Pigs' meat; or, lessons for the swinish multitude: Published in weekly penny numbers, collected by the poor man's advocate (an old veteran in the cause of freedom) in the course of his reading for more than twenty years. Intended to promote among the labouring part of mankind proper ideas of their situation, of their importance, and of their rights. And to convince them that their forlorn condition has not been entirely overlooked and forgotten, nor their just cause unpleaded, neither by their maker not by the best and most enlightened of men in all ages. [pt.1]
Spence, Thomas, 1750-1814.
ENGLISH INJUSTICE TO THE FRENCH.
WHEN exulting we tell how our fathers of yore,
Their wrongs and oppressions were wont to redress,
How firmly they waded through rivers of gore,
And fore'd from proud despots those rights we possess;
When we boast of our own revolution and laws,
Yet reprobate men, who have spurn'd base controul,
We may shew an acquaintance with Liberty's cause,
But we strongly evince a contraction of soul.
We deem ourselves lodg'd under Liberty's tree,
Where the whole human race might with comfort recline;
We boast of the blessing—and, Britons, shall we
At the joyous approach of our neighbours repine?
Forbid it—ye offspring of men who were tried,
Of men, who unshackled both body and mind;
Forbid it—and learn, ere ye dare to deride,
That the cause of the French is the cause of mankind.
How can WE, if our sires be entitled to praise,
For boldly resisting unauthoriz'd sway,
Page 181How can we with aversion on Liberty gaze?
How can we be offended if tyrants decay?
Has Jehovah selected a new-chosen race,
And on them, and them only, his freedom bestow'd?
If not—how can Gallic resistance be base,
And the fate of a James shew the finger of God?
When the orbs of the sightless receive the bright Day,
Shall those who have vision presume to complain?
Shall men sav'd from shipwreck with anguish survey
Their fellows preserv'd from the merciless main?
How degrading the thought!—yet the sons of this Isle,
Who deem themselves nurtur'd at Liberty's board.
Evince a malignity equally vile,
In wishing thy shackles, O Gallia! restor'd.
When the will of a driv'ler held millions in chains,
Did we pity them?—no—we despis'd them as slaves;
And now not a trace of debasement remains,
We brand the brave people as maniacs and knaves!
Thus servile or free, we the French have revil'd,
Our own half-form'd system we proudly commend;
We boast our wise laws—though our code is defil'd
With statutes, that tyrants would blush to defend.
O spurn the mean prejudice, Britons, and say,
If our fathers are right, how can Frenchmen be wrong?
The will of oppressors both scorn'd to obey,
And asserted those rights that to mortals belong,
Yet the struggles of these are to infamy hurl'd,
While the actions of those we with triumph rehearse;
But the bright orb of reason now peeps on the World,
And the thick clouds of prejudice soon shall disperse:
Yes! soon shall these truths far and wide be convey'd,
'Spite of Pindar's poor prattle, and Burke's raving din,
That the thrones of true kings by the PEOPLE are made,
And when kings become tyrants—submission is sin!
Page 182That the power of oppressors can ne'er be of Heaven,
A Being all-just—cannot justice despise:
A Being all-just—EQUAL RIGHTS must have given;
And who robs man of these must offend the All-wise.