by night.*' In this manner did the 
Irish live and die under Cromwell, snf- 
fering by the sword, famine, pestilence, 
and persecution, beholding the confis- 
cation of a kingdom and the banish- 
ment of a race. *' So that there perish- 
ed " (says Sir W. Petty) « in the year 
1641, 650^000 human beings whose 
blood somebody must atone for to God 
and the King I r* 

In the reign of Charles IL, by the 
Act of Settlement, four millions and 
a half of acres were for ever taken 
from the Irish. ** This country," says 
the Earl of Essex, Lord Lieutenant 
in 1675, "has been perpetually rent 
and torn, since his Majesty's restoration. 
I can compare it to nothing better than 
the flinging the reward on the death of 
a deer among the pack of hounds — 
where every one pulls and tears where 
he can for himself." All wool gtown 
in Ireland was, by Act of Parliament, 
compelled to be sold to England; and 
Irish cattle were excluded from Eng- 
land. The English, however, were 
pleased to accept 30,000 head of cattle, 
sent as a gift from Ireland to the 
sufierers in the great fire! — and the 
first day of the ^ssions, after this act 
of munificence, the Parliament passed 



MEMOIRS OF CAPTAIN ROCK. 



57 



fresh acts of exclusion against the pro- 
ductions of that countrjr. 

" Among the many anomalous situations 
in which the Irish have been placed, by 
those ' marriage vows» false as dicers' oaths,' 
which bind their country to England, the 
* dilemma in which they found themaelyes at 
the devolution was not the least perplexing 
or crueL* If they were loyal to the King 
de jure, they were hanged by the King de 
facto; and if they escaped with life firom 
the King de facto, it was but to be plun- 
dered and proscribed by the King de jure 
afterwards. 

'Hao gener atque eoeer coeant meroede 
suorum.'— YiKGiL. 

'In a manner so summaiy, prompt, and 
high-mettled, 
Twixt father and son-in-law matters were 
settled.' 

"In fiact, most of the outlawries in Ire- 
land were for treason committed the very 
day on which the Prince and Princess of 
Orange accepted the crown in the Banquet- 
ing-house ; though the news of this event 
could not possibly have reached the other 
side of the Channel on the same day, and 
the Lord-Lieutenant of King James, with 
an anny to enforce obedience, was at that 
time in actual i>06ses8ion of the govern* 
moit,— so little was common sense con- 
sulted, or the mere decency of forms 
observed, by that rapacious spirit, which 
nothing less than the confiscation of the 
whole island could satisiy ;'and which hav- 
ing, in the reign of James I. and at the 
Bestoration, despoiled the natives of no less 
than ten million six hundred and thirty-six 
thousand eight himdred and thirty-seven 
acres, now added to its plunder one million 
sixty thousand seven hundred and ninety- 
two acres more, being the amount, altoge- 
ther (according to Lord Clare's calculation), 
of the whole superficial contents of the 
island I 

** Thus, not only had all Ireland suffered 
confiscation in the course of tins century, 
but no inconsiderable portion of it had been 

* "Among the persons most puzzled and 
perplexed by the two opposite Koyal claims 
on their alliance, were the clergymen of 
tin Established Church ; who having first 
prayed for King James, as their lawful 
sovereign, as soon as William was pro- 
claimea tool: to praying tor him; but again, 
on the success of the Jitcobite forces in the 
north, very prudently pra;^ed for King 
James once more, tUl nie arrival of Schom- 
berg, when, as far as his quarters reached, 
they returned to praying for King William 
andn." 



twice and even thrice confiscated. Well 
might Lord Clare say, ' that the situation 
of the Irish nation, at the Bevolution, 
stands unparalleled in the history of the 
inhabited world.' "— (pp. 111—113.) 

By the Articles of Limerick, the 
Irish were promised the free exercise 
of their religion ; but from that period 
till the year 1788, every year produced 
some fresh penalty against that religion 
— some liberty was abridged, some 
right impaired, or some suffering in- 
creased. By acts in King William's 
reign, they were prevented from being 
solicitors. No Catholic was allowed to 
marry a Protestant ; and any Catholic 
who sent a son to Catholic countries 
for education was to forfeit all his 
lands. In the reign of Queen Anne, 
any son of a Catholic who chose to 
turn Protestant got possession of the . 
father's estate. No Papist was allowed 
to purchase freehold property, or to 
take a lease for more than thirty years. 
If a Protestant dies intestate, the estate 
is to go to the next Protestant heir, 
though all to the tenth generation 
should be Catholic. In the same 
manner, if a Catholic dies intestate, 
his estate is to go to the next Protes« 
tant No Papist is to dwell in Lime- 
rick or Galway. No Papist to take 
an annuity for life. The widow of a 
Papist turning Protestant to have a 
portion of the chattels of deceased, 
in spite of any will. Every Papist 
teaching schools to be presented as a 
regular Popish convict. Prices of 
catching Catholic priests from 509. to 
10/., according to rank. Papists are 
to answer all questions respecting other 
Papists, or to be committed to jail for 
twelve months. No trust to be under- 
taken for Papists. No Papists to be 
on Grand Juries. Some notion may 
be formed of the spirit of those times, 
from an order of the House of Com- 
mons, '*that the Sergeant-at-Arms 
should take into custody all Papists that 
should presume to come into the gal" 
lery ! ** ( Commons' Joumalj vol. iii. fol. 
976.) During this reign, the English 
Parliament legislated as absolutely for 
Ireland as they do now for Rutland- 
shire — an evil not to be complained 
of, if they had done it as justly. lo 



58 



MEMOIRS OF CAPTAIN BOCK. 



the reign of George L, the horses of 
Papists were seized for the militia, and 
rode hy Protestants ; towards which 
the Catholics paid doable, and were 
compelled to find Protestant substi- 
tutes. They were prohibited from 
voting at vestries, or being high or 
petty constables. An act of the En- 
glish Parliament in this reign opens 
SB follows : — *' Whereas attempts have 
been lately made to shake off the sub- 
jection of Ireland to the Imperial 
Crown of these realms, be it enacted/' 
&c. &c- In the reign of Greorge II. 
four-sixths of the population were cut 
off from the right of voting at elections, 
by the necessity under which thej were 
placed of taking the oath of supre- 
macy. Barristers and solicitors marry- 
ing Catholics are exposed to all the 
penalties of Catholics. Persons robbed 
by privateers during a war with a 
Catholic State, are to be indemnified 
by a levy on the Catholic inhabitants 
of the neighbourhood. All marriages 
between Catholics and Protestants are 
annulled. All Popish priests celebra- 
ting them are to be hanged. ** This 
system " (says Arthur Young) ** has 
no other tendency than that of driving 
out of the kingdom all the personcd 
wealth of the Catholics, and extin- 
guishing their industry within it ! and 
tiie face of the country, every object 
which presents itself to travellers, tells 
him how effectually this has been 
done.** — (YbMn^** Tour in Ireland, 
Vol. IL p. 48.) 

Such is the history of Ireland — for 
we are now at our own times; and the 
only remaining question is» whether 
the system of improvement and con- 
ciliation begun in the reign of Greorge 
IIL shall be pursued, and the remain- 
ing incapacities of the Catholics re- 
moved, or all these concessions be made 
insignificant by an adherence to that 
spirit of proscription which they pro- 
fessed to abolish ? Looking to the 
sense and reason of the thing, and to 
the ordinary working of humanity and 
justice, when assisted, as they are here, 
by self-iuterest and worldly policy, it 
might seem absurd to doubt of the 
result. But looking to the facts and 
the persons by whidi We are now sur- 



rounded, we are constrained to say, 
that we greatly fear that these incapa- 
cities never will be removed, till they 
are removed by fear? What else, in- 
deed, can we expect when we see them 
opposed by such enlightened men as 
Mr. Peel — faintly assisted by men of 
such admirable genius as Mr. Canning, 

— when Royal Dukes consider it as a 
compliment to the memory of thehr 
father to continue this miserable system 
of bigotry and exclusion, — when men 
act ignominiously and contemptibly on 
this question, who do so on no other 
question, — when almost the only per* 
sons zealously opposed to this general 
baseness and fatuity are a few Whigs 
and Reviewers, or here and there a 
virtuous poet like Mr. Moore ? We 
repeat again, that the measure never 
will be effected but by fear. In the 
midst of one of our just and necessary 
wars, the Irish Catholics will compel 
this country to grant them a great deal 
more than they at present require, or 
even contempUte. We re^et most 
severely the protraction of the disease, 

— and the danger of the remedy; — 
but in this way it is that human affairs 
are carried on ! 

We are sorry we have nothing for 
which to praise Administration on the 
subject of the Catholic question — but, 
it is but justice to say» that they have 
been very zealous and active in detect- 
ing fiscal abuses in Ireland, in improv- 
ing mercantile regulations, and in 
detecting Irish jobs. The commission 
on which Mr. Wallace presided has 
been of the greatest possible utility, 
and does infinite credit to the Govern- 
ment The name of Mr. Wallace, in 
any commission, has now become a 
pledge to the public that there is a real 
intention to investigate and correct 
abuse. He stands in the singular -pre- 
dicament of being equally trusted by 
the rulers and the ruled. It is a new 
era in GK>vernment, when such men 
are called into action ; and, if there 
were not proclaimed and fatal limits to 
that ministerial liberality —which, so 
far as it goes, we welcome without a 
grudge, and praise without a sneer — 
we might yet hope that, for the sake 
of mere consistency, they might bo 



BENTHAiyrS BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



5» 



led to falsify our forebodings. Bat 
alas ! there are motives more imme- 
diate, and therefore irresistible ; and 
the time is not yet come, when it will 
be believed easier to govern Ireiand bv 
the love of the many than by the 
power of the few — when the paltry 
and dangerons machinery of bigoted 
faction and prostituted patronage may 
be dispensed with, and the vessel of 
the state be propelled by the natural 
current of popular interests and the 
breath of popular applause. In the 
meantime, we cannot resist the temp« 
tation of gracing our conclusion with 
the following beautiful passage, in 
which the anthor alludes to the hopes 
that were raised at another great era 
of partial concession and liberality — 
that of the revolution of 1782, — when, 
also, benefits were conferred which 
proved abortiye, because they were 
incomplete — and balm poured into 
the wound, where the envenomed shaft 
was yet left to rankle. 

"And here/' says the gallant Captain 
Bock,— "as the free confession of weak- 
nesses constitutes the chief charm and use 
of biography— I will candidly own that the 
dawn of prosperity and concord, whidi I 
now saw breaking over the fortunes of my 
country, so dazzled and deceived my youth- 
Ail eyes, and so unsettled every hereditary 
notion of what I owed to my name and 
fiunily, that — shall I confess it?— I even 
hailed with pleasure the prospects of peace 
and freedom that seemed opening around 
me ; nay, was ready, in the boyish enthusi- 
asm of the moment, to sacrifice all my own 
pexsonal interests in all ftiture riots and 
rebellions, to the one bright, seducing ob- 
ject of my country's liberty and repose. 

"When I contemplated such a man as 
the venerable Cfaarlemont, whose nobility 
was to the people like a fort over a valley- 
elevated above them solely for their defence ; 
who introduced the polish of the courtier 
into the camp of the ft-eeman, and served 
his countiy with all that pure, Platonic 
devotion, which a true knight in the time 
of chivalry profTered to his mistress ;— when 
I Ustened to the eloquence of Grattan, the 
very music of Preedom — her first, fresh 
matin song, after a long night of slavery, 
degradation, and sorrow ;— when I saw the 
bright offerings which he brought to the 
shrine of his oountiy,— wisdom, genius, 
courage, and patience, invigorated and em- 
bellished by ail those social and domestic 



virtues, without which the loftiest talenta 
stand isolated in the moral waste around 
them, like the piUan of Palmyra towering 
in a wilderness I— when I refiected on all 
this, it not only disheartened me for the 
mission of discord which I had undertaken, 
but made me secretly hope that it might be 
rendered unneoessary; and that a oountiy, 
which could produce such men and achiere 
such a revolution, might yet — in spite of 
the joint efforts of the Qovemment and 
my fitmily — take her rank in the sode of 
nations, and be fiappy I 

" My fitther, however, who saw the mo- 
mentary daazle by which I was affected, 
soon draw me out of this fl^lse light of hope 
in which I lay basking, and set the truth 
before me in a way but too convincing and 
ominoua. ' Be not deceived, boy,' he would 
say, 'by the lUlacious appearances before 
you. Eminently great and good as is the 
man to whom Lreland owes tins short era 
of glory, our work, believe me, wiU last 
longer than his. We have a power on our 
side that '*wiU not wiliingty let us die;" 
and, long after Grattan shall have disap- 
peared from earth,— like that arrow shot 
into the clouds by Aloestes — effecting 
nothing, but leaving a long train of light 
behind him, the fiimily of the Rocks will 
continue to fiourish in all their native 
glory, upheld by the ever-watchftd care of 
the Legislature, and fostered hy that 
" nnrsingmother of Liberty," the Chundh' " 



BENTHAM ON FALLACIES. 
(E. Beyibw, 1825.) 

Ths Book of FaUaeies: from Unftnishtd 
PaperstfJeremf BetUham, By a Friend. 
London. J. and H. L. Hunt. 1824. 

There are a vast number of absurd 
and mischievous fallacies, which pass 
readily in the world for sense and 
virtue, while in truth they tend only 
to fortify error and encourage crime* 
Mr. Bentham has enumerated the 
most conspicuous of these in the book 
before us. 

Whether it be necessary there should 
be a middleman between the cultivator 
and the possessor, learned economists 
have doubted; but neither gods, men, 
nor booksellers, can doubt the neces- 
sity of a middleman between Mr. 
Bentham and the public. Mr. Ben- 
tham is long ; Mr. Bentham is occa- 



60 



BENTHAM'S BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



sionally involved and obscure; Mr. 
Bentbam invents new and alarming 
expressions ; Mr. Bentbam loves divi- 
sion and sub- division — and be loves 
metbod itself, more tban its conse- 
quences. Tbose only, tberefore, wbo 
know bis originality, bis knowledge, 
bis vigour, and bis boldness, will recur 
to tbe works tbemselves. Tbe great 
mass of readers will not pnrcbase im- 
provement at so dear a rate ; but will 
cboose ratber to become acquainted 
witb Mr. Bentbam tbrough tbe me- 
dium of Reviews — after that eminent 
pbilosopber ba»been washed, trimmed, 
shaved, and forced into clean linen. 
One great use of a Review, indeed, is 
to make men wise in ten pages; wbo 
bave no appetite for a hundred pages ; 
to condense nourishment, to work with 
pulp and essence, and to guard the 
stomach from idle burden and unmean- 
ing bulk. For half a page, sometimes 
for a whole page, Mr. Bentbam \hntes 
with a power which few can equal ; 
and by selecting and omitting, an ad- 
mirable style may be formed from the 
text. Using this liberty, we shall en- 
deavour to give an account of Mr. 
Bentham's doctrines, for tbe most part 
in his own words. Wherever any ex- 
pression is particularly happy, let it 
be considered to be Mr. Bentham's : — 
the dnlness we take to ourselves. 

Our Wise Ancestors— the Wisdom of 
our Ancestors — the Wisdom of Ages — 
venerable Antiquity — Wisdom of Old 
Times. — This mischievous and absurd 
fallacy springs from the grossest per- 
version of tbe meaning of words. Ex- 
perience is certainly tbe mother of 
wisdom, and the old have, of course, 
a greater experience tban the young ; 
but the question is, who are the old? 
and wbo are the young? Of indivi- 
duals living at the same period, the 
oldest has, of course, the greatest ex- 
perience ; but among generations of 
men the reverse of this is true. Those 
wbo come first (our ancestors) are the 
young people, and have the least ex- 
perience. We have added to their 
experience tbe experience of many 
centuries ; and, therefore, as far as 
experience goes, are wiser, and more 
capable of forming on opinion than 



they were. The real feeling should bei 
not, can we be so presumptuous as to 
put our opinions in opposition to those 
of our ancestors ? but can such young, 
ignorant, and inexperienced persons, 
as our ancestors necessarily were, be 
expected to bave understood a sub- 
ject as well as tbose who bave seen so 
much more, lived so much longer, and 
enjoyed the experience of so m^ny 
centuries ? All this cant, then, about 
our ancestors is merely an abuse of 
words, by transferring phrases true of 
contemporary men to succeeding ages. 
Whereas (as we bave before observed) 
of living men tbe oldest has, ccBteris 
paribus, the most experience ; of gene- 
rations, the oldest has, cateris paribus, 
the least experience. Our ancestors, 
up to the Conquest, were children in 
arms ; chubby boys in tbe time of 
Edward I.; striplings under Eliza- 
beth ;• men in the reign of Queen 
Anne ; and toe only are the white- 
bearded, silver-headed ancients, who 
have treasured up, and are prepared to 
profit by, all the experience which hu- 
man life can supply. We are not dis- 
puting with our ancestors the palm of 
talent, in which they may or may not 
be our superiors, but the palm of ex- 
perience, in which it is utterly im- 
possible they can be our superiors. 
And yet, whenever the Chancellor 
comes forward to protect some abase, 
or to oppose some plan which has 
the increase of human happiness for 
its object, his first appeal is always to 
the wisdom of our ancestors ; and he 
himself, and many noble lords wbo 
vote with him, are, to this hour, 
persuaded that all alterations and 
amendments on their devices are an un- 
blushing controversy between youth- 
ful temerity and mature experience !— 
and so, in truth, they are, — only that 
much -loved magistrate mistakes tbe 
young for tbe old, and tbe old for the 
young — and is guilty of that very 
sin against experience which he attri- 
butes to tbe lovers of innovation. 

We cannot, of coarse, be supposed 
to maintain that our ancestors wanted 
wisdom, or that they were necessarily 
mistaken in their institutions, because 
their means of information were more 



BENTHAM'S BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



61 



limited than ours. But we do confi- 
dently maintain that when we find it 
expedient to change anything which 
oar ancestors have enacted, we . are 
the experienced persons, and not they. 
The quantity of talent is always vary- 
ing in any great nation. To say that 
we are more or less able than onr an- 
cestors, is an assertion that requires to 
be explained. All the able men of all 
ages, who have ever lived in England, 
probably possessed, if taken altogether, 
more intellect than all the able men now 
in England can boast of. But if autho- 
rity must be resorted to rather than 
reason, the question is. What was the 
wisdom of that single age which enacted 
the law, compared with the wisdom of 
the age which proposes to alter it ? What 
are the eminent men of one and the 
other period ? If you say that our 
ancestors were wiser than us, mention 
your date and year. If the splendour 
of names is equal, are the circum- 
stances the same ? If the circum- 
stances are the same, we have a supe- 
riority of experience, of which the 
difference between the two periods is 
the measure. It is necessary to insist 
upon this ; for upon sacks of wool, 
and on benches forensic, sit grave 
men, and agricolous persons' in the 
Commons, crying out ** Ancestors, 
Ancestors I kodie turn I Saxons, 
Danes, save us ! Fiddlefrig, help us ! 
Howel, Ethelwolf, protect us ! " — Any 
cover for nonsense — any veil for 
trash — any pretext for repelling the 
innovations of conscience and of duty ! 

" So long as they keep to vague generali- 
ties—so long as the two objects of compari- 
son are each of them taken in the lump — 
wise ancestors in one lump, ignorant and 
foolish mob of modem times in the other— 
the weakness of the ftdlacy may escape 
detection. But let them assign for the 
period of 8ui)erior wisdom any determinate 
period whatsoever, not only will the ground- 
lessness of the notion be apparent (class 
being compared with class in that period 
and the present one), but, unless the ante- 
cedent period be comparatively speaking a 
very modem one, so wide will be the dispa- 
rity, and to such an amount in fitvour of 
modem times, that, in comparison of the 
lowest class of the people in modem times, 
(always supposing them proficients in the 



art of reading, and their ^proScieney em- 
ployed in the reading of newspapers,) the 
very highest and best informed cls«s of 
these wise ancestors will turn out to be 
grossly ignorant. 

'* lUce, for example, any year in the reign 
of Henry the Eighth, from 160d to 154A. At 
that time the House of Lords would pro- 
bably have been in poaseesion of by ftr the 
larger proportion of what little instruction 
the age afforded : in the House of Lords, 
among the iBity, it might even then be a 
question whether, without exception, their 
lordships were all of them able so much as 
to read. But even supposing them all in 
the ftiUest possession of that useftd art, 
political science being the science in ques- 
tion, what instruction on the subject could 
they meet with at that time of day? 

** On no one branch of legislation was any 
book extant firom which, with regard to the 
drcumstanoes of the then present times, 
any useful instruction could be derived: 
distributive law, penal law, international 
law, political economy, so tar from existing 
as sciences, had scarcely obtained a name : 
in all those departments, under the head of 
quid faciendum, a mere blank : the whole 
literature of the age consisted of a meagre 
chronicle or two, containing short memo- 
randums of the usual occurrences of war 
and peace, battles, sieges, executions, revels, 
deaths, births, processions, cei^emonies, and 
other external events ; but with scarce a 
speech or an Incident that could enter into 
the composition of any such work as a his- 
tory of the human mind— with scarce an 
attempt at investigation into causes, cha- 
racters, or the state of the people at large. 
Even when at last, little by little, a scrap or 
two of political instruction came to be 
obtainable, the proportion of error and 
mischievous doctrine mixed up with it was 
so great, that whether a bhmk unfilled 
might not have been less prejudicial than a 
blank thus filled, may reasonably be matter 
of doubt. 

** If we come down to the reign of James 
the Eirst, we shall find that Solomon of his 
time, eminently eloquent as well as learned, 
not only among crowned but among un- 
crowned heads, marking out for prohibition 
and punishment the practices of devils and 
witches, and without any the slightest 
objection on the part of the great characters 
of that day in their high situations, con- 
signing men to death and torment for the 
misfortune of not being so well acquainted 
as he was with the composition of the (Sod- 
head. 

*' Under the name of Exorcism the Ca- 
tholic htuigy contains a form of procedure 
I for driving out devils r-even with the help 



62 



BENTHAirS BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



of thii inrtnunent, the opentioD oamiot be 
perfonned with the desired suooees, but hy 
an operator qualifled by holy orders for the 
working of this as well as so many other 
wonders. In our days, and in our country, 
the same object is attained, and b^ond 
comparison more efTectually, by so cheap an 
instrument as a common newspaper : berf%>re 
this taUsman, not only devils, but ghosts, 
vampires, witches, and all their kindred 
tribes, are driven out of the land, never to 
return again 1 The touch of holy water is 
not so intolerable to them as the bare smell 
of printers' ink."— (pp. 74—77.) 

Fallacy of irrevocable Laws. *- A 
law, says Mr. Bentham (no matter to 
what effect), is proposed to a legisla- 
tive assembly, who are called npon to 
reject it, upon the single ground, that 
by those who in some former period 
exercised the same powei, a regular 
tion was made, having for its object to 
preclude for ever, or to the end of an 
unexpired period, all succeeding legis* 
lators from enacting a law to any sach 
effect as that now proposed. 

Now it appears quite evident that, 
at every, period of time, every Legisla- 
ture must be endowed with all those 
powers which the exigency of the times 
may require : and any attempt to in- 
fringe on this power is inadmissible 
and absurd. The sovereign power, at 
any one period, can only form a blind 
guess at the measures which may be 
necessary for any future period : but 
by this principle of immutable laws, 
the government is transferred from 
those who are necessarily the best 
judges of what they want, to others 
who can know little or nothing about 
the matter. The thirteenth century 
decides for the fourteenth. The four- 
teenth makes laws for the fifteenth. 
The fifteenth hermetically seals up the 
sixteenth, which tyrannises over the 
seventeenth, which again tells the 
eighteenth how it is to act, under 
circumstances which cannot be fore- 
seen, and how it is to conduct itself 
in exigencies which no human wit can 
anticipate. 

" Men who have a century more of expe- 
rience to ground their Judgments on, sur- 
render their intellect to men who had a 
oentuiy less experience, and wbo, unless 
that deficiency orastitutes a daim, have no 



claim to preferenoe. If the prior generation 
were, in respect of inteUectual qualification, 
eveae so much superiw to the subsequent 
generation— if it understood so much better 
than the subsequent generation itself the 
interest of that subsequent generation— 
could it have been in an equal degree 
anxious to promote that interest, and con- 
sequently equally attentive to those facts 
with which, though in order to form a 
judgment it oi^ht to have been, it is im- 
possible that it should have been aoquunt- 
ed f In a word, will its love for that subse- 
quent generation be quite so great as that 
same generation's love for itself? 

" Not even hens, after a moment's delibe- 
rate reflection, wiU the assertion be in the 
affirmative. And yet it is their prodigious 
anxiety for the welftre of their posterity 
that produces the propensity of these sages 
to tie up the hands of this same posterity 
for evermore — to act as guardians to its 
perpetual and* incurable weakness, and 
take its conduct for ever out of its own 
hands. 

** If it be right that the conduct; of the 
19th oentuiy should be determined not by 
its own judgment, but by that of the 18th, 
it will be equally right that the conduct of 
the 20th century should be deto^mined, not 
by its own judgment, but by that of the 
19th. And if the same principle were still 
pursued, what at length would be the con- 
sequence?— that in process of time the 
practice of legislation would be at an end. 
The conduct and fate of all men would be 
determined by those who neither knew nor 
cared anything about the matter ; and the 
aggregate body of the Living would remain 
for ever in subjection to an inexorable 
tyranny, exercised, as it were, by the aggre- 
gate body of the Dead."— (pp. 84-86.) 

The despotism, as Mr. Bentham 
well observes, of Nero or Caligula, 
would be more tolerable than an trre- 
vocable law. l*he despot, through fear 
or favour, or in a lucid interval, might 
relent ; but how are the Parliament, 
who made the Scotch Union, for ex- 
ample, to be awakened from that dust 
in which they repose — the jobber and 
the patriot, the speaker and the door- 
keeper, the silent voters and the men of 
rich allusions — Cannings and cultiva- 
tors. Barings and beggars — making 
irrevocable laws for men who toss 
their remains about with spades, and 
use the relics of these legislators, to 
give breadth to broccoli, and to aid 
the vernal eruption of asparagus ? 



BENTHAM'S BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



63 



If tbe law be good, it will sapport 
itself; if bad, it should not be sup- 
ported bj the irrevocable theory, which 
is never resorted to but as the veil of 
abases. All living men must possess 
the sapreme power over their own 
happiness at every particular period. 
To suppose that there is anything 
which a whole nation cannot do, 
which they deem to be essential to 
their happiness, and that they cannot 
do it, because another generation, long 
ago dead and gone, said it mast not 
be done, is mere nonsense. While you 
are captain of the vessel, do what you 
please ; bat the moment you quit the 
ship, I become as omnipotent as you. 
You may leave me as much advice as 
you please, but you cannot leave me 
commands; though, in fact, this is the 
only meaning which can be applied 
to what are called irrevocable laws. 
It appeared to the Legislature for the 
time being to be of immense import- 
ance to make such and such ^ law. 
Great good was gained or great evil 
avoided by enacting it. Pause before 
you alter an institution which has 
been deemed to be of so much im- 
portance. This is prudence and com- 
mon sense ; the rest is the exaggera- 
tion of fools, or the artifice of knaves, 
who eat up fools. What endless non- 
sense has been talked of our naviga- 
tion laws ! What wealth has been 
sacrificed to either before they were 
repealed I How impossible it appeared 
to Noodledom to repeal them ! They 
were considered of the irrevocable class 
— a kind of law over which the dead 
only were omnipotent, and the living 
had no power. Frost, it is trae, can- 
not be put off by act of Parliament, 
nor can Spring bie accelerated by any 
majority of both Houses. It is, how- 
ever, quite a mistake to suppose that 
any alteration of any of the Articles 
of Union is as much out of the jaris- 
diction of Parliament as these me- 
teorological changes. In every year, 
and every day of Siat year, L'ving men 
have a right to make their own laws, 
and manage their own affairs ; to break 
through the tyranny of the ante-spi- 
rants — the people who breathed be- 
fore them, and to do what they please 



for themselves. Sach supreme power 
cannot indeed be well exercised by 
the people at large ; it must be exer- 
cised therefore by the delegates, or 
Parliament, whom the people choose ; 
and such Parliament, disregarding the 
superstitious reverence for irrevocable 
laws, can have no other criterion of 
wrong and right than that of public 
utility. 

When a law is considered as immu- 
table; and the immutable law happens 
at the same time to be too foolish 
and mischievous to be endured, instead 
of being repealed, it is clandestinely 
evaded, or openly violated ; and thus 
the aathority of all law is weakened. 

Where a- nation has been ances- 
torially bound by foolish and impro- 
vident treaties, ample notice must be 
given of their termination. Where 
the state has made ill-advised grants, 
or rash bargains with individuals, it is 
necessary to grant pfoper compensa- 
tion. The most di£5cult case, certainly, 
is that of the union of nations, where a 
smaller number of the weaker nation 
is admitted into the larger senate of 
the greater nation, and will be over-* 
powered if the question come to a 
vote ; but the lesser nation must run 
this risk : it is not probable that any 
violation of articles will take place till 
they are absolutely called for by ex- 
treme necessity. Bht let the danger 
be what it may, no danger is so great, 
no supposition so foolish, as to con- 
sider any human law as irrevocable. 
The shifting attitude of haman affairs 
would often render such a condition 
an intolerable evil to all parties. The 
absurd jealousy of our countrymen at 
the Union secured heritable jurisdic- 
tion to the owners; nine and thirty years 
afterwards they were abolished in the 
very teeth of the Act of . Union, and 
to the evident promotion of the public 
good. ' 

Continuity of a Law hy Oath. — 
The Sovereign of England at his 
Coronation takes an oath to maintain 
the laws of God, the true profession of 
the Gospel, and the Protestant religion 
as established by law, and to preserve 
to the Bishopt and Clergy of this 
realm the rights and privileges which by 



BENTHAM'S BOOK OF FAU^ACIESu 



64 

law appertain to them, and to presenre 
invioliae the doctrine, discipline, wor- 
ship, and government of the Chorch. 
It has heen snggested that by this 
oath the ELing stands precluded from 
granting those indulgences to the Irish 
Catholics which are incladed in the 
bill for their emancipation. The true 
meaning of these provisions is, of 
course, to be decided, if doubtfnl, bj 
the same legislative authority which 
enacted them. But a different notion it 
seems is now afloat The King for 
the time being (we are putting an 
imaginary case) diinks as an indivi-* 
dual, that he is not maintaining the 
doctrine, discipline, and rights of the 
Church of England, if ho grant any 
extension of civil rights to those who 
are not members of that Church, that 
he is violating his oath by so doing. 
This oath, then, according to this rea- 
soning, la the great palladium of the 
Church. As long as it remains invio- 
late the Church is safe. How then ca» 
any monarch who has taken it ever 
consent to repeal it ? How can he, 
consistently with his oath for the pre- 
servation of the privileges of the 
Church, contribute his part to throw 
down so strong a bulwark as he deems 
Uiis oath to be ? The oath, then, can- 
not be altered. It must remain under 
all circumstances of society the same. 
The King, who has taken it, is bound 
to continue it, and to refuse his sanction 
to any bill for its future alteration ; 
because it prevents him, and he must 
needs think, will prevent others, from 
granting dangerous immunities to the 
enemies of the Church. 

Here, then, is an irrevocable law — a 
piece of absurd tyranny exercised by 
the rulers of Queen Anne's time upon 
the government of 1825 — a certain 
art of potting and preserving a king- 
dom, in one shape, attitude and flavour 
-» and in this way it is thtit an institu- 
tion appears like old Ladies' Sweet- 
meats and made Wines — Apricot 
Jam, 1822— Currant Wine, 1819 -— 
Court of Chancery, 1427 — Penal Laws 
against Catholics, 1676. The differ- 
ence is, that the Ancient Woman is a 
better judge of mou]^y commodities 
than the Uberal part of his Majesty's 



Ministers. The potting lady goes snif- 
fing about, and admitting light and 
air to prevent the progress of decay ; 
while to him of the Woolsack, all 
seems doubly dear in proportion as it 
is antiquated, worthless, and unusable. 
It ought not to be in the power of the 
Sovereign to tie up his own hands, 
much less the hands of his successors. 
If the Sovereign is to oppose his 
own opinion to that of the two other 
branches of the Legislature, and him- 
self to decide what he considers to 
be for the benefit of the Protestant 
Church, and what not, a king who has 
spent his whole life in the frivolous 
occupation of a court, may, by perver- 
sion of understanding, conceive mea- 
sures most salutary to the Church to 
be most pernicious ; and persevering 
obstidately in his own error, may frtis- 
trate the wisdom of his Parliament, 
and perpetuate the most inconceivable 
folly ! If Henry YHI. had argued in 
this Ihanner, we should have had no 
Reformation. If Greorge IIL had 
always argued in this manner, the 
Catholic Code would never have been 
relaxed. And thus, a king, however 
incapable of forming an opinion upon 
serious subjects, has nothing to do but 
to pronounce the word Conscience, and 
the whole power of the country is at 
his feet. 

Can there be greater absurdity than 
to say that a man is acting con- 
trary to his conscience who surrenders 
his opinion upon any subject to those 
who must understand the subject bet- 
ter than himself ? I think my ward 
has a claim to the estate ; but the best 
lawyers tell me he has none. I think my 
son capable of undergoing the fatigues 
of a military life ; but the best physi- 
cians say he is much too weak. My 
Parliament say this measure will do 
the Church no harm ; but I think it 
very pemieious to the Church. Am I 
acting contrary to my conscience be- 
cause I apply much higher intellectual 
powers than my own to the investiga- 
tion and protection of these high in- 
terests ? 

"Aooording to the form in which it is 
conceived, any such engaisement is in effect 



BENTHAM'S BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



65 



either a check or a licence :— a licence under 
the appearance of a check, and for that 
veiy reason but the more efficiently opera- 
tive. 

** Chains to the man in powOT? Yes:— but 
only such as he figures with on the sta^ : 
to the spectators as imi)Osing, to himself as 
light as possible. Modelled by the wearer 
to suit his own purposes, they serve to 
rattle^ but not to restrain. 

''Suppose a King of Great Britun and 
Ireland to have expressed his fixed deter- 
mination, in the event of any proposed law 
being tendered to him for his assent, to 
refuse such assent, and this not on the per- 
suasion that the law would not be ' for the 
utility of the subjects,* but that by his 
coronation oath he stands precluded fh>m 
so doing: — the course proper to be taken 
loj parliament, the course pointed out by 
principle and precedent, would be, a vote of 
abdication : — a vote declaring the king to 
have abdicated his royal authority, and 
that, as in case of death or incurable men- 
tal dearangement, now is the time for the 
person next in succession to take his place. 
" In the celebrated case in which a vote 
to this effect was actually passed, the decla- 
ration of abdication was in lawyers' language 
-a fiction — in plain truth a falsehood — and 
that fialsehood a mockeiy ; not a particle of 
his power was it the wish of James to 
abdicate, to part with ; but to increase it to 
a maximum was the manifest object of all 
his efforts. But in the case here supposed, 
with respect to a part, and that a principal 
part, of the royal authority, the will and 
purpose to abdicate is actually declared: 
and this, being such a' port, without which 
the remainder cannot, * to the utility of the 
subjects,' be exercised, the remainder must 
of necessity be, on their part, and for their 
sake, added."— (pp. UO, lU.) 

Self- Trumpeter^a FaUaci/, — Mr. Ben- 
tham explains the self>trumpeter*8 fal- 
lacy as follows : — 

** There are certain men in office who, in 
discharge of their functions, arrogate to 
themselves a d^ree of probity, which is to 
exclude all imputations and all inquiry. 
Their assertions are to be deemed equiva- 
lent to proof; their virtues are guarantees 
for the £uthM discharge of their duties; 
and the most implicit confidence is to be 
reposed in them on all occasions. If you 
expose any abuse, propose any reform, call 
for securities, inquiry, or. measures to pro- 
mote publicity, they set up a cry of surprise, 
amounting almost to indignation, as if their 
int^rity were questioned, or their honour 
wounded, ^ith all this, they dexterously 



mix up intimations, that the most exalted 
patriotism, honour, and perhaps religion, 
are the only sources of all their actions."— 
(p. 120.) 

Of course every man will try what 
he can effect by these means; but (as 
Mr. Bentham observes) if there be any 
one maxim in politics more certain 
than another, it is that no possible 
degree of virtue in the governor can 
render it expedient for the governed 
to dispense with good laws and good 
institutions. Madame de Stael (to 
her disgrace) said to the Emperor of 
Russia, ** Sire, your character is a con- 
stitution for your country, and your 
conscience its guarantee." His reply 
was, " Qnand cela serait, je ne serais 
j * nu*un accident heureux ;*' and 
tn... .. w think one of the truest and moRt 
brilliant replies ever made by monarch. 

Laudatory Personalities. — ** The object 
of laudatory personalities is to effect the 
rejection of a measure on account of the 
alleged good character of those who oppose 
it: and the argument advanced is, 'The 
measiure is rendered unnecessary by the 
virtues of those who are in power— their 
opposition is a sufficient authority for the 
rejection of the measure. The measure 
proposed implies a distrust of the members 
of His Majesty's Government ; but so great 
is their integrity, so complete their disin- 
terestedness, so uniformly do they prefer 
the public advantage to their own, that 
such a measure is altogether unnecessary. 
Their disapproval is sufficient to warrant 
an opposition ; precautions can only be re- 
quisite where danger is apprehended : here, 
the high character of the individuals in 
question is a sufficient guarantee against 
any ground of alarm.* "— (pp. 123, 124.) 

The panegyric goes on increasing 
with the dignity of the lauded person. 
All are honourable and delightful men. 
The person who opens the door of the 
office is a person of approved fidelity ; 
the junior clerk is a model of assiduity ; 
all the clerks are models — seven years* 
models, eight years' models, nine years' 
models and upwards. The first clerk 
is a paragon — and ministers the very 
perfection of probity and intelligence ; 
and as for the highest magistrate of 
the state, no adulation is equal to de- 
scribe the extent of his various merits I 
It is too condescending perhaps to 

F 



66 



BENTHAM'S BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



refate such folly as this. But we woald 
just observe, that if the propriety of the 
measure in question be established by 
direct arguments, these must be at 
least as conclusive against the charac- 
ter of those who oppose it, as their 
character can be against the measure. 
The effect of such an argument is, to 
give men of good or -reputed good dia- 
racter the power of putting a negative 
on any question — not agreeable to their 
inclinations. 

**In every public trust, the legislator 
should, for the purpose of prevention, sup* 
pose the trustee disposed to break the trust 
in every imaginable way in which it would 
be possible for him to reap, from the breach 
of it, any personal advantage. This is the 
principle on which public institutions 
ought to be formed ; and when it is applied 
to all men indiscriminately, it is injurious 
to none. The practical inference is, to 
oppose to such possible (and what will 
always be probable) breaches of trust, every 
bar that can be opposed, consistently with 
the power requisite for the efficient and due 
dischai^e of the trust. Indeed, these argu* 
ments, drawn from the supposed virtues of 
men in power, are opposed to the first 
principles on which all laws proceed. 

** Such aU^ations of individual virtue are 
never supported by specific proof, are scarce 
ever susceptible of specific disproof; and 
spedflc disproof, if ofl'ered, oould not be 
admitted in eithw House of Parliament. 
If attempted elsewhere, the punishment 
woul fall, not on the unworthy trustee, but 
on him by whom the unworthiness had been 
proved."— (pp. 125. 126.) 

Fallacies of pretended danger, — Im- 
putation of bad design -— • of bad cha- 
racter — of bad motives -^ of inconsis- 
tency — of suspicious connections. 

The object of this class of fallacies is 
to draw aside attention from the mea- 
sure to the man, and this in such a 
manner, that, for some real or supposed 
defect in the author of the measure, a 
corresponding defect shall be imputed 
to the measure itself. Thus, ^the 
author of the measure entertains a bad 
design ; therefore the measure is bad. 
Bis character is bad, therefore the 
measure is bad ; his motive is bad, I 
will vote against the measure. On 
former occasions this same person who 
proposed the measure was its enemy, 
therefore the measure is bad. He is on 



a footing of intimacy with this or that 
dangerous man, or has been seen in 
his company, or is suspected of en- 
tertaining some of his opinions, there- 
fore the measure is bad. He bears a 
name that at a former period was 
borne by a set of men now no more, 
by whom bad principles were enter- 
tained — therefore the measure is bad !** 
Now, if the measure be really inex- 
pedient, why not at once show it to be 
so ? If the measure be good, is it bad 
because a bad man is its author ? If 
bad, is it good because a good man 
has produced it ? What are these 
arguments, but to say to the assem- 
bly who are to be the judges of any 
measure, that their imbecility is too 
great to allow them to judge of the 
measure by its own merits, and that 
they must have recourse to distant and 
feebler probabilities for that purpose ? 

" In proportion to the degree of efficiency 
with which a man suffers these instruments 
of deception to operate upon his mind he 
enables b%d men to exercise over him a sort 
of power, the thought of which ought to 
cover him with shame. Allow this argu- 
ment the effect of a conclusive one, you put 
it into the power of any man to draw you 
at pleasure firom the support of every 
measure, which in your own eyes is good, 
to force you to give your support to any and 
every measure which in your own eyes is 
bad. Is it good? — the ImuI man embraces 
it, and, by the supposition, you reject it. Is 
it bad?— he vituperates it, and that suffices 
for driving you into its embrace. Tou split 
upon the rocks, because he has avoided 
them ; you miss the harbour, because he 
has steered into it ! Give yourself up to 
any such blind antipathy, you are no less in 
the powor of your adversaries, than if, by a 
oorrespondently irrational sympathy and 
obsequiousness, you put yourself into the 
power of your friends.*'— (pp. 182, 183.) 

" Besides, nothing but laborious applica- 
tion, and a clear and comprehensive intel- 
lect, can enable a man, on any given subject, 
to employ sucoesafully relevant arguments 
drawn ft^m the subject itself. To employ 
personalities, neither labour nor intellect is 
required. In this sort of contest, the most 
idle and the most ignorant are quite on a 
par with, if not superior to, the most indus- 
trious and the most highly-gifted indivi- 
duals. Nothing OMi be more convenient for 
those who would speak without the trouble 
of thinking. The same ideas are brought 



BENTHAM'S BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



67 



.forward orer and over again, and all that ia 
required is to ^ary the torn of expression. 
Close and relevwit ai^Tunents have very 
little hold on the passions, and serve rather 
to quell than to inflame them; while in 
personalities there is always something 
stimulant, whether on the part of him who 
praises or him who blames. Praise forms a 
Innd of connection between the party prais- 
ing and the party praised, and vituperation 
gives an air of courage and independence to 
the parly who bhimea. 

** Ignorance and indolence, firiendship and 
enmity, concurring and conflicting interest, 
servility and independence, all conspire to 
give personalities the asccnidatu^ they so 
unhappify maintain. The more we lie 
under the influence of our own passions, 
the mare we rely on others being affected 
in a similar degree. A man who can repel 
these injuries with dignity, may often con- 
vert them into triumph : ' Strike me, but 
faear,' says he, and the ftiry of lus antagonist 
redonncto to his own discomfiture/*— (pp. 
141, 142.) 

JVo Innovation! — To say that all new 
things are bad, is to say that all old 
things were bad in their commence- 
ment : for of all the old things ever 
seen or heard of, there is not one 
that was not once new. Whatever is 
now establishment was once innova- 
tion* The first inventor of pews and 
parish clerks, was no doubt considered 
as a Jacobin in his day. Judges, 
juries, criers of the court, are all the 
inventions of ardent spirits, who filled 
the world with alarm, and were consi- 
dered as the great precursors of ruin 
and dissolution. Ko inoculation, no 
turnpikes, no reading, no writing, no 
Popery I The fool sayeth in his heart, 
and crieth with his mouth, *'I will have 
nothing new ! " 

Falhcy of Distrust /— •* What's at 
the fioftom?'*'— This fallacy begins with 
a virtual admission of the propriety of 
the measnre considered in itself, and 
thus demonstrates its own futility, and 
cuts up from under itself the ground 
which it endeavours to make. A mea- 
sure is to be rejected for something 
that, by bare possibility, may be found 
amiss in some other measure ! This is 
Ticarious reprobation ; upon this prin- 
ciple Herod instituted his massacre. 
It is the argument of a driveller to 
other drivellers, who says. We are not 



able to decide upon the evil when it 
arises — our only safe way is to act upon 
the general apprehension of evil. 

Official Malefactor's Screen, — •* At- 
tack us — you attack Government** 

If this notion is acceded to, every 
one who derives at present any advan- 
tage from misrule has it in fee-simple ; 
and all abuses, present and future, 
are without remedy. So long as there 
is anything amiss in conducting the bu- 
siness of Government, so long as it can 
be made better, there can be no other 
mode of bringing it nearer to perfec 
tion than the indication of such im- 
perfections as at the time being exist. 

"But so fkr is it from being true that a 
man's aversion or contempt for the hands 
by which the powers of Government, or 
even for the system under which they are 
exercised, is a proof of his aversion or con- 
tempt towards Government itself, that, 
even in proportion to the strength of that 
aversion or contempt, it is a proof of the 
opposite affection. What, in consequence of 
such contempt or aversion, he wishes for, is, 
not that there be no hands at all to exer- 
cise these powers, but that the hands may 
be better regulated r-uot that those powers 
should not be exerdsed at aU, but that they 
should be better exercised;— not that in the 
exercise of them, no rules at all should be 
pursued, but that the rules by which they 
are exercised should be a better set of rules. 

*• All government is a trust ; every branch 
of government is a trust ; and immemorially 
acknowledged so to be : it is only by the 
magnitude of the scale that public differ 
from private trusts. I complain of the con- 
duct of a person in the character of guar- 
dian, as domestic guardian, having the care 
of a minor or insane person. In so doing, 
do I say that guardianship is a bad institu- 
tion P Does it enter into the head of any 
one to suspect me of so doing ? I complain 
of an individual in the character of a com- 
merdal agent, or assignee of the effects of 
an insolvent. In so doing, do I say that 
commercial agency is a bad thing P that the 
practice of vesting in the hands of trustees 
or aflsignees the effects of an insolvent, for 
the purpose of their being divided among 
his creditors, is a bad practice ? Does, any 
such conceit ever enter into the head of 
man, as that of suspecting me of so doing? " 
—(pp. 162, 163.) 

There are no complaints against go- 
vernment in Turkey — no motions in 
Parliament, no Morning Chronicles, 

F 2 



C8 



BENTHAl^rS BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



and no Edinburgh Reviews: yet of 
all coantries in the world, it is tliat in 
which revolts and revolations are the 
most frequent. 

It is so far from true, that no good 
government can exist consistently with 
SQch disclosure, that no good govern- 
ment can exist without it. It is quite 
obvious, to all who are capable of re- 
flection, that by no other means than 
by lowering the governors in the esti- 
mation of the people, can there be hope 
or chance of beneficial change. To 
infer from this wise endeavour to les- 
sen the existing rulers in the estima- 
tion of the people, a wish of dissolving 
the government, is either artifice or 
error. The physician who intention- 
ally weakens the patient hj bleed- 
ing him has no intention he should 
perish. 

The greater the quantity of respect 
a man receives, independently of good 
conduct, the less good is his behaviour 
hkely to be. It is the interest, there- 
fore, of the public, in the <:ase of each, 
to see that the respect paid to him 
should, as completely as possible, de- 
pend upon the goodness of his beha- 
viour in the execution of his trust. 
But it is, on the contrary, the interest 
of the trustee, that the respect, the 
money, or any other advantage he re- 
ceives in virtue of his ofiice, should be 
as great, as secure, and as independent 
of conduct as possible. Soldiei-s ex- 
pect to be shot at; public men must 
expect to be attacked, and sometimes 
unjustly. It keeps up the habit of con- 
sidering their conduct as exposed to 
scrutiny; on the part of the people at 
large, it keeps alive the expectation of 
witnessing such attacks, and the habit 
of looking out for them. The friends 
and supporters of government have al- 
ways greater facility in keeping and 
raising it up, than its adversaries have 
for lowering it. 

Accitsaiion-8carer*8 Device, — ^** Infa- 
my must attach somewhere,** 

This fallacy consists in representing 
the character of a calumniator as ne- 
cessarily and justly attaching upon him 
who, having made a charge of miscon- 
duct against any persons possessed of 
political power or influence, fails of 



producing evidence sufficient for their 
conviction. 

" If taken as a general propoeition, apply- 
ing to all public accusations, nothing can 
be more mischievous as well as fallacious. 
Supposing the charge unfounded, the deli- 
very of it may have been accompanied with 
nuUa ftdei (consciousness of its injustice), 
with iemeriiif only, or it may have been per- 
fectly blameless. It is in the first case alone 
that infamy can with propriety attach upon 
him who brings it forward. Achai^ really 
groundless may have been honestly believed 
to be well founded, i. e, believed with asori 
of provisional credence, sufficient for the 
purpose of engaging a man to do his part 
towards the lE>ringiDg about an investiga- 
tion, but without sufficient reasons. But a 
charge may be perfectly groundless without 
attaching the smallest particle of blame 
upon him who brings it forward. Suppose 
him to have heard from one or more, pre- 
senting themselves to him in the chancter 
of percipient witnesses, a story, which eithnr 
in totOt or i)erhaps onJy in circumstanceef 
though in drcumstances of the most mate- 
rial importance, should prove fUse and 
mendacioua— how is the person who hears 
this, and acts accordingly, to blame f . What 
sagacity can enable a man previously to 
legal investigation, a man who has no power 
that can enable 1dm to insure correctness 
or completeness on the part of this extra* 
judicial testimony, to guard against deoep« 
tion in such a case? **— (pp. 185, 188.) 

Fallacy of False Consolation, — 
** What is the matter with you f — What 
would you have f Look at the people 
there, and there ; tldnk how much better 
off you are than they are. Your pros-,- 
perity and liberty are objects of their 
envy; your institutions models of their 
imitation,^* 

It is not the desire to look to tho 
bright side that is blamed : but when 
a particular suffering, produced by an 
assigned canse, has been pointed out, 
the object of many apologists is to turn 
the eyes of inquirers and judges into 
any other quarter in preference. If a 
man*s tenants were to come with a 
general encomium on the prosperity of 
the country, instead of a specified sum, 
would it be accepted ? In a court of 
justice, in an action for damages, did 
ever any such device occur as that of 
pleading assets in the hands of a third 
person ? There is, in tact, no country 
so poor and so wretched in every 



l^ENTHA^rS BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



69 



element of prosperity, in which matter 
for this argument might not be foand. 
Were the prosperity of the country 
tenfold as great as at present, the ab- 
surdity of the argument would not in 
the least degree be lessened. Why 
should the smallest evil be endured, 
which can be cured, because others 
suffer patiently under greater evils ? 
Shoald the smallest improyement at- 
tainable be neglected, because others 
remain contented in a state of still 
greater inferiority ? 

* Seriously and pointedly in the character 
of a bar to any measure of relief, no, nor to 
the most trivial improvement, can it ever 
be employed. Suppose a bill brought in for 
converting an impassable road anywhere 
Into a passable one, would any man stand 
up to oppose it who could find nothing bet- 
ter to ui^ against it than the multitude 
and goodness of the roads we have already ? 
iNTo : when in the character of a serious bar 
to the measure in hand, be that measure 
what it may, an argument so palpably in- 
applicable is employed, it can only be for the 
purpose of creating a diversion ,— of turn- 
ing aside the minds of men flrom the subject 
really in hand, to a picture, which by its 
beauty, it is hoped, may engrost the atten- 
tion of the assembly, and make them forget 
fbr the moment for what purpose they came 
there."— (pp. 198, 197.) 

The Qjttietist, or no Complaint.— *' K new 
law or measure being proposed in the cha- 
racter of a remedy for some incontestable 
abuse or evil, an objection is frequently 
started to the following effect :— ' The mea- 
sure is unnecessary. Nobody complains of 
disorder in that shape, in which it is the 
aim of your measure to propose a remedy 
to it. But even when no cause of complaint 
has been found to exist, especially und^ 
governments which admit of complaints, 
men have in general not been slow to com- 
plain; much less where any just cause of 
complaint has existed.' The argument 
amounts to this :— Nobody complains, there- 
tcfre nobody suffers. It amounts to a veto 
on all measures of precaution or prevention, 
and goes to establish a maxim in legislation 
directly opposed to the most ordinary pru- 
dence of common life;— it enjoins us to 
build no parapets to a bridge till the num- 
ber of accidents has raised an universal 
clamour.**- (pp. 190, 191.) 

ProcrastintUor'a Argument. — " Wait 
a little, this is not the time" 

This is the common argument of 
men, who, being in reality hostile to a 



measure, are ashamed or afraid of ap- 
pearing to be so. To-day is the pica 
— eternal exclusion commonly the ob- 
ject It is the same sort of quirk as a 
plea of abatement in law — which is 
never employed but on the side of a 
dishonest defendant, whose hope it is 
to obtain an ultimate triumph by over- 
whelming his adversary with despair, 
impoverishment, and lassitude. Which 
is the properest day to do good ? which 
is the properest day to remove a nuis- 
ance ? "we answer, the very first day a 
man can be found to propose the re- 
moval of it ; and whoever opposes the 
removal of it on that day will (if ho 
dare) oppose it on every other. There 
is in the minds of many feeble friends 
to virtue and improvement, an imagi- 
nary period for the removal of evils, 
which it would certainly be worth while 
to wait for, if there was the smallest 
chance of its ever arriving — a period 
of unexampled peace and prosperity, 
when a patriotic king and an enligh- 
tened mob united their ardent efforts 
for the amelioration of human affairs ; 
when the oppressor is as delighted to 
give up the oppression, as the oppressed 
is to be liberated from it ; when the diffi • 
culty and the unpopulaiity would be 
to continue the evil, not to abolish it I 
These are the periods when fair-weather 
philosophers are willing to venture out, 
and hazard a little for the general good. 
But the history of human nature is so 
contrary to all this, that almost all im- 
provements are made after the bitterest 
resistance, and in the midst of tumults 
and civil violence — the worst period at 
which they can be made, compared to 
which any period is eligible, and should 
be seized hold of by the friends of sa- 
lutary reform. 

SnaiVs Pace argument.—** One thing at 
a time ! Not too fast ! Slow and sure /— 
Importance of the business — extreme diffi- 
culty of the business— danger of innovation 
—need of caution and circumspection— im- 
possibility of foreseeing all consequences — 
danger of precipitation— everything should 
be gradual — one thing at a time— this is not 
the time— great occupation at present- 
wait for more leisure— people well satisfied 
—no petitions presented— no complaints 
heard- no such mischief has yet taken place 
•—stay till it has taken place 1— Such is the 

V 3 



70 



BENTHAM'8 BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



prattle which the magpie in office, who, un* 
derstanding nothing, yet understands that 
he must have something to say on every 
subject, shouts out among his auditors as 
a suocedaneum to thought.'*— (pp. 203, 204) 

Vague Generalities, — ^Vague gene- 
ralities comprehend a nnmeroos class 
of fallacies resorted to by those who, 
in preference to the determinate ex- 
pressions which they might use, adopt 
others more vague and indeterminate. 

Take, for instance, the terms, govern- 
ment, laws, morals, religion. Every- 
body will admit that there are in the 
world bad governments, bad laws, bad 
morals, and bad religions. The bare 
circumstance, therefore, of being enga- 
ged in exposing the defects of govern- 
ment, law, morals, and religion, does 
not of itself afford the slightest pre- 
sumption that a writer is engaged in 
anything blamable. If his attack be 
only directed against that which is bad 
in each, his efforts may be productive 
of good to any extent. This essential 
distinction, however, the defender of 
abuses uniformly takes care to keep out 
of sight ; and boldly imputes to his 
antagonists an intention to subvert all 
government, law, morals, and religion. 
Propose anything with a view to the 
improvement of the existing practice, 
in relation to law, government, and re- 
ligion, he will treat you with an oration 
upon the necessity and utility of law, 
government, and religion. Among the 
several cloudy appellatives which have 
been commonly employed as cloaks for 
misgovernment, there is none more con- 
spicuous in this atmosphere of illusion 
than the word order. As often as any 
measure is brought forward which has 
for its object to lessen the sacritice made 
hy the many to the few, social order is 
the phrase commonly opposed to its 
progress. 

'* By a de&lcation made from any part of 
the mass of factitious delay, vexation, and 
expense, out of which, and in proportion to 
which, lawyers* profit is made to flow— by 
any defalcation made from the mass of need- 
less and worse than useless emolument to 
office, with or without service or pretence 
of service— by any addition endeavoured to 
be made to the quantity, or improvement 
in the quality of service rendered, or time 
bestowed in service rendered in return for 



such emolument— l^ every endeavour that 
has for its object the persuading the people 
to place th^ fiite at the disposal of any 
other agents than those in whose hands 
breach of trust is certain, due ftilfilment of 
it morally and physically impossible— Mciof 
order is said to be endangered, and threat- 
ened to be destroyed.**— (p. 234.) 

In the same way Establishment is a 
word in use to protect the bad parts of 
establishments, by charging those who 
wish to remove or alter them, with a 
wish to subvert all good establishments. 

Mischievous fallacies also circulate 
from the convertible use of what Mr. 
K is pleased to call dyslogistic and eu- 
logistic terms. Thus a vast concern is 
expressed for the liberty of the press^ 
and the utmost abhorrence for its licen" 
tiousnessi but then, by the licentious- 
ness of the press is meant every dis- 
closure by which any abuse is brought 
to light and exposed to shame — by the 
liberty of the press is meant only publi- 
cations from which no such inconveni- 
ence is to be apprehended; and the- 
fallacy consists in employing the sham 
approbation of liberty as a mask for 
the real opposition to all free discussion. 
To write a pamphlet so ill that nobody 
will read it ; to animadvert in terms so 
weak and insipid upon great evils, tbat^ 
no disgust is excited at the vice, and no 
apprehension in the evil doer, is a fair 
use of the liberty of the press, and is 
not only pardoned by the friends of 
government, but draws from them the 
most fervent eulogium. The licenti- 
ousness of the press consists in doing 
the thing boldly and well, in striking 
terror into the guilty, and in rousing 
the attention of the public to the de- 
fence of their highest interests. This 
is the licentiousness of the press held 
in the greatest horror by timid and cor- 
rupt men, and punished by semiani- 
mous semicadaverous judges, with a 
captivity of many years. In the same 
manner the dyslogistic and eulogistic 
fallacies are used in the case of reform. 

"Between all abuses whatsoever, there 
exists that connection— between all persons 
who see each of them, any one abuse in 
which an advantage results to himself, there 
exists, in point of interest, that close and 
sufficiently understood connection, of which 
intimation has been given already. To no 



BENTHAM^S BOOK OF FALLACIES- 



71 



one abuse can correction be administered 
without endiftDgeriDg the existence of every 
other. 

*' If, then, with this inward determination 
not to suffer, so far as depends upon himself, 
the adoption of any reform which he is able 
to prevent, it should seem to him necessary 
or advisable to put on for a cover, the pro- 
fession or appearance of a desire to oontri* 
bute to such reform— in pursuance of the 
device or fallacy here in question, he will 
represent that which goes by the name of 
reform as distinguishable into two species ; 
one of them a fit subject for approbation, 
the other for disapprobation. That which 
he thus professes to have marked for ap- 
pirobation, he will aooordin^» for the ez- 
pression of such approbation, characterise 
by some adjunct of the eiUoffistic cast, such 
as moderate, for example, or tempenute, or 
practical, or practicable^ 

** To the other of these nominally distinct 
■pecieB, he will, at the same time, attach 
some adjunct of the dpslogiatie cast, such 
as violent, intemperate» extravagant, out- 
rageous, theoretioal» 8peou]afeive» and so 
forth. 

" Thus, then, in profession and to appear- 
ance, there are in his conception of the 
matter two distinct and opposite species of 
reform, to one of which his approl»tion, to 
the other his disapprobation, is attached* 
But the species to which his approbation is 
attached is an emptif species-^^ species in 
which no individual is, or is intended to be, 
contained. 

** The species to which his disapprobation 
is attached is, on the contrary, a crowded 
species, a receptacle in which the whole 
contents of the genti9—ot the genus Beform 
are intended to be included."— (pp. 277,278.) 

Anti-rational Fallaciea. — ^When rea- 
son is in opposition to a man's interests, 
his study will naturally be to render the 
faculty itself, and whatever issues from 
it, an object of hatred and contempt. 
The sarcasm and other figures of speech 
employed on the occasion are directed 
not merely against reason, but against 
thought, as if there were something in 
the faculty of thought that rendered 
the exercise of it incompatible with 
useful and successful practice. Some- 
times a plan, which would not suit the 
official person's interest, is without more 
ado prohounced a«pecT(2a^/t;e one ; and, 
by this observation, all need of rational 
and deliberate discussion is considered 
to be superseded. The first effort of 
the corruptionist is to fix the epithet 



Speculative upon any scheme which he 
thinks may cherish the spirit of reform* 
The depression is hailed with the great- 
est delight by bad and feeble men, and 
repeated with the most unwearied en^' 
ergy } and to the word Speculative, by 
way of reinforcement, are added theo' 
redcaL, visionary, chimerical, romantic, 
Utopian, 

"Sometimes a distinction is taken, and 
thereup<m a concession made. The plan is 
good in theorw, but it would be bad in 
praeiiee, i e. its being good in theoiy does 
not hinder its being bad in practice. 

*' Sometimes, as if in consequeuce of a 
fiurther progress made in the art of irratiom 
ality, the plan is pronounced to be ^oo good 
to be practicable ; and its being so good as 
it is, is thus represented as the very cause 
of its being bad in practice. 

" In short, such is the perfection at which 
this art is at length arrived, that the very 
circumstance of a plan's being susceptible 
of the appellation of a plan^ has been 
gravely stated as a drcumstance sufficient 
to warrant its being rejected : rejected, if 
not with hatred, at any rate with a sort of 
accompaniment, which, to the million, is 
commonly felt still more galling— with con* 
tempt."— (p. 296.) 

There is a propensity to push theory 
too far ; but what is the jiist inference? 
not that theoretical propositions (t. e* 
all propositions of any considerable 
comprehension or extent) should, from 
such their extent, be considered to be 
false in toto, but only that, in the par^* 
ticular case, inquiry should be made 
whether^ supposing the proposition to 
be in the character of a rule generally 
true, an exception ought to be taken 
out of it. It might also be imagined 
that there was something wicked or 
unwise in the exercise of thought; for 
everybody feels a necessity for disclaim<» 
ing it. ** I am not given to speculation, 
I am no friend to theories." Can a man 
disclaim theory, can he disclaim spe* 
culation, without disclaiming thought ? 

The description of persons by whom 
this fallacy is chiefly employed are those 
who, regarding a plan as adverse to 
their interests, and not finding it on 
the ground of general utility exposed 
to any preponderant objection, have 
recourse to this objection in the cha- 
racter of an instrument of contempt, 
in the view of preventing those from 

V 4 



72 



BENTHAM'S BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



looking into it who might haye been 
. otherwise disposed. It is by the fear of 
seeing it practised that thej are drawn 
to speak of it as impracticaUe. ''Upon 
tlie face of it (exclainis some feeble or 
pensioned gentleman), it carries that 
• air of plausibility, that, if 70a were 
not upon your goard, might engage 
70a to bestow more or less of attention 
upon it ; bnt were 70a to take the trou- 
ble, 70a would find that (as it is with 
all these plans which promise so much) 
practicabilit7 would at last be wanting 
to it. To save 7onrself from this trouble, 
the wisest course 7on can take is to 
put the plan aside, and to think no 
more about the matter." This is al- 
wa78 accompanied with a peculiar grin 
of triumph. 

The whole of these fallacies ma7 be 
gathered together in 'a little oration, 
which we will denominate the 

Noodle's Oration, 

**What would our ancestors sa7 to 
this. Sir? How does this measure 
tall7 with their institutions? How 
docs it agree with their experience? 
Are we to put the wisdom of 7esterda7 
In competition with the wisdom of cen- 
turies ? {Hear^ hear /) Is beardless 
7outh to show no respect for the deci- 
sions of mature age ? (Loud cries of 
hear ! hear /) If this measure be right, 
would it have escaped the wisdom of 
those Saxon progenitors to whom we 
are indebted for so man7 of our best 
political institutions ? Would the Dane 
have passed it over ? Would the Nor- 
man have rejected it ? Would such a 
notable discover7 have been reserved 
for these modern and degenerate times ? 
Besides, Sir, if the. measure itself is 
good, I ask the honourable gentleman 
if this is the time for carrying it into 
execution — whether, in fact, a more 
unfortunate period could have been 
selected than that which he has chosen ? 
If this were an ordinar7 measure, I 
should not oppose it with so much ve- 
hemence ; but. Sir, it calls in question 
the wisdom of an irrevocable law — of 
a law passed at the memorable period 
of the lievolution. What right have 
we. Sir, to break down this firm column, 
on which the great men of that day 



stamped a character of etemit7 ? Are 
not all authorities against this measure 
— Pitt, Fox, Cicero, and the Attome7 
and Solicitor General ? The proposi- 
tion is new. Sir ; it is the first time it 
was ever heard in this House. I am 
not prepared. Sir — this House is not 
prepared, to receive it. The measure 
implies a distrust of his Majest7's go- 
vernment; their disapproval is sufiS- 
cient to warrant opposition. Precaution 
onl7 is requisite where danger is ap- 
prehended. Here the high character 
of the individuals in question is a suffi- 
cient guarantee against an7 ground of 
alarm. Give not, then, your sanction 
to this measure ; for, whatever be its 
character, if yon do give your sanction 
to it, the same man by whom this is 
proposed, will propose to you others to 
which it will be impossible to give your 
consent. I care Vjery little. Sir, for the 
ostensible measure ; but what is there 
behind? What are the honourable 
gentleman's future schemes? If we 
pass this bill, what fresh concessions 
may he not require? What further 
degradation is be planning for \\\s 
country? Talk of evil and incon- 
venience. Sir ! look to other countries 
— study other aggregations and socie- 
ties of men, and then see whether the 
laws of this country demand a remedy 
or deserve a panegyric. Was the ho- 
nourable gentleman (let me ask him) 
always of this way of thinking ? Do 
I not remember when he was the ad- 
vocate in this House of very opposite 
opinions? I not only quarrel with his 
present sentiments. Sir, but I declare 
very frankly, I do not like the party 
with which he acts. If his own mo- 
tives were as pure as possible, they 
cannot but suffer contamination from 
those with whom he is politically asso- 
ciated. This measure may be a boon 
to the constitution ; but I will accept 
no favour to the constitution from such 
hands. (JLoud cries of hear I hear /) I 
profess myself. Sir, an honest and up- 
right member of the British Parlia- 
ment, and I am not afraid to profess 
myself an enenfy to all change and all 
innovation. I am satisfied with things 
as they are ; and it will be my pride 
and pleasure to hand down this coan- 



BENTHAM'S BOOK OF FALLACIES. 



r3 



try to mj children as I received it from 
those who preceded me. The honour- 
able gentleman pretends to jastifj the 
scveritj with which he has attacked the 
noble Lord who presides in the Conrt 
of Chancery ; but I say such attacks 
are pregnant with mischief to Govern- 
ment itself. Oppose Ministers, you 
oppose' Government : disgrace Minis- 
ters, yon disgrace Government : bring 
Ministers into contempt, you bring Go- 
vernment into contempt ; and anarchy 
and civil war are the consequences. 
Besides, Sir, the measure is unneces- 
sary. Nobody complains of disorder 
in that shape in which it is the aim of 
yonr measure to propose a remedy to 
it. The business is one of the greatest 
importance ; there is need of the great- 
est caution and circumspection. Do 
not let us be precipitate. Sir. It is im- 
possible to foresee all consequences. 
Everything should be gradual : the ex- 
ample of a neighbouring nation should 
fill us with alarm ! The honourable 
gentleman has taxed me with illibe- 
rality, Sir. I deny the charge. I 
hate innovation ; but I love improve- 
ment. I am an enemy to the corrup- 
tion of Government ; but I defend its 
influence. I dread Reform; but I 
dread it only when it is intemperate. 
I consider the liberty of the Press as 
the great Palladium of the Constitu- 
tion ; but, at the same time, I hold 
the licentiousness of the Press in the 
greatest abhorrence. Nobody is mora 
conscious than I am of the splendid 
abilities of the honourable mover ; but 
I tell him at once his scheme is too 
good to be practicable. It savours of 
Utopia. It looks well in theory; but 
it won't do in practice. It will not 
do, I repeat. Sir, in practice ; and so 
the advocates of the measure will find, 
if unfortunately it should find its way 
through Parliament. {Cheers.) The 
source of that corruption to which the 
honourable member alludes, is in the 
minds of the people: so rank and ex- 
tensive is that corruption, that no poli- 
tical reform can have any effect in re- 
moving it Instead of reforming others 
— instead of reforming the State, the 
Constitution, and everything that is 



most excellent, let. each man refoiin shape of insmcerity. 



himself ! let him look at home ; he 
will find there enongh to do, without 
looking abroad, and aiming at what 
is out of his power. {Loud Cheers.) 
And now, Sir, as it is frequently the 
custom in this House to end with a 
quotation, and as the gentleman who 
preceded me in the debate has antici- 
pated me in my favourite quotation of 
* The strong pull and the long puli,* — 
I shall end with the memorable words 
of the assembled Barons — * Nolumus 
leges Anglia mutari.* " 

*' Upon the whole, the following are the 
characters which appertain in common to 
all the several arguments here distinguished 
by the name of fallacies : — 

" 1. Whatsoever be the measure in hand, 
they are, with rehition to it, irrelevant. 

"2. They are all of them such, that the 
application of these irrelevant arguments 
affords a presumption either of the weak- 
ness or total absence of relevant arguments 
on the side on which they are employed. 

'*S. To any good purpose they are all of 
them unnecessary. 

** 4. They are all of them not only capable 
of being applied, but actually in the habit 
of bemg applied, and with advantage, to 
bad purposes; viz. to the obstruction and 
defeat of all such measures as have for their 
object the removal of the abuses or other 
imperfections still discernible in the frame 
and practice of the government. 

** ft. By means of their irrelevancy, they all 
of them consume and misapply time, there- 
by obstructing the course and retarding the 
progress of all necessary and useful business. 
*'6. By that irritative quality which, in 
virtue of their irrelevancy, with the impro- 
bity or weakness of which it is indicative, 
they possess, all of them, in a degree more 
or less considerable, but in a more parti- 
cular d^ree such of them as consist in per- 
sonalities, they are productive of ill-humour, 
which in some instances has been produc- 
tive of bloodshed, and is continually pro- 
ductive, as above, of waste of time and 
hindrance of business. 

** 7. On the part of those who, whether in 
spoken or written discourses, give utterance 
to them, they are indicative either of impro- 
bity or intellectual weakness, or of a con- 
tempt for the understanding of those on 
whose minds they are destined to operate. 
"8. On the part of those on whom they 
operate, they are indicative of intellectual 
weakness ; and on the part of those in and 
by whom they are pretended to operate 
they are indicative of improbity, viz. in the 



WANDERINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA. 



'* The practical conclusion is, that in pro- 
portion as the acceptance, and thence the 
utterance, of them can be prevented, the un- 
derstanding of the public will be Strength- 
ened, the morals of the public will be puri- 
fied, and the practice of gOYemment im- 
proved."— (pp. 360, 860.) 



WATERTON. (E. Review, 1826.) 

Wanderinffs *n South America, the North' 
West of the United States, and the An- 
tiOes, in the Years 1812, 1816, 1820, and 
1824 ; with original Instructions for the 
perfect Preservation of Sirds, d:c, for 
Cabinets qf Natural History, By Charles 
TVaterton, Esq. London. Mawman. 4ito. 
1825. 

Mr. Waterton is a Roman Catholic 
gentleman of Yorkshire, of good for- 
tune, who, instead of passing his life 
at balls and assemblies, has preferred 
living with Indians and monkies in the 
forests of Guiana. He appears in early 
life to have been seized with an un* 
conquerable aversion to Ficcadillj, 
and to that train of meteorological 
questions and answers which forms the 
great staple of polite English conver- 
sation. From a dislike to the regular 
form of a journal, he throws his travels 
into detached pieces, which he, rather 
affectedly, calls '* Wanderings ** — and 
of which we shall proceed to give some 
account. 

His first Wandering was in the year 
1812, through the wilds ofDemerara 
and Essequibo — a part of cidevant 
Dutch Guiana, in South Americai 
The sun exhausted him by day, the 
mosquitoes bit him by night ; but on 
went Mr. Charles Waterton I 

The first thing which strikes us in 
this extraordinary chronicle, is the 
genuine zeal and inexhaustible delight 
with which all the barbarous countries 
he visits are described. He seems to 
love the forests, the tigers, and the 
apes ; — to be rejoiced that he is the 
only man there ; that he has left his 
species far away, and is at last in the 
midst of his blessed baboons I He 
writes with a considerable degree of 
force and vigour ; and contrives to 
infuse into his reader that admiration 
of the great works and undisturbed 
scenes of Nature which animates his 



style, and has influenced his life and 
practice. There is something, too, 
to be highly respected and praised in 
the conduct of a country gentleman, 
who, instead of exhausting life in the 
chasO) has dedicated a considerable 
portion of it to the pursuit of know- 
ledge. There are so many tempta- 
tions to complete idleness in the life of 
a cotintry gentleman, so many exam- 
ples of it, and so much loss to the 
community from it, that every excep- 
tion from the practice is deserving of 
great praise. Some country gentlemen 
must remain to do the business of their 
counties ; but, in general, there are 
many more than are wanted ; and, 
generally speaking, also, they are a 
class who should be stimulated to 
greater exertions. Sir Joseph Banks, 
a squire of large fortune in Lincoln- 
shire, might have given up his exist- 
ence to double-barrelled guns and 
persecution of poachers ; — and all the 
benefits derived from his wealth, in- 
dustry, and personal exertion in the 
cause of science, would have been lost 
to the community. 

Mr. Waterton complains that the 
trees of Guiana ara not more than six 
yards in circumference — a magnitude 
in trees which it is not easy for a 
Scotch imagination to reach. Among 
these, pre-eminent in height rises the 
mora — upon whose top branches, when 
naked by age, or dried by accident, 
is perched the toucan, too high for the 
gun of the fowler ; around this are, 
the green heart, famous for hardness ; 
the tough hackea ; the ducalabaly, 
surpassing mahogany ; the ebony and 
letter-wood, exceeding the most beau- 
tiful woods of the Old Worid ; the 
locust-tree, yielding copal ; and the 
hayawa and olou trees, furnishing 
sweet-smelling resin. Upon the top 
of the mora grows the fig-tree. The 
bush-rope joins tree and tree, so as to 
render the forest impervious, as de- 
scending from on high, it takes root 
as soon as its extremity touches the 
ground, and appears like shrouds and 
stays supporting the mainmast of a 
line-of-battle ship. 

Demerara yields to no country in the 
world in her birds. The mud is flam* 



WANDERINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA. 



75 



ing with the scarlet, curlew. At sun- 
set, the pelicans return from the sea to 
the courada trees. Among the flowers 
are the humming-birds. The colum- 
bine, gallinaceous, and pesserine tribes 
people the fruit-trees. At the close 
of the day, the vampires, or winged 
bats, suck the blood of the traveller, 
and cool him bv the flap of their 
wings. Nor has Nature forgotten to 
amuse herself here in the composition 
of snakes : — the camoudi has been 
killed from thirtj to forty feet long ; 
he does not act bj venom, but bv size 
and convolution. The Spaniards affirm 
that he grows to the length of eighty 
feet, and that he will swallow a bull ; 
bat Spaniards love the superlative. 
There is a whipsnake, of a beautiful 
green. The Labairi snake, of a dirty 
brown, who kills you in a few minutes. 
Every lovely colour under heaven is 
lavished upon the conna-chouchi, the 
most venomous of reptiles, and known 
by the name of the bush'tntister, Man 
and beast, says Mr. Waterton, fly be- 
fore Mm, and allow him to pursue an 
undisputed path. 

We consider the following descrip- 
tion of the various sounds in these wild 
regions, as yery striking, and done with 
Teiy considerable powers of style» 

"He whose eye can distinguish the vari* 
OQB beauties of uncultivated nature, and 
whose ear is not shut to the wild sounds in 
the woods, will be delighted in passing up 
the river Bemerara. Every now and then, 
the maam or tinamou sends forth one long 
And phiutive whistle from the depth of the 
forest, and then stops ; whilst the yelping 
of the toucan, and the shrill voice of the 
bird called pi-pi-yo, is heard during the in- 
tervaL The campanero never fiuls to attract 
the attention of the passenger : at a distance 
of nearly thiee miles you may hear this 
saow-wUte bird tolling every four or five 
minutesjlike the distant convent belL From 
six to nine in the morning, the forests re- 
sound with the mingled cries and strains of 
the feathered race ; after this they gradu- 
ally die away. From eleven to three all nar> 
tore is hushed as in a midnight silence, 
tad scarce a note is heard, saving that of 
the campanero and the pi-pi-yo; it is then 
that, oppressed by the solar heat, the birds 
retire to the thickest shade, and wait for 
the ref^hing cool of evening. 

"At sundown the vampires, bats, and 



goatsuckers, dart flrom their lonely retreat, 
and skim along the trees on the river's bank. 
The different kuds of fh)gs almost stun the 
ear with their hoarse and hollow sounding 
croaking, while the owls and goatsuckers 
lament and mourn all night long. 

"About two hours before daybreak you 
will hear the red monkey moaning as though 
in deep distress ; tiie houtou, a solitaiy bird, 
and only found in the thickest recesses of 
the fwest, distinctly articulates, ' houtou, 
houtou,' in % low and plaintive tone, an 
hour before sunrise; the maam whistles 
about the same hour; the hannaquoi, pa* 
taca, uid marondi announce his near 
approach to the eastern horison, and the 
parrots and paroquets oonflrm his arrival 
tbere."->(pp. 18—16.) 

Our good Quixote of Demerara Is 
a little too fond of apostrophising: — 
** Traveller ! dost thou think ? Rea- 
der) dost thou imagine ? " Mr. Water- 
ton should remember, that the whole 
merit of these violent deviations from 
common style depends upon their ra- 
rity ) and that nothing does, for ten 
pages together, but the indicative mood. 
This fault gives an air of affectation to 
the writing of Mr. Waterton, which we 
believe to be foreign from his charac- 
ter and nature. We do not wbh to 
deprive him of these indulgences alto- 
gether ; but merely to put him upon an 
allowance^ and upon such an allowance 
as will give to these figures of speech 
the advantage of surprise and relief. 

This gentleman's delight and exul- 
tation always appear to increase as he 
loses sight of European inventions, and 
comes to something purely Indian. 
Speaking of an Indian tribe, he says, — 

" They had only one gun, and it appeared 
rusty and neglected; but their poisoned 
weapons were in fine order. Their blow- 
pipes hung from the roof of the hut, care- 
tvjlj suspended by a silk grass cord; and 
on taking a nearer view of them, no dust 
seemed to have collected there, nor had the 
spider spun the smallest web on them; 
which showed that they wore in constant 
use. The quivers were close by them, with 
the jaw-bone of the fish pirai tied by a string 
to their brim, and a small wicker-basket 
of wild cotton, which hung down to the 
centre : they were nearly ftill of poisoned 
arrows. It was with difficulty these Indians 
could be persuaded to part with any of the 
Wourali poison, though a good price was 
offered for it : they gave us to understand 



'6 



WANDERINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA. 



that it was powder and shot to them, and 
very difBicult to be procured.'*— (pp. 34, 86.) 

A wicker-basket of wild cotton, full 
of poisoned arrows for shooting iish ! 
This is Indian with a vengeance. We 
fairly admit, that in the contemplation 
of sach utensils, every trait of civi- 
lised life is completely and effectaally 
banished. 

One of the strange and fanciful ob- 
jects of Mr. Waterton's journey was, 
to obtain & better knowledge of the 
composition and nature of the Won- 
rail poison, the ingredient with which 
the Indians poison their arrows. In 
the wilds of Esseqnibo, far away from 
any European settlements, there is a 
tribe of Indians, known by the name 
of Macoushi, The Wouraii poison is 
nsed by all the South American savages 
betwixt the Amazon and the Oroo- 
noque ; but the Macoushi Indians 
manufacture it with the greatest skill, 
and of the greatest strength. A vine 
grows in* the forest, called Wouraii; 
and from this vine, together with a 
good deal of nonsense and absurdity, 
the poison is prepared. When a native 
of Macoushi goes in quest of feathered 
game, he seldom carries his bow and 
arrows. It is the blow-pipe he then 
uses. The reed grows to an amazing 
length, as the part the Indians use is 
from 10 to 11 feet long, and no taper- 
ing can be perceived, one end being as 
thick as another; nor is tliere the slight- 
est appearance of a knot or joint. The 
end which is applied to the month is 
tied round with a small silk grass cord. 
The arrow is from 9 to 10 inches long; 
it is made out of the leaf of a palm- 
tree, and pointed as sharp as a needle : 
about an inch of the pointed end is 
poisoned; the other end is burnt to 
make it still harder; and wild cotton is 
put round it for an inch and a half. 
The quiver holds from .OOO to 600 
arrows, is from 12 to 14 inches long, 
and in shape like a dice-box. With a 
quiver of these poisoned aiTows over 
his shoulder, and his blow-pipe in his 
hand, the Indian stalks into the forest 
in quest of his feathered game. 

"These generally sit high up inthetaU 
and tufted trees, but still are not out of the 
Indian's reach; for his blow-pipe, at its 



greatest elevation, will send an arrow three 
hundred feet. Silent as midnight he steals 
under them, and so cautiously does he tread 
the ground, that the fallen leaves rustle not 
beneath his feet. His ears are open to the 
least sound, while his eye, keen as that of 
the lynx, is employed in finding out the 
game in the thickest shade. Often he imi- 
tates thdr cry, and decoys them from tree 
to tree, till they are within range of his 
tube. Then, taking a poisOned arrow fkrom 
his quiver, he puts it in the blow-pipe, and 
collects his breath for the fatal puff. 

*' About two feet firom the end through 
which he blows, there are fastened two 
teeth of the acouri, and these serve him for 
a sight. Silent and swift the arrow flies, 
and seldom fails to pierce the object at 
which it is sent. Sometimes the wounded 
bird remains in the same tree where it was 
shot, but in three minutes falls down at the 
Indian's feet. Should he take wing, his 
flight is of short duration, and the Indian, 
following in the direction he has gone, is 
sure to find him dead. 

".It is natural to ima^ne that, when a 
slight wound oidy is infiicted, the game 
will make its escape. Far otherwise; the 
Wouraii poison instantaneously mixes with 
blood or water, so that if you wet your 
finger, and dash it along the poisoned 
arrow in the quickest manner possible, you 
are sure to carry off some of the poison. 

" Though three minutes generally elapse 
before the convulsions come on in the 
wounded bird, still a stupor evidently takes 
place sooner, and this stupor manifests 
itself by an apparent imwillingness in the 
bird to move. This was veiy visible in a 
dying fowL"— (pp. 60—62.) 

The flesh of the giame is not in the • 
slightest degree injured by the poison ; 
nor does it appear to be corrupted 
sooner than that killed by the gun or 
knife. For the larger animals, an 
arrow with a poisoned spike is used. 

"Thus armed with deadly poison, and 
hungry as the hyaena, he ranges through 
the forest in quest of the wild beasts' track. 
No hound can act a surer part. Without 
clothes to fetter him, or shoes to bind his 
feet, he observes the footsteps of the game^ 
where an European eye could not discern 
the smallest vestige. He pursues it through 
all its turns and windings, with astonishing 
perseverance, and success generally crowns 
his efforts. The animal, after receiving the 
pqisoned arrow, seldom retrtets two hun- 
dred paces before it drops. 

" In passing over land from the Essequibo 
to the Demerara» we fell in with a heard of 



WANDERINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA. 



wild hogs. Though encumbered with bag- 
gage, and fttigued with a hard day's walk, 
an Indian got his bow ready, and let fly a 
poisoned arrow at one of them. It entered 
the cheek-bone, and broke off. The wild 
hog was found quite dead about one hun- 
dred and seventy paces from the place 
where he had been shot. He afforded us 
an excellent and wholesome supper." — 
(p. 66.) 

Being a Woitrali poison fancier, Mr. 
Waterton has recorded several instan- 
ces of the power of his favourite drug. 
A sloth poisoned by it went gently to 
sleep, and died ! a large ox, weighing 
one thousand pounds, was shot with 
three arrows; the poison took effect in 
4 minutes, and in 25 minutes he was 
dead. The death seems to be very 
gentle, and resembles more a quiet 
apoplexy, brought on by hearing a 
long story, than any other kind of 
death. If an Indian happen to be 
wounded with one of these arrows, he 
considers it as certain death. We have 
reason to congratulate ourselves that 
our method of terminating disputes in 
by sword and pistol, and not by these 
medicated pins ; which, we presume, 
will become the weapons of gentlemen in 
the New Republics of South America. 

The second Journey of Mr. Water- 
ton, in the year 1816, was to Fernam- 
buco, in the southern hemisphere, on 
the coast of Brazil; and from thence 
he proceeds to Cayenne. His plan 
was, to have ascended the Amazon 
from Para, and got into the Rio Negro, 
and from thence to have returned to- 
wards the source of the Essequibo, in 
order to examine the Crystal Moun- 
tains, and to look once more for Lake 
Parima, or the White Sea ; but on 
arriving at Cayenne, he found that to 
beat up the Amazon would be long and 
tedious: he left Cayenne, therefore, in 
an Anaerican ship for Paramaribo, 
went throngh the interior to Coryntin, 
stopped a few days at New Amster- 
dam, and proceeded to Dcmerara. 

"Leave behind you (he says to the tra- 
veller) your high-seasoned dishes, your 
wines, and your delicacies ; carry nothing 
but what is necessary for your own comfort, 
and the object in view, and depend upon 
the ddll of an Indian, or your own, for fish 



77 

and game. A sheet, about twelve feet long, 
ten wide, painted, and with loop-holes on 
each side, will be of great service : in a few 
minutes you can suspend it betwixt two 
trees in the shape of a roof. Under this, in 
your hammock, you may defy the pelting 
shower, and sleep heedless of the dews of 
night. A hat, a shirt, and a light pair of 
trowsers, will be all the raiment you re- 
quire. Custom will soon teach you to tread 
lightly and barefbot on the Uttle inequalities 
of the ground, and show you how to pass 
on, unwounded, amid the mantling briiurs." 
—(pp. 112; 113.) 

Snakes are certainly an annoyance; 
but the snake, though high spirited, is 
not quarrelsome; he considers his fangs 
to be given for defence, and not for 
annoyance, and never inflicts a wound 
but to defend existence. If you tread 
upon him, ho puts you to death for 
your clumsiness, merely because he 
does not understand what your clum- 
siness means ; and certainly a snake, 
who feels fourteen or fifteen stone 
stamping upon his tail, has little time 
for reflection, and may be allowed to 
be poisonous and peevish. American 
tigers generally run away — from which 
several respectable gentlemen in Par- 
liament inferred, in the American war, 
that American soldiers would run away 
also ! 

The description of the birds is very 
animated and interesting ; but how far 
does the gentle reader imagine the 
campanero may be heard, whose size 
is that of a jay ? Perhaps 300 yards. 
Poor innocent, ignorant reader ! un- 
conscious of what Nature has done in 
the forests of Cayenne, and measuring 
the force of tropical intonation by the 
sounds of a Scotch duck I The cam- 
panero may be heard three miles I — 
this single little bird being more power- 
ful than the belfry of a cathedral, ring- 
ing for a new dean — just appointed on 
account of shabby politics, small un- 
derstanding, and good family! 

" The fifth species is the celebrated cam- 
panero of the Spaniards, called dara by the 
Indians, and bell-bird by the English. He 
is about the size of the jay. His plumage 
is white as snow. On his forehead rises a 
spiral tube nearly three inches long. It is 
jet black, dotted all over with small white 
feathers. It has a communication with the 



78 



WANDERINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA. 



p&]sto» and when filled with &ir, looks like 
a spire ; when empty it becomes pendulous. 
His note is loud and clear, like the sound 
of a bell, and may he heard at the distonoe 
of three miles. In the midst of these exten- 
sive wildfl, generally on the dried top of an 
aged mora, almost out of gun reach, you 
will see the campanero. No aonnd or song 
from any of the winged inhabitants of the 
forest, not even the clearly pronounced 
• Whip-poor-Will,* flpom the goatsucker, 
cause such astonishment as the toll of the 
campanero. 

"With many of the feathered race he 
pays the common tribute of a morning and 
an evening song ; and even when the meri* 
dian sun has shut in silence the mouths of 
almost the whole of animated nature, the 
camiMknero still cheers the forest. You 
hear his toll, and then a pause for a minute, 
then another toll, and then a pause again, 
and then a toll, and again a pause."— (pp. 
117, 118.) 

It is impossible to contradict a gen- 
tleman who has been in the forests of 
Cayenne ; bat we are determined, as 
soon as a campanero is brought to 
England, to make him toll in a public 
place, and have the distance measured. 
The toucan has an enormous bill, 
makes a noise like a puppy dog, and 
lays his eggs in hollow trees ? How 
astonishing are the freaks and fancies 
of Nature ! To what parpose, we 
say, is a bird placed in the woods of 
Cayenne, with a bill a yard long, 
making a noise like a pnppy dog, and 
laying eggs in hollow trees? The 
toucans, to be sure, might retort, to 
what purpose were gentlemen in Bond 
street created ? To what purpose 
were certain foolish prating Members 
of Parliament created ?— pestering the 
House of Commons with their igno- 
rance and folly, and impeding the busi- 
ness of the country ? There is no end 
of such questions. So we will not 
enter into the metaphysics of the tou- 
can. The houtou ranks high in beauty ; 
his whole body is green, his wings and 
tail blue, his crown is of black and 
blue ; he makes no nest, but rears his 
young in the sand. 

'* The caasique, in size, is larger than the 
starling; he courts the society of man, but 
disdains to live by his labours. When 
Nature calls for support, he repairs to the 
neighbouring forest, and there partakes of 



the store of fruits and seeds, which she has 
produced in abundance for her aSrial tribes. 
When his repast is over, he returns to 
man, and pays the little tribute which he 
owes Um for his iirotection ; he takes his 
station on a tree, close to his houoe ; and 
there, for hours together, pours forth a 
succmsion of imitative notes. His own 
song is sweet, but very short. If a toucan 
be yelping in the neighbourhood, he drops 
it, and imitates him. Then he will amuse 
his protector with the cries of the difTerent 
species of the woodpecker ; and when the 
sheep bleat, he will distinctly answer them. 
Then cornea his own song again, and if a 
puppy dog or a guinea fowl interrupt him, 
he takes them off admirably, and by his 
different gestures during the time, you 
would conclude that he enjoys the sport. 

"The cassique is gregarious, and imitates 
any sound he hears with such eacactness, 
that he goes by no other name than that of 
mocking-bird amongst the colonists.** — 
(pp. 127, 128.) 

There is no end to the extraordinaiy 
noises of the forest of Cayenne. The 
woodpecker, in striking against the 
tree with his bill, makes a sound so 
loud, that Mr. Waterton says it re- 
minds you more of a wood-cutter than 
a bird. While lying in your hammock, 
you hear the goatsucker lamenting like 
one in deep distress — a stranger would 
take it for a Weir murdered by ThurtelL 

" Suppose yourself in hopeless sorrow,, 
begin with a high loud note, and pronounce^ 
' ha, ha, ha^ ha, ha* ha* ha^* each note lower 
and lower, till the last is scarcely heard, 
pausing a moment or two betwixt every 
note, and you will have some idea of the 
moaning of the largest goatsucker in Deme- 
rank"— (p. 141.) 

One species of the goatsucker cries, 
** Who are you ? who are yon ?" An- 
other exclaims, "Work away, work 
away." A third, "Willy, come go, 
Willy, come go.** A fourth, " Whip- 
poor-Will, Whip-poor-Will.** It is 
very flattering to us that they should 
all speak English ! — though we cannot 
much commend the elegance of their 
selections. The Indians never destroy 
these birds, believing them to be the 
servants of Jumbo, the African devil. 

Great travellers are very fond of 
triumphing over civilised life; and Mr. 
Waterton does not omit the opportu- 
nity of remarking, that nobody ever 



WANDERINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA. 



79 



ttopt hilt) in the forests of Cayenne to 
ask him for his licence, or to inquire if 
he had a hundred a year, or to take 
away his gan, or to dispute the limits 
of a manor, or to threaten him with a 
tropical justice of the peace. We hope, 
however, that in this point we are on 
the eve of improvement, Mr, Peel, 
who is a man of high character and 
principles, may depend upon it that 
the time is come for his interference, 
and that it will be a loss of reputation 
to him not to interfere. If any one 
else can and will carry an alteration 
through Parliament, there is no occa« 
sion that the hand of Government 
should appear; but some hand must 
appear. The common people are be- 
coming ferocious, and the perdricide 
criminals are more numerous than the 
violators of all the branches of the 
Decalogue, 

"The king of the vultures is very hand- 
some, and seems to be the only bird which 
cbums r^;^! honours from a surrounding 
tribe. It is a fiict bt^ond aU dispute, that 
when the scent of carrion has drawn toge- 
ther hundreds of the common vultures, they 
all rethre from the carcass as soon as the 
long of the vultures malkes his appearance. 
When his majesty has satisfied the cravings 
of his royal stomach with the choicest bits 
from the most stinking and corrupted parts, 
he generally retires to a neighbouring tree, 
SDd then the common vultures return in 
crowds to gobble down his leavings. The 
Indians, as well as the whites, have ob- 
Berved this ; for vrhen one of them, who has 
learned a little English, sees the king, and 
wishes you to have a proper notion of the 
bird, he says, ' There is the governor of the 
carrion crows.* 

" Now, the Indians have never heard of a 
personage in Demerara higher than that of 
Sovemor; and the colonists, through a 
common mistake, call the vultures carrion 
<!row8. Hence the Indian, in order to ex- 
press the dominion of this bird over the 
common vultures, tells you he is governor 
of the carrion crows. The Spaniards have 
•too observed it, for through all the Spanish 
Hatn he is called Bey de Zamuros, king of 
the vultures."— (p. 14A.) 

This, we think, explains satisfacto- 
rily the origin of kingly government. 
As men have " learnt from the dog the 
physic of the field," they may probably 
have learnt from the vulture those high 



lessons of policy upon which, in En- 
rope, we suppose the whole happiness 
of society, and the very existence of 
the human race, to depend. 

Just before his third journey, Mr. 
Waterton takes leave of Sir Joseph 
Banks, and speaks of him with affec- 
tionate regret, ** I saw," (says Mr. W. ) 
'* with sorrow, that death was going to 
rob us of him. We talked of stufiing 
quadrupeds ; I agreed that the lips and 
nose ought to be cut off, and stuffed 
with wax." This is the way great 
naturalists take an eternal farewell of 
each other ! Upon stufiing animals, 
however, we have a word to say. Mr. 
Waterton has placed at the head of 
his book, the picture of what he is 
pleased to consider a nondescript spe- 
cies of monkey. In this exhibition our 
author is surely abusing his stuffing 
talents, and laughing at the public It 
is clearly the head of a Master in 
Chancery — whom we have often seen 
backing in the House of Commons 
after he has delivered his message. 
It is foolish thus to trifie with science 
and natural history. Mr. Waterton 
gives an interesting account of the 
sloth, an animal of which he appears 
to be fond, and whose habits he has 
studied with peculiar attention. 

^ "Some years ago I kept a sloth in my 
room for several months. I often took him 
out of the house and placed him upon the 
ground, in order to have an opportunity of 
observing his motions. If the ground were 
rough, he would pull himself forwards by 
means of his fore legs, at a pret^ good 
pace i and he invariably shaped his course 
towards the nearest tree. But if I put him 
upon a smooth and well-trodden part of the 
road, he appeared to be in trouble and dis- 
tress : his favourite abode was the back of 
a chair ; and after getting all his legs in a 
line upon the topmost part of it, he would 
hang there for hours together, and often, 
with a low and inward cry, would seem to 
invite me to take notice of him."— (p. 164.) 

The sloth, in its wild state, spends 
its life in trees, and never leaves them 
but from force or accident. The eagle 
to the sky, the mole to the ground, the 
sloth to the tree ; but what is most 
extraordinary, he lives not ttpon the 
branches, but under them. He moves 
suspended, rests suspended, sleeps sus- 



80 



WANDERINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA. 



pended, and passes his life in suspense — 
like a young clergyman distantly re- 
lated to a bishop. Strings of ants 
may be observed, says our good travel- 
ler, a mile long, each carrying in its 
mouth a green leaf the size of a six- 
pence ! be does not say whether this is 
a loyal procession, like Oak-apple Day, 
or for what purpose these leaves are 
carried ; but it appears, while they are 
carrying the leaves, the three soits of 
ant-bears are busy in eating them. The 
habits of the largest of these three ani- 
mals are curious, and tO us new. We 
recommend the account to the attention 
of the reader. 

*'He is chiefly found in the inmost re- 
cesses of the forest, and seems partial to 
the low and swampy parts near creeks 
where the Troely tree grows. There he 
goes up and down in quest of ants, of which 
there is never the least scarcity; so that he 
soon obtains a sufflcient supply of food, 
with very Uttle trouble. He cannot travel 
fost; man is superior to him in speed. 
Without swiftness to enable him to escape 
from his enemies, without teeth, the pos- 
session of which would assist him in self- 
defence, and without the power of burrow- 
ing in the ground, by which he might 
conceal himself fh>m his pursuers, he still 
is capable of ranging through these wilds 
in perfect safety ; nor does he fear the flital 
pressure of the serpent's fold, or the teeth 
of the famished jaguar. Nature has formed 
his fore legs wonderfully thick, and strong, 
and muscular, and armed his feet with 
three tremendous sharp and crooked claws. 
Whenever he seizes an animal with these 
formidable weapons, he hugs it close to his 
body, and keeps it there till it dies through 
pressure, or through want of food. Nor 
does the ant-bear, in the meantime, sufTer 
much from loss of aliment, as it is a well- 
known fact that he can go longer without 
food than perhaps any other animal, except 
the land tortoise. His skin is of a texture 
that perfectly resists the4)ite of a dog ; his 
hinder parts are protected by thick and 
shaggy hair, while his immense tail is large 
enough to cover his whole body. 

" The Indians have a great dread of com- 
ing in contact with the ant-bear ; and after 
disabling him in the chase, never think of 
approaching him till he be quite dead."— 
(pp. 171. 172.) 

The vampire measures about 26 
inches from wing to wing. There are 
two species, large and small. The large 



suck men, and the smaller birds. Mr. 
W. saw some fowls which had been 
sucked the night before, and they were 
scarcely able to walk. 

"Some years ago I went to the river 
Paumaron with a Scotch gentleman, l^ 
name Tarbet. We hung our hammocks in 
the thatched loft of a planter's house. Next 
morning I heard this gentleman muttering 
in his hammock, and now and then letting 
fall an imprecation or two, just about the 
time he ought to have been saying his 
morning prayers. ' What is the matter. 
Sir ? ' said I, softly ; 'is anything amiss f ' — 
' What's the matter ? ' answered he, surlily ; 
' why the vampires have been sucking me 
to death.' As soon as there was light 
enough, I went to his hammock, and saw it 
much stained with blood. ' There,' said he, 
thrusting his foot out of the hammock, 
'see how these infernal imps have been 
drawing my life's blood.' On examining 
his foot, I found the vampire hyd tapped 
his great toe : there was a wound somewhat 
less than that made by a leech; the blood 
was still oozing from it; I conjectured he 
might have lost from ten to twelve ounces 
of blood. Whilst examining it, I think I 
put him into a worse humour by remarking 
that an European surgeon would not have 
been so generous as to have blooded him 
without making a chai^. He looked up in 
my face, but did not say a word: I saw he 
was of opinion that I had better have 
spared this piece of ill-timed levity." — 
(pp. 176, 177.) 

The story which follows this account 
is vulgar, unworthy of Mr. Waierton, 
and should have been omitted. 

Every animal has his enemies. The 
land tortoise has two enemies — ^man, 
and the boa constrictor. The natural 
defence of the tortoise is to draw him- 
self up in his shell» and to remain 
quiet. In this state, the tiger, however 
famished, can do nothing with him, for 
the shell is too strong for the stroke of 
his paw. Man, however, takes him 
home and roasts him — and the boa 
constrictor swallows him whole, shell 
and all, and consumes him slowly in 
the interior, as the Court of Chancery 
does a great estate. 

The danger seems to be much less 
with snakes and wild beasts, if you 
conduct yourself like a gentleman, and 
are not abruptly intrusive. If you will 
pass on gently, you may walk unhurt 
within a yard of the Labairi snake. 



WANDERINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA- 



81 



who would pnt joa to death if you 
r&shed upon him. The ta^uan knocks 
you down with a blow of his paw, if 
suddenly interrupted, but will run away, 
if yon will give him time to do so. In 
short, most animals look upon man as a 
yery ugly castomer ; and, unless sorely 
pressed for food, or from fear of their 
own safety, are not fond of attacking 
him. Mr. Waterton, though much given 
to sentiment, roadeaLabairi snakebite 
itself, but no bad consequences ensued 
— nor would any bad consequences 
ensue, if a court>martial were to order 
a shiful soldier to give himself a thou- 
sand lashes. It is barely possible that 
the snake had some faint idea whom 
and what he was biting. 

Insects fire the curse of tropical cli- 
.mates. The bete rouge lays the foun- 
dation of a tremendous ulcer. In a 
moment yon are covered with ticks. 
Chigoes bury themselves in your flesh, 
and hatch a large colony of young 
chigoes in a few hours. They will not 
live together, but every chigoe sets up 
A separate ulcer, and has his own pri- 
vate portion of pus. Flies get entry 
into your mouth, into your eyes, into 
your nose ; you eat flies, drink flics, 
and breathe flies. Lizards, cockroaches, 
and snakes, get into the bed ; ants eat 
up the books ; scorpions sting you on 
the foot. Everything bites, stings, or 
bruises; every second of your exist- 
ence yon are wounded by some piece 
of animal life that nobody has ever 
seen before, except Swammerdam and 
Meriam. An insect with eleven legs 
is swimming in your teacup, a nonde- 
script with nine wings is struggling in 
the small beer, or a caterpillar with 
several dozen eyes in his belly is 
hastening over the bread and butter! 
All nature is alive, and seems to be 
gathering all her entomological hosts 
to eat you up, as you are standing, out 
of your coat, waistcoat, and breeches. 
Such are the tropics. All this recon- 
ciles us to our dews, fogs, vapours, and 
drizzle — to our apothecaries rushing 
about with gargles and tinctures — to 
our old, British, constitutional coughs, 
sore throats, and swelled faces. 

We come now to the counterpart of 
St. George and the Dragon. Every 

VouIL 



one knows that the large snake of tro- 
pical climates throws himself upon his 
prey, twists the folds of his body round 
the victim, presses him to death, and 
then eats him. Mr. Waterton wanted 
a large snake for the sake of his skin ; 
and it occurred to him, that the suc- 
cess of this sort of combat depended 
upon who began first, and that if ho 
could contrive to fling himself upon 
the snake, he was just as likely to send 
the snake to ihe British Museum, as 
the snake, if allowed the advantage of 
prior occupation, was to eat him up. 
The opportunities which Yorkshire 
squires have of combating with the 
boa constrictor are so few, that Mr. 
Waterton must be allowed to tell his 
own story in his own manner. 

" We went slowly on in silence, without 
moving our arms or heads, in order to pro- 
vent all alarm as much as possible, lest the 
snake should glide off, or attack us in self- 
defence. I carried the lance perpendicu- 
larly before me, with the point about a foot 
from the ground. The snake had net 
moved ; and on getting up to him, I struck 
him with the lance on the near side, just be- 
hind the neck, and pinned himtotheground. 
That moment the n<^nro n&fi to me seized 
the lanoe and held it firm in its place, while 
I dashed head foremost into the den to 
grapple with the snake, and to get hold of 
his tail before he could do any misohief. 

** On pinning him to the ground with the 
limce, he gave a tremendous loud hiss, and 
the little d(^ ran away, howling as he went. 
We had a sharp flray in the den, the rotten 
sticks llyii^ on all sides, and each party 
struggling for superiority. I called out to 
the second negro to throw himself upon 
me, as I found I was not heavy enough. 
He did so, and the additional weight was of 
great service. I had now got firm hold of 
his tail ; and after a violent struggle or two, 
he gave in, finding himself overpowered. 
This was the moment to secure him. So, 
while the first negro continued to hold the 
lance firm to the ground, and the Qther was 
helping me, I contrived to unloose my 
braces, and with them tied up the snake's 
mouth, 

** The snake, now finding himself in an 
unpleasant situation, tried to better him- 
self, and set resolutely to work, but we 
overpowered him. We contrived to make 
him twist himself round the shaft of the 
lance, and then prepared to convey him out 
of the forest. I stood at his head, and held 
it firm under my arm, one negro supported 

G 



^2 



WANDERINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA. 



the belly, and the other the tail. In this 
order we b^an to move slowly towards 
homo, and reached it after resting ten 
times ; for the snake was too heavy for us 
to support him without stopping to recruit 
our strength. As we proceeded onwards 
with him, he fought hard for ft-eedom, but 
it was all in vain."~(pp. 202—201.) 

One of these combats we should have 
thought sufficient for glory, and for the 
interests of the British Museum. But 
Hercules killed two snakes, and Mr. 
Waterton would not be coutent with 
less. 

"There was a path where timber had 
formerly been dnm^ed along. Here I ob- 
served a young coulacanara, ten feet long, 
slowly moving onwards ; I saw he was not 
thidk enough to break my arm, in case he 
got twisted round it. There was not a mo- 
ment to be lost. I laid hold of his tail with 
the left hand, one knee being on the ground ; 
with the right I took off my hat, and held 
it as you would hold a shield for defence. 

" The snake instantly turned, and came 
on at me, with his head about a yard fW»m 
the ground, as if to ask me what business 
I had to take liberties with his taiL I let 
him come, hissing and open-mouthed, 
within two feet of my fskce, and then, with 
all the force I was master of, I drove my 
list, shielded by my hat, fUll in his jaws. 
He was stunned and confounded by the 
blow, and ere he could recover himself, I 
had seized his throat with both hands, in 
such a position that he could not bite me ; 
I then allowed him to coil himself round 
my body, and marched off with him as my 
lawful prize. He pressed me hard, bat not 
alarmingly sa**— (pp. 206, 207.) 

When the body of the large snake 
began to smell, the vultui-es imme- 
diately arrived. The king of the vul- 
tures first gorged himself, and then 
retired to a large tree while ^his sub- 
jects consumed the remainder. It does 
not appear that there was any favour- 
itism. When the king was full, all the 
mob vultures ate alike ; neither could 
Mr. Waterton perceive that there was 
any division into Catholic and Protes- 
tant vultures, or that the majority of 
the flock thought it essentially vultur- 
ish to exclude one third of their num- 
bers from the blood and entrails. The 
vulture, it is remarkable, never eats 
live animals. He seems to abhor every- 
thing which has not the relish of pu- 



trescence and flavour of. death. The 
following is a characteristic specimen 
of the little inconveniences to which 
travellers are liable, who sleep on the 
feather-beds of tlie forest To see a 
rat in a room in Europe insures a night 
of horror. Everything is by compa- 
rison. 

" About midnight, as I was lying awaket 
and in great pain, I heard the Indians say, 
'Massa^ massa, you no hear tig^?' I lis- 
tened attentively, and heard the softly 
sounding tread of his feet as he approached 
us. The moon had gone down ; but every 
now and theu we could get a glance of him 
by the light of our fire : he was the jaguar, 
for I could see the spots on his body. Had 
I wished to have fired at him, I was not 
able to take a sure aim, for I was in such 
pain that I could not turn myself in my 
hammock. The Indian would have fired, 
but I would not allow him to do so, as I 
wanted to see a Uttle more of our new 
visitor; for it is not every day or night 
that the traveller is favoured with an un- 
disturbed sight of the jaguar in his own 
forest. 

" Whenever the fire got low, the ja^niar 
came a little nearer, and when the Indian 
renewed it, he retired abruptly ; sometimes 
he would oome within twenty yards, and 
then we had a view of him, sitting on his 
hind legs Uke a dog; sometimes he moved 
slowly to and firo, and at other times we 
could hear him mend his pace, as if impa- 
tient. At last the Indian, not relishing the 
idea of having such company in the neigh- 
bourhood, could contain himself no longer, 
and set up a most tremendous yell. The 
jaguar bounded off like a race-horse, and 
returned no more ; it appeared by the print 
of his feet the next morning, that He was a 
full-grown jaguar"— (pp. 212, 213.) 

We have seen Mr. Waterton fling 
himself upon a snake ; we shall now 
mount him upon a crocodile, under- 
taking that this shall be the laist of his 
feats exhibited to the reader. He bad 
baited for a cayman or crocodile, the 
hook was swallowed, and the object 
was to pull the animal up and to se- 
cure him. ** If you pull him up,** say 
(he Indians, ** as soon as he sees you on 
the brink of the river, he will run at 
you and destroy you.'* " Never mind," 
says our traveller, ** pull away, and 
leave the rest to me.*' And accord- 
ingly he places himself upon the shore, 
with the mast of the canoe in his hand. 



WANDERINGS IN SOUTH AMERICA. 



83 



ready to force it down the throat of the 
crocodile, as soon as he makes his 
appearance. 

" By the time the cayman was within two 
yards of me, I saw he was in a state of fear 
and perturtaafcion ; I instantly dropped the 
mast, sprang np, and jumped on his badL. 
taming half round as I vaulted, so that I 
gained my seat with my face in a right 
position. I immediately seized his fore 
legs, and, by main force, twisted them on 
his back ; thus they served me for a bridle. 

** He now seemed to have recovered from 
his surprise, and probably fiincying himself 
in hostile company, he began to plunge fu- 
riously, and lashed the sand with his long 
and powerftil tail. I was out of reach of 
the strokes of it, by being near his head. He 
continued to plunge and strike, and made 
my seat very uncomfortable. It must have 
been a fine sight for an unoccupied spec- 
tator. 

** The people roared out in triumph, and 
were so Vociferous, that it was some time 
before they heard me tell them to pull me 
and my beast of burden fturther in land. I 
was apprehensive the rope might break, 
and then there would have been every 
chance of going down to the regions under 
water with the cayman. That would have 
been more perilous than Arion's marine 
morning ride : — 

' Belphini insidms, vada cserula sulcat 
Arion.* 

""The people now dragged us above forty 
yards on the sand : it was the first and last 
time I was ever on a cayman's back. Should 
it be asked, how I managed to keep my seat, 
I would answer— I hunted some years with 
Lord Darlington's foxhounds."— (pp. 231, 
SSL) 

The Yorkshire gentlemen have long 
been famous for their equestrian skill ; 
bat Mr. Waterton is the first among 
them of whom it could be said that he 
has a fine hand upon a crocodile. 
T^is accursed animal, so ridden by 
Mr. Waterton, is the scourge and 
terror of all the large rivers in South 
America near the lane. Their bold^ 
ness is such* that a cayman has some- 
times come out of the Oroonoque, at 
Angostura, near the public walks 
where the people were assembled, 
seized a full-grown man, as big as Sir 
William Curtis after dinner, and hur- 
ried him into the bed of the river for 
his food. The governor of Angustura 
witnessed this circnmstance himselC 



Our Eboracic traveller had now been 
nearl^r eleven months in the desert, 
and not in vain. Shall we express our 
doubts, or shall we confidently state at 
once the immense wealth he had ac- 
quired ? — a prodigious variety of in- 
sects, two hundred and thirty birds, 
ten land-tortoises, five armadillas, two 
large serpents, a sloth, an ant-bear, 
and a cayman. At Liverpool, the 
Custom-house officers, men ignorant 
of Linnaeus, got hold of his collection, 
detained it six weeks, and, in spite of 
remonstrances to the Treasury, he was 
forced to paj very high duties. This 
is really perfectly absurd ; that a man 
of science cannot bring a pickled 
armadilla, for a collection of natural 
history, without paying a tax for jt. 
This surely must have happened in the 
dark days of Nicolas. We cannot 
doubt but that such paltry exactions 
have been swept away by the manly 
and liberal policy of Robinson and 
Husklsson. That a great people should 
compel an individual to make them a 
payment before he can be permitted to 
land a stuffed snake upon their shores, 
is, of all the paltry Custom-house rob- 
beries we ever heard of, the most mean 
and contemptible — but Major renmi^ 
ordo nascitur. 

The fourth journey of Mr. Waterton 
is to the United States. It is pleasantly 
written ; but our author does not ap- 
pear as much at home among men as 
among beasts. Shooting, stuffing, and 
pursuing are his occupations. He is 
lost in places where there are no 
bushes, snakes, nor Indians — but he 
is full of good and amiable feeling 
wherever he goes. We cannot avoid 
introducing the following passage : — 

"The steam-boat firom Quebec to Mon- 
treal had above five hundred Irish emi- 
grants on board. They were going 'they . 
hardly knew whither,' far away from dear 
Ireland. It made one's heart ache to see 
them all huddled together, without any ex- 
pectation of ever revisiting their native soil. 
We feared that the sorrow of leaving home 
for ever, the miserable accommodations on 
board the ship which had brought them 
away, and the tossing of the angry ocean, in 
a long and dreary voyage, would have ren- 
dered them callous to good behaviour. But 
it was quite otherwise. They conducted 

Q 2 



SA 



GRANBT. 



themselves with great propriety. Every 
i^xnerican on board seemed to feel for them. 
And then, *they were so full of wretched- 
ness. Need and oppression stared within 
their eyes. Upon their backs bung ragged 
misery. The world was not their fHend.' 
'Poor dear Ireland,* exclaimed an aged fe» 
male, as I was talking to her, ' I shall never 
see it any more I ' "^(pp. 259, 260.) 

And thus it is in every region of the 
earth I There is no country where an 
Englishman can set his foot, that he 
does not meet these miserable victims 
of English cruelty and oppression — 
banished from their country by the 
stupidity, bigotry, and meanness of the 
English people, who trample on their 
liberty and conscience, because each 
man is afraid, in another reign, of 
being out of favour, and losing his 
share in the spoil. 

We are always glad to see America 
praised (slavery excepted). And yet 
there is still, we fear, a party in this 
country, who are glad to pay their 
court to the timid and the feeble, by 
sneering at this great spectacle of 
human happiness. We never think of 
it without considering it as a great 
lesson to the people of England, to 
look into their own a^airs, to watch 
and suspect their rulers, and not to be 
defrauded of happiness and money by 
pompous names, and false pretences. 

"Our western brother is. in possession of 
a country replete with everything that can 
contribute to the happiness and comfort of 
mankind. His code of laws, purified by ex- 
perience and opmmon ^nse, has fully an- 
swered the expectations of the public. By 
acting up to the true spirit of this code, he 
has reaped immense advantages from it. 
His advancement,' as a nation, has been 
rapid beyond all calculation ; and, young as 
he is, it may be remarked, without any im- 
"propriety, that he is now actually reading a 
salutary lesson to the rest of the civilised 
world."— (p. 278.) 

Now, what shall ve say, after all, of 
•Mr. Waterton ? That he has spent a 
•great part of his life in wandering in 
the wild scenes he describes, and that 
he describes them with entertaining 
zeal and real feeling. His stories draw 
largely sometimes on our faith ; but a 
man who lives in the woods of Cayenne 
must do many odd things, and see 



many odd things — things utterly un- 
known to the dwellers in Hackney and 
Highgate. We do not want to rein 
up Mr, Waterton too tightly — becjinso 
we are convinced he goes best with his 
bead free. But a little less of apo- 
strophe, and some faint suspicion of his 
own powers of humour, would im- 
prove this gentleman's style. As it i9, 
he has a considerable talent at describ- 
ing. He abounds with good feeling; 
and has written a very entertaining 
book, which hurries the reader out of 
his European parlour, into the heart of 
tropical forests, and gives, over the 
rules and the cultivation of the civil- 
ised parts of the earth, a momentary 
superiority to the freedom of the sav- 
age, and the wild beauties of Nature.^ 
We honestly recommend the book to 
our readers : it is well worth the 
perusal. 



GRANBY. (E. Rijview, 1826.) 

Oranby, A Novel in Three Velumea, Lon- 
don. Colbum. 1826. 

T^ERB is nothing more amusing jn 
the spectacles of the present day, than 
to see the Sir John's and Sir Thomas's 
of the House of Commons struck 
aghast by the useful science and wise 
novelties of Mr. Huskisson and the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer^ Trea- 
son, Disaffection, Atheism, Republic- 
anism, and Socinianism — the great 
guns'in the Noodle's pai'k of artillery 
— they cannot bring to bear upon 
these gentlemen. Even to charge with 
a regiment of ancestors is not quite so 
efficacious as it used to be ; and all 
that remains, therefore, is to r^il 
against Peter M^Culloch and Political 
Economy \ In the meantime, day 
after day, down goes one piece of 
nonsense or another. The most ap- 
proved trash, and the most trusty 
clamours, are found to be utterly 
powerless. Twopenny taunts and 
trumpery truisms have lost their des- 
tructive omnipotence ; and the ex- 
hausted common-placemen, and the 
afflicted fool, moan over the ashes of 
Imbecility, and strew flowers on. the 



GRANBY. 



85 



TTrn of Ignorance ! General Elliot 
found the London tailors in a state 
of mutiny, and, he raised from them 
a regiment of light cavalry, which 
distinguished itself in a very striking 
manner at the battle of Minden. In 
humble imitation of this example, we 
shall avail ourselves of the present 
political disaffection and unsatisfac- 
tory idleness of many men of rank 
and consequence, to request their at- 
tention to the Novel of Granby — 
written, as we have heard, by a young 
gentleman of the name of Lister*, 
and from which we have derived a 
considerable deal of pleasure and en- 
tcrtainment 

The main question as to a novel is 
— did it amuse ? were you surprised 
at dinner coming so soon ? did you 
mistake eleven for ten, and twelve for 
eleven ? were you too late to dress ? 
and did you sit up beyond the usual 
hour ? If a novel produces these 
effects, it is good j if it does not — >- 
story, language, love, scandal itself 
cannot save it. It is only meant to 
please; and it must do that, or it does 
nothing. Now Granby seems to us to 
answer this test extremely well ; it 
produces unpunctuality, makes the 
reader too late for dinner, impatient 
of contradiction, and inattentive, — 
even if a bishop is making an obser- 
vation, or a gentleman, lately from the 
Pyramids, or the tipper Cataracts, is let 
loose upon the drawing-room. The ob- 
jection, indeed, to these compositions, 
when they are well done« is, that it is 
impossible to do anything, or perform 
any human duty, while we are engaged 
in them. Who can read Mr. Hallam*s 
Middle Ages, or extract the root of an 
impossible quantity, or draw up a bond, 
when he is in the middle of Mr. Tre- 
beck and Lady Charlotte Duncan ? 
How can the boy*8 lesson be heard, 
about the Jove-nourished Achilles, or 
his six miserable verses upon Dido be 
corrected, when Henry Granby and 
^Ir. Courtenay are both making love 
to Miss Jermyn ? Common life palls 
in the middle of these artificial scenes. 

* This is the gentleman who now keeps 
the keys of Life and Death, the Jaoitor of 
thelYorld. 



All is emotion when the book is open 
— ^all dull, flat, and feeble When it is shut. 

Granby, a young man of no profies- 
sion, living with an old uncle in the 
country, falls in love with Miss JermyU) 
and Miss Jermyn with him; but Sif 
Thomas and Lady Jermyn, as the 
young gentleman is not rich, having 
discovered, by long living in the world 
and patient observation of its ways, 
that young people are commonly Mai* 
thus-proof and have children, and that 
young and old must eat, very naturally 
do what they can to discourage the 
union. The young people, however^ 
both go to town — meet at balls — 
flutter, blush, look and cannot speak — 
speak and cannot look) — suspect, mis* 
interpret, ate sad and mad, peevish 
and jealous^ fond and foolish ; but the 
passion, after all) seems less near to 
its accomplishment at the end of the 
season than the beginning. The uncle 
of Granby, however, dies, and leaves 
to his nephew a statement accompanied 
with the requisite proofs — that Mr. 
Tyrrel, the supposed son of Lord Mal- 
ton, is illegitimate, and that he. Gran-' 
by, is the heir to Lord Malton's fortune. 
The second volume is now far ad van* 
ced, and it is time for Lord Malton to 
die. Accordingly Mr. Lister very ju- 
diciously despatches him ; Granby in* 
berits the estate — his Virtues (for what 
shows off virtue like land ?) are dis* 
covered by the Jermyns — and they 
marry in the last act. 

Upon this slender story, the author 
has succeeded in making a very agree*> 
able and interesting novel ; and he has 
succeeded) we think, chiefly by the 
very easy and natural picture of man- 
ners, as they really exist among the 
upper classes t by the description of 
new characters judiciously drawn and 
faithfully preserved ; and by the in- 
troduction of many striking and welU 
managed incidents ; and we are parti* 
cularly struck throughout the whole 
with the discretion and good sense of 
the author. He is never nimiousf 
there is nothing in excess ; there is 
a good deal of fancy and a great deal 
of spirit at work, btit a directing and 
superintending judgment rarely quits 
him. 

o 3 



86 



GRANBY. 



We would instance, as a proof of 
his tact and talent, the visit at Lord 
Daventrj's, and the description of 
characters of which the party is com- 
posed. There are absolutely no events ; 
nobody runs away, goes mad, or dies. 
There is little of love, or of hatred ; 
no great passion comes into play ; but 
nothing can be further removed from 
dulness and insipidity. Who has ever 
lived in the world without often meet- 
ing the Miss ClifU>ns ? 

" The Miss Cliftons were good-humoured 
girls ; not handsome, but of pleasing man- 
ners, and sufEldently clever to keep up the 
ball of conversation very agreeably for an 
occasional half hour. They were alwa(y8 au 
eourant du jour, and knew and saw the 
first of everything— were in the earliest con- 
fidence of many a bride elect, and could fro* 
quently tell that a marriage was ' off' long 
after it had been announced as ' on the tapis' 
in the morning papers— always knew some- 
thing of the new opera, or the new Scotch 
novel, before anybody else did— were the 
first who made fi^^, or acted charades — 
contrived to have private views of most ex- 
hibitions, and were supposed to have led 
the fashionable throng to the Caledonian 
Chapel, Cross Street, Hatton Garden. Their 
employments were like those of most other 
girls : they sang, played, drew, rode, read 
occasionally, spoiled much muslin, manu- 
factured purses, hflndscareens, and reticules 
for a repository, and transcribed a consider- 
able quantity of music out of large fair print 
into diminutive manuscript. 

" Miss Clifton was clever and accomplish- 
ed; rather cold, but very conversible; col- 
lected seals, fhtnks, and anecdotes of the 
day; and was a great retailer of the latter. 
Anne was odd and entertaining ; was a for- 
midable quizzer, and no mean caricaturist; 
liked fun in most shapes ; Mid next to mak- 
ing people laugh, had rather they stared at 
what she said. Maria was the echo of the 
other two : vouched for all Miss Clifton's 
anecdotes, and led the laugh at Anne's re- 
pfui«C8. They wer6 plain, and th^ knew 
it ; and cared less about it than young ladies 
usually do. Their plainness, however, would 
have been less striking, but for that hard, 
pale, parboiled town look,— that stamp of 
fashion, with which late hours and hot 
rooms generally endow the female face."— 
(pp. 103--105.) 

Having introduced our reader to the 
Miss Cliftons, we must make him ac- 
quainted with Mr. Trebeck, oiie of 
those universally appearing gentlemen 



and tremendous 'table tyrants, by 
whom London society is so frequently 
governed : — 

" Mr. Trebeck had great powers of enter- 
tainment, and a keen and lively turn for 
satire ; and could talk down his superiors, 
whether in rank or talent, with v&ry im- 
posing oonfldenceu He saw the advantages 
of being formidable, and observed with de- 
rision how those whose malignity he pam- 
pered with ridicule of others, vainly thought 
to purchase by subserviency exemption for 
themselves. He had sounded the gullibility 
of the world; knew the precise current 
value of pretension ; and soon found him- 
self the acknowledged umpire, the last ap- 
peal, of many contented followers. 

" He seldom committed himself by pnuse 
or recommendation, but rather left his ex- 
ample and adoption to work its way. As for 
censure, he had both ample and witty stOre ; 
but here too he often husbanded his re- 
marks, and where it was needless or dan- 
gerous to define a fiEMilt, could check 
admiration by an incredulous smile, and de- 
press pretensions of a season's standing by 
the raisii^ of an eyebrow. He had a quick 
perception of the foibles of others, and a 
keen relish for banteringand exposing them. 
No keeper of a menagerie could better show 
off a monkey than he could an 'original.' 
He could ingeniously cause the unconscious 
subject to place his own absurdities in the 
best point of view, and would cloak his d»> 
rision under the blandest cajolery. Imita- 
tors he loved much; but to baffle them— 
more. He loved to turn upon the luckless 
adopters of his last folly, and see them pre- 
cipitately back out of the scrape into which 
he himself had led them. 

" In the art of cutting he shone unrivalled; 
he knew the 'when,' the 'where,' and the 
'how.* Without affecting useless short- 
sightedness, he could assume that calm but 
wandering gaze, which veers, as if uncon- 
sciously, round the proscribed individual ; 
neither fixing, nor to be fixed ; not looking 
on vacBMcy, nor on any one object ; neither 
occupied nor abstracted ; a look which per^ 
haps excuses you ^ the person cut, and, at 
any rate, prevents him fh>m aocostii^ you. 
Originality was his idol. He wished to as- 
tonish, even if he did not amuse ; and had 
rather say » silly thing than a common- 
place one. He was led by this sometimes 
even to approach the verge of rudeness and 
vulgarity; but he had considerable tact, and 
a happy hardihood, which generally carried 
him through the difficulties into which his 
fearless love of originality brought him. 
Indeed, he well knew that what would, in 
the present condition of hi^ reputation, be 



GRANBT. 



87 



scouted in anybody else, would pass current 
with the world in him. Sudi was the for- 
fomed and redoubtable Mr. Trebeck."— 
(pp. 109—112.) 

This sketch we think exceedingly 
clever. But we are not sure that its 
merit is fully sustained by the actual 
presentment of its subject* He makes 
his debut at dinner very characteristi- 
cally, by gliding in quietly after it is 
half over ; but in the dialogue which 
follows with Miss Jerniyn, he seems to 
us a little too resolutely witty, and 
somewhat affectedly odd — though the 
whole scene is executed with spirit and 
talent. 

" The Duk^ had been discoursing on cook- 
ery, when Mr. Trebeck turned to her, and 
asked in a low tone if she had ever met the 
Duke before—* I assure you/ said he, * that 
upon that subject he is well worth attend- 
ing to. He is supposed to possess more 
true science than any amateur of his day. 
"By the by, what is the dish before you P It 
looks well, and I see you are eating some of 
it. Let me recommend it to him upon your 
authority ; I dw^ not upon my own.* — * Then 
pray do not use mine.'— * Yes I will, with 
your permission ; 111 tell him you thought, 
by what dropped from him in conversation, 
that it would exactly suit the genius of his 
taste. Shi^l IP Yes.— Duke,' (raising his 
voice a little, and speaking across the table,) 
— * Oh, no ; how can you P *—* Why not P— 
Ihike,' (with a glance at Caroline,) 'will 
you allow me to take wine with youP*— * I 
thought,' said she, relieved from, her trepi- 
dation, and laughing slightly, 'you would 
never say anything so very strange.' — * You 
have too good an opinion of me ; I blush 
for my unworthiness. But confess, that iu 
fiftct you were rather alarmed at the idea of 
being held up to such a critic as the reoom- 
mender of a bad dish.' — * Oh no, I was not 
thinking of that; but I hardly know the 
Duke; and it would have seemed so odd; 
and perhaps he might have thought that I 
had really told you to say something of that 
kind.*—* Of course he would ; but you must 
not suppose that he would have been at all 
surprised at it. I'm afraid you are not 
aware of the full extent of your privileges, 
and are not conscious how many things 
young ladies can, and may, and will do.*— 
' Indeed I am not — perhaps you will instruct 
me.' — 'Ah, I never do that for anybody. I 
like to see young ladies instruct themselves. 
It is better for them, and much more amus- 
ing to me. But, however, for once I will 
venture to tell you, that a very competent 



knowledge of the duties of women may, 
with proper attention, be picked up in a 
ball room.'— * Then I hope,' said she, laugh- 
ing, ' you will attribute my deficiency to my 
little experience of balls. I have only been 
at two.'— 'Only two I and one of them I 
suppose a race ball. Then you have not yet 
experienced any of the pleasures of a Lon- 
don season P Never had the dear delight of 
seeing and being seen, in a well of tall peo- 
ple at a rout, or passed a pleasant hour at 
a ball upon a staircase P I envy you. Yon 
have much to enjoy.'— * You do not mean 
that I really have P *— * Yes—really. But let 
me give you a caution or two. Never dance 
with any man without first knowing his 
character and condition, on the word of 
two credible chaperons. At balls, too, con- 
sider what you come for— tadance, of course, 
and not to converse; therefore, never talk 
yourself, nor encourage it in others.*—* I'm 
afraid I can only answer for myself.'—* Why, 
if foolish, well-meaning people will choose 
to be entertaining, I question if you have 
the power of fh>wning them down in a very 
forbidding manner ; but 1 would give them 
no countenance nevertheless.*— ' Your ad- 
vice seems a little ironicaL'- * Oh, you may 
either follow it or reverse it— that is its 
chief beauty. It is equally good taken either 
way.' After a slight pause he continued — 
* I hope you do not sing, or play, or draw, or 
do anything that everybody else does.'—* I 
am obliged to confess that I do a little - 
very little— in each,*— * I understand your 
'*very little;" I'm afraid you are accom- 
plished.'-' You need have no fear of that. 
But why are you an enemy to all aocomi 
plishmentsP'— *AllaccompUshments? Nay, 
surely, you do not think me an enemy to 
all P What can you possibly take me for P ' 
— * I do not know,' said she, laughing slight- 
ly.— 'Yes, I see you do not know exactly 
what to make of me— and you are not with- 
out yom* apprehensions. I can perceive 
that, though you try to conceal them.— But 
never mind. I am a safe person to sit near 
—sometimes. I am to-day. This is one of 
my lucid intervals. I'm much better, thanks 
to my keeper. There he is, on the other side 
of the table —the tall man in black,' (point- 
ing out Mr. Bennet,) 'a highly respectable 
kind of person. I came with him here for 
cliange of air. How do you think I look at 
present P '—Caroline could not answer him 
for laughing.—* Nay,* siud he, ' it is cruel to 
laugh on such a subject. It is very hard 
that you should do that, and misrepresent 
my meaning too.*— 'Well then,* said Caro- 
line, resuming a respectable portion of gra- 
vity, * that I may not be guilty of that again, 
what accomplishments do you allow to be 
tolerable P*-^' Let me see,* sud he, with a 

G 4 



s% 



GRANBT. 



look of consideration; 'yon may play a 
'wallz with one hand, and dance as little as 
you think convenient. You may draw cari- 
catures of your intimate friends. You may 
not sing a note of Rossini ; nor sketch gate- 
posts and donkeys after nature. You may 
sit to a harp, but you need not play it. You 
must not paint miniatures nor copy Swiss 
costumes. But you may manufacture any- 
thing—from a cap down to ft pair of shoes 
— always remembering that the less useful 
your work the better. Can you remember 
all this?*— '1 do not know,' said she, 'it 
comprehends so much; and I am rather 
puzzled between the "mays" and "must 
nets." However, it seems, according to your 
code, that very little is to be required of 
-me; for you have not mentioned anything 
that I positively must do.*— *Ah, well, I can 
reduce all to a veiy small compass. You 
must be an archeress in the summer, and a 
skater in the winter, and play well at billi- 
ards all the year; and if you do these ex- 
tremely well, my admiration will have no 
bounds.*—' I believe I must forfeit all claim 
to your admiration then, for unfortunately 
I am not so giffced.* — 'Then you must place 
it to the account of your other gifts.*— 
* Certainly— when it comes.*—* Oh I it is 
sure to come, as you well know : but, never- 
theless, 1 like that incredulous look ex- 
tremely.*— He then turned away, thinking 
probably that he had paid her the compli- 
ment of sufficient attention, and began a 
conversation with the Duchess, which was 
carried on in such a well-regulated under* 
tone, as to be perfectly inaudible to any but 
themselves.**— (pp. 92—99.) 

The bustling importance of Sir 
ThomaB Jermyn, the fat Duke, and 
his right-hand man the blunt toad- 
eater, Mr. Charlecote, a loud noisy 
t-portsman, and Lady Jermyn's worldly 
prudence, are all displayed and man- 
aged with considerable skill and great 
l^ower of amusing. One little sin 
against good taste our author some- 
times commits — an error from which 
Sir Walter Scott is not exempt. We 
mean the humour of giving character- 
istic names to persons and places ; for 
instance, Sir Thomas Jermyn is Mem- 
ber of Parliament for the town of 
Rottcnborough. This very easy and 
appellative jocularity seems to us, we 
confess, to savour a little of vulgarity; 
and is therefore quite as unworthy of 
Mr. Lister, as Dr. Dryasdust is of Sir 
Walter Scott. The plainest names 
which can be found (Smith, Thomson, 



Johnson, and Simson, always excepted), 
are the best for novels. Lord Chester- 
ton we have often met with ; and suf- 
fered a good deal from his Lordship : 
a heavy, pompous, meddling peer, 
occupying a great share of the con- 
versation — saying things in ten words 
which required only two, and evidently 
convinced that he is making a great 
impression ; a large man, with a large 
head, and very lauded nianner; know- 
ing enough to torment his fellow- 
creatures, not to instruct them — the 
ridicnle of young ladies, and tlie 
natural bntt and target of wit. It 
is easy to talk of carnivorous animals 
and beasts of prey ; but does such a 
man, who lays waste a whole party 
of civilised beings by prosing, reflect 
npon the joys he spoils, and the misery 
he creates in the course of his life ? * 
and that any one who listens to him 
through politeness, would prefer tooth- 
ache or earache to his conversation ? 
Does he consider the extreme uneasi- 
ness which ensues, when the company 
have discovered a man to be an ex- 
tremely absurd person, at the same 
time that it is absolutely impossible to 
convey, by words or manner, the most 
distant suspicion of the discovery ? 
And then, who punishes this bore ? 
What sessions and what assizes for 
him ? What bill is found against 
him ? Who indicts him ? When the 
judges have gone their vernal and 
antumnal rounds — the sheep-stealer 
disappears — the swindler gets ready 
for the Bay — the solid parts of the 
murderer are preserved in anatomical 
collections. But, after twenty years 
of crime, the bore is •discoVered in the 
same house, in the same attitude, eat- 
ing the same soup — unpunished, un- 
tried, undissected — no scaffold, no 
skeleton — no mob of gentlemen and 
ladies to gape over his last dying speech 
and confession. 

The scene of quizzing the country 
neighbours is well imagined, and not 
ill executed ; though there are many 
more fortunate passages in the book. 
The elderly widows of the metropolis 
beg, through us, to return their thanks 
to Mr. Lister for the following agree- 
able portrait of Mrs. Dormer. 



GRANBT. 



8d 



** It would be difficult to find a more pleas- 
ing example than Mrs. Dormer, of that much 
libelled class of elderly ladies of the world, 
who are presumed to be happy only at the 
card table; to grow iu bitterness as th^y 
advance in years, and to haunt, like restless 
ghosts, those busy circles which they no 
longer either enliven or adorn. Such there 
may be ; but of these she was not oue. She 
was the frequenter of society, but not its 
slave. She had great natural benevolence 
of disposition ; a friendly vivacity of man- 
ners, which endeared her to the young, and 
a steady good sense, which commanded the 
respect of her contemporaries ; and many, 
who did not agree with her on particular 
points, were willing to allow that there was 
a good deal of reason in Mrs. Dormer's pre- 
jvdices. She was, perhaps, a little blind to 
the faults of her friends ; a defect of which 
the world could not cure her ; but she was 
very kind to their virtues. She was fond of 
youi^ people, and had an unimpaired gaiety 
about her, which seemed to exi)8nd in the 
contact with them ; and she was anxious to 
promote, for their sake, even those amuse- 
ments for which she had lost all taste her- 
self. She was — but after all, she will be 
best described by n^atives. She was not a 
match-maker, or mischief-maker; nor did 
«he plume herself upon her charity, in im- 
plicitly believing only just half of what the 
vorld says. She was no retailer of scanda- 
lous ' an dUs* She did not combat wrinkles 
with rouge ; nor did she labour to render 
years less respected by a miserable affecta- 
tion of girlish fashions. She did not stickle 
for the inviolable exclusiveness of certain 
sects; nor was she aftaid of being known 
to visit a friend in an unfashionable quarter 
of the town. She was no worshipper of 
mere rank. She did not patronise oddities; 
nor sanction those who delight in braving 
the rules of common decency. She did not 
evince her sense of propriety, by shaking 
lumds with the recent defendant in aCrim. 
(^on. cause ;^ nor exhale her devotion in 
Sonday routs."-~(pp. 248, 244.) 

Mrs. Clot worthy, we are afraid, will 
not be quite so well pleased with the 
description of her rout. Mrs. Clot- 
worthy is one of those ladies who have 
ices, fiddlers, and fine rooms, but no 
fine friends. But fine friends may 
always be had, where there are ices, 
fiddlers, and fine rooms : and so, with 
ten or a dozen stars and an Oonalaska 
chief, and followed by all vicious and 
salient London, Mrs. Clotwortby takes 
the field. 



"The poor woman seemed half dead with 
fatigue alreftdy ; and we cuinot venture to 
say whether the prospect of five hours 
more of this high-wrought enjoyment tend- 
ed much to brace her to the task. It was a 
brilliant sight, and an interesting one, if it 
could have been viewed firom some fair van- 
tage ground, with ample space, in coolness 
and in quiet. Eank, beauty, and splendour, 
were richly blended; The gay attire; the 
glittering jewels; the more resplendent 
features they adorned, and too frequently 
the rouged cheek of the sexagenarian : the 
vigilant chaperon; the f^ but hmguid 
form which she conducted; weU curled 
heads, well propped with starch; well 
whiskered guardsmen I and here and there 
fat good-humoured elderly gentlemen, with 
stars upon their coats ;— all these united in 
one close medley— a curious piece of living 
mosaic. Most of them came to see and be 
seen; some of the most youthfid professedly 
to dance ; yet how could they ? at any rate 
they tried.— They stood, if they could, with 
their vis-Arvis facing them,— and sidled 
across— and back again and made one step, 
— or two if there was room, to the right or 
left, and joined hands and set— perhaps, 
and turned their partners, or dispensed 
with it if necessary— and so on to the end 
of ' La Finale ;' and then comes a waltz for 
the few who choose it— and then another 
squeezy quadrille— and so on— and on, till 
the weary many 'leave ample room and 
verge enough* for the persevering few to 
figure in with greater freedom. 

"But then they talk; oh! ay I true we 
must not forget the charms of conversation. 
And what passes between nine-tenths of 
them I Bemarks on the heat of the room ; 
the state of the crowd; the impossibility of 
dancing, and the propriety nevertheless of 
attempting it ; that on last Wednesday was 
a bad Almack's, and on Thursday a worse 
Opera; that the new ballet is supposed to 
be good; mutual inquiries how they like 
Pasta, or Catalan!, or whoever the syren of 
the day may be ; whether they have been 
at Lady A.'s, and whether they are going to 
Mrs. B.'s ; whether they think Miss Such-a- 
one handsome; and what is the name of 
the gentleman talking to her; whether 
Bossini's music makes the best quadrilles, 
and whether GoUinet's band are the best to 
play them. There are many who pay in 
better coin ; but the small change is much 
of this description."— (Vol. L pp. 249—261.) 

We consider the following descrip- 
tion of London, as.it appears to a 
person walking home after a rout, at 
four or five o'clock in the morning, to 
be as poetical as anything written on 



do 



GBANBT. 



the forests of Guiana, or the falls of 
Niagara: — 

"Granby followed them with bis eyes; 
and now, too fall of happiness to be acces- 
sible to any feelings of jealousy or repining, 
after a short reverie of the purest 8a4;isfac- 
tion, he left the ball, and sallied out into 
the fresh cool air of a summer morning — 
suddenly passing from the red glare of lamp- 
light, to the clear sober brightness of return- 
ing day. He walked cheerfully onward, re- 
freshed and exhilarated by the air of morn- 
ing, and interested with the scene around 
him. It was broad day-light, and he view- 
ed the tdwn under an aspect in which it is 
alike presented to the late retiring votary 
of pleasure, and to the early rising sons of 
business. He stopped on the pavement ot 
Oxford Street, to contemplate the effect. 
The whole extent of that long vista, un- 
clouded by the mid-day smoke, was dis- 
tinctly visible to his eye at once. The 
houses shrunk to half their span, while the 
few visible spires of the adjacent churches 
seemed to rise less distant than before, 
gaily tipped with early sunshine, and much 
diminished in apparent size, but heightened 
in distinctness and in beauty. Had it not 
been for the cool grey tint which slightly 
mingled with every object, the brightness 
was almost that of noon. But the life, the 
bustle, the busy din, the flowing tide of 
human existence, were all wanting to com- 
plete the similitude. All was hushed and 
silent ; and this mighty receptacle of human 
beings, which a few short hours would wake 
into active energy and motion, seemed like 
a city of the dead. 

*' There was little to break this solemn 
illusion. Around were the monuments of 
human exertion, but the hands which form- 
ed them were no longer there. Few, if any, 
were the symptoms of life. No sounds 
were heard but the heavy creaking of a 
solitary waggon ; the twittering of an occa- 
sional sparrow; the monotonous tone of 
the drowsy watchman; and the distant 
rattle of the retiring carriage, fading on 
the ear till it melted into silence; and -the 
eye that searched for living objects fell on 
nothing but the grim great-coated guardian 
of the night, muffled up into an appearance 
of doubtfid character between bear and 
man, and scarcely distinguishable, by the 
colour of his dress, from the brown flags 
along which he sauntered."— (pp. 297—299.) 

One of the most prominent charac- 
ters of the book, and the best drawn, 
is that of Tyrrel, son of Lord Malton, 
a noble blackleg, a titled gamester, and 
a profound plotting villain — a man, 



in comparison of whom nine-tenths of 
the persons hung in Newgate are pure 
and perfect The profound dissimu- 
lation and wicked artifices of this 
diabolical person are painted with 
great energy and power of description. 
The party at whist made to take in 
Granby is very good, and that part 
of the story where Granby compels 
Tyrrel to refnnd what he has won of 
Courtcnay is of first-rate dramatic ex- 
cellence; and if any one wishes for a 
short and convincing proof of the 
powers of the writer of this novel — 
to that scene we refer him. It shall 
be the taster of the cheese, and we are 
.convinced it will sell the whole article. 
We.are so much struck with it that we 
advise the author to consider seriously 
whether he could not write a good play. 
It is many years since a good play has 
been written. It is about time, judg^ 
ing from the common economy of 
nature, that a good dramatic writer 
should appear. We promise Mr. Lister 
sincerely, that the Edinburgh Review 
shall rapidly undeceive him if he mis- 
take his talents : and that his delusion 
shall not last beyond the first tragedy 
or comedy. 

The picture at the exhibition is ex- 
tremely well managed, and all the 
various love-tricks of attempting to 
appear indifferent, are, as well as we 
can remember, from the life. But 
it is thirty or forty years since we 
have been in love. 

The horror of an affectionate and 
dexterous mamma is a handsome young 
man without money ; and the follow- 
ing lecture deserves to be committed 
to memory by all managing mothers, 
and repeated at proper intervals to the 
female progeny. 

" * True, my love, but understand me. I 
don't wish you positively to avoid him. I 
would hot go away, for instance, if I saw 
him coming, or even turn my hecid that I 
might not see him as he passed. That 
would be too broad and marked. People 
might notice it. It would look particular^ 
We should never do anything that looks 
particiUar. No, I would answer him 
civilly and composedly whenever he spoke 
to me, and then 'j^ubs on, just as you might 
in the case of anybody else. But I leave all 
this to your own tact and discretion, of 



GBANBT. 



91 



which nohody hasiCGfre for her age. I am 
sure you can enter into all these niceties, 
and that my observations will not be lost 
upon you. And now, my love, let me men- 
tion another thing. Yoa must get over 
that little embarrassment which I see you 
show whenever you meet him. It was very 
natural and excusable the first time, con- 
sidering our long acquaintance with him 
and the General : but we must make our 
conduct conform to circumstances ; so try 
to get the better of this Ijttle flutter: it 
does not look well, and might be observed. 
There is no quality more valuable in a 
young person than self-possession. So you 
must keep down these blushes,' said she, 
patting her on the cheek, 'or 1 believe I 
must rouge you: — though it would be a 
thousand pities, with the pretty natural 
colour you have. But you must remember 
what I have been saying. Be more com- 
posed in your behaviour. Try to adopt the 
manner which I do. It may be difficult ; 
but you see I contrive it, and I have known 
Mr. Granby a great deal longer than you 
have, Caroline.' * '— (pp. 21, 22.) 

These principles are of the highest 
practical importance in an age when 
the art of marrying daughters is 
carried to the highest piteh of excel- 
lence, when lovd must be made to the 
young men of fortune, not only by the 
young lady, who must appear to be 
dying for him, but by the father, 
mother, aunts, cousins, tutor, game- 
keeper, and stable boy — assisted by 
the parson of the parish, and the 
churchwardens. If any of these fail. 
Dives pouts, and the match is off. 

The merit of this writer is, that he 
catches delicate portraits which a less 
skilful artist would pass over, from 
not thinking: the features sufficiently 
marked. We are struck, however, 
with the resemblance, and are pleased 
with the conquest of difficulties — we 
remember to have seen such faces, 
and are sensible that they form an 
agreeable variety to the expression of 
more marked and decided character. 
Nobody, for instance, can deny that he 
is acquainted with Miss Darrell. 

"HIh Barrell was not strictly a beauty. 
She had not, as was frequently observed by 
her female friends, and unwillingly ad- 
mitted by her male admirers, a single truly 
Rood feature in her face. But who could 
quarrel with the tout ensemble? who but 
must be dazzled with the graceful animar 



tion with which those features wete lighted 
up P Let critics hesitate to pronounce her 
beautiftil ; at any rate they must allow her 
to be fSAScinating. Place her a perfect 
stranger in a crowded assembly, and she 
would first attract his eye ; correcter beau- 
ties would pass unnoticed, and his first 
attention would be riveted by her. She 
was all brilliancy and eflSect ; but it were 
hard to say she studied it ; so little did her 
spontaneous, airy graces convey the im- 
pression of premeditated practice. She 
was a sparkling tissue of little affectations, 
which, however, appeared so interwoven 
with herself, that their seeming artlessness 
disarmed one's censure. Strip them away, 
and you destroyed at once the brilliant 
being that so much attracted you ; and it 
thus became difficult to condemn what you 
felt unable, and, indeed, unwilling, to re- 
move. Tfith positive affectation, malevo- 
lence itself could rarely charge her; and 
prudish censure seldom exceeded the 
guarded limits of a diy remark, that Miss 
Darrell had 'a good deal of mamier.' 

** £clat she sought, and gained. Indeed, 
she was both formed to gain it, and dis- 
posed to desire it. But she required an 
extensive sphere. A ball-rnom was her true 
arena: for she waltzed *a raoir* and could 
talk enchantingly about nothing. She wan 
devoted to fashion, and all its ficklenesses, 
and went to the extreme whenever she 
could do so consistently with grace. But 
she aspired to be a leader as well as a fol- 
lower ; seldom, if ever, adopted a mode that 
was unbecoming to herself, and dressed to 
suit the genius of her face."— (pp. 28, 29.) 

Tremendous is the power of a no- 
velist ! If four or five men are in a 
room, and show a disposition to break 
the peace, no human magistrate (not 
even Mr. Justice Bayley) could do more 
than bind them over to keep the peace, 
and commit them if they refused. But 
the writer of the novel stands with a 
pen in his hand, and can run any of 
them through the body — can knock 
down any one individual, and keep 
the others upon their legs ; or, like the 
last scene in the first tragedy written 
by a young man of genius, can put 
them all to death. Now, an author 
possessing such extraordinary privi- 
leges, should not have allowed Mr. 
Tyrrel to strike Granby. This is ill 
managed ; particularly as Granby does 
not return the blow, or turn him out 
of the house. Nobody should suffer 
his hero to have a black eye, or Ui be 



92 

pnlled by the nose. The Iliad would 
never have come down to these times 
if Agamemnon had f^Wen Achilles a 
box on the ear. We should have 
trembled for the JEneid if any Tyrian 
nobleman had kicked the pious ^neas, 
in the 4th book, ^neas may have 
deserved it; but he could not have 
founded the Roman Empire after so 
distressing an accident 



HAMFLTON'S METHOD OF 

TEACHING LANGUAGES. 

(E. Review, 1826.) 

1. The Oospel qfSt. Johnt in Latin, tuU^fOed 
to the HamUUmian System, by an Analy- 
tical and Jnterlineary Translation. Ex- 
ecuted under the immediate Direction of 
James Hamilton. London. 1824 

2. The Oospel qf St John, adapted to the 
Jlamiltonian System, by an Analytical 
and Interlineary Translation from the 
Italian, with fuU Instructions for its 
use, even by those who are wholly igno- 
rant cf the Language, For the Use of 
Schools. By James Hamilton, Author of 
the Hamiltonian System. London. 1825. 

We have nothing whatever to do with 
Mr. Hamilton personally. He may be 
the wisest or the weakest of men ; 
most dexterous or most unsuccessful in 
the exhibition of his system $ modest 
and proper, or prurient and prepos- 
terous in its commendation ; — by none 
of these considerations is his system 
itself affected. 

The proprietor of Ching*s Lozenges 
must necessarily have recourse to a 
newspaper to rescue from oblivion the 
merit of his vermifuge medicines. In 
the same manner, the Amboyna tooth- 
powder must depend upon the Herald 
and the Morning Post Unfortunately, 
the system of Mr. Hamilton has been 
introduced, to the world by the same 
means, and has exposed itself to those 
Fuspicions which hover over splendid 
discoveries' of genius detailed in the 
daily papers, and sold in sealed boxes 
at an infinite diversity of prices — but 
with a perpetual inclusion of the 
stamp, and with an equitable discount 
for undelayed payment. 

It may have been necessary for Mr. 



HAMILTON'S METHOD OF 



Hamilton to have had recourse to 
these means of making known his dis- 
coveries ; since he may not have had 
friends whose names and authority 
miglit have attracted the notice of the 
public ) but it is a misfortune to 
which ^is system has been subjected, 
and a difficulty which it has still to 
overcome. There is also a singular 
and somewhat ludicrous condition of 
giving warranted lessons; by which is 
^meant, we presume, that the money is 
to be returned if the progress is not 
made. We should be curious to know 
how poor Mr. Hamilton would protect 
himself from some swindling scholars, 
who, having really learnt all that the 
master professed to teach, should coun- 
terfeit the grossest ignorance of the 
Gospel of St. John, and refuse to 
construe a single verse, or to pay a 
farthing. 

Whether Mr. Hamilton's translations 
are good or bad is not the question. 
The point to determine is, whether 
very close interlineal translations are 
helps in learning a language ? not 
whether Mr. Hamilton has executed 
these translations faithfully and judi- 
ciously. Whether Mr. Hamilton is or 
is not the inventor of the system 
which bears his name, and what his 
claims to originality may be, are also 
questions of very second-rate import- 
ance ; but they merit a few obser- 
vations. That man is not the disco • 
verer of any art who first says the 
thing ; but he who says it so long, 
and so loud, and so clearly, that he 
compels mankind to hear him — the 
man who is so deeply impressed with 
the importance of the discovery, that 
he will take no denial : but, at the 
risk of fortune and fame, pushes 
through all opposition, and is deter- 
mined that what he thinks he has 
discovered shall not perish for want 
of a fair trial. Other persons had 
noticed the effect of coal gas in pro- 
ducing light ; but Winsor worried the 
town with bad English for three win- 
ters before he could attract any serious 
attention to his views. Many persons 
broke stone before Macadam ; but 
Macadam felt the discovery more 
strongly, stated it more clearly, per- 



TEACHING LANGUAGES. 



severed in it with greater tenacity, — 
wielded his hammer, in short, with 
greater force then other men, and 
finally succeeded in bringing his plan 
into general use. 

Literal translations are not only not 
used m our public schools, but are ge- 
nerally discountenanced in them. A 
literal translation, or any translation 
of a school-boot;, is a contraband 
article in English schools, which a 
schoolmaster would instantly seize, as 
a Custom-house officer would a barrel 
of gin. Mr. Hamilton, on the other 
hand, maintains, by books and lectures, 
that all boys ought to be allowed to 
work with literal translations, and that 
it is by far the best method of learning 
a language. If Mr. Hamilton's system 
is just, it is sad trifling to deny his 
claim to originality, by stating that 
Mr. Locke has said the same thing, or 
that others have said the same thing, 
a century earlier than Hamilton. 
They have all said it so feebly, that 
their observations have passed sub 
silentio ; and if Mr. Hamilton succeeds 
in being heard and followed, to him 
be the glory — because from hinj 
have proceeded the utility and the 
advantage. 

The works upon this subject on this 
plan published before the time of Mr. 
Hamilton are, Montanus's edition of 
the Bible, with Pignini's interlineary 
Latm version ; Lubin's New Testa- 
ment, having the Greek interlined with 
lAtin and German ; Abbe L*01ivet's 
Pensees de Ciceron; and a French 
work by the Abbe Radonvilliers, Paris, 
1768 — and Locke upon Education. 

One of the first principles of Mr. 
Hamilton is, to introduce very strict 
literal interlinear translations, as aids 
to lexicons and dictionaries, and to 
make so much use of them as that the 
dictionary or lexicon will be for a long 
time little required. We will suppose 
the language to be the Italian, and the 
hook selected to be the Gospel of St. 
John. Of this Gospel Mr. Hamilton 
has published a key, of which the 
following is an extract: — 

nj^Nel prindpio era il Verbo, e 
Xn the beginning was the Word, atid 



93 

11 Verbo era appresso Die, e il Verbo 
the Word ioae near to God, and the Word 
era Die. 
ioas Ood, 
««2. Qucal^o era nel principio appresso 
Thit ioas in the beginning near to 
Dio. 
God, 
€t^ Per mezzo di lui tutte le cose Airon 
* By means qfhim all the things were 
fatte; e senza di lui nulla fU fatto 
made: and without of himnothingwasmado 
di ciO, che b stata fiitto. 
qfthat, of which is been made. 
<f^ la lui era la vita^ e la vita 
In him was the life, and the life 
era la luce d^li«omini: 
was the light cf the men : 
Mg^ E la luoesplende tra le tene- 
' And the light shines among the dark- 
bre, e le tenebre hanno non ammessa 
nesSt and tJte darknesses Jmvs not admitted 
la. 
Tier, 
t*Q^ Vi fti un uomo mandate da Dio 
There was a man sent by God 
che nomava si Giovanni 
wJia did name himself John. 
*.y^ Questi venne qual testimone, affin 
This came like as witness in order 
di rendere testimonianza alia luce, onde 
of to render testimony to the light, whence 
per mezzo di lui tutti credessero." 
by mean qfhim all might believe,** 

In this way Mr, Hamilton contends 
(and appears to us to contend justly), 
that the language may be acquired 
with much greater ease and despatch 
than by the ancient method of begin- 
ning with grammar and proceeding 
with the dictionary. We will presume, 
at present, that the only object is to 
read, not to write or speak, Italian ; 
and that the pupil instructs himself 
from the Key, without a master, and is 
not taught in a class. We wish to 
compare the plan of finding the Eng- 
lish word in such a literal translation to 
that of finding it in dictionaries — and 
the method of ending with grammar, 
or of taking the grammar at an 
advanced period of knowledge in the 
language, rather than at the beginning. 
Every one will admit that ofall the dis- 
gusting labours of life, the labour of 
lexicon and dictionary is the most 
intolerable. Nor is there a greater ob- 
ject of compassion than a fine boy, full 
of animal spirits, set down in a bright 



94 



HAMILTON'S METHOD OP 



gunny day, with a heap of unknown 
words before him to be turned into 
English, before supper, by the help of 
a ponderous dictionary alone. The 
object in -looking into a dictionary can 
only be to exchange an unknown 
sound for one that is known. Now it 
seems indisputable, that the sooner this 
exchange is made the better. The 
greater the number of such exchanges 
which can be made in a given time, 
the greater is the progress, the more 
abundant the copia verborum obtained 
by the scholar. Would it not be of 
advantage if the diotionary at once 
opened at the required page, and if a 
self-moving index at once pointed to 
the requisite word ? Is any advantage 
gained to the world by the time em- 
ployed first in finding the letter P, and 
then in finding the three guiding let- 
ters FBI? This appears to ns to be 
pure loss of time, justifiable only if it 
be inevitable : and even after this is 
done, what an infinite multitude of 
difficulties are heaped at once upon the 
wretched beginner ! Instead of being 
reserved for his greater skill and matu- 
rity in the language, he must employ 
himself in discovering in which of many 
senses which his dictionary presents 
the word is to be used ; in consider- 
ing the case of the substantive, and 
the syntaxical arrangement in which 
it is to be placed, and the relation it 
bears to other words. The loss of time 
in the merely mechanical part of the 
old plan is immense. We doubt very 
much, if an average boy, between ten 
and fourteen, will look out or find more 
than sixty words in an hour ; we say 
nothing, at present, of the time em* 
ployed in thinking of the meaning of 
each word when he has found it, but 
of the mere naked discovery of the 
word in the lexicon or dictionary. It 
must be remembered, we say an 
average boy — not what Master Evans, 
the show-boy, can do ; nor what 
Master Macarthy, the boy who is 
whipt every day can do ; but some boy 
between Macsuthy and Evans : and 
not what this medium boy can do 
while his mastigophorous superior is 
frowning oyer him, but what he ac- 
tually does when left in the midst of 



noisy boys, and with a recollAtion that 
by sending to the neighbouring shop, 
he can obtain any quantity of unripe 
gooseberries upon credit. Now, if this 
statement be true, and if there are 
10,000 words in the Gospel of St. John, 
here are 160 hours employed in the 
mere digital process of turning over 
leaves ! But in much less time than 
this, any boy of average quickness 
might learn, by the Hamiltonian 
method, to construe the whole four 
Gospels, with the greatest accuracy 
and the most scrupulous correctness. 
The interlineal translation, of course, 
spares the trouble and time of this me- 
chanical labour. Immediately under 
the Italito word is placed the English 
word. The unknown sound therefore 
is instantly exchanged for one that is 
known. The labour here spared is of 
the most irksome nature, and it is 
spared at a time of life the most averse 
to such labour ; and so painful is this 
labour to many boys, that it forms an 
insuperable obstacle to their progress: 
they prefer to be flogged, or to be sent 
to sea. It is useless to say of any 
medicine that it is valuable, if it is so 
nauseous that the patient flings it 
away. You must give me, not the 
best medicine you have in your shop, 
but the best you can get me to take. 

We have hitherto been occupied 
with finding the word ; we will now 
suppose, after running a dirty finger 
down many columns, and after many 
sighs and groans, that the word is 
found. We presume the little fellow 
working in the true orthodox manner, 
without any translation : he is in pur- 
suit of the Greek word BoAAv, and 
after a long chase, seizes it, as greedily 
as a bailiff possesses himself of a fuga- 
cious captain. But, alas I the vanity of 
human wishes ! —the neyer-sufficiently- 
to-be-pitied stripling has scarcely con- 
gratulated himself upon his success, 
when he finds BoAAo) to contain the 
following meanings in Hederick's 
Lexicon : — 1. Jacio ; 2. Jaculor ; 3. 
Ferio ; 4. Figo ; 5. Saucio ; 6. At- 
tingo ; 7. Projicio ; 8. Emit-to ; 9. 
Prof undo ; 10. Pono ; 11. Immitto ; 
12. Trado; 13. Committo ; 14. Condo ; 
15. .^difico ; 16. Veiso ; 17. Electa 



TEACHING LANGUAGES. 



95 



Suppose the little rogue, not quite at 
home in the Latin tongue, to be desi- 
roos of affixing English significations 
to these yarious words, he has then, 
at the moderate rate of six meanings 
to eveiy Latin word, one hundred and 
two meanings to the word BaAAw ! or, 
if he is content with the Latin, he has 
then only seventeen.* 

Words, in their origin, have a na- 
tural or primary sense. The acci- 
dental associations of the people who 
use it, afterwards give to that word a 
great number of secondary meanings. 
In some words the primary meaning 
is very common, and the secondary 
meaning very rare. In other instances 
it is just the reverse ; and in very 
many the particular secondary mean- 
ing is ppinted out by some proposition 
which accompanies it, or some case by 
which it is accompanied. Bat an ac- 
curate translation points these things 
oat gradually as its proceeds. The 
common and most probable meanings 
of the word BizXAw, or of any other 
yord, are, in the Hamiltonian method, 
insensibly but surely fixed on the 
mind, which, by the lexicon method, 
must be done by a tentative process, 
frequently ending in gross error, no- 
ticed with peevishness, punished with 
severity, consuming a great deal of 
time, and for the most part only cor- 
rected, after all, by the accurate viud voce 
translation of the master — or, in other 
words, by the Hamiltonian method. 

The recurrence to a translation is 
treated in our schools as a species of 
imbecilitj and meanness ; just as if 
there was any other dignity here than 
utility, any other object in learning 

* In addition to the other needless diffi- 
culties and miseries entailed upon children 
vho are learning languages, their Greek 
lexicons give a lAtin instead of an English 
translation ; and a boy of twelve or thirteen 
years of age, whose attainments in Latin 
ue of course but moderate, is expected to 
make it the vehicle of knowledge for other 
languages. This is setting the short-sighted 
and Uearneyed to lead the blind ; and is one 
of those afflicting pieces of absurdity which 
escape animadversion, because they are, 
Jpd have long been, of daily occurrence. 
Mr. Jones has published an English and 
Greek Lexieon, which we recommend to 
tne notice of all persons engaged in educa- 
tion, and not aacramented against all im- 
i>rovementi 



languages, than to turn something yoa 
do not understand, into something yoa 
do understand, and as if that was not 
the best method which effected this ob- 
ject in the shortest and simplest manner. 
Hear upon this point the judicious 
Locke : — " But if such e man cannot be 
got, who speaks good Latin, and being 
able to instruct your son in all these 
parts of knowledge, will undertake it 
by this method ; the next best is to 
have him taught as near this way as 
may be^which is by taking some easy 
and pleasant book, such as .^sop's 
Fables, and writing the English trans- 
lation (made as literal as it can be) in 
one line, and the Latin words which 
answer each of them just over it in 
another. These let him read every day 
over and over again, till he perfectly un- 
derstands the Latin ; and then go on 
to another fable, till he be also perfect 
in that, not omitting what he is already 
perfect in, but sometimes reviewing 
that, to keep it in his memory ; and 
when, he comes to write, let thebe be 
set him for copies, which, with the 
exercise of his hand, will also advance 
him in Latin. This being a more im- 
perfect way than by talking Latin unto 
him, the formation of the verbs first, 
and afterwards the declensions of the 
nouns and pronouns perfectly learned 
by heart, may facilitate his acquaint- 
ance with the genius and manner of 
the Latin tongue, which varies the sig- 
nification of verbs and nouns not as 
the modern languages do, by particles 
prefixed, but by changing the last 
syllables. More than this of grammar 
I think he need not have till he can 
read himself * Sanctii Minerva* — with 
Scioppius and Perigonius's notes." — 
(^Locke on Educaiiortf p. 74. folio.) 

Another recommendation which we 
have not mentioned in the Hamiltonian 
system is, that it can be combined, and 
is constantly combined, with the sys- 
tem of Lancaster.. The Key is pro- 
bably suflScient for those who have no 
access to classes and schools : but in ^ 
Hamiltonian school during the lesson, 
it is not left to the option of the child 
to trust to the Key alone. The mas- 
ter stands in the middle, translates 
accurately and literally the whole verse. 



96 



HAMILTON'S METHOD OF 



and then ask tbe boys the English 
of -separate words, or challenges them 
to join the words together, as he has 
done. A perpetual attention and acti- 
vity is thus kept up. The master, or a 
scholar (turned into a temporary Lan- 
oasterian master), acts as a living lexi- 
con ; and, if the thing is well done, as a 
lively and animating lexicon. How is 
it possible to compare this with the soli- 
tary wretchedness of a poor lad of the 
desk and lexicon, suffocated with the 
nonsense of grammarians, overwhelmed 
with every species of difficalty dispro- 
portionate to his age, and driven by 
despair to peg-top, or marbles ? 

" Taking these principles as a basis, the 
teacher forms his class of eiglU, ten, twenty, 
or one hundred, — the number is of little 
moment, it being as easy to teach a greater 
as a smaller one, — and brings than at once 
to the language itself, by reciting, with a 
loud articulate voice, the first verse thus : — 
In in, principio in b^inning, Verbum 
Word, erat was, et and, Verbum Word, erat 
was, apud at, J)euin God, et and, Verbum 
Word, erat was, Deus God. Having recited 
the verse once or twice himself, it is then 
recited precisely in the same manner by 
any person of the class whom he may judge 
most capable; the person copying his man- 
ner and intonations as much as possible. — 
When the verse has been thus recited, by 
six or eiffht persons of the class, the teacher 
recites the 2nd verse in the same manner, 
which is recited as the former by any mem- 
bers of the class ; and thus continues mitil 
he has recited trova ten to twelve verses, 
which usually constitute the first lesson of 
one hour. — In three lessons, the first Chap- 
ter may be thus readily translated, the 
teacher gradually diminishing the number 
of repetitions of the same verse till the 
fourth lesson, when each member of the 
class translates his verse in turn ftt>m the 
mouth of the teacher; from which period 
ffty, sixty, or even seventy, verses may be 
translated in the time of a lesson, or one 
hour. At the seventh lesson, it is invariably 
found that the class can translate without 
the assistance of the teacher farther than 
for occasional correction, and for those 
words which they may not have met in the 
preceding chapters. But, to accomplish 
this, it is absolutely necessary that every 
member of the class know every word of all 
the preceding lessons : which is however an 
easy task, the words being always taught 
him in class, and the pupil besides being 
able to refer to the key whenever he is at a 
-loss— the key being translated in the very 



words which the teacher has used in the 
class, from which, as before remarked, he 
must never deviate.— In ten lessons, it will 
be found that the class can readily trans- 
late the whole of the Gospel of St. John, 
which is called the first section of the 
course. — Should any delay, ftrom any cause, 
prevent them, it is in my classes always for 
account of teacher, who gives the extra 
lesson or lessons always gratis.— It cannot 
be too deeply impressed on the mind of the 
pupil that a perfect knowledge qf every 
word of his first section is most important 
to the ease and comfort of his ftiture pro- 
gress.— At the end of ten lessons, or first 
section, the custom of my Establishments 
is to give the pupil the Epitome HistoruB 
Sacra, which is provided with a key in the 
same manner.— It was first used in our 
classes for the first and second sections ; we 
now teach it in one section of ten lessons, 
which we find easier than to teach it in two 
sections before the pupil has read the Tes- 
tament.— When he has read the Epitomo, 
it will be then time to give him the theory 
of the verbs and other words which change 
their terminatioua-^He has abeady ac- 
quired a good practical knowledge of these 
things ; the theory becomes then very easy. 
—A grammar containing the declensions 
and conjugations, and printed specially for 
my classes, is then put into the pupil's 
hands (not to be got by heart,— nothing is 
ever got by rote on this system), but that he 
may comprehend more readily his teacher, 
who lectures on grammar generally, but 
especially on the verbs. From this time^ 
that is, fh>m the beginning of the third 
section, the pupil studies the theory and 
construction of the langiuge as well as its 
practice. For this purpose he reads the 
ancient authors, banning with Caesar, 
which, together with the Selecta e Prqfanis, 
fills usefully the third and fourth sections. 
When these with the preceding books are 
well known, the pupil will find little diffi- 
culty in reading the authors usually read 
in schools. The fifth and sixth sections 
consist of Virgil and Horace, enough of 
which is read to enable the pupil to read 
them with facility, and to give him correct 
ideas of Prosody and Versification. Five or 
six months, with mutual attention on the 
part of pupil and teacher, will be found 
sufficient to acquire a knowledge of this 
language, which hitherto has rar^y been 
the result of as many years." 

We have before said, that the Hamil- 
tonian*8 system must not depend upon 
Mr. Hamilton's method of carry^ing it 
into execution ; for instance, he banishes 
from his schools the effects of emu- 



TEACHING LANGUAGES. 



97 



lation. The boys do not take each 
other's places. This, we think, is a^ 
sad absurdity. A cook might as well 
resolve to make bread without fermen- 
tation, as a pedagogue to carf'y on a 
school without emulation. It must be 
a sad doughy lump without this vivi- 
fying principle. Why are boys to be 
shut out from a class of feelings to 
which society owes so much, and upon 
which their conduct in future life must 
(if they are worth anything) be so 
closely constructed ? Poet A writes 
verses to outshine poet B. Philoso- 
pher C sets up roasting Titanium, and 
boiling Chroi^ium, that he may be 
thought more of than philosopher D. 
Mr. Jackson strives to ont-pain( Sir 
Thomas ; Sir Thomas Lethbridge to 
overspeak Mr. Canning ; and so so- 
ciety gains good chemists, poets, paint- 
ers, speakers, and orators ; and why aire 
not boys to be emulous as well as 
men? 

If a boy were in Paris, would he 
learn the language better by shutting 
himself up to read French books with 
a dictionary, or by conversing freely 
with all whom he met ? and what 
is conversation but an Hamiltonian 
school? Every man you meet is a 
living lexicon and grammar — who is 
perpetually changing your English 
into French, and perpetually instruct- 
ing yon, in spite of yourself, in the 
terminations of Erench substantives 
and verbs. The analogy is still closer, 
if you converse with persons of whom 
you can ask questions, and who will 
he at the trouble of correcting you. 
What madness would it be to run away 
from these pleasing facilities, as too 
dangerously easy — to stop your ears, 
to double-lock the door, and to look 
out chickeits ; taking a walk ; and fine 
vfeather, in Bayer's Dictionary — and 
then by the help of Chambaud*s Gram- 
mar, to construct a sentence which 
should signify, ** Come to my house^ 
o»d eat some chickens, if it is fine I " 
But there is in England almost a love 
of difiBculty and needless labour. We 
ve so resolute and industrious in 
rauing up impediments which ought 
to be overcome, that there is a sort of 
SQspicion against the removal of these 
YoL.IL 



impediments, and a notion that the 
advantage is not fairly come by with- 
out the previous toil. If the English 
were in a paradise of spontaneous 
productions, they would continue to 
dig and plough, though they were 
never a peach nor a pine-apple the 
better for it. 

A principal point to attend to in the 
Hamiltonian system, is the prodigious 
number of words and phrases which 
pass through the boy's mind, compared 
with those which are presented to him 
by the old plan. As a talkative boy 
learns French sooner in France than a 
silent boy, so a translator of books 
learns sooner to construe, the more he 
translates. An Hamiltonian makes, in 
six or seven lessons, three or four 
hundred times as many exchanges of 
English for French or Latin, as a 
grammar schoolboy can do ; and if he 
lose 50 per cent, of all he hears, his 
progress is still, beyond all possibility 
of comparison, more rapid. 

As for pronunciation of living lan- 
guages, we see no reason why that 
consideration should be introduced in 
this place. We are decidedly of 
opinion, that all living languages 
are best learnt in the country where 
they are spoken, or by living with 
those who come from that country ; 
but if that cannot be, Mr. Hamilton's 
method is better than the grammar 
and dictionary method. Cateris pari- 
bus, Mr. Hamilton's method, as far as 
French is concerned, would be better 
in the hands of a Frenchman, and his 
Italian method in the hands of an 
Italian ; but all this has notliing to do 
with the system. 

" Have I read through Lilly ? — ^have 
I learnt by heart that most atrocious 
monument of absurdity, the West- 
minster Grammar ? — have I been 
whipt for the substantives ? — whipt 
for the verbs ? — and whipt for and 
with the interjections ? — have I picked 
the sense slowly, and word by word, 
out of Hederick ?V- And shall my son 
Daniel be exempt from all this 
misery ? — Shall a little unknown 
peraon in Cecil Street, Strand, No. 25., 
pretend to tell me that all this is un- 
necessary ? — Was it possible that I 

H 



98 



HAMILTON'S METHOD OP 



might have been spared all this? — 
The whole system is nonsense, and the 
man an impostor. If there had been 
any truth in it, it must have occurred 
to some one else before this period."-^ 
This is a very common style of obser- 
vation upon Mr. Hamilton's system, 
and by no means an nncommon wish 
of the mouldering and decaying part 
of mankird, that the next generation 
should not enjoy any advantages from 
which they themselves have been pre- 
cluded. — '*Ay,ayfif8 ali mighty well 
— but 1 went through this my self ^ and I 
am determined my children shall do the 
same." We are convinced that a great 
deal of opposition to improvement 
proceeds upon this principle. Crabbe 
might make a good picture of an iin- 
benevolent old man, slowly retiring 
from this sublunary scene, and lament- 
ing that the coming race of men 
would be less bnmp^ Xm the roads, 
better lighted in the streets, and less 
tormented with grammars and lexicons, 
•than in the preceding age. A great 
deal of compliment to the wisdom of 
ancestors, and a great degree of alarm 
at the dreadful spirit of innovation, are 
soluble into mere jealousy and envy. 

But what is to become of a boy who 
has no difficulties to grapple with? 
How enervated will that understand- 
ing be, to which everything is made 
so clear, plain, and easy I — no hills to 
walk up, no chasms to step over ; 
everything graduated, soft, and smooth. 
^ All this, however, is an objection to 
the multiplication table, to Napier's 
bones, and to every invention for the 
abridgment of human labour. There 
is no dread of any lack of difficulties. 
Abridge intellectual labour by any 
process yon please -^ multiply mecha- 
nical powers to any extent — ihere will 
be sufficient, and infinitely more than 
sufficient, of laborious occupation for 
the mind and body of man. Why is 
the boy to be idle ? — By and by comes 
the book without a key ; by and by 
comes the lexicon, ^hey do come at 
last — though at a better period. But 
if they did not come — if they were use* 
less, if language could be attained with« 
out them -^ would any human being 
wish to retain difficulties for their own 



sake which led to nothing useful, and 
by the annihilation of which our facul- 
ties were left to be exercised by difficul- 
ties which do lead to something useful 
— by mathematics, natural philosophy, 
and every branch of useful knowledge ? 
Can any be so anserous as to suppose, 
that the faculties of young men cannot 
be exercised, and their industry and 
activity called into proper action, 
because Mr. Hamilton teaches, in three 
or four years, what has (in a more 
vicious system) demanded seven or 
eight ? Besides, even in the Hamil- 
tonian method it is very easy for one 
boy to outstrip another. Why may not 
a clever and ambitious boy employ 
three hours upon his key by himself^ 
while another boy has only employed 
one? There is plenty of corn to 
thrash, and of chaff to be winnowed 
away, in Mr. Hamilton's system ; the 
difference is, that every blow tells, 
because it is properly directed. In the 
old way half their force was lost in air. 
There is a mighty foolish apophthegm 
of pr. Bell's*, that it is not what is 
done for a boy that is of importance, 
but what a boy does for himself. This 
is just as wise as to say, that it i^ 
not the breeches which are made for a 
boy that can cover bis nakedness, but 
(he breeches he makes for himself. 
All this entirely depends upon a com- 
parison of the time saved, by showing 
the boy how to do a thing, rather than 
by leaving him to do it for himself. 
Ltet the object be, for example, to make 
a pair of shoes. The boy will effect 
this object much better if you show 
him how to make the shoes, than if you 
merely give him wax, thread, and 
leather, and leave him to find out all 
the ingenious abridgments of labour 
which have been discovered by expe- 
rience. The object is to turn Latin 
into English. The scholar will do it 
much better and sooner if the word is 
found for him, than if he finds it — 
much better and sooner if you point 
out the effect of the terminations, and 
the nature of the syntax, than if you 
leave him to detect them for himselt 

* A very foolish old gentleman, seised on 
eagerly bjthe Church of Englaud to defraud 
Liuicaster of his disooveiy» 



TEACHING LANGUAGES. 



99 



The thing » at last done hy t/te pupil 
himself — for he reads the language — 
which was the thing to be done. AH 
the help he has received has only 
enabled him to make a more economic 
cal use of his time, and to gain his end 
sooner. Never be afraid of wanting 
difficulties for your pupil ; if means are 
rendered more easy, more will be ex- 
pected. The animal will be compelled 
or induced to do all that he can do. 
Macadam has made the roads better. 
l)r. Bell would have predicted that the 
horses would get loo fat : but the actual 
result is, that they are compelled to go 
ten miles an hour instead of eigbL 

** For teaching children, this, too, I 
think is to be observed, that, in most 
cases, where they stick, they are not to 
be farther puzzled, by putting them 
upon finding it out themselves ; as by 
asking sueh questions as these ; viz. — 
which is the nominative case in the 
sentence they are to construe ? or de> 
manding what 'aofero' signifies, to 
lead them to the knowledge what 
^abfltnlere* signifies, &c., when they 
cannot readily tell. This wastes time 
only, in disturbing them ; for whilst 
they are learning, and apply themselves 
with attention, they are to be kept in 
good humour, and everything made 
easy to them, and as pleasant as 
possible. Therefore, wherever they 
are at a stand, and are willing to go 
forwards, help them presently over 
the difficulty, without any rebuke or 
chiding ; remembering that^ where 
harsher ways, are taken, they are the 
effect only of pride and peevishness 
in the teacher, who expects children 
should instantly be masters of as much 
S8 he knows; whereas he should rather 
consider, that bis business is to settle 
in them habits^ not angrily to inculcate 
Tvles!"^(LocAe on Edueation, p. 74.) 

' Suppose liie first five books of Hero- 
dotus to be acquired by a key^ or literal 
translation afi;er the method of Hamil- 
ton, so that the pupil could construe 
them with the greatest accuracy ; — 
tve do not pretend, because the pupil 
could construe this book, that he could 
construe any other book equally easy; 
we merely say, that the pupil has ac- 
quired, by these means, a certain copia 



verborum,taid a certain practical know- 
ledge of grammar, which must materi- 
ally diminish the difficulty of reading 
the next book ; that his difficulties 
diminish in a compound ratio with 
every fresh book he reads with a key 
— till at last he reads any common 
book, without a key — and that he 
attains this last point of perfection in a 
time incomparably less, and with diffi- 
culties incomparably smaller, than in 
the old method. 

There are a certain number of French 
bookSy which when a boy can construe 
accurately, he may be said, for all pur- 
poses of reading, to be master of the 
French language. No matter how he 
has attained this power of construing 
the books. If yon try him thoroughly, 
and are persuaded he is perfectly 
master of the books — then he posses- 
ses the power in question — he under- 
stands the language. Let these books, 
for the sake of the question, be Teler 
machus, the History of Louis XIV. 
the Henriade, the Flays of Racine, 
and the Revolutions of Vertot. We 
would have Hamiltonian keys to all- 
these books, and the Lancasterian 
method of instruction. We believe 
these books would be mastered in one 
sixth part of the time, by these means, 
that they would be by the old method, 
of looking out the words in the diction- 
ary, and then coming to say the lesson 
to the master ; and we believe that 
the boys, long before they came to the 
end of this series of books, would be 
able to do without their keys — to fling 
away their cork jackets, and to swim 
alone. But boys who learn a language 
in four or five months, it is said, are 
apt to forget it again. Why, then, 
does not a young person, who has been 
five or six months in Faris, forget his 
French four or five years afterwards ? 
It has been obtained without any of 
that labour, which the objectors to tho 
Hamiltonian system deem to be so 
essential to memory. It has been 
obtained in the midst of tea and bread 
and butter, and yet is in a great mea- 
sure retained for a whole life- In the^ 
same manner the pupils of this new 
school use a colloquial living dictionary,^ 
and, from every principle of youthful 

H 2 



100 HAMILTON'S 

emulation, contend with «ach other in : 
catching the interpretation, and in 
applying to the lesson before them. 

•*lf you wish boys to remember any 
language, make the acquisition of it 
Tery tedious and disgusting." This 
seems to be an odd rule ; but if it be 
good for language, it must he good 
also for every species of knowledge — 
music, mathematics, navigation, archi- 
tecture. In all these sciences aversion 
should be the parent of memory — 
impediment the canise of perfection. 
If difficulty is the sauce of memory, 
the boy who learns with the gre&test 
difficulty will remember with the 
greatest tenacity; — in other words, 
the acquisitions of a dunce will be 
greater and knore important than those 
of a clever boy. Where is the love of 
difficulty to end ? Why not leave a 
boy to compose his own dictionary and 
grammar ? It is not what is done for 
a boy, but what he does for himself, 
that is of any importance. Are there 
difficulties enough in the old method 
of acquiring languages ? Would it be 
l>etter if the difficulties were doubled, 
And thirty years g:iven to languages, 
instead of fifteen ? All these argu- 
ments presume the difficulty to be got 
over, and then the memory to be im- 
proved. But what if the difficulty is 
shrunk from ? What if it put an end 
to power instead of increasing it ; and 
extinguish, instead of exciting, appli- 
cation ? And when these effects are 
produced, you not only preclude all' 
hopes of learning, or language, but 
you put an end for ever to adl literary 
habits, and to all improvements from 
study. The boy who is lexicon-struck 
in early youth looks upon all books 
afterwards with horror, and goes over 
to the blockheads. Every boy would 
be pleased with books, and pleased 
with school, and be glad to forward 
the views of his parents, and obtain 
the praise of his master, if he found it 
possible to make tolerably easy pro- 
gress; but (he is driven to absolute 
despair by gerunds, and wishes himself 
dead ! Progress is pleasure->-activity 
is pleasure. It is impossiUe for a boy 
BOt to make progress, and not to be 
active, in the Hamiltonian method ; 



METHOD OF 

and this pleasing state of mind we 
contend to be more favourable to 
memoiy, than the languid jaded spirit 
which much commerce with lexicons 
never fails to produce. 

Translations are objected to in 
schools justly enoagh, when they are 
paraphrases and not translations. It 
is impossible, irom a paraphrase ^ or 
very loose translation, to make any 
useful 'progress — they retard rather 
than accelerate a knowledge of the 
language to be i|cquired, and are the 
principal causes' of the discredit into 
which translations have been brought, 
as instruments of education. 

InliMidum B^fina jubes renovare dolorem, 
Begina, jubes renovare dolorem infimdum. 

Ohl Q^eeu^ thou orderett to renew gri^ 
not to be epokeni)/. 

Oh 1 Queen, in pursuance of your com* 
mands, I enter upon the narrative of mis- 
fortunes almost too great for utterance. 

The first of these translations leads 
us directly to the explication of a 
foreign language, as the latter insures 
a perfect ignorance of it. 

It is difficult enough to introduce 
any useful novelty in education with- 
out enhancing its perils by needless 
and untenable paiadox. Mr. Hamilton 
has made an assertion in his Preface 
to the Key of the Italian Gospel, which 
has no kind of foundation in fact, and 
which has afforded a conspicuous mark 
for the aim of his antagonists. 

'* I have said that each word is translated 
by its one sole imdeviating meaning, as- 
suming as an incontrovertible principle in 
all languages that, with very few exceptions, 
each word has one meaning only, and can 
usually be rendered correctly into another 
by one word only, which one word should 
serve for its repregentative at all times and 
on all occasions.'* 

Now, it is probable that each word 
had one meaning only in its origin ; 
but metaphor and association are so 
busy with human speech, that the same 
word comes to- sdrve in a vast variety 
of senses, and continues to do so long 
after the metaphors and associations 
which called it into this state of activity 
are buried in oblivion. Why may not 
jttbeo be translated order as well as 



TEACHING LANGUAGES. 



101 



i!<nnmand, or dphrem rendered grief as 
well as sorrow? Mr. Hamilton has 
expressed himself loosely ; but he 
perhaps means no more than to say, 
that in school translations, the meta- 
physical meaning should never be 
adopted, when the word can be ren- 
dered by its primary signification. 
We shall allow him, however, to detail 
his own method of making the trans- 
lation in qaestion. 

"Translationa on the Hamiltonian sy9- 
tern, according to which this book is trans- 
lated, must not be confounded with trans- 
lations made according to Locke, Clarke, 
Sterling, or even according to Dumarsaifi, 
Premont, and a number of other French- 
men, who have made what have been and 
are yet sometimes called literal and inter- 
lineal translations. The latter are, indeed, 
interlineal, but no literal translation had 
ever appeared, in any language before thoSe 
called Hamiltonian, that is, before my 
Gospel of St. John from the French, the 
Greek, and Ijatin Gospds published in 
Ix>ndon, and L'Hommond*s Epitome of the 
Historia Sacra. These and these only were 
And are truly literal ; that is to say, that 
every word is rendered in English by a 
corresponding part of speech; that the 
grammatical analysis of the phrase is never 
departed firom ; that the case of every noun, 
pronoun, acycctive, or particle, and the 
mood, teniae, and parson of every verb, are 
accurately pointed out by appropriate and 
unchanging signs, so that a grammarian not 
understanding one word of Italian, would, 
on reading any part of the translation here 
given, be instantly able to parse it. In the 
translations above alluded to, an attempt is 
made to preserve the correctness of the 
language into which the different works 
are translated, but the wish to conciliate 
this correctness with a literal translation 
has only produced a barbarous and uncouth 
idiom, while it has in every case deceived 
the unlearned pupil by a translation alto- 
gether &lse and incorrect. Such transla- 
tions may, indeed, give an idea of what is 
contained In the book translated, but they 
will not assist, or at least very little, in 
enabling the pupil to mtike out the exact 
meaning of each word, which is the prin- 
cipal object of Hamiltonian translations. 
The reader will understand this better by 
an illustration : A gentleman has lately 
given a translation of Juvenal according to 
the plan of the above mentioned authors, 
beginning with the words semper e^o, which 
he joins and translates, * shall I always be ' 
•^ if his intention were to teach Latin 



words, he might as well have said, 'shall I 
always eat beef-steaks?' — True, there is 
nothing about beef-steaks in semper ego, 
but neither is there about ' shall be : * the 
whole translation is on the same plan, that 
ia to say, that there is not one line of it 
correct,— ; I had almost said one word, on 
which the -pupil can rely, as the exact 
equivalent in English of the Latin word 
above it.— Not so the translation here 
given. 

"As the object of the author has been 
that the pupil should know every word as 
well as he knows it himself, he has uni- 
formly given it the one sole, precise, mean- 
ing which it has in our language, sacrificing 
everywhere the beauty, the idiom, and the 
correctness of the English lai^uage to the 
original, in order to show the perfect idiom, 
phraseology, and picture of that original as 
in a glass. So far is this carried, that where 
the English language can express the pre- 
cise meanii^ of the Italian phrase only by 
a barbarism, this barbarism is employed 
without scruple — - as thus : — ' e le tenebre 
non rhanno ammessa.' — Here the word 
ten^tre being plural, if you translate it 
darkness, you not oaiy give a false transla- 
tion of the word its^, which is used by 
the Italians in the plural nimiber, but, 
what is much more important, you lead the 
pupil into an error about its government, it 
being the nominative case to fuinno, which 
is the third person plural ; it is theref(nre 
translated not darkness but darknesses." 

To make these keys perfect, we 
rather think there shouild be a free 
translation added to the literal one. 
Not a paraphrase, but only so free as 
to avoid any awkward or barbarous 
expression. The comparison between 
the free and the literal translation 
would immediately show to young 
people the peculiarities of the language 
in which they were engaged. 

Literal translation or key — Oh! 
Queen, ihou orderest to renew grief not 
to be spoken of 

Free, — **0h ! Queen, thou orderest 
me to renew my grief, too great for 
utterance." 

The want of this accompanying free 
translation is not felt in keys of the 
Scriptures, because, in fact, the Eng* 
lish Bible is a free translation, great 
part of which the scholar remembers. 
But in a work entirely unknown, of 
which a key was given, as full of awk* 
ward -and barbarous expressions as a 

H 3 



IQS 



HAMILTON'S METHOD OF 



key certainly onght to be, a scholar 
might be sometimes pazzled to arrive 
at the real sense. We say as full of 
awkward and barbarous expressions as 
it ought to be« because we thoroughly 
approve of Mr. Hamilton's plan, ot 
always sacrificing English and ele- 
gance to sense, when they cannot be 
united in the key. We are r^cther sorry 
Mr. Hamilton's first essay has been in 
a translation of the Scriptures, be- 
cause every child is so familiar with 
them, that it may be difiicult to deter- 
mine whether the apparent progress is 
ancient recollection or recent attain- 
ment ; and because the Scriptures are 
so full of Hebraisms and Syriacisms, 
and the language so different from that 
of Greek authors, that it does not 
secure a knowledge of the language 
equivalent to the time employed upon it. 
The keys hitherto published by Mr. 
Hamilton are the Greek, Latin, French, 
Italian, and German keys to the Gos- 
pel of St. John, Perrin's Fables, Latin 
Historia Sacra, Latin, French, and 
Italian Grammar and Stndia Metrica. 
One of the difficulties under which the 
system is labouring, is a want of more 
Keys. Some of the best Greek and 
Koman classics should be immediately 
published, with Keys, and by yery good 
scholars. We shall now lay before 
our readers an extract from one of 
the public papers respecting the pro- 
gress made in the Hamiltonian schools. 

Extract from the Morning Chronicle qf 
Wednesday, NovemberlQth, 1825.— **Haniil- 
Umian System. — We yesterday were present 
at an examination of cTight lada who have 
been under Mr. Hamilton since some time 
in the month of May last, with a view to 
ascertain the efficacy of his system in com- 
municating a knowledge of languages. 
These eight lads, all of them between the 
ages of twelve and fourteen, are the children 
of poor people, who, when they were first 
placed under l&r. Hamilton, possessed no 
other instruction than common reading 
and writing. They were obtained trom a 
common country school, through the inter- 
position of a Member of Parliament, who 
takes an active part in promoting charity 
schools throughout the country; and the 
choice was determined by the consent of 
the parents, and not by the cleverness of 
the boys. 

"Thi^y have been employed in learning 



Latin, French, and latterly Italian; and 
yesterday they were examined by several 
distinguished individuals, among whom 
we recognised John Smith, Esq. M.P. ; 
G. Smith, Esq. M.P.; Mr. J. Mill, the 
historiui of British India ; Major Camac ; 
Major Thompson ; Mr. Cowell, Ac. &c 
They first read different portions of the 
Gospel of St. John in Latin, and Caesar's 
Ck)mmentaries, selected hy the visitors. 
The translation was executed with an 
ease which it would be in vain to expect 
in any of the Ix^ who attend our com- 
mon schools, even in their third or fourth 
year; and proved, that the principle 
of exciting the attention of boys to the 
utmost, during the process by which the 
meaning of the words is fixed in their me- 
mory, had given them a great familiarity 
with so much of the language as is con- 
tained in the books above alluded ta Their 
knowledge of the parts of speech was re- 
spectable, but not so remarkable ; as the 
Hamiltonian system follows the natural 
mode of acquiring language, and only em- 
ploys the boys in analysing, when they have 
already attained a certain familiarity with 
any language. 

'* The same experiments were repeated in 
Prench and Italian with the same sucoeas, 
and, upon the whole, we cannot but think 
the success has been complete. It is im- 
possible to conceive a more impartial mode 
of putting any system to the test, than to 
make such an experiment on the children 
of our peasantry.'* 

Into the truth of this statement we 
have personally inquired, and it seems 
to as to have fallen short of the facts 
from the laudable fear of overstating 
them. The lads selected for the ex-, 
periment were parish boys of the most 
ordinary description, reading English 
worse than Cumberland curates, and 
totally ignorant of the rudiments of 
any other language. They were pur- 
posely selected for the experiment by 
a gentleman who defrayed its expense, 
and who had the strongest desire to 
put strictly to the test the efiicacy of 
the Hamiltonian system. The experi- 
ment was begun the middle of May, 
1825, and concluded on the day of 
November in the same year mentioned 
in the extract, exactly six months 
after. The Latin books set before 
them were the Gospel of St. John, 
and parts of Csssar's Commentaries. 
Some Italian book or books (what we 



TEACHING LANGUAGEa 



103 



know not), and a selection of French 
histories. The visitors put the boys 
on where they pleased, and the trans- 
lation was (as the reporter says) 
executed with an ease which it would 
be Tain to expect in any of the boys 
who attend our common schools, eveu 
in their third or fourth year.* 

From experiments and observations 
which have fallen under our own 
notice, we do not scruple to make the 
following assertions. If there were 
keys to the four Gospels, as there is to 
that of St. John, any boy or girl of 
thirteen years of age, and of moderate 
capacity, studying four hours a day, 
and beginning with an utter ignorance 
even of the Greek character, would 
learn to construe the four Gospels with 
the most perfect and scrupulous accu- 
racy in six weeks. Some children, utterly 
ignorant of French or Italian, would 
Icam to construe the four Gospels in 
either of these languages in three 
weeks ; the Latin in four weeks, the 
German, in five weeks. We believe 
they would do it in a class ; but, not 
to ran any risks, we will presume a 
master to attend upon one student 
alone for these periods. We assign a 
niaster principally because the appli- 
cation of a solitary boy at that age 
coald not be depended upon ; but if 
the sedulity of the child were certain, 
he would do it nearly as well alone. 
A fpreater time is allowed for German 
and Greek, on account of the novelty 
of the character. A person of mature 
habits, eager and energetic in his pur- 
suits, and reading seven. or eight hours 
per day, might, though utterly ignorant 
of a letter of Greek, learn to construe 
the four Gospels, with the most punc- 
tilious accuracy, in three weeks, by 
the Key alone. These assertions we 
make, not of the Gospels alone, but of 
any tolerably easy book of the same 
extent We mean to be very accurate ; 
hut suppose we are. wrong — add 10, 
20, 30 per cent, to the time — an 

* We have left with the bookseller the 
names of two gentlemen who have verified 
this account to us, and who were present 
at the experiment. Their names will at 
onoe put an end to all scepticism as to the 
fact. Two more candid and enlightened 
judges could not be fomid. 



average boy of thirteen, in an averaj;e 
school, cannot construe the four Gas- 
pels in two years from the time of his 
beginning the language. 

All persons would be glad to read a 
foreign language, but all persons do 
not want the same scrupulous and 
comprehensive knowledge of grammar 
which a great Latin scholar possesses. 
Many persons may, and do, derive 
great pleasure and instruction from 
French, German, and Italian books, 
who can neither speak nor write these 
languages — who know that certain 
terminations, when they see them, 
signify present or past time, but who, 
if they wished to signify present or 
past time, could not recall these ter- 
minations. For many purposes and 
objects, therefore, very little grammar 
is wanting. 

The Hamiltonian method begins 
with what all persons want — a faci^ 
lity of construing, and leaves every 
scholar to become afterwards as pro- 
found in grammar as he (or those who 
educate him) may choose ; whereas 
the old method aims at making all 
more profound grammarians than three 
fourths wish to be, or than nineteen 
twentieths can be. One of the enor- 
mous follies of the enormously foolish 
education in England is, that all young 
men — dukes, foxhunters, and mer*- 
chnnts — are educated as if they were 
to keep a school, and serve a curacy ; 
while scarcely an hour in the Hamil- 
tonian education is lost for any variety 
of life. A grocer may learn enough 
of Latin to taste the sweets of Virgil \ 
a cavalry officer may read and under- 
.stand Homer, without knowing that 
trifxi comes from tu with a smooth 
breathing, and that it is formed by an 
improper reduplication* In the mean- 
time, there is nothing in that education 
which prevents a scholar from knowing 
(if he wishes to know) what Greek com- 
pounds draw back their accents. He 
may trace verbs in ifu from polysyllables 
in Im, or derive endless glory from mark- 
ing down derivatives in wrw, changing 
the c of their primitives into iota. 

Thus, in the Hamiltonian method, 
a good deal of grammar necessarily 
impresses itself upon the mind (cAe* 

ii 4 



104 



HAMILTON'S METHOD OlP 



min fawmt)^ as it does in the verna- 
cular tongue* without any rule at all, 
and merely by habit. How is it pos- 
sible to read many Latin Keys, for 
instance, without remarking, willingly 
or unwillingly, that the first persons of 
verbs end in o, the second in «, the 
third \u.t9 — that the same adjective 
ends in us or a, accordingly as the 
connected substantive is masculine or 
feminine, and other such gross and 
common rules? An Englishman who 
means to say, / will go to London, does 
not say, / could go to London, He 
never read a word of grammar in his 
life ; but he has learnt by habit, that 
the word go signifies to proceed or set 
forth, and by the same habit he learns 
that future intentions are expressed by 
/ will; and by the same habit the 
Hamiltonian pupil, reading over and 
comprehending twenty times more 
words and phrases than the pupil of 
the ancient system, insensibly but in- 
fallibly fixes upon his mind many 
rules of grammar* We are far from 
meaning to say, that the grammar thus 
acquired will be sufficiently accurate 
for a first-rate Latin and Greek scholar ; 
but there is no reason why a young 
person arriving at this distinction, and 
educated in the Hamiltonian system, 
may not carry the study of grammar 
to any degree of minuteness and ac- 
curacy. The only difference is, that 
he begins grammar as a study, after 
he has made a considerable progress in 
the language, and not before — • a very 
important feature in the Hamiltonian 
system, and a very great improvement 
in the education of children. 

The imperfections of the old system 
proceed in a great measure from a 
bad and improvident accumulation of 
difficulties, which must all perhaps, 
though in a ^ess degree, at one time or 
another be encountered, but which 
may be, and in the Hamiltonian 
system are, much more wisely dis- 
tributed. A boy who sits down to 
Greek with lexicon and grammar, has 
to master an unknown character of 
an unknown language — to look out 
words in a lexicon, in the use of which 
he is inexpert — to guess, by many 
trials, in which of the numerous senses 



detailed in the lexicon he is to use 
the word — to attend to the inflexions 
of cases and tense — to become ac- 
quainted with the syntax of the lan- 
guage — and to become acquainted 
with these inflexions and this syntax 
from books written in foreign langu- 
ages, and fuU of the most absurd and 
barbarous terms, and this at the ten- 
derest age, when the mind is utterly 
unfit to grapple with any great diffi- 
culty ; and the boy, who revolts at all 
this folly and absurdity, is set down 
for a donee, and must go into a march- 
ing regiment, or on board a man of 
war I The Hamiltonian pupil has his 
word looked out for him, its proper 
sense ascertained, the case of the sub- 
stantive, the inflexions of the verb 
pointed out, and the syntaxical ar- 
rangement placed before his eyes. 
Where, then, is he to encounter these 
difficulties ? Does he hope to escape 
them entirely ? Certainly not, if it 
be his purpose to . become a great 
scholar ; but he will enter upon them 
when the character is familiar to his 
eye — when a great number of Greek 
words are familiar to his eye and ear 
— when he has practically mastered a 
great deal of grammar — when the 
terminations of verbs convey to him 
different modifications of time, the ter- 
minations of substantives different 
varieties of circumstance — when the 
rules of grammar, In short, are a con- 
firmation of previous observation, not 
an irksome multitude of directions, 
heaped up without any opportunity of 
immediate application. 

The real way of learning a dead 
language, is to imitate, as much as 
possible, the method in which a living 
language is naturally learnt. When 
do we ever find a well-educated Eng- 
lishman or Frenchman embarrassed by 
an ignorance of the granmiar of their 
respective languages ? They first 
learn it practically and unerringly ; 
and then, if they choose to look back 
and smile at the idea of having pro- 
ceeded by a number of rules without 
knowing one of them by heart, or 
being conscious that they had any 
rule at all, this is a philosophical 
amusement : but who ever thinks of 



TEACHING LANGUAGES. 



105 



•learning the grammar of their own 
tongue before they are very good 
^mmarians ? Let ns hear what Mr. 
Locke says apon this subject : — "If 
grammar onght to be taught at any 
time, it must be to one that can speak 
the language ah'eady; how else can 
he be taught the grammar of it ? 
This at least is evident, from the 
practice of the wise and learned 
nations amongst the ancients. They 
made it a part of education to culti- 
vate their own, not foreign languages. 
The Greeks counted all other nations 
barbarous, and had a contempt for 
their languages. And though the Greek 
learning grew in credit amongst the 
Bomans towards the end of their 
commonwealth, yet it was the Koman 
tongne that was made the study of 
their youth : their own language they 
were to make use of, and therefore it 
was their own language they were in- 
structed and exercised in. 

**But, more particularly, to deter- 
mine the proper season for grammar, 
1 do not see how it can reasonably be 
made any one's study, but as an in- 
troduction to rhetoric. When it is 
thought time to put any one upon the 
care of polishing his* tongne, and of 
speaking better than the illiterate, then 
is the time for him to be instructed in 
the rules of grammar, and not before. 
For grammar being to teach men not 
to speak, but to speak correctly, and ac- 
cording to the exact rules of the tongue, 
which is one part of elegancy, there is 
little use of the one to him that has no 
need of the other. Where rhetoric is 
not necessary, grammar maybe spared. 
I know not why any one should waste 
his time, and beat his head about the 
Iiatin grammar, who does not intend 
to be a critic or make speeches, and 
write despatches in it. When any one 
finds in himself a necessity or dispo- 
sition to study any foreign language to 
the .bottom, and to be nicely exact in 
the knowledge of it, it will be time 
enough to take a grammatical survey 
of it. If his use of it be only to 
understand some books writ in it, 
without a critical knowledge of the 
tongue itself, reading alone, as I have 
said, will attain that end, without 



charging the mind with the multiplied 
rules and intricacies of grammar.'' — 
(Jjocke on Educatiorif p. 78. folio.) 

In the Eton Grammar, the following 
very plain and elementary information 
is conveyed to young gentlemen utterly 
ignorant of every syUable of the lan- 
guage : — 

** Nomina anomala qute contrahuntur 
sunt, 'OAoirot^, qu8B contrahuntur iu om- 
nibus, ut Yooc YOv$, &0. 'OAiyoiro^, qu» in 
paucioribus casibus contrahuntur, ut sub- 
stantiva Barytonia in vp. Imparyllatna in 
ovp,'* &C. &c 

From the Westminster Grammar we 
make the following extract — and some 
thousand rules, conveyed in poetry of 
equal merit, must be fixed upon the 
mind of the youthful Grecian, before he 
advances into the interior of the lan-^ 
guage : -- 

**» finis thematis finis utriusque fiituri est 
Post liquidam in primo, vel in uuoquoque 
. secundo, 

w circujnfleKum est. Ante w finale cha- 
racter 
Ezplicitus <rc primi est implicitusque 

futuri 
w itaque in quo <r quasi plezum est solitn 
in <«!>." 
WesttiUnater Greek Grammar, 1814* 

Such are the easy initiations of our 
present methods of teaching. The 
Hamiltonian system, on the other 
hand, 1. teaches an unknown tongue 
by the closest interlinear translation, 
instead of leaving a boy to explore 
his way by the lexicon or dictionary. 
2. It postpones the study of grammar 
till a considerable progress has been 
made in the language, and a great de- 
gree of practical grammar has been 
acquired. 3. It substitutes the cheer- 
fulness and competition of the Lancas^ 
terian system for the dull solitude of 
the dictionary. By these means, a 
boy finds be is making a progress, and 
learning something from the very be- 
ginning. He is not overwhelmed with 
the first appearance of insuperable 
difiiculties ; he receives some little 
pay from the first moment of his ap- 
prenticeship, and is not compelled to 
wait for remuneration till he is. out of 
his time. The student having acquired 
I the great art of understanding the 



106 



COUNSEL ]?0R PRISONERS. 



sense of what is written in another 
tongue, may go into the study of the 
language as deeply and as extensively 
as he pleases. The old system aims at 
beginning with a depth and accuracy 
which many men never will want, 
which disgusts many from arriving 
even at moderate attainments, and is 
a less easy, and not more certain road 
to a profound skill in languages, than 
if attention to grammar had been de- 
ferred to a later period. 

In fine, we are strongly persuaded, 
that the time being given, this system 
will make better scholars ; and the 
degree of scholarship being given, a 
much shorter time will be needed. If 
there be any truth in this, it will make 
Mr. Hamilton one of the most useful 
men of his age ; for if there be any- 
tliing which fills reflecting men with 
melancholy and regret, it is the waste 
of mortal time, parental money, and 
puerile happiness, in the present method 
of pursuing Latin And Greek. 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONERa 
(E. Review, 1826.) 

Stockton on the Practice qf not aUotving 
Counsel for PrUoneTB acetued qfFekmy, 
8vo. London. 1826. 

On the sixth of April, 1 824, Mr. George 
Lamb (a gentleman who is always the 
advocate of whatever is honest and 
liberal) presented the following peti- 
tion from several jurymen in the habit 
of serving on juries at the Old Bailey: — 

"That your petitioners, fully sensible of 
the invaluable privilege of Jury trials, and 
desirous of seeing them as complete as hu- 
man institutions will admit, feel it their 
duty to draw the attention of the House to 
the restrictions imposed on the prisoner's 
counsel, which, they humbly conceive, have 
strong claims to a legislative remedy. With 
every disposition to decide justly, the peti- 
tioners have found, by experience, in the 
course of their attendances as jurymen in 
the Old Bailey, that the opening statements 
for the prosecution too frequently leave an 
impression more unfavourable to the pri- 
soner at the bar, than the evidence of itself 
could have produced; and it has always 
sounded harsh to the petitioners to hear it 
announced from the bench, that the coun- 
sel, to whom the priuouer has committed 



his defence, cannot be permitted to address 
the jury in his behalf, nor reply to the 
charges which have, or have not, been sub- 
stantiated by the witnesses. The peti- 
tioners have felt their situation peculiarly 
painful and embarrassing when the pri- 
soner's faculties, perhaps surprised by such 
an intimation, are too much absorbed, in 
the difficulties of his unhappy circumstan- 
ces to admit of an effort towards bis own 
justification, against the statements of the 
prosecutor's counsel, often unintentionally 
aggravated through zeal or misconception; 
and it is purely with a view to the attain- 
ment of impartial justice, that the peti- 
tioners humbly submit to the serious con- 
sideration of the House the expediency of 
allowing every accused person the ftill be- 
nefit of counsel, as in cases of misdemean- 
our, and according to the practice of the 
civil courts." 

With the opinions so sensibly and 
properly expressed by these jnrynaen, 
we most cordially agree. We have 
before touched incidentally on this sub- 
ject ; but shall now give to it a more 
direct and fuller examination. We 
look upon it as a very great blot in 
our over-praised criminal code ; and 
no effort of oui*s shall be wanting, from 
time to time» for its removal 

We have now the benefit of discuss- 
ing these subjects under the govern- 
ment of a Hume Secretary of State, 
whom we may (we believe) fairly call 
a wise, honeflt, and high-principled 
man — as he appears to us, without 
wishing for innovation, or having any 
itch for it, not to be afraid of innova- 
tion*, when it is gradual and well con- 
sidered. He is, indeed, almost the only 
person we remember in his station, who 
has not considered sound sense to 
consist in the rejection of every im- 
provement, and loyalty to be proved by 
the defence of ever}' accidental, imper- 
fect, or superannuated institution. 

If this petition of jurymen be a real 
bond fide petition, not the result of soli- 

* We must always except the Catholic 
question. Mr. Peers opinions on this sub- 
ject (giving him credit for sincerity) have 
alwavs been a subject of real surprise to 
us. It must surely be some mistake between 
the Ri^ht Honourable Gentleman and his 
chaplam 1 They have been travelling toge- 
ther, and some of the parson's notions have 
been put up in Mr. Peel's head by mistake. 
We yet hope he will return them to their 
rightful owner. 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONERS. 



107 



citation — and we have no reason to 
doubt it — it is a warning which the 
Legislature cannot neglect, if it mean 
to avoid the disgrace of seeing the 
lower and middle orders of mankind 
making laws for themselves, which the 
Goyemment is at length compelled to 
adopt as measures of their own. The 
Judges and the Parliament would have 
gone on to this day, hanging, by whole- 
sale, for the forgeries of bank notes, if 
juries had not become weary of the 
continual butchery, and resolved to 
acquit. The proper execution of laws 
must always depend, in great measure, 
upon public opinion ; and it is un- 
doubtedly most discreditable to any 
men intrusted with power, when the 
governed turn round upon their gover- 
nors, and say, ** Your laws are so cruel, 
or 80 foolish, we can not, and will not, 
act upon them." 

The particular improvement, of al- 
lowing counsel to those who are accused 
of felony, is so far from being uo neces- 
sary, from any extraordinary indul- 
gence shown to English prisoners, that 
we really cannot help suspecting, that 
not a year elapses in which many inno- 
cent persons are not found guilty. 
How is it possible, indeed, that it can 
be otherwise ? There are seventy or 
eighty persons to be tried for various 
offences at the Assizes, who have lain 
in prison for some months ; and fifty 
of whom, perhaps, are of the lowest 
order of the people, without friends in 
any better condition than themselves, 
and without one single penny to em- 
ploy in their defenee. How are. they 
to obtain witnesses ? No attorney can 
l)e employed — no subpoena can be 
taken out ; the witnesses are fifty miles 
off, perhaps — totally uninstmcted — 
living from hand to mouth — utterly 
unable to give up their daily occupa- 
tion, to pay for their journey, or for 
their support when arrived at the town 
of trial — and, if they could get there, 
not knowing where to go, or what to 
da It is impossible but that a human 
being, in such a helpless situation, 
must be found guilty ; for as he can- 
not give evidence for himself, and has 
not a penny to fetcii those who can 
give it for him, any story told against 



him must be taken for true (however 
false) ; since it is impossible for the 
poor wretch to contradict it. A brother 
or a sister may come — and support 
every suffering and privation them- 
selves in coming ; but the prisoner 
cannot often have such claims upon 
the persons who have witnessed the 
transaction, nor any other claims but 
those which an unjustly accused per- 
son has upon those whose testimony 
can exculpate him — and who probably 
must starve themselves and their fami- 
lies to do it. It is true, a case of life 
and Aeaxh will rouse the poorest per- 
sons, every now and then, to extraor- 
dinary exertions, and they may tramp 
through mud and dirt to the Assize 
town to save a life — though even this 
effort is precarious enough : but impri- 
sonment, hard labour, or transportation, 
appeal less forcibly than death — and 
would often appeal for evidence in vain, 
to the feeble and limited resources of 
extreme poverty. It is not that a great 
proportion of those accused are not 
guilty — but that some are not — and are 
utterly without means of establishing 
their innocence. We do not believe 
they are often accused from wilful and 
corrupt perjury ; but the prosecutor is 
himself mistaken— the crime has been 
committed; and in his thirst for ven- 
geance, he has got hold of the wrong 
man. The wheat was stolen out of 
the barn ; and, amidst many other col- 
lateral circumstances, the witnesses 
(paid and brought up by a wealthy 
prosecutor, who is repaid by the coun- 
ty) swear that they saw a man, very 
like the prisoner, with a sack of corn 
upon his shoulder, at an early hour of 
the morning, going from the barn in 
the direction of the prisoner's cottage ! 
Here is one link, and a very material 
link, of a long chain of circumstantial 
evidence. Judge and jury must give 
it weight, till it is contradicted. In 
fact, the prisoner did not steal the 
corn; he was, to be sure, out of his 
cottage at the same hour— and that 
also is proved — but travelling in a 
totally different direction — and was 
seen to be so travelling by a stage 
coachman passing by, and by a market 
gardener. An attorney with money iu. 



108 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONERS. 



liifl pocket, whom every moment of 
such employ made richer by six-and- 
eightpence, would have had the two 
witnesses ready, and at rack and man- 
ger, from the first day of the assize ; 
and the innocence of the prisoner 
would have been established: but by 
what possible means is the destitute 
ignorant wretch himself to find or to 
produce such witnesses? or how can 
the most humane jury, and the most 
acute judge, refuse to consider him as 
guilty, till his witnesses are produced? 
We have not the slightest disposition 
to exaggerate, and on the contrary, 
should be extremely pleased to be con- 
vinced that our apprehensions were 
unfounded : but we have often felt ex- 
treme pain at the hopeless and unpro- 
tected state of prisoners;, and we can- 
not find any answer to our suspicions, 
or discover any means by which this 
perversion of justide, under the present 
stt^te of the law, can be prevented from 
taking place. Against the prisoner 
are arrayed all the resources of an 
angry prosecutor, who has certainly 
(let who will be the culprit) suffered a 
serious injury. He has his hand, too, 
in the public purse; for he prosecutes 
at the expense of the county. He can- 
not even relent; for the magistrate has 
bound him over to indict. His wit- 
nesses cannot fail him; for they are 
all bound over by the same magistrate 
to give evidence. He is out of prison, 
too, and can exert himself. 

The prisoner, on the other hand, 
comes into Court, squalid and de- 
pressed from long confinenient — ut- 
terly unable to tell his own story for 
want of words and want of confidence, 
and as unable to produce evidence 
for want of money. His fate ac- 
cordingly is obvious;— and tha,t there 
are many innocent men punished every 
year, for crimes they have not com- 
mitted, appears to us to be extremely 
probable. It is indeed, scarcely pos- 
sible it should be otherwise; and, as if 
to prove the fact, every now and then, 
a case of this kind is detected. Some 
circumstances come to light between 
sentence and execution ; immense 
exertions are made by humane men; 
time is gained, and the innocence of 



the condemned person completely esta* 
blished< iln Elizabeth Caning*8 case, 
two women were capitally convicted, 
ordered for execution — and at last 
found innocent, and respited. Such, 
too, was the case of the men who 
were sentenced, ten years ago, for the 
robbery of Lord Cowper's steward. 
"I have myself (says Mr. Scarlett) 
of tern, seen persons I thought innocent 
convicted, and the guilty escape, for 
want of some acute and intelligent 
counsel to show the bearings of the 
different circumstances on the conduct 
and situation of the prisoner." — {House 
of Commons Debates, April 25th, 1 826.) 
We are delighted to see, in this last, 
debate, both Mr. Brougham and Mr. 
Scarlett profess themselves friendly to 
Mr.. Lamb's motion. 

Bat in how many cases has the in- 
justice proceeded without any suspi- 
cion being excited? and even if we 
could reckon upon men being watch- 
ful in capital cases, where life is con* 
cerned, we are afraid it is in such cases 
alone that they ever besiege the Secre- 
tary of State, and compel his atten- 
tion. We never remember any such 
interference to save a man unjustly 
condemned- to the hulks or the tread- 
mill; and yet tliere are certainly more 
condemnations of these minor punish- 
ments than to the gallows: but then it 
is all one ^- who knows or cares about 
it? If Harrison or Johnson has been 
condemned, after regular trial by juiy, 
to six months' tread-mill, because 
Harrison and Johnson were without 
a penny to procure evidence — who 
knows or cares about Harrison or 
Johnson ?^ how can they make them- 
selves heard? or in what way can 
they obtain redress? It worries rich 
and comfortable people to hear the 
humanity of our penal laws called in 
question. There is a talk of a society 
for employing discharged prisoners: 
might not something be effected by a 
society instituted for the purpose of 
providing to poor prisoners, a proper 
defence, and a due attendance of wit- 
nesses? But we must hasten on from 
this disgraceful neglect of poor pri- 
soners, to the particular subject of com* 
plaint we have proposed to ourselves* 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONERS. 



109 



The proposition is, That the pri- 
soner accused of fdony ougJit to have 
the same power of selecting counsel to 
speak for him as he has in cases of 
6'eason and misdemeanour^ and as de- 
fendant have in cUl civU actions. 

Nothing can be done in any discus- 
sion upon any point of law in Eng- 
land, without quoting Mr. Justice 
Blackstone. Mr. Justice Blackstone, 
we believe, generally wrote his Com- 
mentaries late in the evening, with a 
bottle of wine before him ; and little 
did bethink, as each sentence fell from 
the glass and pen, of the immense in- 
fluence it might hereafter exercise 
upon the laws and usages of his conn- 
try. "It is," says this favourite 
writer, ** not at all of a piece with the 
rest of the humane treatment of pri- 
soners by the English law ^ for upon 
what face of reason can that assist- 
ance be denied to save the life of a 
man, which yeti is allowed him in pro- 
secutions for every petty trespass?" 
Nor, indeed, strictly speaking, is it a 
part of our ancient law; for the Mir- 
ror, having observed the necessity of 
counsel in civil suits, who know how 
to forward and defend the cause by the 
rules of law and customs of the realm, 
immediately subjoin?, ** and more ne- 
cessary are they for defence upon in- 
dictment and appeals of felony, than 
upon any other venial crimes.*' To 
the authority of Blackstone may be 
added that of Sir John Hall,infiollis's 
case; of Sir Robert Atkyns, in Lord 
Knssell's case ; and of Sir Bartholomew 
Shower, in the arguments for a New 
Bill of Rights, in 1682. ♦* In the name 
of God," says this judge, ** what harm 
can accrue to the public in general, or 
to any man in particular, that, in cases 
of State-treason, counsel should not be 
allowed to the accused? What rule 
of justice is there to warrant its de- 
nial, when, in a civil case of a half- 
penny cake, he may plead either by 
himself or by his advocate? That the 
Court is counsel for the prisoner can 
be no effectual reason ; for so they are 
for each party, that right maybe done." 
--{Somers^ Tracts, vol. ii. p. 668.) In 
the trial of Thomas Rosewell, a dis- 
lenting clergyman, for high treason, in 



1684, Judge Jeffries^ in summing up, 
confessed to the jury, " that he thought 
it a hard cade, that a man should have 
counsel to defend himself for a two- 
penny trespass, and his witnesses be 
examined upon oath; but if he stole, 
committed murder or felony, nay, high 
treason, where life, estate, honour, and 
all were concerned, that he should 
neither have counsel, nor have his 
witnesses examined upon oath." — 
(JSowelts State Trialsy vol. x. p. 207.) 
There have been two capital errors 
in the criminal codes of feudal Europe, 
from which a great variety of mistake 
&nd injustice have proceeded : the one, 
a disposition to confound accusation 
Avith guilt ; the other, to mistake a de- 
fence of prisoners accused by the 
Crown, for disloyalty and disaffection 
to the Crown ; and from these errors 
our own code has been slowly and 
gradually recovering, by all those 
straggles and exertions which it 
always costs to remove foUy sanctioned 
hy antiquity. In the early periods of 
our history, the accused person could 
call no evidence :— then for a long 
time, his evidence against the King 
could not be examined upon oath ; 
consequently, he might as well have 
produced none, as all the evidence 
against him was upon oath. Till the 
reign of Anne, no one accused of 
felony could produce witnesses upon 
Oath ; and the old practice was vindi- 
cated, in opposition to the new one, 
introduced under the statute of that 
day, on the grounds of humanity and 
tenderness to the prisoner ! because, 
as his witnesses were not restricted by 
an oath, they were at liberty to indulge 
in simple falsehood as much as they 
pleased ; — so argued the blessed de- 
fenders of nonsense in those days. 
Then it was ruled to be indecent and 
improper that counsel should be em- 
ployed against the Crown ; and, there- 
fore, the prisoner accused of treason 
could have no counsel. In like manner, 
a party accused of felony could have 
no counsel to assist him in the trial. 
Counsel might indeed stay in the court, 
but apart from the prisoner, with whom 
they could have no communication. 
They were not allowed to put any 



no 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONERS. 



question, or to suggest any doubtful 
point of law ; but if the prisoner 
(likely to be a weak unlettered man) 
could himself suggest any doubt in 
matter of law, the Court determined 
first if the question of law should be 
entertained, and then assigned counsel 
to argue it. In those times, too, the 
jury were punishable if they gave a 
false verdict against the King, but were 
not punishable if they gave a false 
verdict against the prisoner. The pre- 
amble of the Act of 1696 runs thus : 
— ** Whereas it is expedient that per- 
sons charged with high treason should 
make a full and snfiBcient defence.** 
Might it not be altered to persons 
charged with any species or degree of 
crime f All these errors have given 
way to the force of truth, and to the 
power of common sense and common 
humanity — the Attorney and Solicitor 
General, for the time being, always 
protesting against each alteration, and 
regularly and officially prophesying the 
utter destruction of the whole jurispru- 
dence of Great Britain. There is no 
man nOw alive perhaps, so utterly 
foolish, as to propose, that prisoners 
should be prevented from producing 
evidence upon oath, and being heard 
by their counsel in cases of high trea- 
son ; and yet it cost a struggle for seven 
sessions to get this measure through 
the two houses of Parliament. But 
mankind are much like the children 
they beget — they always make wry 
faces at what is to do them good ; and 
it is necessary sometimes to hold tlie 
nose, and force the medicine down the 
throat. They enjoy the health and 
vigour consequent upon the medicine ; 
but cuff the doctor, and sputter at his 
stuff ! 

A most absurd argument was ad- 
vanced in the honourable House, that 
the practice of employing counsel 
would be such an expense to the pri- 
soner I — just as if anything was so 
expensive as being hanged ! What a 
fine topic for the ordinary ! ** You are 
going" (says that exquisite divine) **to 
be hanged to-morrow, it is true, but 
consider what a sum you have saved ! 
Mr. Scarlett or' Mr. Brougham might 
certainly have presented arguments to 



the jury, which would have insar^d 
your acquittal ; but do you forget that 
gentlemen of their eminence must be 
recompensed by large fees, and that, 
if your life had been saved, you would 
actually have been out of pocket above 
20/.? You will now die with the 
consciousness of having obeyed the 
dictates of a wise economy ; and with 
a grateful reverence for the laws of 
your country, which prevents you from 
running into such unbounded expense 
-*-so let us now go to prayers." 

It is ludicrous enough to recollect, 
when the employment of counsel is 
objected to on account of the expense 
to the prisoner, that the same merciful 
law, which, to save the prisoner'ti 
money, has denied him counsel, and 
produced his conviction, seizes upon 
all his savings the moment he is con- 
victed. 

Of all false and foolish dieta^ the 
most trite and the most absurd is that 
which asserts that the Judge is coun- 
sel for the prisoner. We do not hesi- 
tate to say that this is merely an 
unmeaning phrase, invented to defend 
a pernicious abuse. The Judge cannot 
be counsel for the prisoner, ought not to 
be counsel for the prisoner, never is 
counsel for the prisoner. To force an 
ignorant man into a court of justice, 
and to tell him that the Judge is his 
counsel, appears to us quite as foolish 
as to set a hungry man down to his 
meals, and to tell him that the table 
was his dinner. In the first place, a 
counsel should always have private and 
previous communication with the pri- 
soner, which the Judge, of coarse, 
cannot have. The prisoner reveals to 
his .counsel how far he is guilty, or he 
is not ; states to him all the circum- 
stances of his case — and might often 
enable his advocate, if his advocate 
were allowed to speak, to explain a 
long string of circumstantial evidence 
in a manner favourable to the inno- 
cence of his client. Of all these ad- 
vantages, the Judge, if he bad every 
disposition to befriend the prisoner, is 
of course deprived. Something occurs 
to a prisoner in the course of the cause ; 
he suggests it in a whisper to his coini- 
sel, doubtful if it is a wise point to 



COUNSEL FOB PBISOKERa 



111 



urge or not His counsel thinks it of 
importance, and would urge it, if his 
mouth were not shut. Can a prisoner 
have this secret communication with a 
Judge, and take his advice, whether or 
not he, the Judge, shall mention it to 
the jury ? The counsel has (after all 
the evidence has been given) a bad 
opinion of his client's case ; but he 
suppresses that opinion ; and it is duty 
to do so. He is not to decide ; that is 
the province of the jury ; and in spite 
of his own opinion, his client may be 
innocent. He is brought there (or 
would be brought there if the privilege 
of speech were allowed) for the ex- 
press purpf)S6 of saying all that could 
be said on one side of the question. 
He is a weight in one scale, and some 
one else holds the balance. This is the 
way in which truth is elicited in civil, 
and would be in criminal oases. But 
does the Judge ever assume the appear- 
ance of believing a prisoner to be in- 
nocent whom he thinks to be guilty ? 
If the prisoner advances inconclusive 
or weak arguments, does not the Judge 
say they are weak and inconclusive, 
and does he not often sum up against 
his own client ? How then is he coun- 
sel for the prisoner ? If the counsel 
for the prisoner were to see a strong 
point, which the counsel for the prose- 
cution had missed,, would he supply 
the deficiency of his antagonist, and 
nrge what had been neglected to be 
nrged? But is it not the imperious 
duty of the Judge to do so ? How 
then can these two functionaries stand 
in the same relation to the prisoner ? 
In fact, the only meaning of the phrase 
is this, that the Judge will not suffer 
any undue advantage to be taken of 
the ignorance and helplessness of the 
prisoner — that he wiU point out any 
evidence or circumstance in his favour 
^and see that equal justice is done to 
both parties. But in this sense he is 
as mnch the counsel of the prosecutor 
>8 of the prisoner. This is all the Judge 
can do, or even^retends to do ; but he 
can have no previous communication 
with the prisoner — he can have no 
confidentifid communication in court 
with the prisoner before he sums up ; 
he cannot fling the whole weight of his 



nndersCanding inta the opposite scale 
against the counsel for the prosecution, 
and produce that collision of faculties, 
which, in all other cases but those of 
felony, is supposed to be the happiest 
method of arriving at truth. Baron 
Garrow, in his charge to the grand 
jury at Exeter, on the 16th of August, 
1824, thus expressed his opinion of a 
Judge being counsel for the prisoner: 
— **It has been said, and truly said, 
that in criminal courts, Judges were 
counsel for the prisoners. So undoubt- 
edly they were, as far as they could to 
prevent undue prejudice, to guard 
against improper influence being ex- 
cited against prisoners ; but it was 
impossible for them to go further than 
this ; for they could not suggest the 
course of detience prisoners ought to 
pursue s for Judges only saw the depo- 
sitions so short a time before the ac- 
cused appeared at the bar of their 
country, that it was quite impossible 
for them to act fully in that capacity.*' 
The learned Baron might have added, 
that it would be more correct to call 
the Judge counsel for the prosecution ; 
for his only previous instructions were 
the depositions for the prosecution, 
from which, in the absence of counsel, 
he examined the evidence against the 
prisoner. On the prisoner's behalf he 
had no instructions at all. 

Can anything, then, be more fla- 
grantly and scandalously unjust, than, 
in a long case of circumstantial evi- 
dence, to refuse to a prisoner the benefit 
of counsel ? A foot-mark, a word, a 
sound, a tool dropped, all gave birth 
to the most ingenious inferences ; and 
the counsel for the prosecution is so far 
from being blamable for entering into 
all these things, that they are all essen- 
tial to the detection of guilt, and they 
are all links of a long and intricate 
chain : but if a close examination into, 
and a logical statement of, all these 
circumstances be necessary for the es- 
tablishment of guilt, is not the same 
closeness of reasoning, and the same 
logical statement necessary for the es- 
tablishment of innocence ? If justice 
cannot be done to ■ society without the 
intervention of a practised and inge- 
nious mind, who may connect all these 



112 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONERS. 



links together, and make them clear to 
the apprehension of a jary, can justice 
be done to the prisoner, unless similar 
practice and similar ingenuity are em- 
ployed to detect the flaws of the chain, 
and to point out the disconnection of 
the circumstances ? 

Is there any one gentleman in the 
House of Commons, who, in yielding 
his vote to this paltry and perilous fal- 
lacy of the Judge being counsel for the 
prisoner, does not feel, that, were he 
himself a criminal, he would prefer 
almost any counsel at the bar, to the 
tender mercies of the Judge ? How 
strange that any man who could make 
his election would eagerly and dili- 
gently surrender this exquisite privi- 
lege, and addict himself to the perilous 
practice of giving fees to counsel ! 
Nor let us forget, in considering Judges 
as counsel for the prisoner, that there 
have been such men as Chief Justice 
Jeffries, Mr. Justice Page, and Mr. 
Justice Aly bone, and that, in bad times, 
such men may reappear. . ** If you do 
not allow me counsel, my Lords (says 
Lord Lovat), it is impossible for me to 
make any defence, by reason of my in- 
firmity. I do not see, I do not hear. I 
come up to the bar at the hazard of my 
life. I have fainted several times ; I 
have been up so early, ever since four 
o'clock this morning. I therefore ask 
for assistance ; and if you do not allow 
me counsel, or such aid as is necessary, 
it will be impossible for me to make 
any defence at alL" Though Lord 
Lovat's guilt was evident, yet the man- 
agers of the impeachment felt so 
strongly the injustice which w&s done, 
that, by the hands of Sir W. Young, 
the chief manager, a bill was brought 
into Parliament to allow counsel to 
persons impeached by that House, 
which was not previously the case ; so 
that the evil is already done away with, 
in a great measure, to persons of rank.* 
it so happens in legislation, when a 
gentleman suffers, public attention is 
awakened to the evil of laws. Every 
man who makes laws says, ** This may 
be my case :'* but it requires the re- 
peated efforts of humane men, or, as 
Mr. North calls them dilettanti philo- 
sophers, to awaken the attention of 



law-makers to evils from which they 
are themselves exempt. We do not 
say this to make the leaders of man- 
kind unpopular, but to rouse their ear- 
nest attention in cases where the poor 
only are concerned, and where neither 
good nor evil can happen to themselves. 

A great stress is laid upon the mod- 
eration of the*opening counsel ; that 
is, he does not conjure the farmers in 
the jury-box, by the love which they 
bear to their children — he does not 
declaim upon blood-guiltiness — he does 
not describe the death of Abel by Cain, 
the first murderer — he does not de- 
scribe scattered brains, ghastly wounds, 
pale features, and hair clotted with gore 
— he does not do a thousand things, 
which are not in English taste, and 
which it would be very foolish and 
very vulgar to do. We readily allow- 
all this. But yet, if it be a canse of 
importance, it is essentially necessary 
to our counsellor's reputation that this 
man should be hung! And accord- 
ingly, with a very calm voice, and 
composed manner, and with many ex- 
pressions of candour, he sets himself 
to comment astutely upon the circam- 
stances. Distant events are immedi- 
ately connected ; meaning is given to 
insignificant facts ; new motives are 
ascribed -to innocent actions ; farmer 
gives way after farmer in the jury-box ; 
and a rope of eloquence is woven 
round the prisoner's neck I Every one 
is delighted with the talents of the 
advocate $ and, because there has been 
no noise, no violent action, and no 
consequent perspiration, he is praised 
for his candour and forbearance, and 
the lenity of our laws is the theme of 
universal approbation. In the mean- 
time, the speech-maker and the pri- 
soner know better. 

We should be glad to know of any 
one nation in the world, taxed by kings, 
or even imagined by poets (except the 
English), who have refused to prisoners 
the benefit of coansel| Why is the 
voice of humanity heard everywhere 
else, and disregarded here ? In Scot- 
land, the accused have not only coun- 
sel to speak for them, but a copy of the 
indictment, and a list of the witnesses. 
In France, in the NeUierlfuids, in the 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONERS. 



113 



whole of Europe, counsel are allotted 
as a matter of course. Everywhere 
else but here, accnaation is considered 
as unfavourable to the exercise of ho- 
man faculties. It is admitted to be 
that crisis in which, above all others, 
aa unhappy man wants the aid of 
eloquence, wisdom, and coolness. In 
France, the Napoleon Code has pro- 
vided not only that counsel should be 
allowed to the prisoner, but that, as 
with us in Scotland, his counsel should 
have the last word. 

It is a most affecting moment in a 
court of justice when the evidence has 
all been heard, and the Judge asks the 
prisoner what he has to say in his de- 
fence. The prisoner, who baa ( by great 
exertions, perhaps of his friends) saved 
up money enough to procure counsel, 
says to the Judge, ** that he leaves his 
defence to his counsel. " We have often 
blushed for English humanity to hear 
the reply. ** Your counsel cannot speak 
for you, you must speak for yourself ;"* 
and this is the reply given to a poor 
girl of eighteen — to a foreigner — to 
a deaf man — ^to a stammerer — to the 
sick— to the feeble — to the old — to 
the most abject and ignorant of human 
beings I It is a reply, we must say, at 
which common sense and common 
feeling revolt: — for it is full of brutal 
cruelty, and of base inattention of 
those who make laws, to the happiness 
of those for whom laws were made. 
We wonder that any juryman can con- 
vict under such a shocking violation of 
all natural justice. The iron age of 
Clovis and Clottaire can produce no 
more atrocious violation of every good 
feeling, and every good principle. Can 
a sick man find strength and nerves to 
speak before a large assembly ? — can 
an ignorant man find words ? — can a 
low man find confidence ? Is not be 
afraid of becoming an object of ridi- 
cule ? — can he believe that hisexjM'es- 
sions will be understood ? How often 
liave we seen a poor wretch, struggling 
against the agonies of his spirit^ and 
the rudeness of his conceptions^ and 
his awe of better-dressed men and 
better-taught men, and the shame which 
the accusation has brought upon his 
head, and the sight of his parents and 

Vol. IL • 



children gazing at him in the Court, 
for the last time, perhaps, and after a 
long absence ! The mariner sinking 
in the wave does not want a helping 
hand more than does this poor wretch. 
But help is denied to all t Age cannot 
have it,, nor ignorance, nor the modesty 
of women I One hard uncharitable rule 
silences the defenders of the wretched, 
in the worst of human evils ; and at 
the bitterest of human moments, mercy 
is blotted out from the ways of men I 

Suppose a crime to have been com- 
mitted under the influence of insanity ; 
is the insane man, now convalescent^ 
to plead his own insanity? — to offer 
arguments to show that he must have 
been mad ? — and, by the glimmerings 
of his returning reason, to prove that 
at a former period that same reason was 
utterly extinct ? These are the cruel 
situations into which Judges and 
Courts of Justice are thrown by the 
present state of the law. 

There is a Judge now upon the 
Bench, who never took away the life 
of a fellow-creature without shutting 
himself up alone, and giving the most 
profound attention to every circum- 
stance of the case ! and this solema 
act he always premises with his owa 
beautiful prayer to Grod, that he will 
enlighten him with his Divine Spirit in 
the exercise of this terrible privilege I 
Now, would it not be an immense 
satisfaction to this feeling and honour- 
able magistrate, to be sure that every 
witness on the side of the prisoner had 
been heard, and that every argument 
which could be urged in his favour 
had been brought forward, by a man 
whose duty it was to see only on one 
side of the question, and whose interest 
and reputation were thoroughly em- 
barked in this partial exertion ? If a 
Judge fail to get at the truth, after these 
instruments of investigation are usedv 
his failure must be attributed to the 
limited powers of man — not to the 
want of good inclination, or wise in- 
stitutions. We are surprised that such 
a measure does not come into Parlia- 
ment, with the strong recommendation 
of the Judges. It is surely better te 
be a day longer on the circuit, than te 
murder rapidly in ermine. 

1 



114 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONERS. 



it is argned, that, among the varioas 
pleas for mercy that are offered, no 
prisoner has ever urged to the Secre- 
tary of State the disadvantage of hav- 
ing no coansel to plead for him ; hut 
a prisoner who dislikes to undergo his 
sentence natnrali j addresses to those 
who can reverse it snch arguments only 
as will produce, in the opinion of the 
referee, a pleasing effect. He does 
not therefore find fault with the es- 
tablished system of jurispradence, but 
brings forward facts and argtiments to 
prove his own innocence. Besides, 
how few people there are who can 
elevate themselves from the acquies- 
cence in what is, to the ^consideration 
of what ought to bet <uid if they could 
do so, the way to get rid of a punish- 
ment is not (as we have just observed) 
to say, ** You have no right to punish 
me in this manner/* but to say, ** I am 
innocent of the offence." The frau- 
dulent baker at Constantinople, who is 
about to be baked to death in his own 
oven, does not complain of the severity 
of baking bakers, but promises to use 
more flour and less fraud. 

Whence comes it (we should like to 
ask Sir John Singleton Copley, who \ 
seems to dread so much the conflicts 
of talent in criminal cases) that a 
method of getting at truth which is 
found so serviceable in -civil cases 
should be so much objected to in 
"criminal cases ? Would you have all 
this wrangling and bickering, it is 
asked, and contentious eloquence, 
when the life of a man is concerned ? 
Why not, as well as when his property 
is concerned ? It is either a good 
means of doing justice, or it is not, 
that two understandings should be put 
in opposition to each other, and that ; 
a third should decide between them. 
Does this open evecy view which can 
4>ear upon the question ? Does it in 
the most effectual manner watch the 
Judge, detect perjuiy, and sift evi- 
dence ? If not, why is it snfiered to 
disgrace our civil institutions ? If it 
effect all these objects, why is it not 
incorporated into our criminal law ? 
Of what importance is a little disgust 
at professional tricks, if the solid ad- 
vantage gained be a neansr approxi- 



mation to truth ? Can anything be 
more preposterous than this preference 
of taste to justice, and of solemnity ta 
truth f What an eulogium of a trial 
to say, ** I am by no means satisfied 
that the Jury were right in finding the 
prisoner guilty ; but everything was 
carried on with the utmost decorum ! 
The verdict was wrong ; but there was 
the most perfect propriety and order 
in the proceedings. The man will be 
un&irly hanged ; bat all was genteel ! " 
If solemnity is what is principally 
wanted in a court of justice, we had 
better study the manners of the old 
Spanish Inquisition ; but if battles 
with the Judge, and battles among the 
counsel, are the best method, as they 
certainly are, of getting at the truth, 
better tolerate this philosophical Bil- 
lingsgate, than persevere, because the 
life of a man is at stake, in solemn 
and polished injustice. 

Wliy should it not be just as wise 
and equitable to leave the defendant 
without counsel in civil cases — and 
to tell him that the Judge was his 
counsel ? And if the reply is to pro- 
duce such injurious effects as are anti- 
cipated upon the minds of the Jury 
in criminal cases, why not in civil 
cases also ? In twenty-eight cases 
out of thirty, the verdict in civil cases 
is correct ; in the two remaining cases, 
the error may proceed from other 
causes than the right of reply ; and 
yet the right of reply has existed in 
all. In a vast majority of cases, the 
verdict is for the plaintiff, not because 
there is a right of reply, but because 
he who has it in his power to decide 
whether he will go to law or not, and 
resolves to expose himself to the ex- 
pense and trouble of a lawsuit, has 
probably a good foundation for his 
claim. Nobody, of course, can intend 
to say that the majority of verdicts in 
favour of plaintifis are against justice, 
and merely attributable to the advan- 
tage of a last speech. If this were the 
case, the sooner advocates are turned 
out of court the better — and then 
the improvement of both civil and 
criminal law would be an abolition of 
all speeches ; for those who dread the 
effBct of the last word upon the fate of 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONERS. 



115 



the prisoner mast remember that there 
is at present always a last speech 
against the prisoner ; for, as the ooan- 
sel for the prosecution cannot be re- 
plied to, his is the last speech. 

There is certainly this difference 
between a civil and a criminal case— 
that in one a new trial can be gp^nted, 
in the other not. Bat jon most first 
make up jonr mind whether this system 
of contentions investigation by opposite 
advocates is or is not the best method 
of getting at truth : if it be, the more 
irremediable the decision, the more 
powerful and perfect shonld be the 
means of deciding; and then it would 
be a less oppression if the civil de- 
fendant were deprived of counsel than 
the criminal prisoner. When an error 
has been committed, the advantage is 
greater to the latter of these persons 
than to the former; — ^the criminal is 
not tried again, but paid9ned ; while 
the civil defendant must run the chance 
of another Jury. 

If the efiect of reply, and the con- 
tention of counsel, have all these bane- 
ful consequences in felony, why not 
also in misdemeanour and high trea- 
wm ? Half the cases at Sessions are 
cases of misdemeanour, where counsel 
are employed and half-informed Jus- 
tices preside instead of learned Judges. 
There are no complaints of the unfair- 
ness of verdicts, though there are every 
now and then of the severity of punish- 
ments. Now, if the reasoning of Mr. 
Iamb's opponents were true, the- dis- 
tnrbing force of the prisoner's counsel 
must fling everything into confusion. 
The Court for misdemeanours must be 
a scene of riot and perplexity; and 
the detection and punishment of crime 
mnst be utterly impossible: and yet in 
the very teeth of these objections, such 
courts of justice are just as orderly in 
one set of offences as the other ; and 
the conviction of a guilty person just 
as certain and as easy. 

The prosecutor (if this system were 
altered) would have the choice of 
counsel; so he has now — with this 
difference, that, at present, his counsel 
cannot be answered nor opposed. It 
would be better in all cases, if two men 
of exactly equal talent could be opposed 



to each other; but as this is impossiblot 
the system must be taken with its in- 
convenience; but there can be no 
inequality between counsel so great as 
that between any counsel and the pri- 
soner pleading for himself. **It has 
been lately my lot," says Mr. Denman, 
'*to try two prisoners who were deaf and 
dumb,«nd who could only be made to 
understand what was passing by the 
signs of their friends. The cases were 
clear and simple ; but if they had been 
circumstantial cases, in what a situation 
would the Judge and Jury be placed, 
when the prisoner could have no coun- 
sel to plead for him ! " — (Debater of the 
House of Commons^ April 25, 1826.) 

The folly of being counsel for your- 
self is 80 notorious in civil cases, that 
it has grown into a proverb. But the 
cruelty of the law compels a man, in 
criminal cases, to be guilty of a much 
greater act of folly, and to trust his life 
to an advocate, who, by the common 
sense of mankind, is pronounced to be 
inadequate to defend the possession of 
an acre of land. 

In all cases it must be supposed, 
that reasonably convenient instruments 
are selected to effect the purpose in 
view. A Judge may be commonly 
presumed to understand his profession, 
and a Jury to have a fan* allowance of 
common sense; but the objectors to the 
improvement we recommend appear to 
make no such suppositions. Counsel 
are always to make flashy addresses to 
the passions. Juries are to be so much 
struck with them, that they are always 
to acquit or to condenm, contrary to 
justice ; and Judges are always to be so 
biassed, that they are to fling them- 
selves rashly into the opposite scale 
against the prisoner. Many cases of 
ndisdemeanour consign a man to in- 
famy, and cast a blot upon his posterity. 
Judges and Juries must feel these cases 
as strongly as any cases of felony; and 
yet, in spite of this, and in spite of the 
free permission of counsel to speak, 
they preserve their judgment, and 
command their feelings surprisingly. 
Gknerally speaking, we believe none of 
these eviiswouldtaJEe place. Trumpery 
declamation would be considered as 
discreditable to the counsel, and would 

I 2 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONERS. 



;116 

be disregarded hj the Jury. The Judge 
and Jury (as in civil cases) would gain 
the habit of looking to the facts, select- 
ing the arguments, and coming to rea- 
sonable conclusions. It is so in all 
other countries — and it would be so in 
this. But the vigilance of the Judge 
is to relax, if there is counsel for the 
prisoner. Is, then, the relaxed vigil- 
ance of the Judges complained of, in 
hi|rh treason, in misdemeanour, or in 
civil cases ? This appears to us really 
to shut up the debate, and to preclude 
reply. Why is the practice so good in 
all other cases, and so pernicious in 
felony alone? This question has never 
received eyen the shadow of an answer. 
There is no one objection against the 
allowance of counsel to prisoners in 
felony,- which does not apply to them 
in all cases. If the vigilance of Judges 
depend upon this injustice to the pri- 
soner, then, the greater injustice to the 
prisoner, the more vigilance; and so 
the true method of perfecting the 
' Bench would be, to deny the prisoner 
the power of calling witnesses, and to 
increase as much as possible the dis- 
parity between the accuser and the 
accused* We hope men are selected 
for the Judges of Israel whose vigil- 
ance depends upon better and higher 
principles. 

There are three methods of arranging 
a trial, as to the mode of employing 
counsel — that both parties should have 
counsel, or neither — or only one. The 
first method is the best ; the second is 
preferable to the last ; and the last, which 
is our present system, is the worst pos- 
sible. K counsel were denied to either 
of the parties, if it be necessary that 
any system of jurisprudence should be 
disgraced by such an act of injustice, 
they should rather be denied to the 
prosecutor than to the prisoner. 

But the most singular caprice of the 
law is, that counsel are permitted in 
very high crimes, and in very small 
crimes, and denied in crimes of a sort 
of medium description. In high treason, 
where you mean to murder I^rd Liver- 
pool, and to levy war against the 
people, and to blow up the two Houses 
of Parliament, all the lawyers of 



dry, and the Jury deaf. Lord Eldon, 
when at the bar, has been heard for 
nine hours on such subjects. If, in- 
stead of producing the destruction of 
five thousand people, you are indicted 
for the murder of one person, here 
human faculties, from the diminution 
of guilt, are supposed to be so dear 
and so unclouded, that the prisoner is 
quite adequate to make his own de- 
fence, and no counsel are allowed. 
Take it then upon that principle, and 
let the rule, and the reason of it, pass 
as sufficient. But if, instead of mur- 
dering the man, you have only libelled 
him, then, for some reason or another, 
though utterly unknown to us, the 
original imbecility of faculties in ac- 
cused persotis is respected, and counsel 
are allowed. Was ever such nonsense 
defended by public men in grave as- 
semblies ? The prosecutor, too, (as 
Mr. Horace Twiss justly observes,) can 
either allow or disallow counsel, by 
selecting his form of prosecution ; — r 
as where a mob had assembled to re- 
peal, by riot and force, some unpopular 
statute, and certain persons had con- 
tinued in that assembly for more thaa 
an hour after proclamation to disperse. 
That might be treated as levying war 
against the King, and then the prisoner 
would be entitled to receive (as Lord 
George Gordon did receive) the benefit 
of counsel. It might also be treated 
as a seditious rite ; then it would be a 
misdemeanour, and counsel would still 
be allowed. But if government had 
a mind to destroy the prisoner effectu- 
ally, they have only to abstain froQ 
the charge of treason, and to introduce 
into the indictment the aggravatioiv 
that the prisoner had continued with the 
mob for an hour after proclamation to 
disperse ; this is a felony, the prisoner's 
life is in jeopardy, and counsel are 
effectually excluded. It produces, in 
many other cases disconnected with 
treason, the most scandalous injusr 
tice. A receiver of stolen goods, who 
employs a young girl to rob her master, 
may be tried for the misdemeanour ; 
the young girl taken afterwards would 
be tried for the felony. The receiver 
would be punishable only with fine^ 
.Westminster Hall may tialk, themselves I imprisonment, or whipping, and h« 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONERS. 



117 



coald have counsel to defend hinL 
The girl indicted for felonj, and liable 
to death, would enjoy no such advan- 
tage. 

In the comparison between felony 
and treason there are certainly some 
argaments why counsel should be al- 
lowed in felony rather than in treason. 
Persons accused of treason are gene- 
rally persons of education and rank, 
accustomed to assemblies, and to 
public speaking, while men accused 
of felony are commonly of the lowest 
of the people. If it be true, that 
Judges in cases of high treason are 
more liable to be influenced by the 
Crown, and to lean against the prisoner, 
this cannot apply to cases of misde- 
meanour, or to the defendants in civil 
cases ; but if it be necessary, that 
Judges should be watched in political 
cases, how often are cases of felony 
connected with political disaffection I 
Every Judge, too, has his idiosyncrasies, 
vhich require to be watched. Some 
hate Dissenters — some mobs ; some 
have one weakness, some another; 
and the ultimate truth is, that no court 
of justice is safe, unless there is some 
one present whose occupation and in- 
terest it is to watch the safety of the 
prisoner. Till then, no man of right 
teeUng can be easy at the administra- 
tion of justice, and the punishment of 
death. 

Two men are accused of one offence; 
the one dexterous, bold, subtle, gifted 
with speech, and remarkable for pre* 
sence of mind ; the other timid, hesi- 
tating, and confused — is there any 
reason why the chances of these two 
men for acquittal should be, as they 
are, so very different ? Inequalities 
there will be in the means of defence 
under the best system, but there is no 
occasion tho law should make these 
greater than they are left by chance or 
nature. 

But (it is asked) what practical in- 
justice is done — what practical evil is 
there in the present system? The 
^reat object of all law is, that the guilty 
should be punished, and that the inno- 
cent should be acquitted. A very 
great majority of prisoners, we admit, 
are guilty — and so dearly guilty, 



that we believe they would be found 
guilty under any system ; but among 
the number of those who are tried, 
some are innocent, and the chance of 
establishing their innocence is very 
much diminished by the privation of 
counsel In the course of twenty or 
thirty years, among the whole mass of 
English prisoners, we believe many are 
found guilty who are innocent, and 
who would not have been found guilty, 
if an able and intelligent man had 
watched over their interest, and repre- 
sented their case. If this happen only 
to two or three every year, it is quite 
a sufficient reason why the law should 
be altered. That such cases exist we 
firmly believe ; and this is the practi- 
cal evil — perceptible to men of sense 
and reflection ; but not likely to be- 
come the subject of general petition. 
To ask why there are not petitions — 
why the evil is not more noticed, is 
mere parliamentary froth and minis- 
terial juggling. Gentlemen are rarely 
hung. If they were so, there would 
be petitions without end for counsel. 
The creatures exposed to the cruelties 
and injustice of the law are dumb 
creatures, who feel the evil without 
being able to express their feeling. 
Besides, the question is not, whether 
the evil is found out, but whether the 
evil exist. Whoever thinks it is an 
evil, should vote against it, whether 
the sufferer from the injustice discover 
it to be an injustice, or whether he 
suffer in ignorant silence. When the 
bill was enacted, which allowed coun- 
sel for treason, there was not a petition 
from one end of England to the other. 
Can there be a more shocking answer 
from the Ministerial Bench, than to 
say. For real evil we care nothing — 
only for detected evil ? We will set 
about curing any wrong which affects 
our popularity and power : but as to 
any other evil, we wait till the people 
find it out ; and, in the meantime, 
commit such evils to the care of Mr. 
George Lamb, and of Sir James Mack- 
intosh. We are sure so good a man 
as Mr. Peel can never feel in this 
manner. 

Howard devoted himself to his- 
country. It was a noble example.- 

I 3 



118 



COUNSEL FOR PRISONER& 



Let two gentlemen on the Ministerial 
side of the House (we only ask for 
two) commit some crimes, which will 
render their execution a matter of 
painful necessity. Let them feel, and 
report to the House, all the injustice 
and inconvenience of having neither a 
copy of the indictment, nor a list of 
witnesses, nor counsel to defend them. 
We will venture to say, that the evi- 
dence of two such persons would do 
more for the improvement of the crim- 
inal law, than all the orations of Mr. 
Lamb, or the lucubrations of Beccaria. 
Such evidence would save time, and 
bring the question to an issue. It is a 
great duty, and ought to be fulfilled — 
and in ancient Rome, would have been 
fulfilled. 

The opponents always forget that 
Mr. Lamb's plan is not to compel 
prisoners to have counsel, but to allow 
them to have counsel, if they choose 
to do so. Depend upon it, as Dr. 
Johnson says, when a man is going to 
be hanged, his faculties are wonder- 
fully concentrated. If it b^ really 
true, as the defenders of Mumpsimus 
observe, that the Judge is the best 
counsel for the prisoner, the prisoner 
will soon learn to employ him, especi- 
ally as his Lordship works without 
fees. All that we want is an option 
given to the prisoner — that a man, left 
to adopt his own means of defence in 
every trifling civil right, may have the 
same power of selecting his own auxi- 
liaries for higher interests. 

But nothing can be more unjust than 
to speak of Judges, as if they were of 
one standard, and one heart and head 
pattern. The great majority of Judges, 
we have no doubt, are upright and 
pure ; but some have been selected for 
flexible politics — some are passionate 
— some are in a hurry — some are 
violent churchmen — some resemble 
ancient females — some have the gout 
— some are eighty years old — some 
are blind, deaf, and have lost the power 
of smelling. All one to the unhappy 
prisoner — he has no choice. 

It is impossiUe to put so gross an 
insult upon Judges, Jurymen, Grand 
Jurymen, or any person connected with 
the administration of justice, as to sup- 



pose that the longer time to be tfik6U up 
by the speeches of counsel constitutes 
the grand bar to the proposed altera- 
tion. If three hours would acquit a 
man, and he is hanged because he is 
only allowed two hours for his defence, 
the poor man is as much murdered as 
if his throat had been cut before he came 
into Court If twelve Judges cannot 
do the most perfect justice, other twelve 
must be appointed. Strange adminis- 
tration of criminal law, to adhere ob- 
stinately to an inadequate number of 
Judges, and to refuse any improvement 
which is incompatible with this arbi- 
trary and capricious enactment. Nei- 
ther is it quite certain that the proposed 
alteration would create a greater de- 
mand upon the time of the Court At 
present the coimsel makes a defence by 
long cross-examinations, and exami- 
nations in chief of the witnesses, and 
the Judge allows a greater latitude 
than he would do, if the counsel of the 
prisoner were permitted to speak. The 
counsel by these oblique methods, and 
by stating false points of law for the 
express purpose of introducing facts, 
endeavours to obviate the injustice of 
the law, and takes up more time by 
this oblique, than he would do by a 
direct defence. But the best answer 
to this objection of time (which, if true, 
is no objection at all) is, that as many 
misdemeanours as felonies are tried in 
a given time, though counsel are al- 
lowed in the former, and not in the 
latter case. 

One excuse for the absence of coun- 
sel is, that the evidence upon which the 
prisoner is convicted is always so clear, 
that the counsel cannot gainsay it 
This is mere absurdity, l^ere is not, 
and cannot be, any such rule. Many 
a man has been hung upon a string of 
circumstantial evidence, which not only 
very ingenious men, but very candid 
and judicious men, might criticise and 
call in question. If no one were found 
guilty but upon such evidence as would 
not admit of a doubt half the crimes 
in the world would be unpunished. 
This dictum, by which the presetit 
practice has often been defended, was 
adopted by Lord Chancellor Notting- 
ham. To the lot of this Chancellor, 



COUNSEL FOR TRISONERS. 



lid 



however, it fell to pnss sentence of 
death upon Lord Stafford, whom (as 
Mr. Denman justly observes) no coart 
of justice, not even the House of Lords 
(constituted as it was in those days), 
eould have put to death, if he had had 
counsel to defend him. 

To improve the criminal law of 
England, and to make it really deser- 
^i{g of the incessant enloginm which 
i«.^tf fished upon it, we would assimilate 
trials for felony to trials for high trea« 
son. The prisoner should not only 
have counsel, buf a copy of the indict- 
ment and a list of the witnesses, many 
days antecedent to the trial. It is in 
the highest degree unjust that I should 
not see and study the description of 
the crime with which I am charged, if 
the most scrupulous exactness be re- 
quired in that instrument which charges 
me with crime. If the place tohere^ the 
time when, and the manner how, and 
the persons by whom, must all be spe- 
cified with the most perfect accuracy, 
if any deviation from this accuracy is 
fatal, the prisoner, or his legal advisers, 
should have a full opportunity of 
judging whether the scruples of the 
law have been attended to in the for- 
mation of the indictment ; and they 
ought not to be confined to the hasty 
and imperfect consideration which can 
be given to an indictment exhibited for 
the first time in Court. Neither is it 
possible for the prisoner to repel accu- 
sation till he knows who is to be 
brought against him. He may see 
suddenly, stuck up in the witness's 
box, a man who has been writing him 
lett^^ to extort money from the Sireat 
of evidence he could produce. The 
character of such a witness would be 
destroyed in a moment, if the letters 
were produced ; and the letters would 
have been produced, of course, if the 
prisoner had imagined such a person 
would have been brought forward by 
the prosecutor. It is utterly impossible 
for a prisoner to know in what way 
he may be assailed, and against what 
species of attacks he is to guard. Con- 
versations may be brought against him 
which he has forgotten, and to which 
he could (upon notice) have given 
another colour and complexion. Ac- 



tions are made to bear upon his case, 
which (if he had known they would 
have been referred to) might have been 
explained in the most satisfactory man- 
ner. All these modes of attack are 
pointed out by the list of witnesses 
transmitted to the prisoner, and he has 
time to prepare his answer, as it is 
perfectly just he should have. This is 
justice, when a prisoner has ample 
means of compelling the attendance 
of his witnesses ; when his written ac- 
cusation is put into his hand, and he 
has time to study it — when he knows 
in what manner his guilt is to be 
proved, and when he has a man of 
practised understanding to state his 
facts, and prefer his arguments. Then ' 
criminal justice may march on boldly. 
The Judge has no stain of blood on his 
ermine ; and the phras€s which En- 
glish people are so fond of lavishing 
upon the humanity of their laws will 
have a real foundation. At present 
this part of the law is a mere relic of 
the barbarous injustice by which accu- 
sation in the early part of our juris- 
prudence was always confounded with 
guilt. The greater part of these abuses 
have been brushed away, as this cannot 
fail soon to be. In the meantime it 
is defended (as every other abuse has 
been defended) by men who think it 
their duty to defend everything which 
», and to dread everything which is 
not We are told that the Judge does 
what he does not do, and ought not to 
do. The most pernicious effects are 
anticipated in trials of felony, from 
that which is found to produce the 
most perfect justice in civil causes, and 
in cases of treason and misdemeanour : 
we are called upon to continue a prac- 
tice without example in any other 
country, and are required by lawyers 
to consider that custom as humane, 
which every one who is not a lawyer 
pronounces to be most cniel and un • 
just — and which has not been brought 
forward to general notice, only because 
its bad effects are confined to the last 
and lowest of mankind.* 



* All this nonsense is now put an end to. 
Counsel is allowed to the prisoner, and they 
are permitted to speak in his defenoe. 

1 4 



I2d 



•CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



CATHOLICS. (E. Review, 1827.) 

- 1, A Plain Statement in eupport qf the 
■ Political Claims qftJie Beman Catholice J 
in a Letter to the Ben. Sir George Lee^ 
Bart. By Lord Nugent, Member of Par- 
liament for Aylesbuiy. London. Hook- 
ham. 1826. 
2. A Letter to Vieeount MiUon, M.P. By 
One of hia Constituents. London. Bidg- 
iray. 1827. 
8. Charge by the Archbiehop qf CasheL 
Dublin. Milliken. 

If a poor man were to accept a gn>inca 
npon the condition that he spoke all 
the evil he could of another whom be 
believed to be innocent, and whose 
imprisonment he knew he should pro- 
long, and whose privations he knew 
he shonld increase by his false testi- 
mony, would liot the person so hired 
be one of the worst and basest of human 
beings ? And would not his guilt be 
aggravated, if, up to the moment of 
receiving his aceldama, he had spoken 
in terms of high praise of the per- 
son whom he subsequently accused ? 
Would not the latter feature of the 
case prove him to be as much without 
shame as the foriAer evinced him to be 
without principle ? Would the guilt 
be less, if the person so hired were a 
man of education ? Would it be less, 
if he were above want ? Would it be 
less, if the profession and occupation 
of his life were to decide men's rights, 
or to teach them morals and religion ? 
Would it be less by the splendour of 
the bribe? Does a bribe of 3000/lleave 
a man innocent, whom a bribe of 3U/. 
would cover with infamy ? You are 
of a mature period of Ufe, when the 
opinions of an honest man ought to be, 
. and are fixed. On Monday you were 
a barrister or a conntry clergyman, a 
serious and temperate friend to reli- 
gions liberty and Catholic . emancipa- 
tion. In a few weeks from this time 
you are a bishop, or a dean, or a judge 
— publishing and speaking charges 
and sermons against the poor Catho- 
lics, and explaining away this sale of 
your soul by every species of falsehood, 
shabbiness, and equivocation. You 
may caiTy a bit of ermine on your 
shoulder, or hide the lower moiety of 






the body in a silken petticoat — and 
men may call you Mr. Dean, or My 
Lord ; but yon have sold your honour 
and your conscience for money ; and, 
though better paid, you are as base as 
the witness who stands ajt the door of 
the judgment-hall, to swear whatever 
the suborner will p ' '-^t-n his month, 
and to receive whate« 
his pockeL* 

When soldiers exercise, u.. 
a goodly portly person out of the ranks, 
upon whom all eyes are directed, and 
whose signs and motions, in the per-^ 
formance of the manual exercise, all 
the soldiers follow. The Germans, we 
believe, call him a Flugehnan, We pro- 
pose Lord Nugent as a political flugel- 
man ; — he is always consistent, plain, 
and honest, steadily and straightly 
pursuing his object without hope or 
tiear, under the influence of good feel- 
ings and high principle. The Hoase 
of Commons does not contain within 
its walls a more honest, upright man. ■ 

We seize upon the opportunity which 
this able pamphlet of his Lordship's 
affords us, to renew our attention to 
the Catholic question. There is little 
new to be said ; but we must not be 
silent, or, in these days of baseness 
and tergiversation, we shall be sup-- 
posed to have deserted our friend the 
Pope ; and they will say of us, fVos- 
tant venales apud Lambeth et WhitehcM. 
God forbid it should ever be said of us 
with justice — it is pleasant to loll and 
roll, and to accumulate — to be a pur- 
pie and fine linen man, and to be called 
by some of those nicknames which frail 
and ephemeral beings are so fond of 
accumulating upon each other ; — but 
the best thing of all is to live like- 
honest men, and to add something to 
the cause of liberality, justice, and 
truth. 

The Letter to Lord Milton is very 
well and very pleasantly written. We 
are delighted with the liberality and 
candour of the Archbishop of Qashel. 

• It is very far frova. our intention to sajr 
that all who were for the Catholics, and are 
now against them, have made this ohauge 
from base motives; it is equally fSu* from 
our intention not to say that many men of 
both professions liave subjected themselves 
to this shocking imputation. 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



121 



The charge is in the highest degree 
creditable to him. He mast lay his 
acconnt for the farious hatred of bigots, 
and the incessant gnawing of rats. 

There are many men who (tho- 
Toaghly aware that the Catholic ques- 
tion mast be tdtimately carried) delay 
their acqaiescence till the last moment, 
and wait till the moment of peril and 
civil war before they yield. That this 
moment is not quite so remote as was 
sapposed a twelvemonth since, the 
events now passing in the world seem 
to afford the strongest proof. The 
trath is, that the disaffected state of 
Ireland is a standing premium for war 
with every cabinet in Europe which 
has the most distant intention of quar- 
relling with this country for any other 
cause. ^ If we are to go to wary hH us 
do 80 when the discontents of Ireland 
are at their greatest height, before any 
spirit of concession has been shown bp 
ike British Cabinet^ Does any man 
imagine that so plain and obvious a 
principle has not been repeatedly urged 
on the French Cabinet ? — that the eyes 
of the Americans are shut upon the 
state of Ireland— and that that great 
and ambitious Republic will not, in 
case of war, aim a deadly blow at this 
most sensitive part of the British em- 
pire ? We should really say, that 
England has fully as niuch to fear 
from Irish fraternisation with America 
as with France. The language is the 
same ; the Americans have preceded 
them in the struggle ; the number of 
emigrant and rebel Irish is very great 
in America; and all parties are sure 
of perfect toleration under the protec- 
tion of America. We are astonished 
at the madness and folly of English- 
men, who do not perceive that both 
France and America are only waiting 
for a convenient opportunity to go to 
war with this country ; and that one 
of the first blows aimed at our inde- 
pendence would bo the invasion of 
Ireland. 

We shoald like to argne this matter 
with a regular Tory Lord, whose mem- 
bers vote steadily against the Catholic 
qaestion. "I wonder that mere fear 
floes not miike yoa give up the Catho- 
Hc question ! Do you mean to put 



this fine place in danger — the yenison 
—the pictures — the pheasants — the cel- 
lars — the hot-house and the grapery ? 
Should you like to see six or seyen ^ 
thousand French or Americans landed 
in Ireland, and aided by a universal 
insurrection of the Catholics ? Is it 
worth your while to run the risk of 
their success ? What evil from (he 
possible encroachment of Catholics, by 
civil exertions, can equal the danger of 
such a position as this ? How can a 
man of your carriaores, and horses, and 
hounds, think of putting your high 
fortune in such a predicament, and 
crying out, like a schoolboy or a chap- 
lain, *0h, we shall beat them ! we 
shall put the rascals down I' No Po* 
pery, I admit to your Lordship, is a 
very convenient cry at an election, and 
has answered your end ; but do not 
push the matter too far : to bring on 
a civil war, for No Popery, is a very 
foolish proceeding in a man who hais 
two courses and a remove \ As you 
value your side-board of plate, your 
broad riband, your pier glasses — if 
obsequious domestics and large rooms 
are dear to you — if you love ease and 
flattery, titles and coats of arms — if 
the labour of the French cook, the 
dedication of the expecting poet, can 
more you — if you hope for a long life 
of side-dishes — if you are not insen- 
sible to the periodical arrival of the 
turtle fleets — emancipate the Catho- 
lics! Do it for your ease, do it for 
your indolence, do it for your safety — 
emancipate and eat, emancipate and 
drink — emancipate, and preserve the 
rent-roll and the family estate I *' 

The most common excuse of the 
Great Shahby is, that the Catholics are 
their own enemies — that the violence 
of Mr. O'Connell and Mr. Shiel have 
ruined their cause — that, but for these 
boisterous courses, the qaestion would 
have been carried before this time. 
The answer to this nonsense and base- 
ness is, that the very reverse is the fact. 
The mild and the long-suffering may 
sufi^er for ever in this world. If the 
Catholics had stood with their hands 
before them simpering at the Earls of 
Liverpool and the Lords Bathurst of 
the moment, they would not have been 



122 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



emancipated till the jear of our Lord 
four thousand. . As long as the patient 
will suffer, the cruel will kick. No trea- 
• son — no rebellion — but as much stub- 
bornness and stoutness as the law per- 
mits — a thorough intimation that you 
know what is your due, and that you 
are determined to have it if you can 
lawfdbf get it. This is the conduct we 
recommend to the Irish. If they go on 
withholding, and forbearing, and hesi- 
tating whether this is the time for the 
discussion or that is the time, they will 
be laughed at for another century as 
fools — and kicked for another century 
as slaves. ** I must have my bill paid 
(says the sturdy and irritated trades- 
man) ; your master has put me off 
twenty times under different pretences. 
I know he is at home, and I will not 
quit the premises till I get the money." 
Many a tradesman gets paid in this 
manner, who would soon smirk and 
smile himself into the Gazette, if he 
trusted to the promises of the great. 

Can anything be so utterly childish 
and foolish as to talk of the bad taste 
of the Catholic leaders ? — as if, in a 
question of conferring on, or withhold- 
ing important civil rights from seven 
millions of human beings, anything 
could arrest the attention of a wise man 
but the good or evil consequences of so 
great a measure. Suppose Mr. S. does 
smell slightly of tobacco — admit Mr. 
L. to be occasionally stimulated by 
rum and water — allow that Mr. F. was 
unfeeling in speaking of the Duke of 
York — what has all this nonsense to do 
with the extinction of religious hatred 
and the pacification of Ireland? Give it 
if it is right, refuse it if it is wrong. How 
it is asked, or how it is given or refused, 
are less than the dust of the balance. 
. What is the real reason why a good 
honest Twy, living at ease on his 
possessions, is an enemy to Catholic 
Emancipation ? He admits the Catho- 
lic of his own rank to be a gentleman, 
and not a bad subject — and about 
theological disputes an excellent Tory 
never troubles his head. Of what im- 
portance is it to him whether an Irish 
Catholic or an Irish Protestant is a 
Judge in the King's Bench at Dub- 
lin ? None I but / am afraid for the 



Church of Ireland^ says our alarmist. 
Why do you care so much for the 
Church of Ireland, a country you 
never live in? — Answer ^~ I do not 
care so much for the Church of Ireland, 
\f I woe sure the Church of JEngkutd 
would not be destroyed.^^And is it for 
the Church of England alone that you 
fear ? — Answer — Not quite to thoL 
But I am afraid we should all be hst, 
that everything would be overturned^ 
and that I should lose wy rank and my 
estate. Here then, we say, is a long 
series of dangers, which (if there wera 
any chance of their ever taking place) 
would require half a century for their 
development; and the danger of losing 
Ireland by insurrection and invasion, 
which may happen in six months, is ut* 
terly overlooked, and forgotten. And if 
a foreign influence should ever be fairly 
established in Ireland, how many hours 
would the Irish Church, how many 
months would the English Church, 
live after such an event I How much 
is any English title worth after such 
an event — any English family >- any 
English estate ? We are astonished 
that the. brains of rich Englishmen do 
not fall down into their bellies in 
talking of the Catholic question — that 
they do not reason through the cardia 
and the pylorus-^ that all the organs 
of digestion do not become intellectuaL 
The descendants of the proudest noble* 
men in England may become beggars 
in a foreign land from this disgraceful 
nonsense of the Catholic question — fit 
only for the ancient females of a nuur- 
ket town. 

What alarms us in the state of 
England is the uncertain basis on 
which its prosperity is placed — and the 
prodigious mass of hatred which the 
English government continues, by its 
obstinate bigotry, to accumulate — eight 
hundred and forty millions sterling of 
debt. The revenue depending upon 
the demand for the shoes, stockings, 
and breeches of Europe — and seven 
roillioBs of Catholics in a state of the 
greatest fury and exasperation. We 
persecute as if we did not owe a shil- 
ling — we spend as if we had no dis- 
affection. This, by possibility, may go 
on ; but it is dangerous walking — the 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



123 



ehance is, ther6 will be a fall No wise 
man should take such a course. All 
probabilities are against it. We are 
astonished that Lord Hertford and 
Lord Lowther, shrewd and calculating 
Tories, do not see that it is nine to one 
against such a game. 

It is not only the event of war 
we fear in the militarj struggle with 
Ireland ; but the expense of war, and 
the expenses of the Knglish govern- 
ment, are paving the way for future 
revolntions. The world never jet saw 
so extravagant a government as the 
Government of England. Not only is 
economy not practised — but it is des- 
pised; and the idea of it connected with 
disaffection. Jacobinism, and Joseph 
Hume. Every rock in the ocean where 
a cormorant can perch is occupied by 
our troops — has a governor, deputy- 
governor, storekeeper, and deputy- 
storekeeper — and will soon have an 
archdeacon and a bishop. Military 
colleges, with thirty-four professors, 
educating seventeen ensigns per an- 
num, being half an ensign for each 
professor, with every species of non- 
sense, athletic, sartorial, and plumige- 
rons. A just and necessary war costs 
this country about one hundred pounds 
a minute ; whipcord fifteen thousand 
pounds ; red tape seven thousand 
pounds ; lace for drummers and fifers, 
nineteen thousand pounds ; a pension 
to one man who has broken his head 
at the Pole ; to another who has shat- 
tered his leg at the Equator ; subsidies 
to Persia; secret service-money to 
Thibet ; an annuity to Lady Henry 
Somebody and her seven daughters — 
the husband being shot at some place 
w^here we never ought to have had any 
soldiers at all ; and the elder brother 
returning four members to Parliament. 
Such a scene of extravagance, corrup- 
tion, and expense as must paralyse the 
industry, and mar the fortunes, of the 
most industrious, spirited people that 
ever existed. 

Few men consider the historical view 
which will be taken of present events. 
The bubbles of last year ; the fishing 
for half-crowns in Vigo Bay ; the Milk 
Muffin and Crumpet Companies ; the 
Apple, Pear, and Plum Associations ; 



the National Gooseberry and Currant 
Company ; will all be remembered as 
instances of that partial madness to 
which society is occasionally exposed. 
What will be said of all the intolerable 
trash which is issued forth at public 
meetings of No Popery ? The follies 
of one century are scarcely credible 
in that which succeeds it. A grand- 
mamma of 1827 is as wise as a very 
wise man of 1727. If the world lasts 
till 1927, the grandmammas of that 
period will be far wiser than the tip- 
top No Popery men of this day. That 
this childish nonsense will have got 
out of the drawing-room, there can be 
no doubt. It will most probably have 
passed through the steward's room, 
and butler's pantry, into the kitchen. 
This is the case with ghosts. They no 
longer loll on couches and sip tea ; 
but are down on their knees scrubbing 
with the scullion — or stand sweating, 
and basting with the cook. Mrs. 
Abigail turns up her nose at them, 
and the housekeeper declares for flesh 
and blood, and will have notie of their 
company. 

It is delicious to the persecution- 
fanciers to reflect that no general bill 
has passed in favour of the Protestant 
Dissenters. They are still disqualified 
from holding any office — and are only 
protected from prosecution by an an- 
nual indemnity act. So that the sword 
of Damocles still hangs over them — 
not suspended indeed by a thread, but 
by a cart-rope — still it hangs there an 
insult, if not an injury, and prevents the 
painful idea from presenting itself to 
the mind of perfect toleration, and pure 
justice. There is the larva of tyranny, 
and the skeleton of malice. Now 
this is all we presume to ask for the 
Catholics — admission to Parliament, 
exclusion from every possible office by 
law, an annual indemnity for the breach 
of law. . This is surely much more 
agreeable to feebleness, to littleness, 
and to narrowness, than to say, the 
Catholics are as free, and as eligible, 
as ourselves. 

The most intolerable circumstance 
of the Catholic dispute is, the conduct 
of the Dissenters. Any man may dis- 
sent from the Church of England, and 



124 



CATHOLIC 



preach against it. hj paying sixpence. 
Almost every tradesman in a market 
town is a preacher. It most absolutely 
be ride-and-tie with them ; the butcher 
must hear the baker in the morning, 
and the baker listen to the batcher in 
the afternoon, or there would be no 
congregation. We hare often specu- 
lated upon the peculiar trade of the 
preacher from his style of action, 
bome have a tying-up or parcel-pack- 
ing action; some strike strongly against 
the anvil of the pulpit ; some screw, 
some bore, some act as if they were 
managing a needle. The occupation 
of the preceding week can seldom be 
mistaken. In the country, three or 
lour thousand Ranters are sometimes 
encamped, supplicating in religions 
platoons, or roaring psalms out of 
waggons. Now all this freedom is 
very proper ; because, though it is 
abused, yet in truth there is no other 
principle in religious matters, than to 
let men alone as long as they keep the 
peace. Yet we should imagine this un- 
bounded licence of Dissenters should 
teach them a little charity towards the 
Catholics, and a little respect for their 
religions freedom. But the picture of 
sects is this — there are twenty fettered 
men in a gaol, and every one is em- 
ployed in loosening his own fetters 
with one hand, and riveting those of 
his neighbour with the other. 



«<' 



'If then/ saiys a minister of our own 
Church, the Beverend John Fisher, rector of 
Wavenden, in this county, in a sermon pub- 
lished some years ago, and entitled *The 
IJtilitiy of the Church Establishment, and 
its Safety consistent with Beligious Free- 
dom'— * If, then, the Protestant religion 
could have originally worked its way in this 
country against numbers, prejudices, bigo- 
try, and interest ; if, in times of its InfiBint^, 
the power of the prince could not prevail 
against it ; surely, when confirmed by age, 
and rooted in the affections of the people— 
when invested with authority, and in tall 
enjoyment of wealth and power — when che- 
rished by a Sovereign who holds his very 
throne by this sacred tenure, and whose 
conscientious attachment to it well war- 
rants the title of Defender of the Faith— 
surely any attack U()on it must be con- 
temptible, any alarm of danger must be 
laiagmaTy.' "— {Lord yugeiWt Letter, p.l8.) 



QUESTION. 

To go into a committee upon the 
state of the Catholic Law is to recon- 
sider, as Lord Nugent justly observes, 
passages in our domestic history, which 
bear date abont 270 years ago. Now, 
what hnman plan, device, or invention, 
270 years old, does not require recon- 
sideration ? If a man dressed as he 
dressed 270 years ago, the pug-dogs 
in the streets would tear him to pieces. 
If he lived in the houses of 270 years 
ago, unrevised and uncorrected, he 
would die of rheumatism in a week. 
If he listened to the sermons of 270 
years ago, he would perish with sad- 
ness and fatigue $ and when a man 
cannot make a coat or a cheese, for 
50 years together, without making 
them better, can it be said that laws 
made in those days of ignorance, and 
framed in the fnry of religions hatred, 
need no revision, and are capable of 
no amendment ? 

We have not the smallest partiality 
for the Catholic religion ; quite the 
contrary. That it should exist at all 
— that all Catholics are ndt converted 
to the Protestant reli;;ion — we considei* 
to be a serious evil ; bat there they are, 
with their spirit as strong, and their 
opinions as decided, as your own. The 
Protestant part of the Cabinet have 
quite given up all idea of putting them 
to death ; what remains to be done ? 
We all admit the evil \ the object is to 
make it as little as possible. One 
method commonly resorted to, we are 
Bure, does not lessen, but increase the 
evil ; and that is, to falsify history, 
and deny plain and obvious facts, to 
the injury of the Catholics. No true 
friend to the Protestant religion and 
to the Church of England will ever 
have recourse to such disingenuouQ 
arts as these. 

'* Our histories have n6t, I believe, stated 
what is untrue of Queen Mary, nor, per- 
haps, have they very much exaggerated 
what is true of her ; but our arguers, whose 
only talk is of Smithfleld, are generally 
very imcandid in what they conceal. It 
would appear to be little known, that the 
statutes which enabled Mary to burn those 
who had conformed to the Church of her 
father and brother, were Protestant sta- 
tuteH, declaring the common law against 
heresy, and framed by her fatiam Heoiy 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



the Eighth, and oonfirmed and acted npon 
"by Order of Ck>uncil of her brother Edward 
the Sixth, enabling that mild and temperate 
young sovereign to bum divers misbelievers, 
by sentence of commissioners (little better, 
says Neale, than a Protestant Inquisition) 
appointed to 'examine and search after aU 
Anabaptists, Heretics, or contemners of the 
Book of Common Prayer/ It would appear 
to be seldom considered, that her seal might 
very possibly have been warmed by the dr- 
cuiTDStanoe of both her chaplains having 
been imprisoned for their religion, and her- 
self arbitrarily detained, and her safety 
threatened, during the short but persecut- 
ing reign of her brother. The sad evidences 
of the violence of those days are by no 
means confined to her acts. The fSngots of 
persecution were not Idndled by Papists 
only, nor did they cease to blaze when the 
power of using them as instruments of 
conversion ceased to be in Popish hands. 
Cranmer himself, in his dreadfid death, 
met with but equal measure for the flames 
to which he had doomed several who denied 
the apiritual supremacy of Henry the 
Eighth : to which he had doomed also a 
Dutch Arian, in Edward the Sixth's reign ; 
and to which, with great pains and diffi- 
culty, he had i)ersuaded that prince to doom 
another miserable enthusiast, Joan Bocher, 
for some metaphysical notions of her own 
on the divine inoamation. ' So that on both 
aides * (says Ijord Herbert of Cherbury) ' it 
grew a bloody time.* Calvin burned 8er^ 
vetoB at Geneva for 'discoursing concern- 
ing the Trinity, contrary to the sense of the 
whole chureh; and thereupon set forth a 
book wherein he giveth an account of his 
doctrine, and of whatever else had passed 
in this aflUr, and teaoheth that the sword 
may be lawfully employed against heretics.' 
Tet Calvin was no Papist. John Knox ex- 
tolled in his writii^^ as 'the godly fiict .of 
James MelvH,' the savage murder by which 
Ctodinal Beaton was made to expiate his 
many and cruel persecutions ; a murder to 
which, by the great popular eloquence of 
Knox, his fellow-labourers In the vineyard 
of reformation, Lesly and Melvil, had been 
excited ; and yet John Knox, and Lesly, and 
MeMl, were no Papists. Henry the Eighth, 
whose one virtue was impartiality in these 
matters (if an impartial and evenly-ba- 
lan<^ persecution of aU sects be a virtue), 
beheaded a chancellor and a bishop^ b^ 
cause, having admitted his civil supremacy, 
they doubted his spirituaL Of the latter 
of them Loid Herbert says, ' The pope, who 
aospected not, perchance, that the bishop's 
end was so near, had, for more testimony of 
his fftvour to him as disaffection to our king, 
■eat himftoydinaVs hat ; but unseasonably, 



125 

his head being oft* He beheaded the Coun- 
tess of Salisbury, because at upwards of 
eighty years old she wrote a letter to Car- 
dinal Pole, her own son ; and he burned 
Barton, the ' Holy Maid of Kent,' for a pro- 
phecy of his death. He burned four Ana 
baptists in one day for opposing the doctrine 
of infemt baptism ; and he burned Lambert 
and Anne Asoue, and Belerican, and Las- 
sells, and Adams, on another day, for oppos- 
ing that of transubstantiation ; with many 
others of lesser note, who reftised to sub- 
scribe to his Six Bloody Articles, as they 
were called, or whose opinions fell short of 
his, or exceeded them, or who abided by 
opinions after he had abandoned them ; and 
all this after the Reformation. And yet 
Henry the Eighth was the sovereign who 
first delivered us from the yoke of Rome. 

" In later times, thousands of Protestant 
Dissenters of the four great sects were 
made to languish in loathsome prisons, and 
hundreds to perish miserably, during the 
reign of Charles the Second, under a Pro- 
testant High Church Gk>vemment, who 
then first applied, in tiie prayer for the 
Parliament, the epithets of ' most religious 
and gracious' to a sovereign whom they 
knew to be profligate and unprincipled be- 
yond example, and had reason to suspect to 
be a concealed Papist. 

** Later stiD, Arehbishop Sharp was sacri- 
flced by the murderous enthusiasm of oer^ 
tain Scotch Covenanters, who yet appear to 
have sinoorely believed themselves inspired 
by Heaven to this act of cold-blooded bar- 
barous assassination. 

"On subjects like these, silence on all 
sides, and a mutual interohange of repent- 
ance, forgiveness, and oblivion, is wisdom. 
But to quote grievances on one side only, i« 
not honestly,**— {Lord Nugwts Letter, pp. 
a^270 



Sir Bichard Bimie can only attend 
to the complaints of individuals ; but 
no cases of swindling are brought 
before him so atrocious as the violation 
of the Treaty of Limerick, and the 
disappointment of those hopes, and 
the frustration of that arrangement ; 
which hopes and which arrangements 
were held out as one of the great argu- 
ments for the Union. The chapter of 
Knglish Fraud comes next to the chap- 
ter of English Cruelty, in the history 
of Ireland — and both are equally 
disgraceful. 

Nothing can be more striking than 
the conduct of the parent Legislature 
to the Legislature of the West Indian 



126 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



Islands. '*We cannot leave yon to 
yourselves upon these points" (says 
the English Government) ; " the wealth 
of the planter, and the commercial 
prosperity of the islands, are not the 
only points to be looked to. We must 
look to the general rights of humanity, 
and see that they are not outraged in 
the case of the poor slave. It is im- 
possible we can be satisfied till we 
know that he is placed in a state of pro- 
gress and amelioration." How beau- 
tiful is all this ! and how wise, and 
how humane and affecting are our 
efforts throughout Europe to put an 
end to the Slave Trade I Wherever 
three or four negotiators are gathered 
together, a British diplomate appears 
among them, with some article of 
kindness and pity for the poor negro. 
All is mercy and compassion, except 
when wretched Ireland is concerned. 
The saint who swoons at the lashes of 
the Indian slave is the encourager of 
No Popery Meetings, and the hard, 
bigoted, domineering tyrant of Ire- 
laud. 

See the folly of delaying to settle a 
question which, in the end, must be 
settled, and, ere long, to the advantage 
of the Catholics. How the price rises 
by delay ! This argument is extremely 
well put by Lord Nngent 

"I should observe that two ooeasions 
have ahready been lost of granting these 
claims, coupled with what were called se- 
curities, such as never can return. Inl808| 
the late Duke of Norfolk and Lord Gren- 
ville, in the one House, and Mr. Ponsonby 
and Mr. Grattan in the other, were autho- 
rised by the Irish CathoUo body to propose 
a negative to be vested in the Crown upon 
the appointment of their bishops. Mr. Pear^ 
oeval, the Chanoellor, and the Spiritual 
Bench, did not see the impoiianoe of this 
opportuniliy. It was r^eeted; the Irish 
were driven to despair; and in the same 
tomb with the question of 1808 lies for ever 
buried the Veto. The same was the fiite 
with what were called the ' wings ' attached 
to Sir Francis Burdetf s bill of last year. 
I voted for them, not for the nke certainly 
of extending the patronage of the Crown 
over a new body of clergy, nor yet for the 
sake of diminishing the popular diaracter 
of elections in Ireland, but because Mr. 
CConnell, and because some of the Protes- 
tant Irienda of the measure who knew Ire- 



land the best, reoommended them ; and be- 
cause I believed, fh>m the language of some 
who supported it only on these conditions, 
that they offered the fehirest chance for the 
measure being carried. I voted for them as 
the price of Catholic emancipation, for 
which I can scarcely contemplate any Irish 
price that I would not pi^. With the same 
object, I would vote for them again ; but I 
shall never again have the opportunity. 
For these also, if they were thought of any 
value as securities, the events of this year 
in Ireland have shown you that you have 
lost for ever. And the necessity of the great 
measure becomes every day more urgent 
and unavoidable"— (Xord Nugent » Letter, 
pp. 71. 72.) 

Can any man living say that Ireland 
is not in a much more dangerous state 
than it was before the Catholic Con- 
vention began to exist ? — ^that the in- 
flammatory state of that country is 
not becoming worse and worse ? — 
that those men whom we call dema- 
gogues and incendiaries have not 
produced a very considerable and 
alarming effect upon the Irish popula- 
tion ? Where is this to end ? But 
the fool liiteth up his voice in the 
coffee-house, and sayeth, **We shall 
give them a hearty thrashing : let them 
rise — the sooner the better — we will 
soon put them down again." The fool 
sayeth this in the coffee-house, and the 
greater fool praiseth him. But does 
Lord Stowel say this ? does Mr. Peel 
say this f does the Marquis of Hert- 
ford say this ? do sensible, calm, and 
reflecting men like these, not admit 
the extreme danger of combatting 
against invasion and disaffection, and 
this with our forces spread in actire 
hostility over the whole face of the 
globe? Can they feel this vulgar, 
hectoring certainty of success, and 
stupidly imagine that a thing cannot 
be because it has never yet been ? — . 
because we have hitherto maintained 
our tyranny in Ireland against all 
Europe, that we are always to main- 
tain it ? And then, what if the strug- 
gle does at last end in our favour ? is 
die loss of English lives and of En- 
glish money not to be taken into 
account ? Is this the way in which a 
nation overwhelmed with debt, and 
trembling whether its 'looms and 



CATHOLIC QUESTIOK. 



ploughs will not be over-inatched bj 
the looms and plonghs of the rest of 
Europe — is this the waj in which such 
a coantry is to husband its resources ? 
Is the best blood of the land to be 
flang awaj in a war of hassocks and 
surplices ? Are cities to be summoned 
for the Thirty-nine Articles, and men to 
be led on to the charge by professors of 
divinity? The expense of keeping such 
a country must be added to all other 
enonnoos expenses. What is really 
possessed of a country so subdued? 
four or five yards round a sentry-box, 
and no more. And in twenty years' 
time it is all to do over again — another 
war — another rebellion, and another 
enormous and ruinously expensive 
contest, with the same dreadful uncer- 
tainty of the issue! It is forgotten, 
too, that a new feature has arisen in 
the history of this country. In all 
former insurrections in Ireland no 
democratic party existed in England. 
The efforts of Government were left 
free and unimpeded. But suppose a 
stoppage in your manufactures coinci- 
dent with a rising of the Irish Catholics, 
when every soldier is employed in the 
lacred duty of Papist-hunting. Can 
any man contemplate such a state of 
things without horror ? Can any man 
say that he is taken by surprise for such 
a combination ? Can any man say 
that any danger' to Church or State 
is comparable to this ? But for the 
prompt interference of the military in 
the early part of 1826, three or four 
hundred thousand starring manufac- 
turers would have carried ruin and 
destruction over the north of England, 
and over Scotland. These dangers are 
inseparable from an advanced state of 
manufactures — but they need not the 
addition of other and greater perils 
which need not exist in any country 
too wise and too enlightened for per- 
secution. 

Where is the weak point in these 
plain arguments ? Is it the remoteness 
of *the chance of foreign war ? Alas ! 
tre have been at war 85 minutes out 
of every hoar since the Peace Of 
Utrecht The state of war seems more 
natural to man than the state of peace ; 
and if we turn from general proba- 



127 

bilities to the state of Europe — Greece 
to be liberated — Turkey to be destroyed 
— Portugal and Spain to be made free 
— ^the wounded vanity of the French, 
the increasing arroganoe of the Ame- 
neaps, and our own philopolemical 
folly, are endless scenes of war. We 
believe it is at all times a better specu- 
lation to make ploughshares into 
swords than swords into ploughshares. 
If war is certain, we believe insurrec- 
tion to be quite as certain. We cannot 
believe but that the French or the 
Americans would, in case of war. make 
a serious attempt upon Ireland, and 
that all Ireland would rush, tail fore- 
most, into insurrection. 

A new source of disquietude and war 
has lately risen in Ireland. Our saints, 
or evangelical people, or serious people, 
or by whatever other name they are to 
be designated, have taken the field in 
Ireland against the Pope, and are con- 
verting in the large way. Three or 
four Irish Catholic prelates take a 
post-chaise and curse the converters 
and the converted. A battle royal 
ensnes with shillelas : the policeman 
comes in, and, reckless of Lambeth or 
the Vatican, makes no distinction 
between what is perpendicular and 
what is hostile, but knocks down every- 
body and everything which is upright ; 
and so the fend ends for the day. We 
have no doubt but that these efforts 
will tend to bring things to a crisis 
much sooner between the parties than 
the disgraceful conduct of the Cabinet 
alone would do. 

"It is a charge not imputed by the laws 
of England nor by the oaths which exclude 
the Catholics : for those oaths impute only 
spiritual errors. But it is imputed, which 
is more to the purpose, by those persons 
who approve of the excluding oaths, and 
wish them retained. But, to the whole of 
this imputation, even if no other instance 
oould be adduced, as ftnr as a strong and re> 
markable example can prove the negative 
of an assumption which there is not a sin- 
gle example to support—the full, and suffi- 
cient, and inoontestable answer is Canada. 
Canada^ which, until you can destroy the 
memory of i^ that now remains to you of 
your sovereignty on the North American 
Coatinent, is an answer practical, memor- 
able, difficult to be accounted tor, but Mao- 



128 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



ing as the sun itself in sight of the whole 
world, to the whole charge of divided alle- 
giance. At your conquest of Canada, you 
found it Boman Catholic; you had to 
choose for her a constitution in Church 
and State. You were wise enough not to 
thwart public opinion. Tour own conduct 
towards Presbyterianism in Scotland was 
an example for imitation; your own con- 
duct towards Catholicism in Ireland was tk 
beacon for avoidance ; and in Canada you 
established and endowed the religion of the 
people. Canada was your only Boman Ca- 
tholic colony. Tour other colonies rerolt- 
ed ; they called on a Catholic power to sup- 
port them, and th^ achieyed their inde- 
pendence. Catholic Canada, with what; 
Lord Liverpool would call her half-allegi- 
ance, alone stood by you. She fought by 
your side against the interference of Catho- 
lic France. To reward and encourage her 
loyalty, you endowed in Canada bishops to 
say mass, and to ordain others to aa^ mass, 
whom, at that rery time, your laws would 
have hanged for saying mass in England; 
and Canada is still yours, in spite of Catho- 
lic France, in spite of her spiritual obedi- 
ence to the Pope, in spite of Lord Liver- 
pool's ai^^ment, and in spite of the inde- 
pendence ^of all the states that surround 
her. This is the only trial you have made. 
Where you allow to the Boman Catholics 
their rel^on undisturbed^ it has proved 
itself to be compatible with the most fSftith- 
f ul allegiance. It is only where you have 
placed allegiance and religion before them 
as a dilemma, that they hav£ preferred (as 
who will say they ought not ?) their religion 
to their allegiance. How then stands the 
imputation? IMsproved by history, dis- 
inroved in all states where both religions 
co-exist, and in both hemispheres, and as* 
sorted in an exposition by Lord Liverpool, 
solemnly and repeatedly abjuf ed by all Ca- 
tholics, of the discipline of tJieir church.*'— 
{Lord Nugwfs Letter, pp. 86, 36.) 

Can any man who has gained per- 
missioii to take off his strait-waistcoat, 
and been out of Bedlam three weeks, 
believe that the Catholic question will 
be set to rest by the conversion of the 
Irish Catholics to the Protestant reli- 
gion ? The best chance of conversion 
will be gained by taking care that the 
point of honour is not against con- 
version, 

" We may, I think, collect from what we 
know of the ordinary feelings of men, that 
by admitting all to a community of political 
benefits, we should remove a material im- 



pediment that now presents itrelf to the 
advances of proselytism to our established 
mode of worship; particularly assuming, 
as we do, that it is the purest, and that the 
disfranchised mode is supported only by 
superstition and priestcraft. By external 
pressure and restraint, things are compact- 
ed as well in the moral as in the physical 
world. Where a sect is at spiritual variance 
with the Established Church, it only re- 
quires an abridgment of civil privileges to 
render it at once a political faction. Its 
members become instantly pledged, some 
from enthusiasm, some from resentment, 
and many fttmi honourable shame, to cleave 
with desperate fondness to the suffering 
fortunes of an hereditary religion. Is this 
hunum nature, or is it not P Is it a natural 
or an unnatural feeling for the representa- 
tive of an ancient Boman Catholic fkmily, 
even if in his heart he rejected the contro- 
verted tenets of his early faith, to scorn an 
open conformity to ours, so long as such 
conformity brings with it the irremovable 
suspicion that faith and conscience may 
have bowed to the base hope of temporal 
advantage ? Every man must feel and act 
for himself : but, in my opinion, a good man 
might be put to difficulty to determuie 
whether more harm is not done by the ex- 
ample of one changing his religion to his 
worldly advantage, than good, by his openly 
professing conformity frY>m what we think 
error to what we think truth.** — {Lord 
Nugenff» Letter, pp. 6^ 65.) 

" We will not be bullied out of the 
Catholic question.** This is a very 
common text, and requires some com- 
ment. If you mean that the sense of 
personal dagner shall never prevent 
you from doing what you think right 
— this is a worthy and proper feeling, 
but no such motive is suspected, and 
no such question is at issue. Nobody 
doubts but that any English gentleman 
would be ready to join his No Popery 
corps, and to do his duty to the com- 
munity, if the Government required 
it I but the question is. Is it worth 
while in the Government to require it ? 
Is it for the general advantage that 
such a war should be carried on for 
such an object ? It is a question not 
of personal valour, but of political 
expediency. Decide seriously if it be 
worth the price of civil war to exclude, 
the Catholics, and act accordingly ; 
taking it for granted that you possess, 
and that everybody supposes you to 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



129 



possess, the Tulgar attribute of personal 
courage ; but do not draw your sword 
like a fool, from the unfounded appre- 
hension of being called a coward. 

We hav^ great hopes of the Duke 
of Clarence. Whatever else he may 
be, he is not a bigot — not a person 
who thinks it necessary to show respect 
to his royal father, by prolonging the 
miseries and incapacities of six mil- 
lions of people. If he ascend the 
throne of these realms, he must stand 
the fire of a few weeks* tlamour and un- 
popularity. If the measure be passed 
by the end of May, we can promise 
his Royal Highness it will utterly be 
forgotten before the end of June. Of 
all human nonsense, it is surely the 
greatest to talk of respect to the late 
king — respect to the memory of the 
Dake of York — by not voting for the 
Catholic question. Bad enough to 
born widows when the husband dies — 
bad enough to bum horses, dogs, but- 
lers, footmen, and coachmen, on the 
funeral pile of a Scythian warrior — 
but to offer up the happiness of seven 
millions of people to the memory of 
the dead, is certainly the most insane 
sepulchral oblation of which history 
makes mention. The best compliment, 
to these deceased princes, is to remem- 
ber their real good qualities, and to 
forget (as soon as we can forget it) 
that these good qualities were tarnished 
by limited and mistaken views of re- 
ligious liberty. • 

Persecuting gentlemen forget the 
expense of persecution ; whereas, of 
all luxuries, it is the most expensive. 
The Banters do not cost us a farthing, 
because they are not disqualified by 
ranting. The Methodists and Unita- 
rians are gratis. The Irish Catholics, 
supposing every alternate yeai* to be 
war, as it has been for the last century, 
will cost us, within these next twenty 
years, forty millions of money. There 
are 20,000 soldiers there in time of 
peace ; in war, including the militia, 
their numbers will be doubled — and 
there must be a very formidable fleet 
in addition. Now, when the tax paper 
comes round, and we are to make a 
return of the greatest number of hor- 
ecSf buggies, ponies, dogs, cats, buU- 

VoL.IL 



finches, and canary birds, &c., and to 
be taxed accordingly, let us remember 
how well and wisely our money has 
been spent, and not repine that we 
have piurchased, by severe taxation, 
the high and exalted pleasures of in- 
tolerance and persecution. 

It is mere unsupported, and unsup- 
portable nonsense, to talk of the ex- 
clusive disposition of the Catholics to 
persecute. The Protestants have mur- 
dered, and tortured, and laid waste as 
much as the Catholics. Each party, 
as it gained the upper hand, tried 
death as the remedy for heresy — both 
parties have tried it in vain. 

A distinction is set up between civil 
rights and political power, and applied 
against the Catholics : the real differ- 
ence between these two words is, that 
civil comes from a Latin word, and 
political from a Greek one ; but if 
there be any difference in their mean- 
ing, the Catholics do not ask for poli- 
tical power, but for eh'gibilitj/ to poli- 
tical power. The Catholics have never 
prayed, or dreamt of prajring, that so 
many of the Judges and King's Coun- 
sel should necessarily be Catholics ; 
but that no law should exist which 
prevented them from becoming so, if 
a Protestant King chose to make them 
so. Eligibility to political power is a 
civil privilege, of which we have no 
more right to deprive any man than 
of any other civil privilege. The 
good of the State may require that 
all civil rights may be taken from 
Catholics ; but to say that eligibility 
to political power is not a civil right, 
and that to take it away without grave 
cause, would not be a gross act of 
injustice, is mere declamation. Be- 
sides, what is called political power, 
and what are called civil rights, are 
given or withholden, without the least 
reference to any principle, but by mere 
caprice. A right of voting is given — 
thid is political power ; eligibility to 
the office of Alderman or Bank Di- 
rector is refused — this is a civil right : 
the distinction is perpetually violated, 
just as it has suited the state of parties 
for the moment. And here a word or 
two on the manner of handling the 
question. Because some offices might 



130 

be filled with Catholics, all woald be: 
this is one topic. A second is, be- 
cause there might be inconvenience 
from a Catholtc King or Chancellor, 
that, therefore, there would be incon- 
venience from Catholic Judges or 
Sergeants. In talking of establish- 
ments, they always take care to blend 
the Iiish and English establishments^ 
and never to say which is meant, 
though the circumstances of both 
are as different as possible. It is 
always presumed, that sects holding 
opinions contrary to the Establish- 
ment, are hostile to the Establishment; 
meaning by the word hostile, that they 
are combined, or ready 'to combine, 
for its destruction* It is contended, 
that the Catholics would not be satis- 
fied by these concessions; meaning, 
thereby, that many would not be so — 
but forgetting to add, that n^ny would 
be quite satisfied — all more satisfied, 
and less likely to run into rebellion. 
It is urged that the mass of Catho- 
lics are indifferent to the question ; 
whereas (never mind the cause) there 
is not a Catholic plough-boy, at this 
moment, who is not ready to risk his 
life for it, nor a Protestant stable-boy, 
who does not give himself airs of supe- 
riority over any papistical cleaner of 
horses, who is scrubbing with him 
under the same roof. 

The Irish were quiet under the 
severe code of Queen Anne — so 
the half-murdered man left on the 
ground bleeding by thieves is quiet; 
and he only moans, and cries for' help 
as he recovers. There was a method 
which would have made the Irish still 
more quiet, and effectually have put 
an end to all further solicitation 
respecting the Catholic question. It 
was adopted in the case of the wolves. 

They are forming societies in Ire- 
land for the encouragement of emi- 
gration, and striving, and successfully 
striving, to push their redundant po- 
pulation into Great Britain. Our 
business is to pacify Ireland — to 
give confidence to capitalists — and 
to keep their people where they are. 
On the day the Catholic question was 
passed, all property in Ireland would 
rise 20 per cent. 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



Protestants admit that there are 
sectaries sitting in Parliament, who 
differ from the Church of England 
as much as the Catholics; but it is for- 
gotten that, according to the doctrine of 
the Church of England, th^ Unitarians 
are considered as condemned to eternal 
punishment in another world — and 
that many such have seats in Parlia- 
ment. And can anything be more 
preposterous (as far as doctrine has 
any influence in these matters) than 
that men, whom we believe to be 
singled out as bbjects of God's eternal 
vengeance, should have a seat in our 
national councils ; and that Catholics, 
whom we believe may be saved, should 
not? 

The only argument which has any 
appearance of weighty is the question 
of divided allegiance; and, generally 
speaking, we should say it is the argu- 
ment which produces the greatest effect 
in the country at large. England, in 
this respect, is in the same state, at 
least, as the whole of Catholic Europe. 
Is not the allegiance of every French, 4 
every Spanish, and every Italian Ca^ 
tholic (who is not a Roman) divided ? 
His king is in Paris, or Madrid, or 
Naples, while his high-priest is at 
Borne. We speak of it as an anomaly 
in politics; whereas, it is the state, and 
condition of almost the whole of Europe. 
The danger of this divided allegiance, 
they admit, is nothing as long as it is 
confined to purely spiritual concerns; 
but it may extend itself to temporal 
matters, and so endanger the safety of 
the State. This danger, however, is 
greater in a Catholic than in a Protes- 
tant country; not only on account of 
the greater majority upon whom it 
might act ; but because there are ob- 
jects in a Catholic country much more 
desirable, and attainable, than in a 
country like England, where Popery 
docs not exist, or Ireland, where it is 
humbled, and impoverished. Take, 
for instance, the freedom of the Gal- 
ilean Church. What eternal disputes 
did this object give birth to! What a 
temptation to the Pope to infringe in 
rich Catholic countries! How is it 
possible his Holiness can keep his 
hands from picking and stealing ? It 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



mast not be imagined that Catholicism 
has been any defence against the hos- 
tility and aggression of the Pope: he 
has cursed and excommunicated every 
Catholic State in Europe, in their turns. 
Let that eminent IVotestant, Lord 
Bathnrst, state any one instance where, 
for the last century, the Pope has in- 
terfered with the temporal concerns of 
Great Britain^ We can mention, and 
his Lordship will remember, innumer- 
able instances where he might have 
done so, if such were the modern habit 
and policy of the Court of Bome. 
Bat the fact is, there is no Court of 
Eome, and no Pope. There is a wax- 
work Pope, and a wax-work Court of 
Rome. But Popes of flesh and blood 
have long since disappeared ; and in 
the same way, those great giants of 
the city exist no more, but their trucu- 
lent images are at Guildhall We 
doubt if there is in the treasury of the 
Pope, change for a guinea — we are 
sure there is not in his armoury one 
gun which will go off. We believe, if 
he attempted to bless anybody whom 
Br. Doyle cursed, or to curse anybody 
vhom Dr. Doyle blessed, that his 
blessings and curses would be as 
powerless as his artillery. Dr. Doyle* 
is the Pope of Ireland; and the ablest 
ecclesiastic of that country will always 
he its Pope — and that Lord Bathurst 
ought to know — ^most likely does know. 
But what a waste of life and time, to 
combat such arguments! Can my 
Lord Bathurst be ignorant? — can any 
man, who has the slightest knowledge 
of Ireland, be ignorant, that the port- 
manteau which sets out every quarter 
for Borne, and returns from it, is a heap 
of ecclesiastical matters, which have no 
more to do with the safety of the 
country, than they have to do with the 
safety of the moon — and which, but 
for the respect to individual feelings, 

* " Of this I can with great truth assure 
you; and my testimony, if not entitled to 
jespect, should not be utterly disregardecC 
that Papal influence will never induce the 
Catholics of this country either to continue 
tranquil, or to be disturbed, either to aid 
or to oppose the Government ; and that 
your Lordship can contribute much more 
than the Pope to secure their allegiance, or 
to render them disaffected.**— (i>r. JDoyWs 
■Uiter to Lord Liverpool, p. 115.) 



131 

might all be published at Charing 
Cross ? Mrs. Flanagan, intimidated 
by stomach complaints, wants a dis- 
pensation for eating flesh. Cornelius 
Oh Bowel has intermarried by accident 
with his grandmother; and, finding 
that she is really his grandmother, his 
conscience is uneasy. Mr. Mac Todey^ 
the priest, is discovered to be married, 
and to have two sons. Castor and 
Pollux Mac Todey, Three or four 
schooIs-fuU of little boys have been 
cursed for going to hear a Methodist 
preacher. Bargains for shirts and toe- 
nails of deceased saints — surplices and 
trencher-caps blessed by the Pope. 
These are the fruits of double allegi- 
ance-^ the objects of our incredible 
fear, and the cause of our incredible 
folly. There is not a syllable which 
goes to or comes from the Court of 
Bome, which, by a judiciousexpenditure 
of sixpence by the year, would not be 
open to the examination of every 
Member of the Cabinet. Those who 
use such arguments know the answer 
to them as well as we do« The real 
evil they dread is the destruction of 
the Church of Ireland, and through 
that, of the Church of England. To 
which we reply, that such danger must 
proceed from the regular proceedings 
of Parliament, or be effected by insur- 
rection and febellion. The Catholicsi, 
restored to eivil functions, would, wc 
believe, be more likely to cling to the 
Church than to Dissenters. If not, 
both Catholics and Dissenters must be 
utterly powerless against the over- 
whelming English interest and feel- 
ings in the House. Men are less 
inclined to run into rebellion, in pro- 
portion as they have less to complain 
of$ and, of all other dangers, the 
greatest to the Irish and English 
Church establishments, and to the 
Protestant faith throughout Europe, 
is to leave Ireland in its present state 
of discontent, 

If the intention is to wait to the last, 
before concession is made, till the 
French or Americans have landed, 
and the Holy standard has been un- 
furled, we ought to be sure of the 
terms which can be obtained at su.'h 
a crisis. This game was played in 

K 2 



132 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



America. Commissioners were sent 
in one year to offer and to press what 
would have been most thankfully re- 
ceived the year before; bat they were 
always too late. The rapid conces- 
sions of England were outstripped by 
the more rapid exactions of the colo- 
nies; and the commissioners returned 
with the melancholy history, that they 
had humbled themselves before the 
rebels in vain. If you ever mean to 
concede at all, do it when every con- 
cession will be received as a favour. 
To wait till you are forced to treaty is 
as mean in principle as it is dangerous 
in effect. 

Then, how many thousand Prolcstant 
Dissenters are there who pay a double 
allegiance to the King, and to the head 
of their Church, who is not the King ? 
Is not Mr. William Smith, member for 
Norwich, the head of the Unitarian 
Church ? Is not Mr. Wilberforce the 
head of the Clapham Church ? Are 
there not twenty preachers at Leeds, 
who re(2:ulate all the proceedings of 
the Methodists? The gentlemen we 
have mentioned are eminent, and most 
excellent men ; but if anything at all 
is to be apprehended from this divided 
allegiance, we should be infinitely more 
afraid of some Jacobinical fanatic at 
the head of Protestant votaries — some 
man of such character as Lord George 
Gordon — than we should of all the 
efforts of the Pope. 

As so much evil is supposed to pro- 
ceed from not obeying the King as 
head of the Church, it might be sup- 
posed to be a very active office — that 
the King was perpetually interfering 
with the affairs of the Church — and 
that orders were in a course of emana- 
tion from the Throne, which regulated 
the fervour, and arranged the devotion of 
all the members of the Church of Eng- 
land. But we really do not know what 
orders are ever given by the King to 
the Church, except the appointment of 
a fast-day once in three or four years; 
— nor can we conceive (for appoint- 
ment to Bishoprics is out of the ques- 
tion) what duties there would be to 
perform, if this allegiance were paid, 
instead of being withholden. Supre- 
macy appears to us to be a mere name, 



without exercise of power — and alle- 
giance to be a duty, without any per- 
formance annexed. If any one will 
say what ought to be done which is 
not done, on account of this divided 
allegiance, we shall better understand 
the magnitude of the eviL Till then, 
we shall consider it as a lucky Protes- 
tant phrase, good to look at, like the 
mottos and ornaments dn cake, but not 
fit to be eaten. 

Nothing can be more unfair than to 
expect, in an ancient church like that 
of the Catholics, the same uniformity 
as in churches which have not existed 
for more than two or three centuries. 
The coats and waistcoats of the reign 
of Henry VIII. bear some resemblance 
to the same garments of the present 
day; but, as yon recede, you get to the 
skins of wild beasts, or the fleeces of 
sheep, for the garments of savages. 
In the same way it is extremely difficult 
for a church, which has to do with the 
counsels of barbarous ages, not to be 
detected in some discrepancy of opinion ; 
while in younger churches, everything 
is fair and fresh, and of modem dato 
and figure ; and it is not the custom 
among theologians to own their church, 
in the wrong. " No religion can stand, 
if men, without regard to their God, 
and with regard only to controversy, 
shall rake out of the rubbish of antiquity 
the obsolete and quaint follies of the 
sectarians, and affront the majesty of 
the Almighty with the impudent cata- 
logue of their devices ; and it is a 
strong argument against the prescrip- 
tive system, that it helps to continue 
this shocking contest Theologian 
against theologian, polemic against 
polemic, until the two madmen defame 
their common parent, and expose their 
common relijrion." — {GrattarCs Speech 
on the Catholic Question, 1805.) 

A good-natured and well-conditioned 
person has pleasure in keeping and dis- 
tributing anything that is good. If he 
detects anything with superior flavour, 
he presses and invites, and is not easy 
till others participate ; — and so it is 
with political and religious freedom. 
It is a pleasure to possess it, and a 
pleasure to communicate it to others. 
There is something shocking in the 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



greedy, growling, guzzling monopoly 
of such a blessing. 

France is no longer a nation of 
atheists; and therefore, a great caase 
of offence to the Irish Boman Catholic 
clergy is removed. Navigation by 
steam renders all shores more acces- 
sible. The union among Catholics is 
consolidated ; all the dangers of Ire- 
land are redoubled ; everything seems 
tending to an event fatal to England — 
fatal (whatever Catholics may foolishly 
imagine) to Ireland — and which will 
sabject them both to the dominion of 
France. 

Formerly a poor man might be re- 
moved from a parish if there was the 
slightest danger of his becoming charge- 
able; a hole in his coat or breeches 
excited suspicion. The churchwardens 
said, " He has cost us nothing, but he 
nay cost us something ; and we must 
not live even in the apprehension of 
evil.*' «A11 this is changed ; and the 
law now says, "Wait till you are hurt ; 
time enough to meet the evil when it 
comes; you have no right to do a 
certain evil to others, to prevent an 
uncertain evil to yourselves." The 
Catholics, however, are told that what 
they do ask is objected to, from the fear 
of what they may ask ; that they must 
do without that which is reasonable^ 
for fear they should ask what is un- 
reasonable. " I would give you a 
penny (says the miser to the beggar), 
if I was quite sure you would not ask 
me for half a crown." 

"Nothing, I am told, is now so common 
on the Continent as to hear our Irish po- 
licy discussed. Till of late the extent of 
the disabilities was but little understood, 
and less r^gaa*ded, partly because, having 
less liberty themselves, foreigners could not 
appreciate the deprivations, and partly be- 
cause the pre-eminence qf England was not 
so decided as to draw the eyes of the world 
on all parts of our system. It was scarcely 
credited that England, that knight-errant 
abroad, should play the exclusionist at 
home ; that everywhere else she should de- 
clam against oppression, but contemplate 
it without emotion at her doors. That her 
armies should march, and her orators phi- 
lippise, and her poets sing against conti- 
nental tyranny, and yet that laws should 
Kmain extant, and principles be operative 



133 

within our gates, which are a bitter satire 
on our philanthropy, and a melancholy ne- 
gation of our professions. Our sentiments 
have been so lofty, our deportment to fo- 
reigners so haugh^, we have set up such 
liberty and such morals, that no one could 
suppose that we were hypocrites. Still less 
could it be foreseen that as a great mora, 
list, called Joseph Surface, kept a 'Little 
MiUiner' behind the screen, we too should 
be found out at length in taking the diver- 
sion of private tyranny after the most 
approved models for that amusement."— 
{Letter to Lord Milton, pp. 50, 51.) 

We sincerely hope — we firmly be- 
lieve — it never will happen ; but if it 
were to happen, why cannot England 
be just as happy with Ireland being 
Catholic, as it is with Scotland being 
Presbyterian ? Has not the Church 
of England lived side by side with the 
Kirk, without crossing or jostling, for 
these last hiindred years ? Have the 
Presbyterian members entered into any 
conspiracy for mincing Bishoprics and 
Deaneries into Synods and Presby- 
teries? And is not the Church of 
England tenfold more rich and more 
strong than when the separation took 
place ? But however this may be, the 
real danger, even to the Church of 
Ireland, as we have before often re- 
marked, is the refusal of Catholic 
Emancipation. 

It would seem, from the frenzy of 
many worthy Protestants, whenever 
the name of Catholic is mentioned, 
that the greatest possible diversity of 
religious opinions existed between the 
Catholic and the Protestant — that they 
were as different as fish and flesh — as 
alkali and acid — as cow and cart- 
horse; whereas it is quite clear, that 
there are many Protestant sects whose 
difference from each other is much 
more marked, both in church discipline 
and in tenets of faith, than that of 
Protestants and Catholics. We main- 
tain that Lambeth, in thes& two points, 
is quite as near to the Vatican as it is 
to the Kirk — if not much nearer. 

Instead of lamenting the power of 
the priests over the lower orders of the 
Irish, we ought to congratulate our- 
selves that any influence can effect or 
control them. Is the tiger less for- 
midable in the forest than when he has 

K 3 



134 



been caught and taught to obeja voice, 
and tremble at a hand ? But we over- 
rate the power of the priest, if we 
suppose that the upper orders are to 
encounter all the dangers of treason 
and rebellion, to confer the revenues of 
the Protestant Church upon their 
Catholic clergy. If the influence of 
the Catholic clergy upon men of rank 
and education is so unbounded, why 
cannot the French and Italian clergy 
recover their possessions, or acquire an 
equivalent for them ? They are starving 
in the full enjoyment of an influence 
which places (as we think) all the 
wealth and power of the country at 
their feet — an influence which, in our 
opinion, overpowers avarice, fear, am- 
bition, and is the master of every passion 
which brings on change and movement 
in the Protestant world. 

We conclude with a few words of 
advice to the different opponents of the 
Catholic question. 

To the No-Popery Fool 

You are made use of by men who 
laugh at you, and despise you for your 
folly and ignorance; and who, the 
moment it suits their purpose, will 
consent to emancipation of the Catho- 
lics, and leave you to roar and bellow 
No Popery I to Vacancy and the Moon. 



CATHOLIC QUESTION. 

To the No-Popery Rogue. 
A shameful and scandalous game, 
to sport with the serious interests of 
the country, in order to gain some in- 
crease of public power ! 



To the Holiest No-Popery People. 
We respect you very sincerely — but 
are astonished at your existence. 

To the Base. 

Sweet children of turpitude, beware ! 
the old anti-popery people are fa^t 
perishing away. Take heed that you 
are not surprised by an emancipating 
king, or an emancipating administra- 
tion. Leave a locus pcenitentice I — 
prepare a place for retreat — get ready 
your equivocations and denials. The 
dreadful day may yet come, -when 
liberality may lead to place and power. 
We understand these matters here. It 
is safest to be moderately base — to be 
flexible in shame, and to be ^vrays 
ready for what is generous, good, and 
just, when anything is to be gained by 
virtue. 

To the Catholics. 

Wait Do not add to your miseries 
by a mad and desperate rebellion. 
Persevere in civil exertions, and con- 
cede all you can concede. All great 
alterations in human affairs are pro- 
duced by compromise. 



NOTE. 



Mr. Stdket Smith selected from the 
Edinburgh Be view those articles he 
had written, — with the exception of 
twelve. 

These were probably omitted, be- 
cause their subjects are already treated 
of in the extracted Articles, or, because 
they applied only to the period in which 
they were written* 

As Mr. Sydney Smith made the se- 
lection, it is therefore respected and 
continued; but lest any intention of 
disowning these omissions should be 



inferred, their numbers are subjoin- 
ed.* 

After the year 1827, the Lord Chan- 
cellor Lyndhurst, disregarding political 
differences between himself and his 
friend, presented Mr. Sydney Smith to 
the Canonry of Bristol Cathedral. As 
a Dignitary of the Church he then 
ceased to write anonymously. 

• Vol. i. No. S.; VoL iL No. 4; VoL in. 
Nos. 12. and 7.; Vol. xii. No. 6.; Vol. xvi. 
No. 7. ; Vol. xvii. No. 4. ; Vol. xxilL No. «. • 
Vol. xzxiv. Nos. 6. and 8.; Vol. xxxvii. No. 
2. ; and Vol. xl. No. 2. 



LETTERS 



ON THB SUBJECT Or 



THE CATH L I C S 



TO 



MY BROTHER ABRAHAM 



WHO LIVES IN THE COUNTET. 



BY PETER PLYMLEY. 



LETTER I. 

Dear Abraham, 
A WORTHIER and better man than 
yoarself does not exist ; but I have 
always told you from the time of our 
bojrfaood, that you were a bit of a 
goose. Your parochial affairs are gov- 
erned with exemplary order and regu- 
larity; you are as powerful in the 
Testry as Mr. Perceval is in the House 
of Commons, — and, I must say, with 
much more reason; nor do I know 
any church where the faces and smock- 
frocks of the congregation are so clean, 
or their eyes so unifbrmly directed to 
the preacher. There is another point, 
upon which I will do yon ample jus- 
tice ; and that is, that the eyes so di< 
rected towards you are wide open ; for 
tbe rustic has, in general, good prin- 
ciples, though he cannot control his an- 
imal habits ; and, however loud he may 
snore, his face is perpetually turned 
toward the fountain of orthodoxy. 

Having done you this act of justice, 
I shall proceed, according to our an- 
cient intimacy and familiarity, to 
explain to you my opinions about the 
Catholics, and to reply to yours. 



In the first place, my sweet Abra- 
ham, the Pope is not landed — nor 
are there any curates sent out after 
him — nor has he been hid at St. Al- 
ban's by the Dowager Lady Spencer 
— nor dined privately at Holland 
House — ^nor been seen near Dropmore. 
If these fears exist (which I do not 
believe), they exist only in the mind 
of the Chancellor of the Exchequer ; 
they emanate from his zeal for the 
Protestant interest ; and, though they 
reflect the highest honour upon the 
delicate irritability of his faith, must 
certainly be considered as more am- 
biguous proofs of the sanity and vigour 
of his understanding. By this time, 
however, the best informed clergy in 
the neighbourhood of the metropolis 
are convinced that the rumour is with- 
out foundation : and, though the Pope 
is probably hovering about our coast 
in a fishing smack, it is most likely he 
will fall a prey to the vigilance of our 
cruisers ; and it is certain he has not 
yet polluted the Protestantism of our 
soiL 

Exactly in the same manner, the 
story of the wooden gods seized at 
Charing Cross, by an order from the 

K 4 



1- 



136 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTER& 



Foreign Office, turns ont to be without 
the shadow of a foundation : instead 
of the angels and archangels, men- 
tioned by the informer, nothing was 
discovered but a wooden image of 
Lord Mulgrave, going down to Chat- 
ham, as a head-piece for the Spanker 
gun-vessel: it was an exact resem- 
blance of his Lordship in his military 
uniform ; and therefore as little like a 
god as can well be imagined. 

Having set your fears at rest, as to 
the extent of the conspiracy formed 
against the Protestant religion, I will 
now come to the argument itself. 

You say these men interpret the 
Scriptures in an unorthodox manner, 
and that they eat their God. — Very 
likely. All this may seem very im- 
portant to you, who live fourteen miles 
from a market town, and, from long 
residence upon your living, are become 
a kind of holy vegetable ; and, in a 
theological sense, it is highly impor- 
tant. But I want soldiers and sailors 
for the state ; I want to make a greater 
use than I now can do of a poor coun- 
try full of men ; I want to render the 
military service popular among the 
Irish ; to check the power of France j 
to make every possible exertion for the 
safety of Europe, which in twenty 
years* time will be nothing but a mass 
of French slaves : and then you, and 
ten other such boobies as you, call out 
— ** For God*s sake, do not think of 
raising cavalry and infantry in Ireland ! 
.... They interpret the Epistle to 
Timothy in a different manner from 
what we do ! . ... They eat a bit of 
wafer every Sunday, which they call 
their God !"....! wish to my soul 
they would eat you, and such reasoners 
as yjou are. What! when Turk, Jew, 
Heretic, Infidel, Catholic, Protestant, 
are all combined against this country ; 
when men of every religious persua- 
sion, and no religious persuasion ; when 
the population of half the globe is up 
in arms against us ; are we to stand 
examining our generals and armies as 
a bishop examines a candidate for holy 
orders ? and to suffer no one to bleed 
for England who does not agree with 
you about the 2nd of Timothy ? You 
talk about Catholics ! If you and your 



brotherhood have been able to persuade 
the country into a continuation of this 
grossest of all absurdities, you have 
ten times the power which the Catholic 
clergy ever had in their best days. 
Louis XIY., when he revoked the 
Edict of Nantes, never thought of pre- 
venting the Protestants from fighting 
his battles ; and gained accordingly 
some of his most splendid victories by 
the talents of his Protestant generals. 
No power in Europe, but yourselves, 
has ever thought for these hundred 
years past, of asking whether a bayonet 
is Catholic, or Presbyterian, or Lu- 
theran; but whether it is sharp and 
well-tempered. A bigot delights in 
public ridicule ; for he begins to think 
he is a martyr. I can promise you the 
fuU enjoyment of this pleasure, from 
one extremity of Europe to the other. 

I am as disgusted with the nonsense 
of the Boman Catholic religion as you 
can be : and no man who talks such 
nonsense shall ever tithe the product 
of the earth, nor meddle with the ec- 
clesiastical establishment in any shape; 
— but what have I to do with the 
speculative nonsense of his theology, 
when the object is to elect the mayor 
of a county town, or to appoint a 
colonel of a marching regiment ? Will 
a man discharge the solemn imperti- 
nences of the one office with less zeal, 
or shrink from the blood v boldness of 
the other with greater timidity, because 
the blockhead believes in all the Catho- 
lic nonsense of the real presence ? I 
am sorry there should be such impious 
folly in the world, but I should be ten 
times a greater fool than he is, if I 
refused, in consequence of his folly, to 
lead him out against the enemies of 
the state. Your whole argument is 
wrong : the state has nothing whatever 
to do with theological errors which do 
not violate the conunon rules of moral- 
ity, and militate against the fair power 
of the ruler; it leaves all these errors 
to you, and to such as you. You have 
every tenth porker in your parish for 
refuting them ; and take care that you 
are vigilant, and logical in the task. 

I love the Church as well as you do ; 
but you totally mistake the nature of 
an establishment, when you contend 



PETER PLYMLETS LETTERS. 



137 



that it ought to be connected with the 
military and civil career of every indi- 
vidual in the state. It is qaite right 
that there should be one clergyman to 
every parish interpreting the Scriptures 
after a particular manner, ruled by a 
regular hierarchy, and paid with a rich 
proportion of haycocks and wheat- 
sheafs. When I have laid this foun- 
dation for a rational religion in the 
8tate— when I have placed ten thousand 
well educated men in different parts of 
the kingdom to preach it up, and com- 
peljed everybody to pay them, whether 
they hear tiiem or not — I have taken 
such measures as I know must always 
procure an immense majority in favour 
of the Established Church ; but I can 
go no farther. I cannot set up a civil 
inquisition, and say to one, you shall 
not be a butcher, because you are not 
orthodox ; and prohibit another from 
brewing, and a third from administer- 
ing the law, and a fourth from defend- 
ing the country. If common justice 
did not prohibit me from such a 
conduct, common sense would. The 
advantage to be gained by quitting 
the heresy would make it shameful to 
abandon it; and men who had once 
left the Church would continue in such 
a state of alienation from a point of 
honour, and transmit that spirit to the 
latest posterity. This is just the effect 
your disqualifying laws have produced. 
They have fed Dr. Rees, and Dr. Kip- 
pis ; crowded the congregation of the 
Old Jewry to suffocation ; and enabled 
every sublapsarian, and superlapsarian, 
and semi-pelagian clergyman, to build 
himself a neat brick chapel, and live 
with some distant resemblance to the 
state of a gentleman. 

You say the King's coronation oath 
will not allow him to consent to any 
relaxation of the Catholic laws. — Why 
not relax the Catholic laws as well as 
the laws against Protestant dissenters? 
If one is contrary to his oath, the other 
most be so too ; for the spirit of the 
oath is, to defend the Church establish- 
ment, which the Quaker and the Pres- 
byterian differ from as much or more 
than the Catholic ; and yet his Majesty 
has repealed the Corporation and Test 
Act in Ireland, and done more for the 



Catholics of both kingdoms than had 
been done for them since the Reforma- 
tion. In 1778, the ministers said 
nothing about the royal conscience ; 
in 1793* no conscience; in 1804 no 
conscience ; the common feeling of 
humanity and justice then seem to 
have had their fullest influence upon 
the advisers of the Crown : but in 
1807 — a year, I suppose, eminently 
fruitful in moral and religious scruples 
(as some years are fruitful in apples, 
some in hops) — it is contended by the 
well-paid John Bowles, and -by Mr. 
Perceval (who tried to be well paid), 
that that is now perjury which we had 
hitherto called policy and benevolence! 
Religious liberty has never made 
such a stride as under the reign of his 
present Majesty ; nor is there any 
instance in the annals of our history, 
where so many infamous and damna- 
ble laws have been repealed as those 
against the Catholics which have been 
put an end to by him : and then, at 
the close of this useful policy, his 
advisers discover that the very mea* 
sures of concession and indulgence, 
or (to use my own language) the mea- 
sures of justice, which he has been 
pursuing through the whole of his 
reign, are contrary to the oath he takes 
at its commencement! That oath binds 
his Majesty not to consent to any mea- 
sure contrary to the' interest of the 
Established Church : but who is to 
judge of the tendency of each par- 
ticular measure ? Not the King alone : 
it can never be the intention pf this 
law that the Eling, who listens to the 
advice of his Parliament upon a road 
bill, should reject it upon the most 
important of all measures. Whatever 
be his own private judgment of the 
tendency of any ecclesiastical bill, he 
complies most strictly with his oath, 
if he is guided in that particular point 
by the advice of his Parliament, who 
may be presumed to understand its 
tendency better than the King, or any 
other individual. You say, if Parlia- 
ment had been unanimous in their 

* These feelings of humanity and justice 
were at some periods a little quickened by 
the representations of 40,000 armed volun- 
teers. 



138 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



opiDion of the absolate necessity for 
Lord Howick*8 bill, and the King had 
thought it pernicious, he would have 
been perjured if he had not rejected 
it. I saj, on the contrary, his Majesty 
would have acted in the most consci- 
entious manner, and have complied 
most scrupulously with his oath, if he 
had sacrificed his own opinion to the 
opinion of the great council of the 
nation ; because the probability was 
that such opinion was better than his 
own : and upon the same principle, in 
common life, you give up your opinion 
to your physician, your lawyer, and 
your builder. 

You admit this bill did not compel 
the King to elect Catholic officers, but 
only gave him the option of doing so 
if he pleased ; but you add, that the 
King was right in not trusting such 
dangerous power to himself or his 
successors. Now you are either to 
suppose that the King for the time 
being has a zeal for the Catholic es- 
tablishment, or that he has not If he 
has not, where is the danger of giving 
such an option ? If you suppose that 
he may be influenced by such an admi- 
ration of the Catholic religion, why did 
his present Majesty, in the year 1804, 
consent to that bill which empowered 
the Crown to station ten thousand 
Catholic soldiers in any part of the 
Idngdom, and placed them absolutely 
at the disposal of the Crown ? If the 
King of England for the time being is 
a good Protestant, there can be no 
danger in making the Catholic eligible 
to anything : if he is not, no power 
can possibly be so dangerous as that 
conveyed by the bill last quoted ; to 
which, in point of peril, Lord Howick's 
bill is a mere joke. But the real fact 
is, one bill opened a door to his Ma- 
jesty's advisers for trick, jobbing, and 
intrigue ; the other did not. 

Brides, what folly to talk to me of 
an oath, which, under all possible cir- 
cumstances, is to prevent the relaxation 
of the Catholic laws I for such a solemn 
appeal to God sets all conditions and 
contingencies at defiance. Suppose 
Bonaparte was to retrieve the only 
very great blunder he has made, and 
were to succeed, after repeated trials, 



in making an impression upon Ireland, 
do you think we should hear anything 
of the impediment of a coronation 
oath? or would the spirit of this coun- 
try tolerate for an hour such ministers, 
and such unheard-of nonsense, if the 
most distant prospect existed of con- 
ciliating the Catholics by every sx)ecie8 
even of the most abject concession ? 
And yet, if your argument is good for 
anything, the coronation oath ought 
to reject, at such a moment, every ten- 
dency to conciliation, and to bind Ire- 
land for ever to the crown of France. 

I found in your letter the usual 
remarks about fire, fagot, and bloody 
Mary. Are you aware, my dear Priest, 
that there were as many persons put 
to death for religious opmions under 
the mild Elizabeth as under the bloody 
Mary? The reign of the former was, 
to be sure, ten times as long, but I only 
mention the fact, merely to show you 
that something depends upon the age 
in which men live, as well as on their 
religious opinions. Three hundred 
years ago,lnen burnt and hanged each 
other for these opinions. Time has 
softened Catholic as well as Protestant : 
they both required it ; though each 
perceives only his own improvement, 
and is blind to that of the other. We 
are all the creatures of circumstances. 
I know not a kinder and better man 
than yourself ; but you (if you had 
lived in those times) would certainly 
have roasted your Catholic : and I 
promise you, if the first exciter of this 
religious mob had been as powerful 
then as he is now, you would soon 
have been elevated to the mitre. I do 
not go to the length of saying that the 
world has suffered as much from Pro- 
testant as from Catholic persecution ; 
far from it : but you should remember 
the Catholics had all the power, when 
the idea first started up in the world 
that there could be two modes of faith; 
and that it was much more natural 
they should attempt to crush this di- 
versity of opinion by g^eat and cruel 
efibrts, than that the Protestants should 
rage against those who differed from 
them, when the very basis of their 
system was conlplete freedom in all 
spiritual matters. 



PETER PLYMLErS LETTERS. 



139 



I cannot extend my letter any far- 
ther at present, bnt jou shall soon bear 
from me again. Yoa tell me I am a 
party man. I hope I shall always be 
80,ivhen I see my country in the hands 
of a pert London joker and a second- 
rate kwyer. Of the first, no other 
good is known than that he makes 
pretty Latin yerses ; the second seems 
to me to have the head of a coun- 
try parson, and the tongue of an Old 
Bailey lawyer. 

If I could see good measures pur- 
sued, I care not a farthing who is in 
power; but I have a passionate love 
for common justice, and for common 
sense, and I abhor and despise every 
man who builds up his political fortune 
upon their ruin. 

God bless you, reverend Abraham, 
and defend you from the Pope, and 
all of ns fix)m that administration who 
seek power by opposing a measure 
which Burke, Pitt, and Fox all con- 
sidered as absolutely necessary to the 
existence of the country. 



LETTER n. 



Bear Abraham, 

The Catholic not respect an oath ! 
why not ? What upon earth has kept 
him out of Parliament, or excluded 
him from all the offices whence he is 
excluded, but his respect for oaths? 
There is no law which prohibits a 
Catholic to sit in Parliament There 
could be no such law ; because it is 
impossible to find out what passes in 
the interior of any man's mind. Sup- 
pose it were in contemplation to ex- 
clude all men from certain offices who 
contended for the legality of taking 
tithes : the only mode of discovering 
that fervid love of decimation which I 
know you to possess would be to tender 
yon an oath against that damnable 
doctrine, that it is lawful for a spiritual 
man to take, abstract, appropriate, 
subduct, or lead away the tenth calf, 
sheep, lamb, ox, pigeon, duck, &c. 
&c. &c, and every other animal that 
ever existed, which of course the law- 
yers would take care to enumerate. 
Now this oath I am sure you would 



rather die than take ; and so the Catho- 
lic is excluded from Parliament because 
he will not swear that he disbelieves the 
leading doctrines of his religion I The 
Catholic asks you to abolish some 
oaths which oppress him ; your answer 
is, that he does not respect oaths. Then 
why subject him to the test of oaths ? 
The oaths keep him out of Parliament; 
why, then, he respects them. Turn 
which way you will, either your laws 
are nugatory, or the Catholic is bound 
by religious obligations as you are: 
but no eel in the well-sanded fist of a 
cook-maid, upon the eve of being 
skinned, ever twisted and writhed as 
an orthodox parson does when he is 
compelled by the gripe of reason to 
admit anything in favour of a Dis- 
senter. 

I will not dispute with yon whether 
the Pope be or be not the Scarlet Lady 
of Babylon. I hope it is not so; be- 
cause I am afraid it will induce his 
Majesty's Chancellor of the Exchequer 
to introduce several severe bills against 
popery, if that is the case; and though 
he will have the decency to appoint a 
previous committee of inquiry as to 
the fact, the committee will be garbled 
and the report inflammatory. Leaving 
this to be settled as he pleases to settle 
it, I wish to inform you, that previously 
to the bill last passed in favour of the 
Catholics, at the suggestion of Mr. Pitt, 
and for his satisfaction, the opinions 
of six of the most celebrated of 
the foreign Catholic universities were 
taken as to the right of the Pope to 
interfere in the temporal concerns of 
any country. The answer cannot pos- 
sibly leave the shadow of a doubt, even 
in the mind of Baron Maseres; and 
Dr. Rennel would be compelled to 
admit it, if three Bishops lay dead at 
the very moment the question were 
put to him. To this answer might be 
added also the solemn declaration 
and signature of all the Catholics in 
Great Britain. 

I should perfectly agree with you, 
if the Catholics admitted such a dan- 
gerous dispensing power in the hands 
of the Pope ; but they all deny it, and 
laugh at it, and are ready to abjure it 
in the most decided manner you can 



140 



PETER PLYMLErS LETTERS. 



devise. They obey the Pope as the 
spiritual head of their church ; but are 
you really so foolish as to be imposed 
upon by mere names ? — What matters 
it the seven thousandth part of a far- 
thing who is the spiritual head of any 
church ? Is not Mr. Wilberforce at 
the head of the church of Clapham ? 
Is not Dr. Letsom at the head of the 
Quaker church ? Is not the General 
Assembly at the head of the church of 
Scotland? How is the government dis- 
turbed by these many-headed churches? 
or in what way is the power of the 
Crown augmented by this almost no- 
minal dignity? 

The King appoints a fast day once 
a year, and lie makes the Bishops : and 
if the government would take half the 
pains to keep the Catholics out of the 
arms of France that it does to widen 
Temple Bar, or improve Snow Hill, 
the King would get into his hands the 
appointments of the titular Bishops of 
Ireland. — ^Both Mr. C *s sisters en- 
joy pensions more than sufScient to 
place the two greatest dignitaries of 
the Irish Catholic Church entirely at 
the disposal of the Crown. — ^Every- 
body who knows Ireland knows per- 
fectly well, that nothing would be 
easier, with the expenditure of a little 
money, than to preserve enough of the 
ostensible appointment in the hands of 
the Pope to satisfy the scruples of the 
Catholics, while the real nomination 
remained with the Crown. But, as I 
have before said, the moment the very 
name of Ireland is mentioned, the 
English seem to bid adieu to conunon 
feeling, common prudence, and common 
sense, and to act with the barbarity of 
tyrants, and the fatuity of idiots. 

Whatever your opinion may be of 
the follies of the Roman Catholic re- 
ligion, remember they are the follies 
of four millions of human beings, in- 
creasing rapidly in numbers, wealth, 
and intelligence, who, if firmly united 
with this country, would set at defiance 
the power of France, and if once 
wrested from iheir alliance with Eng- 
land, would in three years render its 
eiustence as an independent nation 
absolutely impossible. -You speak of 
danger to the Establishment : I request 



to know when the Establishment was 
ever so much in danger as when Hoche 
was in Bantry Bay, and whether all the 
books of BoiBSuet, or the arts of the 
Jesuits, were half so terrible? Mr. 
Perceval and his parsons forgot all 
thisj in their horror lest twelve or four- 
teen old women may be converted to 
holy water, and Catholic nonsense. 
They never see that, while they are 
saving these venerable ladies from per- 
dition, Ireland may be lost, England 
broken down, and the Protestant 
Church, with all its deans, preben- 
daries, Percevals and Rennels, be swept 
into the vortex of oblivion. 

Do not, I beseech you, ever mention 
to me again the name of Dr. Duigenan. 
I have been in every comer of Ireland, 
and have studied its present strength 
and condition with no common labour. 
Be assured Ireland does not contain at 
this moment less than five millions of 
people. There were returned in the 
year 1791 to the hearth tax 701,000 
houses, and there is no kind of question 
that there were about 50,000 houses 
omitted in that return. Taking, how- 
ever, only the number returned for the 
tax, and allowing the average of six to 
a house (a very small average for a 
potato-fed people), this brings the popu- 
lation to 4,200,000 people in the year 
1791: and it can be shown from the 
clearest evidence (and Mr. Newenham 
in his book shows it), that Ireland for 
the last fifty years has increased in its 
population at the rate of 50,000 or 
60,000 per annum ; which leaves the 
present population of Ireland at about 
five millions, after every possible de- 
duction for existing drcumatances^ just 
and necessary wars, monstrous and «n- 
natnral rebellions^ and all other sources 
of human destruction. Of this popu- 
lation, two out of ten are Protestants ; 
and the half of the Protestant popula- 
tion are Dissenters, and as inimiad to 
the Church as the Catholics themselves. 
In this state of things, thumbscrews 
and whipping — admirable engines of 
policy, as they must be considered to 
be — will not ultimately avail. The 
Catholics will hang over you ; they 
will watch for the moment, and compel 
you hereafter to give them ten times as 



PETER PLTMLETS LETTERS. 



141 



mach, against jonr will, as they would 
now be contented with, if it were 
voluntarily surrendered. Remember 
what happened in the American war ; 
when Ireland compelled you to give 
her eTerything she asked, and to re- 
noance, in the most explicit manner, 
your claim of sovereignty over her. 
God Almighty grant the folly of these 
present men may not bring on such 
another crisis of public affairs! 

What are your dangers which 
threaten the Establishment ? — Reduce 
this declamation to a point, and let us 
understand what you mean. The most 
ample allowance does not calculate 
that there would be more than twenty 
members who were Roman Catholics 
in one house, and ten in the other, if 
the Catholic emancipation were carried 
into effect. Do you mean that these 
thirty members would bring in a bill 
to take away the tithes from the Pro- 
testant, and to pay them to the Catholic 
clergy ? Do you mean that a Catholic 
general would march his army into 
the House of Commons and purge it 
of Mr. Perceval and Dr. Duigenan ? 
or, that the theological writers would 
become all of a sndden more acute 
and more learned, if the present civil 
incapacities were removed ? Do you 
fear for your tithes, or your doctrines, 
or your person, or the English Consti- 
tution ? Every fear, taken separately, 
is so glaringly absurd, that no man has 
the folly or the boldness to slate it. 
Every one conceals his ignorance, or 
his baseness, in a stupid general panic, 
which, when Called on, he is utterly 
incapable of explaining. "Whatever 
you think of the Catholics, there they 
are — you cannot get rid of them ; your 
alternative is, to give them a lawful 
place for stating their grievances, or an 
unlawful one : if you do not admit 
them to the House of Commons, they 
will hold their parliament in Potato- 
place, Dublin, and be ten times as 
violent and inflammatory as they would 
^ in Westminster. Nothing would 
give me such an idea of securitv, as to 
see twenty or thirty Catholic gentlemen 
in Parliament, looked upon by all the 
Catholics as the fair and proper organ 
of their party. I should have thought 



it the height of good fortune that such 
a wish existed on their part, and the 
very essence of madness and ignorance 
to reject it Can you murder the 
Catholics? — Can you neglect them? 
They are too numerous for both these 
expedients. What remains to done is 
obvious to every human being — but to 
that man who, instead of being a Me- 
thodist preacher, is, for the curse of us 
and our children, and for the ruin of 
Troy, and the misery of good old 
Priam and his sons, become a legislator 
and a politician. 

A distinction, I perceive, is taken, 
by one of the most feeble noblemen in 
Great Britain, between persecution and 
the deprivation of political power ; 
whereas there is no more distinction 
between these two things than there is 
between him who makesthe distinction 
and a booby. If I strip off the relic- 
covered jacket of a Catholic, and give 
him twenty stripes .... I persecute : 
if I say, Everybody in the town where 
you l)ve shall be a candidate for lucra- 
tive and honourable offices but you, 
who are a Catholic .... I do not 
persecute ! — What barbarous nonsense 
is this ! as if degradation was not as 
great an evil 'as bodily pain, or as 
severe poverty: as if I could not be as 
great a tyrant by saying. You shall 
not enjoy — as by saying. You shall 
suffer. The English, I believe, are as 
truly religious as any nation in Europe; 
I know no greater blessing: but it 
carries with it this evil in its train — 
that any villain who will bawl out 
" The Church is in danger t " may get 
a place and a good pension ; and that 
any administration who will do the 
same thing may bring a set of men 
into power who, at a moment of sta- 
tionary and passive piety, would be 
hooted by the very boys in the streets. 
But it is not all religion ; it is, in great 
part, the narrow and exclusive spirit 
which delights to keep the common 
blessings of sun, and air, and freedom, 
from other human beings. ** Your re- 
ligion has always been degraded ; you 
are in the dust, and I will take care 
you never rise again. I should enjoy 
less the possession of an earthly good, 
by every additional person to whom it 



142 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTER& 



was extended.'* You may not be aware 
of it yourself, most reverend Abraham, 
but you deny their freedom to the 
Catholics upon the same principle that 
Sarah your wife refuses to give the 
receipt for a ham or a gooseberry 
dumpling : she values her receipts, not 
because they secure to her a certain 
flavour, but because they remind her 
that her neighbours want it : — a feeling 
laughable in a priestess, shameful in a 
priest; venial when it withholds the 
blessings of a ham, tyrannical and 
execrable when it narrows the boon of 
reli^ous freedom. 

You spend a great deal of ink about 
the character of the present prime 
minister. Grant you all that you 
write — I say, I fear he will ruin Ireland, 
and pursue a line of policy destructive 
to the true interest of his country: and 
then you tell me, he is faithful to Mrs. 
Perceval, and kind to the Master Per- 
cevals! These are, undoubtedly, the 
first qualifications to be looked to in a 
time of the most serious public danger; 
but somehow or another (if public and 
private virtues must always be incom- 
patible), I should prefer that he des- 
troyed the domestic happiness of Wood 
or Cockell, owed for the veal of the 
preceding year, whipped his boys, and 
saved his country. 

The late administration did not do 
right; they did not build their measures 
upon the solid basis of facts. They 
should have caused several Catholics 
to have been dissected after death by 
surgeons of either religion, and the re- 
port to have been published with ac- 
companying plates. If the viscera, and 
other organs of life, had been found to 
be the same as in Protestant bodies; if 
the provisions of nerves, arteries, cere- 
brum, and cerebellum, had been the 
same as we are provided with, or as 
the Dissenters are now known to 
possess; then, indeed, they might have 
met Mr. Perceval upon a proud emi- 
nence, and convinced the country at 
large of the strong probability that the 
Catholics are really human creatures, 
endowed with the feelings of men, and 
entitled to all their rights. But instead 
of this wise and prudent measure, Lord 
Howick, with his usual precipitation, 



brings forward a bill in their favour, 
without offering the slightest proof to 
the country that they were anything 
more than horses and oxen. The per- 
son who shows the lama at the corner 
of Piccadilly has the precaution to 
write up — Allowed by Sir Joseph Banks 
to be a real qmuiruped: so his Lordship 
might have said — AUowed by the Bench 
of ^ishops to be reed human creatures 

I could write you twenty letters 

upon this subject ; but I am tired, and 
so I suppose are you. Our friendship 
is now of forty years' standing: yon 
know me to be a truly religious man ; 
but I shudder to see religion treated 
like a cockade, or a pint of beer, and 
made the instrument of a party. I love 
the King, but I love the people as well 
as the King ; and if I am sorry to see 
his old age molested, I am much more 
sorry to see four millions of Catholics 
baffled in Uieur just expectations. If I 
love Lord Grenville and Lord Howick, 
it is because they love their country : 
if I abhor ♦♦***♦, it is because I 
know there is but one man among them 
who is not laughing at the enormous 
folly and credulity of the country, and 
that he is an ignorant and mischievous 
bigot. As for the light and frivolous 
jester of whom it is your misfortune to 
think so highly— learn, my dear Abra- 
ham, that this political Eilligrew, just 
before the breaking-up of the last ad- 
ministration, was in actual treaty with 
them for a place; and if they had 
survived twenty-four hours longer, he 
would have been now declaiming 
against the cry of No Popery! instead 
of inflaming it. — With this practical 
comment on the baseness of human 
nature, I bid you adieu ! 



LETTER IIL 



All that I have so often told yon, 
Mr. Abraham Plymley, is now come 
to pass. The Scythians, in whom you 
and the neighbouring country gentle- 
men placed such confidence, are smit- 
ten hip and thigh; their Benningsen 
put to open shame ; their magazines of 
train oil intercepted — and we are wak- 
ing from our disgraceful drunkenness 



PETER PLYMLEyS LETTERS. 



143 



to all the horrors of Mr. Perceval and 
Mr. Canning. . . . We shall now see 
if a nation is to be saved by school-boy 
jokes and doggerel rhymes, by affront- 
ing petulance, and by the tones and 
gesticulations of Mr. Pitt. Bat these 
are not all the auxiliaries on which we 
have to depend ; to these his colleague 
will add the strictest attention to the 
smaller parts of ecclesiastical govern- 
ment—to hassocks, to psalters, and to 
surplices ; in the last agonies of Eng- 
land, he will bring in a bill to regulate 
Easter-offerings ; and he will adjust 
the stipends of curates * when the flag 
of France is unfurled on the hills of 
Kent. Whatever can be done by very 
mistaken notions of the piety of a 
Christian, and by very wretched imita- 
tion of the eloquence of Mr. Pitt, will 
be done by these two gentlemen. After 
all, if they both really were what they 
both either wish to be or wish to be 
thought; if the one were an enlighten- 
ed Christian, who drew from the Gospel 
the toleration, the charity, and the 
sweetness which it contains ; and if 
the other really possessed any portion 
of the great understanding of his Nisus 
who guarded him from the weapons of 
the Whigs ; I should still doubt if they 
could save us. But I am sure we are 
not to be saved by religious hatred and 
bjreligious trifling ; by any psalmody, 
however sweet ; or by any /persecution, 
however shai'p : I am certain the sounds 
of Mr. Pitt's voice, and the measure of 
his tones, and the movement of his 
arms, wiU do nothing for us; when 
these tones, and movements, and voice 
bring us always declamation without 
sense or knowledge, and ridicule with- 
out good humour or conciliation. Oh, 
Mr. Plymley, Mr. Plymley I this never 
will do. Mrs. Abraham Plymley, my 
sister, will be led away captive by an 
amorous Gaul; and Joel Plymley, 
your first-bom, will be a French drum- 
mer. 

" Out of sight, out of mind," seems 
to be a proverb which applies to ene- 
mies as well as friends. Because the 

* The Eeverend the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer has, since this was written, 
found time in the heat of the session to 
write a book on the Stipends of Curates. 



French army was no longer seen from 
the cliffs of Dover ; because the sound 
of cannon was no longer heard by the 
debauched London bather's on the 
Sussex coast; because the Morning 
Post no longer fixed the invasion some- 
times for Monday, sometimes for Tues- 
day, sometimes (positively for the last 
time of invading) on Saturday; be- 
cause all these causes of terror were 
suspended, you conceived the power of 
Bonaparte to be at an end, and were 
setting off" for Paris, with Lord Hawkes- 
bury the conqueror. — This is pre- 
cisely the method in which the English 
have acted during the whole of the 
revolutionary war. If Austria or Prus- 
sia armed, doctors of divinity immedi- 
ately printed those passages out of 
Habakkuk in which the destruction of 
the Usurper by General Mack and the 
Duke of Brunswick is so clearly pre- 
dicted. If Bonaparte halted, there 
was a mutiny, or a dysentery. If any 
one of his generals was eaten up by 
the light troops of Russia, and picked 
(as their manner is) to the bone, the 
sanguine spirit of this country dis- 
played itself in all its glory. What 
scenes of infamy did the Society for 
the Suppression of Vice lay open to 
our astonished eyes I tradesmen's 
daughters dancing ; pots of beer car- 
ried out between the first and second 
lesson ; and dark and distant rumours 
of indecent prints. Clouds of Mr. 
Canning's cousins arrived by the wag- 
gon ; aU the contractors left their cards 
with Mr. Rose ; and every plunderer 
of the public crawled out of his hole, 
like slugs, and grubs, and worms, after 
a shower of rain. 

If my voice could have been heard 
at the late changes, I should have said, 
*' Gently ; patience ; stop a little ; the 
time is not yet come ; the mud of 
Poland will harden, and the bowels of 
the French grenadiers will recover 
their tone. When honesty, good sense, 
and liberality have extricated you out 
of your present embarrassment, then 
dismiss them as a matter of course ; 
but you cannot spare them just now. 
Don't be in too great a hurry, or there 
will be no monarch to flatter and no 
country to pillage. Only submit for a 



144 



PETER PLT1ILE7S LETTER& 



little time to be respected abroad ; over- 
look the painful absence of the tax- 
gatherer for a few years; bear np nobly 
under the increase of freedom and of- 
liberal policy for a little time, and I 
promise you, at the expiration of that 
period, yon shall be plundered, insulted, 
disgraced, and restrained to your heart's 
content. Do not imagine I have any 
intention of putting servility and cant- 
ing hypocrisy permanently out of place, 
or of filling up with courage and sense 
those ofSces which naturally devolve 
upon decorous imbecility and flexible 
cunning: give us only a little time to 
keep off the hussars of France, and 
then the jobbers and jesters shidl re- 
turn to their birthright, and public 
virtue be called by its own name of 
fanaticisnu" * Such is the advice I 
would have offered to my infatuated 
countrymen ; bat it rained veiy hard 
in November, Brother Abraham, and 
the bowels of our enemies were loos- 
ened, and we put our trust in white 
fluxes and wet mud ; and there is no- 
thing now to oppose to the conqueror of 
the world but a small table wit, and 
the sallow Surveyor of the Meltings. 

You ask me, if I think it possible 
for this country to survive the recent 
misfortunes of Europe? — I answer you, 
without the slightest degree of hesita- 
tion : that if Bonaparte lives, and a 
great deal is not immediately done for 
the conciliation of the Catholics, it does 
seem to me absolutely impossible but 
that we must perish ; and take this with 
you, that we shall perish without ex- 
citing the slightest feeling of present 
or future compassion, but fall amidst 
the hootings and revilings of Europe, 
as a nation of blockheads, Methodists, 
and old women. If there were any 

* This is Mr. Canning's term for the de- 
tection of public abuses; a term invented 
by him, and adopted by that simious para* 
site who is always grmiiin^ at his heels. 
Nature descends down to mflnite small- 
ness. Mr. Canning has his parasites ; and 
if you take a large buzzing blue-bottle fly, 
and look at it in a microscope, you may see 
20 or 30 little Ugly insects crawling about 
it, which doubtless think their fl^ to be the 
bluest, grandest, merriest, most important 
animal in the universe, and are convinced 
the world woiild be at an end if it ceased to 
buzz. 



great sceneiy, and heroic feelings, any 
blaze of ancient Tirtne, any exalted 
death, any termination of England that 
would be ever remembered, ever hon- 
oured in that western world, whsre 
liberty is now retiring, conquest would 
be more tolerable, and ruin more sweet; 
but it is doubly miserable to become 
slaves abroad, because we would be 
tyrants at home; to persecute, when 
we are contending against persecution; 
and to perish, because we have raised 
up worse enemies within, from our own 
bigotry, than we are exposed to with- 
out, from the unprincipled ambition of 
France. It is, indeed, a most silly and 
affecting spectacle to rage at such a 
moment against our own kindred and 
our own blood ; to tell them they can- 
not be honourable in war, because thej 
are conscientious in religion; to stipu- 
late (at the very moment when we 
should buy their hearts and swords at 
any price) that they must hold up the 
right hand in prayer, and not the left; 
and adore one common God, by tam- 
ing to the east rather than to the west. 

What is it the Catholics ask of you? 
Do not exclude us from the honours 
and emoluments of the state, because 
we worship God in one way, and you 
worship him in another. In a period 
of the deepest peac^ and the fattest 
prosperity, this would be a fair request: 
it should be granted, if Lord Hawkes- 
bury had reached Paris, if Mr. Can- 
ning's interpreter had threatened the 
Senate in an opening Speech, or Mr. 
Perceval explained to them the im- 
provements he meant to introduce into 
the Catholic religion ; but to deny the 
Irish this justice now, in the present 
state of Europe, and in the summer 
months, just as the season for destroy- 
ing kingdoms is coming on, is (beloved 
Abraham), whatever you may think of 
it, little short of positive insanity. 

Here is a frigate attacked by a corsair 
of immense strength and size, rigging 
cut, masts in danger of coming by the 
board, four foot water in the hold, men 
dropping off very fast; in this dreadful 
situation how do you think the Captain 
acts (whose name shall be Perceval) ? 
He calls all hands upon deck; talks to 
them of King, country, glory, sweet- 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



145 



hearts, gin, French prison, wooden 
shoes, Old England, and hearts of oak : 
they give three cheers, rush to their 
gans, and, after a tremendous conflict, 
succeed in beating oflf the enemy. Not 
a syllable of all this: this is not the 
manner in which the honourable Com- 
mander goes to work: the first thing 
he does is to secure 20 or 30 of his 
prime sailors who happen to be Catho- 
lics, to clap them in irons, and set over 
them a guard of as many Protestants; 
having taken this admiriU)le method of 
defending himself against his infidel 
opponents, he goes upon deck, reminds 
the sailors, in a very bitter harangue, 
that they are. of dificrent religions; 
exhorts the Episcopal gunner not to 
trust to the Presbyterian quarter- 
master ; issues positive orders that the 
Catholics should be fired at upon the 
first appearance of discontent; rushes 
through blood and brains, examining 
his men in the Catechism and 39 
Articles, and positively forbids every 
one to sponge or ram who has not 
taken the Sacrament according to the 
Church of England. Was it right to 
take out a captain made of excellent 
British stufi^, and to put in such a man 
a^this ? Is not he more like a parson, 
or a talking lawyer, than a thorough- 
bred seaman ? And built as she is of 
heart of oak, and admirably maifhed, 
is it possible with such a captain, to 
save this ship from going to the 
bottom ? 

You have an argument, I perceive, 
in common with many others, against 
the Catholics, that their demands com- 
plied with would only lead to further 
exactions, and that it is better to resist 
them now, before anything is conceded, 
than hereafter, when it is found that all 
concessions are in vain. I wish the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, who uses 
this reasoning to exclude others from 
their just rights, had tried its efficacy, 
not by his understanding, but by (what 
are full of much better things) his 
pockets. Suppose the person to whom 
he applied for the Meltings had with- 
stood every plea of wife and fourteen 
children, no business, and good charac- 
ter, and refused him this paltry little 
office, because he might hereafter at- 
VoL. IL 



tempt to get hold of the revenues of 
the Duchy of Lancaster for life; would 
not Mr. Perceval have contended 
eagerly against the injustice of refusing 
moderate requests, because immoderate 
ones may hereafter be made ? Would 
he not have said (and said truly). 
Leave such exorbitant attempts as 
these to the general indignation of the 
Commons, who will take care to defeat 
them when they do occur ; but do not 
refuse me the Irons and the Meltings 
now, because I may totally lose sight 
of all moderation 'hereafter? Leave 
hereafter to the spirit and the wisdom 
of hereafter ; and do not be niggardly 
now, from the apprehension that men 
as wise as you should be profuse in 
times to come. 

You forget. Brother Abraham, that 
it is a vast art (where quarrels cannot 
be avoided) to turn the public opinion 
in your favour and to the prejudice of 
your enemy ; a vast privilege to feel 
that you are in the right, and to make 
him feel that he is in the wrong: a 
privilege which makes you more than 
a man, and your antagonist less; and 
often secures victory, by convincing 
him who contends, that he must submit 
to injustice if he submits to defeat. 
Open every rank in the army and the 
navy to the Catholic ; let him purchase 
at the same price as the Protestant (if 
either Catholic or Protestant can pur- 
chase such refined pleasures) the pri- 
vilege of hearing Lord Castlereagh 
speak for three hours; keep his clergy 
from starving, soften some of the most 
odious powers of the tjthing-man, and 
you will for ever lay this formidable 
question to rest But if I am wrong, 
and you must quarrel at last, quarrel 
upon just rather than unjust grounds; 
divide the Catholic, and unite the Pro- 
testant ; be just, and your own exertions 
will be more formidable and their ex- 
ertions less formidable; be just, and 
you will take away from their party 
all the best and wisest understand- 
ings of both persuasions, and knit them 
firmly to your own cause. " Thrice is 
he armed who has his quarrel just;" 
and ten times as much may he be taxed. 
In the beginning of any war, however 
destitute of common sense, every mob 

L 



146 



PETER PLYMLEY^ LETTEB& 



will roar, and ererj Lord of the Bed- 
chamber address ; bnt if you are en- 
gaged in a war that is to last for jears^ 
and to require important sacrifices, take 
care to make the justice of your case 
80 clear and so obrious, that it cannot 
be mistaken by the most illiterate 
country gentleman who rides the earth. 
Nothing, in fact, can be so grossly ab- 
surd as the argument which says, I will 
deny justice to you now, because I 
suspect future injustice from you. At 
this rate, you may. lock a man up in 
your stable, and refuse to let him out, 
because you suspect that he has an 
intention, at some future period, of 
robbing your hen-roost. You may 
horsewhip him at Lady-day, because 
you believe he will affront you at Mid- 
summer. You may commit a greater 
evU, to guard against a less which is 
merely contingent, and may never hap- 
pen. You may do what you have done 
a century ago in Ireland, made the 
Catholics worse than Helots, because 
you suspected that they might hereafter 
aspire to be more than fellow-citizens; 
rendering their sufferings certain from 
your jealousy, while yours were only 
doubtful from their ambition; an am- 
bition sure to be excited by the very 
measures which were taken to pre- 
vent it. 

The physical strength of the Catholics 
will not be greater because you give 
them a share of political power. You 
may by these means turn rel)els into 
friends; but I do not see how you make 
rebels more formidable. If they taste 
of the honey of lawful power, they will 
love the hive from whence they procure 
it ; if they will struggle with us like 
men in the same state for civil influence, 
we are safe. All that I dread is, the 
physical strengh of four millions of men 
combined with an invading French 
army. If you are to quarrel at last 
with this enormous population, still 
put it off as long as you can ; you must 
gain, and cannot lose, by the delay. 
The state of Europe cannot be worse ; 
the conviction which the Catholics en- 
tertain of your tyranny and injustice 
cannot be more alarming, nor the 
opinions of your own people more 
divided. Time, which produces such 



eflect upon brass and marble, may in- 
spi^ one Minister with modesty, and 
another with compassion; erery cir- 
cumstance may be better ; some certainly 
will be so, none can be worse; and, 
after aU, the evil may never happen. 

You have got hold, I perceive, of all 
the vulgar English stories respecting 
the hereditary transmission of forfeited 
property, and seriously believe that 
every Catholic beggar wears the ter- 
riers of his father's land next his skin, 
and is only waiting for better times 
to cut the throat of the Protestant 
possessor, and get drunk in the hall of 
his ancestors. There is one irresistible 
answer to this mistake, and that is, that 
the forfeited lands are purchased in- 
discriminately by Catholic and Ptt>- 
testant, and that the Catholic purchaser 
never objects to such a title. Now the 
land (so purchased by a Catholic) is 
either his own family estate, or It is 
not If it is, you suppose him so de- 
sirous of coming into possession, that 
he resorts to the double method of re- 
bellion and purchase; if it is not his 
own family estate of which he becomes 
the purchaser, you suppose him first to 
purchase, then to rebel, in order to 
defeat the purchase. These things 
may happen in Ireland; but it is totally 
impossible they can happen anywhere 
else. In fact, what land can any man 
of any sect purchase in Ireland, but 
forfeited property? In all other op- 
pressed countries which I have ever 
heard of, the rapacity of the conqueror 
was bounded by the territorial limits 
in which the objects of his avarice were 
contained ; but Ireland has been actu- 
ally confiscated twice over, as a cat is 
twice killed by a wicked parish hoy, 

I admit there is a vast luxury in 
selecting a particular set of Christians, 
and in wonting them as a boy worries 
a puppy dog ; it is an amusement in 
which all the young English are brought 
up from their earliest days. I like the 
idea of saying to men who use a dif- 
ferent hassock from me, that till they 
change their hassock, they shall never 
be Colonels, Aldermen, or Parliament- 
men. While I am gratifying my per- 
sonal insolence respecting religious 
forms, I fondle myself into an idea 



PETER PLYMLErS LETTERS. 



147 



that I am religions, and that I am 
doing my duty in the most exemplary 
(as I certainly am in the most easy) 
way. But then, my good Abraham, 
this sport, admirable as it is, is become, 
with respect to the Catholics, a little 
dangerous; and if we are not extremely 
careful in taking the amusement, we 
shall tumble into the holy water, and 
be drowned. As it seems necessary 
to your idea of an established Church 
to have somebody to worry and tor- 
ment, suppose we were to select for 
this purpose William Wilberforce, Esq., 
and the patent Christians of Clapham. 
We shall by this expedient enjoy the 
same opportunity for cruelty and in- 
justice, without being exposed to the 
same risks: we will compel them to 
abjure vital clergymen by a puj)lic test, 
to deny that the said William Wilber- 
force has any power of working miracles, 
touching for barrenness or any other 
infirmity, or that he is endowed with 
any preternatural gift whatever. We 
will swear them to the doctrine of good 
works, compel them to preach common 
sense, and to hear it ; to frequent 
Bishops, Deans, and other high Church- 
men; and to appear (once in the quarter 
at the least) at some melodrame. opera, 
pantomime, or other light scenical re- 
presentation; in short, we will gratify 
the" love of insolence and power: we 
will enjoy the old orthodox sport of 
witnessing the impotent anger of men 
compelled to submit to civil degrada- 
tion, or to sacrifice their notions of 
truth to ours. And all this we may 
do without the slightest risk, because 
their numbers are (as yet) not very 
considerable. Cruelty and injustice 
must, of course, exist: but why con- 
nect them with danger? Why torture 
a bull- dog, when you can get a frog or 
a rabbit ? I am sure my proposal will 
meet with the most universal approba- 
tion. Do not be apprehensive of any 
opposition from ministers. If it is a 
case of hatred, we are sure that one 
man will defend it by the Gospel : if it 
abridges human freedom, we know that 
another will find precedents for it in 
the Revolution. 

In the name of Heaven, what are we 
to gain by suffering L'cland to be rode 



by that faction which now predominates 
over it ? Why are we to endanger our 
own Church and State, not for 500,000 
Episcopalians, but for ten or twelve 
great Orange families, who have been 
sucking the blood of that country for 
these hundred years last past ? and the 
folly of the Orangemen* in playing this 
game themselves, is almost as absurd 
as ours in playing it for them. They 
ought to have the sense to see that 
their business now is to keep quietly 
the lauds and beeves of which the 
fathers of the Catholics were robbed in 
days of yore; they must give to their 
descendants the sop of political power: 
by contending with them for names, 
they will lose realities, and be com- 
pelled to beg their potatoes in a foreign 
land, abhorred equally by the English, 
who have witnessed their oppression, 
and by the Catholic Irish, who have 
smarted under them. 



LETTER rV. 



Then comes Mr. Isaac Hawkins Brown 
(the gentleman who danced f so badly 
at the Court of Naples,) and asks if it 
is not an anomaly to educate men in 
another religion than your own ? It 
certainly is our duty to get rid of error, 
and above all of religious error ; but 
this is not to be done per saltum, or the 
measure will miscarry, like the Queen. 
It may be very easy to dance away the 
royal embryo of a great kingdom ; but. 
Mr. Hawkins Brown must look before 
he leaps, when his object is to crush an 

• This remark begins to be sensibly felt 
in Ireland. The Protestants in Ireland are 
fast coming over to the Catholic cause. 

t In the third year of his present Majesty, 
and in the 30th of his own age, Mr. Isaac 
Hawkins Brown, then upon his travels, 
danced One evening at the Court of Naples. 
His dr^s was a volcano silk with lava but- 
tons. Whether (as the Neapolitan wits 
said) he had studied dancing under St. 
Vitus, or whether David, dancing in a linen 
vest, was his model, is not known; but Mr. 
Brown danced Mdth such inconceivable 
alacrity and vigour, that he threw the 
Queen of Napl^ into convulsions of laugh- 
ter, which terminated in a miscarriage, and 
changed the dynasty of the Neapolitan 
throne. 

L 2 



148 



PETER PLYMLErS LETTERa 



opposite sect in religion ; false steps aid 
the one effect, as much as they are 
fatal to the other: it will require not 
only the lapse of Mr. Hawkins Brown, 
but the lapse of centaries, before the 
absurdities of the Catholic religion are 
laughed at as much as they deserve to 
be^ but surely, in the meantime, the 
Catholic religion is better than none; 
four millions of Catholics are better 
than four millions of wild beasts; two 
hundred priests educated by our own 
government are better than the same 
number educated by the man who 
means to destroy ns. 

The whole sum now appropriated by 
Government to the religious education 
of four millions of Christians is 13,000il ; 
a sum about one hundred times as large 
being appropriated in the same country 
to about one eighth part of this number 
of Protestants. When it was proposed 
to raise this grant from 8,000^ to 
13,000/., its present amount, this sum 
was objected to by that most iidulgent 
of Christians, Mr. Spencer Perceval, as 
enormous ; he himself having secured 
for his own eating and drinking, and 
the eating and drinking of the Master 
and Miss Percevals, the reversionary 
sum of 21,000/. a year of the public 
money, and having just failed in a 
desperate and rapacious attempt to 
secure to himself for life the revenues 
of the Duchy of Lancaster: and the 
best of it is, that this Minister, after 
abusing his predecessors for their im- 
pious bounty to the Catholics, has 
found himself compelled, from the 
apprehension of immediate danger, to 
grant the sum in question; thus dis- 
solving his pearl • in vinegar, and 
destroying all the value of the gift by 
the virulence and reluctance with which 
it was granted. 

I hear from some persons in Parlia- 
ment, and from others in the sixpenny 
societies for debate, a great deal about 
unalterable laws passed at the Revolu- 
tion. When I hear any man talk of 
an unalterable law, the only effect it 
produces upon me is to convince me 



• Perfectly ready at the same time to fol- 
low the other half of Cleopatra's example, 
aud to swallow the solution himself. 



that he is an unalterable fool. A law 
passed when there was Germany, Spain, 
Russia, Sweden, Holland, Portugal, 
and Turkey ; when there was a dis- 
puted succession: when four or five 
hundred acres were won and lost after 
ten years' hard fighting ; when armies 
were commanded by the sons of kings, 
and campaigns passed in an inter- 
change of civil letters and ripe fruit; 
-and for these laws, when the whole 
state of the world is completely changed, 
we are now, according to my Lord 
Hawkesbury, to hold ourselves ready 
to perish. It is no mean misfortune, 
in times like these, to be forced to saj 
anything about such men as Lord 
Hawkesbury, and to be reminded that 
we are governed by them ; but as I am 
driven to it, I must take the liberty of 
observing, that the wisdom and liber- 
ality of my Lord Hawkesbury are of 
that complexion which always shrinks 
from the present exercise of these 
virtues, by praising the splendid ex- 
amples of them in ages past If he 
had lived at such periods, he would 
have opposed the Revolution by prais- 
ing the Reformation, and the Refor* 
mation by speaking handsomely of the 
Crusades. He gratifies his natural 
antipathy to great and courageous 
measures, by playing off the wisdom 
and courage which have ceased to 
influence human affairs against that 
wisdom and courage which living men 
would employ for present happiness. 
Besides, it happens unfortunately for 
the Warden of the Cinque Ports, that 
to the principal incapacities under 
which the Irish suffer, they were sub- 
jected after that great and glorious 
Revolution, to which we are indebted 
for so many blessings, and his Lord- 
ship for the termination of so many 
periods. The Catholics were not ex- 
cluded from the Irish House of Com- 
mons, or military commands, before 
the drd and 4th of William and Mary, 
and the 1st and 2nd of Queen Anne. 

If the great mass of the people, 
environed as they are on every side 
with Jenkinsons, Percevals, Melvilles, 
and other perils, were to pray for 
divine illumination and aid, what more 
could Providence in its mercy do than 



PETER J^LYMLErS LETTERS. 



149 



send tliem the example of Scotland ? 
For what a length of years was it 
attempted to compel the Scotch to 
change their religion : horse, foot, 
artillery, and armed Prebendaries, were 
sent out after the Presbyterian parsons 
and their congregations. The Perce- 
Tals of those days called for blood: 
this call is never made in vain, and 
blood was shed ; but to the astonish- 
ment and horror of the Percevals of 
those days, they could not introduce 
the Book of Common Prayer, nor 
prevent that metaphysical people from 
going to heaven their true way, instead 
of our true way. With a little oatmeal 
for food, and a little sulphur for friction, 
allaying cutaneous irritation with the 
one hand, and holding his Calvinistical 
creed in the .other, Sawney ran away 
to his flinty hills, sung his psalm out of 
tune his own way, and listened to his 
sermon of two hours long, amid the 
rough and imposing melancholy of the 
tallest thistles. But Sawney brought 
up his unbreeched offspring in a cor- 
dial hatred of his oppressors ; and 
Scotland was as much a part of the 
weakness of England then, as Ireland 
is at this moment. The true and the 
only remedy was applied ; the Scotch 
were suffered to worship God after 
tbeir own tiresome manner, without 
pain, penalty, and privation. No 
lightning descended from heaven; the 
country was not ruined ; the world is 
not yet come to an end; the dignitaries, 
who foretold all these consequences, 
are utterly forgotten, and Scotland has 
ever since been an increasing source 
of strength to Great Britain. In the 
six hundredth year of our empire over 
Ireland, we are making laws to trans- 
port a man, if he is found out of his 
house after eight o'clock at night. 
That this is necessary, I know too 
well ; but tell me why it is necessary? 
It is not necessary in Greece, where 
the Turks are masters. 

Are you aware that there is at this 
moment a universal clamour through- 
out the whole of Ireland against the 
Union ? It is now one month since I 
returned from that country; I have 
never seen so extraordinary, so alarm- 
ing, and 8& rapid a change in the 



sentiments of any people. Those who 
disliked the Union before are quite 
furious against it now; those who 
doubted doubt no more: those who 
were friendly to it have exchanged 
that friendship for the most rooted 
aversion : in the midst of all this (which 
is by far the most alarming symptom), 
there is the strongest disposition on 
the part of the Northern Dissenters to 
unite with the Catholics, irritated bv 
the faithless injustice with which they 
have been treated. If this combination 
does take place (mark what I say to 
you), you will have meetings all over 
Ireland for the cry of No Union ; that 
cry will spread like wild-fire, and blaze 
over every opposition; and if this bo 
the case, there is no use in mincing the 
matter, Ireland is gone, and the death- 
blow of England is struck ; and this 
event may happen instantly — before 
Mr. Canning and Mr. Hookham Frere 
have turned Lord Howick's last speech 
into doggerel rhyme; before " the near 
and dear relations'* have received 
another quarter of their pension, or 
Mr. Perceval conducted the Curates* 
Salary Bill safely to a third reading. — 
If the mind of the English people, 
cursed as they now are with that mad- 
ness of religious dissension which has 
been breathed into them for the pur- 
poses of private ambition, can be 
alarmed by any remembrances, and 
warned by any events, they should 
never forget how nearly Ireland was 
lost to this country during the Ameri- 
can war; that it was saved merely by 
the jealousy of the Protestant Irish 
towards the Catholics, then a much 
more insignificant and powerless body 
than they now are. The Catholic and 
the Dissenter have since combined to- 
gether against you. Last war, the 
winds, those ancient and unsubsidised 
allies of England, the winds, upon 
which English ministers depend as 
much for saving kingdoms as washer- 
women do for drying clothes ; the 
winds stood your friends: the French 
could only get into Ireland in small 
numbers, and the rebels were defeated. 
Since then, all the remaining kingdoms 
of Europe have been destroyed ; and 
the Irish see that their national indeh 

l3 



150 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



pendence is gone, without having 
received any single one of those 
advantages which they were taught 
to expect from the sacrifice. All good 
things were to flow from the Union; 
they have none of them gained any- 
thing. Every man*s pride is wounded 
by it ; no man's interest is promoted. 
In the seventh year of that Union, 
four million Catholics, lured by all kind^ 
of promises to yield up the separate 
dignity and sovereignty of their country, 
are forced to squabble with such a man 
as Mr. Spencer Perceval for five 
thousand pounds with which to edu- 
cate their children in their own> mode 
of worship; he, the same Mr. Spencer, 
having secured to his own Protestant 
self a reversionary portion of the pub- 
lic money amounting to four times that 
sum. A senior Proctor of the Uni- 
versity of Oxford, the head of a house, 
or the examining Chaplain to a Bishop, 
may believe these things can last: but 
every man of the world, whose under- 
standing has been exercised in the 
business of life, must see (and see with 
a breaking heart) that they will soon 
come to a fearful termination. 

Our conduct to Ireland, during the 
whole of this war, has been that of a 
man who subscribes to hospitals, weeps 
at charity sermons, carries out broth 
and blankets to beggars, and then 
comes home and beats his wife and 
children. We had compassion for the 
victims of all other oppression and in- 
justice, except our own. If Switzerland 
was threatened, away went a Treasury 
Clerk with a hundred thousand pounds 
for Switzerland; large bags of money 
were kept constantly under sailing 
orders; upon the slightest demonstra- 
tion towards Naples, down went Sir 
William Hamilton upon his knees, and 
begged for the love of St. Januarius 
they would help us off with a little 
money; all the arts of Machiavel were 
resorted to, to persuade Europe to 
borrow ; troops were sent off in all 
directions to save the Catholic and 
Protestant world ; the Pope himself 
was guarded by a regiment of English 
dragoons; if the Grand Lama had been 
at hand, he would have had another; 
every Catholic Clergyman who had 



the good fortune to be neither English 
nor Irish, was immediately provided 
with lodging, soap, crucifix, missal, 
chapel-beads, relics, and holy water; if 
Turks had landed, Turks would have 
received an order from the Treasury 
for coffee, opium, korans, and seraglios. 
In the midst of all this fury of saving 
and defending, this crusade for con- 
science and Christianity, there was a 
universal agreement among all de- 
scriptions of people to continue every 
species of internal persecution; to deny 
at home every just right that had been 
denied before; to pummel poor Dr. 
Abraham Rees and his Dissenters ; 
and to treat the unhappy Catholics of 
Ireland as if their tongues were mate, 
their heels cloven, their nature brutal, 
and designedly subjected by Providence 
to their Orange masters. 

How would my admirable brother, 
the Rev. Abraham Plymley, like to be 
marched to a Catholic chapel, to be 
sprinkled with the sanctified contents 
of a pump, to hear a number of false 
quantities in the Latin tongue, and to 
see a number of persons occupied in 
making right angles upon the breast 
and forehead ? And if all this would 
give you so much pain, what right 
have you to march Catholic soldiers to 
a place of worship, where there is no 
aspersion, no rectangular gestures, and 
where they understand every word they 
hear, having first, in order to get him 
to enlist, made a solemn promise to the 
contrary ? Can you wonder, after 
this, that the Catholic priest stops the 
recruiting in Ireland, as he is now 
doing to a most alarming degree ? 

The late question, concerning mili- 
tary rank did not individually affect 
the lowest persons of the Catholic per- 
suasion; but do you imagine they do 
not sympathise with the honour and dis- 
grace of their superiors ? Do you think 
that satisfaction and dissatisfaction do 
not travel down from Lord Fingal to 
the most potatoless Catholic in Ireland, 
and that the glory or shame of the sect 
is not felt by many more than these 
conditions personally and corporeally 
affect ? Do you suppose that the de- 
tection of Sir H. M. and the disap- 
pointment of Mr. Perceval in the matter 



PETER PLYMLEt'S LETTElia 



151 



of the Duchy of !Lancaster, did not 
affect every dabbler in public property ? 
Depend upon it these things were felt 
through all the gradations of small 
plunderers, down to him who filches a 
pound of tobacco from the King's 
warehouses; while, on the contrary, 
the acquittal of any noble and ofScial 
thief would not fail to diffuse the most 
heartfelt satisfaction over the larcenous 
and burglarious world. Observe, I do 
not say because the lower Catholics 
are affected by what . concerns their 
superiors, that they are not affected by 
what concerns themselves. There is 
no disguising the horrid truth; tJiere 
nust he some relaxation with respect to 
tithe: this is the cruel and heart-rending 
price which must be paid for national 
preservation. I feel how little exist- 
ence will be worth having, if any 
alteration, however slight, is made in 
the property of Irish rectors; I am 
conscious how much such changes 
must affect the daily and hourly com- 
forts of every Englishman; I shall feel 
too happy if they leave Europe un- 
touched, and are not ultimately fatal 
to the destinies of America; but I am 
madly bent upon keeping foreign 
enemies out of the British empire, and 
my limited understanding presents me 
with no other means of effecting my 
object 

You talk of waiting till another reign 
before any alteration is made ; a pro- 
posal full of good sense and good 
nature, if the measure in question were 
to pull down St. James's Palace, or to 
alter Kew Gardens. Will Bonaparte 
agree to put off" his intrigues, and his 
invasion of Ireland ? If so, I will over- 
look the question of justice, and finding 
the danger suspended, agree to the 
delay. I sincerely hope this reign may 
last many years, yet the delay of a 
single session of Parliament may be 
fatal ; but if another year elapse with- 
out some serious concession made to 
the Catholics, I believe, before Ood, 
that all future pledges and concessions 
will be made in vain. I do not think 
that peace will do you any good under 
such circumstances : if Bonaparte give 
you a respite, it will only be to get 
ready the gallows on which he means 



to hang you. The Catholic and the 
Dissenter can unite in peace as well as 
war. If they do, the gallows is ready ; 
and your executioner, in spite of the 
most solemn promises, will turn you off 
the next hour. 

With every disposition to please 
(where to please within fair and ra- 
tional limits is a high duly), it is im- 
possible for public men to be long 
silent about the Catholics ; pressing 
evils are not got rid of, because they 
are not talked of. A man may com- 
mand his family to say nothing more 
about the stone, and surgical opera- 
tions: but the ponderous malice still 
lies upon the nerve, and gets so big, 
that the patient breaks his own law of 
silence, clamours for the knife, and 
expires under its late operation. Be- 
lieve me, you talk folly, when you 
talk of suppressing the Catholic ques- 
tion. I wish to God the case admitted 
of such a remedy: bad as it is, it does 
not admit of it. If the wants of the 
Catholics are not heard in the manly 
tones of Lord Grenville, or the servile 
drawl of Lord Castlereagh, they will 
be heard ere long in the madness of 
mobs, and the conflicts of armed men. 

I observe, it is now universally the 
fashion to speak of the first personage 
in the state as the great obstacle to the 
measure. In the first place, I am not 
bound to believe such rumours because 
I hear them; and. in the next place, I 
object to such language, as unconsti- 
tutionaL Whoever retains his situa- 
tion in the ministry, while the incapa- 
cities of the Catholics remain, is the 
advocate for those incapacities ; and 
to him, and to him only, am I to look 
for refponsibility. But waive this 
question of the Catholics, and put a 
general case: — How is a minister of 
this country to act when the conscien- 
tious scruples of his Sovereign prevent 
the execution of a measure deemed by 
him absolutely necessary to the safety 
of the country? His conduct is quite 
clear — ^he should resign. But what is 
his successor to do? — Resign. But 
is the King to be left without ministers, 
and is he in this manner to be com- 
pelled to act against his own con- 
science? Before I answer this, pray 

L4 



152 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



tell me in my turn, what better defence 
is there against the machinations of a 
'wicked, or the errors of a weak, Mon- 
arch, than the impossibility of finding 
a minister who will lend himself to vice 
and folly? Every English Monarch, 
in such a predicament, wonld sacrifice 
his opinions and views to sach a clear 
expression of the public will ; and it is 
one method in which the Constitution 
aims at bringing about such a sacrifice. 
You may say, if you please, the ruler 
of a state is forced to give up his object, 
when the natural love of place and 
power will tempt no one to assist him 
in its attainment. This may be force; 
but it is force without injury, and 
therefore without blame. I am not to 
be beat ont of these obvious reasonings, 
and ancient constitutional provisions, 
by the term conscience. There is no 
fantasy, however wild, that a man may 
not persuade himself that he cherishes 
from motives of conscience ; eternal 
war against impious France, or re- 
bellious America, or Catholic Spain, 
may in times to come be scruples of 
conscience. One English Monarch 
may, from scruples of conscience, wish 
to abolish every trait of religious per- 
secution ; another Monarch may deem 
it his absolute and indispensable duty 
to make a slight provision' for Dissen- 
ters out of the revenues of the Church 
of England. So that you see, Brother 
Abraham, there are cases where it 
would be the duty of the best and most 
loyal subjects to oppose the conscien- 
tious scruples of their Sovereign, still 
taking care that their actions were 
constitutional, and their modes respect- 
ful. Then you come upon me with 
personal questions, and say that no 
such dangers are to be apprehended 
now under our present gracious Sove- 
reign, of whose good qualities we must 
b3 all so well convinced. All these 
sorts of discussions I beg leave to de- 
cline ; what I have said upon consti- 
tutional topics, I mean of course for 
general, not for particular application. 
i agree with you in all the good yo\i 
have said of the powers that be, and I 
avail myself of the opportunity of 
pointing out general dangers to the 
Constitution, at a moment when we 



are so completely exempted firom their 
present influence. I cannot finish this 
letter without expressing my surprise 
and pleasure at your abuse of the ser- 
vile addresses poured in upon the 
Throne ; nor can I conceive a greater 
disgust to a Monarch, with a true 
English heart, than to see such a ques- 
tion as that of Catholic Emancipation 
argued, not with a reference to its 
justice or importance, but universally 
considered to be of no further conse- 
quence than as it afiects his own pri- 
vate feelings. That these sentiments 
should be mine, is not wondeiful ; but 
how they came to be yours, does, I 
confess, fill me with surprise. Are you 
moved by the arrival of the Irish Brig- 
ade at Antwerp, and the amorous vio- 
lence which awaits Mrs. Plymley ? 



LETTER V. 



Dear Abraham, 
I NEVER met a parson in my life, who 
did not consider the Corporation and 
Test Acts as the great bulwarks of the 
Church ; and yet it is now just sixty- 
four years since bills of indemnity to 
destroy their penal efi^ects, or, in other 
words, to repeal them, have been passed 
annatUly as a matter of course. 

Heu vaium ignariB mentes. 

These bulwarks, without which no 
clergyman thinks he could sleep with 
his accustomed soundness, have ac- 
tually not been in existence since any 
man now living has taken holy orders. 
Every year the Indemnity Act pardons 
past breaches of these two laws, and 
prevents any fi*e8h actions of informers 
from coming to a conclusion before the 
period for the next indemnity "bill ar- 
rives; so that these penalties, by which 
alone the Church remains in existence, 
have not had pne moment's operatioa 
for sixty-four years. You will say the 
legislature, during the whole of this 
period, has reserved to itself the dis- 
cretion of suspending, or not suspend- 
ing. But had not the legislature the 
right of re-enacting, if it was necessary? 
And now when yon have kept the vA 
over these people (with the most scan- 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTEIiS. 



153 



daloas abase of all principle) for sixty- 
four years, and not found it necessary 
to strike once, is not that the best of all 
reasons why the rod should be laid 
aside? You talk to me 6f a very 
valuable hedge running across your 
fields which you would not part with 
on any account. I go down, expecting 
to find a limit impervious to cattle, and 
highly useful for the preservation of 
property; but, to my utter astonish- 
ment, I find that the hedge was cut 
down half a century ago, and that 
every year the shoots are clipped the 
mpment they appear above ground : it 
appears, upon further inquiry, that the 
hedge never ought to have existed at 
all ; that it originated in the malice of 
antiquated quarrels, and was cut down 
because it subjected you to vast incon- 
venience, and broke up your inter- 
course with a country absolutely neces- 
sary to your existence. If the remains 
of this hedge serve only to keep up an 
irritation in your neighbours, and to 
remind them of the fends of former 
times, good nature and good sense 
teach you that you ought to grub it up, 
and cast it into the oven. This is the 
exact state of these two laws ; and yet 
it is made a great argument against 
concession to the Catholics, that it in- 
volves their repeal; which is to say, 
Do not make me relinquish a folly 
that will lead to my ruin ; because, if 
you do, I must give up other follies ten 
times greater than this. 

I confess, with all our bulwarks and 
hedges, it mortifies me to the very 
quick, to contrast with our matchless 
stupidity, and inimitable folly, the con- 
duct of Bonaparte upon the subject of 
religious persecution. At the moment 
when we are tearing the crucifixes 
from the necks of the Catholics, and 
washing pious mud from the foreheads 
of the Hindoos ; at that moment this 
man is assembling the very Jews at 
Paris, and endeavouring to give them 
stability and importance. I shall never 
be reconciled to mending shoes in 
America ; but I see it must be my lot, 
and I will then take a dreadful revenge 
upon Mr. Perceval, if I catch him 
preaching within ten miles of me. I 
cannot for the soul of me conceive 



whence this man has gained his notions 
of Christianity : he has the most evan- 
gelical charity for errors in arithmetic, 
and the most inveterate malice against 
errors in conscience. While he rages 
against those whom in the true spirit 
of the Grospel he ought to indulge, 
he forgets the only instance of seve- 
rity which that Gk)spel contains, and 
leaves the jobbers, and contractors, 
and money-changers at their seats, 
without a single stripe. 

You cannot imagine, you say, that 
England will ever be ruined and con- 
quered ; and for no other reason that 1 
can find, but because it seems so very 
odd it should be ruined and conquered. 
Alas ! so reasoned, in their time, the 
Austrian, Russian, and Prussian Plym- 
leys. But the English are brave : so 
were all these nations. You might 
get together a hundred thousand men 
individually brave ; but without gene- 
rals capable of commanding such a 
machine, it would be as useless as 
a first-rate man of war manned by 
Oxford clergymen, or Parisian shop- 
keepers. 1 do not say this to the dis- 
paragement of English ofiicers : they 
have had no means of acquiring ex- 
perience ; but I do say it to create 
alarm ; for we do not appear to me to 
be half alarmed enough, or to enter- 
tain that sense of our danger which 
leads to the most obvious means of 
self-defence. As for the spirit of the 
peasantry in making a gallant defence 
behind hedge-rows, and through plate- 
racks and hen-coops, highly as I think 
of their bravery, I do not know any 
nation in Europe so likely to be struck 
with the panic as the English ; and this 
from their total imacquaintance with 
the science of war. Old wheat and 
beans blazing for twenty miles round ; 
cart mares shot ; sows of Lord Somer- 
ville's breed running wild over the 
country ; the minister of the parish 
wounded sorely in his hinder parts ; 
Mrs. Plymley in fits ; all these scenes 
of war an Austrian or a Russian has 
seen three or four times over ; but it is 
now three centuries since an English 
pig has fallen in a fair battle upon 
English ground, or a farm-house been 
I rifled, or a clergyman's wife been sub- 



154 



PETER PLYilLErS LETTER& 



jectcd to any other proposals of love 
than the connnhial endearments of her 
sleek and orthodox mate. The old 
edition of Plutarch's Lires, which lies 
in the corner of yoor parlour window, 
has contrihated to work yon up to the 
most romantic expectations of our Ro- 
man beharioor. Yon are persuaded 
that Lord Amhmt will defend Kew 
Bridge like Codes ; that some maid of 
honour will break away from her cap- 
tivity, and swim over the Thames; 
that the Duke of York will bum his 
capitulating hand ; and little Mr. 
Sturges Bourne * give forty years* pur- 
chase for Monlsbiam Hall,* while the 
French are encamped upon it. I hope 
we shall witness ail this, if the French 
do come ; but in the meantime I am 
so enchanted with the ordinary English 
behaviour of these invaluable persons, 
that I earnestly pray no opportunity 
may be given them for Roman valour, 
and for those very un-Roman pensions 
which they would all, of course, take 
especial care to claim in consequence. 
But whatever was our conduct, if every 
ploughman was as great a hero as he 
who was called from his oxen to save 
Rome from her enemies, I should still 
say, that at such a crisis yon want the 
affections of all your subjects, in both 
islands : there is no spirit which you 
must alienate, no heart you must avert, 
every man must feel he has a country, 
-and that there is an urgent and pressing 
cause why he should expose himself to 
death. 

The effects of penal laws, in matters 
of religion, are never confined to those 
limits in which the legislature intended 
they should be placed : it is not only 
that I am excluded from certain offices 
and dignities because I am a Catholic, 
but the exclusion carries with it a cer- 
tain stigma, which degrades me in the 
eyes of the monopolising sect, and the 
very name of my religion becomes 
odious. These effects are so very strik- 
ing in England, that I solemnly believe 
blue and red baboons to be more popu> 

* There is nothing more objectionable in 
Plymley's Letters than the abuse of Mr. 
Sturges Bourne, who is an honourable, able, 
and excellent person ; but such are the 
malevolent effects of party sphit. 



lar here than Catholics and Presbj- 
terians ; they are more understood, and. 
there is a greater disposition to do 
something for them. When a country 
squire hears of an ape, his first feeling 
is to give it nuts and apples ; when he 
hears of a Dissenter, his immediate 
impulse is to commit it to the county 
jail, to shave its head, to alter its cus- 
tomary food, and to have it privately 
whipped. This is no caricature, but 
an accurate picture of national feelings, 
as they degrade and endanger us at 
this very moment. The Irish Catholic 
gentleman would bear his legal disa- 
bilities with greater temper, if these 
were all he had to bear — if they did 
not enable every Protestant cheese- 
monger and tide-waiter to treat him 
with contempt He is branded on the 
forehead with a red-hot iron, and 
treated like a spiritual felon, because, 
in the highest of all considerations he 
is led by the noblest of all guides, his 
own disinterested conscience. . 

Why are nonsense and cruelty a bit 
the better because they are enacted ? 
If Providence, which gives wine and 
oil, had blessed us with that tolerant 
spirit which makes the countenance 
more pleasant and the heart more glad 
than these can do ; if our Statute book 
had never been defiled with such in- 
famous laws, the sepulchral Spencer 
Perceval would have been hauled 
through the dirtiest horse-pond in 
Hampstead, had he ventured to pro- 
pose them. But now persecution is 
good, because it exists ; eveiy law 
which originated in ignorance and 
malice, and gratifies the passions from 
whence it sprang, we call the wisdom 
of our ancestors : when such laws are 
repealed, they will be cruelty and mad- 
ness ; till they are repealed, they are 
policy and caution. 

I was somewhat amused with the 
imputation brought against the Catho- 
lics by the University of Oxford, that 
they are enemies to liberty. I immedi- 
ately turned to my History of England, 
and marked as an historical error that 
passage in which it is recorded that, 
in the reign of Queen Anne, the fa- 
mous decree of the University of Ox- 
ford, respecting passive obedience, was 



PETER PLYMLETS LETTERS. 



155 



ordered, by the Hoase of Lords, to be 
barnt by the hands of the common 
hangman, as contrary to the liberty of 
the subject, and the law of the land. 
Nevertheless, I wish, whatever be the 
modesty of those who impute, that the 
impatation was a little more tme, the 
Catholic cause would not be quite so 
desperate with the present Adminis- 
tration. I fear, however, that the 
hatred to liberty in these poor devoted 
wretches may ere long appear more 
doubtful than it is at present to the 
Vice-Chancellor and his Clergy, in- 

, flamed, as they doubtless are, with 
classical examples of republican virtue, 
and panting, as they always have been, 
to reduce the power of the Crown 
within narrower and safer limits. What 
mistaken zeal, to attempt to connect 
one religion with freedom and another 
with slavery ! Who laid the founda- 
tions of English liberty ? What was 
the mixed religion of Switzerland? 
What has the Protestant religion done 
for liberty in Denmark, in Sweden, 
throughout the North of Germany, 
and in Prussia ? The purest religion 
in the world, in my humble opinion, is 
the religion of the Church of England: 
for its preservation (so far as it is exer- 
cised without intruding upon the liber- 
ties of others) I am ready at this mo- 
ment to venture my present life, and 
but through that religion I have no 
hopes of any other ; yet I am not forced 
to be silly because I am pious; nor 
will I ever join in eulogiums on my 

, faith, which every man of common 
reading and common sense can so 
easily refute. 

You have either done too much for 
the Catholics (worthy Abraham), or 
too little ; if you had intended to refuse 
them politicfd power, you should have 
refused them civil rights. After you 
had enabled them to acquire property, 
after you had conceded to them ^1 
that you did concede in '78 and '93, 
the rest is wholly out of your pow^er: 
you may choose whether you will give 
the rest in an honourable or a disgrace- 
ful mode, but it is utterly out of your 
power to withhold it. 

In the last year, land to the amount 
of eight hundred thousand pounds was 



purchased by the Catholics in Ireland. 
Do you think it possible to be- Perceval, 
and be Canning, and be-Castlereagh, 
such a body of men as this out of their 
common rights, and their common 
sense ? Mr. George Canning may 
laugh and joke at the idea of Protes- 
tant bailiffs ravishing Catholic ladies, 
under the 9th clause of the Sunset Bill; 
but if some better remedy be not ap- 
plied to the distractions of Ireland 
than the jocularity of Mr. Canning, 
they will soon put an end to his pen- 
sion, and to the pension of those **near 
and dear relatives," for whose eating, 
drinking, washing, and clothing, every 
man in the United Kingdoms now pays 
his two-pence or three-pence a year. 
You may call these observations coarse, 
if you please ; but I have no idea that 
the Sophias and Carolines of any man 
breathing are to eat national veal, to 
drink public tea, to wear Treasury 
ribands, and then that we are to be 
told that it is coarse to animadvert 
upon this pitiful and eleemosynary 
splendour. If this is right, why not 
mention it ? If it is wrong, why should 
not he who enjoys the ease of support- 
ing his sisters in this manner bear 
the shame of it ? Everybody seems 
hitherto to have spared a man who 
never spares anybody. 

As for the enormous wax candles, 
and superstitious mummeries, and 
painted jackets of the Catholic priests, 
I fear them not. Tell me that the 
world will return again under the in- 
fluence of the smallpox ; that Lord 
Castlereagh will nereafter oppose the 
power of the Court ; that Lord Howick 
and Mr. Grattan will do each of them 
a mean and dishonourable action ; that 
anybody who has heard Lord Redes- 
dale speak once will knowingly and 
willinj^ly hear him again ; that Lord 
Eldon has assented to the fact of two 
and two making four, without shedding 
tears, or expressing the smallest doubt 
or scruple ; tell me any other thing 
absurd or incredible, but^ for the love 
of common sense, let me hear no more 
of the danger to be apprehended from 
the general diffusion of Popery. It is 
too absurd to be reasoned upon ; every 
man feels it is nonsense when he hears 



156 



PETER PLYMI-ErS LETTERS. 



it stated, and so does ereiy man while 
be is stating it 

I cannot imagine wfa j the friends to 
the Church Esttiblishment shonld en- 
tertain snch a horror of seeing the doors 
of Parliament flnng open to the Catho- 
lics, and Tiew so passively the enjoy- 
ment of that right by the Presbyterians 
and by every other species of Dissen- 
ter, In their tenets, in their Church 
government, in the nature of their en- 
dowments, the Dissenters are infinitely 
more distant from the Church of Eng- 
land than the Catholics are ; yet the 
Dissenters have never been excluded 
from Parliament. There are 45 mem- 
bers in one House, and 16 in the other, 
who always are Dissenters. There is 
no law which would prevent every 
member of the Lords and Commons 
from being Dissenters. The Catholics 
could not bring into Parliament half 
the number of the Scotch members ; 
and yet one exclusion is of such im- 
mense importance, because it has taken 
place ; and the other no human being 
thinks of, because no one. is accustomed 
to it. I have often thought, if the 
wisdom of our ancestors had excluded 
all persons with red hair from the 
House of Commons, of the throes and 
convulsions it would occasion to restore 
them to their natural rights. What 
mobs and riots would it produce ! To 
what infinite abuse and obloquy would 
the capillary patriot be exposed ; what 
wormwood would distil from Mr. Per- 
ceval, what froth would drop from Mr. 
Canning ; bow (I vfjUl not say my, but 
our Lord Hawkesbury, for he belongs 
to us all) — how our Lord Hawkesbury 
would work away about the hair of 
King William and Lord Somers, and 
the authors of the great and glorious 
licvolution) how Lord Eldon would 
appeal to the Deity and his own virtues, 
and to the hair of his children : some 
would say that red-haired men were 
superstitions ; some would prove they 
were atheists ; they would be petitioned 
against as the friends of slavery, and 
the advocates for revolt ; in short, such 
a corrupter of the heart and the under- 
standing is the spirit of persecution, 
that these unfortunate people (con- 
spired against by their fellow-subjects 



of every complexion), if they did not 
emigrate to countries where hair of 
another colour was persecuted, would 
be driven to the fidsehood of pemkes, 
or the hypocrisy of the Tricosian fluid. 

As for the dangers of the Church 
(in spite of the staggerinfi: events which 
have lately taken place), I have not 
yet entirely lost my confidence in the 
power of common sense, and I believe 
the Church to be in no danger at all ; 
but if it is, that danger is not from the 
Catholics, but from ^e Methodists, and 
from that patent Christianity which 
has been for some time mantifacturing 
at Clapham, to the prejudice of the old 
and admu^able article prepared bj the 
C!hurch. I would counsel my lords 
the Bishops to keep their eyes upon 
that holy village, and its hallowed vi- 
cinity: they will find there a zeal in 
making converts far superior to any- 
thing which exists among the Catho- 
lics ; a contempt for the great mass 
of English clergy, much more rooted 
and profound ; and a regular fund to 
purchase livings for those groaning 
and garrulous gentlemen, whom they 
denominate (by a standing sarcasm 
against the regular Church) Gospel 
preachers, and vital clergymen. I am 
too firm a believer in the general pro- 
priety and respectability of the Enji^lish 
clergy, to believe they have much to 
fear either from old nonsense, or from 
new; but if the Church must be sup- 
posed to be in danger, I prefer that 
nonsense which is grown half venerable 
from time, the force of which I have 
already tried and baffled, which at least 
has some excuse* in the dark and ignor- 
ant ages in which it originated. The 
religious enthusiasm manufactured by 
living men before my own eyes disgusts 
my understanding as much, influences 
my imagination not at all, and excites 
my apprehensions much more. 

I may have seemed to yon to treat 
the situation of public affairs with some 
degree of levity ; but I feel it deeply, 
and with nightly and daily anguish; 
because I know Ireland ; I have known 
it all my life ; I love it, and I foresee 
the crisis to which it will soon be ex- 
posed. Who can doubt but that Ire- 
land will experience ultimately from 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



157 



France a treatment to which the con- 
duct they have experienced from Eng- 
land is the love of a parent, or a 
brother? Who can doubt bat that 
five years after he has got hold of the 
conn try, Ireland will be tossed away 
by Bonaparte as a present to some one 
of his ruffian generals, who will knock 
the head of Mr. Keogh against the 
head of Cardinal Troy, shoot twenty 
of the most noisy blockheads of the 
Roman persuasion, wash his pug-dogs 
in holy water, and confiscate the salt 
butter of the Milesian Republic to the 
last tub f But what matters this ? or 
who is wise enough in Ireland to heed 
it ? or when had common sense much 
influence with my poor dear Irish ? 
Mr. Perceval does not know the Irish ; 
but I know them, and I know that at 
every rash and mad hazard, they will 
break the Union, revenge their wound- 
ed pride and their insulted religion, and 
fling themselves into the open arms of 
France, sure of dying in the embrace. 
And now what means have you of 
guarding against this coming evil, upon 
which the future happiness or misery 
of every Englishman depends ? Have 
you a single ally in the whole world ? 
Is there a vulnerable point in the 
French empire where the astonishing 
resources of that people can be at- 
tracted and employed ? Have you a 
ministry wise enough to comprehend 
the danger, manly enough to believe 
unpleasant intelligence, honest enough 
to state their apprehensions at the peril 
of their places ? Is there anywhere 
the slightest disposition to join any 
measure of love, or conciliation, or 
hope, with that dreadful bill which the 
distractions of Ireland have rendered 
necessary ? At the very moment that 
the last Monarchy in Europe has fallen, 
are we not governed by a man of 
pleasantry, and a man of theology? In 
the six hundredth year of our empire 
over Ireland, have we any memorial of 
ancient kindness to refer to? any 
people, any zeal, any country on which 
we can depend ? Have we any hope, 
but in the winds of heaven, and the 
tides of the sea ? any prayer to prefer 
to the Irish, but that they should forget 
and forgive their oppressors, who, in 



thQ very moment that they are calling 
upon them for their exertions, solemn- 
ly assure them that the oppression shall 
still remain. 

Abraham, farewell ! If I have tired 
you, remember how often you have 
tired me and others. I do not think 
we really differ in, politics so much as 
you suppose ; or, at least, if we do, 
that difference is in the means, and not 
in the end. We both love the Con- 
stitution, respect the King, and abhor 
the French. But though you love the 
Constitution, you would perpetuate the 
abuses which have been engrafted upon 
it ; though you respect the King, you 
would confirm his scruples against the 
Catholics ; though you abhor the 
French, you would open to them the 
conquest of Ireland. My method of 
respecting my Sovereign is by protect- 
ing his honour, his empire, and his 
lasting happiness ; I evince my love of 
the Constitution, by making it the 
guardian of all men's rights and the 
source of their freedom ; and I prove 
my abhorrence of the French, by unit- 
ing against them the disciples of every 
church in the only remaining nation in 
Europe. As for the men of whom I 
have been compelled in this age of 
mediocrity to say so much, they cannot 
of themselves be worth a moment's 
consideration, to you, to me, or to any- 
body. In a year after their death, 
they will be forgotten as completely as 
if they had never been ; and are now 
of no further importance, than as they 
are the mere vehicles of carrying into 
effect, the common-place and mis- 
chievous prejudices of the times in 
which they live. 



LETTER VI. 

Deab Abraham, 
What amuses me the most is to hear 
of the indulgences which the Catholics 
have received, and their exorbitance in 
not being satisfied with those indul- 
gences : now if you complain to me 
that a man is obtrusive and shameless 
in his requests, and that it is impossible 
to bring him to reason, I must first of 
all hear the whole of your conduct 



158 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTEBS. 



towards liim ; for 70U maj have taken 
from him so mnch in tiie first instance, 
that, in spite of a long series of rcsti- 
tution, a vast latitude for petition may 
still remain behind. 

There is a village (no matter where) 
in which the inhabitants, on one day 
in the year, sit down to a dinner pre- 
pared at the common expense ; by an 
extraordinary piece of tyranny (which 
Lord Hawkesbury would call the wis- 
dom of the village ancestors), the in- 
habitants of three of the streets, about 
a hundred years ago, seized upon the 
inhabitants of the fourth street, bound 
them hand and frot, laid them upoQ 
their backs, and compelled them to 
look on while the rest were stuffing 
themselves with beef and beer : the 
next year the inhabitants of the perse* 
cuted street (though they contributed 
an equal quota of the expense) were 
treated precisely in the same manner. 
The tyratnny grew into a custom ; and 
(as the manner of our nature is) it was 
considered as the most sacred of all 
duties to keep these poor fellows with- 
out their annual dinner: the village 
was so tenacious of this practice, that 
nothing could induce them to resign it; 
every enemy to it was looked upon as 
a disbeliever in Divine Providence, and 
any nefarious churchwarden who wish- 
ed to succeed in his election had no- 
thing to do but to represent his antago- 
nist as an abolitionist, in order to 
frustrate his ambition, endanger his 
life, and throw the village into a state 
of the most dreadful commotion. By 
degrees, however, the obnoxious street 
grew to be so well peopled, and its 
inhabitants so firmly united, that their 
oppressors, more afraid of injustice, 
were more disposed to be just. At 
the next dinner they are unbound, the 
year after allowed to sit upright, then 
a bit of bread and a glass of water ; 
till at last, after a long series of con- 
cessions, they are emboldened to ask, 
in pretty plain terms, that they may be 
allowed to sit down at the bottom of 
the table, and to fill their bellies as well 
as the rest. Forthwith a general cry 
of shame and scandal : " Ten years 
ago, were you not laid npon your 
backs ? Don't you remember what a 



great thing you thought it to get a 
piece of bread ? How thankful yoa 
were for cheese-parings ? Have you 
forgotten that memorable era when the 
lord of the manor interfered to obtain 
for you a slice of the public padding ? 
And now, with an audacity only equal- 
led by your ingratitude, yon have the 
impudence to ask for .knives and forks, 
and to request, in terms too plain to be 
mistaken, that you may sit down to 
table with the rest, and be indulged 
even with beef and beer: there are not 
more than half a dozen dishes which 
we have reserved for ourselves ; the 
rest has been thrown open to yoa in 
the utmost profusion ; you have pota- 
toes, and carrots, suet dumplings, sops 
in the pan, and delicious toast and 
water, in incredible quantities. Beef, 
mutton, lamb, pork, and veal are ours; 
and if you were not the most restless 
and dissatisfied of human beings, you 
would never think of aspiring to enjoy 
them.*' 

Is not this, my dainty Abraham, the 
very nonsense and the very insult which 
is talked to and practised upon the 
Catholics ? You are surprised that 
men who have tasted of partial justice 
should ask for perfect justice ; that he 
who has been robbed of coat and cloak 
wiU not be contented with the restitn- 
tion of one of his garments. He 
would be a very lazy blockhead if he 
were content, and I (who, though an 
inhabitant of the village, have pre- 
served, thank God, some sense of jus- 
tice), most earnestly counsel these half- 
fed claimants to persevere in their just 
demands, till they are admitted to a 
more complete share of a dinner for 
which they pay as much as the others; 
and if they see a little attenuated 
lawyer squabbling at the head of their 
opponents, let them desire him to 
empty his pockets, and to pull out all 
the pieces of duck, fowl, and puddinjr, 
which he has filched from the public 
feast, to carry home to his wife and 
children. 

You parade a great deal upon the 
vast concessions made by this country 
to the Irish before the Union. I deny 
that any voluntary concession was ever 
made by England to Ireland. What 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



159 



did Ireland eyer ask that was granted? 
What did she ever demand Uiat was 
not refused? How did she get her 
Mutiny Bill — a limited parliament — a 
repeal of Pojning's Law — a constitu- 
tion ? Not by the concessions of Eng- 
land, but by her fears. When Ireland 
asked for all these things upon her 
knees, her petitions were rejected with 
Percevalism and contempt ; when she 
demanded them with the yoice of 
60,000 armed men, they were granted 
with every mark of consternation and 
dismay. Ask of Lord Auckland the 
fatal consequences of trifling with such 
a people as the Irish. He himself was 
the organ of these refusals. As secre- 
tary to the Lord-Lieutenant, the inso- 
lence and the tyranny of this country 
passed through his hands. Ask him 
if he remembers the consequences. 
Ask him if he has forgotten that me- 
morable evening, when he came down 
booted and mantled to the House of 
Commons, when he told the House he 
was about to set off for Ireland that 
night, and declared before God, if he 
did not carry with him a compliance 
with all their demands, Ireland was for 
ever lost to this country. The present 
generation have forgotten this ; but I 
have not forgotten it ; and I know, 
hasty and undignified as the submission 
of England then was, that Lord Auck- 
land was right, that the delay of a 
single day might very probably have 
separated the two people for ever. The 
terms submission and fear are galling 
terras, when applied from the lesser 
nation to the greater ; but it is the 
plain historical truth, it is the natural 
consequence of injustice, it is the pre- 
dicament in which every country places 
itself which leaves such a mass of 
hatred and discontent by its side. No 
empire is powerful enough to endure it; 
it would exhaust the strength of China, 
and sink it with all its mandarins and 
tea-kettles to the bottom of the deep. 
By refusing them justice, now when 
you are strong enough to refuse them 
anything more than justice, you will 
act over again, with the Catholics, the 
same scene of mean and precipitate 
submission which disgraced you before 
America, and before the volunteers of 



Ireland. We shall live to hear the 
Hampstead Protestant pronouncing 
such extravagant panegyrics upon holy 
water, and paying such fulsome com* 
pliments to the thumbs and offals of 
departed saints, that parties will change 
sentiments, and Lord Henry Petty and 
Sam Whitbread take a spell at No 
Popery. The wisdom of Mr. Fox was 
alike employed in teaching his country 
justice when Ireland was weak, and 
dignity when Ireland was strong. We 
are fast pacing round the same miser- 
able circle of ruin and imbecility. 
Alas ! where is our guide ? 

You say that Ireland is a millstone 
about our necks ; that it would bo 
better for us if Ireland were sunk at 
the bottom of the sea ; that the Irish 
are a nation of irreclaimable savages 
and barbarians. How often have I 
heard these sentiments fall from the 
plump and thoughtless squire, and 
from the thriving English shopkeeper, 
who has never felt the rod of an 
Orange master upon his back. Ire- 
land a millstone about your neck ! 
Why is it not a stone of Ajax in your 
hand ? I agree with you most cor- 
dially, that, governed as Ireland now is, 
it would be a vast accession of strength 
if the waves of the sea were to rise and 
engulf her to-morrow. At this moment, 
opposed as we are to all the world, 
the annihilation of one of the most 
fertile islands on the face of the globe, 
containing five millions of human 
creatures, would be one of the most 
solid advantages which could happen 
to this country. I doubt very much, 
in spite of all the just abuse which 
has been lavished upon Bonaparte, 
whether there is any one of his con- 
quered countries the blotting out of 
which would be as beneficial to him 
as the destructibn of Ireland would 
be to us : of countries I speak differ- 
ing in language from the French, little 
habituated to their intercourse, and 
inflamed with all the resentments of a 
recently conquered people. Why will 
you attribute the turbulence of our 
people to any cause but the right — to 
any cause but your own scandalous op- 
pression ? If you tie your horse up to a 
gate, and beat him cruelly, is he vicious 



160 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTEB& 



because be kicks yon ? If you bave 
plagued and worried a mastiff dog for 
years, is be mad because be flies at yon 
wbenever be sees yoa ? Hatred is 
an active, troublesome passion. De- 
pend upon it, wbole nations bave 
always some reason for their batred. 
Before you refer tbe turbulence of the 
Irisb to incurable defects in their 
character, tell me if you have treated 
them as friends and equals ? Have 
yon protected their commerce ? Have 
you respected their religion ? Have 
you been as anxious for their freedom 
as your own ? Nothing of all this. 
What then ? Why you have confis- 
cated the territorial surface of tbe coun- 
try twice over: you have massacred 
and exported her inhabitants : you have 
deprived four fifths of them of every 
*civii privilege : you have at every 
period made her commerce and manu- 
factures slavishly subordinate to your 
own : and yet the hatred which tbe 
Irish bear to you is tbe result of an 
original turbulence of character, and 
of a primitive, obdurate wildness, 
utterly incapable of civilisation. The 
embroidered inanities and the sixth- 
form effusions of Mr. Canning are 
really not powerful enough to make 
me believe this; nor is there any 
authority on earth (always excepting 
the Dean of Christ Church) which 
could make it credible to me. I am 
sick of Mr. Canning. There is not a 
*' ha'p'orth of bread to all this sugar 
and sack." I love not the cretaceous 
and incredible countenance of his col- 
league. The only opinion in which 
I agree with these two gentlemen is 
that which they entertain of each other; 
I am sure that the insolence of Mr. 
Pitt, and the unbalanced accounts of 
Melville, were far better than the perils 
of this new ignorance : — 

Nonne Aiit satiua tristes AmaryUidis iras 
Atque superba pati fiutidia — nonne Me- 

nalcam 
Quamvis ille nigerf 

In tbe midst of tbe most profound 
peace, the secret articles of the Treaty 
of Tilsit, in which the destruction of 
Ireland is resolved upon, induce you 
to rob the Danes of their fleet. After 
tbe expedition sailed comes the Treaty , 



of Tilsit, containing no article*, 
public or private, alluding to Ireland. 
Tbe state of tbe world, you tell me, 
justified us in doing this. Just God ! 
do we think only of tbe state of the 
world when there is an opportanity 
for robbery, for murder, and for plun- 
der ; and do we forget the state of 
the world when we are called upon to 
be wise, and good, and just ? l>oe8 
the state* of the world never remind 
us, that we have four millions of sub- 
jects whose injuries we ought to atone 
for, and whose affections we ought to 
conciliate ? Does the state of the 
world never warn us to lay aside oar 
infernal bigotry, and to arm every 
man who acknowledges a God and 
can grasp a sword ? Did it never 
occur to this administration that they 
might virtuously get hold of a force 
ten times greater than the force of the 
Danish fleet ? Was there no other 
way of protecting Ireland, but by- 
bringing eternal shame upon Grreat 
Britain, and by making the earth 
a den of robbers ? See what the 
men whom you have supplanted 
would have done. They would have 
rendered the invasion of Ireland im- 
possible, by restoring to the Catholics 
their long-lost rights : they would 
have acted in such a manner that the 
French would neither have wished 
for invasion, nor dared to attempt it : 
they would have increased the per- 
manent strength of the country while 
they preserved its reputation unsullied. 
Nothing of this kind your friends have 
done, because they are solemnly 
pledged to do nothing of this kind ; 
because to tolerate all religions, and 
to equalise civil rights to all sects, is 
to oppose some of the worst passions 
of our nature — to plunder and to op- 
press is to gratify them all. They 
wanted tbe huzzas of mobs, and they 
iiavc for ever blasted the fame of 
England to obtain them Were the 
fleets of Holland, France, and Spain 
destroyed by larceny ? You resisted 
the power of 150 sail of the line by 
sheer courage, and violated every 
principle of morals from the dread of 

* This is now completely oonfesaed to be 
the case by ministers. 



PETER PLYMLETS LETTERS. 



161 



15 hulks, while the expedition itself 
cost yoa three times more than the 
valae of the larcenous matter brought 
.away. The Erencli trample upon the 
laws of God and man, not for old 
cordage, but for kingdoms, and always 
take care to be well paid for their 
crimes. We contrive, under the pre- 
sent administration, to unite moral 
with intellectual deficiency, and to 
grow weaker and worse by the same 
action. If they had any evidence of 
the intended hostility of the Danes, 
why was it not produced ? Why 
have the nations of Europe been al- 
lowed to feel an indignation against 
this country beyond the reach of all 
subsequent information? Are these 
times, do you imagine, when we can 
trifle with a year of universal hatred, 
dally with the curses of Europe, and 
then regain a lost character at plea- 
sure, by the parliamentary perspira- 
tions of the Foreign Secretary, or the 
solemn asseverations of the pecuniary 
Bose? Believe me, Abraham, it is 
not under such ministers as these that 
the dexterity of honest Englishmen 
will ever equal the dexterity of French 
knaves ; it is not in their presence that 
the serpent of Moses will ever swallow 
up the serpents of the magician. 

Lord Hawkesbury says that nothing 
is to be granted to the Catholics from 
fear. What ! not even justice? Why 
not ? There are four nullions of dis- 
affected people within twenty miles of 
your own coast. I fairly confess, 
that the dread which I have of their 
physical power, is with me a very 
strong motive for listening to their 
claims. To talk of not acting from 
fear is mere parliamentary cant. From 
what motive but fear, I should be 
glad to know, have all the improve- 
ments in our constitution proceeded ? 
I question if any justice has ever been 
(lone to large masses of mankind from 
any other motive. By what other 
motives can the plunderers of the 
Baltic suppose nations to be governed 
in their intercourse with each other? 
If I say, give this people what they 
ask because it is just, do you think I 
should get ten people to listen to me ? 
Would not the lesser of the two 

VoL.n. 



Jenkinsons be the first to treat me 
with contempt ? the only true way to 
make the mass of mankind see the 
beauty of justice, is by showing to 
them in pretty plain terms the conse- 
quences of injustice. If any body of 
French troops land in Ireland, the 
whole population of that country will 
rise against you to a man, and you 
could not possibly survive such an 
event three years. Such from the 
bottom of my soul, do I believe to be 
the present state of that country ; and 
so far does it appear to me to be im- 
politic and unstatesmanlike to con- 
cede anything to such a danger, that 
if the Catholics, in addition to their 
present just demands, were to petition 
for the perpetual removal of the said 
Lord Hawkesbury from his Majesty's 
councils, I think, whatever might be 
the . effect upon the destinies of 
Europe, and however it might retard 
our own individual destruction, that 
the prayer of the petition should be 
instantly complied with. Canning's 
crocodile tears should not move me ; 
the hoops of the maids of honour 
should not hide him. I would tear 
him from the banisters of the back 
stairs, and plunge him in the fishy 
fumes of the dirtiest of all his Cinque 
Ports. 



LETTER Vn. 

Dbab Abraham, 
In the correspondence which is pass* 
ing between us you are perpetually 
alluding to the Foreign Secretary ; 
and in answer to the dangers of Ire- 
land, which I am pressing upon your 
notice, you have nothing to urge but 
the confidence which you repose in the 
discretion and sound sense of this 
gentleman.* I can only say, that I 
have listened to him long and often, 

* The attack upon virtue and morals in 
the debate upon Copenhagen is brought 
forward with great ostentation by this.gen- 
tleman's friends. But is Harlequin less 
Harlequin because he acts well f I was 
present: he leaped about, touched facts 
with his wand, turned yes into no» and no 
into yes : it was a pantomime well played, 
but a pantomime: Harlequin deserves 
higher wages than he did two years ago : is 
he therefore fit for serious parts f 

M 



162 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



with the greatest attention ; I have 
used every exertion in my power to 
take a fair measure of him, and it ap- 
pears to me impossible to hear him 
upon any arduous topic without per- 
ceiving that he is eminently deficient 
in those solid and serious qualities 
upon which, and upon which alone, 
the confidence of a great country can 
properly repose. He sweats, and 
labours, and works for sense, and Mr. 
Ellis seems always to think it is com- 
ing, but it does not come ; the machine 
can't draw up what is not to be found 
in the spring ; Providence has made 
him a light, jesting, paragraph-writ- 
ing man, and that he will remain to 
his dying day. When he is jocular 
he is strong, when he is serious he is 
like Samson in a wig : any ordinary 
person is a match for him : a song, an 
ironical letter, a burlesque ode, an 
attack in the Newspaper upon NicoH's 
eye, a smart speech of twenty minutes, 
full of gross misrepresentations and 
clever turns, excellent language, a 
spirited manner, lucky quotation, suc- 
cess in provoking dull men, some half 
information picked up in Pall Mall in 
the morning : these are your friend's 
natural weapons ; all these things he 
can do ; here I allow him to be truly 
great : nay, I will be just, and go still 
further, if he would confine himself to 
these things, and consider the facete 
and the playful to be the basis of his 
character, he would for that species 
of man, be universally regarded as a 
person of a very good understanding ; 
call him a legislator, a reasoner, and 
the conductor of the affairs of a great 
nation, and it seems to me as al&urd 
as if a butterfly were to teach bee^s to 
make honey. That he is an extraor- 
dinary writer of small poetry, and a 
diner out of the highest lustre, I do 
most readily admit. After George 
Selwyn, and perhaps Tickell, there 
has been no such man for this half 
century. The Foreign Secretary is a 
gentleman, a respectable as well as a 
highly agreeable man in private life ; 
but you may as well feed me with de- 
cayed potatoes as console me for the 
miseries of Ireland by the resources of 
his sense and his discretion. It is only | 



the public situation which this gentle- 
man holds which entitles me or 
induces me to say so much about him. 
He is a fly in amber, nobody cares 
about the fly: the only question is. 
How the Devil did it get there ? Nor 
do I attaek him for the love of 
glory, but from the love of utility, as 
a burgomaster hunts a rat in a 
Dutch dyke, for fear it should flood a 
province. 

The friends of the Catholic question 
are, I observe, extremely embarrassed 
in arguing when they come to the 
loyalty of the Irish Catholics. As for 
me, I shall go straight forward to my 
object, and state what I have no man- 
ner of doubt, from an intimate know- 
ledge of Ireland, to be the plain truth. 
Of the great Roman Catholic proprie- 
tors, and of the Catholic prelates, 
there may be a few, and but a few, 
who would follow the fortunes of 
England at all events : there is 
another set of men who, thoroughly 
detesting this country, have too much 
property and too much character to 
lose, not to wait for some very favour- 
able event before they show them- 
selves ; but the great mass of Catho- 
hc population, upon the slightest 
appearance of a iYench force in that 
country, would rise upon yon to a 
man. It is the most mistaken policy 
to conceal the plain truth. There is 
no loyalty among the Catholics : they 
detest you as their worst oppressors, 
and they will continue to detest you 
till yon remove the cause of their 
hatred. It is in your power in six 
months* time to produce a total revo- 
lution of opinions among this people ; 
and in some future letter I will ^ow 
you that this is clearly the case. At 
present, see what a dreadful state Ire- 
land is in. The common toast among 
the low Irish is, the feast of the pass' 
over. Some allusion to Bonaparte, in 
a play lately acted at Dublin, pro- 
duced thunders of applause from the 
pit and the galleries ; and a politician 
should not be inattentive to the public 
feelings expressed in theatres. Mr. 
Perceval thinks he has disarmed the 
Irish : he has no more disarmed the 
Irish than he has resigned a shilling 



PETER PLTMLEY'S LETTERS. 



163 



of his own public emolaments. An 
Irish * peasant fills the barrel of his 
gun full of tow dipped in oil, batters 
up the lock, buries it in a bog, and 
allows the Orange bloodhound to ran- 
sack his cottage at pleasure. Be just 
and kind to the Irish, and you will 
indeed disarm them ; rescue them from 
the degraded servitude in which thej 
are held bj a handful of their own 
countrymen, and. you will add four 
millions of brave and affectionate men 
to your strength. Nightly visits, Pro- 
testant inspectors, licences to possess 
a pistol, or a knife and fork, the 
odious vigour of the et}<mgelical 
Perceval — acts of Parliament, drawn 
up by some English attorney, to save 
you from the luitred of four millions 
of people — the guarding yourselves 
from universal disaffection by a police; 
a confidence in the little cunning 
of Bow Street, when you might 
rest your security upon the eternal 
basis of the best feelings : this is the 
meanness and madness to which 
nations are reduced when they lose 
Bight of the first elements of justice, 
without which a country can be no 
more secure than it can be healthy 
without air. I sicken at such policy 
and such men. The fact is, the 
Ministers know pothing about the 
present state of Ireland ; Mr. Perceval 
sees- a few clergymen. Lord Castle- 
reagh a few general officers, who take 
care, of course, to report what is 
pleasant rather than what is true. As 
for the joyous and lepid consul, he 
jokes upon neutral flags and frauds, 
jokes upon Irish rebels, jokes upon 
northern, and western, and southern* 
foes, and gives himself no trouble upon 
any subject : nor is the mediocrity of 
the idolatrous deputy of the slightest 
Qse. Dissolved in grins, he reads no 
memorials upon the state of Ireland, 
listens to no reports, asks no questions, 
ftnd is the 

" Bourn from whom no traveller returns." 



* No man who is not intimately ac- 
(piainted with the Irish, can tell to what 
a curious extent this concealment of arms 
u carried. I have stated the exact mode in 
whiehitiBdone^ 



The danger of an immediate insur- 
rection is now, I believe* f blown ovef. 
Ton have so strong an army in Ire* 
land, and the Irish are become so 
much more cunning from the last in- 
surrection, that yon may perhaps be 
tolerably secure just at present frt>m 
that evil : bnt are yon secure from the 
efforts which the French may make 
to throw a body of troops into 
Ireland ? and do you consider that 
event to be difficult and improbable ? 
From Brest Harbour to Cape St. 
Vincent, yon have above three thou- 
sand miles of hostile sea coast, and 
twelve or fourteen harbours quite 
capable of containing a sufficient force 
for the powerful invasion of Ireland. 
The nearest of these harbours is not 
two days' sail from the southern coast 
of Ireland, with a fair leading wind ; 
and the furthest not ten. Five ships 
of the line, for so very short a passage, 
might carry -five or six thousand 
troops with cannon and ammunition ; 
and Ireland presents to their attack a 
southern coast of more than 500 
miles, abounding in deep bays, 
admirable harbours, and disaffected 
inhabitants. Your blockading ships 
may be forced to come home for pro- 
visions and repairs, or they may be 
blown off in a gale of wind and com- 
pelled to bear away for their own 
coast; — and you will observe, that 
the very same wind which locks you 
up in the British Channel when you 
are got there, is evidently favourable * 
for the invasion of Ireland. And yet 
this is called Government, and the 
people huzza Mr. Perceval for continu- 
ing to expose his country day after 
day to such tremendous perils as 
these ; cursing the men who would 
have given up a question in theology 
to have saved us from such a risk. 
The British empire at this moment is 
in the state of a peach-blossom — if 
the wind blows gently from one 
quarter, it survives, if furiously from 
the other, it perishes. A stiff breeze 
may set in from the north, the Roche- 
fort squadron will be taken, and the 

* I know too much, however, of the state 
of Ireland, not to speak tremblingly about 
this. I hope to God I am right. 

U2 



164 



PETER PLYMLErS LETTEE& 



Minister will be the most holjr of 
men : if it comes from some other 
point, Ireland is gone ; we curse onr- 
selves as a set of monastic madmen, 
and call out for the unavailing satis- 
faction of Mr. Perceval's head. Such 
a state of political existence is scarcely 
credible ; it is the action of a mad 
young fool standing upon one foot, 
and peeping down the crater of Mount 
JEtna, not the conduct of a wise and 
sober people deciding upon their best 
and dearest interests : and in the 
name, the much-injured name, of 
Heaven, what is it all for that we ex- 
pose ourselves to these dangers ? Is 
it that we may sell more muslin ? Is 
it that we may acquire more territory? 
Is it that we may strengthen what We* 
have already acquired ? No : no- 
thing of all this ; but that one set of 
Irishmen may torture another set of 
Irishmen — that Sir Phelim 0*Cal- 
laghan may continue to whip Sir 
Toby M*Tackle, his next door neigh- 
bour, and continue to radish his 
Catholic daughters ; and these are the 
measures which the honest and con- 
sistent Secretary supports ; and this 
is the Secretary, whose genius in the 
estimation of Brother Abraham is to 
extinguish the genius of Bonaparte. 
Pompey was killed by a slave, Goliah 
smitten by a stripling, Pynrhus died 
by the hand of a woman ; tremble, 
thou great Gaul, from whose head an 
armed Minerva leaps forth in the 
hour of danger ; tremble, thou 
scourge of God, a pleasant man is 
come out against thee, and thou shalt 
be laid low by a joker of jokes, and 
he shall talk his pleasant talk against 
thee, and thou shalt be no more ! 

You tell me, in spite of all this 
parade of sea coast, Bonaparte has 
neither ships nor sailors ; but this is a 
mistake. He has not ships and sailors 
to contest the empire of the seas with 
Great Britain, but these remains quite 
sufficient of the navies of Prance, 
Spain, Holland, and Denmark, for 
these short excursions and invasions. 
Do you think, too, that Bonaparte 
does not add to his navy every year ? 
Do yon suppose, with all Europe at 
his feet, that he can find any difficulty 



in obtaining timber, and that money 
will not procure for him any quantity 
of naval stores he may want ? The 
mere machine, the empty ship, he can 
build as well, and as quickly, as you 
can ; and though he may not find 
enough of practised sailors to man 
large fighting fleets — it is not possi- 
ble to conceive that he can want 
sailors for such sort of purposes as I 
have stated. He is at present the de- 
spotic monarch of above twenty thou- 
sand miles of sea coast, and yet you 
suppose he cannot procure sailors for 
the invasion of Ireland. Believe, if 
you please, that such a fleet met at 
sea by any number of our ships at all 
comparable to them in point of 
force, would be immediately taken, 
let it be so; I count nothing upon 
their power of resbtance, only upon 
their power of escaping unobserved. 
If experience has taught us anything, 
it is the impossibility of perpetnal 
blockades. The instances are innu- 
merable, during the course of this war, 
where whole fleets have sailed in and 
out of harbour in spite of every vigi- 
lance used to prevent it. I shall only 
mention those cases where Ireland is 
concerned. In December, 1796, seven 
ships of the line, and ten transports, 
reached Bantry Bay" from Brest, with- 
out having seen an English ship in 
their passage. It blew a storm when 
they were off shore, and therefore 
England still continues to be an inde- 
pendent kingdom. You will observe 
that at the very time the French fleet 
sailed out of Brest Harbour, Admiral 
Colpoys was cruising off" there with a 
poweifttl squadron, and still, from the 
particular circumstances of the weather, 
found it impossible to prevent the 
French from coming out During the 
time that Admiral Colpoys was cruis- 
ing off Brest, Admiral Richery, with 
six ships of the line, passed him, and 
got safe into the harbour. At the 
very moment when the French squad- 
ron was lying in Bantry Bay. Lord 
Bridport with his fleet was locked up 
by a foul wind in the Channel, andfor 
several days could not stir to the assist- 
ance of Ireland. Admiral Colpoys, 
totally unable to find the French fleet, 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERa 



165 



came home- Lord Bridport, at the 
change of the wind, cruised for them 
in vain, and they got safe back to 
Brest, without having seen a single 
oue of those floating bulwarks, the 
possession of which we believe will 
enable us with impunity to set justice 
and common sense at defiance. Such 
is the miserable and precarious state 
of an anemocracy, of a people who put 
their trnst in hurricanes, and are 
governed by wind. In August. 179«, 
three forty-gun frigates landed 1100 
men under Humbert, making the pas- 
sage from Rochelle to Killala without 
seeing any English ship. In October 
of the same year, four French frigates 
anchored in Killala Bay with 2000 
troops; and though they did not land 
their troops, they returned to France 
in safety. In the same month, a line- 
of-battle ship, eight stout frigates, and 
a brig, all full of troops and stores, 
reached the coast of Ireland, and were 
fortunately, in sight of land, destroyed, 
after an obstinate engagement, by Sir 
John Warren. 

If you despise the little troop which, 
in these numerous experiments, did 
make good its landing, take with you, 
if yon please, this pricis of its exploits : 
eleven hundred men, commanded by 
a soldier raised from the ranks, put to 
rout a select army of 6000 men, com- 
manded by General Lake, seized their 
ordnance, ammunition, and stores, ad- 
vanced 160 miles into a country con- 
taining an armed force of 150,000 men, 
and at last surrendered to the Viceroy, 
an experienced general, gravely and 
cautiously advancing, at the head of 
all his chivalry and of an immense 
army, to oppose him. You must ex- 
cuse these details about Ireland ; but 
it appears to me to be of all other 
subjects the most important. If we 
conciliate Ireland, we can do nothing 
amiss ; if we do not, we can do nothing 
well. If Ireland was friendly, we 
might equally set at defiance the talents 
of Bonaparte, and the blunders of his 
rival, Mr. Canning; we could then 
support the ruinous and silly bustle of 
our useless expeditions, and the almost 
incredible ignorance of our commer- 
cial Orders in ConnciL Iiet the pre- 



sent administration give up but this 
one point, and there is nothing which 
I would not consent to grant them. 
Mr. Perceval shall have full liberty to 
insult the tomb of Mr. Fox, and to 
torment every, eminent Dissenter in 
Great Britain ; IJbrd Camden shall 
have large boxes of plums ; Mr. Rose 
receive permission to prefix to his 
name the appellative of virtuous ; and 
to the Viscount Castler^agh * a round 
sum of ready money shall be well and 
truly paid into his hand. Lastly, what 
remains to Mr. George Canning, but 
that he ride up and down Pall Mall 
glorious upon a white horse, and that 
they cry out before him. Thus shall it 
be done to the statesman who hath 
written "The Needy Knife-Grinder," 
and the German play? Adieu only 
for the present; you shall soon hear 
from me again ; it is a subject upon 
which I cannot Ions be silent. 



LETTER VIIL 

Nothing can be more erroneous than 
to suppose that Ireland is not bigger 
than the Isle of Wight, or of more 
consequence than Guernsey or Jersey; 
and yet I am almost inclined to be- 
lieve, from the general supineness 
which prevails here respecting the 
dangerous state 6f that country, that 
such is the rank which it holds in our 
statistical tables. I have been writing 
to you a great deal about Ireland, and 
perhaps it may be of some use to state 
to you concisely the nature .and re- 
sources of the country which has been 
the subject of our long and strange 
correspondence. There were returned, 
as I have before observed, to the 
hearth tax, in 1791, 701,132 f houses, 
which Mr. Newenham shows, from 
unquestionable documents, to be nearly 
80,000 below the real number of 

* This is a very unjust imputation on 
Lord Gastlereagh. 

tThe checks to population were very 
trifling from the rebellion. It lasted two 
months: of his Majesty's Irish forces there 
perished about 1600: of the rebels 11,000 
were killed in the field, and 2000 hanged or 
exported: 400 loyal persons were assassi- 
nated 

MS 



166 



FETEB FLYMLET^ LETTEB& 



honses in that coantry. There are 
27,457 square English miles in Ire- 
land *, and more than five millions of 
people. 

By the last snrrej it appears that 
the inhabited hooaes in England and 
Wales amount to 1,574,902; and the 
]X>pnlation to 9,343,578, which gives 
an average of 5{ to each hoase, in a 
country where the deosi^ of popula- 
tion is certainly less considerable than 
in Ireland. It is commonly supposed 
that two-fifths of the army and navy 
are Irishmen, at periods when political 
disaffection does not avert the Catho- 
lics from the service. The current 
value of Irish exports in 1807 was 
9,314,8542. 17<. 7dL ; a state of com- 
merce about equal to the commerce of 
England in the itaiddle of the reign of 
George IL The tonnage of ships 
entered inward and cleared outward 
in the trade of Ireland, in 1807, 
amounted to 1,567,430 tons. The 
quantity of home spirits exported 
amounted to 10,284 gallons in 1796, 
and to 930,800 gallons in 1804. Of 
the exports which I have stated, pro- 
visions amounted to four millions, and 
linen to about four millions and a half. 
There was exported from Ireland, 
upon an average of two years ending 
in January, 1804, 591,274 barrels of 
barley, oats, and wheat; and by weight 
910,848 cwts. of flour, oatmeal, barley, 
oats, and wheat The amount of 
butter exported in 1804, from Ireland, 
was worth, in money, 1,704,680/. 
sterling. The importation of ale and 
beer, from the immense manufactures 
now carrying on of these articles, was 
dimmished to 3209 barrels, in the year 
1804, from 111,920 barrels, which was 
the average importation per annum, 
taking from three years ending in 
1792 ; and at present there is an ex- 
port trade of porter. On an average 
of the three years ending March, 1783, 
there were imported into Ireland, of 
cotton wool, 3326 cwts., of cotton 
yarn, 5405 lbs. ; but on an average of 
three years, ending January, 1803, 
there were imported, of the first ar- 
ticle, 13,159 c\ns., and of the latter, 

* In England 49,460. 



628,406 lbs. It is impossible to con- 
ceire any mannfiacture more flourishing. 
The export of linen has increased in 
Ireland firom 17,776,362 yards, the 
average in 1770, to 43,534,971 yards, 
the amount in 1805. The tillage of Ire- 
land has more than trebled within the 
last twenty-one years. The impor- 
tation of coals has increased from 
230,000 tons, in 1783, to 417,030, in 
1804 ; of tobacco, from 3,459,861 lbs. 
in 1783, to 6,611,543, in 1804; of 
tea, from 1,703,855 lbs. in 1783, to 
3,358,256, in 1804; of sugar, fr-om 
143,117 cwts. in 1782, to 309,076, in 
1804. Ireland now supports a funded 
debt of about 64 millions ; and it is 
computed that more than three millions 
of money are annually remitted to 
Irish absentees resident in this country. 
In Mr. Foster's report, of 100 folio 
pages, presented to the House of 
Commons in the year 1806, the total 
expenditure of Ireland is stated at 
9,760,0132. Ireland has increased 
about two-thirds in its population 
within twenty-five years; and yet, 
and in about the same space of time, 
its exports of beef, bullocks, cows, 
pork, swine, butter, wheat, barley, and 
oats, collectively taken, have doubled ; 
and this in spite of two years' famine, 
and the presence of an immense army, 
that is always at hand to guard the 
most valuable appanage of our empire 
from joining our most inveterate ene- 
mies. Ireland has the greatest possible 
facilities for carrying on commerce with 
the whole of Europe: It contains, 
within a circuit of 750 miles, 66 secure 
harboars ; and presents a western 
frontier against Great Britain, reach- 
ing from the Firth of Clyde, north, to 
the Bristol Channel, south, and vary- 
ing in distance from 20 to 100 miles ; 
so that the subjugation of Ireland 
would compel us to guard with ships 
and soldiers a new line of coast, 
certainly amounting, with all its sinu- 
osities, to more than 700 miles — an 
addition of polemics, in our present 
state of hostility with all the world, 
which must highly gratify the vigorists, 
and give them an ample opportunity 
of displaying that foolish energy upon 
which their claims to distinction are 



PETER FLYMLBY>S LETTERS. 



167 



founded. Sach is the coantiy which 
the Right Reverend the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer would drive into the 
anns of France ; and for the concili- 
ation of which we are requested to 
wait, as if it were one of those sinecure 
places which were given to Mr. Perce- 
val snarling at the hreast, and which 
cannot he abolished till his decease. 

How sincerely and fetventlj have I 
often wished that the Emperor of the 
French had thought as Mr. Spencer 
Perceval does upon the subject of 
government; that he had entertained 
doubts and scruples upon the pro- 
priety of admitting the Protestants to 
an equality of rights with the Catholics, 
and that he had left in the middle of 
bisempire these vigorous seeds of hatred 
and disaffection ! • But the world was 
never yet conquered by a blockhead. 
One of the very first measures we saw 
him recurring to was the complete 
establishment of religious liberty : if 
his subjects fought and paid as he 
pleased, he allowed them to believe as 
they pleased : the moment I saw this, 
my best hopes were lost. I perceived 
in a moment the kind of man wc had 
to do with. I was well aware of the 
miserable ignorance and folly of this 
country upon the subject of toleration ; 
and every year has been adding to the 
success of that game which it was 
dear he had the will and the ability 
to play against us. 

You say Bonaparte is not in earnest 
upon the subject of religion, and that 
this is the cause of his tolerant spirit ; 
bat is it possible you can intend to 
give us such dreadful and unamiable 
notions of religion ? Are we to under- 
stand that the moment a man is sincere 
he is narrow-minded ; that persecution 
is the child of belief; and that a 
desire to leave all men in the quiet 
and unpunished exercise of their own 
creed can only exist in the mind of an 
infidel ? Thank God I I know many 
men whose principles are as firm as 
they are expanded, who cling tenaci- 
ously to their own modification of the 
Christian faith, without the slightest 
disposition to force that modification 
vpon other people. If Bonaparte is 
liberal in subjects of religion because 



he has no religion^ is this a reason why 
we should be illiberal because we are 
Christians ? If he owes this excellent 
quality to a vice, is that any reason 
why we may not owe it to a virtue ? 
Toleration is a great good, and a good 
to be imitated, let it come from whom 
it will. If a sceptic is tolerant, it only 
shows that he is not foolish in practice 
as well as erroneous in theory. * If a 
religious man is tolerant, it evinces 
that he is religious from thought and 
inquiry, because he exhibits in his 
conduct one of the most beautiful and 
important consequences of a religious 
mind, — an inviolable charity to 
all the honest varieties of human 
opinion. 

Lopd Sidmouth, and all the anti- 
Catholic people, little foresee that they 
will hereafter be the sport of the anti- 
quary; that their prophecies of ruin 
and destruction from Catholic emanci- 
pation will be clapped into the notes of 
some quaint history^ and be matter of 
pleasantry even to the sedulous house- 
wife and the rural dean. There is 
always a copious supply of Lord Sid- 
mouths in the world ; nor is there one 
single source of human happiness, 
against which they have not uttered 
the most lugubrious predictions. Turn- 
pike roads, navigable canals, inocula- 
tion, hops, tobacco, the Reformation, 
the Revolution — there are always a 
set of worthy and moderately-gifted 
men, who bawl out death and ruin 
upon every valuable change which the 
varying aspect of human affairs abso- 
lutely and imperiously requires. I 
have often thought that it woufd be 
extremely useful to make a collection 
of the hatred and abuse that all those 
changes have experienced, which are 
now admitted to be marked improve- 
ments in our condition. Such a his- 
tory might make folly a little more 
modest, and suspicious of its own 
decisions. 

Ireland, you say, since the Union, 
is to be considered as a part of the 
whole kingdom ; and therefore, how- 
ever Catholics may predominate in 
that particular spot, yet, taking the 
whole empire together, they are to be 
considered as a much more insignifi* 

M4- 



168 



PETER PLYMLEY*S LETTERS. 



cant qaota of the population* Consider 
them in what light yoa please, as part 
of the whole, or hy themselves, or in 
what manner maj be most consen- 
taneous to the devices of your holy 
mind — I say in a very few words, if 
you do not relieve these people from 
the civil incapacities to which they 
are exposed, you will lose them ; or 
you must employ great strength and 
much treasure in watching over them. 
In the present state of the world, yon 
can afford to do neither the one nor 
the other. Having stated this, I shall 
leave you to be ruined, Fuffendorf in 
hand (as Mr. Secretary Canning says), 
and to lose Ireland, just as you have 
found out what proportion the ag- 
grieved people should bear to the 
whole population, before their cala- 
mities meet with redress. As for your 
parallel cases, I am no more afraid of 
deciding upon them than I am npon 
their prototype. If ever any one 
heresy should so far spread itself over 
the principality of Wales that the 
Established Church were left in a 
minority of one to four ; if you had 
subjected these heretics to very severe 
civil privations ; if the consequence of 
such privations were a universal state 
of disaffection among that caseous and 
wrathful people ; and if at the same 
time you were at war with all the 
world, how can you doubt for a moment 
that I would instantly restore them to 
a state of the most complete civil 
liberty? What matters it under what 
name you put the same case ? Com- 
mon, sense is not changed by appel- 
lations. I have said how I would act 
to Ireland, and I would act so to all 
the world. 

I admit that, to a certain degree, 
the Government will lose the affections 
of the Orangemen by emancipating 
the Catholics ; much less, however, at 
present, than three years past. The 
few men, who have ill*treated the 
whole crew, live in constant terror 
that the oppressed people will rise upon 
them and carry the ship into Brest: — 
they begin to find that it is a very 
turesome thing to sleep every night 
with cocked pistols under their pillows, 
and to brefUcfast, dine, and sup with 



drawn hangers. They suspect that 
the privilege of beating and kicking 
the rest of the sailors is hardly worth 
all this anxiety, and that if the ship 
does ever fall into the hands of the 
disaffected, all the cruelties which they 
have experienced will be thorooghly 
remembered and amply repaid. To a 
short period of disaffection among the 
Orangemen, I confess I should not 
much object: my love of poetical 
justice does carry me as far as that ; 
one summer's whipping, only one: the 
thumb-screw for a short season ; a 
little light easy torturing between 
Lady-day and Michaelmas ; a short 
specimen of Mr. Percevars rigour. I 
have malice enough to ask tUs slight 
atonement for the groans and shrieks 
of the poor Catholics, unheard by any 
human tribunal, but registered by the 
Angel of €rod against their Protestant 
and enlightened oppressors. 

Besides, if yon who count ten so 
often can count five, you most per- 
ceive that it is better to have fonr 
friends and one enemy than four 
enemies and one friend ; and the more 
violent the hatred of the Orangemen, 
the more certain the reconciliation of 
the Catholics. The disaffection of the 
Orangemen will be the Irish rainl)ow ; 
when I see it, I shall be sure that the 
storm is over. 

If those incapacities, from which the 
Catholics ask to be relieved, were to 
the mass of them only a mere feeling 
of pride, and if the question were res- 
pecting the attainment of privileges 
which could be of importance only to 
the highest of the sect, I should still 
say, that the pride of the mass was 
very naturally wounded by the degra- 
dation of their superiors, indignity 
to George Rose would be felt by the 
smallest nummary gentleman in the 
king's employ; and Mr. John Bannister 
could not be indifferent to anything 
which happened to Mr. Canning. But 
the truth is, it is a most egregious mis- 
take to suppose that the Catholics are 
contending merely for the fringes and 
feathers of their chiefs. I will give 
yon a list, in my next Letter, of those 
privations which are represented to be 
of no consequence to anybody but 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



169 



Lord Finga], and some twentj or 
thirty of the principal persons of their 
sect. In the meantime, adieu, and be 
wise. 



LETTER IX. 



Dear Abraham, 
Ko Catholic can be chief Governor or 
Governor of this Kingdom, Chancellor 
or Keeper of the Great Seal, Lord 
High Treasurer, Chief of any of the 
Courts of Justice, Ctiancellor of the 
Exchequer, Puisne Judge, Judge in 
the Admiralty, Master of the Bolls, 
Secretary of State, Keeper of the 
Privy Seal, Vice-Treasurer or his 
Deputy, Teller or Cashier of Ex- 
chequer, Auditor or General, Governor 
or Cnstos Rotulorum of Counties, 
Chief Governor's Secretary, Privy 
Councillor, King's Counsel, Sergeant, 
Attorney, Solicitor-General, Master in 
Chancery, Provost or Fellow of Trinity 
College, Dublin, Postmaster-General, 
Master and Lieutenant- General of Or- 
dnance, Commander-in-Chief, General 
on the Staff, Sheriff, Sub- Sheriff, 
Mayor, Bailiff, Recorder, Burgess, or 
any other officer in a City, or a Cor- 
poration. No Catholic can be guardian 
to a Protestant, and no priest guardian 
at all: no Catholic can be a game- 
keeper, or have for sale, or other- 
wise, any arms or warlike stores : no 
Catholic can present to a living, unless 
he choose to turn Jew in order to obtain 
that privilege; the pecuniary qualifi- 
cation of Catholic jurors is made higher 
than that of Protestants^ and no relax- 
ation of the ancient rigorous code is 
permitted, unless to those who shall 
take an oath prescribed by 13 & 14 
Geo. IIL Now if this is not picking 
the plums out of the pudding, and 
leaving the mere batter to the Catholics, 
I know not what is. If it were merely 
the Privy Council, it would be (I allow) 
nothing but a point of honour for 
which the mass of Catholics were con- 
tending, the honour of being chief- 
mourners or pall- bearers to the country; 
but surely no man will contend that 
every barrister may not speculate upon 
the' possibility of being a puisne Judge; 



and that every shopkeeper must not feel 
himself injured by his exclusion from 
borough offices. 

One of flie greatest practical evil« 
which the Catholics suffer in Ireland 
is their exclusion from the offices of 
Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff. Noliody 
who is unacquainted with Ireland can 
conceive the obstacles which this 
opposes to the fair administration of 
justice. The formation of juries is 
now entirely in the hands of the 
Protestants ; the lives, liberties, and 
properties of the Catholics in the 
hands of the juries; and this is the* 
arrangement for the adminbtration of 
justice in a country where religious 
prejudices are inflamed to the greatest 
degree of animosity! In this country, 
if a man be a foreigner, if he sell 
slippers, and sealing wax, and artificial 
flowers, we are so tender of human 
life that we take care half the number 
of persons who are to decide upon his 
fate should be men of similar prejudices 
and feelings with himself : but a poor 
Catholic in Ireland may be tried by 
twelve Percevals, and destroyed ac- 
cording to the manner of that gentle- 
man in the name of the Lord, and 
with all the insulting forms of justice. 
I do not go the length of saying that 
deliberate and wilful injustice is done. 
I have no doubt that the Orange 
Deputy Sheriff thinks it would be a 
most unpardonable breach of his duty 
if he did not summon a Protestant 
panel. I can easily believe that a 
Protestant panel may conduct them- 
selves very conscientiously in hanging 
the gentlemen of the cruciflx ; but J 
blame the law which does not guard 
the Catholic against the probable tenor 
of those feelings which must uncon- 
sciously influence the judgments of 
mankind. I detest that state of society 
which extends unequal degrees of pro- 
tection to different creeds and per- 
suasions ; and I cannot describe to 
you the contempt I feel for a man who, 
calling himself a statesman, defends a 
system which fills the heart of every 
Irishman with treason, and makes his 
allegiance prudence, not choice. 

I request to know if the vestry 
taxes in Ireland are a mere matter of 



170 



FETEB FLYMLET^ LETTERS. 



romaiitic feeling, which can affect onlj 
theEariofFin^? InaparishiHiere 
there are four thoosand Catholics and 
fifty IVotestants, the Protestants maj 
meet together in a vestiy meeting, at 
which no Catholic has the right to 
vote, and tax all the lands in the 
parish Is. 6d. per acre, or in the 
pound, I forget which, for the repairs 
of the church — and how has the ne- 
cessity of these repairs heen ascertain- 
ed ? A Protestant plumber has dis- 
coyered that it wants new leading ; a 
Protestant carpenter is convinced the 
timbers are not sound, and the glaziei^ 
who hates holy water (as an accoucheur 
hates celibacy because he gets nothing 
by it) is employed to put in new sashes. 
The grand juries in Ireland are the 
great scene of jobbing. They have a 
power of making a county rate to a 
considerable extent for roads, bridges, 
and other objects of general accom- 
modation. ** You suffer the road to be 
brought through my park, and I will 
have the bridge constructed in a situ- 
ation where it will make a beautiful 
object to your bouse. You do my job, 
and I will do yours.** These are the 
sweet and interesting subjects which 
occasionally occupy Milesian gentle- 
men while they are attendant upon this 
grand inquest of justice. But there is 
a religion, it seems, even in jobs ; and 
it will be highly gratifying to Mr. 
Perceval to learn that no man in Ireland 
who believes in seven sacraments can 
carry a public road, or bridge, one 
yard out of the direction most benefi- 
cial to the public, and that nobpdy can 
cheat that public who does not expound 
the Scriptures in the purest and most 
orthodox manner. This will give 
pleasure to Mr. Perceval: but, from 
his unfairness upon these topics, I 
appeal to the justice and the proper 
feelings of Mr. Huskisson. I ask him 
if the human mind can experience a 
more dreadful sensation than to see its 
own jobs refused, and the jobs of 
another religion perpetually succeed- 
ing ? I ask him his opinion of a job- 
less faith, of a creed which dooms a 
man through life to a lean and plunder- 
less integrity. He knows that human 
nature cannot and will not bear it ; 



and if we were to paint a political 
Tartarus, it would be an endless series 
of snug expectations, and cruel disap- 
pointments. These are a few of many 
dreadfid inconveniences which the 
Catholics of all ranks suffer from, the 
laws by which they are at present 
oppressed. Besides, look at human 
nature: — what is the history of all 
professions ? Joel is to be brought up 
to the bar: has Mrs. Plyndey the 
slightest doubt of his being Chancellor? 
Do not his two shrivelled aunts live in 
the certainty of seeing him in that 
situation, and of cutting out with their 
own hands his equity habiliments? 
And I could name a certain minister 
of the Grospel who does not, in the 
bottom of his heart, much differ fbom 
these opinions. Do you think that 
the fathers and mothers of the holy 
Catholic Church are not as absurd as 
Protestant papas and mammas? The 
probability I admit to be, in each par- 
ticular case, that the sweet little block- 
head will in fact never get a brief; — 
but I will venture to say, there is not 
a parent from the Giant's Causeway 
to Bantry Bay who does not conceive 
that his child is the unfortunate victim 
of the exclusion, and that nothing 
short of positive law could prevent his 
own dear pre-eminent Paddy from 
rising to the highest honoara of the 
State. So with the antay, and parlia- 
ment ; in fact, few are excluded ; but 
in imagination, all: you keep twenty 
or thirty Catholics out, and you lose 
the affections of four millions; and, 
let me tell you, that recent circum- 
stances have by no means tended to 
diminish in the minds of men that 
hope of elevation beyond their own 
rank which is so congenial to our 
nature: from pleading for John Roe 
to taxing John Ball, from jesting for 
Mr. Pitt and writing in the Anti- 
Jacobin, to managing the affairs of 
Europe — these are leaps which seem 
to justify the fondest dreams of mothers 
and of aunts. 

I do not say that the disabilities to 
which the Catholics are exposed amount 
to such intolerable grievances, that the 
strength and industry of a nation are 
overwhelmed by them: the increasing 



I*ETEB PLYMLETS LETTEpS. 



prosperit7 of Ireland fully demonstrates 
to the contrary. Bat I repeat again, 
what I have often stated in the coarse 
of oar correspondence, that your laws 
against the Catholics are exactly in 
that state in which yon hare neither 
the benefits of rigour nor of liberality: 
every law which prevented the Catho- 
lic from gaining strength and wealth is 
repealed; every law which can irritate 
remains; if you were determined to 
insnlt the Catholics, you should have 
kept them weak; if you resolved to 
give them strength, you should have 
ceased to insult them; — at present 
yonr conduct is pure unadulterated 
folly. 

Lord Hawkesbury says. We heard 
nothing about the Catholics till we 
began to mitigate the laws against 
them ; when we relieved them in part 
from this oppression they began to be 
disaffected. This is very true ; but it 
proves just what I have said, that you 
have either done too much, or too 
little ; and as there lives not, I hope, 
upon earth, so depraved a courtier that 
he would load the Catholics with their 
ancient chains, what absurdity it is 
then not to render their dispositions 
friendly, when you leave their arms and 
legs free I 

You know, and many Englishmen 
know, what passes in China ; but no- 
body knows or cares what passes in 
Ireland. At the beginning of the 
present reign, no Catholic could realise 
property, or carry on any business; 
they were absolutely annihilated, and 
had no more agency in the country 
than so many trees. They were like 
Lord Mulgrave's eloquence and Lord 
Camden's wit; the legislative bodies 
did not know of their existence. For 
these twenty-five years last past, the 
Catholics have been engaged in com- 
merce ; within that period the com- 
merce of Ireland has doubled ; — there 
are four Catholics at work for one 
Protestant, and eight Catholics at 
work for one Episcopalian ; of coarse, 
the proportion which Catholic wealth 
bears to Protestant wealth is every 
year altering rapidly in favour of the 
Catholics. I have already told you 
what their purchases of land were the 



171 

last year: since that period, I have 
been at some^pains to find out the 
acta^ state of the Catholic wealth: it 
is impossible, upon such a subject, to 
arrive at complete accuracy; but I have 
good reason to believe tnat there are 
at present 2000 Catholics in Ireland, 
possessing an income from 5002. up* 
wards, many of these with incomes of 
one, two, three and four thousand, 
and some amounting to fifteen and 
twenty thousand per annum: — and 
this is the kingdom, and these the 
people, for whose conciliation we are 
to wait, Heaven knows when, and 
Lord Hawkesbury why I As for me, 
I never think of the situation of Ire- 
land without feeling the same necessity 
for immediate interference as I should 
do if I saw blood flowing from a great 
artery. I rush towards it with the 
instinctive rapidity of a man desirous 
of preventing death, and have no other 
feeling but that in a few seconds the 
patient may be no more. 

I could not help smiling in the 
times of No Popery, to witness the 
loyal indignation of many persons at 
the attempt made by the last ministry 
to do something for the relief of Ire- 
land. • The general cry in the country 
was, that they would not see their 
beloved Monarch used ill in his old 
age, and that they would stand by him 
to the last drop of their blood. I re- 
spect good feelings, however erroneous 
be the occasions on which they display 
themselves ; and therefore I saw in all 
this as much to admire as to blame. 
It was a species of affection, however, 
which reminded me very forcibly of 
the attachment displayed by the ser- 
vants of the Bussian ambassador, at 
the beginning of the last century. His 
Excellency happened to fall down in 
a kind of apoplectic fit, when he was 
paying a morning visit in the hoose of 
an acquaintance. The confusion was 
of course very great, and messengers 
were despatched, in every direction, to 
find a surgeon ; who, upon his arrival, 
declared that his Excellency must be 
immediately blooded, and prepared 
himself forthwith to perform the oper- 
ation: the barbarous servants of the 
embassy, who were there in great 



178 



I^EB PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



numben, no sooner saw the snrgeon 
prepared to woond the arm of their 
master with a sharp shining instm- 
ment,- than thej drew their swords, pat 
themselves in an attitude of defence, 
and swore in pore Sclavonic, **that 
tbej would murder an j man who at- 
tempted to do him the slightest injury: 
he had been a very go^ master to 
them, and they would not desert him 
in his misfortunes, or suffer his blood 
to be shed while he was off his guard, 
and incapable of defending himself.** 
By good fortune, the secretary arrived 
about this period of the dispute, and 
his Excellency, relieved from super- 
fluous blood and perilous affection, was, 
after much di65calty, restored to life. 

There is an argument brought for- 
ward with some appearance of plausi- 
bility in the House of Conunons, which 
certainly merits an answer: You know 
that the Catholics now vote for mem- 
bers of parliament in Ireland, and that 
they outnumber the Protestants in a 
very great proportion ; if you allow 
Catholics to sit in parliament, religion 
will be found to influence votes more 
than property, and the greater part of 
the 100 Iridh members who are re- 
turned to parliament will be Catholics. 
— Add to these the Catholic members 
who are returned in England, and 
you will have a phalanx of heretical 
strength which every minister will be 
compelled to respect, and occasionally 
to conciliate by concessions incom- 
patible with the interests of the Pro- 
testant Church. The fact is, however, 
that you are at this moment subjected 
to every danger of this kind which 
yon can possibly apprehend hereafter. 
If the spiritual interests of the voters 
are more powerful than their temporal 
interests, they can bind down their 
representatives to support any measures 
favourable to the Catholic religion, and 
they can change the objects of their 
choice till they have found Protestant 
members (as they easily may do) per- 
fectly obedient to their wishes. If 
the superior possessions of the Pro- 
testants prevent the Catholics from 
uniting for a common politick object, 
then the danger you fear cannot exist: 
if zeal, on the contrary, gets the better 



of acres, then the danger at present 
exists, from the right of voting already 
given to the Catholics, and it will not 
be increased by allowing them to sit 
in parliament. There are, as nearly 
as I can recollect, thirty seats in Ire- 
land f(Nr cities and counties, where the 
Protestants are the most numerous, 
and where the members returned must 
of course be Protestants. In the other 
seventy representations, the wealth of 
the IVotestants is opposed to the 
number of the Catholics ; and if all 
this seventy members returned wero 
of the Catholic persuasion, they must 
still plot the destruction of our reli^on 
in the midst of 588 Protestants. Such 
terrors would disgrace a cook-maid, 
or a toothless aunt — when they fall 
from the lips of bearded and sena- 
torial men, they are nauseous, anti- 
peristaltic, and emeticaL 

How can you for a moment donbt 
of the rapid effects which would be 
produced by the emancipation ? — In 
the first place, to my certain know« 
ledge, the Catholics have long since 
expressed to his Majesty's ministers 
their perfect readiness to vest in his 
Majesty, either with the consent of the 
Pope, or without it if it cannot be ob- 
tained, the nomination of die Catholic pre^ 
lacy. The Catholic prelacy in Ireland 
consists of twenty-six bishops and the 
warden of Galway, a dignitary enjoying 
Catholic jurisdiction. The number 
of Roman Catholic priests in Ireland 
exceeds one thousand. The expenses 
of his peculiar worship are, to a sub- 
stantial farmer or mechanic, five shil- 
lings per annum ; to a labourer (where 
he is not entirely excused) one shilling 
per annum ; this includes the contri- 
bution of the whole family, cmd for 
this the priest is bound to attend them 
when sick, and to confess them when' 
they apply to him : he is also to keep 
his chapel in order, to celebrate divine 
service, and to preach on Sundays and 
holydays. In the northern district a 
priest gains from 30/. to 50/. ; in the 
other parts of Ireland from 60/. to 
90/. per ann. The best paid Catholic 
bishops receive about 400/. per ann. ; 
the others irom 300/. to 350/. My 
plan is very simple ; I would have 



F£TEB PLTMLEY'S LETTERS. 



173 



300 Catholic parishes at 100/. per ann., 
300 at 200il per ann., and 400 at 
300^ per ann. ; this, for the whole 
thoasand parishes, would amoant to 
190,0002. To the prelacy I would 
allot 20,000/. in nneqaal proportions, 
from lOOOiL to 500/. ; and I would ap- 
propriate 40,000/. more for the support 
of Catholic schools, and the repairs of 
Catholic churches ; the whole amount 
of which sum is 250,000/., ahout the 
expense of three days of one of our 
genuine, good, English, just and ne- 
cesmry wars. The clergy should all 
receive their salaries at the Bank of 
Ireland, and I would place the whole 
patronage in the hands of the Crown. 
Now, I appeal to any human heing, 
except Spencer Perceval, Esq., of the 
parish of Hampstead, what the dis- 
afiection of a clergy would amount to, 
gaping after this graduated bounty 
of the Crown, and whether Ignatius 
Loyola himself, if he were a living 
blockhead, instead of a dead saint, 
could withstand the temptation of 
boancing from 100/^ a year at Sligo, 
to 300/. in Tipperary? This is the 
miserable sum of money for which 
the merchants, and landowners, and 
nobility of England are exposing them- 
selves to the tremendous peril of losing 
Ireland, The sinecure places of the 
Roses and the Percevals, and the " dear 
and near relations,'* put up to auction 
at thirty years' purchase, would almost 
amount to the money. 

I admit that nothing can be more 
reasonable than to expect that a Catho- 
lic priest should, starve to death, gen- 
teelly and pleasantly, for the good of 
the Protestant religion; but is it 
equally reasonable to expect that he 
shoold do so for the Protestant pews, 
and Protestant brick and mortar ? On 
an Irish Sabbath, the bell of a neat 
parish church often summons to church 
only the parson and an occasionally 
conforming clerk ; while, two hundred 
yards off, a thousand Catholics are 
huddled together in a miserable hovel, 
and pelted by all the storms of heaven. 
Can anything be more distressing than 
to see a venerable man pouring forth 
sublime truths in tattered breeches, 
and depending for his food upon the 



little offal he gets from his parish- 
ioners? I venerate a human being 
who starves for his principles, let them 
be what they may; but starving for 
anything is not at all to the taste of 
the honourable flagellants: strict prin- 
ciples, and good pay, is the motto of 
Wr. Percev^: the one he keeps in great 
measure for the faults of his enemies, 
the'other for himself. 

There are parishes in Connaught in 
which a Protestant was never settled, 
nor even seen: in that province, in 
Munster, and in parts of Leinster, the 
entire peasantry for sixty miles are 
Catholics ; in these tracts the churches 
are frequently shut for want of a con- 
gregation, or opened to an assemblage 
of from six to twenty persons. Of 
what Protestants there are in Lrelandt 
the greatest part are gathered together 
in Ulster, or they live in towns. In 
the country of the other three pro- 
vinces the Catholics see no other re- 
ligion but their own, and are at the 
least as fifteen to one Protestant. In 
the diocese of Tuam they are sixty 
to one; in the parish of St. Mullins, 
diocese of Leghlin, there are four 
thousand Catholics and one Protestant; 
in the town of Grasgenamana, in the 
county of ELilkenny, there are between 
four and five hundred Catholic houses, 
and three Protestant houses. In the 
parish of Allen, county Elildare, there 
is no Protestant, though it is very po- 
pulous. In the parish of Arlesin, 
Queen's County, the proportion is one 
hundred to one. In the whole county 
of Kilkenny, by actual enumeration, it 
is seventeen to one ; in the diocese of 
Kilmacduagh, province of Connaught, 
fifty-two to one, by ditto. These I 
give yon as a few specimens of the 
present state of Ireland ; — and yet 
there are men impudent and ignorant 
enough to contend that such evils re- 
quire no remedy, and that mild family 
man who dwelleth in Hampstead can 
find none but the cautery and the 
knife. 



omne per ignem 



Exootjultur vitium. 

I cannot describe the horror and 
disgust which I felt at hearing Mr. 



174 



FETEB FLYMLET'S LETTEB& 



Perceval call upon the then ministry 
for meaanres of vigonr in Ireland. If 
I lived at Hampiiead npon stewed 
meats and claret; if I walked to chnrch 
every Sunday before eleven young gen- 
tlemen of my own begetting, with their 
facet washed, and their hair pleasingly 
combed: if the Almighty had blessed 
me with every earthly comfort — how 
awfhlly wonld I pause before I sent 
forth the flame and the sword over the 
cabins of the poor, brave, generous, 
open-hearted peasants of IreUnd I How 
easy it is to shed human blood — how 
easy it is to persuade ourselves that it 
is our duty to do so — and that the de- 
cision has cost us a severe struggle^ — 
how much in all ages have wounds 
and shrieks and tears been the cheap 
and vulgar resources of the rulers of 
mankind — how difficult and how noble 
it is to govern in kindness and to found 
an empire upon the everlasting basis 
of justice and affection ! — ^But what do 
men call vigour ? To let loose hussars 
and to bring up artillery, to govern 
with lighted matches, and to cut, and 
push, and prime— I call this, not vigour, 
but the shth of crudty and ignorance. 
The vigonr i love consists in finding 
out wherein subjects are aggrieved, in 
relieving them, in studying die temper 
and genius of a people, in consulting 
their prejudices, in selecting proper 
persons to lead and manage them, in 
the laborious, watchitil, and difficult 
task of increasing public happiness by 
allaying each particular discontent. 
In this way Hoche pacified La Vendee 
— and in this way only will Ireland 
ever be subdued. But this, in the eyes 
Of Mr. Perceval, is imbecility and 
meanness : houses are not broken open 
—women are not insulted — the people 
seem all to be happy ; they are not 
rode over by horses, and cut by whips. 
Do yon call this vigour? — Is this 
government ? s 



LETTER X. AND LAST. 

You must observe that all I have said 
of the effects which will be produced 
by giving salaries to the Catholic 
Clergy, only proceeds upon the suppo- 



sition that the emancipation of the 
laity is effected : — without that, I am 
sure there is not a clergyman in Ire- 
land who would receive a shilling from 
government ; he could not do .so, 
without an entire loss of credit among 
the members of his own persnasioo. 

What you say of the moderation of 
the Irish Protestant Clergy in collect- 
ing tithes, is, I believe, strictly tme. 
Instead of collecting what the law 
enables them to collect, I believe they 
seldom or ever collect more than two 
thirds ; and I entirely agree with yon, 
that the abolition of agistment tithe in 
Ireland by a vote of the Irish House 
of Commons, and without any remu- 
neration to the Church, was a most 
scandalous and Jacobinical measure. 
I do not blame the Irish clergy ; but I 
submit to your conmion sense, if it be 
possible to explain to an Irish peasant 
upon what principle of justice, or com- 
mon sense, he is to pay every tenth 
potato in his little garden to a clergy- 
man in whose religion nobody believes 
for twenty miles around him, and who 
has nothing to preach to but bare walls. 
It is true, if the tithes are bought up, 
the cottager must pay more rent to his 
landlord ; but the same thing done in 
the shape of rent, is less odious than 
when it is done in the shape of tithe. 
I do not want to take a shilling out of 
the pockets of the clergy, but to leave 
the substance of things, and to change 
their names. I cannot see the slightest 
reason why the Irish labourer is to be 
relieved fh)m the real onus, or from 
anything else but the name of tithe. 
At present he rents only nine tenths of 
the produce of the land ; which is all 
that belongs to the owner ; this he has 
at the market price ; if the landowner 
purchase the other tenth of the Church, 
of course he has a right to make a cor- 
respondent advance upon his tenant. 

I very much doubt, if you were to 
lay open all civil offices to the Catholics, 
and to grant salaries to their clergy, 
in the manner I have stated, if the 
Catholic laity would give themselves 
much trouble about Uie advance of 
their Church; for they would pay the 
same tithes under one system that they 
do nnder another. If yon were to 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



175 



bring the Catholics into the daylight of 
the world, to the high sitaations of the 
armj, the navj, and the bar, nambers 
of them would come OTer to the Estab- 
lished Church, and do as other people 
do; instead of that, jou set a mark of 
iflfam J upon them, rouse every passion 
of our nature in favour of their creed, 
and then wonder that men are blind to 
the foUies of the Catholic religion. 
There are hardly any instances of old 
and rich families among the Protestant 
Dissenters : when a man keeps a coach, 
and lives in good company, he comes 
to church, and gets ashamed of the 
meeting-house; if this is not the case 
with the father, it is almost always the 
case with the son. These things would 
never be so, if the Dissenters were in 
practice as much excluded from all the 
concerns of civil life, as the Catholic^ 
iu*e. If a rich young Catholic were in 
parliament, he would belong to White's 
and to Brookes's, would keep race- 
horses, would walk up and down Pall 
Mall, be exonerated of his ready money 
and his constitution, become as totally 
devoid of morality, honesty, knowledge, 
and civility as rrotestant loungers in 
Pall Mall, and return home with a 
sapreme contempt for Father O'Leary 
and Father O'Callaghan. I am as- 
tonished at the madness of the Ca^ 
tholic clei^, in not perceiving that 
Catholic emancipation is Catholic in- 
fidelity; that to entangle their people 
in the intrigues of a l^otestant parlia- 
ment, and a Protestant Court, is to 
insure the less of every man of fashion 
and consequence in their community. 
The true receipt for preserving their 
religion, is Mr. Perceval's receipt for 
destroying it; it is to deprive every 
rich Catholic of all the objects of se- 
cular ambition, to separate him from 
the Protestant, and to shut him up in 
his castle with priests and relics. 

We are told, in answer to all our 
arguments, that this is not a fit period, — 
that a period of universal war is not 
the proper time for dangerous innova- 
tions in the constitution : this is as 
much as to say, that the worst time for 
makmg friends is the period when you 
have made many enemies; that it is 
the greatest of all errors to • stop 



when you are breathless, and to lie 
down when you are fatigued. Of one 
thing I am quite certain : if the safety 
of Europe is once completely restored, 
the Catholics may for ever bid adieu to 
the slightest probability of effecting 
their object. Such men as hang about 
a court not only are deaf to the sugges- 
tions of mere justice, but they despise 
justice ; they detest the word right ; 
the only word which rouses them is 
perd ; where they can oppress with im- 
punity, they oppress for ever, and call 
it loyalty and wisdom* 

lam so far from conceiving the legiti- 
mate strength of the Crown would be 
diminished by those abolitions of civil 
incapacities inconsequence of religious 
opinions, that my only objection to the 
increase of religious freedom is, that it 
would operate as a diminution of po- 
litical freedom : the power of the Crown 
is so overbearing at this period, that 
almost the only steady opposers of its 
fatal influence are men disgusted by 
religious intolerance. Our establish- 
ments are so enormous, and so utterly 
disproportioned to our population, that 
every second or third man you meet in 
society gains something from the pub- 
lic ; my brother the commissioner, — 
my nephew the police justice, — pur- 
veyor of small bKBcr to the army in 
Ireland, — clerk of the mouth,— yeoman 
to the left hand, — these are the ob- 
stacles which common sense and justice 
have now to overcome. Add to this, 
that the King, old and infirm, excites 
a principle of very amiable generosity 
in his favour; that he has led a good, 
moral, and religious life, equally re« 
moved from profligacy and methodis-* 
tical hypocrisy; that he has been a 
good husband, a good father, and a 
good master; that he dresses plain, 
loves hunting and farming, hates the 
French, and is, in all his opinions and 
habits, quite English: — these feelings 
are heightened by the present situation 
of the world, and the yet unexploded 
clamour of Jacobinism. In short, from 
the various sources of interest, personal 
regard, and national taste, such a tem- 
pest of loyalty has set in upon the 
people that the 47th proposition in 
Euclid might now be voted down with 



176 



PETER PLYMLET'S LETTEB& 



as mach e«M as anj proposition in 
politics; and therefore if Lord Hawkes- 
bury hates the abstract troths of science 
as much as he hates concrete tmth in 
human affairs, now is his time for get- 
ting rid of the multiplication table, and 
passing a TOte of censure upon the 
pretensions of the hfpolkeMMMe, Such 
is the history of English parties at this 
moment: jon cannot seriously suppose 
that the people care for such men as 
Lord Hawkesbuiy, Mr. Canning, and 
Mr. Perceval, on their own account; 
yon cannot really believe them to be 
so degraded as to look to their safety 
from a man who proposes to subdue 
Europe by keeping it without Jesuits* 
Bark. The people, at present, have one 
passion, and but one~- 

A Jove prindpium, Jovis omnia plena. • 

They care no more for the ministers I 
have mentioned, than they do for those 
sturdy royalists who for 602. per annum 
stand behind his Majesty's carriage, 
arrayed in scariet and gold. If the 
present ministers opposed the Court 
instead of flattering it, they would not 
command twenty votes. 

I>o not imagine by these observa- 
tions that I am not loyal: without 
joining in the common cant of the best 
of kings, I respect the Eling most sin- 
cerely as a good man. His' reUgion 
is better than the religion of Mr. 
Perceval, his old morality very superior 
to the old morality of Mr. Canning, 
and I am quite certain he has a safer 
understanding than both of them put 
together. lovalty within the bounds 
of reason and moderation, is one of the 
greatest instruments of English happi- 
ness ; but the love of the King may 
easily become more strong than the 
love of the kingdom, and we may lose 
sight of the public welfare in our ex- 
aggerated admiration of him who is 
appointed to reign only for its promo- 
tion and support. I detest Jacobin- 
ism; and if I am doomed to be a slave 
at all, I would rather be the slave of 
a king than a cobbler. God save the 
King, you say, warms your heart like 
the sound of a trumpet. I cannot 
make use of so violent a metaphor; but 
1 am delighted to hear it» when it is the 



cry of genuine affection; I am delighted 
to hear it, when they hail not only the 
individual man, but the outward and 
living sign of all Eo^ish blessings. 
These are noble feelings, and the heart 
of every good man must go with them; 
but Grod save the King, in these times, 
too often means Grod save my pension 
and my place, God give my sisters an 
allowance out of the privy purse, — 
make me clerk of the irons, let ine spr- 
vey the meltings, let me live upon the 
fruits of other men*s industry, and 
fatten upon the plunder of the public 

What is it possible to say to such a 
man as the Gentleman of Hampstead, 
who really believes it feasible to convert 
the font million Lrish Catholics to the 
Protestant religion, and considers this 
as the best remedy for the disturbed 
state of Ireland ? It is not possible to 
answer such a man with arguments; 
we must come out against him vrith 
beads, and a cowl, and push him into 
an hermitage. It is really such trash, 
that it is an abuse of the privilege of 
reasoning to reply to it. Such a pro- 
ject is well WQrthy the statesman who 
would bring the French to reason by 
keeping them without rhubarb, and 
exhibit to mankind the awful spectacle 
of a nation deprived of neutral salts. 
This is not the dream of a wild apo- 
thecary indulging in his own opium; 
this is not tlie distempered fancy of a 
pounder of drugs, delirious from small- 
ness of profits: but it is the sober, de- 
liberate, and systematic scheme of a 
man to whom the public safety is en- 
trusted, and whose appointment is 
considered by many as a masterpiece 
of political sagacity. What a sublime 
thought, that no purge can now be taken 
between the Weser and the Garonne; 
that the bustling pestle is still, the ca- 
norous mortar mute, and the bowels 
of mankind locked up for fourteen de- 
grees of latitude! When, I should be 
curious to know, were all the powers 
of crudity and flatulence fully ex- 
plained to his Majesty's ministers? At 
what period was this great plan of con- 
quest and constipation fully developed? 
In whose mind was the idea of destroy- 
ing the pride and the plasters of Prance 
first engendered? Without castor oil 



:Peteb plymley's letters. 



they might, for some months, to be 
sore, have carried on a lingering war ; 
but can thej do without bark ? Will 
the people live under a goTemment 
where antimonial powders cannot be 
procured ? Will they bear the loss of 
mercury? "There's the rub." Depend 
upon it, the absence of the materia me- 
dica will 'soon bring them to their 
senses, and the cry of Bourbon and 
bolus burst forth from the Baltic to the 
Mediterraoean. 

You ask me for any precedent in 
our history where the oath of supremacy 
has been dispensed with. It was dis- 
pensed with to the Catholics of Canada 
in 1774. They are only required to 
take a simple oath of allegiance. The 
same, I believe, was the case in Cor- 
sica. The reason of such exemption 
was obvious ; jon could not possibly 
have retained either of these coantries 
without it. And what did it signify, 
whether you retained them or not ? In 
cases where you might have, been 
foolish without peril, you were wise ; 
when nonsense and bigotry threaten 
you with destruction, it i» impossible 
to bring you back to the alphabet of 
justice and common sense. If men are 
to be fools, I would rather they were 
fools in little matters than in great ; 
dnlness turned up with temerity, is a 
livery all the worse for the facings ; 
and tjie most tremendous of all things 
is the magnanimity of a dunce. 

It is not by any means necessary, as 
you contend, to repeal the Test Act if 
you give relief to the Catholic ; what 
the Catholics ask for is to be put on a 
footing with the Protestant Dissenters, 
which would be done by repealing that 
part of the law which compels them to 
take the oath of supremacy and to 
make the declaration against transub- 
stantiation : they would then come into 
parliament as all other Dissenters are 
allowed to do, and the penal laws to 
which they were exposed for taking 
office would be suspended every year, 
as they have been for this half century 
past towards Protestant Dissenters. 
Perhaps, after all, this is the best me- 
thod,-~to continue the persecuting law, 
and to suspend it every year, — a me- 

VouH. 



177 

thod which, while it effectually destroys 
the persecution itself, leaves to the 
great mass of mankind the exquisite 
gratification of supposing that they are 
enjoying some advantage from which 
a particular class of their fellow-crea- 
tures are excluded. We manage the 
Corporation and Test Acts at present 
much in the same manner as if we 
were to persuade parish boys who had 
been in the habit of beating an ass to 
spare the animal, and beat the skin of 
an ass stuffed with straw; this would 
preserve the semblance of tormenting 
without the reality, and keep boy and 
beast in good humour. 

How can you imagine that a provi- 
sion for the Catholic clergy affects the 
5 th article of the Union ? Surely I 
am preserving the Protestant Church 
in Ireland, if I put it in a better con- 
dition than that in which it now is. A 
tithe proctor in Ireland collects his 
tithes with a blunderbuss, and carries 
his tenth hay-cock by storm, sword in 
hand: to give him equal value in a 
more pacific shape cannot, I should 
imagine, be considered as injurious to 
the Church of Ireland ; and what right 
has that Church to complain, if parlia- 
ment chooses to fix upon the empire 
the burthen of supporting a double 
ecclesiastical establishment ? Are the 
revenues of the Irish Protestant clergy 
in the slightest degree injured by such 
provision ? On the contrary, is it 
possible to confer a more serious bene- 
fit upon that Church, than by quieting 
and contenting those who are at work 
for its destruction ? 

It is impossible to think of the affairs 
of Ireland without being forcibly struck 
with the parallel of Hungary. Of her 
seven millions of inhabitants, one half 
were Protestants, Calvinists, and Lu- 
therans, many of the Greek Church, 
and many Jews ; such was the state of 
theur religious dissensions, that Maho- 
met had often been called in to the aid 
of Calvin, and the crescent often glit- 
tered on the walls of Buda and of 
Presburg. At last, in 1791, duruig 
the most violent crisis of distarbance, 
a. diet was called, and by a great ma- 
jority of voices a decree was passed. 



178 



PETER FLTMLET9 LETTEB& 



wbifch ieemed to all the contendiDg 
sects the follest u^ freest exercise of 
idigums wonhip and edncatkm; or- 
dained (let it be heard in Hampstead) 
that churches and chapels shoold be 
erected for all on the most perfectly 
equal terms; that the Protettants of 
both confessions shoold depend npon 
their spiritoal saperiors alone; libera- 
ted them from swearing by the nsoal 
oath, ^'the holy Virgin Mary, the 
saints, and chosen of God ; " and 
then the decree adds, ** that pmbSc 
offices and hfmourt, high cr hw, great 
or tmaUj ehaU be given to natural-bom 
HvngarioMs who deserve weR of their 
country, and possess the oAer qnalifiea- 
Uons, let their religion be what it may^ 
Such was the line of policy porsaed in 
a diet consisting of fonr hundred mem- 
bers, in a state whose form of gOTem- 
ment approaches nearer to oar own 
than any other, having a Boman Ca- 
tholic establishment of great wealth 
and power, and nnder the influence of 
one of the most bigoted Catholic Courts 
in Europe. This measure has now the 
experience of eighteen years in its 
fiivour; it has undergone a trial of 
fourteen years of reTolution such as 
the world never witnessed, and more 
than equal to a century less convulsed: 
What have been its effects? When 
the French advanced like a torrent 
within a few days' march of Vienna, 
the Hungarians rose in a mass ; they 
formed what they called t^e sacred 
insurrection, to defend their sovereign, 
their rights, and liberties, now common 
to all ; and the apprehension of their 
approach dictated to the reluctant 
Bonaparte the immediate signature of 
the treaty of Leoben, The Bomi^ 
hierarchy of Hungary exists in all 
its former splendour and opulence; 
never has the slightest attempt been 
made to diminish it ; and those revo- 
lutionary principles, to which so large 
a portion of civilised Europe has been 
sacrificed, have here failed in making 
the smallest successful inroad. 

The whole history of this proceeding 
of the Hungahan Diet is so extraor- 
dinary, and such an admirable com- 
ment upon the Protestantism of Mr. 
Spencer Perceval, that I must compel 



yoa to read a few short extracts frvmi 
the law itself :— "The Brotestants of 
both confessions shall, in religions 
matten^ dqwnd opon their own spirit- 
nal saperiors alcme. The Protestants 
may Iflcewise retain their trivial and 
grammar schools. The Church dues 
which the Pkotestants have hitherto 
paid to the Catholic parish priests, 
schoolmasters, or other such officers, 
either in money, productions, or iaboar 
shaU in future entirely cease, and 
after Aree months from the pablishing 
of this law, be no more anywhere de- 
manded. In the building or repairing 
of churches, parsonage-booses, and 
schools, the Protestants are not obliged 
to assist the Catholics with labour, nor 
the Catholics the Protestants. The 
I»ous foundations and donations of the 
Protestants which already exist, or 
which in fritore may be made for tfieir 
churches, ministers, schools and stu- 
dents, hospitaIs,orphan-houses and poor, 
cannot be taken from them under any 
pretext, nor yet the care of them ; bat 
rather the unimpeded administraticm 
shall be entrusted to those from among 
them to whom it legally belongs, and 
those foundations wMch may have been 
taken from them under the last goTcm- 
ment, shall be returned to them without 
delay. All affaurs of marriage of the 
Protestants are left to their own con- 
sistories ; all landlords and masters of 
families, under the penalty of public 
persecution, are ordered not to prevent 
their subjects and servants, whether 
they be Catholic or Protestant, from. 
the observance of the festivals 4ind 
ceremonies of their religion," &c &c 
&c — By what strange chances are 
mankind influenced ! A little Catholic 
barrister of Vienna might have raised 
the cry of iVb Protestantism, and Hun- 
gary would have panted for the arrival 
of a French army as much as Ireland 
does at this moment; arms would have 
been searched fdr ; Lutheran and Cal- 
vinist houses entered in the dead of the 
night; and the strength of Austria 
exhausted in guarding a country from 
which, under the present liberal sys- 
tem, she may expect, in a moment of 
danger, the most poweriul aid: and 
let it be remembered, that this memo* 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



179 



rable example of political wisdom took 
place at a period when many great 
monarchies were yet unconqnered in 
Europe ; in a country where the two 
religious parties were equal in number; 
and where it is impossible to suppose 
indifference in 'the party which relin- 
qoished its exclusive privileges. Under 
all these circumstances, the measure 
was carried in the Hungarian Diet by 
a majority of 280 to 120. In a few 
weelts, we shall see every concession 
denied to the Catholics by a much 
larger majority of Protestants, at a 
moment when every other power is 
snbJQgated but ourselves, and in a 
conntiy where the oppressed are four 
times as numerous as their oppressors. 
So much for the wisdom of our ances- 
tors— so much for the nineteenth cen- 
tmy^so much for the superiority of 
the English over all the nations of the 
Continent 

Ate you not sensible, let me ask 
yon, of the absurdity of trusting the 
lowest Catholics with offices corres- 
pondent to their situation in life, and 
of denying such privilege to the higher? 
A Catholic may serve in the militia, 
bat a Catholic cannot come into Parr 
liament ; in the latter case you suspect 
combination, and in the former case 
you suspect no combination ; you de- 
liberately arm ten or twenty thousand 
of the lowest of the Catholic people; — 
and the moment you come to a class of 
men whose education, honour, and 
talents, seem to render all mischief 
less probable, then you see the danger 
of employing a Catholic, and cling to 
jour investigating tests and disabling 
law& If you tell me you have enough 
of members of Parliament, and not 
enough of militia, without the Catho- 
lics, I beg leave to remind you, that, 
by employing the physical force of 
any sect, at the same time when you 
leave them in a state of utter dis- 
affection, you are not adding strength 
to your armies, but weakness and 
ruin. — If you want the vigour of their 
common people, you must not disgrace 
their nobility, and insult their priest- 
hood. 

I thought that the terror of the Pope 
had been confined to the limits of the 



nursery, and merely employed as a 
qieans to induce young master to enter 
into his small-clothes with greater 
speed, and to eat his breakfast with 
greater attention to decorum. For 
these purposes, the name of the Pope 
is admirable; but why push it beyond? 
Why not leave to Lord Hawkesbury 
all further enumeration of the Pope's 
powers ? For a whole century, you 
have been exposed to the enmity of 
France, and your succession was dis- 
puted in two rebellions^; what could 
the Pope do at the period when there 
was a serious struggle, whether Eng- 
land should be Protestant or Catholic, 
and when the issue was completely 
doubtful? Could the Pope induce the 
Irish to rise in 1715? Could he induce 
them to rise in 1745? You had no 
Catholic enemy when half this island 
was in arms ; and what did the Pope 
attempt in the last rebellion in Ireland? 
But if he had as much power over the 
minds of the Irish as Mr. Wilberforce 
has over the mind of a young Me- 
thodist converted the preceding quar- 
ter, is this a reason why we are to 
disgust men, who may be acted upon 
in such a manner by a foreign power ? 
or is it not an additional reason why 
we should raise up every barrier of 
affection and kindness against the mis- 
chief of foreign influence? But the 
true answer is, the mischief does not 
exist Gog and Magog have produced 
as much influence upon human affairs 
as the Pope has done for this half cen- 
tury past ; and by spoiling him of his 
possessions, and degrading him in the 
eyes of all Europe, Bonaparte has not 
taken quite the proper method of in- 
creasing his influence. 

But why not a Catholic king, as well 
as a Catholic member of Parliament, 
or of the Cabinet ? — Because it is pro- 
bable that the one would be mischievous, 
and the other not A Catholic king 
might struggle against the Protestant- 
ism of the country, and if the struggle 
were not successful, it would at least 
be dangerous ; but the efforts of any 
other Catholic would be quite insigni- 
ficant, and his hope of success so small, 
that it is quite improbable the effort 
would ever be made : my argument is, 

N 2 



180 



PETEE PLYMLEyS LETTERS. 



that in so Protestant a countxy as 
Great Britain, the character of her 
parliaments and her cabinet coald not 
be changed bj the few Catholics who 
would ever find their waj to the one 
or the other. But the power of the 
Crown is immeasurably greater than 
the power which the CaSiolics could 
obtain from any other species of 
authority in the state ; and it does not 
follow, becanse the lesser degree of 
power is innocent, that the greater 
should be so toa As for the stress 
you lay upon the danger of a Catholic 
chancellor, I have not the least hesitar 
tion in saying, that his appointment 
would not do a ten thousandth part of 
the mischief to the English Church 
that might be done by a Methodistical 
chancellor of the true Clapham breed; 
and I request to know, if it is really so 
Tery necessary that a chancellor .should 
be of the religion of the Church of 
England, how many chancellors you 
have had within thQ last century who 
have been bred up in the Presbyterian 
reli^on ? — And again, how many you 
have had who notoriously have been 
without any religion at all ? 

Why are you to suppose that eligi- 
bility and election are the same thing, 
and that all the cabinet wili be Catho- 
lics whenever all the cabinet may be 
Catholics? You have a right, you say, 
to suppose an extreme case, and to 
argue upon it — so have I : and I will 
suppose that the hundred Irish mem- 
bers will one day come down in a 
body, and pass a law compelling the 
King to reside in Dublin. I will sup- 
pose that the Scotch members, by a 
similar stratagem, will lay England 
under a large contribution of roeid and 
sulphur : no measure is without objec« 
tion, if yon sweep the whole horizon 
for danger ; it is not sufficient to tell 
me of what may happen, bat you must 
show me a rational probability that it 
will happen : after all, I might, con- 
trary to my real opinion, admit all 
your dangers to exist; it is enough for 
me to contend, that all other dangers 
taken together are not equal to the 
danger of losing Ireland from disaffec- 
tion sLnd invasion. 

I am astonished to see yon, and 



many good and well-meaning dergy- 
men b^de you, painting the Catholics 
in such detestable colours; two thirds, 
at least, of Europe are Catholics,— they 
are Christians, though mistaken Chris* 
tians ; how can I possibly admit that 
any sect of Christians, and above all, 
that the oldest and the most nnmeroas 
sect of Christians, are incapable of ful- 
filling the common duties and relations 
of life : though I do differ from them 
in many particulars, God forbid I 
should give such a handle to infidelity, 
and subscribe to such blasphemy 
against our common religion! 

Do you think mankind never change 
their opinions without formally ex- 
pressing and confessing that change ? 
When you quote the decisions of an- 
cient Catholic councils, are you pre- 
pared to defend all the decrees of 
English couTOcations and universities 
since the reign of Queen Elizabeth ? I 
could soon make you sick of yoor nn- 
candid industry against the Catholics, 
and bring you to fdlow that it is better 
to forget times past, and to judge and 
be judged by present opinions and 
present practice. 

I must beg- to be excused from ex- 
plaining and refuting all the mistakes 
about the Catholics made by my Lord 
Bedesdale ; and I must do that noble- 
man the justice to say, that he has been 
treated with great disrespect Could 
anything be more indecent than to 
make it a rooming lounge in Dublin 
to call upon his Lordship, and to cram 
him with Arabian-night stories about 
the Catholics? Is this proper beha- 
viour to the representatiye of Majesty, 
the child of Themis, and the keeper of 
the conscience in West Britain? Who- 
ever reads the Letters of the Catholic 
Bishops, in the Appendix to Sir John 
Hippesly*s Tery sensible book, will see 
to what an excess this practice must 
have been carried with the pleasing 
and Protestant nobleman whose name 
I have mentioned, and from thence 
I wish you to receive your answer 
about excommunication, and all the 
trash which is talked against the 
Catholics. 

A sort of notion has, by some means 
or another, crept into the world, that 



PETER PLYMLEY'S LETTERS. 



181 



difference of religion would render 
men nnfit to perform together the 
offices of common and civil life : that 
Brother Wood and Brother Grose 
could not trayel together the same 
circnit if thej differed in creed, nor 
Cockell and Mingay be engaged in 
the same cause if Cockell was a Ca- 
tholic and Mingay a Mnggletonian. 
It is supposed that Huskisson and Sir 
Harry Englefield would squabble be- 
hind the Speaker's chair about the 
Council of Lateran, and many a turn- 
pike bill miscarry by the sarcastical 
controversies of ^r. Hawkins Brown 
and Sir John Throckmorton upon the 
real presence. I wish I could see some 
of these symptoms of earnestness upon 
the subject of religion ; but it really 
seems to me that, in the present state 
of society, men no more think about 
inquiring concerning each other's faith 
than they do concerning the colour of 
each other's skins. There may have 
been times in England when the quar- 
ter sessions would have been disturbed 
by theological polemics : but now, 
alter a Catholic justice had once been 
seen on the bench and it had been 
clearly ascertained that he spoke Enr- 
glish, had no tail, only a single row of 
teeth, and that he loved port wine, — 
after all the scandalous and infamous 
reports of his physical conformation 
had, been clearly proved to be false, — 
he would be reckoned a jolly fellow, 
and very superior in flavour to a sly 
Presbyterian. Nothing, in fact, can be 
more uncandid and unphilosophic^l * 
than to say that a man has a tail, 
because you. cannot agree with him 
upon religious subjects ; it appears 
to be ludicrous : but I am convinced 
it has done infinite mischief to the 
Catholics, and made a very serious 
impression upon the minds of many 
gentlemen of large landed property. 

In talking of the impossibility of 
Catholic and Protestant living together 
with equal privilege under the same 
government, do you forget the Cantons 
of Switzerland? You might have seen 
there a Protestant congregation going 
into a church which had just been 

* Fid0 Lord Bacon, Locke, and Descartes. 



quitted by a Catholic congregation ; 
and I Mrill venture to say that the Swiss 
Catholics were more bigoted to their 
religion than any people in the whole 
world. Did the kings of Prussia ever 
refuse to employ a Catholic ? Would 
Frederick the Great have rejected an 
able man on this account? We have 
seen Prince Czartorinski, a Catholic 
secretary of state in Russia ; in former 
times, a Greek patriarch and an apos- 
tolic vicar acted together in the most 
perfect harmony in Venice ; and we 
have seen the Emperor of Germany in 
modem times entrusting the care of 
his person and the command of his 
guard to a Protestant Prince, Ferdi- 
nand of Wirtemberg. But what are 
all these things to Mr. Perceval ? He 
has looked at human nature from the 
top of Hampstead Hill, and has not a 
thought beyond the little sphere of his 
own vision. ** The snail," say the 
Hindoos, **sees nothing but his own 
shell, and thinks it the grandest palace 
in the universe." 

I now take a final leave of this sub- 
ject of Ireland ; the only difficulty in 
discussing it is a want of resistance, a 
want of something difficult to unravel, 
and something dark to illumine. To 
agitate such a question is to beat the 
air with a club, and cut down gnats 
with a scimitar ; it is a prostitution of 
industry, and a waste of strength. If 
a man say, I have a good place, and I 
do not choose to lose it, this mode of 
arguing upon the Catholic question I 
can well understand ; but that any 
human being with an understanding 
two degrees elevated above that of an 
Anabaptist preacher, should conscien- 
tiously contend for the expediency and 
propriety of leaving the Irish Catholics 
in their present state, and of subjecting 
us to such tremendous peril in the pre- 
sent condition of the world, it is utterly 
out of my power to conceive. Such a 
measure as the Catholic question is 
entirely beyond the common game of 
politics ; it is a measure in which all 
parties ought to acquiesce, in order to 
preserve the place where and the stake 
for which they play. If Ireland is 
gone, where are jobs ? where are re- 
versions,? where is my brother. Lord 

N 3 



182 



PETER PLYMLETS LETTERS. 



Arden ? where are, my dear and near 
relations ? The game is up, and the 
Speaker of the House of Commons will 
be sent as a present to the menagerie 
at Paris. We talk of waiting from 
particular considerations, as if centuries 
of joy and prosperity were before us : 
in the next ten years our fate must be 
decided; we shall know, long before 
that period, wbather we can bear up 
against the miseries by which we are 
threatened, or not: and yet, in the very 
midst of our crisis, we are enjoined to 
abstain from the most certain means 
of increasing our strength, and adrised 
to wait for the remedy till the disease 
is remored by death or health. And 
now, instead of the plain and manly 
policy of increasing unanimity at home, 
by equalising rights and privileges, 
what is the ignorant, arrogant, and 
wicked system which has been pur- 
sued ? Such a career of madness and 
of folly was, I believe, never run in so 
short a period. The vigour of the 
ministry is like the vigour of a grave- 
^^SS^^* — ^c tomb becomes more ready 
and more wide for every effort which 
they make. There is nothing which it 
is worth while either to take or to re- 
tain, and a constant train of ruinous 
expeditions have been kept up. Every 
Englishman felt proud of the integrity 
of his country ; the character of the 
country is lost for ever. It is of the 
utmost consequence to a commercial 
people at war with the greatest part of 
Europe, that there should be a free 
entry of neutrals into the enemy's ports; 
the neutrals who carried our manu- 
factures we* have not only excluded, 
but we have compelled them to declare 
war against us. It was our interest to 
make a good peace, or convince our 
own people that it could not be ob- 
tained ; we have not made a peace, 
and we have convinced the people of 
nothing but of the arrogance of the 
Poreign Secretary : and all this has 
taken place in the short space of a 
year, because a King's Bench barrister 
and a writer of epigrams, turned into 
Ministers of State, were determined to 
show country gentlemen that the late 
administration had no vigour. In the 
meantime commerce stands still, manu- 



factures perish, Ireland is more and 
more irritated, India is threatened, 
fresh taxes are accumulated upon the 
wretched people, the war is carried oa 
without it being possible to conceive 
any one single object which a rational 
being can propose to himself by its 
continuation ; and in the midst of this 
unparalleled insanity we are told that 
the Continent is to be reconquered by 
the want of rhubarb and plums.* A 
better spirit than exists in the English 
people never existed in any people in 
the world ; it has been misdirected, 
and squandered upon party purposes 
in the most degrading and scandalous 
manner ; they have l^en led to believe 
that they were benefiting the conunerce 
of England by destroying the com- 
merce of America, that they were 
defending their Sovereign by per- 
petuating the bigoted oppression of 
their fellow-subjects ; their rulers and 
their guides have told them that they 
would equal the vigour of France by 
equalling her atrocity ; and they have 
gone on wasting that opulence, patience, 
and courage, which, if husbanded by 
prudent and moderate counsels, might 
have proved the salvation of mankind. 
The same policy of turning the good 
qualities of Englishmen to their own 
destruction, which made Mr. Pitt om- 
nipotent, continues his power to those 
who resemble him only in his vices ; 
advantage is taken of the loyalty of 
Englishmen to make them meanly 
submissive ; their piety is turned into 
persecution, their courage into useless 
and obstinate contention ; they are 
plundered because they are ready to 
pay, and soothed into asinine stupidity 
because they are full of virtuous pa- 
tience. If England must perish at 
last, so let it be ; ■ that event is in the 
hands of God ; we must dry up our 
tears and submit But that England 
should perish swindling and stealing ; 
that it should perish waging war 
against lazar houses, and hospitals ; 
that it should perish persecuting with 

* Even Allen Park (accustomed as he has 
always been to be dehghted by all adminis- 
trations) says it is too bad; and Hall and 
Morris are said to have adniaUy UuiBhed in 
one of the divisions. 



PETER PLYMLEY^ LETTEBS. 



183 



monastic bigotry; that it should calmly 
give itself up to be mined by the flashy 
arrogance of one man, and the narrow 
fanaticism of another ; these eyents 
are within the power of human beings, 



and I did not think that the magnani« 
mity of Englishmen would ever stoop 
to snch degradations. 

LongnrnTilel 

Peter Pltmlet. 



«4 



THE JUDGE THAT SMITES OONTBAEY TO THE LAW. 



A SEEMON 

PREACHED IN THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. PETER, YORK 

BBFOBB 

THE HON. SIB JOHN BAYLEY, KNT. 

AND 

THE HON. SIB GEOBOE SOWLEY HOLBOYD, KNT. 
justicbs of thb coubt of king's bbnch 

Uajlcr 28, 1824. 



Acts, xxni. 8. 
SUtest thou here to judge me qffer the law, 
and commandest thou me to he tmUten, 
contrary to the law? 

With these bold words St. Paul re- 
pressed the unjust violence of that 
ruler, who would have silenced his 
arguments, and extinguished his zeal 
for the Christian faith : knowing well 
the misfortunes which awaited him, 
prepared for deep and various calamity, 
not ignorant of the violence of the 
Jewish multitude, not unused to suffer, 
not unwilling to die,, he had not pre- 
pared himself for the monstrous spec- 
tacle of perverted Justice ; but losing 
that spirit to whose fire and firmness 
we owe the very existence of the Chris- 
tian faith, he burst into that bold rebuke 
which brought back the extravagance 
of power under the control of law, and 
branded it with the feelings of shame : 
" Sittest thou here to judge me after 
the law, and commandest thou me to 
be smitten, contrary to the law ? " 

I would observe that in the Gospels, 
and the various parts of the New 



Testament, the words of our Saviour 
and of St. Paul, when they contain 
any opinion, are always to be looked 
upon as lessons of wisdom to us, how- 
ever incidentally they may have been 
delivered, and however shortly they 
may have been expressed. As their 
words were to be recorded by inspired 
writers, and to go down to future ages, 
nothing can have been said without 
reflection and design. Nothing is to 
be lost, everything is to be studied : a 
great moral lesson is often conveyed in 
a few words. Bead slowly, think 
deeply, let every word enter into your 
soul, for it was intended for your soul. 
I take these words of St. Paul as a 
condemnation of that man who smites 
contrary to the law ; as a praise of that 
man who judges according to the law; 
as a religious theme upon the import- 
ance of human Justice to the happiness 
of mankind : and if it be that theme, 
it is appropriate to this place, and to 
the solemn public duties of the past 
and the ensuing week, over which some 
here present will preside, at which 



THE JUDGE THAT SMITES CONTRARY TO THE LAW 185 



many here present will assist, and 
which almost all here present will 
witness. 

I will discnss, then, the importance 
of jadging according to the law, or, in 
other words, of the due administration 
of Justice upon the character and hap- 
piness of nations. And in so doing, I 
^yill hegin with stating a few of those 
circumstances which may mislead even 
good and conscientious men, and sub- 
ject them to the unchristian sin of 
smiting contrary to the law. I will 
state how that Justice is purified and 
perfected, by which the happiness and 
character of nations iis affected to a 
good purpose. 

I do this with less fear of being 
misunderstood, because I am speaking 
before two great magistrates, who have 
lived much among its ; and whom — 
because they have lived much among 
us — we have all learned to respect and 
regard, and to whom no man fears to 
consider himself as accountable, be* 
cause all men see that they, in the 
administration of their high office, con- 
sider themselves as deeply and daily 
accountable to God. 

And let no man say, '*Why teach 
such things ? Do you think they must 
not have occurred to those to whom 
they are a concern ?" 1 answer to this 
that no man preaches novelties and 
discoveries ; the object of preaching is, 
constantly to remind mankind of what 
mankind are constantly forgetting ; 
not to supply the defects of human 
intelligence, but to fortify the feebleness 
of human resolutions, to recall man- 
kind from the by-paths where they 
turn, into that broad path of salvation 
which all know, but few tread. These 
plain lessons the humblest ministers of 
the Gospel may teach, if they are 
honest, and the most powerful Chris- 
tians will ponder, if they are wise. No 
man, whether he bear the sword of the 
law, or whether he bear that sceptre 
which the sword of the law cannot 
reach, can answer for his own heart to- 
morrow, and can say to the teacher,— r 
** Thou wamest me, thou teachest me, 
in vain." 

A Christian Judge, in a free land, 
should, with the most scrupulous exact- 



ness, guard himself from the influence 
of those party feelings, upon which, 
perhaps, the preservation of political 
liberty depends, but by which the better 
reason of individuals is often blinded 
and the tranquillity of the public dis- 
turbed. I am not talking of the osten- 
tatious display of such feelings ; I am 
hardly talking of any gratification of 
which the individual himself is con- 
scious, but I am raising up a wise and 
useful jeidousy of the encroachment 
of those feelings, which, when they do 
encroach, lessen the value of the most 
valuable, and lower the importance of 
the most important, men in the country. 
I admit it to be extremely difficult to 
live amidst the agitations, contests, and 
discussions of a free people, and to 
remain in that state of cool, passionless 
Christian candour, which society expect 
from their great magistrates ; but it is 
the pledge that magistrate has given, 
it is the life he has taken up, it is the 
class of qualities which he has promised 
us, and for which he has rendered him- 
self responsible : it is the same fault 
in him which want of courage would 
be in some men, and want of moral 
regularity in others. It runs counter 
to those very purposes, and sins against 
those utilities for which the very office 
was created : without these qualities, 
he who ought to be cool, is heated ; he 
who ought to be neutral, is partial: the 
ermine of Justice is spotted ; the ba- 
lance of Justice is unpoised; the fillet 
of Justice is torn off : and he who sits 
to judge after the law, smites contrary 
to the law. 

And if the preservation of calmness 
amidst the strong feelings by which a 
Judge is surrounded be difficult, is it 
not also honourable ? and would it be 
honourable if it were not difficult ? 
Why do men quit their homes, and give 
up their common occupations, and re- 
pair to the tribunal of Justice ? Why 
this bustle and business, why this de- 
coration and display, and why are we 
all eager to pay our homage to the dis- 
pensers of Justice? Because we all 
feel that there must be, somewhere or 
other, a check to human passions ; be- 
cause we all know the immense value 
and importance of men, in whose placid 



186 



THE JUDGE THAT SMITES 



equitj and mediating wisdom, we can 
trust in the worst dT times ; because 
we cannot cherish too stronglj* and 
express too plain!/, that reverence we 
feel for men, who can rise np in the 
ship of the state, and rebnke the storms 
of the mind, and bid its angry passions 
be stilL 

A Christian Jodge in a free land, 
shonld not onlj keep his mind dear 
from the violence of party feelings, but 
he shonld be very carefnl to preserve 
his independence, by seeking no pro- 
motion, and asking no favours from 
those who govern : or at least, to be 
(which is an experiment not without 
danger to his salvation) so thoroughly 
confident of his motives and his con- 
duct, that he is certain the hope of 
favour to come, or gratitude for favour 
past, will never cause him to swerve 
from the strict line of duty. It is often 
the lot of a Judge to be placed, not 
only between the accuser and the ac- 
cused, not only between the complain- 
ant and him against whom it is com- 
plained, but between the governors and 
the governed, between the people and 
those whose lawful commands the people 
are bound to obey. In these sort of con- 
tests it unfortunately happens that the 
rulers are sometimes as angry as the 
ruled ; the whole ejes of a nation are fixed 
upon one man, and upon his character 
and conduct the stability and happiness 
of the times seem to depend. The best 
and firmest magistrates cannot tell how 
they may act under such circumstances, 
but every man may prepare himself 
for acting well under such circum- 
stances, by cherishing that qniet feeling 
of independence, which removes one 
temptation to act ilL Ever/ man may 
avoid putting himself in a situation 
where his hopes of advantage are on 
one side, ahd his sense of duty on the 
other : such a temptation may be with- 
stood, but it is better it should not be 
encountered. Far better that feeling 
which says, *^1 have vowed a vow before. 
God ; I have put on the robe of justice ; 
farewell avarice, farewell ambition : 
pass me who will, slight me who will, 
I live henceforward only for the great 
duties of life : my business is on earth, 
my hope and my reward are in God." 



He who takes tiie oflSce of a Judge 
as it now exists in this country, takes 
in his hands a splendid gem, good and 
glorious, perfect and pure. ShaU he 
give it np mutilated, shall he mar it, 
shall he darken it, shall it emit no light, 
shall it be valued at no price, shall it 
excite no wonder ? Shall he find it a 
diamond, shall he leave it a stone ? 
What shall we say to the man who 
would wilfully destroy with fire the 
magnificent temple of God, in which I 
am now preaching ? Far worse is he 
who ruins the moral edifices of the 
world, which time and toil, and many 
prayers to God, and many sufierings 
of men, have reared ; who puts out 
the light of the times in which he lives, 
and leaves us to wander amid the dark- 
ness of corruption and the desolation 
of sin. There may be, there probably 
is, in this church, some young man 
who may hereafter fill the office of an 
English Judge, whm the greater part 
of those who hear me are dead, and 
mingled with the dust of the grave; 
Let him remember my words, and let 
them form and fashion his spirit : he 
cannot tell in what dangerous and awfal 
times he may be pliused ; but as a 
mariner looks to his compass in the 
calm, and looks to his compass in the 
storm, and never keeps his eyes off his 
compass, so in every vicissitude of a 
judicial life, deciding for the people, 
deciding against the people, protecting 
the just rights of kings, or restraining 
their unlawful ambition, let him ever 
cling to that pure, exalted, and Chris- 
tian independence, which towers over 
the little motives of life ; which no hope 
of favour can influence, which no effivt 
of power cian control. 

A Christian Judge in a free country 
should respect, on every occasion, those 
popular institutions of Justice, which 
were intended for his control, and for 
our security ; to see humble men col- 
lected accidentally firom the neighboor- 
hood, treated with tenderness and 
courtesy by supreme magistrates oi 
deep learning and practised under- 
standing, from whose views they are 
perhaps at that moment differing, and 
whose directions they do not choose to 
follow s to see at Bucb. times every dis- 



CONTRARY TO THE LAW. 



187 



position to warmth restrained, and 
es&rj tendency to contenaptaous feeling 
kept back ; to witness the submission 
of the great and wise, not when it is 
extorted hj necessity, bat when it is 
practised with willingness and grace, 
is a spectacle which is rery grateful to 
EngHishmen, which no other country 
sees, which, above all things, shows 
that a Judge has a pure, gentle, and 
Christian heart, and that he never 
wishes to smite contrary to the law. 

May I add the great importance in a 
Judge of courtesy to all men, and that 
he should, on all occasions, abstain from 
nnnecessarjr bitterness and asperity of 
speech ? A Judge always speaks with 
impunity, and always speaks ^with 
effect. His words should be weighed, 
hecanse they entail no evil upon him- 
self, and much evil upon others. The 
langnage of passion, the language of 
sarcasm, the language of satire, is not, 
on snch occasions, Christian language: 
it is not the language of a Judge. 
There is a propriety of rebuke and 
condemnation, the justice of which is 
felt even by him who suffers under it ; 
but when magistrates, under the mask 
of Uw, aim at the offender more than 
the offence, and are more studious of 
inflicting pain, than repressing error or 
crime, the office suffers as much as the 
Judge : the respect for Justice is les- 
sened ; and the school of pure reason 
becomes the hated theatre of mis- 
chievous passion. 

A Christian Judge who means to be 
just, must not fear to smite according 
to the law ; he must remember that he 
beareth not the sword in vain. Under 
his protection we live, under his pro- 
tection we acquire, under his protection 
we enjoy. Without him, no man would 
defend his character, no man would 
preserve his substance : proper pride, 
just gains, valuable exertions, all de- 
pend upon his firm wisdom. If he 
shrink from the severe duties of his 
office, he saps the foundation of social 
life, betrays the highest interests of the 
world, and sits not to judge according 
to the law. 

The topics of mercy are the small- 
ness of the offence — the infrequency 
of the offence. The temptations to the 



culprit, the moral weakness of the 
culprit, the severity of the law, the 
error of the law, the different state of 
society, the altered state of feeling, and 
above all, the distressing doubt whether 
a human being in the lowest abyss of 
poverty and ignorance, has not done 
injustice to himself, and is not perish- 
ing away from the want of knowledge, 
the want of fortune, and the want of 
friends. All magistrates feel these 
things in the early exercise of their 
judicial power, but the Christian Judge 
always feels them, is always youthful, 
always tender when he is going to shed 
human blood : retires from the business 
of men, communes with his own heart, 
ponders on the work of death, and 
prays to that Saviour who redeemed 
him, that he may not shed the blood of 
man in vain. 

These, then, are those faults which 
expose a man to the danger of smiting 
contrary to the law : a Judge must be 
dear from the spirit of party, inde- 
pendent of all favour, well inclined to 
the popular institutions of his country; 
firm in applying the rule, merciful in 
making the exception ; patient, guard- 
ed in his speech, gentle, and courteous 
to all. Add' his learning, his labour, 
his experience, his probity, his practised 
and acute faculties, and this man is the 
light of the world, who adorns human 
life, and gives security to that life which 
he adorns. 

Now see the consequence of that 
state of Justice which this character 
implies, and the explanation of all that 
deserved honour we confer on the pre- 
servation of such a character, and all 
the wise jealousy we feel at the slight- 
est injury or deterioration it may ex- 
perience. 

The most obvious and important 
use of this perfect Justice is, that it 
makes nations safe : under common 
circumstances, the institutions of Jus- 
tice seem to have little or no bearing 
upon the safety and security of a 
country, but in periods of real danger, 
when a nation surrounded by foreign 
enemies contends not for the boundaries 
of empire, but for the very being and 
existence of empire ; then it is that 
the advantages of just institutions are 



188 



THE JUDGE THAT SMITES 



uiscovered. Every man feels that he 
has a coantrj, that he has something 
worth preserving, and worth contend- 
ing for. Instances are remembered 
where the weak prevailed over the 
strong : one man recalls to mind when 
a just and upright judge protected 
him from unlawful violence, gave him 
back his vineyard, rebuked his oppres- 
sor, restored him to his rights, publish- 
ed, condemned and rectified the wrong. 
This is what is called country. Equal 
rights to unequal possessions, equal 
justice to the rich and poor : this is 
what men come out to nght for, and to 
defend. Such a country has no legal 
injuries to remember, no legal murders 
to revenge, no legal robbery to redress: 
it is strong in its justice : it is then 
that the use and object of all this 
assemblage of gentlemen and arrange- 
ment of Juries, and the deserved 
veneration in which we hold the 
character of English Judges, is under- 
stood in all its bearings, and in its 
fullest effects : men die for such things 
— they cannot be subdued by foreign 
force where such just practices prevail. 
The sword of ambition is shivered to 
pieces against such a bulwark. Nations 
fall where Judges are unjust, because 
there is nothing which the multitude 
think worth defending ; but nations do 
not fall which are treated as we are 
treated, but they rise as we have risen, 
and they shine as we have shone, and 
die as we have died, too much used to 
Justice, and too much used to freedom, 
to care for that life which is not just 
and free. I call you all to witness if 
there be any exaggerated picture in 
this : the sword is just sheathed, the 
flag is just furled, the last sound of the 
trumpet has just died away. You all 
remember what a spectacle this country 
exhibited : one heart, one voice — one 
weapon, one purpose. And why ? 
Because this country is a country of 
the law ; because the Judge is a judge 
for the peasant as well as for the 
palace ; because every man's happiness 
is guarded by fixed rules from tyranny 
and caprice. This town, this week, 
the business of the few next days, 
would explain to any enlightened 
European why other nations didiail in 



the storms of the world, and why we 
did not falL The Christian patience 
you may witness, the impartiality of 
the judgment-seat, the disrespect of 
persons, the disregard of consequences. 
These attributes of Justice do not 
end with arranging your conflicting 
rights, and mine ; they give strength 
to the English people ; duration to the 
English name ; they turn the animal 
courage of this people into moral and 
religious courage, and present to the 
lowest of manlund plain reasons, and 
strong motives why they should resist 
aggression from without, and bind 
themselves a living rampart round the 
land of their birtlu 

There is another reason why every 
wise man is so scrupulously jealous of 
the character of English Justice. It 
puts an end to civil dissension. What 
other countries obtain by bloody wars, 
is here obtained by the decisions of 
our own tribunals ; unchristian pas^ 
sions are laid to rest by these tribunals ; 
brothers are brothers again ; the Gospel 
resumes its empire, and because all con- 
fide in the presiding magistrate, and be* 
cause a few plain men are allowed to 
decide upon their own conscientious 
impression of facts, civil discord, yean 
of convulsion, endless crimes, are 
spared ; the storm is laid, and those 
who came in clamouring for revenge, 
go back together in peace from the hall 
of judgment to the loom and the 
plough, to the senate and the church. 

The whole tone and tenour of public 
morals is affected by the state of sa- 
preme Justice; it extinguishes revenge, 
it communicates a spirit of purity and 
uprightness to inferior magistrates ; it 
makes the great good, by taking away 
impunity ; it banishes fraud, obliqaity, 
and solicitation, and teaches men that 
the law is their right Truth is its 
handmaid, freedom is its child, pea^e 
is its companion ; safety walks in its 
steps, victory follows in its train : it ^ 
the brightest emanation of the Gospel? 
it is the greatest attribute of God ; it is 
that centre round which human motives 
and passions turn : and Justice, sitting 
on high, sees Genius and Power, snd 
Wealth and Birth, revolving round her 
throne ; and teaches their paths flQ^ 



CONTRARY TO THE LAW. 



189 



marks out their orbits, and warns with 
ft lond voice, and rules with a strong 
arm, and carries order and discipline 
into a world, which bat for her would 
only be a wild waste of passions. 
Look what we are, and what jast laws 
haye done for ns : — a land of piety 
and charity ; — a land of churches, and 
hospitals, and altars; — a nation of 
good Samaritans ; — a people of uni- 
versal compassion. AH lands, all seas, 
have heard we are brave. We have 
jast sheathed that sword which de- 
fended the world; we have just laid 
down that buckler which covered the 
nations of the earth. God blesses the 
soil with fertility ; Edglish looms la- 
bour for every climate. All the waters 
of the globe are covered with English 
ships. We are softened by fine arts, 
civilised by human literature, instructed 
by deep science ; and every people, as 
they break their feudal chains, look to 
the founders and ■ fathers of freedom 
for examples which may animate, and 
roles which may guide. If ever a na- 



tion was happy, if ever a nation was 
visibly blessed by God — if ever a na- 
tion was honoured abroad, and left at 
home under a government (which we 
can now conscientiously call a liberal 
government) to the full career of 
talent, industry, and vigour, we are at 
this moment that people — and this is 
our happy lot. — First the Gospel has 
done it, and then Justice has done it ; 
and he who thinks it his duty to labour 
that this happy condition of existence 
may remain, must guard the piety of 
these times, and he must watch over 
the spirit of Justice which exists in 
these times. First, he must take care 
that the altars of G^od are not polluted, 
that the Christian faith is retained in 
purity and in perfection : and then 
turning to human affairs, let him strive 
for spotless, incorruptible Justice ; — 
praising, honouring, and loving the 
just Judge, and abhorring, as the 
worst enemy of mankind, him who is 
placed there to "judge after the law, 
land who smites contrary to the law.** 



THE LAWY^B THAT TEMPTED GHBIST. 



A SERMON 

PBEACHED IN THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OP ST. PETER, YORK 



BSrORB 



THE HON. SIB JOHN BAYLEY, .KNT. 

ONB or HIS MAJBSTY'S JUSTICB8 OW THB COURT OF KIKO't BBNCH 



AND 



THE HON. SIB JOHN HULLOCK, KNT. 

ONB or HIS MAJBSTY'S BARONS OF THB COURT OP BXCHBQUBB 

AnausT 1, 1824. 



LUCB, X. 25. 
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood «tp, 
and tempted Him, sayinff, ** Master, tohat 
shdUIdotoinheritetemallifef*' 

This lawyer, who is thus represented 
to have tempted our blessed Saviour, 
does not seem to have been very 
• mnch in earnest in the question which 
he asked: his object does not appear 
to have been the acquisition of re^ 
ligious knowledge, but the display of 
human talent He did not say to him- 
self, I will now draw near to this august 
Being; I will inform myself from the 
fountain of truth, and from the very 
lips of Christ, I will learn a lesson of 
salvation; but it occurred to him, that 
in such a gathering together of the 
Jews, in such a moment of public 
agitation, the opportunity of diisplay 
was not to be neglected ; full of that 
internal confidence which men of 
talents so ready, and so exercised, are 
sometimes apt to feel, he approaches 
our Saviour with all the apparent 
modesty of interrogation, and salut- 
ing him with the appellation of Master, 



prepares, with all professional acnte- 
ness, for his humiliation and defeat. 

Talking humanly, and we must talk 
humanly, for our Saviour was then 
acting a human part, the ex^riment 
ended, as all must wish an experiment 
to end, where levity and bad faith are 
on one side, and piety, simplicity, and 
goodness on the other: the objector 
was silenced, and one of the brightest 
lessons of the Grospel elicited, for the 
eternal improvement of mankind. 

Still, though we wish the motive for 
the question had been .better, we must 
not forget the question, and we must 
not forget who asked the question, and 
we must not forget who answered it, 
and what that answer was. The ques- 
tion was the wisest and best that ever 
came from the month of man; the 
man who asked it was the very person 
who ought to have asked it ; a man 
overwhelmed, probably, with the in- 
trigues, the bustle, and business of 
life, and thfrefore, most likely to for- 
get the interests of another world: the 
answerer was our blessed Saviour, 



THE LAWYER THAT TEMPTED CHBIST. 



191 



through whose mediation, yov, and I, 
and B& of us, hope to live again $ and 
the answer, remember, was plain and 
practical; not flowery, not metaphy- 
sic^ not doctrinal ; bnt it said to the 
man of the law. If yon wish to lire 
eternally, do yonr duty to God and 
man ; live in this world as yoa ooght 
to live ; make yourself fit for eternity; 
and then, and then only, God will 
grant to yon eternal life. 

There are, probably, in this church, 
many persons of the profession of the 
law, who haye often asked before, with 
better fiuth than their brother, and who 
do now ask this great question, ** What 
shall I do to inherit eternal life ?" I 
diall, therefore, direct to them some 
observations on the particular duties 
they owe to society, because I think it 
suitable to this particular season, be- 
cause it is of much more importance 
to tell men how they are to be Chris- 
tians in detail, than to exhort them to 
be Christians generally; because it is 
of the highest utility to avail ourselves 
of these occasions, to ^ow to classes 
of mankind what those virtues are, 
which they have more frequent and 
Talnable opportunities of practising, 
and what those faults and yices are, to 
which they are more particularly ex- 
posed. 

It falls to the lot of those who are 
engaged in the active and arduous 
profession of the law to pass their 
lives in great cities, amidst severe and 
incessant occnpation, requiring all the 
faculties, and calling forth, from time 
to tune, many of the strongest passions 
of our nature. In the midst of all 
this, rivals are to be watched, supe- 
riors are to be cultivated, connections 
cherished ; some portion of life must be 
given to society, and some little U) re- 
laxation and amusement. When, then, 
18 the question to be asked, '* What 
shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 
what leisure for the altar, what time 
for God ? I appeal to the experience 
of men engaged in this profession, 
whether religious feelings and religious 
practices are not, without any specula- 
tive disbelief, perpetually sacrificed to 
the business of the world ? Are not 
the habits of derotion gradually dis- 



placed by other habits of solicitude, 
hurry, and care, totally incompatible 
with habits of devotion ? Is not the 
taste for devotion lessened? IM not 
the time for devotion abridged ? Are 
you not more and more conquered 
against your warnings and against 
your will ; not, perhaps, without pain 
and compunction, by the Mammon of 
life ? And what is the cure for this 
great evil to which your profession 
exposes you? The cure is, to keep 
a sacred place in yonr heart, where 
Almighty God is enshrined, and where 
nothing human can enter ; to say to 
the world, "Thus far shalt thou' go, 
and no further ;" to remember you are 
a lawyer, without forgetting you are a 
Christian ; to wish for no more wealth 
than ought to be possessed by an in- 
heritor of the kingdom of heaven ; to 
covet no more honour than is suitable 
to a child of God ; boldly and bravely 
to set yourself limits, and to show to 
others you have limits, and that no 
professional eagerness, and no profes- 
sional activity, shall ever induce you 
to infringe upon the rules and prac- 
tices of religion: remember the text; 
put the g^eat question really, which 
the tempter of Christ only pietended 
to put. In the midst of your highest 
success, in the most perfect gratifica- 
tion of your vanity, in the most ample 
increase of your wealth, fall down at 
the feet of Jesus, and say, *' Master, 
what shall I do to inherit eternal life ? " 
The genuine and unaffected piety 
of a lawyer is, in one respect, of great 
advantage to the general interests of 
religion ; inasmuch as to the highest 
member of that profession a great share 
of the Church patronage is entrusted, 
and to him we are accustomed to look 
up in the senate for the defence of our 
venerable Establishment ; and great 
and momentous would be the loss to 
this nation, if any one, called to so 
high and honourable an office, were 
found deficient in this ancient, pious, 
and useful zeal for the Established 
Church. In talking to men of your 
active lives and habits, it is not pos« 
sible to anticipate the splendid and 
exalted stations for which any one of 
yoa may be destined. Fifty years 



192 



THE LAWYER THAT TEMPTED CHRIST. 



ago, the person at the head of hu 
profession, the greatest lawjer now in 
England, perhaps in the world, stood 
in this church, on snch occasions as 
the present, as ohscnre, as nnknovm, 
and as much doubting of his future 
prospects as the humblest individual 
of &e profession here present If 
providence reserve such honours for 
any one who may now chance to hear 
me, let him remember that there is re- 
quired at his hands a zeal for the Es- 
tablished Church, but a zeal tempered 
by discretion, compatible with Chris- 
tian charity, and tolerant of Christian 
freedom. All human establishments 
are liable to err, and are capable of 
improvement: to act as if yon denied 
this, to perpetuate any infringement 
upon the freedom of other sects, how- 
ever vexatious that infringement, and 
however safe its removal, is not to 
defend an establishment, but to expose 
it to unmerited obloquy and reproach. 
Never think it necessary to be weak 
and childish in the highest concerns of 
life: the career of the law opens to you 
many great and glorious opportunities 
of promoting the Gospel of Christ, 
and of doing good to your fellow- 
creatures: there is no situation of that 
profession in which you can be more 
great and more gloriods than when 
in the fulness of years, and the ful- 
ness of honours, you are found de- 
fending that Church which first taught 
you to distinguish between good and 
evil, and breathed into you the ele- 
ments of religious life: but when you 
defend that Church, defend it with 
enlarged wisdom and with the spirit 
of magnanimity ; praise its great ex- 
cellences, do not perpetuate its little 
defects, be its liberal defender, be its 
wise patron, be its real friend. If you 
can be great' and bold in human affairs, 
do not think it necessary to be narrow 
and timid in spiritual concerns : bind 
yourself up with the real and import- 
ant interests of the Church, and hold 
yourself accountable to God for its 
safety; but yield up trifles to the altered 
state of the world. Fear no diange 
which lessens the enemies of that Es- 
tablishment, fear no change which in- 
creases the activity of that Establish- 



ment, fear no change which draws 
down upon it the more abundant 
prayers and blessings of the homaxi, 
race. 

Justice is found, experimentally, to 
be most effectually promoted by the 
opposite efforts of practised and in- 
genious men presenting to the selectioa 
of an impartial judge the best argu- 
ments for the establishment and expla-. 
nation of truth. It becomes, then, 
under such an arrangement, the de- 
cided duty of an advocate to use all 
the arguments in his power to defend 
the cause he has adopted, and to leave 
the effects of those arguments to the 
judgment of others. However useful 
this practice may be for the promotion 
of public justice, it is not without dan- 
ger to the individual whose practice 
it becomes. It is apt to produce a pro- 
fligate indifference to truth in higher 
occasions of life, where truth cannot 
for a moment be trifled with, much 
less callously trampled on, much less 
suddenly and totally yielded up to the 
basest of human motives. It is aston- 
ishing what unworthy and inadequate 
notions men are apt to form of the 
Christian faith. Christianity does not 
insist upon duties to an individual, and 
forget the duties which are owing to 
the great mass of individuals, which 
we call our country ; it does not teach 
you how to benefit your neighbour, 
and leave you to inflict the most serious 
injuries upon all whose interest is 
bound up with you in the same land. 
I need not say to this congregation 
that there is a wrong and a right in 
public affairs, as there is a wrong and 
a right in private affairs. I need not 
prove that in any vote, in any line of 
conduct which affects the public in- 
terest, every Christian is bound most 
solemnly and most religiously, to follow 
the dictates of his conscience. liet it 
be for, let it be against, let it please, 
let it displease, no matter with whom 
it sides, or what it thwarts, it is a 
solemn duty, on such occasions, to act 
from the pure dictates of conscience, 
and to be as faithful to the interests of 
the great mass of your fellow-creatures, 
as you would be to the interests of any 
individual of that mass. Why, then. 



i 



THE LAWYER THAT TEMPTED CHRIST. 



193 



if there be any truth in these observa- 
tions, can that man be pure and inno- 
cent before God, can he be quite harm- 
less and respectable before men, who, 
in mature age, at a moment's notice, 
sacrifices to wealth and power all the 
fixed and firm opinions of his life; 
who puts his moral principles to sale, 
and barters his dignitj and his soul 
for the baubles of the world? If these 
temptations come across you, then re- 
member the memorable words of the 
text, ** What shall I do to inherit eter- 
nal life ?" not this — don't do this : it 
is no title to eternity to suffer deserved 
shame among men : endure anything 
rather than the loss of character; cling 
to character as your best possession ; 
do not envy men who pass you in life, 
only because they are under less moral 
and religious restraint than yourself. 
Your object is not fame, but honour- 
able fame : your object is not wealth, 
bot wealth worthily obtained: your 
object is not power, but power gained 
fairly, and exercised virtuously. Long- 
saffering is a great and important 
lesson in human life; in no part of 
human life is it more necessary than in 
yovLT arduous profession. The greatest 
men it has produced have been at some 
period of their professional lives ready 
to famt at the long, and apparently 
fruitless journey; and if you look at 
those lives, you will find they have 
been supported by a confidence (under 
God) in the general effects of character 
and industry. They have withstood 
the allurement of pleasure which is the 
first and most common c^nseof failure; 
they have disdained the little arts and 
meannesses which carry base men a 
certain way, and no further ; they have 
sternly rejectea also the sudden means 
of growing basely rich, and dishonour- 
ably great, with which every man is at 
one time or another sure to be assailed ; 
and then they have broken out into 
light and glory at the last, exhibiting 
to mankind the splendid spectacle of 
great talents long exercised by difficul- 
ties, and high principles never tainted 
with guilt. 

After all, remember that your pro- 
fession is a lottery in which you may 
aa well aa win; and you most 

VoL.IL 



take it as a lottery, in which, afler 
every effort of your own, it is impos- 
sible to command success: for this you 
are not accountable ; but you are 
accountable for your purity ; you are 
accountable for the preservation of 
your character. It is not in every 
man's power to say, I will be a great 
and successful lawyer ; but it is in 
every man's power to say, that he will 
(with God*s assistance) be a good 
Christian and an honest man. What- 
ever is moral and religious is in your 
own power. If fortune deserts you, 
do not desert yourself ; do nqt under- 
value inward consolation ; connect 
God with your labour ; remember you 
are Christ's servant ; be seeking always 
for the inheritance of immortal life. 

I must urge you by another motive, 
and bind you by another obligation, 
against the sacrifice of public princi- 
ple. A proud man when he has ob- 
tained the reward, and accepted the 
wages of baseness, enters into a severe 
account with himself, and feels clearly 
that he has suffered degradation : he 
may hide it by increased zeal and vio- 
lence, or varnish it over by simulated 
gaiety ; he may silence the world, but 
he cannot always silence himiself. If 
this is only a beginning, and you mean, 
henceforward, to trample all principle 
under foot, that is another thing ; but 
a man of fine parts and nice feelings is' 
trying a very dangerous experiment 
with his happiness, who means to pre- 
serve his general character, and indulge 
in one act of baseness. Such a man 
is not made to endure scorn and self- 
reproach : it is far from being certain 
that he will be satisfied with that un- 
scriptural bargain in which he hai 
gained the honours of the world, and 
lost the purity of his soul. 

It is impossible in the profession of 
the law but that many opportunities 
must occur for the exertions of charity 
and benevolence : I do not mean the 
charity of money, but the charity ot 
time, labour, and attention ; the pro- 
tection of those whose resources are 
feeble, and the information of those 
whose knowledge is small. In the 
hands of bad men, the law is sometimes 
an artifice to mislead, and sometimes 





194 



THE LAWYER THAT TEMPTED CHRIST. 



an engine to oppress. In jonr hand% 
it may be, from time to time, a buckler 
to shield, and a sanctnaiy to save: yon 
may lift up oppressed bamility, listen 
patiently to the injuries of the wretched, 
vindicate their just claims, maintain 
their fair rights, and show, that in the 
hurry of business, and the struggles of 
ambition, yon have not foi^otten the 
duties of a Christian — and the feelings 
of a man. It is in your power, above 
all other Christians, to combine the 
wisdom of the serpent with the inno- 
cence of the dove, and to fulfil with 
greater energy and greater acuteness, 
and more perfect effect, than other mep 
can pretend to, the love, the lessons, 
and the law of Christ. 

I should caution the younger part of 
this profession (who are commonly 
selected for it on account of their 
superior talents,) to cultivate a little 
more diffidence of their own powers, 
and a little less contempt for received 
opinions, than is commonly exbibited 
at the beginning of their career : mis- 
trust of this nature teaches moderation 
in the formation of opinions, and pre- 
vents the painful necessity of incon- 
sistency and recantation in future life. 
It is not possible that the ablest young 
men at the beginning of their intel- 
lectual existence can anticipate all 
those reasons, and dive into all those 
motives, which induce mankind to act 
as they do act, and make the world 
such as we find it to be ; and though 
there is doubtless much to alter, and 
much to improve in human afiairs, yet 
you will find mankind not quite so 
wrong as, in the first ardour of youth, 
you supposed them to be ; and yon 
will find, as you advance in life, many 
new lights to open upon you, which 
nothing hut advancing in life could 
ever enable you to observe. I say this, 
not to check originality and vigour of 
mind, which are the best chattels and 
possessions of the world ; but to check 
that eagerness which arrives at con- 
clusions without sufficient premises; to 
prevent that violence which is not un- 
commonly atoned for in after life, by 
the sacrifice of all principle and all 
opinions ; to lessen that contempt 
which prevents a young man from 



improving his own understanding, bv 
making a proper and prudent use of 
the understandings of his fellow-crea- 
tures. 

There is another unchristian fault 
which must be guarded against in the 
profession of the law, and that is, 
misanthropy ^— an exaorgefated opinion 
of the faults and follies of mankind. 
It is naturally the worst part of man- 
kind who are seen in courts of justice, 
and With whom the professors of the 
law are most conversant. The per- 
petual recurrence of crime and guilt 
insensibly connects itself with the re- 
collections of the human race : man- 
kind are always painted in the atti- 
tude of snfiering and inflicting. It 
seems as if men were bound together 
by the relations of fraud and crime; 
but laws are not made for the quiet, 
the good, and the just : you see and 
know little of them in your profession, 
and, therefore, you forget them : you 
see the oppressor, and you let loose 
your eloquence against him ; but you 
do not see the man of silent charity, 
who is always seeking out objects of 
compassion : the faithful guardian 
does not come into a court of justice, 
nor the good wife, nor the just servant, 
nor the dutiful son ; you punish the 
robbers who ill-treated the wayfaring 
man, but yon know nothing of the 
good Samaritan who bound up bis 
wounds. The lawyer who tempted 
his Master had heard, perhaps, of the 
sins of the woman at the feast, without 
knowing that she had poured her store 
of precious ointment on the feet of 
Jesus. 

Upon those who are engaged in 
studying the laws of their country 
devolves the honourable and Christian 
task of defending the accused; a 
sacred duty never to be yielded up, 
never to be influenced by any vehe- 
mence, nor intensity of public opinion. 
In these times of profound peace and 
unexampled prosperity, there is little 
danger in executing this duty, and 
little temptation to violate it: but 
human affairs change like the clouds 
of heaven ; another year may find us, 
or may leave us, in all the perils and 
bitterness of internal dissension; and 



THE LAWYER THAT TEMPTED CHRIST. 



195 



upon one of you may de rolve the defence 
of some accased person, the object of 
men's hopes and fears, the single point 
on which the eyes of a whole people 
are bent. These are the occasions 
which try a man's inward heart, and 
separate the dross of haman nature 
from the gold of human nature. On 
these occasions, never mind being 
mixed up for a moment with the 
criminal, and the crime; fling your- 
self back upon great principles, fling 
yourself back upon God; yield not 
one atom to* yiolence ; suflfer not the 
slightest encroachments of injustice ; 
retire not one step before the frowns of 
power; tremble not, for a single in- 
stant, at the dread of misrepresenta- 
tion. The great interests of mankind 
are placed in your hands ; it is not so 
mnch the individcial you are defend- 
ing; it is not so much a matter of 
consequence whether this, or that, is 
proved to be a crime; but on such 
occasion, yon are often called upon to 
defend the occupation of a defender, 
to take care that the sacred rights 
belonging to that character are not 
destroyed ; that that best privilege of 
your profession, which so much 
secures our regard, and so much re- 
dounds to your credit, is never 
soothed by flattery, never corrupted by 
favour, never chilled by fear. You 
may practise this wickedness secretly, 
as you may any other wickedness ; 
jou may suppress a topic of defence, 
or soften an attack upon opponents, 
or weaken your own argument, and 
sacrifice the man who has put his 
trust in you, rather than provoke the 
powerful by the triumphant establish- 
ment of unwelcome innocence : but if 
you do this, you are a guilty man 
before God. It is better to keep within 
the pale of honour, it is better to be 
pure in Christ, and to feel that you 
are pure in Christ : and if ever the 
praises of mankind are sweet, if it be 
ever allowable to a Christian to 
breathe the incense of popular favour, 
and to say it is grateful and good, it is 
when the honest, temperate, unyield- 
ing advocate, who has protected inno- 
cence from the grasp of power, is 
followed from the hall of judgment by 



the prayers and blessings of a grateful 
people. 

These are the Christian excellences 
which the members of the profession 
of the law have, above all, an oppor- 
tunity of cultivating : this is your 
tribute to the happiness of your 
fellow-creatures, and these your pre- 
parations for eternal life. Do not lose 
God in the fervour and business of the 
world ; remember that the churches of 
Christ are more solemn, and more 
sacred, than your tribunals ; bend not 
before the judges of the king, and 
forget the Judge of judges; search 
not other men's hearts without heed- 
ing that your own hearts will be 
searched ; be innocent in the midst of 
subtilty ; do not carry the lawful arts 
of your profession beyond your pro- 
fession; but when the robe of the 
advocate is laid aside, so live that no 
man shall dare to suppose your 
opinions venal, or that your talents 
and energy may be bought for a 
price : do not heap scorn and con- 
tempt upon your declining years, by 
precipitate ardour for success in your 
profession; but set out with a Arm 
determination to be unknown, rather 
than ill known ; and to rise honestly, 
if you rise at all. Let the world see 
that you have risen, because the natu- 
ral probity of your heart leads you to 
truth ; because the precision and extent 
of your legal knowledge enables you 
to find the right way of doing the right 
thing; because the thorough knowledge 
of legal art and legal form is, in your 
hands, not an instrument of chicanery, 
but the plainest, easiest, and shortest 
way to the end of strife. Impress 
upon yourself the importance of your 
profession ; consider that some of the 
greatest and most important interests 
of the world are committed to your 
care — that you are our protectors 
against the encroachments of power — 
that you are the preservers of freedom, 
the defenders of weakness, the unra- 
vellers of cunning, the investigators of 
artifice, the humblers of pride, and the 
scourges of oppression : when you 
are silent, the sword leaps from its 
scabbard, and nations are given up to 
the madness of internal strife. In all 

O 2 



196 



THE LAWYER THAT TEMPTED CHRIST. 



the ciYil difficnlties of life, men de- 
pend upon jour exercised faculties, 
and joor spotless integrity ; and thej 
require of jou an elevation abore all 
that is mean, and a spirit which will 
nerer yield when it ought not to yield. 
As long as your profession retains its 
character for learning, the rights of 
mankind will be well arranged ; as 
long as it retains its character for 
Tirtuons boldness, those rights will be 
well defended; as long as it pre- 
serves itself pure and iDcormptible on 
other occasions not connected with 



your profession, those talents will 
never be used to the public iojaiy, 
which were intended and nurtured for 
the public good. I hope you will 
weigh these observations, and apply 
them to the business of the ensaiog 
week, and beyond that, in the common 
occupations of your profession : always 
bearing in your minds the emphatic 
words of the text, and often in the 
hurry of your busy, active lives, 
honestly, humbly, heartily exclaiming 
to the Son of God, ** Master, what 
shall I do to inherit eternal life ?** 



SPEECHES. 



MEETING OF THE CLERGY 
OF CLEVELAND. 

MarcK 1825. 

[From the Yorkshire Herald.'] 

Mr. Archdeaooit, — I am extremely 
sorry that the clergy of the North 
Riding of Yorkshire have abandoned 
that distinction and pre-eminence, 
which they have held over the clergy 
of the other two Ridings, in their ab- 
stinence from political discussion and 
from public meetings, on the subject 
of the Catholics. I sincerely wish that 
nothing had been done, and no meet- 
ing of any description called. As it 
has been called, it is my duty to at- 
tend it, and certainly I will riot attend 
in silence. Do not let my learned 
brethren, however, be alarmed ; I am 
not going to inflict upon them a speech. 
I never attended a public political 
meeting before in my life ; nor have I 
cfer made a speech ; and therefore my 
vant of skill is a pretty good security 
to you for my want of length. 

There are two difficulties in speak- 
ing upon the subject ; — one, that the 
topics are very numerous, the other, 
that they are trite; — the last I cannot 
core, nor can you cure it; and we must 
^ agree to suffer patiently under each 
other. I shall obviate the first by con- 
fining myself to those commonplaces 
in which the strength of the enemy 
seems principally to consist : if they 
have been . an hundred times refuted 
before, do not blame me for refuting 



them again, bat take the blame to 
yourselves for advancing them! 

The first dictum of the enemies of 
the Catholics is, that they are not to be 
believed upon their octOi ; bqt upon 
what condition did the parliament of 
1793 grant to the Catholics immunity 
and relief ? Upon the condition that 
they should sign certain oaths; and why 
was this made a condition, if the oath 
of a Catholic is not credible ? Or is a 
small subdivision of the clergy of the 
North Riding of Yorkshire to consider 
that test as futile, and those securities 
as frail, which the united wisdom of 
the British Parliament has deemed 
sufficient for the most sacred acts, and 
the most solemn laws ? I ana almost 
ashamed to ask you (for it has been 
regularly asked in this discussion for 
thirty years past), by what are the 
Catholics excluded from the offices for 
which they petition, unless by their 
respect for oaths? If they do not re- 
spect oaths they cannot be excluded ; 
if they do respect oaths, why do you 
exclude them when you have such 
means of safety and security in your 
own hands? If Catholics are so care- 
less of their oaths, show me some sus- 
pected Catholic who has crept into 
place by perjury ; who has enjoyed 
those advantages by his own impiety, 
which are denied to him by the justice 
of the law: I not only do not know an 
instance of this kind, but I never 
heard of such an instance : — if you 
have heard such an instance, produce 
it ; if not, give up your gratuitous and 

o 3 



19S 



SFEECn AT CLEVELAKD. 



Bcandaloiu diarge. Bat not aolj do I 
see men of the greatest rank and for- 
tane rabiuitting to the most mortifying 
privations for the sake of oaths, bot I 
see the lowest and poorest Catholics 
give up their right of voting at elec- 
tions, sacrificing the opportunity of 
supporting the fayoorer of their fa- 
Yonrite question, and suffering the 
disgrace of rejection at the hustings, 
from their deUcate and conscientious 
regard to the solemn covenant of an 
oath« What magistrate dares reject 
the oath of a Catholic ? What judge 
dares reject it ? Is not property 
changed, is not liberty abridged, is not 
the blood of the malefactor shed? Are 
not the most solemn acts of law, both 
here and in Ireland, founded and bot- 
tomed upon the oath of a Catholic ? 
Is no peace, is no league, made with 
Catholics? do not the repose and hap- 
piness of Europe often rest upon the 
oaths and asseverations of Catholics ? 
Does mj learned brother forget that 
two-thirds of Christian Europe are 
Catholics? — and am I to understand 
from him, that this vast proportion of 
the Christian world is deficient in the 
common elements of civil life? — that 
thej are no more capable of herding 
together than the brutes of the field? — 
that they appeal to God only to allay 
suspicion, and to protect fraud ? If 
such are his opinions, I must tell him 
(though I am sure he neither knows 
the mischief, nor means it), that Car- 
lile, in his wildest blasphemies against 
the Christian religion, never uttered 
anything against it so horrible and so 
unjust 

I come now to another common 
phrase, the parent of much bigotry 
and mischief ; and that is, that *' The 
spirit of the Catholic religion is «n- 
changeable and unchanged" Now, Sir, 
I must tell these gentlemen of the 15th 
century, that if this method of appealing 
to the absurdities of a past age, and 
impinging them upon the present age 
is fair and just, it must be a rule as 
applicable to one sect as to another. 
Upon this principle, I may call the 
Church of Scotland a persecuting 
Church, because, in the year 1646, it 
petitioned Parliament for the severest 



persecution of heretics. Upon the 
same principle, CatlK^cs might retort 
upon our own Church the many Ca- 
tholics condemned to death in the 
reign of Elizabeth ; — upon this prin- 
ciple they might cast in your teeth the 
decrees of the University of Oxford, in 
support of passive obedience, ordered 
by the House of Commons to be burned 
by the hands of the common hangman 
in the reign of Queen Anne; they might 
remind you of the atrocious and im- 
moral acts of Parliament, passed by 
the IVotestant parliaments of Ireland 
against its Catholic inhabitants, during 
the reigns of George L and Greorge II. 
Wickedness and cruelty such as the 
Spartan would not have exercised upon 
his helot — such as the planter would 
abstain from with his slave — one of 
the worst and most wicked periods of 
human history ! Are all these impu- 
tations true now, because they were 
true then f Has not the General As- 
sembly of the Church of Scotland 
almost petitioned in favour of the 
Catholics? Would any Protestant 
church now condemn to death those 
who dissented from the doctrines of its 
establishment ? All dissenters live in 
the midst of our venerable establish- 
ment unmolested, and under the broad 
canopy of the law. It is not now pos- 
sible, with all the intelligence and wis- 
dom which characterises that learned 
body, that a similar decree should 
emanate from the University of Oxford. 
For all our own institutions we claim 
the benefit of time ; and, like Joshua, 
bid the sun stand still, when we want 
to smite and discomfit our enemies. 
But, Sir, remember at what a period 
this assertion is made — of the nn^ 
changed and unchangeable spirit of 
the Catholic religion. The Catholic 
revenues are destroyed, and yet the 
spirit of submission to priests is the 
same in the minds of the lay Catholics 
who have voted for the destruction of 
these revenues. The inquisitions are 
broken open^the chains of the victims 
are loosened — the fires are quenched 
— the Catholic churches are deserted ! 
In Spain, in France, in Italy, the priests 
are reduced to a state of beggary; and 
yet the authors of this meeting can see 



SPEECH AT CLEVELAND. 



199 



no change in the minds of the Catho- 
lics. Sir, I meet this absolute assertion 
with an absolute denial I and I bring 
mj proofs. Let the mover of this re- 
solution read the oath of 1793, taken 
by the four Catholic archbishops, the 
bishops and clergy of Ireland, — let 
him read the rescript of pope Pius VL, 
of the 17th of June, 1791, — let him 
read the solemn resolutions of six of 
the most considerable Catholic univer- 
sities of Europe, required and received 
by Mr. Pitt, — let him remember that 
the pope has continued a Catholic 
bishop of Malta, nominated to that see 
by the late king ; and now let the 
learned gentleman produce to me, from 
his records, such facts, such opinions, 
such clear declarations, such securities, 
and such liberality as these. He has 
nothing to produce, and nothing to 
say, but the trita cantilena that **the 
spirit of the Catholic religion is un- 
changeable and unchanged." Sir, if I 
could suffer my understanding to be 
debauched by such a mere jingle of 
words— if I could say that any human 
spirit was unchanged and unchange- 
able, I should say so of that miserable 
spirit of religious persecution, of that 
monastic meanness, of that monopoly 
of heaven, which says to other human 
beings, ** If you will not hold up your 
hands in prayer as I hold mine — if you 
will not worship your God as I wor- 
ship mine, I will blast you with civil 
incapacities, and keep you for ever in 
the dust." This, Sir, of all the demons 
which haunt the earth, is the last bad 
spirit which retires before justice, cou- 
rage, and truth. 

I must not pass over (while I am 
cleansing gutters and sweeping streets) 
the notable phrase of **a government 
estenttalty Protestant" If this phrase 
mean anything, it means nothing use- 
ful to the arguments of my opponents. 
In clinging to this phrase, which, by 
tiie smiles and nods of the gentlemen 
opposite, appears to give them peculiar 
delight, they must mean, I suppose, 
Episcopalian as well as Protestant, for 
they never can mean that our govern- 
ment is essentially Presbyterian, essen- 
tially Swedenborgian, essentially Rant- 
ing, or essentialiy Methodist. With 



this limitation, I beg to ask why this 
essentially Protectant government al- 
lows Unitarians and Presbyterians in 
the bosom of its legislature ? Why 
there is a regular Catholic establish- 
ment in Malta and in Canada? Why 
it tolerates (nay, even endows) Maho- 
medan and Hindoo establishments ? 
In the midst of this ** essentially Pro- 
testant government,'* sat Catholic peers 
and Catholic commoners for more than 
a century — without blame, without 
reproach, without religious conflict, in 
civil harmony, and in theological 
peace. 

Now I come to the danger! What 
is it ? Is it from foreign intercourse ? 
But is the question now agitated for 
the first time, whether or not the priests 
of Ireland are to have intercourse with 
a foreign power ? That intercourse 
has subsisted for centuries, does subsist 
at this moment, in full vigour, unin- 
spected and uncontrolled. Mr. Grat- 
tan*s bill, which I strongly suspect the 
learned mover never to have read, 
subjects all this intercourse to the in- 
spection of Protestant commissioners, 
punishes, not with obsolete penalties 
like the present laws, but with adequate 
and proper punishment, any clandes- 
tine intercourse with Rome. I really 
did expect that my learned brothers 
would be able to discriminate the re- 
medy from the disease, and that when 
they had resolved to be frightened, 
they would at least have ascribed their 
agitation to the unrestrained intercourse 
|prith Rome; and not to the very mea- 
sures which are intended to prevent it. 
Does the learned mover Imagine that 
the Protestants, like children, are going 
to lay open all offices to the Catholics 
without exception and without precau- 
tion? No Catholic chancellor, no 
Lord-keeper, no Lord-Lieutenant of 
Ireland, no place in any ecclesiastical 
court of judicature ; and many other 
restraints and negatived are contained 
in the intended emancipation of the 
Catholics. Then let the learned gen- 
tleman read the proposed oath. I defy 
Dr. Duigenan, in the full vigour of his 
incapacity, in the strongest access of 
that Protestant epilepsy with which be 
was so often convulsed, to have added 

o 4 



200 



SPEECH AT CLEVELAND. 



a single security to the secaritj of that 
oath. If Catholics are fonnidable, are 
not Protestant members elected by 
Catholics formidable? Bat what will 
the numbers of the Catholics be? Five 
or six in one hoase, and ten or twelve 
in the other; and this I state upon the 
printed authority of Lord Harrowby, 
the tried and acknowledged friend of 
our Church, the amiable and revered 
patron of its poorest members. The 
Catholics did not rebel during the war 
carried on for a Catholic king in the 
year 1715, nor in 1745. The govern- 
ment armed the Catholics in the 
American war. The last rebellion no 
one pretends to have been a Catholic 
rebellion, the leaders were, with one 
exception, all Protestants. The .king 
of Prussia, the emperor of Russia, do 
not complain of their Catholic subject& 
The Swiss cantons. Catholic and Pro- 
testant, live together in harmony and 
peace. Childish prophecies of danger 
are always made, and always falsified. 
The Church of England (if you will 
believe some of its members) is the 
most fainting, sickly, hysterical institu- 
tion that ever existed in the world. 
Everything is to destroy it, everything 
to work its dissolution and decay. If 
money is taken for tithes, the Church 
of England is to pejish. If six old 
Catholic peers, and twelve commoners, 
come into Parliament, these holy 
hypochondriacs tear their hair, and 
beat their breast, and mourn over the 
ruin of their Established Church! The 
Banter of yesterday is cheerful an<^ 
confident. The Presbyterian stands' 
upon his principles. The Quaker is 
calm and contented. The strongest, 
and wisest, and best establishment in 
the world, suffers in the full vigour of 
manhood all the fears and the trem- 
blings of extreme old age. 

. A vast deal is said of the spirit of 
the Church of Home, and of the claims 
it continues tcf make. But what sig- 
nify its claims, and of what importance 
is its spirit ? The bill will refuse all 
office to Catholics, who will not, by the 
most solemn oath, restrain this spirit, 
and abjure their claims. What esta- 
blishment can muzzle its fools and 
lunatics? No one who will not abjure 



these Catholic follies can take anything 
by Catholic emancipation. The bill 
which emancipates, is not a bill to 
emancipate all Catholics ; but only to 
emancipate those who will prove to us, 
by the most solemn obligations, that 
they are wise and moderate Catholics. 

I conclude. Sir, remarks which, upon 
such a subject, might be carried to 
almost any extent, with presenting to 
you a petition to Parliament, and re- 
commending it for the adoption of this 
meeting. And upon this petition, I 
beg leave to say a few words: — I am 
the writer of the petition I lay before 
you; and I have endeavoured to make 
it as mild and moderate as I possibly 
could. If I had consulted my own 
opinions a2cme, I should have said, that 
the disabling laws against the Catho- 
lics were a disgrace to the statute-book, 
and that every principle of justice, 
prudence, and humanity, called for 
their immediate repeal ; but he who 
wishes to do anything useful in this 
world, must consult the opinions of 
others as well as his own. I knew 
very well if I had proposed such a 
petition to my excellent friends, the 
Archdeacon and Mr. William Vernon, 
it would not have suited the mildness 
and moderation of their character, that 
they should accede to it; and I knew 
very well, that without the authority 
of their names, I could have done 
nothing. The present petition, when 
proposed to them by me, met, as I ex- 
pected, with their ready and cheerful 
compliance. But though I propose 
this petition as preferable to the other, 
I should infinitely prefer that we do 
nothing, and disperse without coming 
to any resolution. 

I am sick of these little clerico-poli- 
tical meetings. They bring a disgrace 
upon us and upon our profession, and 
make us hateful in the eyes of the laity. 
The best thing we could have done, 
would have been never to have met at 
alL The next best thing we can do 
(now we are met), is to do nothing. 
The third choice is to take my petition. 
The fourth, last, and worst, to adopt 
your own. The wisest thing I have 
heard here to-day, is the proposition 
of Mr. Chaloner, that we should bora 



SPEECH AT BEVERLEY OK THE CATHOLIC CLAIMS. 201 



both petitions, and ride home. Here 
we are, a set of obscure country 
clergymen, at the ••Three Tuns/* at 
Thirsk, like flies on the chariot-wheel ; 
perched ^pon a question of which we 
can neither see the diameter, nor con- 
trol the motion, nor influence the 
moving force. What good can such 
meetings do ? They emanate from 
local conceit, advertise local ignorance; 
make men, who are venerable by their 
profession, ridiculous by their preten- 
sions, and swell that mass of paper 
lumber, which, gpt up with infli\ite 
rural bustle, and read without being 
heard in Parliament, are speedily con- 
signed to merited contempt. 



A PETITION 

Proposed bp the Bev, Sydney Smith, at a 
Meeting of the Clergy of Cleveland, in 
Yorkshire, on the subject of the CathoHe 
Question.— 182S. 

We, the undersigned, being clergymen 
of the Church of England, resident 
within the diocese of York, humbly 
petition your Honourable Hotise to 
take into your consideration the state 
of those laws which affect the Roman 
Catholics of Great Britain and Ireland. 

We beg you to inquire, whether all 
those statutes, however wise and ne- 
cessary in their origin, may not now 
(when the Church of England is rooted 
in the public affection, and the title to 
the throne undisputed) be wisely and 
safely repealed. 

We are steadfast friends to that 
Church of which we are members, and 
we wish no law repealed which is really 
essential to its safety; but we submit 
to the superior wisdom of your Honour- 
able House, whether that Church is not 
sufficiently protected by its antiquity, 
by its learning, by its piety, and by 
that moderate tenor which it knows so 
well how to preserve amidst the oppo- 
site excesses of mankind — the indif- 
ference of one age, and the fanaticism 
of auother. 

It' is our earnest hope, that any 
indulgence you might otherwise think 
it expedient to extend to the Catholic 
subjects of this realm, may not be pre- 



vented by the intemperate conduct of 
some few members of that persuasion; 
that in the great business of framing a 
lasting religious peace for these king- 
doms, the extravagance of over-heated 
minds, or t)ie studied insolence of men 
who intend mischief, may be equally 
overlooked. 

If your Honourable House should, 
in your wisdom, determine that all 
these laws, which are enacted against 
the Roman Catholics, cannot with 
safety and advantage be repealed, we 
then venture to express an hope, that 
such disqualifying laws alone will be 
suffered to remain, which you consider 
to be clearly required for the good of 
the Church and State. 

We feel the blessing of our own re- 
ligious liberty, and we think it a serious 
duty to extend it to others, in every 
degree in which sound discretion will 
permit. 

Note.— This meeting was very nume- 
rously attended by the clei^. Mr. Arch- 
deacon Wrangham and ^e Reverend 
William Yemon Harcourt (son of the late 
Archbishop of York), a very enlightened 
and liberal man, were the only persons who 
supported the Petition. 



CATHOLIC CLAIMS. 

A Speech at a Meeting qf the Clergy qf the 
Archdeaconry qf the East Biding qf 
Yorkshire, held a!t Beverley, in that 
Biding, on Monday, April 11, 1825, for 
the purpose qf petitioning Parliament, 
Ac* 

[Prom the Yorkshire SeraXd^ 

Mr. Archd^jacon, — It is very dis- 
agreeable to me to differ from so many 
worthy and respectable clergymen here 
assembled, and not only to differ from 
them, but, I am afraid, to stand alone 
among them. I would much rather 
vote in majorities, and join in this, or 
any other political chorus, than to 
stand unassisted and alone, as I am 
now doing. I dislike such meetings for 

* I was left at this meeting in a minority 
of one. A poor olei^man whispered to me, 
that he was quite of my way of thinking, 
but had nine children. J begged he would 
remain a Protestant, 



202 



SPEECH AT BEVEBLET 



each purposes — I wish I could re- 
concile it to my conscience to stay 
away from them, and to my tempera- 
ment to be silent at them ; but if they 
are called by others, I deem it right to 
attend — if I attend, I must say what I 
think. If it be unwise in us to meet in 
tayerns to discuss political subjects, the 
fault is not mine, for I should never 
think of calling such a meeting. If the 
subject is trite, no blame is imputable 
to me : it is as dull to me to handle 
such subjects, as it is to yon to hear 
them. The customary promise on the 
threshold of an inn is good entertain- 
ment for man and horse. — If there be 
any truth in any part of this sentence 
at the Tiger, at Beverley, our horses at 
this moment must certainly be in a 
state of much greater enjoyment than 
the masters who rode them. 

It will be some amusement, however, 
to this meeting, to observe the schism 
which this question has occasioned in 
my own parish of Londesborough. My 
excellent and respectable curate, Mr. 
Milestones, alarmed at the effect of the 
Pope upon the East Biding, has come 
here to oppose me, and there he stands, 
breathing war and vengeance on the 
Vatican. We had some previous con- 
versation on this subject, and, in imi- 
tation of our superiors, we agreed not 
to make it a Cabinet question. — Mr. 
Milestones, indeed, with that delicacy 
and propriety which belongs to his 
character, expressed some scruples 
upon the propriety of voting against 
his rector, but I insisted he should 
come and vote against me. I assured 
him nothing would give me more pain 
than to think I had prevented, in any 
man, the free assertion of honest opi- 
nions. That such conduct, on his 
part, instead of causing jealousy and 
animosity between us, could not, and 
would not, fail to increase my regard 
and respect for him. 

I beg leave, Sir, before I proceed on 
this subject, to state what I mean by 
Catholic emancipation. I mean eligi- 
bility of Catholics to all civil offices, 
with the usual exceptions introduced 
into all bills — jealous safeguards for 
the preservation of the Protestant 
Church, and for the regulation of the 



intercourse with Borne — and, lastly, 
provision for the Catholic clergy. 

I ohject. Sir, to the law as it stands 
at present, because it is impolitic, and 
because it is unjust It is impolitic, 
because it exposes this country to the 
greatest danger in time of war. Can. 
you believe, Sir, can any man of the 
most ordinary turn for observation be- 
lieve, that the monarchs of Europe 
mean to leave this country in the quiet 
possession of the high station which it 
at present holds ? Is it not obvious 
that a war is coming on between the 
governments of law and the govern- 
ments of despotism ? — that the weak 
and tottering race of the Bourbons will 
(whatever bur wishes may be) be com- 
pelled to gratify the wounded vanity of 
the French, by plunging them into a war 
with England. Already they are pity- 
ing the Irish people, as you pity the 
West Indian slaves — already they are 
opening colleges for the reception of 
Irish priests. Will they wait for your 
tardy wisdom and reluctant liberality? 
Is not the present state of Ireland a 
premium upon early invasion ? Does 
it not hold out the most alluring invi- 
tation to your enemies to begin ? And 
if the flag of any hostile power in Eu* 
rope is unfurled in that unhappy 
country, is there one Irish peasant who 
will not hasten to join it? — and not 
only the peasantry. Sir ; the peasantry 
begin these things, but the peasantry 
do not end them — they are soon joined 
by an. order a little above them — and 
then, after a trifling success, a still 
superior class think it worth while to 
try the risk : men are hurried into a 
rebellion, as the oxen were pulled into 
the cave of Cacus, tail foremost The 
mob first, who have nothing to lose 
but their lives, of which every Irish- 
mati has nine — then comes the shop- 
keeper — then the parish priest — then 
the vicar-general — then Dr. Doyle, 
and, lastly, Daniel 0*Connell. But if 
the French were to make the same 
blunders respecting Ireland as Napo- 
leon committed, if wind and weather 
preserved Ireland for you a second 
time, still all your resources would be 
crippled by watching Ireland. The 
force employed for this might liberate 



ON THE CATHOLIC CLAIMS. 



203 



Spain and Fortngal, ^protect India, or 
accomplish any great purpose of offence 
or defence. 

War, Sir, seems to be almost as na- 
taral a state to mankind as peace ; but 
if you could hope to escape war, is 
there a more powerful receipt for de- 
stroying the prosperity of any country 
than these eternal jealousies and dis- 
tinctions between the two religions ? 
What man will carry his industry and 
his capital into a country where his 
yard measure is a sword, his pounce- 
box a powder-flask, and his ledger a 
return of killed and wounded ? Where 
a cat will get, there I know a cotton- 
spinner will penetrate ; but let these 
gentlemen wait till a few of tbeir fac- 
tories have been burnt down, till one 
or two respectable merchants of Man- 
chester have been carded, and till they 
have seen the Cravatists hanging the 
Shanavists in cotton twist. In the 
present fervour for spinning, ourang- 
outangs, Sir, would be employed to 
spin, if they could be found in suffi- 
cient quantities ; but miserably will 
those reasoners be disappointed who 
repose upon cotton — not upon justice 
—and who imagine this great question 
can be put aside, because a few hun- 
dred Irish spinners are gaining a mor- 
sel of bread by the overflowing industry 
of the English market. 

Bat what right have you to continue 
these rules. Sir, these laws of exclusion? 
What necessity can you show for it ? 
Is the (signing monarch a concealed 
Catholic ? — Is his successor an open 
one?-:- Is there a disputed succession? 
—Is there a Catholic pretender? If 
some of these circumstances are said 
to have justified the introduction, and 
others the continuation, of these mea- 
sares, why does not the disappearance 
of all these circumstances justify the 
repeal of the restrictions? If you must 
be unjust — if it is a luxury you cannot 
live without — reserve your injustice 
for the weak, and not for the strongs 
persecute the Unitarians, muzzle the 
Banters, be unjust to a few thousand 
sectaries, not to six millions — galvanise 
& frog,' don't galvanise a tiger. 

If you go into a parsonage-house in 
the country, Mr. Archdeacon, you see 



sometimes a -style and fashion of fur- 
niture which does very well for us, but 
which has had its day in London. It 
is seen in London no more ; it is ba- 
nished to the provinces; from the gen- 
tleman's houses of the provinces these 
pieces of furniture, as soon as they are 
discovered to be unfashionable, descend 
to the farm-houses, then to cottages, 
then to the faggot*heap, then to the 
dung-bill. As it is with furniture so 
it is with ai^uments. I hear at country 
meetings many arguments against the 
Catholics which are never heard in 
London : their London existence is 
over — they are only to be met with in 
the provinces, and there they are fast 
hastening down, with clumsy chairs 
and ill-fashioned sofas, to another 
order of men. But, Sir, as they are 
not yet gone where I am sure they are 
going, I shall endeavour to point out 
their defects, and to accelerate their 
descent. 

Many gentlemen now assembled at 
the Tiger Inn, at Beverley, believe that 
the Catholics do not keep faith with 
heretics ; these gentlemen ought to 
know that Mr. Pitt put this very ques- 
tion to six of the leading Catholic 
Universities in Europe. He inquired 
of them whether this tenet did or did 
not constitute any part of the Catholic 
faith. The question received from 
these Universities the most decided 
negative ; they denied that such doc- 
trine formed any part of the creed of 
Catholics. Such doctrine. Sir, is de- 
nied upon oath, in the. bill now pend- 
ing in Parliament, a copy of which I- 
hold in my hand. The denial of 
such a doctrine upon oath is the only 
means by which a Catholic can relieve 
himself from his present incapacities. 
If a Catholic, therefore, Sir, will not 
take the oath, he is not relieved, and 
remains where you wish him to remain; 
if he do take the oath, you are safo 
from this peril ; if he have no scruple 
about oaths, of what consequence is it 
whether this bill passes, the very ob- 
ject of which is to relieve him from 
oaths? Look at the fact. Sir. Do the 
Protestant cantons of Switzerland, 
living under the same state with the 
[Catholic cantons, complain that no 



204 



SPEECH AT BEVERLEY 



fatth is kept with heretics? Do not 
the Catholics and Protestants in the 
kingdom of the Netherlands meet in 
one common Parliament? Could they 
pursue a common purpose, have com- 
mon friends, and common enemies, if 
there were a shadow of truth in this 
doctrine imputed to the Catholics ? 
The religious affairs of this last king- 
dom are managed with the strictest 
impartiality to both sects; ten Catholics 
and ten Protestants (gentlemen need 
not look so much surprised to hear it) 
positively meet together. Sir, in the 
same room. They constitute what is 
called the religious committee for the 
kingdom of the Netherlands, and so 
extremely desirous are they of pre- 
serying the strictest impartiality, that 
they have chosen a Jew for their secre- 
tary. Their conduct has been unim- 
peachable and unimpeached ; the two 
sects are at peace with each other; and 
the doctrine, that no faith is kept with 
heretics, would, I assure you, be very 
little credited at Amsterdam or the 
Hague, cities as essentially Protestant 
as the town of Beverley. 

Wretched is our condition, and still 
more wretched the condition of Ireland, 
if the Catholic does not respect his 
oath. He serves on grand and petty 
juries in both countries ; we trust our 
lives, our liberties, and our properties, 
to his conscientious reverence of an 
oath, and yet, when it Buits the por- 
IK)ses of party to bring forth this argu- 
ment, we say he has no respect for 
oaths. The right to a landed estate of 
SOOO/. per annum was decided last 
week, in York, by a jury, the foreman 
of which was a Catholic ; does any 
human being harbour a thought, that 
this gentleman, whom we all know 
and respect, would, under any circum- 
stances, have thought more lightly of 
the obligation of an oath than his Pro- 
testant brethren of the box ? We all 
disbelieve these arguments of Mr. A. 
the Catholic, and of Mr. B. the Ca- 
tholic ; but we believe them of Catho- 
lics in general, of the abstract Catholics, 
of the Catholic of the Tiger Inn, at 
Beverley, the formidable unknown 
Catholic, that is so apt to haunt our 
clerical meetinga 



I observe that some gentlemen who 
argue this question are very bold about 
other offices, but very jealous lest Ca- 
tholic gentlemen should become justices 
of the peace. If this jealousy be justi- 
fiable anywhere, it is justifiable in Ire- 
land, where some of the best and most 
respectable magistrates are Catholics. 

It is not true that the Roman Catho* 
lie religion is what it was. I meet 
that assertion with a plump denial 
The Pope does not dethrone kings, nor 
give away kingdoms, does not extort 
money, has given up, in some instances, 
the nomination of bishops to Catholic 
Princes, in some I believe to Protestant 
Princes : Protestant worship is now 
carried on at Rome. In the Low 
Countries, the seat of the Duke of 
Alva's cruelties, the Catholic tolerates 
the Protestant, and sits with him in 
the same Parliament -r- the same in 
Hungary — the same in France. The 
first use which even the Spanish people 
made of their ephemeral liberty was to 
destroy the Inquisition. It was de- 
stroyed also by the mob of Portugal* 
I am so far from thinking the Catholic 
not to be more tolerant than \he was, 
that I am much afraid the English, 
who gave the first lesson of toleration 
to mankind, will very soon have a 
great deal to learn from their pupils. 

Some men quarrel with the Catho- 
lics, because their language was violent 
in the Association ; but a groan or 
two. Sir, after two hundred years of 
incessant tyranny, may surely be for- 
given. A few warm phrases to com- 
pensate the legal massacre of a million 
of Irishmen are not unworthy of onr 
pardon. All this hardly deserves the 
eternal incapacity of holding civil 
offices. Then they quarrel with the 
Bible Society ; in other words, they 
vindicate that ancient tenet of their 
Church, that the Scriptures are not to 
be left to the unguided judgment of 
the laity. The objection to Catholics 
is, that they did what Catholics ought 
to do — and do not many prelates of 
our Church object to the Bible So- 
ciety, and contend that the Scriptures 
ought not to be circulated without the 
comment of the Prayer Book and the 
Articles ? If they are right, the Catho- 



ON THE CATHOLIC CLAIMS. 



^05 



lies are not wrong ; and if the Catho- 
lics are wrong, thej are in such good 
company, that we oaght to respect 
their errors. 

Why not pay their clergy ? the 
Preshyterian clergy in the north of 
Ireland are paid by the state: the 
Catholic clei^ of Canada are pro- 
vided for: the priests of the Hindoos 
are, I belieye, in some of their temples, 
paid by the Company. Ton mast 
surely admit, that the Catholic religion 
(the religion of two thirds of Europe) 
is better than no religion. I do not 
regret that the Irish are under the 
dominion of the priests. I am glad 
that 80 sayage a people as the lower 
orders of Irish are under the dominion 
of their priests ; for it is a step gained 
to place such beings under any in- 
fluence, and the clergy are always the 
first civilisers of mankind. The Irish 
are deserted by their natural aristo- 
cracy, and I should wish to make 
their priesthood respectable in their 
appearance, and easy in their circum- 
stances. A gOTernment provision has 
produced the most important changes 
in the opinions of the Presbyterian 
clergy of the north of Ireland, and 
has changed them from levellers and 
Jacobins into reasonable men ; it would 
not fail to improve most materially 
the political opinions of the Catholic 
priests. This cannot, however, be 
done, without the emancipation of the 
laity. No priest would dare to accept 
a salary from Government, unless this 
preliminary were settled, I am aware 
it would give to Government a tre- 
mendous power in that country; but 
I must choose the least of two evils. 
The great point, as the physicians say, 
in some diseases, is to resist the ten- 
dency to death. The great object of 
our day is to prevent the loss of Ire- 
land, and the consequent ruin of Eng- 
land ; to obviate the tendency to death ; 
we will first keep the patient alive, and 
then dispute about his diet and his 
medicine. 

Suppose -a law were passed, that no 
clergyman, who had ever held a living 
in the East Biding, could be made a 
bishop. Many gentlemen here (who 
have no hopes of ever being removed 



from their parishes) would feel the 
restriction of the law as a considerable 
degradation. We should soon be 
pointed at as a lower order of clergy- 
men. It would not be long before the 
common people would find some fortu^ 
nate epithet for us, and it would not be 
long either before we should observe 
in our brethren of the north and the 
west an air of superiority, which would 
aggravate not a little the injustice of 
the privation. Every man feels the 
insults thrown upon his aistei the in* 
suited party falls lower, everybody 
else becomes higher. There are heart- 
burnings and recollections. Peace flies 
from that land. The volume of Par- 
liamentary evidence I have brought 
here is loaded with the testimony of 
witnesses of all ranks and occupations, 
stating to the House of Commons the 
undoubted effects produced upon the 
lower order of Catholics by these dis- 
qualifying laws, and the lively interest 
they take in their removal. I have 
seventeen quotations. Sir, from this 
evidence, and am ready to give any 
gentleman my references \ but I forr 
bear to read them, from compassion to 
my reverend brethren, who have trotted 
many miles to vote against the Pope, 
and who will trot back in the dark, if 
I attempt to throw additional light 
upon the subject. 

I have, also. Sir, a high-spirited 
class of gentlemen to deal with, who 
will do nothing from fear, who admit 
the danger, but think it disgraceful to 
act as if they feared it. There is a 
degree of fear, which destroys a man's 
faculties, renders him incapable of 
acting, and makes him ridiculous. 
There is another sort of fear, which 
enables a man to foresee a coming 
evil, to measure it, to examine his 
powers of resistance, to balance the 
evil of submission against the evils of 
opposition or defeat, and if he thinks 
he must be ultimately overpowered, 
leads him to find a good escape in a 
good time. I can see no possible dis- 
grace in feeling this sort of fear, and 
in listening to its suggestions. But it 
is mere cant to say, that men will not 
be actuated by fear in such questions 
as these. Those who pretend not to 



206 SPEECH AT BEVERLEY ON JHE CATHOLIC CLAUIS. 



fear now, would be tbe first to fear 
npon the approach of danger; it is 
always the case with this distant 
vaionr. Most of the concessions which 
haye been given to the Irish have been 
l^iven to fear. Ireland wonld have 
been lost to this country, if the British 
Legislature had not, with all the ra- 
pidity and precipitation of the truest 
panic, passed those acts which Ireland 
did not ask, but demanded in the 
time of her armed associations. I 
should not think a man brave, but 
mad, who did not fear the treasons 
and rebellions of Ireland in time of 
war. I should think him not dastardly, 
but consummately wise, who provided 
against them in time of peace. The 
Catholic question has made a greater 
progress since the opening of this 
Parliament than I ever remeipber it 
to have made, and it has made that 
progress from fear alone. The House 
of Commons were astonished by the 
union of the Irish Catholics. They 
saw that Catholic Ireland had dis- 
covered her strength, and stretched 
out her limbs, and felt manly powers, 
and called for manly treatment ; and 
the House of Commons wisely and 
practically yielded to the innovations 
of time, and the shifting attitude of 
human affairs. 

I admit the Church, Sir, to be in 
great danger. I am sure the State is 
so also. My remedy for these evils 
Is, to enter into an alliance with the 
Irish people — to conciliate the clergy, 
by giving them pensions — to loyalise 
the laity, by putting them on a foot- 
ing with the Protestant. My remedy 
' is tbe old one, approved of from the 
beginning of the world, to lessen 
dangers, by increasing fViends, and 
appeasing enemies. I think it most 
probable that under this system of 
Crown patronage the clergy will be 
quiet. A Catholic layman, who finds 
ail the honours of the state open to 
him, will not, I think, run into treason 
and rebellion — will not live with a 
rope about his neck, in order to turn 
our bishops out, and put his own in ; 
he may not, too, be of opinion that 
the utility of his bishop will be four 
times as great, because his income is 



four times as large; but whether he is 
or not, he will never endanger his 
sweet acres (large measure) for such 
questions as these. Anti-Trinitarian 
Dissenters sit in the House of Com- 
mons, whom we believe to be con- 
demned to the punishments of another 
world. There is no limit to the in- 
troduction of Dissenters into both 
Houses — Dissenting Lords or Dis- 
senting Commons. What mischief have 
Dissenters for this last century and a 
half plotted against the Church of 
England ? The Catholic lord and tbe 
Catholic gentleman (restored to their 
fair rights) will never join with levellers 
and Iconoclasts. Yon will find them 
defending you hereafter against your 
Protestant enemies. The crosier in 
any hand, the mitre on any head, are 
more tolerable in the eyes of a Catho- 
lic than doxological Barebones and 
tonsured CromwelL 

We preach to our congregations, 
Sir, that a tree is known by its fruits. 
By the fruits it produces I will judge 
your system. What has it done for 
Ireland? New Zealand is emerging 
— Otaheite is emerging — Ireland is 
not emerging — she is still veiled in 
darkness — her children, safe under no 
law, live in the ^ery shadow of death. 
Has your system of exclusion made 
Ireland rich ? Has it made Ireland 
loyal? Has it made Ireland free? 
Has it made Ireland happy ? How is 
the wealth of Ireland proved ? Is it 
by the naked, idle, sufiering savages, 
who are slumbering on the mud floor 
of their cabins? In what does the 
loyalty of Ireland consist ? Is it in 
the eagerness with which they would 
range themselves under the hostile 
banner of any invader, for your des- 
truction and for your distress ? Is it 
liberty when men breathe and more 
amongthe bayonets of English soldiers? 
Is their happiness and their histoiy 
anything but such a tissue of murders, 
burnings, hanging, famine, and disease, 
as never existed before in the annals 
of the worid ? This is the system, 
which, I am sure, with veiy different 
intentions, and different views of iw 
effects, you are met this day to uphold. 
These are the dreadful conscqaencefi, 



SPEECH AT THE TAUNTON REFORM MEETING. 



which those laws* your petition prays 
may be continaed, have produced upon 



Ireland. From the principles of that 
system, from the cruelty of those laws, 
I torn, and turn with the homage of 
my whole heart, to that memorable 
proclamation which the Head of our 
Church — the present monarch of these 
realms — has lately made to his here- 
ditary dominions of Hanover — That 
no man should be subjected to civil 
incapacities on account of reliffious 
opinions. Sir, there have been many 
memorable things done in this reign. 
Hostile armies have been destroyed ; 
fleets have been captured ; formidable 
combinations have been broken to 
pieces — but this sentiment in the mouth 
of a King deserves more than ail 
glories and victories the notice of that 
historian who is destined to tell to 
future ages the deeds of the English 
people. I hope he will lavish upon it 
every gem which glitters in the cabinet 
of genius, and so uphold it to the 
world that it will be remembered when 
Waterloo is forgotten, and when the 
fall of Paris is blotted out from the 
memory of man. Great as it is, Sir, 
this is not the only pleasure I have 
received in these latter days. I have 
seen within these few weeks a degree 
of wisdom in our mercantile law, 
such superiority to vulgar prejudice, 
views so just and so profound, that it 
seemed to me as if I was reading the 
works of a speculative economist, rather 
than the improvement of a practical 
politician, agreed to by a legislative 
assembly, and upon the eve of being 
carried into execution, for the benefit 
of a great people. Let who will be 
their master, I honour and praise the 
ministers who have learnt such a lesson. 
I rejoice that I have lived to see such 
an improvement in English affairs — 
that the stubborn resistance to all im- 
provement — the contempt of all scien- 
tific reasoning, and the rigid adhesion 
to every stupid error which so long 
characterised the proceedings of this 
country, is fast giving way to better 
tilings, under better men, placed in 
better circumstances. 

I confess it is not without severe pain 
that, in the midst of all this expansion 



207 
and improvement, I perceive that in 
OKT profession we arc still calling for 
the same exclusion— still asking that 
the same fetters may be rivetted on 
our fellow-creatures— still mistaking 
what constitutes the weakness and mis- 
fortune of the Church, for that which 
contributes to its glory, its dignity, and 
its strength. Sir, there are two peti- 
tions at this moment in this House, 
against two of the wisest and best 
measures which ever came into the 
British Pariiament, against the im- 
pending Com Law and against the 
Catholic Emancipation —the one bill 
intended to increase the comforts, and 
the other to allay the bad passions of- 
man. Sir, I am not in a situation of 
life to do much good, but I will take 
care that I will not willingly do any 
evil.— The wealth of the Riding should 
not tempt me to petition against either 
of tho^ bills. With the Corn Bill I 
have nothing to do at this time. Of 
the Catholic Emancipation Bill, I shall 
say, that it will be the foundation stone 
of a lasting religious peace ; that it 
will give to Ireland not all that it 
wants, but what it most wants, and 
without which no other boon will bo 
of any avail. 

When this bill passes, it will be 
a signal to all the religious sects of 
that unhappy country to lay aside their 
mutual hatred, and to live in peace, 
as equal men should live under equal 
law— when this bill passes, the Orange 
flag will fall— when this bill passes, 
the Green flag of the rebel will fall — 
when this bill passes, no other flag will 
*fly in the land of Erin than that which 
blends the Lion with the Harp — that 
flag which, wherever it does fly, is the 
sign of freedom and of joy — the only 
banner in Europe which floats over a 
limited King and a free people. 



SPEECH AT THE TAUNTON 
REFORM MEETING * 
[From the Tauntim Courier.'] 

Mr. Bailiff,— This is the greatest 
measure w)iich has ever been before 



• I was a sincere friend to Reform ; I am 
so still. It was a great deal too violent— 



208 



SPEECH AT THE 



Parliament in my time, and the most 
pregnant with good or evil to the 
country ; and though I seldom meddle 
with political meetings, I could not 
reconcile it to mj conscience to be 
absent from this. 

Every- year for this half centnry the 
question of Reform has been pressing 
upon us, till it has swelled up at last 
into this great and awful combination ; 
so that almost every City and every 
Borough in England are at this moment 
assembled for the same purpose, and 
are doing the same thing we are doing. 
It damps the ostentation of argument 
and mitigates the pain of doubt, to 
believe (as I believe) that the measure 
is inevitable; the consequences may 
be good or bad, but done it must be ; 
I defy the most determined enemy of 
popular influence, either now, or a 
little time from now, to prevent a 
Reform in Parliament Some years 



but the only justification is, that yon cannot 
reform as you wish, by degrees ; ^u must 
avail yourself of the few opportumties that 
present themselves. The Keform canied, 
it became the business of every honest man 
to turn it to good, and to see that the people 
(drunk with their new power) did not ruin 
our ancient institutions. We have been in 
considerable danger, and that danger is not 
over. What alanns me most is the large 
price paid by both parties for popular 
nvoor. The yeomamy were put down: 
nothing oould oe more grossly absurd— the 
people wwe rising up against the poor laws, 
and such an excellent and permanent force 
wna abolished because they were not 
deemed a proper force to deal with popular 
insurrections. Tou may just as well object 
to put out a fire with pond water because 
pump water is better for the purpose : I say, 
put out the fire with the first water you 
can get ;— but the truth is, Radicals don't 
like armed yeomen : they have an ugly 
homicide appearance. Again,— a million of 
revenue is given up in the nonsensical 
penny-post scheme, to please my old, excel- 
lent, and universally dissentient ftriend, 
Noah Warburton. I admire the Whig 
Ministry, and think they have done more 
good tmngs than all the ministries since 
the Bevolution : but these concessions are 
sad and unworthy marks of weakness, and 
fill reasonable men with just alarm. All 
this folly has taken place since they have 
become ministers upon principles of chival- 
ry and gallantry; and the Tories, too, for 
fear of the people, have been much too quiet. 
Them is only one principle of public con- 
duct — Do what you thiwc right, and take 
vkioe and power as Mi^aocidet^, Upon any 
other plan, office is shabbtneas, labour, and | 
sorrow. , 



ago, by timely concession, it might 
have been prevented. If Members 
had been granted to Birmingham, 
Leeds, and Manchester, and other 
great towns as opportunities occurred, 
a spirit of conciliation would have 
been evinced, and the people might 
have been satisfied with a BefonK« 
which though remote would have 
been gradual ; but with the custom- 
ary blindness and insolence of human 
beings, the day of adversity was for- 
gotten, the rapid improvement of the 
people waa not noticed ; the object of 
a certain class of politicians was to 
please the Court and to gratify their 
own arrogance by treating every at- 
tempt to expand the representation, 
and to increase the popular influence, 
with every species of contempt and 
obloquy : the golden opportunity was 
lost ; and now proud lips must swallow 
bitter potions. 

The arguments and the practices 
(as I remember to have heard Mr. 
Huskisson say) which did very well 
twenty years ago, will not do now. 
The people read too much, think too 
much, see too many newspapers, hear 
too many speeches, have their eyes too 
intensely fixed upon political events. 
But if it were possible to put off Par- 
liamentary Reform a week ago, is ic 
possible now L When a Monarch 
(whose amiable and popular manners 
have, I verily believe, saved us from a 
Bevolution) approves the measure — 
when a Minister of exalted character 
plans and fashions it -—when a Cabinet 
of such varied talent and disposition 
protects it — when such a body of the 
Aristocracy vote for it — when the 
hundred-horse power of the Press is la- 
bouring for it ;^-who does not know 
after this (whatever b^ the decision 
of thd present Parliament) that the 
measure is virtually carried — and that 
all the struggle between such annun- 
ciation of such a plan, and its com- 
pletion, is tumult, disorder, disaiSec- 
tion, and (it may be) politic^ ruin ? 

An Honourable Member of the 
Honourable House, much connected 
with this town, and once its represen- 
tative, seems to be amazingly sar- 
I prised, and equally dissatisfied at this 



TAUNTON REFORM MEETING. 



209 



combination of King, Ministers, Nobles, 
and People, against his opinion: — 
like the gentleman who came home 
from serving on a jury very much dis- 
concerted, and complaining he had 
met with eleven of the most obstinate 
people he had ever seen in his life, 
whom he found it absolutely impos- 
sible by the strongest arguments to 
bring over to his way of thinking. 

They tell you, gentlemen, that you 
have grown rich and powerful with 
these rotten boroughs, and that it 
would be madness to part with them, 
or to alter a constitution which had 
produced such happy effects. There 
happens, gentlemen, to live near my 
parsonage a labouring man, of very 
superior character and understanding 
to his fellow 'labourers ; and who has 
made such good use of that superiority, 
that he has saved what is (for his 
station in life) a very considerable sum 
of money, and if his existence be ex- 
tended to the common period, he will 
die rich. It happens, however, that 
he is (and long has been) troubled 
with violent stomachic pains, for which 
he has hitherto obtained no relief, and 
which really are the bane and torment 
of his life. Now, if my excellent la- 
bourer were to send for a physician, 
and to consult him respecting this 
maUdy, would it not be very singular 
language if our doctor were to say to 
him, ''My good friend, you surely 
will not be so rash as to attempt to 
get rid of these pains in your stomach. 
Have you not grown rich with these 
pains in your stomach ? have you not 
risen under them from poverty to pros- 
perity? has not your situation, since 
yon were first attacked, been improv- 
ing every year ? You surely will not 
be so foolish and so indiscreet as to 
part with the pains in your stomach?'* 
— Why, what would be the answer of 
the rustic to this nonsensical monition ? 
"Monster of Rhubarb I (he would say) 
I am not rich in consequence of 'the 
pains in my stomach, but in spite of 
the pains in my stomach ; and I should 
have been ten times richer, and fifty 
times happier, if I had never had any 
pains in my stomach at all." Gentle- 
men, these rotteo boroughs are your 

VouIL 



pains in the stomach — and you would 
have been a much richer and greater 
people if you had never had them at 
all. Your wealth and your power 
have been owing, not to the debase 
and corrupted parts of the House of 
Commons, but to the many indepen- 
dent and honourable Members, whom 
it has always contained within its 
walls. If there had been a few more 
of these very valuable members for 
close boroughs, we should, I verily 
believe, have been by this time about 
as free as Denmark, Sweden, or the 
Germanised States of Italy. 

They tell you of the few men ot 
name and character who have sat for 
boroughs ; but nothing is said of those 
mean and menial men who are sent 
down every day by their aristocratic 
masters to continue unjust and un- 
necessary wars, to prevent inquiring 
into profligate expenditure, to take 
money out of your pockets, or to do 
any other bad or base thing which the 
Minister of the day may require at 
their unclean hands. What mischief, 
it is asked, have these boroughs done? 
I believe there is not a day of your 
lives in which you are not suffering in 
all the taxed conmiodities of life from 
the accumulation of bad votes of bad 
men. But, Mr. Bailiff, if this were 
otherwise, if it really were a great poli- 
tical invention, that cities of 100,000 
men should have no representatives, 
because those representatives were 
wanted for political ditches, political 
walls, and political parks; that the 
people should be bought and sold like 
any other commodity ; that a retired 
merchant should be able to go into 
the market and buy ten shares in the 
government of twenty millions of his 
fellow-subjects ; yet, can such assever- 
ations be made openly before the 
people? Wise men, men conversant 
with human affairs, may whisper such 
theories to each other in retirement; 
but can the People ever be taught that 
it is right they should be bought and 
sold ? Can the vehemence of eloquent 
democrats be met with such arguments 
and theories ? Can the doubts of 
honest and limited men be met by 
such arguments and theories? The 

P 



210 



SPEECH AT THE 



moment such a government is looked 
at by all die people, it is lost It is 
impossible to explain, defend, and re- 
commend it to the mass of mankind. 
And tme enough it is, that as often as 
misfortune threatens ns at home, or 
hnitation excites ns from abroad, poli- 
tical Beform is clamoured for bj the 
people — there it stands, and ever will 
stand, in the apprehension of the mul- 
titude — Reform, the cure of every 
evil — Corruption, the source of every 
misfortune — famine, defeat, decayed 
trade, depressed agriculture, will all 
lapse into the question of Reform. 
Till that question is set at rest (and it 
may be set at rest) all will be disaffec- 
tipn, tumult, and perhaps (which God 
avert!) destruction. 

But democrats and agitators (and 
democrats and agitators there are 
in the world) will not be contented 
with this Reform. Perhaps not, Sir ; 
I never hope to content men whose 
game is never to be contented — but 
if they are not contented, I am sure 
their discontent will then compara- 
tively be of little importance. I am 
afraid of them now ; I have no argu- 
ments to answer them : but I shall not 
be afraid of them after this Bill, and 
would tell them boldly, in the middle 
of their mobs, that there was no longer 
cause for agitation and excitement, and 
that they were intending wickedly to 
the people. Tou may depend upon it 
such a measure would destroy their 
trade, as the repeal of duties would 
destroy the trade of the smuggler; 
their functions would be carried on 
faintly, and with little profit ; you 
would soon feel that your position was 
stable, solid, and safe. 

All would be well, it is urged, if 
they would but let the people alone. 
But what chance is there, I demand 
of these wise politicians, that the 
people will ever be let alone ; that 
the orator will lay down his craft, and 
the demagogue forget his cunning ? 
If many things were let alone, which 
never will be let alone, the aspect of 
human affairs would be a little varied. 
If the winds would let the waves alone, 
there would be no storms. If gentle- 
men would let ladies alone, there 



would be no unhappy marriages, and 
deserted damsels. If persons who can 
reason no better than this, would leave 
speaking alone, the school of eloquence 
might be improved. I have little 
hopes, however, of witnessing any of 
these acts of forbearance, particularly 
the last, and so we must (however 
foolish it may appear) proceed to 
make laws for a people who we are 
sure will not be let alone. 

We might really imagine, from the 
objections made to the plan of Reform, 
that the great mass of Englishmen 
were madmen, robbers, and murderera 
The Elingly power is to be destroyed, 
the House of Lords is to be annihi- 
lated, the Church is to be ruined, 
estates are to be confiscated. I am 
quite at a loss to find in these perpe- 
trators of crimes — in this mass of 
pillagers and lunatics — the steady and 
respectable tradesmen and farmers, 
who' will have votes to confer, and the 
steady and respectable country gentle- 
men, who will probably have votes to 
receive ; — it may be true of the trades- 
men of Mauritania, it may be just of 
the country gentlemen of Fez — it is 
anything but true of the English people. 
The English are a tranquil, phlegmatic, 
money-loving, money-getting people, 
who want to be quiet — and would be 
quiet if they were not surrounded by 
evils of such magnitude, that it would 
be baseness and pusillanimity not to 
oppose to them the strongest constitu- 
tional resistance. 

Then it is said that there is to be a 
lack of talent in the new Parliament : 
it is to be composed of ordinary and 
inferior persons, who will bring the 
government of the country into con- 
tempt. But the best of all talents, 
gentlemen, is to conduct our affairs 
honestly, diligently, and economically 
— and this talent will, I am sure, 
abound as much in the new Parlia- 
ment as in many previous Parliaments. 
Parliament is not a school for rhetoric 
and declamation, where a stranger 
would go to hear a speech, as he would 
go to the Opera to hear a song ; but 
if it were otherwise— -if eloquence be 
a necessary ornament o^ and an in- 
dispensable adjunct to popular as- 



TAUNTON REFORM MEETING. 



211 



semblies — can it ever be absent from 
popular assemblies? I hare always 
found that all things, moral or physical, 
grow in the soil best suited for them. 
Show me a deep and tenacious earth — 
and I am sure the oak will spring up 
in it. In a low and damp soil I am 
equally certain of the alder and the 
willow. Gentlemen, the free Parlia- 
ment of a free People is the native soil 
of eloquence — and in that soil will it 
ever flourish and abound — there it will 
produce those intellectual effects which 
driTe before them whole tribes and na- 
tions of the human race, and settle the 
destinies of man. And, gentlemen, if 
a few persons of a less elegant and 
aristocratic description were to become 
members of the Honse of Commons, 
where would be the eyil ? They would 
probably understand the common peo- 
ple a great deal better, and in this way 
the feelings and interests of all classes 
of people would be better represented. 
The House of Commons thus organised 
will express more faithfully the opinions 
of the people. 

The people are sometimes, it is nrged, 
grossly mistaken; but are Kings never 
mistaken ? Are the higher orders never 
mistaken? — never wilfully corrupted 
by their own interests ? The people 
have at least this superiority, that they 
always intend to do what is right. 

The argument of fear is very easily 
disposed of: he who is afraid of a knock 
00. the head or & cut on the cheek is a 
coward; he who is afraid of entailing 
greater evils on the country by refusing 
the remedy than by applying it, and 
who acts in pursuance of that convic< 
tion, is a wise and prudent man — 
nothing can be more different than 
personal and political fear; it is the 
artifice of our opponents to confound 
them together. 

The right of disfranchisement, gen- 
tlemen, must exist somewhere, and 
where but in Parliament? If not, how 
Was the Scotch Union, how was the 
Irish Union, effected? The Duke of 
Wellington's Administration disfran- 
chised at one blow 200,000 Irish voters 
—for no fault of theirs, and for no 
other reason than the best of all rea- 
B0Q8, that public expediency required 



it. These very same politicians are 
now looking in an agony of terror at 
the disfranchisement of Corporations 
containing twenty or thirty persons, 
sold to their representatives, who are 
themselves perhaps sold to the Govern- 
ment: and to put an end to these 
enormous abuses is called Corporation 
robbery, and there are some persons 
wild enough to talk of compensation. 
This principle of compensation you 
will consider perhaps in the following 
instance to have been carried as far as 
sound discretion permits. When I was 
a young man, the place in England I 
remember as most notorious for high- 
waymen and their exploits was Finch- 
ley Common, near the metropolis; but 
Finchley Common, gentlemen, in the 
progress of improvement, came to be 
enclosed, and liie highwaymen lost by 
»these means the opportunity of exer- 
cising their gallant vocation. I remem- 
ber a friend of mine proposed to draw 
up for them a petition to the House of 
Commons for compensation, which ran 
in this manner — "We, your loyal 
highwaymen of Finchley Conmion and 
its neighbourhood, having, at great 
expense, laid in a stock of blunder- 
busses, pistols, and other instruments 
for plundering the public, and finding 
ourselves impeded in the exercise of 
our calling by the said enclosure of 
the said Common of Finchley, humbly 
petition your Honourable House will 
be pleased to assign to us such com- 
pensation as your Honourable House 
in its wisdom and justice may think 
fit." — Gentlemen, I must leave tho 
application to you. 

An Honourable Baronet says, if Par- 
liament is dissolved, I will go to my 
Borongh with the bill in my hand, and 
will say, ** I know of no crime you have 
committed, I found nothing proved 
against you: I voted against the biU, 
and am come to fling myself upon your 
kindness, with the hope that my con- 
duct will be approved, and that you 
will return me again to Parliament'* 
That Honourable Baronet may, per- 
haps, receive from his Borough an 
answer he little expects — "We are 
above being bribed by such a childish 
and unworthy artifice ; we do not choose 

p 2 



212 



SPEECH AT TAUNTON. 



to consnit our own interest at the ex- 
pense of the general peace and happi- 
ness of the country; we are thoroughly 
convinced a Reform ought to take place ; 
we are very willing to sacrifice a privi- 
lege we ought never to have possessed 
to the good of the community, and we 
will return no one to Parliament who 
is not deeply impressed with the same 
feeling." This, I hope, is the answer 
that gentlcmen^will receive; and this, 
I hope, will be the noble and generous 
feeling of every Borough in England. 
The greater part of human improve- 
ments, gentlemen, I am sorry to say, 
are made after war, tumult, bloodshed, 
and civil commotion : mankind seem 
to object to every species of gratuitous 
happiness, and to consider every ad- 
vantage as too cheap, which is not 
purchased by some calamity. I shall 
esteem it as a singular act of God's< 
providence, if this great nation, glided 
by these warnings of history, not wait- 
ing till tumult for Beform, nor trusting 
Beform to the rude hands of the lowest 
of the people, shall amend their de- 
cayed institutions at a period when 
they are ruled by a popular Monarch, 
guided by an upright Minister, and 
blest with profound peace. 



SPEECH AT TAUNTON. 
[From the Taunton Courier.'} 

Mb. Chairhan, — I am particularly 
happy to assist on this occasion, be- 
cause I think that the accession of the 
present King is a marked and import- 
ant era in English history. Another 
coronation has taken place since I have 
been in the world, but I never assisted 
at its celebration. I saw in it a change 
of masters, not a change of system. I 
did not understand the joy which it 
occasioned. I did not feel it, and I did 
not counterfeit what I did not feel. 

I think very differently of the ac- 
cession of his present Majesty. I be- 
lieve I see in that accession a great 
probability of serious improvement, 
and a great increase of public happi- 
ness. The evils which have been long 
complained of by bold and intelligent 



men are now anirersally admitted. 
The public feeling, which has been so 
often appealed to, is now intensely 
excited. The remedies which have so 
often been called for are now at last, 
vigorously, Mrisely, and faithfully ap- 
plied. I admire, gentlemen, in the 
present King, his love of peace — I 
admire in him his disposition to econ- 
omy, and I admire in him, above all, 
his faithful and honourable condact to 
those who happen to be his ministers. 
He was, I believe, quite as faithful to 
the Duke of Welling^n as to Lord 
Grey, and would, I have no doubt, be 
quite as faithful to the political enemies 
of Lord Grey (if he thought fit to 
employ them) as he is to Lord Grey 
himself. There is in this reign no 
secret influence, no double ministry — 
on whomsoever he confers the office, to 
him he gives that confidence without 
which the office cannot be holden with 
honour, nor executed with effect He 
is not only a peaceful King, and an 
economical King, but he is an honest 
King. So far, I believe, every indi- 
vidual of this company will go with 
me. There is another topic of ealo- 
gium, on which, before I sit down, I 
should like to say a few words — I mean 
the willingness of our present King to 
investigate abuses, and to reform them. 
If this subject be not unpleasant, I will 
offer upon it a very few observations — 
n few, because the subject is exhausted, 
and because, if it .were not, I have no 
right, from my standing or my situation 
in this county, to detain you long upon 
that or any other subject. 

In criticising this great question of 
Beform, I think there is some injustice 
done to its authors. Men seem to 
suppose that a minister can sit dowa 
and make a plan of reform with as 
much ease and as much exactness, and 
with as complete a gratification of his 
own will, as an architect can do in 
building or altering a house. But ft 
minister of state (it should be in justice 
observed) works in the midst of hatred, 
injustice, violence, and the worst of 
human passions — his works are not 
the works of calm and unembarrassed 
wisdom — they are not the best that a 
dreamer of dreams can imagine. Ici^ 



SPEECH AT TAUNTON. 



213 



enough if they are the hest plans which 
the passions, parties, and prejudices of 
the times in which he acts will permit. 
In passing a Reform Bill the minister 
overthrows the long and deep interest 
which powerful men have in existing 
abuses — he subjects himself to the 
deepest hatred, and encounters the 
bitterest opposition. Auxiliaries he 
must have, and auxiliaries he can only 
find among the people — not the mob — 
bnt the great mass of those who have 
opinions worth hearing, and property 
worth defending — a greater mass, I 
am happy to say, in this country than 
exists in any other country on the face 
of the earth. Now, before the middling 
orders will come forward with one great 
impulse, they must see that something 
is offered them worth the price of con- 
tention ; they must see that the object 
is great and the gain serious. If you 
call them in at all, it must not be to 
displace one faction at the expense of 
another, but to put down all factions^- 
to substitute purity and principle for 
corraption — to give to the many that 
political power which the few have un« 
justly taken to themselves — to get rid 
of evils so ancient and so vast that any 
other arm than the public arm would 
be lifted np against them in vain. 
This, then, I say, is one of the reasons 
why ministers have been compelled to 
make their measure a little more vigor- 
ous and decisive than a speculative 
philosopher, sitting in his closet, might 
approve of. They had a mass of 
opposition to contend with, which could 
be'encountered only by a general exer- 
tion of public spirit — they had a long 
suffering and an often deceived public 
to appeal to, who were determined to 
suffer no longer, and to be deceived no 
more. The idternative was to continue 
the ancient abuses, or to do what they 
have done — and most firmly do I be- 
lieve that you and I, and the latest 
posterity of us all, will rejoice in the 
decision they have made. Gradation 
has been called for in reform : we 
might, it is said, have taken thirty or 
forty years to have accomplished what 
we have done in one year. ** It is not 
so much the magnitude of what you 
are doing we object to, as the sadden- 



» 



ness." Bnt was not gradation ten- 
dered ? Was it not said by the friends 
of reform — ** Give us Birmingham and 
Manchester, and we will be satisfied"? 
and what was the answer ? ** No 
Manchester, no Birmingham, no reform 
in any degree — all abuses as they are 
— all perversions as we have found 
them — the corruptions which our 
fathers bequeathed us we will hand 
down unimpaired and unpurified to our 
children." But I would say to the 
graduate philosopher, — "How often 
does a reforming minister occur ?" and 
if such are so common that you can 
command them when you please, how 
often does a reforming monarch occur? 
and how often does the conjunction of 
both occur ? Are you sure that a 
people, bursting into new knowledge, 
and speculating on every public event, 
will wait for your protracted reform ? 
Strike while the iron is hot — up with 
the arm and down with the hammer, 
and up again with the arm, and down 
again with the hammer. The iron is 
hot — the opportunity exists now — if 
you neglect it, it may not return for a 
hundred years to come. 

There is an argument I have often 
heard, a^d that is this — Are we to be 
afraid ? — is this measure to be carried 
by intimidation ? — is the House of 
Lords to be overawed ? But this style 
of argument proceeds irom confound- 
ing together two sets of feelings which 
are entirely distinct — personal fear 
and political fear. If I am afraid of 
voting against this bill, because a mob 
may gather about the House of Lords 
— because stones may be flung at my 
head — because my house may be at- 
tacked by a mob, I am a poltroon, and 
unfit to meddle with public afiairs; but 
I may rationally be afraid of producing 
great public agitation — I may be 
honourably afraid of flinging people 
into secret clubs and conspiracies — I 
may be wisely afraid of making the 
aristocracy hateful to the great body. of 
the people. This surely has no more 
to do with fear than a loose identity of 
name ; it is in fact prudenoe of the 
highest order ; the deliberate reflection 
of a wise man, who does not like what 
he is going to do, but likes still less the 

p 3 



214 



SPEECH AT TAUNTON 



conseqnences of not doing it, and who 
of two eyils chooses the least. 

There are some men much afraid of 
what is to happen : mj lively hope of 
good is, I confess, mingled with very 
little apprehension ; but of one thing I 
must be candid enough to say that I 
am much afraid, and that is of the 
opinion now increasing, that the people 
are become indifferent to reform ; and 
of that opinion I am afraid, because I 
believe in an evil hour it may lead some 
misguided members of the Upper 
House of Parliament to vote against 
the 'bill. As for the opinion itself, I 
hold it in the utmost contempt The 
people are waiting in virtuous patience 
for the completion of the bill, because 
they know it is in the hands of men 
who do not mean to deceive them. I 
do not believe they have given up one 
atom of reform — I do not believe 
that a great people were ever before so 
firmly bent upon any one measure. I 
put it to any man of common sense, 
whether he believes it possible, after 
the King and Parliament have acted as 
they have done, that the people will 
ever be content with much less than 
the present bill contains. li a con- 
trary principle be acted upon, and the 
bill attempted to be got rid of alto- 
gether, I confess I tremble for the con- 
sequences, which I believe will be of 
the worst and most painful description ; 
and this I say deliberately, after the 
most diligent and extensive inquiry. 
Upon that diligent inquiry, I repeat 
again my firm conviction; that the de- 
sire of reform has increased, not 
diminished ; that the present repose is 
not indifference, but the calmness of 
victory, and the tranquillity of success. 
When I see all the wishes and appetites 
of created beings changed, when I see 
an eagle, that, after long confinement, 
has escaped into the air, come back to 
his cage and his chain, — when I see 
the emancipated negro asking again 
for the hoe which has broken down his 
strength, and the lash which has tor- 
tured his body, I will then, and not till 
then, believe that the English people 
will return to their ancient degradation 
— that they will hold out their repent- 
ant hands for those manacles which at 



this moment lie broken into links at 
their feet. 



SPEECH AT TAUNTON. 

[From the Taunitm Courier, of October 
12th. 1831.3 

Thb Ketbrend Stdnet Smith rose 
and said: — Mr. Bailiff, I have spoken 
so often on this subject, that I am sure 
both yon and the gentlemen here pre- 
sent will be obliged to me for saying 
but little, and that favour I am as will- 
ing to confer, as you can be to receive 
it. I feel most deeply the event which 
has taken place, because, by putting 
the two Houses of Parliament in col- 
lision with each other, it will impede 
the public business, and diminish the 
public prosperity. I feel it as a church- 
man, because I cannot but blush to see 
so many dignitaries of the Church 
arrayed against the wishes and happi- 
ness of the people. I feel it more than 
all, because I believe it will sow the 
seeds of deadly hatred between the 
aristocracy and the great mass of the 
people. The loss of the bill I do not 
feel, and for the best of all possible 
reasons — because I have not the 
slightest idea that it is lost. I have no 
more doubt, before the expiration of 
the winter, that this bill will pass, than 
I have that the annual tax bills will 
pass, and greater certainty than this no 
man can have, for Franklin tells us, 
there are but two things certain in this 
world — death and taxes. As for the 
possibility of the House of Lords pre- 
venting ere long a reform of Parlia- 
ment, I hold it to be the most absurd 
notion that ever entered into human 
imagination. I do not mean to be dis- 
respectful, but the attempt of the Lords 
to stop the progress of reform, reminds 
me very forcibly of the great storm of 
Sidmouth, and of the conduct of the 
excellent Mrs. Partington on that 
occasion. In the winter of 1824, there 
set in a great flood upon that town — 
the tide rose to an incredible height-— 
the waves rushed in upon the houses, 
and everything was threatened with 
destruction. In the midst of this sub- 
lime and terrible storm. Dame Par- 
tington, who lived upon die beach, was 



SPEECH ON THE REFORM BUX. 



215 



seen at the door of her house with mop 
and pattens, trundling her mop, squeez- 
ing out the sea-water, and vigorously 
pushing away the Atlantic Ocean. 
The Atlantic was roused. Mrs. Par- 
tington's spirit was up ; but I need not 
tell you that the contest was unequal. 
The Atkntic Ocean beat Mrs. Par- 
tington. She was exceUent at a slop, 
or a puddle, but she should not have 
meddled with a tempest. Gentlemen, 
be at your ease — be quiet and steady. 
You will beat Mrs. Partington. 

They tell you, gentlemen, in the de- 
bates by which we have been lately 
occupied, that the bill is not justified 
by experience. I do not think this 
trae ; but if it were true, nations are 
sometimes compelled to act without 
experience for their guide, and to trust 
to their own sagacity for the anticipa- 
tion of consequences. The instances 
where this country has been compelled 
thus to act have been so eminently suc- 
cessful, that I see no cause for fear, 
even if we were acting in the manner 
imputed to us by our enemies. What 
precedents and what experience were 
there at the Reformation, when the 
country, with one unanimous effort, 
pushed out the Pope, and his grasping 
and ambitious clergy? — What ex- 
perience, when at the Revolution we 
drove away our ancient race of kings, 
and chose another family, more con- 
genial to our free principles ? — And 
yet to those two events, contrary to 
experience, and unguided by prece- 
dents, we owe all our domestic happi- 
ness, and civil and religious freedom — 
and having got rid of corrupt priests, 
and despotic kings, by our sense and 
our courage, are we now to be intimi- 
dated by the awful danger of extin- 
guishing Boronghmongers, and shaking 
from our neck the ignominious yoke 
which their baseness has imposed upon 
it ? Go on, they say, as you have done 
for these hundred years last past. I 
answer it is impossi'^le; five hundred 
I)eople now write and read, where one 
hnndred wrote and read fifty years ago. 
The iniquities and enormities of the 
borough system are now known to the 
meanest of the people. You have a 
different sort of men to deal with— 



yon must change because the beings 
whom you govern are changed. After 
all, and to be short, I must say that ir 
has always appeared to me to be the 
most absolute nonsense that we cannot 
be a great, or a rich and happy nation, 
without suffering ourselves to be bought 
and sold every five years like a pack of 
negro slaves. I hope I am not a very 
rash man, but I would launch boldly 
into this experiment without any fear 
of consequences, and I believe there is 
not a man here present who would not 
cheerfully embark with me. As to the 
enemies of the bill, who pretend to be 
reformers, I know them, I believe, 
better than you do, and I earnestly 
caution yon against them. You will 
have no more of reform than they are 
compelled to grant — you will have no 
reform at all, if they can avoid it — 
you will be hurried into a war to turn 
your attention from reform. They do 
not understand you — they will not 
believe in the improvement you have 
made — they think the English of the 
present day are as the English of the 
times of Queen Anne or Greorge the 
First. They know no more of the 
present state of their own country, 
than of the state of the Esquimaux 
Indians. Gentlemen, 1 view the ignor- 
ance of the present state of the country 
with the most serious concern, and I 
believe they will one day or another 
waken into conviction with horror and 
dismay. I will omit no means of 
rousing them to a sense of their dan- 
ger ; — for this object, I cheerfully sign 
the petition proposed by Dr. Kinglake, 
which I consider to be the wisest and 
most moderate of the two. 



SPEECH BY 
THE REV. SYDNEY SMITH. 

Stick to the Bill — it is your Magna 
Charta, and your Runnymede. King 
John made a present to the Barons. 
King William has made a similar 
present to you. Never mind ; com- 
mon qualities good in common times. 
If a man does not vote for the Bill, he 
is unclean — the plague-spot is upon 
him — push him into the lazaretto of 



216 



SPEECH ON THE REFOBM BILL. 



the last centnrj, with Wetherell and 
Sadler — purifj the air before 70a 
approach him — bathe your hands in 
Chloride of lime, if yon have been 
contaminated by his touch. 

So far from its being a merely theo- 
retical improvement, I put it to any 
man, who is himself embarked in a 
profession, or has sons in the same 
situation, if the unfair influence of 
Boronghmongers has not perpetually 
thwarted him in his lawful career of 
ambition and professional emolument? 
** I have been in three general engage- 
ments at sea," said an old sailor — 
** have been twice wounded ; — I com- 
manded the boats when the French 
frigate, the Astrolabe, was cut out so 
gallantly." **Then you are made a 
Post Captain ? *' ** No. I was very 
near it; but — Lieutenant Thompson 
cut me out, as I cut out the French 
frigate ; his father is Town Clerk of 

the Borough for which Lord F 

is Member, and there my chance was 
finished.*' In the same manner, all over 
England, you will find great scholars 
rotting on curacies — brave captains 
starving in garrets — profound lawyers 
decayed and mouldering in the Inns of 
Court, because the parsons, warriors, 
and advocates of Boroughmongers 
must be crammed to saturation, belbre 
there is a tnorsel of bread for the man 
who does not sell his votes, and put his 
country up to auction ; and though 
this is of every day occurrence, the 
Borough system, we are told, is no 
practical evil. 

Who can bear to walk through a 
slaughter-house ? blood, garbage, sto- 
machs, entrails, legs, tails, kidneys, 
horrors— V I often wiUk a mile about to 
avoid it. What a scene of disgust and 
horror is an election — the base and 
infamous traffic of principles — a can- 
didate of high character reduced to 
such means — the perjury and evasion 
of agents — the detestable rapacity of 
voters — the ten days' dominion of 
mammon, and Belial. The Bill lessens 
it — begins the destruction of such 
practices — affords some chance, and 
some means of turning public opinion 
against bribery^ and of rendering it 
infamous. 



But the thing I cannot, and will not 
bear, is this ; — what right has this Lord, 
or tiuU Marquis, to buy ten seats in 
Parliament, in the shape of Boroughs, 
and then to make laws to govern me ? 
And how are these masses of power re- 
distributed ? The eldest son of my 
Lord is just come from Eton — he 
knows a good deal about ^neas and 
Dido, Apollo and Daphne — and that 
is all ; and to this boy his father gives 
a six-hundredth part of the power of 
making laws, as he would give him a 
horse or a double-barrelled gun. Then 
Vellum, the steward, is put in — an 
admirable man : — he has raised the 
estates — watched the progress of the 
family Bead and Canal Bills — and 
Vellum shall help to rule over the 
people of Israel. A neighbouring 
country gentleman, Mr. Plumpkin, 
hunts with my lord-— opens him a gate 
or two, while the hounds are running 
— dines with my Lord — agrees with 
my Lord — wishes he could rival the 
South-Down sheep of my Lord — and 
upon Plumpkin is conferred a portion 
of the government. Then there is a 
distant relation of the same name, in 
the County Militia, with white teeth, 
who calls up the carriage at the Opera, 
and is always wishing 0*Connell was 
hanged, drawn, and quartered — then 
a barrister, who has Mrritten an article 
in the Quarterly, and is very likely to 
speak, and refute M'Culioch ; and these 
five people, in whose nomination I have 
no more agency than I have in the 
nomination of the toll-keepers of the 
Bosphorus, are to make laws for me 
and my family — to put their hands in 
my purse, and to sway the futore 
destinies of this country ; and when 
the neighbours step in, and beg per- 
mission to say a few words before these 
persons are chosen, there is an universal 
cry of ruin, confusion, and destruction; 
— we have become a great people under 
Vellum and Plumpkin — under Vellum 
and Plumpkin our ships have covered 
the ocean — under Vellum and Plump- 
kin our armies have secured the 
strength of the Hills — to turn ont 
Vellum and Plumpkin is not Beform, 
but Revolution. 

Was there ever such a Ministiy? 



SPEECH ON THE REFORM BILL. 



217 



Was there ever before a real Ministry 
of the people ? Look at the condition 
of the coantrj when it was placed in 
their hands : the state of the house 
when the incoming tenant took posses- 
sion: windows broken, chimneys on 
fire, mobs round the house threatening 
to pull it down, roof tumbling, rain 
pouring in. It was courage to occupy 
it ; it was a miracle to save it ; it will 
be the glory of glories to enlarge and 
expand it, and to make it the eternal 
palace of wise and temperate freedom. 
Proper examples have been made 
among the unhappy and misguided 
disciples of Swing : a rope has been 
carried round O^Connell's legs, and a 
ring inserted in Gobbett's nose. Then 
the Game Laws ! ! ! Was ever conduct 
60 shabby as that of the two or three 
governments which preceded that of 
Lord Grey ? The cruelties and enor- 
mities of this code had been thoroughly 
exposed; and a general conviction 
existed of the necessity of a change. 
Bills were brought in by various gen- 
tlemen, containing some trifling alte- 
ration in this abominable code, and 
even these were sacrificed to the tricks 
and manoeuvres of some noble Nimrod, 
who availed himself of the emptiness 
of the town in July, and flung out the 
Bill Government never stirred a step. 
The fulness of the prisons, the wretch- 
edness and demoralisation of the poor, 
never came across them. The humane 
and considerate Peel never once ofiered 
to extend his aegis over them. It had 
nothing to do with the state of party ; 
and some of their double-barrelled 
voters might be offended. In the 
meantime, for every ten pheasants 
which fluttered in the wood, one En- 
glish peasant was rotting in gaol. No 
sooner is Lord Althorp Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, than he turns out of 
the house a trumpery and (perhaps) an 
insidious Bill for the improvement of 
the Game Laws ; and in an instant 
oflers the assistance of Government 
for the abolition of the whole code. 

Then look at the gigantic Brougham, 
sworn in at 12 o'clock, and before 6 
has a bill on the table, abolishing the 
abuses of a Court which has been the 
curse of the people of England for 



centuries. For twenty-five long years 
did Lord Eldon sit in that Court, sur- 
rounded with misery and sorrow, which 
he never held up a finger to alleviate. 
The widow and the orphan cried to 
him as vainly as the town crier cries 
when he oflers a small reward for a full 
purse ; the bankrupt of the Court be- 
came the lunatic of the Court, estates 
mouldered away, and mansions fell 
down ; but the fees came in, and all 
was well. But in an instant the iron 
mace of Brougham shivered to atom;) 
this house of fraud and of delay ; and 
this is the man who will help to govern 
you ; who bottoms his reputation on 
doing good to you ; who knows, that 
to reform abuses is the safest basis of 
fame, and the surest instrument of 
power ; who uses the highest gifts of 
reason, and the most splendid efforts of 
genius, to rectify those abuses, which 
all the genius and talent of the pro- 
fession * have hitherto been employed 
to justify, and to protect. Look to 
Brougham, and turn you to that side 
where he waves his long and lean 
finger ; and mark well that face which 
nature has marked so forcibly — which 
dissolves pensions — turns jobbers into 
honest men — scares away ihe plun- 
derer of the public — and is a terror 
to him who doeth evil to the people. 
But, above all, look to the Northern 
Earl, victim, before this honest and 
manly reign, of the spitefulness of the 
Court. You may now, for the first 
time, learn to trust in the professions 
of a Minister ; you are directed by a 
man who prefers character to place, 
and who has given such unequivocal 
proofs of honesty and patriotism, that 
his image ought to be amongst your 
household gods, and his name to be 
lisped by your children : two thousand 
years hence it wUl be a legend like the 
fable of Perseus and Andromeda: 
Britannia chained to a mountain — two 
hundred rotten animals menacing her 
destruction, till a tall Earl, armed with 
Schedule A., and followed by his page 
Russell, drives them into the deep, and 
delivers over Britannia in safety to 

* Lord Lyndhurst is an exception ; I 
firmly beheve ht had no wish to perpetuate 
the abuses of the Court of Ohanoery. 



218 



SPEECH ON THE HEFOBM BILL. 



crowds of teii'ponnd renters, who 
deafen the air with their acchmiations. 
Forthwith, Latin Yerses upon this — 
school exercises — boys whipt, and all 
the usual absurdities of education. 
Don*t part with the Administration 
composed of Lord Grey and Lord 
Brougham; and not only these, but 
look at them all — the mild wisdom of 
Lansdowne — the genius and extensive 
knowledge of Holland, in whose bold 
and honest life there is no varying nor 
shadow of change — the unexpected 
and exemplary activity of Lord Mel- 
bourne — and the rising parliamentary 
talents of Stanley. You are ignorant 
of your best interests, if every vote you 
can bestow is not given to sucn a 
ministry as this. 

You will soon find an alteration of 
behaviour in the upper orders when 
elections become real You will find 
that you are raised to the importance 
to which you ought to be raised. The 
merciless ejector, the rural tyrant, will 
be restrained within the limits of 
decency and humanity, and will im- 
prove their own characters, at the 
same time that they better your con- 
dition: 

It is not the power of aristocracy 
that will be destroyed by these measures, 
but the unfair power. If the Duke of 
Newcastle is kind and obliging to his 
neighbours, he will probably lead his 
neighbours ; if he is a man of sense, 
he will lead them more certainly, and 
to a better purpose. All . this is as it 
should be ; but the Duke of Newcastle, 
at present, by buying certain old houses, 
could govern his neighbours and legis- 
late for them, even if he ^ad not five 
grains of understanding, and if he were 
the most churlish and brutal man under 
heaven. The present state of things 
renders unnecessary all those important 
virtues, which rich and well-bom men, 
under a better system, would exercise 
for the public good. The Duke of 
Newcastle (I mention him only as an 
instance). Lord Exeter will do as well, 
but either of those noblemen, depend- 
ing not upon walls, arches, and abut- 
n^ents, for their power — but upon 
paercy, charity, forbearance, indulgence, 
and example — would pay this price, 



and lead the people by their afiections; 
one would be the God of Stamfoi^ 
and the other of Newark. This union 
of the great with the many is the real 
healthy state of a country; sach a 
country is strong to invincibUity— and 
this strength the Borough system en- 
tirely destroys. 

Cant words creep in, and affect 
quarrels; the changes are rung be- 
tween Revolution and Beform ; but, 
first settle whether a wise government 
ought to attempt the measure—whether 
anything is wanted — whether less 
would do — and, having settled this, 
mere nomenclature becomes of very 
little consequence. But, after all, if it 
be Revolution, and not Reform, it will 
only induce me to receive an old poli- 
ticsd toast in a twofold meaning, and 
with twofold pleasure. When King 
William and the great and glorious 
Revolution are given, I shall tUnk not 
only of escape from bigotry, bat 
exemption from corruption ; and I 
shall thank Providence, which has 
given us a second King William foi! 
the destruction of vice, as the other of 
that name was given us for the con- 
servation of freedom. 

All former political changes, pro- 
posed by these very men, it is said, 
were mild and gentle, compared to 
this : true, but are you on iSaturday 
night to seize your apothecary by the 
throat, and to say to him, *' Subtle 
compounder, fraudulent posologist, did 
not you order me a drachm of this 
medicine on Monday morning, and 
now you declare, that nothing short of 
an ounce can do me any good ? " 
" True enough," would he of the phials 
reply, ** but you did not take the drachm 
on Monday morning — that makes ail 
the difference, my dear Sir; if you had 
done as I advised you at first, the small 
quantity of medicine would have 
sufficed ; and, instead of being in a 
night-gown and slippers upstairs, joa 
would have been walking vigorously 
in Piccadilly. Do as you please — and 
die if you please ; but don't blame me 
because you despised my advice, and by 
your own ignorance and obstinacy have 
entailed upon yourself tenfold rhubarb 
and unlimited infusion of senna." 



SPEECH ON THE REFORM BILL. 



219 



Now see the conseqaences of having 
a manlj' Leader, and a manly Cabinet 
Suppose tfaey had come out with a 
litUe ill-fashioned seven months' re- 
form ; what would have been the con- 
seqaence ? The same opposition from 
the Tories — that would have been 
quite certain — and not a single Re- 
former in England satisfied with the 
measure. You have now a real Reform, 
and a fair share of power delegated to 
the people. 

The Anti-Reformers cite the in- 
creased power of the press — this is the 
veiy reason why I want an increased 
power in the House of Commons. 
The Times, Herald, Advertiser, Globe, 
San, Courier, and Chronicle, are a 
heptarchy, which govern this country, 
and govera it because the people are 
so badly represented. I am p^ectly 
satisfied, that with a fair and honest 
House of Commons the power of the 
press would diminish — and that the 
greatest authority would centre in the 
highest place. 

Is it possible for a gentleman to get 
into Parliament, at present, without 
doing things he is utterly ashamed of 
— without mixing himself up with 
the lowest and basest of mankind ? 
Hands, accustomed to the scented 
lubricity of soap, are defiled with 
pitch, and contadiinated with filth. 
Is there not some inherent vice in a 
Government, which cannot be carried 
on but with such abominable wicked- 
ness, in which no gentleman can 
mingle without moral degradation, 
and the practice of crimes, the very 
imputation of which, on other occa- 
sions, he would repel at the hazard of 
his life ? 

What signifies a small majority in 
the House? The miracle is, that 
there should have been any majority 
at all ; that there was not an immense 
majority on the other side. It was a 
've^rj long period before the Courts of 
Justice in Jersey could put down 
smuggling ; and why ? The Judges, 
Counsel, Attorneys, Crier of the Court, 
Grand and Petty Jurymen, were all 
smugglers, and the High Sheriff and 
Constables were running goods every 
moonlight night 



How are you to do without a go- 
vernment ? And what other govern- 
ment, if this Bill be ultimately lost, 
could possibly be found ? How could 
any country defray the ruinous ex- 
pense of protecting, with troops and 
constables, the Duke of Wellington 
and Sir Robert Peel, who literally 
would not be able to walk irom the 
Horse Guards to Grosvenor Square, 
without two or three regiments of foot 
to screen^hem from the mob ; and in 
these hAow squares the Hero of 
Waterloo would have to spend his 
political life ? By the whole exercise 
of his splendid military talents, by 
strong batteries, at Bootless and 
White's, he might, on nights of great 
debate, reach the House of Lords; 
but Sir Robert would probably be cut 
ofi^, and nothing- could save Twiss and 
Lewis. 

The great majority of persons re- 
turned by the new Boroughs would 
either be men of high reputation for 
talents, or persons of fortune known in 
the neighbourhood ; they have pro- 
perty and character to lose. Why are 
they to plunge into mad and revolu- 
tionary projects of pillaging the public 
creditor ? It is not the interest of any 
such man to do it; he would lose 
more by the destruction of public 
credit than he would gain by a remis- 
sion of what he paid for the interest 
of the public debt And if it is not 
the interest of any one to act in this 
manner, it is not the interest of the 
mass. How many, also, of these new 
legislators would there be, who were 
not themselves creditors of the State ? 
Is it the interest of such men to create 
a revolution, by destroying the consti- 
tutional power of the House of Lords, 
or of the King ? Does there exist in 
persons of that class any disposition 
for such changes ? Are not all their 
feelings, and opinions, and prejudices, 
on the opposite side?" The majority 
of the new members will be landed 
gentlemen : their genus is utterly dis 
tinct from the revolutionary tribe; 
they have Molar teeth ; they are des- 
titute of the carnivorous and incisive 
jaws of political adventurers. 

There will be mistakes at first, aia 



220 



SPEECH ON THE REFORM BILL. 



there are in all changes. All young 
Ladies will imagine (as soon as this 
Bill is carried) that they will be in- 
stantly married. Schoolboys believe 
that Gerunds and Supines will be 
abolished, and that Currant Tarts 
must nltioiately come down in price ; 
the Corporal and Sergeant are sure of 
double pay ; bad Poets will expect a 
demand for their Epics ; Fools will be 
disappointed, as they always are; 
reasonable men, who know what to 
expect, will find that a yeify serious 
good has been obtained. 

What good to the hewer of wood 
and the drawer of water ? How is he 
benefited, if Old Sarum is abolished 
and Birmingham Members created? 
But if you ask this question of Reform, 
you must ask it of a great number of 
other great measures? How is he 
benefited by Catholic Emancipation, 
by the repeal of the Corporation and 
Test Act, by the Revolution of 1688, 
by any great political change? by a 
good government ? In the first place, 
if many are benefited, and the lower 
orders are not injured, this alone is 
reason enough for the change. But 
the hewer of wood and the drawer of 
water are benefited by reform. Re- 
form will produce economy and inves- 
tigation ; there will be fewer jobs, and 
a less lavish expenditure; wars will 
not be persevered in for years after the 
people are tired of them ; taxes will 
be taken off the poor, and laid upon 
the rich ; demotic habits will be more 
common in a country where the rich are 
forced to court the poor for political 
power; cruel and oppressive punish- 
ments (such as those for night poach* 
ing) will be abolished. If you steal a 
pheasant you will be punished as you 
ought to be, but not sent away from 
your wife and children for seven years. 
Tobacco will be 2d, per lb. cheaper. 
Candles will fall in price. These last 
results of an improved government will 
be felt, -We do not pretend to abolish 
poverty, or to prevent wretchedness ; 
but if peace, economy, and justice, are 
the results of Reform, a number of 
small benefits, or rather of benefits 
which appear small to us, but not to 
them, will accrue to millions of the 



people ; and the connection between the 
existence of John RnsselU and the re- 
duced price of bread and cheese, will 
be as clear as it has been the object 
of his honest, wise, and useful life to 
make it 

Don't be led away by such nonsense; 
all things are dearer under a bad 
government, and cheaper under a 
good one. The real question they 
ask you is, What difference can any 
change of government make to you ? 
They want to keep the bees from 
buzzing and stinging, in order that 
they may rob the hive in peace. 

Work well I How does it work well, 
when every human being in-doors 
and out (with the exception of the 
Duke of Wellington) says it mnst be 
made to work better, or it will soon 
cease to work at all ? It is little short 
of absolute nonsense to call a govern- 
ment good, which the great mass of 
Englishmen would, before twenty 
years were elapsed, if Reform were 
denied, rise up and destroy. Of what 
use have all the cruel laws been of 
Perceval, Eldon, and Castlereagh, to 
extinguish Reform ? Lord John Rus- 
sell, and his abettors, would have been 
committed to gaol twenty years ago 
for half only of his present Reform ; 
and now relays of the people would 
drag them from London to Edinburgh ; 
at which latter city we are told, by 
Mr. Dun das, that there is no eager- 
ness for Refonn. Five minutes before 
Moses struck the rock, this gentleman 
would have said that there was no 
eagerness for water. 

There are two methods of making 
alterations : the one is to despise the 
applicants, to begin with refusing 
every concession, then to relax by 
making concessions which are always 
too late; by offering in 1831 what is 
then too late, but would have been 
cheerfully accepted in 1830 — gra- 
dually to 6*Connellise the country, 
till at last, after this process has gone 
on for some time, the alarm becomes 
too great, and everything is conceded 
in hurry and confusion. In the mean- 
time fri'sh conspiracies have been 
hatched by the long delay, and no 
gratitude is expressed for what has 



SPEECH ON THE REFORM BILL. 



221 



been extorted by fear. In this way 
peace was concladed with America, 
and Emancipation granted to the 
Catholics; and in this way the war 
of complexion will be finished in the 
West Indies. The other method is, to 
see at a distance that the thing must 
be done, and to do it efiectnally, and 
at once ; to take it out of the hands of 
the common people, and to carry the 
measure in a manly liberal manner, so 
as to satisfy the great majority. The 
merit of this belongs to the Adminis- 
tration of Lord Grey. He is the only 
Minister I know of who has begun a 
great measure in good time, conceded 
at the beginning of twenty years what 
would have been extorted at the end 
of it, and prevented that folly, vio- 
lence, and ignorance, which emanate 
from a long denial and extorted con- 
cession of justice to great masses of 
human beings. I believe the question of 
Reform, or any dangerous agitation of 
it, is set at rest for thirty or forty years ; 
and this is an eternity in politics. 

Boroughs are not the power pro- 
ceeding irom wealth. Many men who 
have no Boroughs are infinitely richer 
than those who have — but it is the 
artifice of wealth in seizing hold of 
certain localities. The Boroughmon- 
ger is like rheumatism, which owes its 
power not so much to the intensity of 
the pain as to its peculiar position ; a 
little higher bp, or a little lower down, 
the same pain would be trifling ; but it 
fixes in the joints, and gets into the 
head-quarters of motion and activity. 
The Boroughmonger knows the im- 
portance of arthritic positions; he 
disdains muscle, gets into the joints, 
and lords it over the whole machine 
by felicity of place. Other men are as 
rich — but those riches are not fixed in 
the critical spot. 

I live a good deal with all ranks and 
descriptions of people ; I am thoroughly 
convinced that the party of Democrats 
and Republicans is very small and 
contemptible ; that the English love 
their institutions — that they love not 
only this King, (who would not love 
hhn ?) but the kingly office — that 
they have no hatred to the Aristocracy. 
I am not afraid of trusting English 



happiness to English €rentlemcn. I 
believe that the half million of new 
voters will choose much better for the 
public, than the twenty or thirty 
Peers, to whose usurped power they 
succeed. 

If any man doubt of the power of 
Reform, let him take these two memo* 
rable proofs of its omnipotence. First, 
but for the declaration against it, I 
believe the Duke of Wellington might 
this day have been in office ; and, 
secondly, in the whole course of the 
debates at County Meetings and in 
Parliament, there are not twenty men 
who have declared against Reform. 
Some advance an inch, some a foot, 
some a yard — but nobody stands still 
— nobody says. We ought to remain 
just where we were — everybody dis- 
covers that he is a Reformer, and has 
long been so — and appears infinitely 
delighted with this new view of him- 
self. Nobody appears without the 
cockade — bigger or less — but always 
the cockade. 

An exact and elaborate census is 
called for — vast information should 
have been laid upon the table of the 
House — great time should have been 
given for deliberation. All these ob- 
jections, being tamed into English, 
simply mean, that the chances of 
another year should have been given 
for defeating the Bill. In that time 
the Poles may be crushed, the Bel- 
gians organised, Louis Philippe de- 
throned; war may rage all over 
Europ>e — the popular spirit may be 
diverted to other objects. It is cer- 
tainly provoking that the Ministry 
foresaw all these possibilities and de- 
termined to model the iron while it was 
red and glowing. 

It is not enough that a political in- 
stitution works well practicMlly : it 
must be defensible ; it must be such as 
will bear discussion, and not excite 
ridicule and contempt It might work 
well for aught I know, if, like the 
savages of Onelashka, we sent out to 
catch a king : but who could defend a 
coronation by chase ? who can defend 
the payment of 40,000/. for the three- 
hundredth part of the power of ParUa- 
menty and the resale of this power to 



222 



SPEECH OK THE REFORM BILL. 



Goyernment for places to the Lord 
Williams and Lord Charles's, and 
others of the Anglophagi ? Teach a 
million of the common people to read 
— and such a goyernment (work it 
eyer so well) most perish in twenty 
years. It is impossible to persuade the 
mass of mankind that there are not 
other and better methods of goyeming 
a country. It is so complicated, so 
wicked, such envy and hatred accumu- 
late against the gentlemen who haye 
fixed themselyes on the joints, that it 
cannot fail to perish, and to be driven, 
as it w driven, from the country by a 
general bunt of hatred and detestation. 
I meant, gentlemen, to have spoken 
for another half hour, but I am old 
and tired. Thank me for ending — 
but, gentlemen, bear with me for 
another moment; one word before I 
end. I am old, but I thank God I 
have lived to see more than my obser- 
vations on human nature taught me I 
had any right to expect. I have lived 



to see an honest King, in whose word 
his Ministers can trust ; who disdains 
to deceive those men whom he has 
called to the public service, but makes 
common cause with them for the com- 
mon good ; and exercises the highest 
powers of a ruler for the dearest 
interests of the State. I have lived to 
see a King with a good heart, who, 
surrounded by Kobles, thinks of com- 
mon men ; who loves the great mass 
of English people,' and wishes to be 
loved by them ; who knows that his 
real power, as he feels that his happi- 
ness, is founded on their affection. I 
have lived to see a King, who, without 
pretending to the. pomp of superior 
intellect, has the wisdom to see, that 
the decayed institutions of human 
policy require amendment ; and who, 
in spite of clamour, interest, prejudice, 
and fear, has the manliness to carry 
these wise changes into immediate 
execution. Gentlemen, farewell : shoot 
for the King. 



223 



LETTER TO THE ELECTORS 



UPON 



THE CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



Wht is not a Catholic to be belieyed 
on his oath ? 

What sajB the law of the land to this 
extravagant piece of injustice ? It is 
no challenge against a jnr jman, to say 
be is a Catholic ; he sits in judgment 
upon your life and your property. Did 
any man ever hear it said that such or 
rach a person was put to death, or that 
he lost his property, because a Catholic 
was among the jurymen ? Is the ques- 
tion ever put ? Does it ever enter into 
the mind of the attorney or the coun- 
sellor to inquire of the faith of the jury ? 
If a man sell a horse, or a house, or a 
field, does he ask if the purchaser be a 
Catholic ? Appeal to your own expe- 
rience, and try by that fairest of all 
tests — the justice of this enormous 
charge. 

We are in treaty, with many of the 
powers of Europe, because we believe 
in the good faith of Catholics. Two- 
thirds of Europe are, in fact, Catholics; 
we they all perjnred ? For the first 
fourteen centuries all the Christian 
^orld were Catholics; did they live in 
ft constant state of perjury ? I am sure 
these objections against the Catholics 
*re often made by very serious and 
honest men, but I much doubt if Vol- 
taire has advanced anything against 
the Christian religion so horrible as to 
say that two-thirds of those who profess 
it are unfit for all the purposes of civil 
hfe; for who is fit to live in society who 



does not respect oaths? But if this 
imputation be true, what folly to agitate 
such questions as the civil emancipation 
of the Catholics I If they are always 
ready to support falsehood by an ap- 
peal to God, why are they suffered to 
breathe the air of England, or to drink 
of the waters of England ? Why are 
they not driven into the howling wiU 
demess? But now they possess, and 
bequeath, and witness, and decide civil 
rights ; and save life as physicians, and 
defend property as lawyers, and judge 
property as jurymen ; and yon pass 
laws enabling them to command all 
your fleets and armies *, and then you 
turn round upon the very man whom 
you have made the master of the Euro- 
pean seas, and the arbiter of nations, 
and tell him he is not to be belieyed 
on his oath. 

I have lived a little in the world, but 
I never happened to hear a single Ca- 
tholic even suspected of getting into 
office by violating his oath $ the oath 
which they are accused of violating is 
an insuperable barrier to them alL Is 
there a more disgraceful spectacle in 
the world than that of the Duke of 
Norfolk hovering round the House of 
Lords in the execution of his office, 
which he cannot enter as a peer of the 
realm ? disgraceful to the bigotry and 

* There is no law to prevent a Catholic 
from having the command of a British fleet 
or a British army. 



224 



LETTER TO THE ELECTORS, 



injustice of his country — to his own 
sense of duty, honourable in the ex- 
. treme : he is the leader of a band of 
ancient and high-principled gentlemen, 
who submit patiently to obscurity and 
privation, rather ttuin do yiolence to 
their cdnscience. In all the fury of 
party, I never heard the name of a 
single Catholic mentioned, who was 
suspected of having gained, or aimed 
at, any political advantage, by violat- 
ing his oath. I have never heard so 
bitter a slander supported by the 
slightest proof. Every man in the 
circle of his acquaintance has met with 
Catholics, and lived with them pro- 
bably as companions. If this immoral 
lubricity were their characteristic, it 
would surely be perceived in common 
life. Every man's experience would 
corroborate the imputation ; but I can 
honestly say that some of the best and 
most excellent men I have ever met 
with have been Catholics; perfectly 
alive to the evil and inconvenience of 
their situation, but thinking themselves 
bound by the law of God and the law 
of honour, not to avoid persecution by 
falsehood and apostasy. But why (as 
has been asked ten thousand times be- 
fore) do you lay such a stress upon 
these oaths of exclusion, if the Catho- 
lics do not respect oaths ? You com- 
pel me, a Catholic, to make a declara- 
tion against transubstantiation, for what 
purpose but to keep me out of Parlia- 
ment ? Why, then, I respect oaths 
and declarations, or else I should per- 
jure myself, and get into Parliament ; 
and if I do not respect oaths, of what 
use is it to enact them in order to keep 
me out ? A farmer has some sheep, 
which he chooses to keep from a certain 
field, and to effect this object, he builds 
a wall : there are two objections to his 
proceeding ; the first is, that it is for 
the good of the farm that the sheep 
should come into the field ; and so the 
wall is not only useless, but pernicious. 
The second is, that he himself tho- 
roughly believes at the time of build- 
ing the wall, that all the sheep are in 
the constant habit of leaping over such 
walls. His first intention with respect 
to the sheep is absurd, his means more 
absurd, and his error is perfect in all 



its parts. He tries to do that which, 
if he succeed, will be very foolish, and 
tries to do it by means which he him- 
self, at the time of using them, admits 
to be inadequate to the purpose : but 
I hope this objection to the oaths of 
Catholics is disappearing; I believe 
neither Lord Liverpool, nor Mr. Peel 
(a very candid and honourable man), 
nor the Archbishops (who are both 
gentlemen), nor Lord Eldon, nor Lord 
Stowell (whose Protestantism nobody 
calls in question), would make such a 
charge. It is confined to provincial 
violence, and to the politicians of the 
second table. I remember hearing the 
Catholics from the hustings of an elec- 
tion accused of disregarding oaths, and 
within an hour from that time, I saw 
five Catholic voters rejected, because 
they would not take the oath of supre- 
macy ; and these were not men of rank 
who tendered themselves, but ordinary 
tradesmen. The accusation was re- 
ceived with loud huzzas ; the poor Ca- 
tholics retired unobserved and in si- 
lence. No one praised the conscientious 
feelings of the constituents; no one 
rebuked the calumny of the candidate. 
This is precisely the way in which the 
Catholics are treated : the very same 
man who encourages among his parti- 
sans the doctrine, that Catholics are 
not to be believed upon their oaths, 
directs his agents upon the hustings to 
be very watchful that all Catholics 
should be prevented from TOting, by 
tendering to them the oath of supre- 
macy, which he is certain not one of 
them will take. If this be not calumny 
and injustice, I know not what human 
conduct can deserve the name. 

If you believe the oath of a Catho- 
lic, see what he will swear, and what 
he will not swear : read the oaths he 
already takes, and say whether in com- 
mon candour, or in common sense, you 
can require more security than he offers 
you. Before the year 1793, the Catholic 
was subject to many more vexatious 
laws than he now is ; in that year an 
act passed in his favour; but before 
the Catholic could exempt himself fix>m 
his ancient pains and penalties, it was 
necessary to take an oath. This oath 
was, I believe, drawn up by Dr. Dui- 



ON THE CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



225 



genan, the bitter and implacable enemy 
of the sect ; and it is so important an 
oath, so little known and read in 
England, that I cannot, in spite of 
my wish to be brief, abstain from 
quoting it. I deny your right to call 
No Popery, till yoa are master of 
its contents. 

** I do swear that I do abjure, con- 
demn, and detest, as unchristian and 
impious, the principle, that it is lawful 
to murder, destroy, or any ways injure, 
any person whatsoever, for or under 
the pretext of being a heretic ; and I 
do declare solemnly, before God, that 
I believe no act, in itself unjust, im- 
moral, or wicked, can ever be justified 
or excused by or under pretence or 
colour, that it was done either for the 
good of the Church, or in obedience to 
any ecclesiastical power whatsoever. 
I also declare that it is not an article 
of the Catholic faith, neither am I 
thereby required to believe or profess, 
that the Pope is infallible ; or that I 
am bound to obey any order, in its 
own nature immoral, though the Pope, 
or any ecclesiastical power, should issue 
or direct such order ; but, on the con- 
trary, I hold that it would be sinful in 
me to pay any respect or obedience 
thereto. I further declare, that I do 
not believe that any sin whatsoever 
committed by me, can be forgiven at 
the mere will of any pope or any priest, 
or of any persons whatsoever ; but that 
sincere sorrow for past sins, a firm and 
sincere resolution to avoid future guilt, 
and to atone to God, are previous and 
indispensable requisites to establish a 
well-founded expectation of forgive- 
ness ; and that any person who receives 
absolution, without these previous re- 
quisites, so far from obtaining thereby 
any remission of his sins, incurs the 
additional guilt of violating a sacra- 
ment: and I do swear, that I will de- 
fend, to the utmost of my power, the 
settlement and arrangement of pro- 
perty in this country, as established by 
the laws now in being. — I do hereby 
disclaim, disavow, and solemnly abjure 
any intention to subvert the present 
Church establishment, for the purpa^e 
of substituting a Catholic establishment 
in its stead ; and I do solemnly swear, 

voL.n. 



that I will not exercise any privilege to 
which I am or may become entitled, to 
disturb and weaken the Protestant re- 
ligion, and Protestant government, in 
this kingdom. So help me God.*' 

This Oath is taken by every Catholic 
in Ireland, and a similar oath, allowing 
for the difference of circumstances of 
the two countries, is taken in Eng- 
land. 

It appears from the evidence taken 
before the two Houses, and lately 
printed, that if Catholic emancipation 
were carried, there would be little or 
no difficulty in obtaining from the 
Pope an agreement, that the nomina- 
tion of the Irish Catholic Bishops 
should be made at home constitution- 
ally by the Catholics, as it is now in 
fact*, and in practice, and that the 
Irish prelates would go a great way, 
in arranging a system of general edu- 
cation, if the spirit of proselytism, 
which now renders such a union im- 
possible, were laid aside. This great 
measure carried, the Irish Catholics 
would give up all their endowments 
abroad, if they received for them an 
equivalent at home ; for now Irish 
priests are fast resorting to the Conti- 
nent for education, allured by the en- 
dowments which the French govern- 
ment are cunningly restoring and aug- 
menting. The intercourse with the 
see of Rome might and would, after 
Catholic emancipation, be so managed, 
that it should be open, upon grave oc- 
casions, or, if thought proper, on every 
occasion, to the inspection of commis- 
sioners. There is no security, compa- 
tible with the safety of their faith, which 
the Catholics are not willing to give. 
But what is Catholic emancipation as 
far as England is concerned ? not an 
equal right of office with the member 
of the Church of England, but a par- 
ticipation in the same pains and penal- 
ties as those to which the Protestant 
dissenter is subjected by the Corpora- 
tion and Test Acts. If the utility of 
these last-mentioned laws is to be mea- 

* The Catholic Bishops, since the death 
of the Pretender, are recommonded either 
by the chapters or the parochial clci^, to 
the Pope ; and there is no instance or his 
deviating fh>m their choice, 

Q 



LKTTEB TO THE ELECTOBS^ 



22« 

sored by the horror and perturbation 
their repeal would excite, they are laws 
of the ntmost importance to the defence 
of the English Chorch ; but if it be of 
importance to the Chnrch that pains 
and penalties should be thos kept sos- 
pended OYcr men's heads, then these 
bills are an effectual security against 
Catholics as well as IVotestants : and 
the manacles so much confided in, are 
not taken off, but loosened, and the 
prayer of a Catholic is this : — ** I can- 
not now become an alderman, ^thout 
perjury. I pray of you to improve my 
condition so far, that if I become an 
alderman, I may be only exposed to a 
penalty of 500^" There are two conip 
mon errors upon the subject of Catholic 
emancipation $ the one, that the eman- 
cipated Catholic is to be put on a better 
footing than the Protestant dissenter, 
whereas he will be put precisely on the 
same footing ; the other, that he is to 
be admitted to civil offices, without any 
guard, exception, or reserve, whereas 
in the various bills which have been 
from time to time brought forward, the 
legal wit of man has been exhausted to 
provide against every surmise, suspi- 
cion, and whisper of the most remote 
danger to the Protestant Church. 

The Catholic question is not an En- 
glish question, but an Irish one; or 
rather, it is no otherwise an English 
question than as it is an Irish one. As 
for the handful of Catholics that are in 
England, no one, I presume, can be so 
extravagant as to contend, if they were 
the only Catholics we had to do with, 
that it would be of the slightest pos- 
sible consequence to what offices of 
the state they were admitted. It would 
be quite as necessary to exclude the 
Sandemanians, who are sixteen in 
number, or to make a test act against 
the followers of Joanna Southcote, who 
amount to one hundred and twenty 
persons. A little chalk on the wall 
and a profound ignorance of the sub- 
ject, soon raises a cry of No Popery; 
but I question if the danger of admit- 
ting five popish Peers and two C6m- 
moners to the benefits of the constitu- 
tion could raise a mob in any market 
town in England. Whatever good 
may accrue to England from the eman- 



cipation, or evil may befall this country 
for withholding emancipation, will 
reach us <mljf through the medium of 
Ireland. 

I beg to remind yon, that in talking 
of the Catholic religion, you must talk 
of the Catholic religion as it is carried 
on in Ireland; you have nothing to do 
with Spain, or France, or Italy : the 
religion you are to examine is the Irish 
Catholic religion. You are not to 
consider what it was, but what it is: 
not what individuals profess, but what 
is generaUy professed, not what indi- 
viduals do, but what is generally 
practised. I constantly see, in adver- 
tisements from county meetings, sll 
these species of monstrous injustice 
played off against the Catholics. The 
inquisition exists in Spain and Portu- 
gal, therefore I confound place, and 
vote against the Catholics of Ireland, 
where it never did exist, nor was pur- 
posed to be instituted.* There ha?e 
been many cruel persecutions of Pro- 
testants by Catholic governments; and, 
therefore, I will confound time and 
place, and vote against the Irish, who 
live centuries after these persecution^, 
and in a totally different country. 
Doctor this, or Doctor that, of the 
Catholic Church, has written a very 
violent and absurd pamphlet; therefore 
I will confound persons, and vote 
against the whole Irish Cathob'c 
Chnrch, which has neither sanctioned 
nor expressed any such opinions. I 
will continue the incapacities of men 
of this age, because some men, in dis- 
tant ages, deserved ill of other men in 
distant ages. They shall expiate the 
crimes committed, before they were 
bom, in a land they never saw; br 
individuals they never heard of. I will 
charge them with every act of folly 
which they have never sanctioned and 
cannot control. I will sacrifice space, 
time, and identity, to my zeal for the 
Protestant Church. Now, in the midst of 
all this violence, consider, for a moment, 
how you are imposed upon by words, 

* While Kary was burning Protestants in 
England, not a single Protestant was eze* 
cuted in Ireland: and yet the terrors of 
that reign are, at tlua moment^ one of the 
most operative causes of the exclusioa of 
Irish Catholics. 



ON THE CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



227 



and what a seriona Tiolation of the 
rights of yoar fellow-creatures yon are 
committing. Mr. Murphy Uvea in 
Limerick, and Mr. Murphy and his 
Bon are subjected to a thousand incon- 
veDiences and disadYantages, because 
they are Catholics. Murphy is a 
wealthy, honourable, excellent man; 
he ought to be in the corporation ; he 
cannot get in because he ia a Catholic. 
His son ought to be king's counsel fdr 
his talents, and his standing at the bar; 
he is prevented from reaching this dig- 
nity, because he is a Catholic Why, 
what reasons do you hear for all this? 
Because Queen Mary, three hundred 
years before the natal day of Mr. 
Murphy, murdered Protestants in 
Smithfield ; because Louis XIV. dra- 
gooned his Protestant subjects, when 
the predecessor of Murphy's predecessor 
was not in being; because men are 
confined in prison in Madrid, twelve 
degrees more south than Murphy has 
ever been in his life ; all ages, all cli- 
mates, are ransacked to perpetuate the 
slavery of Murphy, the ill-fated victim 
of political anachronisms. 
- Suppose a banister, in defending a 
prisoner, were to say to the judge, 
"My Lord, I humbly sulmiit to your 
lordship that this indictment against 
the prisoner cannot stand good in law; 
and as the safety of a fellow-creature 
is concerned, I request your Lordship's 
patient attention to my objections. In 
the first place, the indictment does not 
pretend that the prisoner at the bar is 
himself guilty of the offence, but that 
some persons of the same religious sect 
as himself are so; in whose crime he 
cannot (I submit) by any possibility be 
implicated, as these criminal persons 
lived three hundred years before the 
prisoner was bom. In the next place, 
my Lord, the vsHue of several crimes 
imputed to the prisoner is laid in coun- 
tries to which the jurisdiction of this 
court does not extend ; in France, 
Spain, and Italy, where also the pri- 
soner has never been : and as to the 
argument used by my learned brother, 
that it is only want of power, and not 
want of will, and that the prisoner 
^^ottU commit the crime if he could; I 
humbly submit that the custom of 



England has been to wait for the overt 
act before pain and penalty are inflicted, 
and that your Lordship would pass a 
most doleful assize, if punishment de- 
pended upon evil volition; if men were 
subjected to legal incapacities from the 
mere suspicion that they would do harm 
if they could} and if it were admitted 
to be sufficient proof of this suspicion, 
that men of this faith in distant ages, 
different countries, and under different 
circumstances, had planned evil, and, 
when occasion offered, done it" 

When are mercy and justice, in fact, 
ever to return upon the earth, if the 
sins of the elders are to be for ever 
visited on these who are not even their 
children ? Should the first act of 
liberated Greece be to recommence the 
Trojan war ? Are the French never 
to forget the Sicilian vespers ; or the 
Americans the long war waged against 
their liberties ? Is any rule wise, which 
may set the Irish to recollect what they 
have suffered ? 

The real danger is this — that you 
have four Irish Catholics for one Irish 
Protestant. That is the matter of fact, 
which none of us can help. Is it better 
policy to make friends, rather than 
enemies, of this immense population ? 
I allow there is danger to the Protes-' 
tant Church, but much more danger, I 
am sure there is, in resisting than ad- 
mitting the claims of the Catholics. If 
I might indulge in visions of glory, 
and imagine myself an Irish dean or 
bishop, with an immense ecclesiastical 
income ; if the justice or injustice of 
the case were entirely indifferent to 
me, and my only object were to live at 
ease in my possessions, there is no mea' 
sure for which I should be so anxious as 
that of Catholic emancipation. The 
Catholics are now extremely angry and 
discontented at being shut out from so 
many offices and honours: the incapa- 
cities to which they are subjected 
thwart them in all their pursuits: they 
feel they are a degraded caste. The 
Protestant feels he is a privileged 
caste, and not only the Protestant 
gentleman feels this, but every Pro- 
testant servant feels it, and takes care 
that his Catholic fellow-servant shall 
perceive it The difference Wween 

Q 2 



LETTER TO THE ELECTORS, 



228 

the two religioiu is an eternal sotirce 
pf enmity, ill-will, and hatred, and the 
Catholic remains in a state of perma- 
nent disaffection to the govem'taiient 
under which he liyes. I repeat that if 
I were a member of the Irish Chnrcb, 
I should be afraid of this position of 
affairs^ I should fear it in peace, on 
account of riot and insurrection, and 
in war, on account of rebellion. I 
should think that my greatest security 
consisted in removing all just cause of 
complaint from the Catholic society, 
in endearing them to the English con- 
stitution, by making them feel, as soon 
as possible, that they shared in its 
blessings. I should really think my 
tithes and my glebe, upon such a plan, 
worth twenty years' purchase more 
than under the present system. Sup- 
pose the Catholic lajrman were to think 
it an evil, that his own church should 
be less splendidly endowed than that 
of the Protestant Church, whose popu- 
lation is so inferior; yet if he were free 
himself, and had nothing to complain 
o^ he would not rush into rebellion 
and insurrection, merely to augment 
the income of his priest. At present 
you' bind the laity and clergy in one 
common feeling of injustice ; each 
Teels for himself, and talks of the inju- 
ries of the other. The obvious conse- 
quence of Catholic emancipation would 
be to separate their interests. But 
another important consequeilce of Ca- 
tholic emancipation would be to im- 
prove the condition of the clergy. 
Their chapels would be put in order, 
their incomes increased, and we should 
soon hear nothing more of the Catholic 
Church. If this measure were carried 
in March, I believe by the January 
following, the whole question would be 
as completely forgotten as the sweating 
sickness, and that nine Doctor Doyles, 
at the rate of thirty years to a Doyle, 
would pass away one after the other, 
before any human being heard another 
syllable on the subject. All men gra- 
dually yield to the comforts of a good 
income. Gire the Irish archbishop 
1200/. per annum ; the bishop 800/., 
the priest 200/., the coadjutor lOOL 



of York.* This is the real secret of 
putting an end to the Catholic qnes-' 
tion ; there is no other ; bitt, remember^ 
I am speaking of provision for the Ca- 
tholic clergy after emancipation, not 
before. There is not an Lish clergy- 
man of the Church of Rome who woidd 
touch one penny of the public money 
before the laity were restored to civil 
rights, and why not pay the Catholic 
dergy as well as the Presbyterian 
clergy? Ever since the year 1803, the 
Presbyterian clergy in the North of 
Ireland have been paid by the govern- 
ment, and the grant is annually brought 
forward in parliament ; and not only 
are the Presbyterians paid, but one or 
two other species of Protestant Dissen* 
tern. The consequence has been loy- 
alty and peace. This way of appeasing 
Dissenters you may call expensive, 
but is there no expense in injustice? 
Tou have at this moment an army of 
20,000 men in Ireland, horse, foot, and 
artillery, at an annual expense of a 
million and a half of money ; about 
one third of this sum would be the 
expense of the allowance to the Catho- 
lic clergy ; and this army is so neces-^ 
sary, that the government dare not at 
this moment remove a single regiment 
from Ireland. Abolish Uiese absurd 
and disgraceful distinctions, and a few 
troops of horse, to help the constables 
on fair days, will be more than suffi- 
cient for the Catholic limb of the em- 
pire. 

Now for a very few of the shameful 
misrepresentations circulated respect- 
ing the Irish Catholics, for I repeat 
again that we have nothing to do with 

* I say o^moa^, because I bate to overstate 
an arffument, and it is impossible to deny 
that tnere is dangrar to a Church, to wbien 
seven millions contribute large^, and in 
which six miUioiis disbelieve : my argument 
merely is, that such a Church would be 
more safe in proportion as it interfisred less 
with the comforts and ease of its natural 
enemies, and rendered their position more 
desirable and agreeable. I nrmly beUeve 
the Tpleration Act to bequite as oondudve 
to the securily of the Church of Bnghmd 
as it is to the Dissenters. Perfect tolera- 
tion, and the abolition of every incapad^ 
as a consequence of religious opinions, is 



not, what is commonly ouled, a receipt fear 

per «!■„«„. and the Cathedral of D„b- ^"^'S'A^pL^^^'^iS* 
un IS almost as safe as the Cathedral has the real good sense to adopt it. 



ON THE CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



22d 



Spanish or Italian, but with Irish Ca- 
tholics: it is not tme that the Irish 
Catholics refuse to circulate the Bible 
in English ; on the contrary, they have 
in Ireland circulated several editions of 
the Scriptures in English. In the last 
year, the Catholic prelates prepared 
and put forth a stereotype edition of 
the Bible, of a small prin( and low 
price, to insure its general circulation. 
They circulate the Bible with 'their 
own notes, and how, as Catholics, can 
they act otherwise? Are not our pre- 
lates and Bartlett's Buildings acting in 
the same manner ? And must not all 
Churches, if they are consistent, act in 
the same manner? The Bibles Catho- 
lics quarrel with, are Protestant Bibles 
without notes, or Protestant Bibles with 
Protestant notes, and how can they do 
otherwise without giving up their 
religion ? They deny, upon oath, that 
the infallibility of the Pope is any 
necessary part of the Catholic faith. 
They, upon oath, declare that Catholic 
people are forbidden to worship images, 
and saints, and relics. They, upon 
oath, abjure the temporal power of the 
Pope, or his right to absolve any Ca- 
tholic from his oath. They renounce, 
npon oath, all right to forfeited lands, 
and covenant, upon oath, not to de- 
stroy or plot against the Irish Pro- 
testant Church. What more can any 
man want, whom anything will con- 
tent? 

Some people talk as if they were 
quite teased and worried by the eternal 
clamours of the Catholics ; but if you 
are eternally unjust, can you expect 
anything more than to be eternally 
vexed by the victims of your injustice? 
You want all the luxury of oppression, 
without any of its inconyenience. I 
should think the Catholics very much 
to blame, if they ever ceased to impor- 
tune the legislature for justice, so long 
as they coiUd find one single member 
of parliament who would advocate 
their cause. 

The putting the matter to rest by an 
effort of the county of York, or by any 
decision of parliament against them, is 
Htterly hopeless. Every year increases 
the Catholic population, and the Ca- 
tholic wealthy and the Catholic claims, 



till yon are caught in one of those 
political attitudes to which all countries 
are occasionally exposed, in which you 
are utterly helpless, and must give 
way to their claims : and if you do it 
then, you will do it badly; you may 
call it an arrangement, but arrange- 
ments made at such times are much 
like the bargains between a highway- 
man and a ti*aveller, a pistol on one 
side, and a purse on the. other : the 
rapid scramble of armed violence, and 
the unqualified surrender of helpless 
timidity. If you think the thing must 
be done at some time or another^ do it 
when you are calm and powerful, and 
when you need not do it. 

There are a set of high-spirited men 
who are very much afraid of being 
afraid ; who cannot brook the idea of 
doing anything from fear, and whose 
conversation is full of fire and sword, 
when any apprehension of resistance is 
alluded ta I have a perfect confidence 
in the high and unyielding spirit, and 
in the military courage of the English; 
and I have no doubt, but that many of 
the country gentlemen who now call 
out No Popery, would fearlessly put 
themselves at the head of their em- 
battled yeomanry, to control the Irish 
Catholics. My objection to such 
courage is, that it would certainly be 
exercised unjustly, and probably exer- 
cised in vain. I should deprecate any 
rising of the Catholics as the most 
grievous misfortune which could hap- 
pen to the empire and to themselves. 
They had far better endure all they do 
endure, and a great deal worse, than 
.try the experiment. But if they do 
try it, you may depend upon it, they will 
do it at their own time, and not at yours* 
They will not select a fortnight in the 
summer, during a profound peace, 
when com and money abound, and 
when the Catholics of Europe are un- 
concerned spectators. If you make a 
resolution to be unjust, you must make 
another resolution to be always strong, 
always, vigilant, and always rich ; you. 
must commit no blunders, exhibit no 
deficiencies, and meet with no misfor- 
tunes ; you must pi*esent a square 
phalanx of impenetrable strength, for 
keea-eyed revenge is riding round 

Q3 



230 



LETTER TO THE ELECTORS, 



your ranks; and if one heart falter, or 
one hand tremble, 70a are lost. 

You may call all this threatening; I 
am sure I have no sach absurd inten- 
tion ; but wish only, in sober sadness, 
to point out what appears to me to' be 
the inevitable consequences of the con- 
duct we pursue. If danger be not 
pointed out and insisted upon, how is 
it to be avoided ? My firm belief is, 
that England will be compelled to 
grant ignominiously what she now re- 
vises haughtily. Remember what 
happened respecting Ireland in the 
American war. In 1779, the Irish, 
whose trade was completely restricted 
by English laws, asked for some little 
relaxation, some liberty to export her 
own products, and to import the pro- 
ducts of other countries; their petition 
was flung out of the House with the 
utmost disdain, and by an immense 
majority. In April, 1782, 70,000 Irish 
Tolunteers were under arms^ the repre- 
sentatives of 170 armed corps met at 
Ulster, and the English parliament 
(the Lords and Commons both on the 
same day and with only one dissentient 
Toice, the ministers moving the ques> 
tion) were compelled, in the most dis- 
graceful and precipitate manner, to 
acknowledge the complete indepen- 
dence of the Irish nation, and nothing 
but the good sense and moderation of 
Grattan prevented the separation of the 
two crowns. 

It is no part of my province to de- 
fend every error of the Catholic Church : 
I believe it has many errors, though I 
am sure these errors are grievously 
exaggerated and misrepresented. I 
should think it a vast accession to the 
happiness of mankind, if every Catholic 
in Europe were converted to the Pro- 
testant faith. The question is not. 
Whether there shall be Catholics, but 
. the question (as they do exist and you 
cannot get rid of them) is, What are 
you to do with them ? Are you to 
make men rebels because you cannot 
make them Frot^estants ? and are you 
to endanger your state, because you 
cannot enlarge your Church ? England 
is the ark of liberty : the English 
Church I believe to be one of the best 
establishments in the world; but what 



is to become of England, of its Church, 
its free institutions, and the beautiful 
political model it holds out to man- 
kind, if Ireland should succeed in con- 
necting it^lf with any other European 
power hostile to England? I join in 
the cry of No Popery, as lustily as any 
man in the streets, who does not know 
whether the Pope iives in Cumberland 
or Westmoreland ; but I know that it 
is impossible to keep down European 
popery, and European tyranny, without 
the assistance, or with the opposition 
of Ireland. If you give the Irish their 
privileges, the spirit of the nation will 
overcome the spirit of the Church : 
they will cheerfully serve you against 
all enemies, and chant a Te Deum for 
your victories over all the Catholic ar- 
mies of Europe. If it be true, as her 
enemies say, that th^ Roman Catholic 
Church is waging war all over Europe 
against common sense, against public 
liberty; selling the people to kings and 
nobles, and labouring for the few 
against the many; all this is an addi- 
tional reason why I would fortify 
England and Protestantism by eveiy 
concession to Ireland; why I should 
take care that our attention was not 
distracted, nor our strength wasted by 
internal dissension ; why I would not 
paralyse those arms which wield the 
sword of Justice among the nations of 
the world, and lift up the buckler of 
safety. If the Catholic religion in Ire- 
land is an abuse, you must tolerate 
that abuse, to prevent its extension 
and tyranny over the rest of Europe. 
If you will take a long view instead of 
a confined view, and look generally to 
the increase of human happiness, the 
best chech upon the increase of Popery^ 
the beat security for the Establishment 
of the Protestant Church ts, that the 
British Empire shall be preserved in a 
state of the greatest strengthr unions and 
opulence, my cry then is. No Popery; 
therefore, emancipate the Catholics, 
that they may not join with foreign 
papists in time of war. Church for 
ever ; therefore emancipate the Catho- 
lics, that they may not help to pull it 
down. King for ever ; therefore eman- 
cipate the Catholics, that they may 
become his loyal subjects. Great Bri- 



ON THE CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



231 



tain for ever; therefore emancipate the 
Catholics, that they may not put an 
end to its perpetuity. Our Government 
is essentially Protestant ; therefore, hy 
emancipating the Catholics, give up a 
few circumstances 'which have nothing 
to do with the essence. The Catholics 
are disguised enemies; therefore, hy 
emancipation, tarn them into open 
friends. Thof have a double allegiance; 
therefore, hy emancipation, make their 
allegiance to their King so grateful, 
that they never will confound it with 
the spiritual allegiance to their Pope. 
It is very difficult for electors, who are 
much occupied hy other matters, to 
choose the right path amid the rage 
and fnry of fiiction : hut I give you one 
mark, vote for a free altar ; give what 
the law compels you to give to the 
Estahlishment ; (that done,) no chains, 
no prisons, no bonfires for a man*8 
faith; and, above all, no modern chains 
and prisons under the names of dis- 
qualifications and incapacities, which 
are only the cruelty and tyranny of a 
more civilised <»ge ; civil offices open to 
all, a Catholic or a Protestant alder- 
man, a Moravian or a Church of Eng- 
land, or a Wepleyan justice, no oppres- 
suMf ru> tyranny in belief: a free akar, 
an open road to heaven ; no human inso- 
lence, no human narrowness, hallowed 
by the name of Crod, 

Every man in trade ninst have ex- 
perienced the difficulty of getting in a 
bill from an unwilling paymaster. If 
yon call in the morning, the gentleman 
is not up; if in the middle of the day, 
he is out ; if in the evening, there is 
company. If you ask mildly, you are 
indifferent to the time of payment ; if 
you press, you are impertinent No 
time and no manner can render sdch a 
message agreeable. So it is with the 
poor Catholics ;. their message is so 
disagreeable, that their time and man- 
ner can never be right. **Not this 
session. Not now : on no account at 
the present time ; any other time than 
this. The great mass of the Catholics 
are so torpid on the snbject, that the 
question is clearly confined to the am- 
bition of the few, or the whole Catho- 
lic population are so leagued together, 
that the object ia clearly to imimidate 



the mother-country.^' In short, the 
Catholics want justice, and we do not 
mean to be just, and the most specious 
method of refusal is, to have it helieved 
that they are refused from their own 
folly, and not from our fanlt. 
i What if O'Connell (a man certainly 
of extraordinary talents and eloquence) 
is sometimes violent and injudicious ? 
What if 0*Gorman or O'Snllivan have 
spoken ill of the Reformation ? ' Is a 
great stroke of national policy to de* 
pend on such childish considerations as 
these? If these chains ought to re- 
main, could I be induced to remove 
them by the chaste language and hum- 
ble deportment of him who wears 
them ? If they ought to be struck 
away, would I continue them, because 
my taste was ofi^ended by the coarse 
insolence of a goaded and injured cap- 
tive? Would I make that great mea- 
sure to depend on the irritability of my 
own feelings, which ought to depend 
upon policy and justice? The more vio- 
lent and the more absurd the conduct 
of the Catholics, the greater the wisdom 
of emancipation. If they were always 
governed by men of consnmniate pru* 
deuce and moderation, your justice in 
refusing would be the same, but your 
danger would be less. The levity and 
irritability of the Irish character are 
pressing reasons why all just causes of 
provcAation should be taken away, and 
those high passions enlisted in the ser- 
vice of the empire. 

In talking of the' spirit of the Papal 
empire, it is often argued that the wiU 
remains the same ; that the Pontiff 
wouldj if he couldy exercise the same 
influence in Europe; that the Catholic 
Church uHntldy if it could, tjrrannise 
over the rights and opinions of man- 
kind ; but if the power be taken away, 
what signifies the will ? If the Pope 
thunder in vain against the kingdoms 
of the earth, of what consequence is 
his disposition to thunder ? If man- 
kind are too enlightened and too hu- 
mane to submit to the cruelties and 
hatreds of a Catholic priesthood ; if 
the Protestants of the empire are suffi- 
ciently strong to resist it, why are we 
to alarm ourselves with the barren 
volition, unseconded by the requisite 

Q4 



232 



LETTER TO THE ELECTORS, 



power ? I hardly know in what order 
or description of men I should choose 
to confide, if they could do as they 
would; the best security is, that the 
rest of thc/ world will not let them do 
as they wish to do ; and having satis- 
fied myself of this, I am not very care^ 
ful about the rest. 

' Oar government is called essentially 
Protestant ; • bat if it be essentially 
Protestant in the distribation of offices, 
it should be essentially Protestant in 
the Imposition of taxes. The treasury 
is open to all religions, parliament only 
to one. The tax-gatherer is the most 
indulgent and liberal of human beings; 
he excludes no creed, imposes no ar- 
ticles; but counts Catholic cash, pockets 
Protestant paper ; and is candidly and 
impartially oppressive to every descrip- 
tion of the Christian world. Can any- 
thing be more base than when you 
want the blood or the money of the 
Catholics, to forget that they are Ca- 
tholics, and to remember only that 
they are British subjects ; and when 
they ask for the benefits of the British 
constitution, to remember only that 
they are Catholics, and to forget that 
they are British subjects ? 

No Popery was the cry of the great 
English Revolution, because the in- 
crease and prevalence of Popexy in 
England, would, at that period, have 
rendered this island tributary toErance. 
The Lish Catholics were, at that period, 
broken to pieces by the severity and 
military execution of Cromwell, and 
by the penal laws. They are since 
become a great and formidable people. 
The same dread of foreign influence 
makes it now necessary that they should 
be restored to political rights. Must 
the friends of rational liberty join in 
a clamour against the Catholics now, 
because in a very difierent state of the 
world they excited that clamour a 
hundred years ago ? I remember a 
house near Battersea Bridge which 
caught fire, and there was a general 
cry of "Water, water!" Ten years 
after, the Thames rose, and the people 
of the house were nearly drowned. 
Would it not have b«en rather sin- 
gular to have said to the inhabitants, 
^I heard you calling for water ten 



years ago, why don't you call for it 
now?" 

There are some men who think the 
present times so incapable of forming 
any opinions, that they are always 
looking back to the wisdom of our 
ancestors. Now, as the Catholics sat 
in the English parliament to the reign 
of Charles IL, and in the L-ish parlia- 
ment, I believe, till the reign of £ing 
William, the precedents are more in 
their favour than otherwise ; and to 
replace them in parliament seems 
rather to return to, than to deviate 
from, the practice of our ancestors. 

If the Catholics are priest-ridden, 
pamper the rider, and he will not 
stick so close ; don't torment the ani- 
mal ridden, and his violence will be 
less dangerous. 

The strongest evidence against the 
Catholics is that of Colonel John 
Irvine ; he puts everything against 
them in the strongest light, and Colonel 
John (with great actual, though, I am 
sure, with no intentional exaggeration) 
does not pretend to say there would be 
more than forty-six members returned 
for Ireland who were Catholics; bat 
how many members are there in the 
House now returned by Catholics, and 
compelled, from the fear of losing their 
seats, to vote in favour of every mea- 
sure which concerns the Catholic 
Church? The Catholic party, as the 
Colonel justly observes, was formed 
when you admitted them to the dec- 
tive franchise. The Catholic party 
are increasing so much in boldness, 
that they wHl soon require of the 
members they return, to oppose gene- 
rally any government hostile to Catho- 
lic emancipation, and they will tarn 
out those who do not comply with this 
rule. If this be done, the phalanx so 
much dreaded from .emancipation is 
found at once without emancipation. 
This consequence of resistance to the 
Catholic claims is well worth the at- 
tention of those who make use of the 
cry of No Popery, as a mere political 
engine. 

We are taunted with our propheti- 
cal spirit, because it is said by the 
advocates of the Catholic question that 
the thing must come to pass ; that it 



ON THE CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



is inevitable : otu* prophecy, however, 
is foanded apon experience and com- 
mon sense, and is nothing more than 
the application of the past to the future. 
In a few years* time, when the mad- 
ness and wretchedness of war are for- 
gotten, when the greater part of those 
who have lost in war, legs and arms, 
health and sons, have gone to their 
graves, the same scenes will be acted 
over again in the world. France, 
Spain, Russia, and America, will be 
upon us. The Catholics will watch 
their opportunity, and soon settle the 
question of Catholic emancipation. 
To suppose that any nation can go on, 
in the midst of foreign wars, denying 
common justice to seven millions of 
men, in the heart of the empire, 
awakened to their situation, and 
watching for the critical moment of 
redress, does, I confess, appear to me 
to be the height of extrayagance. To 
foretell the consequence of such causes, 
in my humble apprehension, demands 

00 more of shrewdness than to point 
out the probable results of leaving a 
lighted candle stuck up in an open 
barrel of gunpowder. 

It is very difficult -to make the mass 
of mankind believe that the state of 
things is ever to be otherwise than 
they have been accustomed to see it. 

1 have very often heard old persons, 
describe the impossibility of making 
any one believe that the American 
colonies could ever be separated from 
this country. It was always con- 
sidered as an idle dream of discon- 
tented politicians, good enough to fill 
up the periods of a speech, but which 
no practical man, devoid of the spirit 
of party, considered to be within the 
limits of possibility. There was a 
period when the slightest concession 
would have satisfied the Americans; 
but all the world was in heroics ; one 
set of gentlemen met at the Iamb, 
and another at the Lion : blood and 
treasure men, breathing war, ven- 
geance, and contempt; and in eight 
years afterwards, an awkward looking 
gentleman in plain clothes walked up 
to the drawing-room of St.- James's, 
in the midst of the gentlemen of the 
Lion and Lamb, and was introduced 



238 

as the amboModor from the United 
States of America, 

You must forgive me if I draw illus- 
trations from common things — but in 
seeing swine driven, I have often 
thought of the Catholic question, and 
of the difierent methods of governing 
mankind. The object, one day, was 
to drive some of these animals along 
a path, to a field where they had not 
been before. The man could by no 
means succeed; instead of turning 
their faces to the north, and proceeding . 
quietly along, they made for the east 
and the west, rushed back to the south, 
and positively refused to advance; a 
reinforcement of rustics was called for 
— maids, children, neighbours, all 
helped ; a general rushing, screaming, 
and roaring ensued ; but the main ob- 
ject was not in the slightest degree 
advanced: after a long delay we re- 
solved (though an hour before we 
should have disdained such a compro- 
mise) to have recourse to Catholic 
emancipation: a little boy was sent 
before them with a handful of barley ; 
a few grains were scattered in the path, 
and the bristly herd were speedily and 
safely conducted to the place of their 
destination. If, instead of putting 
Lord Stowell out of breath with driving, 
compelling the Duke of York to swear, 
and the Chancellor to strike at them 
with the mace. Lord Liverpool would 
condescend, in his graceful manner, to 
walk before the Catholic doctors with 
a basket of barley, what a deal of ink 
and blood would be saved to mankind! 

Because the Catholics are intolerant^ 
we will he intolerant ; but did anybody 
ever hear before that a government 'is 
to imitate the vices of its subjects ? If 
the Irish were a rash, violent, and in- 
temperate race, are they to be treated 
with rashness, violence, and intempe- 
rance ? If they were addicted to fraud 
and falsehood, are they to be treated 
by those who rule them with fraud and 
falsehood ? Are there to be perpetual 
races in error and vice between the 
people and the lords of the people ? 
Is the supreme power always to find 
virtues among the people; never to 
teach them by example, or improve 
them by laws and institutions ? Mako 



234 



LETTER TO THE ELECTOBS, 



all sects free, and let them leani the 
yalue of the blessing to others, bj their 
own enjoyment of it ; bnt if not, let 
them learn it bj jonr yigiUnce and 
firm resistance to eTerything intolerant 
Toleration will then become a habit 
and a practice, ingrafted upon the man- 
ners of a people, when they find the 
law too strong for them, and that there 
is no nse in being intolerant 

It is very tme that the Catholics have 
a double idlegiance*, but it is equally 
tme that their second or spiritual alle- 
giance has nothing to do with civil 
policy, and does not, in the most dis- 
tant manner, interfere with their alle- 
giance to the crown. What is meant 
by allegiance to the crown, is, I presume, 
obedience to acts of parliament, and a 
resistance to those who are constitu- 
tionally proclaimed to be the enemies 
of the country. I have seen and heard 
of no instance for this century and a 
half last past, where the spiiitaial sove- 
reign has presumed to meddle with the 
affairs of the temporal soTereign. The 
Catholics deny him such power by the 
most solemn oaths which the wit of 
man can devise. In every war, the 
army and navy are full of Catiiolic 
officers and soldiers; and if their al- 
legiance in temporal matters is un- 
impeachable and unimpeached, what 
matters to whom they choose to pay 
spiritual obedience, and to adopt as 
their guide in genuflexion and psalm- 
ody ? Suppose these same Catholics 
were foolish enough to be governed by 
a set of Chinese moralists in their diet, 
this would be a third allegiance ; and 
if they were regulated by Brahmins in 
their dress, this would be a fourth alle- 
giance; and if they received the direc- 
tions of the Patriarch of the Greek 
Church, in educating their children, 
here is another allegiance; and as long 
as they fought, and paid taxes, and kept 
clear of the quarter sessions and assizes, 
what matters how many fanciful supre- 
macies and frivolous allegiances they 

* The same double allegianoe exists in 
every Catholio oountiy in Europe. The 

giirftual head of the oountiy among French, 
panish. and ilustrian Catholics is the 
Pope ; the political head, the king or em- 
peror. 



choose to mannfiutore or accnmnlate 
for themselves ? 

A great deal of time would be spared, 
if gentlemen, before they ordered their 
post-chaises fw a No Popery meeting, 
would read the most elementary de- 
fence of these people, and inform them- 
selves even of the rudiments of the 
question. If the Catholics meditate 
the resumption of the Catholic property, 
why do they purchase that which they 
know (if the fondest object of their 
political life succeed) must be taken 
away from them ? Why is not an at- 
tempt made to purchase a quietus from 
the rebel who is watching the blessed 
revolutionary moment for regaining bis 
possessions, and revelling in the un- 
bounded sensuality of me^y and waxy 
enjoyments? Bnt after adl, who are 
the descendants of the rightful pos- 
sessors? The estate belonged to the 
0*Rourkes, who were hanged, drawn, 
and quartered in the time of Cromwell: 
true; but before that, it belonged to the 
O'Connors, who were hanged, drawn, 
and quartered in the time of Heniy 
yiL The 0*Sullivan8 have a still ear- 
lier plea of suspension, evisceration, and 
division. Who is the rightful possessor 
of the estate ? We forget that Catho- 
lic Ireland has been murdered three 
times over by its Protestant masters. 

Mild and genteel people do not like 
the idea of peisecution, and are advo- 
cates for toleration; but then they 
think it no act of intolerance to deprive 
Catholics of political power. The his- 
tory of all this is, that all men secretly 
like to punish others for not being of 
the same opinion with themselves, and 
that this sort of privation is the only 
species of persecution, of which the 
improved feeling and advanced culti- 
vation of the age will admit Fire and 
^Aggot, chains and stone walls, have 
been clamoured away; nothingremains 
but to mortify a man*s pride, and to 
limit his resources, and to set a mark 
upon him, by cutting him off from his 
fair share of politick power. By this 
receipt insolence is gratified, and hu- 
manity is not shocked. The gentlest 
Protestant can see, with dry eyes. Lord 
Stourton excluded from parliament, 
though he would abominate the most 



ON THE CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



233 



distant idea of personal craeltj to Mr. 
Fetre. This is only to say that he lives 
in the nineteenth, instead of the six- 
teenth century, and that he is its intol- 
erant in religions matters as the state 
of manners existing in his age will 
permit Is it not the same spirit which 
wounds the pride of a fellow-creatore 
on account of his faith, or which casts 
his body into the flames ? Are they 
anything else bnt degrees and modifi- 
cations of the same principle ? « The 
minds of these two men no more differ 
because they differ in their degrees of 
punishment, than their bodies differ 
because one wore a doublet in the time 
of Mary, and the oth^ wears>a coat in 
the reign of George. I do not accuse 
them of intentional cruelty and injus- 
tice : I am sure there are Tery many 
excellent men who would be shocked if 
they could conceive themselves to be 
guilty of anything like cruelty; but 
Uiey innocently give a wrong name to 
the bad spirit which is within them, and 
think they are tolerant, because they 
are not as intolerant as they could have 
been in other times, but cannot be now. 
The true spirit is to search after God 
and for anotha" life with lowliness of 
heart; to fling down no man^s aitar^ to 
punvii no marts prayer; to heap no pen- 
alties and no pains on jUiose solemn svp" 
plications which^ in divers tongues^ and 
in varied forms, and in temples of a 
thousand shapes, but with one deep sense 
of human dependence^ men pour forth to 
God. 

It is completely untrue that the 
Catholic ^religion is what it was three 
centuries ago, or that it is unchange- 
able and unchanged. These are mere 
words, without the shadow of truth to 
support them. If the Pope were to 
address a bull to the kingdom of Ire- 
land, exconmiunicating the Duke of 
York, and cutting him off from the 
succession, for his Protestant effusion 
in the House of Lords, he would be 
laughed at as a lunatic in all the Catho- 
lic chapels in Dublin. The Catholics 
would not now bum Protestants as 
heretics. In many parts of Europe, 
Catholics and Protestants worship in 
one church — Catholics at eleven, Pro- 
testants at one ; they sit tin the same 



parliament, are elected to the same 
office, live together without hatred or 
friction, under equal laws. Who can 
see and know these things, and say that 
the Catholic religion is unchangeable 
and unchanged? 

I have often endeavoured to reflect 
upon the causes which, from time to 
time, raised such a clamour against the 
Catholics, and I think the following are 
among the most conspicuous: 

1. Historical recollections of the 
cruelties inflicted upon the Protestants. 

2. Theological differences. 

3. A belief that the Catholics are 
unfriendly to liberty. 

4. That their morality is not good. 

5. That they meditate the destruc- 
tion of the Protestant Church. 

6. An unprincipled clamour by men 
who have no sort of belief in the dan- 
ger of emancipation, but who make 
use of No Popery as a political engine. 

7. A mean and selfish spirit of deny- 
ing to others the advantages we our- 
selves enjoy. 

8. A vindictive spirit or love of pun- 
ishing others, who offend our self-love 
by presuming^ on important points, to 
entertain opinions opposite to our own; 

9. Stupid compliance with the opin- 
ions of the majority. 

10. To these I must, in justice and 
candour, add, as a tenth cause, a real 
apprehension on the part of honest and 
reasonable men, that it is dangerous 
to grant further concessions to the 
Catholics. 

To these various causes I shall-make 
a short reply, in the drder in which I 
have placed them. 

1. Mere historical recollections are 
very miserable reasons for the contin- 
uation of penal and incapacitating 
laws, and one side has as much to 
recollect as the other. 

.2. The State has nothing to do with 
questions purely theological 

3. It is ill to say this in a country 
whose free institutions were founded 
by Catholics, and it is often said by 
men who care nothing about free in- 
stitutions. 

4. It is not true. 

5. Make their situation so comfort- 
able, that it will not be worth their 



S36 



LETTER TO THE ELECTORS, 



while to attempt an enterprise so 
desperate. 

6. This is an unfair political trick, 
because it is too dangerous: it is spoil- 
ing the table in order to win the game. 

The 7th and 8tb causes exercise a 
great share of influence in every act of 
intolerance. The 9th must, of course, 
comprehend the greatest number. 

10. Of the existence of such a class 
of No Foperists as this, it would be the 
height of injustice to doubt, but I con- 
fess it excites in me a veiy great degree 
of astonishment. 

' Suppose, after a severe struggle, jou 
put the Irish down, if they are mad 
and foolish enough to recur to open 
violence; yet are Sie retarded industry, 
and the misapplied energies of so many 
millions of men, to go for nothing? 
Is it possible to forget all the wealth, 
peace, and happiness which are to be 
sacrificed for twenty years to come, to 
these pestilential and disgraceful squab- 
bles? Is there no horror in looking 
forward to a long period in which men, 
instead of ploughing and spinning, 
will curse and hate, and bum and 
murder ? 

There seems to me a sort of injustice 
and impropriety in our deciding at all 
upon the Catholic question. It should 
be left to those Irish Protestants whose 
shutters are bullet-proof ; whose din- 
ner-table is regularly spread with knife, 
fork, and cocked pistol; salt-cellar and 
powder-flask. Let the opinion of those 
persons be resorted to, who sleep in 
sheet-iron nightcaps; who have fought 
60 often and so dbbly before their scul- 
lery-door, and defended the parlour 
passage as bravely as Leonidas de- 
fended the pass of Thermopylse. The 
Irish Protestant members see and know 
the state of their own country. Let 
their votes decide ♦ the case. We are 
quiet and at peace ; our homes may 
be defended with a feather, and our 
doors fastened with a pin; and, as 
ignorant of what armed and insulted 
Popery is, as we are of the state of 
New Zealand, we pretend to regulate 
by our clamours the religious factions 
of Ireland. 

* A great majority of Irish members 
voted for Cathohc Emancipation. 



It is a very pleasant thing to trample 
vpon Catholics, and it is also a very 
pleasant thingto have an immense num- 
ber of pheasants running about your 
woods ; but there come thirty or forty 
poachers in the night, and fight with 
thirty or forty game^preservers ; some 
are killed, some fractured, some scalped, 
some maimed for life. Poachers are 
caught up and hanged; a vast body of 
hatred and revenge accumulates in the 
neighbourhood of the great man ; and 
he says, ** The sport is not worth the 
candle. The preservation of game is 
a very agreeable thing, but I will not 
sacrifice the happiness of my life to it. 
This amnsement^ike any other, may 
be purchased too^early." So it is with 
the Irish Protestants; they are finding 
out that Catholic exclusion may be 
purchased too dearly. Maimed cattle, 
fired ricks, threatening letters, barri- 
cadoed houses, — to endure all this,is 
to purchase superiority at too dear a 
rate; and this is the inevitable state 
of two parties, the one of whom are 
unwilling to relinquish their ancient 
monopoly of power, while the other 
party have, at length, discovered their 
strength, and are determined to be free. 

Gentlemen (with the best intentions, 
I am sure) meet together in a county 
town, and enter into resolutions that 
no further concessions are to be made 
to the Catholics; but if you will not let 
them into Parliament, why not allow 
them to be king's counsel, or sergeants- 
at-law ? Why are they excluded by 
law from some corporations in Ireland, 
and admissible, though not admitted, 
to others ? I think, before such general 
resolutions of exclusion are adopted, 
and the rights and happiness of so 
many millions of people disposed of, 
it would be decent and proper to obtain 
some tolerable information of what the 
present state of the Irish Catholics is, 
and of the vast number of insignificant 
offices from^ which they are excladed. 
Keep them* from Parliament if yon 
think it right, but do not, therefore, 
exclude them from anything else, to 
which you think Catholics may be 
fairly admitted without danger; and 
as to their content or discontent, there 
can be no sirt of reason why discoa« 



ON THE CATHOLIC QUESTION. 



tent should not be lessened, thongh it 
cannot be removed. 

You are shocked by the present vio- 
lence and abuse used by the Irish Asso- 
ciation : by whom are they driven to 
it? and whom are you to thank for it? 
Is there a^hope left to them? Is any 
term of endurance alluded to, — any 
scope or boundary to their patience ? 
Is the minister waiting for opportuni- 
ties? Have they reason to believe that 
they are wished well to by the greatest 
of the great ? Have they brighter hopes 
in uiother reign? Is there one clear 
spot in the horizon? anything that you 
have left to them, but that disgust, 
hatred, and despair, which, breaking 
out into wild eloquence, and acting 
Dpon a wild people, are preparing every 
day a mass of treason and disaffection, 
which may shake this empire to its very 
centre ? and you may laugh at Daniel 
O'Connell, and treat him with con- 
tempt, and turn his metaphors into 
ridicule; but Daniel has, after all, a 
great deal of real and powerful elo- 
quence; and a strange sort of misgiving 
sometimes comes across me, that Daniel 
and the Doctor are not quite so great 
fools