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.
Page  [unnumbered]

PART SECOND, OF PIGS' MEAT; OR, Lessons for the Swinish Multitude. PUBLISHED IN WEEKLY PENNY NUMBERS.

Defects in the English Constitution, as to Representation. From the Complaints of the Poor People of Eng∣land.

IN England few poor men have any share in making the laws. Some may probably think, and certain politicians assert, that poor men have neither the power, nor the right, to make laws. What is this, but to assert, that the poor man's portion in England is swery. I do not say, that the poor people of Eng∣land are slaves. But this I say, that all freemen make their own laws; and I do but speak after our best po∣litical writers. Will gentlemen tell me, why poor men are to be slaves? However, while I consider every man's right to make laws, as his most sacred pro∣perty, and the exercise of that right as essential to li∣berty, whoever cannot exercise that right, be he ever so rich, I must at least consider as poor; in the worst sense poor. My complaints, therefore, do not confine them∣selves Page  146to paupers, commonly so called. Many poor men live in England, who are possessed of thousands!

There are two ways of making laws, viz. in our own persons, or by representatives. If a country be large and populous, all the people cannot assemble and consult together for the purpose of making laws: but if they authorize persons, acquainted with their wants, and interested in their happiness, to represent them, every good end may be answered. The only danger is, lest these persons should not express the public mind. Never will they express it, unless they represent the public.—This is the case in England: the government of which it is usual to call a limited monarchy, in reference to the person of the prince. But in reference to the people, so great a part of whom have no share in representation, it might be called, notwithstanding what we say of the house of commons, a mixt aristocracy, as Poland has been called.

The king, the house of peers, and the house of commons, compose what are called the three branches of the constitution—the king in his own person, the nobles in their own persons. What is a house of com∣mons? It is supposed to represent the people: but some say, it is a fiction; that is, that it does not ex∣ist, but that it is only supposed to exist. When men inquire into facts, what are called theories frequently vanish. We talk of a house of commons, of a house of representatives; it is the glory of Britons! and foreigners laugh at us. They ask us, Where is this house? I leave others to answer this question.

If this house of commons were indeed something more than a fiction, I should myself retract a little of my wonted admiration. A house of commons, fairly and equally representing all the people of England, never did exist. But if it were not a mere fiction, if it were a reality, I should still be obliged to yield something to the following remark, viz. that a house of commons supposes some superior house, of nobles, Page  147or some such name. But where any order of men exists, of separate claims and of separate interests from the people, and whose separate characters give them a kind of sacred superiority over the people, liberty may perhaps be endangered. It has been asserted, whether justly I do not determine, that such a house as that of a house of commons exists in no free state.

I shall here make a sew remarks on nobility. I will repeat what an ancient writer says: "In no state," says he, "are the nobles favourable to the peo∣ple: equals are favourable to equals." And else∣where he observes, in every part of the earth, the go∣vernment of the nobles is inconsistent with that of the people: and he gives his reasons for the oppsi∣tion of the two orders. A French writer, perhaps, had his eye on these passages, when he said, the Eng∣lish nobility baried themselves with Charles I. under the ruins of the throne. He adds, "they think it an honour to obey a king, but consider it as the lowest infamy to snare the power with the people.

It might be easily shewn, that a patent nobility made no part of the old English government, or of the other governments of Europe. Xenophon and Montesquieu were friends, the one to aristocracy, the other to monarchy, yet nobody ever more exposed them. It is of a government, where an hereditary patent nobility is said to balance the two extremes of monarchy and democracy, that Blackstone observes, "It creates and preserves that gradual scale of dig∣nity, which proceeds from the beggar to the prince, rising like a pyramid from a broad foundation, and diminishing to a point as it rises. It is this ascend∣ing and contracting proportion, that adds stability to any government; for when the departure is sudden from one extreme to another, we may pronounce that state to be precarious." This is beautiful, flattering also to national vanity, but it is theoretical. The ascending and contracting proportion is seen among most of the American states, in a house of representa∣tives Page  148chosen by the people, in a senate appointed by the representatives, and in a president, or governor, appointed mediately or immediately by the people: yet the Americans have no nobles. The system of aristocracy, they think, tends to weakness. It dis∣solves, they say, the ties of families by the law of pri∣mogeniture; exhausts the public money in places for the younger branches of noble families; keeps the orders of society in a kind of dwarsish state, by per∣petuating the maxims of a barbarous age; weakens the legislature by advancing men to legislation, whose private regards absorb public spirit, and who are ir∣responsible to the nation; and, by dividing man from man, enfeebles the order of human beings. Who can tell where the tide of contingencies will flow? France, in whose political fabric nobility did indeed seem to form the great Corinthian capital, saw it necessary to remove it, to raise a government of justice.

"I have also admitted that an order of nobles might exist without a patent nobility. I have not said that it is necessary; or if necessary, that an hereditary nobility is. Its great use may be thought to consist in forming a kind of senate to give bias and consistency to other powers, and to produce a harmony in states; a senate has even been thought essential to a republic. France, we have been told, has left out of her political fabric the pillar of strength. "Never," says a writer, "before this time was heard of a body politic without such a council;" yet Geneva, in the infancy of the republic, was such: a more scientific writer than Mr. Burke, though he elsewhere says, that a king and peo∣ple may exist without a senate, yet does, in fact, say, "there never was a good government in the world, that did not consist of the three simple species, of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy."

"Yet France has thought otherwise. She thinks, that by breaking the distinctions between man and man, she strengthens society, and makes the public force permanent by uniting it in a national assembly. Page  149I decide nothing on the truth of these sentiments: I propose these questions:—Was it not the existence of the two orders of patricians and plebeians, that pro∣moted all the disorders of the Roman government, Were not the senatus consulta and the plebiscita fre∣quently little else than exclusive decrees for particular interests? And while the patricians were encroach∣ing on the plebeians, the tribunes, called to the aid of the plebeians, became in their turn factious dema∣gogues. Amid private regards was not public li∣berty unknown? Was it not a senate that destroyed the liberties of Geneva?"

But to return to the House of commons. Whom, or what does a house of commons represent?—not al∣ways rational beings, men and women; but for the greater part, property; and property of a particular kind. Property, though ever so large, copyhold, leasehold, or personal, cannot be represented, but free∣hold estates only, possessed by men. Females, though possessed of 100,000 l, a year, either in land or money, have no representatives. Since the reign of Henry VI. none can be electors of knights of the shire, but men possessed of forty shillings a year. But how few poor men have freeholds! Some parishes consisting of several hundred persons, perhaps, have not a single freeholder. Some of the largest and most wealthy towns in England have not a single representative. I have not yet spoken of boroughs. But our theory be∣gins to vanish!

If the reader can avoid smiling at the following facts, I shall think him fimple; if he feel no indig∣nation, I shall think him something worse.

The borough of Midhurst in Sussex, it is well known, contains not a single house, and yet sends two members to Parliament. The right of election is in one hundred and twenty burgage-holds; the former situation of which is marked out by a stone on each side.—The borough of Old Sarum, in Wiltshire sends two members to parliament; yet there is but one or Page  150two houses standing. The members are chosen by a bailiff, and six burgesses, appointed by Lord Camel∣ford, the lord of the borough, and entrusted by him with burgage-scites. The borough of Gatton and Castle-Rising have each two houses only, and two re∣presentatives each.

The tenures of Midhurst, I would observe, make no part of the town of Midhurst. They were the property of the late Lord Montague, who, at the time of the election, made a temporary assignment of a part of them, either to some of his domestics or friends, in order to have those members returned that he should nominate. The trustees of the estates of the present lord sold these burgage-holds to the earl of Egremont for 40,000 guineas, whose brothers were returned for this borough the last general election.

Hastings, in Sussex, before the assing of Mr. Crewe's bill, was entirely at the disposal of the trea∣sury. The number of voters was ••out twenty, all of whom had places under government, or were pro∣vided for some other way. This is the borough I think, in the management of which a Mr. Collins ac∣quired a most splendid fortune, and made ample pro∣vision for five co-heiresses, his daughters. The bo∣rough of Hastings, I think, is still in the management of government. These are what are called rotten bo∣roughs.

I have already hinted that some large towns, and these abounding with manufactories, have not a single representative: and even where property is represented, it is not represented equally. The county of Mid∣dlesex, in 1693, paid 80 parts of the land tax, and in 1697, 185 of the subsidy, and sent only eight mem∣bers to parliament; while Cornwall paid but eight parts of the land tax, and five only of the subsidy and yet sent forty-four. As to the rotten boroughs, of some of which I have just spoken, they represent nobody; they are private property. The persons who are chosen for them represent nobody, yet they have Page  151all the power of representatives: a use also they cer∣tainly have; they strengthen the influence of the crown; and if a man have money enough to purchase a borough, and meanness enough to obey the beck of the minister, we know the rest.—Thus it is, that per∣sons, who were never appointed by the people, make laws......

The house of representatives amounts to between five and six hundred members; the majority of which are appointed by voters not exceeding twelve thou∣sand; the nation consists of seven or eight million: so that the persons who do actually give a vote for mem∣bers are, comparatively, a small part of the community. The Duke of Richmond, whose statement I here nearly follow, once understood political calculation; and I am persuaded, it is only what is supposed to be the danger of the experiment, that makes him fearful of the rule of practice. Mr. Paine observes, that not above one in seven is represented; this relates to repre∣sentatives, actually chosen: for when all the circum∣stances taken into the account are considered, one writer asserts, that the walls of St. Stephen's Chapel have not been visited by six members in any par∣liament, elected, appointed, or delegated by their con∣stituents; and another, that not one person in five housand is represented. But leaving these writers, I ask again, Where is our house of commons? Some call it a stubborn aristocracy. Where is our house of representatives?—Some call it a fiction. Our the∣ory they say is gone. Be this as it may, the poor man is left to pay taxes.

Page  152

AN APOLOGY FOR YOUNGER BROTHERS.

By the Author of A Plea for a Common Wealth. Printed in the Year 1659.

IT hath been a long received custom in this land, or at least, of as ancient date as the Norman monar∣chy, that notwithstanding the elder son obtains the whole inheritance, yet to bestow a generous and li∣beral education on the younger, in which, consider∣ing the circumstances of those times, together with the complexion of their government, I find no cause wherefore to accuse our ancestors, of either impru∣dence or injustice.

For first, the levelling of estates hath always (and that justly enough) been accounted altogether un∣suitable to the majesty and gaudy splendor of monar∣chil government, which hath sometimes, though falsly been supposed, not only the most absolute and perfect form, but that which by long experience hath been found most suitable to the genius or humour of the English people, the interest of which government is rather to have large public revenues, with a vast stock of preferments, wherewith to gratify the am∣bition of the more ingenious part of the gentry, who have nothing to rely on save what they can purchase in the favour of their prince. Nor was antiquity herein deceived; for when the greatest part of the nation, by this means, reap their chief subsistence from the public revenues of the Commonwealth, and favour of the prince, in whose sole dispose they are, and on whom for this cause, they look upon as their common father; and indeed to whom they have greater obli∣gations than to their own parents; there appears lit∣tle probability how the pillars of such a government should be easily shaken, whose basis is founded on the interest of so great a part of the nation, to defend it with the utmost peril of their lives and blood. Nor have we more reason to accuse our ancestors of im∣piety Page  153or injustice, than imprudence, since heretofore so great and ample were the public revenues, that a younger son could, either in church or state, by the wings of his own industry or merits, have raised him∣self to as high a pitch of honour and fairer fortunes, than those of his elder brother's birth-right; so that to be the first-born was scarce a privilege, except to such as wanted worth to advance them; wherefore, while the Church and Court were open with their large train of preferments, to entertain the more in∣genious of the gentry's younger sons, and monasteries to entomb those of a less mercurial genius, there was little reason for commencing this complaint; for this I am compelled by the violence of truth to confess, in defence of the ancient constitution of the laws and government of this nation, that whatever their other faults, they were not injurious to younger brethren, till after the sale of church-lands, and the abrogating those many preferments that were their former inhe∣ritance.

This was the former state of the nation, in which, if younger sons were debarred a share in their fathers inheritance, they might receive an ample compensa∣tion from the Church their mother, whose jointure was no less than two thirds of the whole land; so that they might seem rather owned as the only children of the Commonwealth, and honourably maintained at the public charge thereof, than disinherited by the unkindness of the laws. A generous education was then a sufficient portion, which is now, for want of a suitable employment, become a curse instead of a blessing, serving to no other end, than to discover, if not augment their misery; so much is the scene of things changed since Henry VIII. spoiled the church of her revenues, and by consequence these of the fairest part of their inheritance; and yet nothing of the rigour of the ancient laws are herein abated to∣wards them. It is not my intention (God knows my heart) to speak a word in approbation of those super∣stitious Page  154uses to which any abbey or bishops lands were heretofore employed, but with reflection on those good and pious, to which (in the opinion of some) they might have been converted.

Nor is it the design of these discourses to retrieve ecclesiastical promotions, or demonstrate a necessity of rebuilding the things we have so lately destroyed; but rather to shew, how unsafe and injurious it would be to establish and fix a Commonwealth upon the ruins and tottering foundation of a decayed monarchy: nor do I blame the prudence of our late reformers, that unhorseing the pride of the clergy, and putting down the hierarchy, they rather sold, than reserved in a public stock, the revenues of the church, by reason it may seem more safe for a Commonwealth to keep nothing that may encourage an invasion of its liberty, or become the reward of usurpation and tyranny, only I could wish, that since the reason and circum∣stances of our laws are quite altered, we might not still build on old foundations, and entail the whole land on a few proprietors or elder brethren, to the exclusion and utter ruin of the greatest part of the nation, and contrary to the interest of a free state or Commonwealth. I dare not charge all our late changes and many turnings in the balance of affairs on this account, though I cannot but observe, that our times have rung more changes, been tuned to more different instruments, and ran through more se∣veral forms of government, than were from the times of the Norman Conquest known before, to which how much the discontent and poverty of our gentry may have contributed, I know not; but Solomon saith, Oppression will make a wise man mad. I am sure the Younger Brothers are by far the greater number; and through nature's courtesy, commonly as rich in intellectual endowments, as poor in fortunes, and be∣ing by the tyranny (as affairs now stand) of Law and Custom, debarred sharing in their parents estates, to which they conceive nature equally entitles them with Page  155their Elder Brethren; it is no wonder if they desire to interrupt the peace and tranquillity of the Commonwealth, since by the shakings thereof, they may probably root themselves in fairer fortunes, than from its peace and settlement, they may with reason expect; and that which arms their discontent with fit weapons for re∣venge, and renders them more formidable, is their generous education; for certainly, it is of very un∣safe and dangerous consequence, to qualify such for great and noble undertakings, that are heirs to no other fortunes than what their valours can purchase with the ruin of the Commonwealth's peace and go∣vernment. Therefore, had those that made the pub∣lic revenues a prey to their ambition, also drunk up those streams of bounty, by which the schools and universities are fed and maintained, and so taken away the means as well as the encouragement of li∣beral education, they had better consulted the peace, though not the honour of the nation; for so long as these are open (if not better ordered), I doubt there will be vipers hatched to eat through the womb of government, by which they conceive themselves in∣jured and debarred, both that which nature gives them title to of their parents, and the ancient constitution of the Commonwealth in public revenues, which I would not have understood as proceeding from any prejudice or ill will to the universities, which I much honour, and in which, with thankfulness I acknow∣ledge, to have received my education, but only to discover the shortness of that policy, that taking away the preferments, should reward and crown all acade∣mic endeavours, yet never reduced the means whereby men are qualified for an expectation, and prompted to an ambition of them; and, indeed, of a like strain is most of our modern policy, not skin deep, and ra∣ther to be accounted shifts and present evasions of impendent evils, than antidotes of solid prudence, for either the obviating, or healing any disaster or ma∣lady in the body politic.

Page  156Certainly, a generous education is not proper for such as are intended for little less than slaves. It is ignorance is the mother of obedience, whereas know∣ledge makes men proud and factious, especially when they conceive their fortunes and eployments are not correspondent to the grandeur of their birth and edu∣cation.

The younger son is apt to think himself sprung from as noble a stock, from the loins of as good a gentleman as his elder brother, and therefore cannot but wonder, why fortune and the law should make so great a difference between them that lay in the same womb, that are formed of the same lump; why law or custom should deny them an estate, whom nature hath given discretion to know how to manage it.

Learning ennobles and elevates the soul, causing it to despise and set light by small and base things; and therefore, where that flourishes, men are not easily taught to submit their necks to an iron yoke of slavery; which prompts the Turkish prudence to ex∣tinguish all such lights by which men gain a prospect or discovery of the thraldom and misery of their condition. It would drink more ink, and waste more time than I, or perhaps the reader, would willingly bestow, to give an account of all the mischiefs and inconveniences that proceed from the fertile womb of this single mistake, that a generous education (not∣withstanding the abolition of all encouragements of learning and ingenious preferments) is a sufficient por∣tion for a Younger Brother. Wisdom is good with an inheritance, but the wisdom of the poor man is despised. The muses without a dowry are but des∣picable virgins, and the unnatural, though usual di∣vorce, that is at this day found between wit and mo∣ney, renders both useless, if not pernicious to the Commonwealth. I doubt not, but should we take a view of things through the prospective of some men's observations, we should discover this in part the cause of that tranquillity and settlement, peace and Page  157prosperity, with which in former times this British Isle was crowned; as also of those many shakings and convulsions in which these latter ages have seen her cast into: and can we expect it should be otherwise? when (as Solomon hath observed) There is not bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor yet fa∣vour to men of skill, &c. which seems to proceed from no other cause than the iniquity of our laws, pouring all the wealth into one channel, and conveying the whole land into the hands of a few Proprietors or elder Brethren.

I confess, those providence hath placed on high, on the battlements of supreme power, may, if their eyes are open, and not blinded by private interest, com∣mand a fairer prospect, and discern farther into these things, then such whom a meaner fortune hath left in the valley of a low and private condition; therefore, I shall not presume to inform those intelligences that turn about the orbs of government; only could wish, there were such a scene of things brought forth, as may give encouragement to expect a settlement, with∣out a miracle.

To which, as things now stand, I cannot persuade myself, but that the establishing of gavel kind, would have no small tendency; for can any thing be done more suitable to a Commonwealth? or is there any thing more just and equitable, than that all the chil∣dren should share in their Parents inheritances? or in∣deed is there not rather an absolute necessity thereof, since all the former avenues by which men had ac∣cess to preferment are hedged up? is not the only door at present open to a fortune, that of the law? which is also now, together with all other professions, so overstocked with students, and thereby become so burdensome, that the Nation will no longer endure it. For are they not necessitated to devise daily new quirks and subtleties, whereby suits may be multi∣plied, to the confusion of estates, and oppression of the people. How much more honourable would it be Page  158to our reformation, and new established government, that there were a more equal and righteous distri∣bution of the things of this earth, than that the greater part of the nation should be put to shift and scramble for a livelihood, or be necessitated to live on the sins of the people.

Why estates may not, for the future, descend regu∣larly to the whole offspring that are of the same blood and family, instead of one branch thereof, I know no inconvenience in that, especially in those circumstances we are in at present, being fallen into an age so eagle-eyed and quick-sighted, as to discern spots on the sun, and discover corruption in the hea∣vens; which the duller opticks of antiquity judged im∣maculate, and as altogether incorruptible: an age that dares pry into the pious frauds, and unmask the most religious deceits, which the devouter ignorance of our ancestors never beheld, but at a superstitious and reverential distance; an age, in which the art of living, or to gain and honest subsistance, is grown so subtle, so difficult and abstruse a mystery, that few are able to master it.

How many ingenious gentlemen, that are now clothed with rags and misery, might have raised them∣selves to fair estates, had they had a stock wherewith to set their industry on work; for can any man make brick wherewith to build themselves a fortune with∣out any straw? How many might this have reprieved from an untimely death, who might have been useful to their country, and ornaments to the Common∣wealth, had their parts and ingenuities found due en∣couragements? How many brave sparkling wits, that might have proved bright stars and shining lamps both in Church and Commonwealth, have been ex∣tinguished in obscurity, for want of maintenance, the oil whereby their lamps should have been fed and nourished.

Were it not far more just to restrain marriage, or at least give check, and set bounds to the lust of parents, Page  159by stinting the number of their offspring to a child or two, and sealing up the fertile womb, than thus turn that blessing of god, increase and multiply, into the greatest curse, and visit the iniquity of the parents upon the children? Or, were it not a greater act of charity, according to the example of the Heathen, to expose or drown these latter births, as we do such supernume∣rary dogs &c. as would otherwise over-stock our com∣mons, than thus expose them like so many little •••sses in arks of bulrushes to a sea of poverty and •••sery, from whence they many never expect reprieve, unless some miraculous providence (like Pharo's ••••ghters) chance to rescue and receive them into her court and favour? Our law making no more pro∣vision for Younger Brethren than if they were to be cloathed like the lillies of the field, or like Elias, to expect their food from ravens, receiving no other comfort from the hands of men, than what they can suck from the dry breasts of an old proverb, that God will send meat wheresoever he hath provided mouths, than which nothing more true, did not the covetous∣ness of men withhold it.

It was the custom of our gentry and nobility to clap such of their phlegmatic offspring, as nature had not made mercurial enough to ambiate either church or court preferments into some religious habit; and so keep up the splendour of their families, by prun∣ing away such under-branches for the service of the alter, as either, through their number or folly were like to let in poverty, and thereby become a dispa∣rgement to the noble stock from whence they sprang, which hath prompted some to an opinion, that if in these more populous northern climates, a kind of Pro∣testant monasteries were erected for encouragement of chastity and single life, especially among the poorer sort, it would (pardoning the solecism of the name) be more consonant to the maxims of state and true po∣lley, than in those hotter and more barren climates, where there is so little danger of being over-stocked Page  160or burdened with people, that on the contrary they want men for the necessary defence of their territories; of which we have a pertinent instance in Spain, whose religious houses (did not their blind devotion so much triumph over their policy) had long since been buried under their own ruins; for there can no other account be given, why that wise and prudent nation labouring under so great a weight of affairs, and scarcity of men, to manage their wars, should tolerate so many hives of drones; which so long as they shall continue, may give good caution and security to its neighbouring states and princes, to lay asleep their fears and jea∣lousies of his ever attaining that universal monarchy, at which, for so many centuries, the lips of his proud ambition have been thought to water: there being little probability that his palsey hands should grasp the universe, that hath not strength enough to hold that little part thereof he hath already fastened on; and therefore the Spanish conquests may not unfitly be compared to those of rivers upon the banks of their channels, losing as much in one place as they gain in others?

But since Providence hath been pleased in mercy to bring back our captivity, and again to cast us into the advantagious form of a Commonwealth, if gavel-kind were once established, we shall stand in need of no other devices for keeping out of poverty, than the setting industry on work according to the opportu∣nities, plentiful occasions will administer in an equal Commonwealth. But I shall now return to the lawyers, from whom I have made so long a digres∣sion. I have read, that in the more pure and less so∣phisticated times of our ancestors, great estates have been passed in few words, and the conveyance proved more firm and good, than those tedious, prolix, tau∣tological instruments, the knavery of latter ages hath introduced.

In sign that this is sooth
I bite the white wax with my tooth.
Page  161Or the like being the form of those more simple and sincere times; whereas now, through the fraud of lawyers, all things are so ambiguously penned, that none but a sphinx in their mysteries is able to under∣stand or unriddle them.

The professors of which mystery of iniquity that live upon the sins of the people, are of late grown so numerous, that like locusts, or an Egyptian plague, they cover the face of our land, and are thriven to such vast estates, that whereas heretofore the Church and Clergy being in possession of two thirds, of the best lands throughout the realm, gave birth to the sta∣tute of Mortmain for security of the rest: we may justly fear, unless some prudent care be taken for pre∣vention of their future purchases, lest this pack, &c. by their quirks, &c. instate themselves in our in∣heritances, and ingross the wealth and revenues of the whole nation unto themselves, &c.

I have heard this subtle generation were not in so fair a plight, when every term they beat upon the hoof to London, with their satchels on their backs, and at the towns end proffered their services, like water∣man at the Thames side, to be retained by the coun∣try clients; and I know not whether we may ever ex∣pect a golden age, or to see good days, till the interest of this corrupt generation be laid as low as any his∣tories can produce a precedent; which at this time must needs have the greatest countenance of justice that can be, they having been so notoriously instru∣mental in betraying our liberties; and selling us into the hands of tyranny, by which, together with their other iniquities, they have contracted so great an odium in the hearts and eyes of all honest men, that I Know not whether the hanging up of their gowns in Westminster Hall might not be as acceptable a tro∣phy in the eyes of the people, as the Scotch colours.

I have often wondered, that notwithstanding the grace mischief the nation hath suffered by the lawyers •••ning our laws and acts of parliaments, being known Page  162to leave flaws, and always render them so lame, they can, for their advantage, wrest them to what sense they please, and thereby make themselves the lords and absolute arbitrators both of our lives and fortunes; that for prevention of like future abuses they are not excluded the House of Commons as well as the Clergy, there being as much reason and more precedent for the one than the other, for that the Judges never had a vote in the House of Peers, but only sat upon the Wool-pack, whereas the Bishops had like privileges with the other Lords. It being very incongruous in reason that they should be the makers of our laws who are the mercenary Interpreters, lest biassed by their own interests, instead of fences to our properties, they make them snares to our lives and estates.

But it is hoped, the prudence of our Senators will make so thorough a reformation of the Laws, that as they are the birth-right and inheritance of every En∣glishman, and the interest of all persons to know and be intimately acquainted with them, so they shall be rendered so facil and easy, that the meanest capacity may conceive them, at least so far as he is concerned therein; that so there may be no longer any occasion of keeping up so corrupt an interest of men to make justice mercenary, who have been always found the panders of tyranny, and betrayers of our liberties; and that for the future, every man may be permitted to be his own orator and plead his own cause, or pro∣cure what friend they please to be their advocates; that right may be done gratis to every man, and the cry of the oppressed may no longer be heard in our gates; But that judgment may run down like a stream, and righteousness like a mighty torrent in the midst of our streets.

I shall conclude with that honest desire of the inha∣bitants of Hull, of late presented to the Parliament; That the laws by which this Commonwealth is to be go∣verned may be those holy, just and righteous laws of the great and wise God, our rightful lawgiver; and where Page  163any case is unprovided for in the express terms of his word, care may be taken to determine it, with the most exact proportion that is possible thereto, that so our laws being founded on the Scriptures, and so composed, as not only to have great affinity with, but also to bor∣der on the very suburbs of divinity, the greater re∣verence and authority may be conciliated to each; and it may seem the less incongruous for our civil magistrates to be utrisque peritus, skilful in both.

Now whatsoever hath been here spoken out of a most intensely heated zeal for public good, with re∣flection on the abuses of the law, and the professors thereof, I would not have misconstrued to reflect upon their persons, which I honour, and acknowledge many of them to be men of great candour and integrity, but rather of the corrupt interest of the profession, it being the design of these discourses to witness only against interests, and not to revile or asperse the per∣sons of any whatsoever, &c.

And, indeed, to speak my mind freely, the grand error in the reformation of these times hath been its weeding out of persons, when as the blow should have been levelled against the interests, which notwith∣standing the frequent change of persons, still take root, and spring up in as great vigour as before; and therefore I humbly conceive, till the ax be laid to the root of every evil and corrupt interest, we may not expect to reap any great fruit or success by our re∣formation, for all flesh is corruptible, and every man a lie; nor is he that marches in the rear any better able to resist the temptation, or avoid the snares of his place than he that fell before him.

They may comment on the Two following Adver∣tisements that will for me.

IN the Norfolk Chronicle of November 2, 1793, a reward of two hundred pounds is promised by Page  164his Majesty, for discovery of the writer or publisher of the following hand-bill, which was stuck up and distributed in and about Norwich.

To all real Lovers of Liberty.

My Friends and Fellow Citizens,

••s with the greatest joy I congratulate you on the Defeat of the combined Tyrants.—Be assured that Liberty and Freedom will at last prevail. Tremble O thou Oppressor of the People, that reigneth upon the Throne, and ye Ministers of State weep, for ye shall fall. Weep, O ye Con∣ductors of this vile and wicked War, ye who grind the Face of the Poor, oppress the People, and starve the industrious Mechanic.—My friends, you are oppressed—you know it.—Revenge it. Lord Buckingham, who died the other day, had Thirty Thousand Pounds yearly, for setting his Arse in the House of Lords, and doing nothing.—Think of this, ye who work hard, and have hardly a crust to put in your Mouths, think how many Wretches it would have made happy. In short, my Friends, Liberty calls aloud, ye who will hear her Voice, may you be free and happy. He who does not, let him starve and be damned.

Sunday, Sept. 14.

N. B. Be resolute, and you shall be happy; he who wishes well to the Cause of Liberty, let him repair to Chapel Fields at Five o'Cloek, This Afternoon, to begin a glorious Revolution.

ADVERTISEMENT VERBATIM, From the MORNING CHRONICLE of Nov. 15, 1793.

FIVE THOUSAND POUNDS.

The above sum will be given as A COMPLIMENT to any LADY or Gentleman, who has interest to pro∣cure Page  165a Situation FOR LIFE under Government, for a Gentleman of an active disposition, between 40 and 50, of the strictest honour and integrity, who will have no objection to a few hours attendance every day in London, BY WAY OF AMUSEMENT. The emole∣ment thereof must be equal to the gratuity. As the above sum is ready at a day's notice, none but princi∣pals will be treated with, and the most inviolable se∣cresy will be observed, if required. A line for B. A. Will's Coffee-house, Cornhill, will be attended to.

NATIONAL FASTING GENERALLY INSI∣DIOUS AND IMPIOUS.

From Fast-Day Sermons, by the Rev. J. Murray, of Newcastle, Author of Sermons to Asses. Printed in the Year 1781.


ISAIAH, 58, 4, 6.
Behold, ye fast for Strife and De∣bate, and to smite with the fist of Wickedness.—Is not this the Fast that I have chosen? to loose the Bands of Wickedness, to undo the heavy Burdens, and to let the Oppressed go free, and that ye break every Yoke.

ACCORDING to the stile of Revelation, all un∣just and arbitrary decrees are bands of wicked∣ness, by whatsoever human authority they are imposed, because they are contrary to moral justice, and are oppressive to the people. And though they can never bind the consciences of men, and so have no moral influence, yet they are cords of oppression, that sit hard upon their bodies and their temporal interest. Laws that are unfriendly to the temporal interest, and ge∣neral good of society; laws that are made to exalt a few to power and dignity, by spunging, squeezing, and oppressing all other ranks of people, though con∣trived Page  166trived by angels, and executed by saints, are bands of wickedness, which may cause people to suffer for transgressing, but can never create sin in disobey∣ing.

When the Rulers of a Nation, to gratify their own lusts of pride and ambition, impose heavy and oppres∣sive burdens upon the people by legislative authority, they establish iniquity by a law, which in the strictest sense of the words, is a band of iniquity. The lusts of princes and their servants, often create their own wants, and render them necessitous; they then make use of their power and influence to procure laws to oblige others to supply them, whether they are able or not; and what aggravates the evil, when the sub∣jects know and feel that they are not able to answer the heavy demands of power, they are not allowed to be judges of their own abilities. Those that rule over others ought to be sober and temperate, and make the reasonable finances of state serve them in executing their offices. Unnecessary splendor and expence in government are inconsistent with both rea∣son and religion, which teach us, that it is one of the great ends of laws and government to restrain unruly appetites and passions. It is sinful in princes to coin expensive offices to serve their favourites, and oppress their subjects. Nothing can be more audacious, than for men appointed to be guardians of society, with a design to make individuals easy and happy, to pretend to come before the Lord, in the most solemn manner, to ask his aid and assistance to oppress them. Such is undoubtedly the language of the ensuing Fast, and of the conduct of its authors and devisers.

The poor, in all parts of Britain, are groaning un∣der a heavy load of taxes, devised for new purposes, and imposed by new statutes. But for what reasons? Where is the necessity? What way are they applied? Are they not intended to carry violence and deso∣lation, fire and sword, among a people, whose only fault is, that they are endowed with principles, and a Page  167spirit which Englishmen once gloried in, and which saved this nation from poverty and arbitrary power, and will not part with what God and nature, and the laws have given them, to gratify the lusts of men who have degenerated from the noble generous temper of their ancestors, into Eastern nabobs, and Turkish bashaws. These men have thought sit to contrive war, foreign and domestic, to gratify their depraved passions, and the rich and poor throughout the nation must be oppressed to carry it on; bands of wicked∣ness are twisted one year after another, and the nation groans in chains. All the necessaries of life are in some way or other taxed; our smoke cannot ascend to the sky, nor a ray of light peep in at our windows, without paying an heavy impost. The inside, as well as the outside of our houses, are assessed; and poor people, who cannot, without great difficulty, afford to pay five pounds for a house to lodge in through the year, must now pay five sixpences more. And for what reason? to carry on a war that originated in in∣justice, has been carried on with folly, and attended with disgrace and disappointment.—To shed innocent blood, and carry death and desolation across the At∣lantic to destroy our brethren, to satiate the voracious lusts of a few ambitious men, who would waste the globe, and ruin Heaven itself, provided they had the management thereof. Ah, Britain! will the God of mercy, who delights in forgiving offences, hear your prayers, or regard your fastings, when you are twist∣ing cords of oppression, instead of loosing bands of wickedness. Ah, ye Rulers of the Land, whither are ye hastening? you cannot run long when you are rushing upon the bosses of Jehovah's buckler! When you fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness, do you imagine that the God of Mercy will hear your prayers with acceptance, or regard your fasting, any otherwise than setting them down to the sum total of your past iniquities.

Page  168

ON THE LIBERTY OF THE PRESS.

From Gurney's Edition of the said Trial.

EVERY man, not intending to mislead and to confound, but seeking to enlighten others with what his own reason and conscience, however erro∣neously, dictate to him as truth, may address himself to the universal reason of a whole nation, either upon the subject of governments in general, or upon that of our own particular country: he may analyse the principles of its constitution, point out its errors and defects, examine and publish its corruptions, warn his fellow-citizens against their ruinous consequences, and exert his whole faculties, in pointing out the most advantageous changes in establishments, which he considers to be radically defective, or sliding from their object by abuse. All this every subject of this country has a right to do, if he contemplates only what he thinks its happiness, and but seeks to change the public mind by the conviction which flows from reasonings dictated by conscience.

If, indeed, he writes what he does not think; if, contemplating the misery of others, he wickedly con∣demns what his own understanding approves; or, even admitting his real disgust against the govern∣ment, or its corruptions; if he calumniates living ma∣gistrates; or holds out to individuals, that they have a right to run before the public mind in their con∣duct; that they may oppose by contumacy or force what private reason only disapproves; that they may disobey the law, because their judgment condemns it; or resist the public will, because they honestly wish to change it; he is then a criminal upon every principle of rational policy, as well as upon the im∣memorial Page  169precedents of English justice; because such a person seeks to disunite individuals from their duty to the whole, and excites to overt acts of misconduct in a part of the community, instead of endeavouring to change, by the impulse of reason, the universal ascent which, in this and in every country, constitutes the law for all.

Gentlemen, I say, in the name of Thomas Paine, and in his words as author of the Rights of Man, as written in the very volume that is charged with seek∣ing the destruction of property,

The end of all political associations is, The pre∣servation of the Rights of Man, which rights are Liberty, Property, and Security; that the nation is the source of all sovereignty derived from it: the right of property being secured and inviolable, no one ought to be deprived of it, except in cases of evident public necessity, legally ascertained, and on condition of a previous just indemnity.

These are undoubtedly the rights of man—the rights for which all governments are established—and the only rights Mr. Paine contends for; but which he thinks (no matter whether right or wrong) are better to be secured by a republican constitution than by the forms of the English government. He in∣structs me to admit, that, when government is once constituted, no individuals, without rebellion, can withdraw their obedience from it—that all attempts to excite them to it are highly criminal, for the most obvious reasons of policy and justice—that no∣thing short of the Will of a whole people can change or effect the rule by which a nation is to be governed —and that no private opinion, however honestly ini∣micable to the forms or substance of the law, can justify resistance to its authority, while it remains in force. The author of the Rights of Man not only admits the truth of all this doctrine, but he consents to be convicted, and I also consent for him, unless his Work shall be found studiously and painfully to in∣culcate Page  170culcate these great principles of government, which it is charged to have been written to destroy. Let me not, therefore, be suspected to be contending, that it is lawful to write a book pointing out defects in the English government, and exciting individuals to de∣stroy its sanctions, and to refuse obedience. But, on the other hand, I do contend, that it is lawful to ad∣dress the English nation on these momentous subjects, for had it not been for this unalienable right (thanks be to God and our fathers for establishing it), how should we have had this Constitution which we so loudly boast of? If, in the march of the human mind, no man could have gone before the establishments of the time he lived in, how could our establishment, by reiterated changes, have become what it is? If no man could have awakened the public mind to errors and abuses in our government, how could it have passed on from stage to stage, through reformation and revolution, so as to have arrived from barbarism to such a pitch of happiness and perfection, that the Attorney General considers it as profanation to touch it any further, or to look for any future amendment.

In this manner power has reasoned in every age— Government, in its own estimation, has been at all times a system of perfection; but a free press has ex∣amined and detected its errors, and the people have happily reformed them: this freedom has alone made our government what it is, and alone can preserve it; and therefore, under the banners of that freedom, to∣day I stand up to defend Thomas Paine. But how, alas! shall this task be accomplished? How may I expect from you what human nature has not made man for the performance of? How may I address your reasons, or ask them to pause, amidst the torrent of prejudice which has hurried away the public mind on the subject you are to judge?

Was any Englishman ever so brought as a criminal before an English Court of Justice?—If I were to ask you, Gentlemen of the Jury, what is the choicest Page  171fruit that grows upon the tree of English Liberty, you would answer, SECURITY UNDER THE LAW. If I were to ask the whole people of England, the return they looked for at the hands of Government, for the burdens under which they bend to support it, I should still be answered, SECURITY UNDER THE LAW; or, in other words, an impartial administration of justice. So sacred, therefore, has the Freedom of Trial been ever held in England; so anxiously does justice guard against every possible bias in her path, that if the pub∣lic mind has been locally agitated upon any subject in judgment, the forum is either changed or the trial postponed. The circulation of any paper that brings, or which can be supposed to bring, prejudice, or even well-founded knowledge, within the reach of a Bri∣tish tribunal, on the spur of an occasion, is not only highly criminal, but defeats itself, by leading to put of the trial which its object was to pervert. On this principle, his Lordship will permit me to remind him, that on the trial of the Dean of St. Asaph, for a libel, or rather, when he was brought to trial, the circulation of books by a society favourable to his defence, was held by the noble Lord, as Chief Justice of Chester, to be a reason for not trying the cause; although they contained no matter relative to the Dean, nor to the object of his trial; being only ex∣tracts from ancient authors of high reputation, on the general Rights of Juries to consider the innocence as well as the guilt of the accused; yet still, as the re∣collection of these rights was pressed forward, with a view to effect the proceedings, to guard the principle the proceedings were postponed.

Is the Defendant then to be the only exception to these admirable provisions? Is the English law to judge him, stript of the armour with which its uni∣versal justice encircles all others? Shall we, in the very act of judging him for detracting from the En∣glish government, furnish him with ample matter for just reprobation, instead of detraction? Has not his Page  172cause been prejudged through a thousand channels? Has not the work before you been daily publicly re∣vived, and his person held up to derision and re∣proach? Has not the public mind been excited, by crying down the very phrase and idea of the Rights of Man? Nay, have not associations of gentlemen, I speak it with regret, because I am persuaded, from what I know of some of them, that they, amongst them at least, thought they were serving the public; yet have they not, in utter contempt and ignorance of that Constitution of which they declare themselves to be the guardians, published the grossest attacks upon the Defendant? Have they not, even while the cause has been standing here in the paper for im∣mediate trial, published a direct protest against the very work now before you; advertising in the same paper, though under the general description of se∣ditious papers, a reward on the conviction of any person who should dare to sell the book itself, to which their own publication was an answer?—The Attorney General has spoken of a forced circulation of this Work; but how have these prejudging papers been circulated? We all know how: they have been thrown into our carriages in every street; they have met us at every turnpike; and they lie in the areas of all our houses. To complete the triumph of prejudice, that High Tribunal, of which I have the honour to be a member (my learned friends know what I say to be true), has been drawn into this vor∣tex of slander; and some of its members, for I do not speak of the House itself, have thrown the weight of their stations into the same scale.

By all means I maintain that this cause has been prejudged.

It may be said, that I have made no motion to put off the trial for these causes, and that courts of themselves take no cognizance of what passes else∣where, without facts laid before them. Gentlemen, I know that I should have had equal justice from that Page  173quarter, if I had brought myself within the rule. But when should I have been better in the present aspect of things? And therefore I only remind you of all these hardships, that you may recollect that your judg∣ment is to proceed upon that alone which meets you here, upon the evidence in the cause, and not upon suggestions destructive of every principle of justice.

Having disposed of these foreign prejudices, I hope you will as little regard some arguments that have been offered to you in court. The letter which has been so repeatedly pressed upon you, you ought to dismiss even from your recollection; I have already put it out of the question, as having been written long subsequent to the Book, and as being a libel on the King, which no part of the information charges, and which may hereafter be prosecuted as a distinct offence. I consider that letter besides, and indeed have always beard it treated, as a forgery, contrived to injure the merits of the cause, and to embarrass me person∣ally in its defence. I have a right so to consider it, because it is unsupported by any thing similar at an earlier period. The Defendant's whole deportment, previous to the publication, has been wholly unexcep∣tionable; he properly desired to be given up as the author of the Book, if any enquiry should take place concerning it; and he is not affected in evidence, directly or indirectly, with any illegal or suspicious conduct; not even with having uttered an indiscreet or counting expression, nor with any one matter or thing, inconsistent with the duty of the best subject in England. His opinions indeed were not adverse to our system; but I maintain that OPINION is free, and that CONDUCT alone is amenable to the law.

You are next to judge of the author's mind and intention, by the modes and extent of the circu∣lation of his work. The First Part of the Rights of Man, Mr. Attorney General tells you, he did not prosecute, although it was in circulation through the country for a year and a half together, because it Page  174seems it circulated only amongst what he stiles the judi∣cious part of the public, who possessed in their capa∣cities and experience an antidote to the poison; but that with regard to the Second Part now before you, its circulation had been forced into every corner of society; had been printed and reprinted for cheapness even upon whited brown paper, and had crept into the very nurseries of children, as a wrapper for their sweetmeats.

In answer to this statement, which after all stand only upon Mr Attorney General's own assertion, un∣supported by any kind of proof (no witness having proved the author's personal interference with the sale), I still maintain, that if he had the most anxi∣ously promoted it, the question would remain exactly the same: the question would still be, whether at the time when Paine composed his work, and promoted the most extensive purchase of it, he believed or dis∣believed what he had written, and whether he con∣templated the happiness or the misery of the English nation, to which it is addressed; and which ever of these intentions may be evidenced to your judgments upon reading the Book itself, I confess I am utterly at a loss to comprehend how a writer can be supposed to mean something different from what he has written, by an axiety (common I belive to all authors) that his work should be generally read.

Remember, I am not asking your opinions of the doctrines themselves, you know them already pretty visibly since I began to address you; but I shall ap∣peal not only to you, but to those who, without our leave, will hereafter judge without appeal of all that we are doing to day; whether, upon the matter which I hasten to lay before you, you can refuse in justice to pronounce, that from his education—from the accidents and habits of his life—from the time and occasion of the publication—from the circum∣stances attending it—and from every line and letter of the work itsself, and all his other writings before and even since, his conscience and understanding (no Page  175matter whether erroneously or not) were deeply and solemnly impressed with the matters contained in his Book,—that he addressed it to the reason of the nati∣on at large, and not to the passions of individuals, and that in the issue of its influence, he contemplated only what appeared to him (though it may not to us) to be the interest and happiness of England, and of the whole human race. In drawing the one or the other of these conclusions, the Book stands first in order, and it shall now speak for itself.

Gentlemen, the whole of it is in evidence before you, the particular parts arraigned having only been read by my consent, upon the presumption that on retiring from the court, you would caresully com∣pare them with the context, and all the parts with the whole viewed together. You cannot indeed do justice without it. The most common letter, even in the ordinary course of business, cannot be read in a cause to prove an obligation for twenty shillings with∣out the whole being read, that the writer's meaning may be seen without deception. But in a criminal charge of only four pages and a half, out of a work containing nearly two hundred, you cannot, with even the appearance of common justice, pronounce a judgment without the most deliberate and cautious comparison. I observe, that the noble and learned Judge confirms me in this observation. But if any given part of a work be legally explanatory, of every other part of it, the preface, a fortiori, is the most ma∣terial; because the preface is the author's own key to his writing: it is there that he takes the reader by the hand, and introduces him to his subject: it is there that the spirit and intention of the whole is laid before him by way of prologue. A preface is meant by the author as a clue to ignorant or careless readers: the author says by it, to every man who chooses to begin where he ought—look at my plan—attend to my distinctions—mark the purpose and limitations of the matter I lay before you.

(To be continued.)
Page  176

THE NEW CONSTITUTION OF FRANCE, As accepted by the Nation on the 10th of August, 1793.

DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.

THE French people, convinced that forgetfulness of, and contempt for, the natural rights of man, are the only causes of the crimes and misfortunes of the world, have resoved to expose, in a Declaration, their sacred and inclienable right, in order that all Citizens, being always able to compare the acts of the government with the end of every social institu∣tion, may never suffer themselves to be oppressed and degraded by tyranny; and that the people may al∣ways have before their eyes the basis of their liberty and happiness; the magistrates the rule of their duty; and legislators the object of their mission—

They acknowledge therefore and proclaim, in the presence of the Surreme Being, the following De∣claration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens:—

  • ARTICLE I. The end of society is common hap∣piness. Government is instituted to secure to man the enjoyment of his natural and imprescriptible rights.
  • II. These rights are Equality, Liberty, Safety, and Property.
  • III. All men are equal by nature, and before the law.
  • IV. The Law is the free and solemn expression of the general will. It ought to be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. It cannot order but what is just and useful to Society. It cannot forbid but what is hurtful.
  • V. All Citizens are equally admissible to public employments. Free people know no other motives of preserence in their elections, than virtue and talents.
  • Page  177VI. Liberty is that power which belongs to a man, of doing every thing that does not hurt the rights of another: Its principle is nature: Its rule justice: Its protection the law: And its moral limits are detined by this maxim, "Do not to another what you would not wish done to yourself."
  • VII. The rights of manifesting one's thoughts and opinions, either by the press, or in any other manner; the right of assembling peaceably, and the free exercise of religious worship cannot be forbid∣den. The necessity of announcing these rights, sup∣poses either the presence, or the recent remembrance of despotism.
  • VIII. Whatever is not forbidden by the law can∣not be prevented. No one can be forced to do that, which it does not order.
  • IX. Safety consists in the protection granted by the Society to each Citizen for the preservation of his person, his rights, and his property.
  • X. The Law avenges public and individual li∣berty of the abuses committed against them by power.
  • XI. No person can be accused, arrested or con∣fined, but in cases determined by the law, and ac∣cording to the forms which it prescribes. Every Citizen summoned or seized by the authority of the law, ought immediately to obey; he renders himself culpable by resistance.
  • XII. Every act exercised against a man to which the cases in the law do not apply, and in which its forms are not observed, is arbitrary and tyrannical. Respect for the law forbids him to submit to such acts; and if attempts are made to execute them by violence, he has a right to repel force by force.
  • XIII. Those who shall solicit, dispatch, sign, exe∣cute, or cause to be executed, arbitrary acts, are cul∣pable, and ought to be punished.
  • XIV. Every man being supposed innocent until he has been declared guilty, if it is judged indispen∣sible Page  178to arrest him, all severity not necessary to secute his person ought to be strictly represied by the law.
  • XV. No one ought to be tried and punished until he has been legally summoned, and in virtue of a law published previous to the commistion of the crime, A law which should punish crimes committed before it ••isted would be tyrannical. The re-troactive effect given to a law would be a crime.
  • XVI. The law ought not to decree any punish∣ments but such as are strictly and evidently necessary — punishment ought to be proportioned to the crime, and a•••ul to society.
  • XVII. The right of property is that right which belongs to every Citizen to enjoy and dispose of ac∣cording to his pleasure, his property, revenues, labour and industry.
  • XVIII. No kind of labour, culture, or commerce, can be forbidden to the industrious Citizen.
  • XIX. Every man may engage his services and his time, but he cannot sell himself—his person is not alienable property. The law does not acknowledge servitude—there can exist only an engagement of care and gratitude between the man who labours, and the man who employs him.
  • XX. No one can be deprived of the smallest por∣tion of his property, without his consent, except when the public necessity, legally ascertained, evi∣dently require it, and on condition of a just and pre∣vious indemnification.
  • XXI. No contribution can be established, but for general utility, and to relieve the public wants. Every Citizen has a right to concur in the establishment of contributions, to watch over the use made of them, and to call for a statement of expenditure.
  • XXII. Public aids are a sacred debt. The So∣ciety is obliged to provide for the subsistence of the unfortunate, either by procuring them work, or by securing the means of existence to those who are un∣able to labour.
  • Page  179XXIII. Instruction is the want of all, and the Society ought to favour, with all its power, the pro∣gress of public reason; and to place instruction within the reach of every Citizen.
  • XXIV. The social guarantee consists in the ac∣tions of all, to secure to each the enjoyment and pre∣servation of his rights. This guarantee rests on the National Sovereignty.
  • XXV. The social guarantee cannot exist, if the limits of public functions are not clearly determined by the law, and if the responsibility of all public functionaties is not secured.
  • XXVI. The Sovereignty resides in the people: it is one and indivisible, imprescriptible and inalienable.
  • XXVII. No proportion of the people can exer∣cise the power of the whole: but each Section of the Sovereign assembled ought to enjoy the right of ex∣pressing its will in perfect liberty. Every individual who arrogates to himself the Sovereignty, or who usurps the exercise of it, ought to be put to death by free men.
  • XXVIII. A people have always the right of re∣vising, amending, and changing their Constitution. One generation cannot subject to its law future ge∣nerations.
  • XXIX. Every Citizen has an equal right of con∣curring in the formation of the law, and in the no∣mination of his mandatories or agents.
  • XXX. Public functions cannot be considered as distinctions or rewards, but as duties.
  • XXXI. Crimes committed by the mandatories of the people and their agents, ought never to remain unpunished. No one has a right to pretend to be more inviolable than other Citizens.
  • XXXII. The right of presenting petitions to the depositories of public authority belongs to every indi∣vidual. The exercise of this right cannot, in any case, be forbidden, suspended, or limited.
  • XXXIII. Resistance to oppression is the conse∣quence of the other rights of man.
  • Page  180XXXIV. Oppression is exercised against the so∣cial body, when even one of its members is oppressed. Oppression is exercised against each member, when the social body is oppressed.
  • XXXV. When the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection becomes to the people, and to every portion of the people, the most sacred, and the most indispensible of duties.

(To be continued.)

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.

[ROMAN HISTORY, continued from Page 122.]

AFTER the expulsion of the Tarquins, Rome was governed by two consuls, who held their office during the space of a year, at the conclusion of which new ones were chosen, by the senate and people. After some time, the people found themselves very much oppressed by the patricians; who engrossed the whole power of the state, and, by various extortions, such as lending them money at exorbitant interest, and the like, had got possession of all their lands, and often seized their persons, imprisoned, or used them as slaves, (the laws permitting it in the case of the non-payment of their debts) in a barbarous manner. Unable to bear this cruel treatment, a number of them, at the instigation of Sisinnius Bellutus, and another Junius Brutus, took an opportunity, when the state had great need of their assistance, to desert their generals, and retired to a hill three miles from Rome. In this exigence, a deputation was sent to them from the senate, persuading them with many fair promises, to return. At the head of this deputation were T. Lartius, Menenius Agripah, and M. Valerius, all three in great esteem, and of whom two had governed the republic, and commanded her armies in quality of dictator. When they were introduced to the camp of the male-contents, and had given an account of their commission, Junius Brutus, perceiving his comrades continued in profound silence, and that none of them attempted to make himself an advocate in the cause, stepped forward, and thus addressed them:

Page  183"One would imagine, fellow-soldiers, by this deep silence, that you are still awed by that servile sear in which the patricians and your creditors have kept you so long. Every man consults the eyes of the rest, to discover whether there be more resolution in others than he finds in himself; and not one of you has the courage to speak in public that which is the con∣stant subject of your private conversation. Do you not know that you are free? This camp, these arms, do they not convince you that you are no longer under tyrants? And if you could still doubt it, would not this step which the senate has taken be sufficient to sa∣tisfy you? Those patricians, so haughty and im∣perious, now send to court us; they no longer make use of proud commands, or cruel threats, they in∣vite us as their fellow-citizens to return into our com∣mon city; nay, some of our sovereigns, you see, are so gracious as to come to our very camp, to offer us a general pardon. Whence then can proceed this obstinate silence, after such singular condescensions? If you doubt the sincerity of their promises; if you fear, that under the veil of a few fine words, they conceal your former chains, why do ye not speak? Declare your thoughts freely. Or, if you dare not open your mouths, at least hear a Roman, who has courage enough to fear nothing but the not speaking the truth. [Then turning to Valerius] You invite us to return to Rome, but you do not tell us upon what conditions: Can plebeians, poor, yet free, think of being united with patricians, so rich, and so ambitious? And even though we should agree to the conditions you have to offer, what security will the patricians give us for the performance; those haughty patricians, who make it a merit among themselves to have deceived the people? You talk to us of nothing but pardon and forgiveness, as if we were your subjects, and subjects in rebellion; but that is the point to be discussed. Is it the people or the senate who are in fault? Which of the two or∣ders Page  184was it, that first violated the laws of society, which ought to reign among the members of the same republie? This is the question. In order to judge of this, without prejudice, give me leave barely to relate a certain number of facts, for the truth of which I will appeal to no other but yourselt and your colleague. Our state was founded by kings, and never was the Roman people more free, and more happy, than under their government. Tarqun himself, the last of those princes; Tarquin, so •••ots to the senate and the nobility, savoured our interests as much as he opposed yours. Nevertheless, to avenge your wrongs, we drove that prince from Rome; we took arms against a sovereign who defended him∣self only with the prayers he made to leave your in∣terests, and to return to his obedience. We afterwards cut to pieces the armies of Veil and Tarquinii, which endeavoured to restore him to the throne. The formidable power of Porsenna, the famine we underwent during a long siege, the fierce assaults, the continual battles; were all these, or, in short, was any thing capable of shaking the faith which we had given you? Thirty Latine cities united to restore the Tarquines. What would you have done then, if we had abandoned you, and joined your enemies? What rewards might we not have obtained of Tar∣quin, while the senate and nobles would have been the victims of his resentment? Who was it that dis∣persed this dangerous combination? To whom are you obliged for the defeat of the Latines? Is it not to this people? Is it not to them that you owe that very power which you have since turned against them? What recompence have we had for the as∣sistance we lent you? Is the condition of the Roman people one jot the better? Have you associated them in your offices and dignities? Have our poor ci∣tizens found so much as the smallest relief in their necessities? On the contrary, have not our bravest soldiers, oppressed with the weight of usury, been Page  185groaning in the chains of their merciless creditors? What has come of all those vain promises of abolish∣ing, in time of peace, the debts which the great had forced us to contract? Scarce was the war finished, but you alike forgot our services, and your oaths. With what designs then do you come hither? Why do you try to reduce this people by the enchantment of your words? Are there any oaths so solemn as to bind your faith? And, after all, what would you get by an union brought about by artifice, kept up with mutual distrust, and which, at last, must end in a civil war? Let us, on both sides, avoid such heavy misfortunes, let us not lose the happiness of our separa∣tion; suffer us to depart from a country where we are loaded with chains, like so many slaves, and where, being reduced to be only farmers of our own inheri∣tances, we are forced to cultivate them for the profit of our tyrants. So long as we have our swords in our hands, we shall be able to open ourselves a way into more fortunate climates; and, wherever the Gods shall grant us to live in liberty, there shall we sind our country."

By this, and frequent struggles of this sort, which the people had made before, they at length attained the establishment of the tribuneship, which consisted of two officers annually chosen out of the order of the plebeians, with authority to prevent the injustices that might be done to the people, and to defend their interests both public and private. Rome, by this establishment, made a great advance towards a new change in the form of her government. It had passed before from the monarchic state, to a state of aristo∣cracy; for upon the expulsion of Tarquin, the whole authority did really and in fact devolve upon the se∣nate and the great: But now, by the creation of the tribunes, a democracy began to take place, and the people, by insensible degtees, and under different pretences, got possession of the much greater share in the government. A famine which raged at Rome, Page  186soon after the establishment of this office, oc∣casions great complaints amongst the people; and a large supply of corn being procured from Sicily, by the patricians, Coriolanus, a young senator, who had done great services to the state as a general, is for taking advantage of the people's distress, to get the tribuneship abolished, which he proposes in the senate. The tribunes and the people, enraged at this, determined to prosecute Coriolanus, and after much altercation, desire to be heard by the senate, in ••lation to their charge against him; where Decius, one of the tribunes, makes the following speech:

"You know, Conscript Fathers, that having by our assistance, expelled Tarquin, and abolished the regal power, you established in the republic the form of government which is now observed in it, and of which we do not complain. But, neither can you be ignorant, that, in all the differences which any poor plebeian had afterwards with wealthy patricians, those plebeians constantly lost their causes, their ad∣versaries being their judges, and all the tribunals being filled with patricians only. This abuse was what made Valerius Poplicola, that wise consul and excellent citizen, establish the law which granted an appeal to the people, from the decrees of the senate, and the judgments of the consuls.

"Such is the law called Valeria, which has always been looked upon as the basis and foundation of the public liberty. It is to this law that we now fly for redress, if you refuse us the justice we demand upon a man, black with the greatest crime that it is possible to commit in a republic. It is not a single plebeian complaining, it is the whole body of the Roman people demanding the coudemnation of a tyrant, who would have destroyed his fellow citizens by famine, has violated our magistracy, and forcibly repulsed our officers, and the aediles of the commonwealth. Cori∣olanus is the man we accuse of having proposed the Page  187abolition of the tribuneship, a magistracy made sa∣cred by the most solemn oaths. What need is there of a senatus consulium to prosecute a criminal like this? Does not every man know, that those particular de∣crees of the senate, are requisite only in unforeseen and extraordinary affairs, and for which the laws have as yet made no provision? But, in the present case, where the law is so direct, where it expressly devotes to the infernal gods those who infringe it, is it not to become an accomplice in the crime to hesitate in the least? Are you not apprehensive, that these affected delays, this obstruction you throw in the way of our proceedings against this criminal, by the pre∣tended necessity of a previous decree of the senate, will make the people inclined to believe that Corio∣lanus only spoke the sentiments of you all?

"I know that several among you complain it was merely by violence we extorted your consent for the abolition of the debts, and the establishment of the tribuneship. I will even suppose that, in the high degree of power to which you had raised yourselves, after the expulsion of Tarquin, it was neither con∣venient nor honorable for you to yield up part of it in favour of the people; but you have done it, and the whole senate is bound by the most solemn oaths never to undo it. After the establishment of those sacred laws, which render the persons of the tribunes inviolable, will ye, in compliance with the first ambi∣tious man that arises, attempt to revoke what makes the peace and security of the state? Certainly you never will; and I dare answer for you, so long as I behold in this assembly those venerable magistrates who had so great a share in the treaty upon the mons sacer. Ought you to suffer a matter like this to be so much as brought into deliberation? Coriolanus is the first who, by his seditious advice, has endeavoured to break those sacred bands, which, strengthened by the laws, unite the several orders of the state. It is he alone who is for destroying the tribunitian power, Page  188the people's assylum the bulwark of our liberty, and the pledge of our re-union. In order to force the people's consent, in order to perpetrate one crime, he attempted another much greater. He dares, even in a holy place, and in the midst of the senate, propose to let the people die of hunger. Cruel and unthink∣ing man, at the same time! Did he not consider, that this people whom he meant to exterminate with so much inhumanity, and who are more numerous and powerful than he could wish, being reduced to despair, would have broken into the houses, forced open those granaries, and those cellars which conceal so much wealth, and would rather have fallen under the power of the patricians, or have totally rooted out that whole order?—Could he imagine, that an enraged populace would have hearkened to any law, but what was dictated by necessity and resentment?

"For, that you may not be unacquainted with the truth, we would not have perished by a famine brought upon us by our enemies: but, having called to witness the gods, revengers of injustice, we would have filled Rome with blood and slaughter. Such had been the fatal consequences of the counsels of that perfidious citizen, if some senators, who had more love for their country, had not hindered them from taking effect. It is to you, Conscript Fathets, that we address our just complaints. It is to your aid, and to the wisdom of your decrees, that we have re∣course, to oblige this public enemy to appear before the whole Roman people, and answer for his perni∣cious counsels. It is there, Coriolanus, that thou must defend thy former sentiments, if thou darest so to do, or excuse them from proceeding from want of thought. Take my advice; leave thy haughty and tyrannical maxims; make thyself less; become like us; nay, put on a habit of mourning, so suitable to thy present fortune. Implore the pity of thy fel∣low-citizens, and perhaps thou mayest obtain their favour, and the forgiveness of thy fault."

Page  189Coiolanus was given up to be tried by the tri∣bunes of the people; by whom he was condemned to perpetual banishment.

(To be continued.)

[Continuation of Mr. ERSKINE'S Defence of PAINE, and of The Liberty of the Press, from page 175.]

LET then the calumniators of Thomas Paine now attend to his Preface, where, to leave no excuse for ignorance or misrepresentation, he expresses himself thus:

I have differed from some professional gentle∣men on the subject of prosecutions, and I since find they are falling into my opinion, which I will here state as fully, but as concisely as I can.

I will first put a case with respect to any law, and then compare |it with a government, or with what in England is, or has been, called a Con∣stitution.

It would be an act of despotism, or what in England is called arbitrary power to make a law to prohibit investigating the principles, good or bad, on which such a law, or any other, is founded.

If a law be bad, it is one thing to oppose the practice of it, but it is quite a different thing to expose its errors, to reason on its defects, and to shew cause why it should be repealed, or why another ought to be substituted in its place. I have always held it an opinion (making it also my practice), that it is better to obey a bad law, making use at the same time of every argument to shew its errors, and procure its repeal, than forcibly to violate it; because the precedent of breaking a bad law might weaken the force, and Page  190lead to a discretionary violation, of those which are good.

The case is the same with principles and forms of government, or to what are called constitutions and the parts of which they are composed.

It is for the good of nations, and not for the emolument or aggrandisement of particular indi∣viduals, that government ought to be established, and that mankind are at the expence of support∣ing it. The defects of every government and con∣stitution, both as to principle and form, must, on a parity of reasoning, be as, open to discussion as the defects of a law; and it is a duty which every man owes to society to point them out. When those defects, and the means of remedying them are generally seen by a nation, that nation will reform its government or its constitution in the one case, as the government repealed or reformed the law in the other.

Gentlemen, you must undoubtedly wish to deal with every man who comes before you in judgment, as you would be dealt by yourselves; and surely you will not lay it down as a law to be binding hereafter even upon yourselves, that if you should publish any opinion concerning the existing abuses in your coun∣try's government, and point out to the whole public the means of amendment, you are to be acquitted or convicted as any twelve men may happen to agree with you in your opinions. Yet this is precisely what you are asked to do to another; it is pre∣cisely the case before you. Mr. Paine expressly says, I obey a law until it is repealed; obedience is not only my principle but my practice, since my disobedience of a law from thinking it bad, might apply to justify another man in the disobedience of a good one; and thus individuals would give the rule for themselves, and not society, for all.

Gentlemen, you will presently see that the same principle pervades the rest of the work; and I am Page  191the more anxious to call your attention to it, how∣ever repetition may tire you, because it unfolds the whole principle of my argument: for, if you find a sentence in the whole book that invests any indivi∣dual, or any number of individuals, or any commu∣nity short of the whole nation, with a power of changing any part of the law or constitution I aban∣don the cause—YES, I freely abandon it, because I will not affront the majesty of a court of justice, by maintaining propositions which, even upon the sur∣face of them, are false.—Mr. Paine, page 162— 186, goes on thus:

When a nation changes its opinion and habits of thinking, it is no longer to be governed as before; but it would not only be wrong, but bad policy, to attempt by force what ought to be accomplished by reason. Rebellion consists in forcibly opposing the general will of a nation, whether by a party or by a government. There ought, therefore, to be, in every nation, a method of occasionally ascertaining the state of public opinion with respect to govern∣ment.

There is therefore, no power but the voluntary Will of the People that has a right to act in any matter respecting a general Reform; and, by the same right that two persons can confer on such a subject, a thousand may. The object in all such preliminary proceedings is, to find out what the general sense of a nation is, and to be governed by it. If it prefer a bad or defective government to a reform, or chuse to pay ten times more taxes than there is occasion for, it has a right so to do; and, so long as the majority do not impose con∣ditions on the minority different to what they im∣pose on themselves, though there may be much error, there is no injustice; neither will the error continue long. Reason and discussion will soon bring things right, however wrong they may be∣gin. By such a process no tumult is to be appre∣hended. Page  192The poor, in all countries, are naturally both peaceable and grateful in all reforms in which their interest and happiness are included. It is only by neglecting and rejecting them that they become tumultuous.

Gentlenen, these are the sentiments of the Author of the Rights of Man; and, whatever his opinions may be of the defects in our government, it can never change our sentiments concerning it, if our senti∣ments are just; and a writing can never be seditious in the sense of the English law, which states that the government leans on the universal will for its sup∣port.

Gentlemen, this universal will is the best and se∣curest title which his Majesty and his family have to the throne of these Kingdoms; and in proportion to the wisdom of our institutions, the title must in com∣mon sense become the stronger: so little idea indeed, have I of any other, that in my place in parliament, not a week ago, I considered it as the best way of expressing my attachment to the constitution, as esta∣blished at the Revolution, to declare (I believe in the presence of the Heir Apparent of the Crown, for whom I have the greatest personal zeal) that his Majesty reigned in England, by choice and consent, as the magistrate of the English people; not indeed a consent and choice by personal election, like a King of Po∣land, the worst of all possible constitutions; but by the election of a family for great national objects; in defiance of that hereditary right, which only becomes tyranny, in the sense of Mr. Paine, when it claims to inherit a nation, instead of governing by their con∣sent, and continuing for its benefit.

Gentlemen, this sentiment has the advantage of Mr. Burke's high authority, he says with great truth, in a letter to his constituents,

Too little dependance cannot be had at this time of day on names and pre∣judices: the eyes of mankind are opened; and com∣munities must be held together by a visible and solid Page  193interest.
I believe, Gentlemen of the Jury, that the Prince of Wales will always render this title dear to the people. The Attorney General can only tell you what he believes of him; I can tell you what I know, and what I am bound to declare, since this Prince may be traduced and calumniated in every part of the Kingdom, without its coming into question, till brought in to load a defence with matter collateral to the charge. I therefore assert what the Attorney General can only hope, that, whenever that Prince shall ever come to the throne of this Country (which I hope, but by the course of nature, will never happen), he will make the Constitution of Great Britain the foundation of all his conduct.

Having now, Gentlemen, established the Author's general intention by his own introduction, which is the best and fairest exposition, let us next look at the oc∣casion which gave it birth.

(To be continued.)
—To shew
The very Age and Body of the Time its Form
And Pressure.—

Glorious News for Church and —. Rioters!

The Church is not in danger—it is only to be sold!!!

Morning Chronicle, Nov. 20, 1793.

NEXT PRESENTATION TO A VALUABLE LIVING, ESSEX.

By Messrs. SKINNER and DYKE,

On Thursday, the 5th of December, at twelve o'clock, at Garraway's Coffee-house, 'Change-alley, Corn∣hill,

Page  194 THE NEXT PRESENTATION to the valua∣ble consolidated RECTORIES of SOUTH and WEST HANNINGFIELD, situate in a delightful, healthy, and sporting part of the county of Essex, a short distance from Chelmsford, and only 30 miles from London, of the annual value of Three hundred and seventy-six pounds, seventeen shillings and six-pence per annum, arising from the great and small tythes, which if taken in kind, would produce considerably more, with a good parsonage-house, and fifty acres of glebe land. The present Incumbent is upwards of 80 years of age!!!

Particulars may be had, fourteen days preceding the sale, at the Black Boy, Chelmsford; George, Witham; White Hart, Colchester; Mr. Jackson, Printer, Ox∣ford; at the place of sale; and of Messrs, Skinner and Dyke, Aldersgate-street.

Morning Chronicle, No. 27, 1793.

CORNWALL.

To be SOLD, the next Presentation to a LIVING, of the annual value of 500l. and upwards, and the present Incumbent 91 years of age!!!

For further particulars apply to Messrs. Graham, Lincoln's Inn.

THE DISTRESSES OF THE POOR, Exemplified in the LIFE OF A PRIVATE SOLDIER.

From the Citizen of the World. By Dr. Goldsmith.

THE misfortunes of the great, my friend, are held up to engage our attention, are enlarged upon in tones of declamation, and the world is called upon to Page  195gaze at the noble sufferers; they have at once the comfort of admiration and pity.

Yet where is the magnanimity of bearing misfortunes, when the whole world is looking on? Men in such •••••hances can act bravely even from motives of vanity. He only who, in the vale of obscurity, can ••ave a svertity, who, without friends to encourage, as quaintances to pity, or even without hope to allevi∣ate his distresses, can behave with tranquility and in∣diference, is truly great; whether peasant or cour∣tier, be deserves admiration, and should be held up for our imitation and respect.

The miseries of the poor are, however, entirely disregarded, though some undergo more real hard∣ships in one day than the great in their whole lives. It is indeed inconceivable what difficulties the meanest English sailor or soldier endures without murmuring or regret. Every day to him is a day of misery, and yet he bears his hard fate without repining.

With what indignation do I hear the heroes of tra∣gedy complain of misfortunes and hardships, whose greatest calamity is founded in arrogance and pride. Their severest distresses are pleasures, compared to what many of the adventuring poor every day sustain, without murmuring. These may eat, drink and sleep, have slaves to attend them, and are sure of sustenence for life, while many of their fellow-crea∣tures are obliged to wander, without a friend to com∣fort or to assist them, find enmity in every law, and are too poor to obtain even justice.

I have been led into these reflections, from acci∣dentally meeting some days ago, a poor fellow beg∣ging at one of the outlets of the town, with a wooden leg. I was curious to learn what had reduced him to his present situation; and after giving him what I thought proper, desired to know the history of his life and misfortunes, and the manner in which he was reduced to his present distress. The disabled soldier, for such he was, with an intrepidity truly British, Page  196leaning on his crutch, put himself into an attitude to comply with my request, and gave me his history as follows:

'As for misfortunes, Sir, I can't pretend to have gone through more than others. Except the loss of my limb, and my being obliged to beg, I don't know any reason, thank heaven, that I have to complain: there are some that have lose both legs and an eye; but, thank heaven, it is not quite so bad with me.

'My father was a labourer in the country, and died when I was five years old; so I was put upon the parish. As he had been a wandering sort of a man, the parishioners were not able to tell to what parish I belonged, or where I was born; so they sent me to another parish, and that parish sent me to a third; till at h•• it was thought I be longed to no parish at all. At length, however, they sixed me. I had some dis∣position to be a scholar, and had actually learned my letters; but the master of the workhouse put me to business, as soon as I was able to handle a mallet.

'Here I lived an easy kind of a life for five years. I only wrought ten hours in the day, and had my meat and drink provided for my labour. It is true, I was not suffered to stir far from the house, for fear I should run away; but what of that, I had the liberty of the whole house, and the yard before the door, and that was enough for me.

'I was next bound out to a farmer, where I was up both early and late, but I eat and drank well, and liked my business well enough, till he died. Be∣ing then obliged to provide for myself, I was resolved to go and seek my fortune. Thus I lived and went from town to town, working when I could get em∣ployment, and starving when I could get none, and might have lived so still; but happening one day to go through a field belonging to a magistrate, I spy'd a hare crossing the path just before me. I believe the devil put it in my head to fling my stick at it: well, what will you have on't? I kill'd the hare, and was Page  197bringing it away in triumph, when the justice him∣self; met me: he called me a villain, and collering me, desired I would give an account of myself. I began immediately to give a full account of all that I knew of my breed, seed and generation: but though I gave a very long account, the justice said, I could give no account of myself; so I was indicted and found guilty of being poor, and sent to Newgate, in or∣der to be transported to the plantations.

'People may say this and that of being in jail; but for my part, I found Newgate as agreeable a place as ever I was in, in all my life. I had my belly full to eat and drink, and did no work; but alas, this kind of life was too good to last for ever! I was taken out of prison, after five months, put on board of a ship, and sent off with two hundred more. Our pas∣sage was but indifferent, for we were all confined in the hold, and died very fast, for want of sweet air and provisions; but for my part, I did not want meat, because I had a fever all the way; providence was kind when provisions grew short, it took away my desire of eating. When we came on shore, we were sold to the Planters. I was bound for seven years; and as I was no scholar, for I had forgot my letters, I was obliged to work among the negroes; and served out my time as in duty bound to do.

'When my time was expired, I worked my passage home, and glad I was to see Old England again, because I loved my Country. O Liberty, Liberty, Liberty! that is the property of every En∣glishman, and I will die in it's defence: I was afraid, however, that I should be indicted for a vagabond once more, so did not much care to go into the coun∣try, but kept about town, and did little jobs when I get them. I was very happy in this manner for some time, till one evening, coming home from work, two men knocked me down, and then defired me to stand still. They belonged to a press gang; I was carried before the justice, and as I could give no ac∣count Page  198count of my self (that was the thing that always hob∣bled me), I had my choice left, whether to go on board a man of war, or list for a soldier; I chose to be a soldier, and in this part of a gentleman I served two campaigns, was at the battles in Flanders, and received but one wound through the breast, which is troublesome to this day.

'When the peace came on, I was discharged; and as I could not work, because my wound was some∣times painful, I listed for a landsman in the East India Company's service. I here fought the French in six pitched battles; and verily believe, that if I could read or write, our Captain would have given me promo∣tion, and made me a corporal. But that was not my good fortune, I soon fell sick, and when I became good for nothing, got leave to return home again with forty pounds in my pocket, which I saved in the ser∣vice. This was at the beginning of the present war, so I hoped to be set on shore, and to have the pleasure of spending my money; but the government wanted men, and I was pressed again before ever I could set foot on shore.

'The boatswain found me, as he said, an obsti∣nate fellow: he swore that I understood my business perfectly well, but that I pretended sickness merely to be idle: God knows, I knew nothing of sea busi∣ness! He beat me without considering what he was about. But still my forty pounds was some comfort to me under every beating; the money was my com∣fort, and the money I might have had to this day, but that our ship was taken by the French, and so I lost it all!

'Our crew was carried into a French prison, and many of them died, because they were not used to live in a jaiI; but for my part it was nothing to me, for I was seasoned. One night however, as I was sleeping on the bed of boards, with a warm blanket about me, (for I always loved to lie well) I was awak∣ed by the boatswain, who had a dark lanthorn in his Page  199hand. Jack, says he to me, will you knock out the French centry's brains? I don't care, says I, striving to keep myself awake, if I lend a hand. Then follow me, says he, and I hope we shall do business. So up I got, and tied my blanket, which was all the cloaths. I had, about my middle, and went with him to fight the Frenchmen: we had no arms; but one Englishman is able to beat five French at any time; so we went down to the door; where both the centries were post∣ed, and rushing upon them, seized their arms in a moment, and knocked them down. From thence nine of us ran together to the Quay, and seizing the first boat we met, got out of the harbour, and put to sea. We had not been here three days, before we were taken by an English privateer, who was glad of so many good hands, and we consented to run our chance. However, we had not so much luck as we expected. In three days we fell in with a French man of War of forty guns, while we had but twen∣ty-three; so to it we went. The fight lasted for three hours, and I verily believe we should have taken the Frenchman, but unfortunately we lost almost all our men, just as we were going to get the victory. I was once more in the power of the French, and I believe it would have gone hard with me, had I been brought back to my old jail in Brest; but by good fortnue we were re-taken, and carried to England once more.

I had almost forgot to tell you, that in this last en∣gagement I was wounded in two places; I lost four fingers of the left hand, and my leg was cut off. Had I the good fortune to have lost my leg and the use of my hand on board a king's ship, and not a privateer, I should have been entitled to cloathing and maintenance during the rest of my life, but that was not my chance; one man is born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and another a wooden ladle. However, blessed be God, I enjoy good health, and have no enemy in this Page  200world that I know of, but the French and the justice of peace.'

Thus saying, he limped off, leaving my friend and me in admiration of his intrepidity and content.

ON KINGS.

From Godwin's Enquiry concerning Political Justice.

MONARCHY is so unnatural an institution, that mankind have at all times strongly suspected it was unfriendly to their happiness. The power of truth upon important topies is such, that it may rather be said to be obscured than obliterated; and falshood has scarcely ever been so successful, as not to have had a refess and powerful antagonist in the heart of its vo∣taries. The man who with difficulty earns his scanty subsistence, cannot behold the ostentatious splendor of a king, without being visited by some sense of injustice. He inevitably questions in his mind the utility of an officer, whose services are hired at so enormous a price. If he confider the subject with any degree of accuracy, he is led to perceive, and that with suffici∣ent surprise, that a king is nothing more than a com∣mon mortal, exceeded by many, and equalled by more in every requisite of strength, capacity, and virtue, He feels therefore, that nothing can be more ground∣less and unjust, than the supposing that one such man as this is the fittest and most competent instrument for regulating the affairs of nations.

These reflections are so unavoidable, that Kings themselves have often been aware of the danger to their imaginary happiness with which they are preg∣nant. They have sometimes been alarmed with the progress of thinking, and oftener regarded the ease and prosperity of their subjects as a fource of terror Page  201and apprehension. They justly consider their functions as a sort of public exhibition, the success of which depends upon the credulity of the spectators, and which good sense and courage would speedily bring to a termination. Hence the well known maxims of mo∣narchial government, that ease is the parent of rebel∣lion, and that it is necessary to keep the people in a state of poverty and endurance, in order to render them submissive. Hence it has been the perpetual com∣plaint of despotism, that "the restive knaves are over∣run with ease, and plenty ever is the nurse of faction*." Hence it has been the lesson perpetually read to mo∣narchs: "Render your subjects prosperous, and they will speedily refuse to labour; they will become stub∣born, proud, unsubmissive to the yoke, and ripe for revolt. It is impotence and misery that alone will render them supple, and prevent them from rebelling against the dictates of authority."

(To be continued.)

ON THE REBELLION OF PRINCES.


Isaiah, 1. xxiii. Thy Princes are rebellions, and Com∣panions of Thieves: every one loveth Gifts, and fol∣loweth after Rewards: they judge not the Father∣less, neither doth the Cause of the Widow come before them.

From Fast-Day Sermons, by the Rev. J. Murray, of Newcastle, Author of Sermons to Asses.

Printed in the Year 1781.

PRINCES may be rebellious by joining interests and partnership with thieves and dishonest per∣sons. These are such as take what is not their own, Page  202and apply it to their own purposes. This is a coarse compliment to princes, but as it is given by an inspired Prophet it cannot be taken amiss.

It is rebellion against God and the laws, for rulers to take more than justly is due to them, or join interests with those who do.

It is also dishonest to promote or procure laws, that may make it legal to give them more than the people can afford: this comes under the notion of theft and rebellion, according to the Prophet's idea.

The Princes of Judah and Israel went partners with the Sovereign in the plunder of the Nation. They probably voted large supplies to the king, because they knew they would receive a share of the revenue, and might promote a law for encreasing the civil list in hopes of serving in his Majesty's houshold; but this was theft and rebellion against justice, and the laws of the land.

Those who obey the fundamental laws of govern∣ment cannot be rebels, though it is manifest that legis∣lators that make laws contrary to natural justice and the law of God may be guilty of rebellion.

Not executing the laws impartially is joined with rebellion, or is rather a part of it. The fatherless and the widow were either neglected or made seel all the force of penal laws when they were guilty, when those who had influence in a tribe, or could serve the ends of administration, were rescued from justice, when they had committed the most capital crimes.

This is by the Prophet accounted the very height of rebellion, and is often committed by princes and their companions.

Thus it is plain, that rebellion is not a crime pecu∣far to the people only, but is also sometimes to be found at the very springs of government.

Some would make us believe that kings and princes cannot be guilty of rebellion, but the scripture informs us otherwise.

As we are certain from the best authority, that even Page  203princes may rebel, the question now is, whether they ought to be punished for it like other rebels, and who can lawfully punish them? This question requires a little caution, and must be determined by scripture; and it is hoped that then no Christian will dissent from the conclusion.

Whether there is any difference between trying Kings and Princes for rebellion, and punishing them without trying them, I shall leave to the Tories and Causuists to determine. For there has been more noise concerning the trial of King Charles the First, than concerning the punishment of all the rebellious princes since the Conquest.

This Prince is the only martyr we find among the Kings of England, though many of them have suffer∣ed for their tytanny and rebellion against the laws.

The Kings in this country are considered as the source of the laws, and it is supposed that if the King could die, that all law would be at an end; for this reason the lawyers have made our kings immortal, and laid it down as a first principle, that the King can∣not die.

It ought to have been seriously considered, before such a mysterious maxim had been laid down as a first principle, whether laws or Kings were first ap∣pointed by the Almighty; for if ever we find laws without Kings, it will appear manifest that they are not necessary to the being of government, but that laws may continue when there is no monarch.

It is plain, that there was law before we heard any thing of any ruler except God himself, from hence it would appear, that the existence of laws does not de∣pend upon any human regal authority, and though that Kings should chance to die, the laws, if just, will continue immortal; if they are unjust, they ought never to exist.

Page  204

ON THE NATIONAL SIN OF SUFFERING BAD GOVERNMENT.

From A Discourse for the Fast on April 19th, 1793. Entitled SINS OF THE NATION.

THE vices of nations may be divided into those which relate to their own internal proceedings, or to their relations with other states. With regard to the first, the causes for humiliation are various. Many nations are guilty of the crime of permiting op∣pressive laws and bad governments to remain amongst them, by which the poor are crushed, and the lives of the innocent are laid at the mercy of wicked and arbitrary men. This is a national sin of the deep∣est dye, as it involves in it most others. It is painful to reflect how many atrocious governments there are in the world, and how little even they who enjoy good ones, seem to understand their true nature. We are apt to speak of the happiness of living under a mild government, as if it were like the happiness of living under an indulgent climate; and when we thank God for it, we rank it with the blessings of the air and of the soil; whereas we ought to thank God for the wisdom and virtue of living under a good govern∣ment, for a good government is the first of national duties. It is indeed a happiness, and one which de∣mands our most grateful thanks, to be born under one which spares us the trouble and hazard of changing of it; but a people born under a good government, will probably not die under one, if they conceive of it as of an indolent and passive happiness, to be left for its preservation, to fortunate conjunctures, and the float∣ing and variable chances of incalculable events; our second duty is to keep it good.

Page  205

ON CIVIL LIBERTY, AND THE PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT.

FROM what has been said it is obvious, that all Civil Government, as far as it can be denomi∣nated free, is the creature of the people. It originates with them. It is conducted under their direction; and has in view nothing but their happiness. All its different forms are no more than so many different modes in which they chuse to direct their affairs, and to secure the quiet enjoyment of their rights.—In every free state every man is his own legislator. All taxes are free-gifts for public services.—All laws are particular provisions or regulations established by COMMON CONSENT for gaining protection and safe∣ty. — And all Magistrates are trustees or deputies for carrying these regulations into execution.

Liberty, therefore, is too imperfectly defined when it is said to be "a Government by LAWS, and not by MEN." If the laws are made by one man, or a junto of men in a state, and not by COMMON CON∣SENT, a government by them does not differ from slavery. In this case it would be a contradiction in terms to say, that the state governs itself.

From hence it is obvious that Civil Liberty, in the most perfect degree, can be enjoyed only in small states, where every member is capable of giving his suffrage in person, and of being chosen into public offices. When a state becomes so numerous, or when the different parts of it are removed to such distances from one another, as to render this impracticable, a diminution of liberty necessarily arises. There are, however, in these circumstances, methods by which such near approaches may be made to perfect liberty as shall answer all the purposes of government, and at the same time secure every right of human nature.

Page  206Tho' all the members of a state should not be ca∣pable of giving their suffrages on public measures, in∣dividually and personally, they may do this by the ap∣pointment of substitutes or representatives. They may entrust the powers of legislation, subject to such re∣strictions as they shall think necessary, with any num∣ber of delegates; and whatever can be done by such delegates within the limits of their trust, may be con∣sidered as done by the united voice and counsel of the community.—In this method a free government may be established in the largest state; and it is con∣ceivable, that by regulations of this kind, any num∣ber of states might be subjected to a scheme of go∣vernment, that would exclude the desolations of war, and produce universal peace and order.

Let us think here of what may be practicable in this way with respect to Europe in particular.—While it continues divided, as it is at present, into a great number of independent kingdoms, whose interests are continually clashing, it is impossible but that dis∣putes will often arise, which must end in war and carnage. It would be no remedy to this evil to make one of these states supreme over the rest; and to give it an absolute plenitude of power to superintend and controul them. This would be to subject all the states to the arbitrary discretion of one, and to esta∣blish an ignominious slavery, not possible to be long endured. It would, therefore, be a remedy worse than the disease; nor is it possible it should be ap∣proved by any mind that has not lost every idea of civil liberty. On the contrary.—Let every state, with respect to all its internal concerns, be continued independent of all the rest; and let a general con∣federacy be formed by the appointment of a SENATE, consisting of representatives from all the different states. Let this SENATE possess tbe power of ma∣naging all the common concerns of the united states, and of judging and deciding between them, as a common arbiter or umpire, in all disputes; having, Page  207at the same time, under its direction, the common force of the states to support its decisions. In these circumstances, each seperate state would be secure against the interference of foreign power in its private concerns, and, therefore, would possess liberty; and at the same time it would be secure against all op∣pression and insult from every neighbouring state.— Thus might the scattered force and abilities of a whole continent be gathered into one point; all liti∣gations settled as they rose; universal peace esta∣blished; and nation prevented from any more lifting up a sword against nation.

THE NEW CONSTITUTION OF FRANCE, [Continued from page 180.]

OF THE REPUBLIC.

1. THE French Republic is one and indivisible.

OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE PEOPLE.

2. The French People is distributed, for the exer∣cise of its sovereignty, into Primary Assemblies of Cantons.

3. It is distributed, for administration and for justice, into Departments, Districts and Municipalities.

OF THE STATE OF CITIZENS.

4. Every man born or domiciliated in France, of the age of twenty-one years complete;

Every foreigner of the age of twenty-one years com∣plete, who has been domiciliated in France for one year;

Lives in it by his labour; or acquires a property; Page  208or marries a French woman; or adopts a child; or maintains an ageerson; finally, every foreigner, who shall be judg•• by the Legislative Body to have deserved well of humanity;

Is admitted to the exercise of the rights of a French citizen.

5. The exercise of the rights of a citizen is lost, by naturalization in a foreign country; 〈◊〉he accept∣ance of functions or favours flowing from a govern∣ment not popular; by condemnation to punishments infamous or afflictive, till recapacitation.

6. The exercise of the rights of a Citizen is sus∣pended, by the state of accusation; by a judgment of contumacy, as long as that judgment is not annulled.

OF THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PEOPLE.

7. The sovereign people is the universality of French citizens.

8. It nominates directly, its Deputies.

9 It delegates to Electors the choice of Admini∣strators, of Public Arbitrators, of Criminal Judges, and Judges of Appeal.

10. It deliberates on the laws.

OF THE PRIMARY ASSEMBLIES.

11. The Primary Assemblies are composed of the Citizens domiciliated for six months in each canton.

12. They are composed of 200 citizens at the least, and 600 at the most called to vote.

13. They are constituted by the nomination of a President, Secretaries and Scrutineers.

14. Their police appertains to them.

15. No person can appear in them armed.

16. The elections are made by ballot, or open vote, at the option of each voter.

17. A Primary Assembly cannot, in any case, pre∣scribe a uniform mode of voting.

18. The Scrutineers ascertain the votes of citizens, who cannot write and choose to vote by ballot.

Page  209 19. The suffrages upon laws are given by yes or by no.

20. The will of a Primary Assembly is proclaimed th••? The citizens met in Primary Assembly of—, to the number of — votes, vote for, or vote against, by a majority of —.

OF THE NATIONAL REPRESENTATION.

21. The population is the sole basis of the National Representation.

22. There is one Deputy for every 40,000 indi∣viduals.

23. Each re-union of Primary Assemblies resulting from a population of from 39,000 to 41,000 souls, nominates directly one Deputy.

24. The nomination is made by the absolute majo∣rity of suffrages.

25. Each Assembly casts up the suffrages, and sends a Commissioner for the general casting up to the place pointed out as the most central.

26. If the first casting up does not give an absolute majority, a second vote is proceeded to, and the votes are taken for the two citizens who had the most voices.

27. In case of equality of voices, the eldest has the preference, either to be on the ballot, or elected. in case of equality of age, lot decides.

28. Every Frenchman, exercising the rights of Citizen, is eligible through the extent of the Republic.

29. Each Deputy belongs to the whole nation.

30. In case of the non-acceptance, resignation, for∣feiture or death of a Deputy, he is replaced by the Primary Assemblies who nominated him.

31. A Deputy who has given in his resignation, cannot quit his post, but after the admission of his successor.

32. The French People assemble every year on the 〈◊〉 of May for the elections.

33. It proceeds in them, whatever be the number of Citizens present having a right to vote.

Page  210 34. Primary Assemblies are formed on extraordi∣nary occasions, on the demand of a fifth of the Citi∣zens, who have a right to vote in them.

35. The Convocation is made, in this case, by the Municipality of the ordinary place of meeting.

36. These extraordinary Assemblies do not delibe∣rate but when one more than the half of the citizens, who have a right to vote in them, are present.

OF ELECTORAL ASSEMBLIES.

37. The Citizens met, in Primary Assemblies, no∣minate one Elector for every 200 Citizens; present or not, two for from 201 to 400, and three for from 401 to 600.

38. The holding of the Electoral Assemblies, and the mode of elections, are the same as in the Primary Assemblies.

OF THE LEGISLATIVE BODY.

39. The Legislative Body is one indivisible and permanent.

40. Its session is for a year.

41. It meets the 1st. of July.

42. The National Assembly cannot be constituted, if it do not consist of one more than the half of the Deputies.

43. The Deputies cannot be examined, accused, or tried at any time, for the opinions they have delivered in the Legislative Body.

44. They may, for a criminal act, be seized, en∣flagrant delite; but a warrant of arrest, or a warrant summoning to appear, cannot be granted against them unless authorised by the Legislative Body.

HOLDING OF THE SITTINGS OF THE LE∣GISLATIVE BODY.

45. The Sittings of the National Assembly are public.

46. The minutes of its sittings are printed.

Page  211 47. It cannot deliberate, if it be not composed of 200 members at least.

48. It cannot refuse to hear its members speak in the order in which they have demanded to be heard.

49. It deliberates by the majority of the members present.

50. Fifty members have a right to require the ap∣peal nominal.

51. It has the right of censure on the conduct of its members in its bosom.

52. The police appertains to it in the place of its sittings, and in the external circuit which it has de∣termined.

OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE LEGISLA∣TIVE BODY.

53. The Legislative Body proposes laws and passes decrees.

54. Under the general name of laws are compre∣hended the acts of the Legislative Body concerning the Legislation civil and criminal; the general admi∣nistration of the revenues, and of the ordinary ex∣pences of the Republic; the national domains; the title, the weight, the impression, and the denomination of money; the nature, the amount, and the collection of contributions; the declaration of war; every new general distribution of the French territory; the pub∣lic instruction; the public honours to the memory of great men.

55. Under the particular name of Decrees, are in∣cluded the acts of the Legislative Body, concerning the annual establishment of the land and sea forces; the permission or the prohibition of the passage of foreign troops through the French territory; the in∣troduction of foreign naval forces into the ports of the Republic; the measures of general safety and tranquil∣lity; the annual and momentary distribution of pub∣lic succours and works, the orders for the fabrication of money of every kind; the unforeseen and extraor∣dinary Page  212expences; the measures local and particular to an administration, a commune, or any kind of public works; the defence of the territory; the ratification of treaties; the nomination and the removal of com∣manders in chief of armies; the prosecution of the responsibility of Members of the Council, and the public fu••••onaries; the accusation of persons charged with plots against the general safety of the Republic; all change in the partial distribution of the French territory; National recompences.

O THE FORMATION OF THE LAW.

56. The plans of law are preceded by a report.

57. The discussion cannot be opened, and the law cannot be provisionally resolved upon till 15 days after the report.

58. The plan is printed and sent to all the Com∣m•••s of the Republic, under this •••e: Law pro∣posed.

59. Forty days after the sending of the law pro∣posed, if in more than one half of the Departments, the renth of the Primary Assemblies of each, have not objected to it, the plan is accepted and becomes law.

60. If there be an objection, the Legislative Body convokes the Primary Assemblies.

OF THE ENTITLING OF LAWS AND DECREES.

61. Laws, decrees, judgments, and all public acts are entitled: In the name of the French People, the— year of the French Republic.

(To be continued.)

POPULAR ASSEMBLIES UNDERSTAND ON∣LY THEIR OWN INTERESTS.

From Harrington's Oceana.

A Popular Assembly has no mean, but is either the wisest in nature, or has no brains at all. When affairs go upon no other than the public in∣terest Page  213this having no other interest to follow, nor eyes to see withal, is the wisest council: but such ways are destructive to a prince, and they will have no nay. The congregation of Israel, when REHO∣BOAM would not hearken to their advice, deposed him: and we know what popular councils, so soon as they came to sufficient power, did in England. If a prince put a popular council from this ward, he does a great matter, and to little purpose; for they under∣stand nothing else but themselves. Wherefore the Kings of France and of Spain have dissolved all such assemblies. It is true, where a prince is not strong enough to get money out of them but by their con∣sent, they are necessary; yet then they are not purely of advice and dispatch, but share in the government, and he cannot be meddling with their purses, but they will be meddling with his laws. The Senate is of sieter use for a prince; and yet, except he has the way of TIBERIUS, but a ticklish piece, as appears by MAXIMINUS, who was destroyed by PUPIENUS and BALBINUS, captains set up against him by this order. To go to the root: These things are not otherwise in prudence or choice than by direction of the ba∣lance; where this is popular, no remedy but the prince must be advised by the people, which if the late king would have endured, the monarchy might have subsisted somewhat longer: but while the ba∣lance was Aristocratical, as during the great estates of the nobility and the clergy, we find not the people to have been great or wise counsellors. In sum, if a king governs by a popular council, or a house of commons, the throne will not stand long: if he go∣verns by a senate, or a house of lords, let him never fear the throne, but have a care of himself: there is no third, as I have said often enough, but the Divan.

Page  214

ON RELIGION.

MORNING CHRONICLE, Nov. 29, 1793.

A Few days after the Bishop of Paris and his Vicars had set the example of renouncing their clerical character, a Cure from a village on the Banks of the Rhone, followed by some of his parishioners, with an offering of gold and silver saints, chalices, rich vestments, &c. presented himself at the Bar of the National Convention. The sight of the gold put the Convention in a very good humour, and the Cur, a thin venerable looking man, with grey hairs, was ordered to speak. I come, said he, from the village of —, where the only good building stand∣ing (for the Chateau has been pulled down), is a very fine church; my parishioners beg you will take it to make an hospital for the sick and wounded of both parties, they being both equally our country∣men; the gold and silver, part of which we have brought you, they entreat you will devote to the ser∣vice of the state, and that you will cast the bells into cannon, to drive away its foreign invaders; for my∣self, I am come with great pleasure to resign my let∣ters of ordination, of induction, and every deed and title, by which I have been constituted a member of your ecclesiastical polity. Here are the papers, you may burn them, if you please, in the same fire with the genealogical trees and patents of the nobility. I desire likewise, that you will discontinue my salary. I am still able to support myself with the labour of my hands, and I beg you to believe, that I never felt sincerer joy than I now do in making this renunci∣ation. I have longed to see this day, I see it, and am glad.

When the old man had done speaking, the ap∣plause; were immoderate. You are an honest man, said they, all at once; a brave fellow; and the Pre∣sident advanced to give him the fraternal embrace. Page  215The Curé did not seem greatly elated with these tokens of approbation, and thus resumed his dis∣course:—"Before you applaud my sentiments, it is fit you should understand them; perhaps, they may not entirely coincide with your own. I rejoice in this day, not because I wish to see religion degraded, but because I wish to see it exalted and purisied. By dissolving its alliance with the state, you have given it dignity and independence. You have done it a piece of service, which ••s well-wishers would perhaps ne∣ver have had courage to render it, but which is the only thing wanted to make it appear in its genuine beauty and lustre. Nobody will now say of me when I am performing the offices of my religion, it is his trade, he is paid for telling the people such and such things, he is hired to keep up an useful piece of mum∣mery. They cannot now say this, and therefore I feel myself raised in my own esteem, and shall speak to them with a confidence and frankness, which be∣fore this I never durst venture to assume. We re∣sign without reluctance our gold and silver images, and embroidered vestments, because we have never found that looking upon gold and silver made the heart more pure, or the affections more heavenly: we can also spare our churches, for the heart that wishes to lift itself up to GOD will never be at a loss for room to do it in; but we cannot spare oar reli∣gion, because, to tell you the truth, we never had so much occasion for it. I understand that you accuse us priests of having told the people a great many falshoods. I suspect this may have been the case, but till this day we have never been allowed to enquire whether the things which we taught them were true or not. You required us formerly to receive them all without proof, and you now would have us reject them all without discrimination; neither of these modes of conduct become philosophers, such as you would be thought to be. I am going to employ myself diligently along with my parishioners, to sift Page  216the wheat from the bran, the true from the false; if we are not successful, we shall be at least sincere. 〈◊〉 fear, indeed, that while I wore these vestments which we have brought you, and spoke in that large gloomy building which we have given up to you, I told my poor flock a great many idle stories. I cannot but hope, however, that the errors we have fallen into have not been very material, since the village has in general been sober and good, the peasants are honest, decile, and laborious, the husbands love their wives, and the wives their husbands; they are fortunately not too rich to be compassionate, and they have con∣stantly relieved the sick and fugitives of all parties whenever it has lain in their way. I think therefore what I have taught cannot be so very much amiss. You want to extirpate prists: but will you hinder the ignorant from applying for instruction, the un∣happy for comfort and hope, the unlearned from looking up to the learned? If you do not, you will have priests, by whatever name you may order them to be called; but it is certa•••ly not necessary they should wear a particular dress, or be appointed by stare letters of ordination. My letters of ordination are my zeal, my charity, my ardent love for my dear children of the village, if I were more learned I would add my knowledge, but alas! we all know very little; to man every error is pardonable but want of humility. We have a public walk, with a spreading elm-tree at one end of it, and a circle of green round it, with a convenient bench. Here I shall get together the children as they are playing around me. I shall point to the vines laden with fruit, to the orchards, to the herds or cattle lowing around us, to those distant hills stretching one behind another, and they will ask me, how came all these things? I shall tell them all I know or have heard from wise men who have lived before me; they will be penetrated with love and veneration; they will kneel, I shall kneel with them; they will be at my Page  217feet, but all of us at the feet of that Good Being, whom we shall worship together, and thus they will receive within their tender minds a religion. The old men will come sometimes from having deposited under the green sod one of their companions, and place them∣selves by my side; they will look wishfully at the turf, and anxiously enquire—is he gone for ever? shall we soon be like him? will no morning break over the tomb?—When the wicked cease from troubling, will the good cease from doing good? We will talk of those things: I will comfort them. I will tell them of the goodness of God; I will speak to them of a life to come; I will bid them hope for a state of re∣tribution. In a clear night, when the stars slide over our heads, they will ask what those bright bodies are, and by what rules they rise and set?—and we will converse about different forms of being, and distant worlds in the immensity of space governed by the same laws, till we feel our minds raised from what is groveling, and refined from what is sordid. You talk of Nature, this is Nature; and if you could at this moment extinguish religion in the minds of all the world, thus would it be rekindled again, and thus again excite the curiosity and interest the feelings of mankind. You have changed our holidays; you have an undoubted right, as our civil governors, so to do; it is very immaterial whether they are kept once in seven days, or once in ten; some however, you will leave us, and when they occur, I shall tell those who chuse to hear me, of the beauty and utility of virtue, of the dignity of right conduct. We shall talk of good men who have lived in the world, and of the doctrines they taught; and if any of them have been persecuted and put to death for their virtue, we shall reverence their memories the more.—I hope in all this there is no harm. There is a book out of which I have sometimes taught my people; it says we are to love those who do us hurt, and to poor oil and wine into the wounds of the stranger. It has Page  218enabled my children to bear patiently the spoiling of their goods, and to give up their own interest for the general walfare: I think it cannot be a very bad book. I wish more of it had been read in your town, perhaps you would not have had quite so many assassinations and massacres. In this book we hear of a person called JESUS; some worship him as a God; others, as I am told, say to it is wrong to do so;—some teach that he existed before the beginning of ages; others, that he was born of JOSEPH and MARY. I cannot tell whether these controversies will ever be decided; but, in the mean time, I think we cannot do otherwise than well to imitate him, for I learn that he loved the poor, and went about doing good.

Fellow-Citizens; as I travelled hither from my own Village, I saw peasants sitting amongst the smok∣ing ruins of their cottages; rich men and women reduced to deplorable poverty; Fathers lamenting their children in the bloom and pride of youth; and I said to myself, these people cannot afford to part with their religion. But indeed you cannot take it away; if, contrary to your first declaration, you chuse to try the experiment of persecuting it, you will only make us prize it more, and love it better. Religion, true of false, is so necessary to the mind of man, that even you have already begun to make yourselves a new one. You are sowing the seeds of superstition at the moment you fancy you are destroy∣ing superstition. Let every one chufe the religion that pleases him; I and my parishioners are content with ours, it teaches us to bear without despondency whatever evils may befal us.

Page  219

ON KINGS.

From Godwin's Enquiry concerning Political Justice.

[Continued from page 201.]

LET us proceed to consider the moral effects which the institution of monarchical government is tleulated to produce upon the inhabitants of the coun∣tries in which it flourishes. And here it must be laid •••wn as a first principle, that monarchy is founded in imp••ture. It is false that kings are entitled to the e••••nee they obtain. They possess no intrinsic supe∣riority over their subjects. The line of distinction that is drawn is the offspring of pretence, an indirect means employed for effecting certain purposes, and not the offspring of truth. It tramples upon the ge∣nuine nature of things, and depends for its support upon this argument, "that, were it not for impositions of a similar nature, mankind would be miserable."

Secondly, it is false that kings can discharge the duties of royalty. They pretend to superintend the affairs of millions, and they are necessarily unacquaint∣ed with these affairs. The senses of kings are con∣structed like those of other men, they can neither see nor hear what is transacted in their absence. They pretend to administer the affairs of millions, and they possess no such supernatural powers as should enable them to act at a distance. They are nothing of what they would persuade us to believe them. The king is often ignorant of that of which half the inhabitants of his dominions are informed. His prerogatives are administered by others, and THE LOWEST CLERK IN OFFICE IS FREQUENTLY TO THIS AND THAT IN∣DIVIDUAL MORE EFFECTUALLY THE SOVEREIGN THAN THE KING HIMSELF. He knows nothing of what is solemnly transacted in his name.

To conduct this imposture with success it is neces∣sary to bring over to its party our eyes and our ears. Page  220Accordingly kings are always exhibited with all the splendour of ornament, attendance and equipage. They live amidst a sumptuousness of expence; and this not merely to gratify their appetites, but as a necessary instrument of policy. The most fatal opinion that could lay hold upon the minds of their subjects is, that kings are but men. Accordingly they are care∣fully withdrawn from the profaneness of vulgar in∣spection; and, when they are exhibited, it is with every artifice that may dazzle our sense and mislead out judgment.

The imposture does not stop with our eyes, but addresses itself to our ears. Hence the inflated stile of regal formality. The NAME OF KING every where o•••des it••lf upon us. It would seem as if every thing in the country, the lands, the houses, the fur∣niture and the inhabitants were his property. Our estates are the king's dominions. Our bodies and minds are his subjects. Our representatives are his parliament. Our courts of law are his deputies. All •••gistrates throughout the realm are the king's of∣ficers. His name occupies the formost place in all statutes and decrees. He is the prosecutor of every criminal. He is "Our Sovereign Lord the King." Were it possible that he should die, "the fountain of our blood, the means by which we live," would be gone: every political function would be suspended. It is therefore one of the fundamental principles of monarchical government that "the king cannot die." Our moral principles accommodate themselves to our veracity: and accordingly the sum of our poli∣tical duties (the most important of all duties) is loy∣alty; to be true and faithful to the king; to honour a man whom it may be we ought to despise: and to obey; that is, to acknowledge no immutable criteri∣on of justice and injustice.

(To be continued.)
Page  221

KINGS ARE GREAT BLESSINGS!

SOON as a Monarch mounts a throne,
His usefulness is clearly known,
As thousands can declare;
The kingly trade he undertakes,
And MANY a little monarch makes,
The government to share.
And now in all the toils of state,
He thinks and labours—early—late;
And with an anxious mind!
He presses on from care to care,
The people's burthens heavy bear,
Upon his gracious mind!
He leaves the dissipated crew;
Routs, feasts, and sporting to pursue—
The Follies of the Day:
Far greater thoughts his heart engage,
Than concerts—hunting—or the stage;
As wise Duguet doth say.
The law he next surveys, and sees
That acts and deeds, and suits and fees
May not the poor oppress;
Hence judges so UPRIGHT we see,
And juries HONEST, wise, and FREE;
Their purest thoughts express.
Anon the Church his care demands,
The holy troop with gowns and bands,
He suffers none FOR HIRE!
To feed and guide the poor and blind,
To raise and cultivate the mind,
Of each he doth require.
Thus Kings are rais'd to bless a land,
And Church and State go hand in hand,
The blessing to ensure;
Upon men's backs the Junto rides;
So soft they sit upon their hides,
'Tis pleasant to endure!
Page  222

ON THE HORRORS OF WAR.

IT is wonderful, with what coolness and indif∣ference the greater part of mankind see war com∣menced. Those who hear of it at a distance, or read of it in books, but have never presented its evils to their minds, consider it as little more than a splendid game, a proclamation, an army, a battle, and a tri∣umph. Some indeed must perish in the most success∣ful field, but they die upon the bed of honour, re∣sign their lives awidst the joys of conquest, and, filled with England's glory, smile in death.

The life of a modern soldier is ill represented by heroic fiction. War has means of destruction more formidable than the cannon and the sword. Of the thousands and ten thousands who perished in our late contests with France and Spain, a very small part ever felt the stroke of an enemy; the rest languished in tents and ships, amidst damps and putrefaction, pale, torpid, spiritless, and helpless; gasping and groaning, unpitied among men, made obdurate by a long con∣tinuance of hopeless misery; and were at last whelmed in pits, or heaved into the ocean, without notice, and without remembrance. By incommodious en∣campments, and unwholesome stations, where courage is useless, and enterprize impracticable, fleets are silently dispeopled, and armies sluggishly melted away.

Thus is a people gradually exhausted, for the most part with little effect. The wars of civilized nations make very slow changes in the system of empire. The public perceives scarcely any alteration but an en∣crease of debt; and the few individuals who are be∣nefited, are not supposed to have the clearest right to their advantages. If he who shared the danger en∣joyed the profit, and after bleeding in the battle grew rich by the victory, he might shew his gains without Page  223envy. But at the conclusion of a ten years war, how are we recompenced for the death of multitudes, and the expence of millions, but by contemplating the sudden glories of paymasters and agents, contractors and commissuries, whose equipages shine like meteors, and whose palaces rise like exhalations.

These are the men who, without virtue, labour, or hazard, are growing rich as their country is im∣poverished; they rejoice when obstinacy or ambition add; another year to slaughter and devastation; and laugh from their desks at bravery and science, while they are adding figure to figure, and cipher to cipher, hoping for a new contract from a new armament, and computing the profits of a siege or a tempest.

[Continuation of Mr. ERSKINE's Defence of PAINE; and of The Liberty of the Press, from page 193.]

THE Attorney General, throughout the whole course of his address to you (I knew it would be so), has avoided the most distant notice or hint of any circumstance having led to the appearance of the Author in the political world, after a silence of so many years; he has not even pronounced or even glanced at the name of Mr. Burke, but has left you to take it for granted, that the Defendant volunteered this delicate and momentous subject; and that with∣out being led to it by the provocation of political controversy, he had seized a favourable moment to stigmatize, from mere malice, and against his own confirmed opinions, the constitution of this country.

Gentlemen, my learned friend knows too well my re∣spect and value for him to suppose that I am charging him with a wilful suppression; I know him to be inca∣pable of it; he knew it would come from me. He will permit me, however, to lament that it should be Page  224left for me, at this late period of the cause, to in∣form you, that, not only the Work before you, but the First Part, of which it is a natural continuation, were written avowedly, and upon the face of them, IN ANSWER TO MR. BURKE. They were written besides under circumistances which I shall hereafter explain, and in the course of which explanation I may have occasion to cite a few passages from the Works of that celebrated person. And I shall speak of him with the highest respect; for, with whatever contempt he may delight to look down upon my hamble talents, however he may disparage the prin∣ciples which direct my public conduct, he shall never force me to forget the regard which this country owes to him for the Writings which he has left upon record for the illumination of our most distant poste∣rity. After the gratitude which we owe to God for the divine gifts of reason and understanding, our next thanks are due to those, from the fountain of whose enlightened minds they are fed and fructified. But pleading, as I do, the cause of freedom of opi∣nions, I shall not give offence by remarking, that this great Author has been thought to have changed some of his; and, if Thomas Paine had not thought so, I should not now be addressing you, because the Book, which is my subject, would never have been written. Who is right and who is wrong, in the contention of doctrines, I have repeatedly disclaim∣ed to be the question; I can only say, that Mr. Paine may be right throughout, but that Mr. Burke cannot—Mr. Paine has been uniform in his opinions, but Mr. Burke has not—Mr. Burke can only be right in part; but, should Mr. Paine be even mis∣taken in the whole, still I am not removed from the principle of his defence. My defence has nothing to do with either the concealment or rectitude of his doctrines. I admit Mr. Paine to be a Republican; you shall soon see what made him one—I do not seek to shade or qualify his attack upon our consti∣tution; Page  225I put my defence on no such matter—he un∣doubtedly means to declare it to be defective in its forms, and contaminated with abuses, which in his judgment, will one day or other bring on the ruin of us all: it is in vain to mince the matter; this is the scope of his Work. But still, if it contains no attack upon the King's majesty, nor upon any other living magistrate; if it excites to no resistance to magistracy; but, on the contrary, if it even in∣culeates, as it does, obedience to government, then, wherever may be its defects, the question continues as before, and ever must remain an unmixed question of THE LIBERTY OF THE PRESS. I therefore con∣sider it as no breach of professional duty, nor in∣jurious to the cause I am defending, to express my own admiration of the real principles of our consti∣tation— a constitution which I hope never to see give way to any other—a constitution which has been productive of various benefits, and which will produce many more hereafter, if we have wisdom enough to pluck up those weeds that grow in the richest soils, and among the brightest flowers. I agree with the merchants of London, that the English government is equal to the reformation of its own abuses; and, as an inhabitant of the city, I would have signed their declaration, if I had known, of my own knowledge, the facts recited in its preamble. But abuses the English constitution unquestionably has which call loudly for reformation, the existence of which has been the theme of our greatest states∣men, which have too plainly formed the principles of the Defendant, and created the very conjecture which produced this Book.

Gentlemen, we all but too well remember the calamitous situation in which our country stood but a few years ago—a situation which no man can look back upon without horror, nor feel himfelf safe from relapsing into it again, while the causes remain which produced it. The event I allude to, you must know to be the American war, and the still Page  226existing causes of it, the corroption of this Govern∣ment. In those days it was not thought virtue by the Patriots of England to conceal their existence from the people; but them, as now, authority con∣demned them as disaffected subjects, and deseated. the end they sought by their promulgation.

Hear the opinion of Sir George Saville;—not his speculative opinion concerning the structure of car government in the abstract, but his opinion of the set∣tled abuses which prevailed in his own time, and which continue at this moment. But first let me re∣mind you who Sir George Saville was—I fear we sall hardly look upon his like again—How shall I ••scri•• him to you?—In my own words I cannot. I was lately commended by Mr. Burke, in the House of Commons, for strongthening my own language by an appeal to Dr. Johnson. Were the honourable gentleman present at this moment, he would no doubt doubly applaud my choice in resorting to his own Works for the description of Sir George Saville:

His fortune is among the largest; a fortune, which, wholly unincumbered as it is, without one single charge from luxury, vanity, or excess, sinks under the benevolence of its dispenser. This pri∣vate benevolence, expending itself into patriotism, renders his whole being the estate of the public, in which he has not reserved a peculium for himself of profit, diversion or relaxation. During the session, the first in, and the last out of the House of Com∣mons; he passes from the senate to the camp; and, seldom seeing the seat of his ancestors, he is always in parliament to serve his country, or in the field to defend it.

It is impossible to ascribe to such a character any principal but patriotism, when he expresses himself as follows:

I return to you baffled and dispirited, and I am sorry that truth obliges me to add, with hardly a ray of hope of seeing any change in the miserable Page  227course of public calamities. On this melancholy d of account, in renceing up to you my trust, I deliver to you your share of a country maimed and weakened; 〈◊〉 treasure lavished and mispent; its honours faded; and its conduct the laughing-stock of Europe: our nation in a manner without allies or friends, except such as we have hired to destroy ••r follow-subjects, and to ravage a coun∣try, in which we once claimed an invaluable share. I return to you some of your principal privileges impeached and mangled. And, lastly, I leave you, as I conceive, at this hour and moment fully, effec∣tually, and absolutely, under the discretion and power of a military force, which is to act without waiting for the authority of the civil magistrates.

Some have been accused of exaggerating the public misfortunes, nay, of having endeavoured to help forward the mischief, that they might afterwards raise discontents. I am willing to hope, that neither my temper, nor my si••ation in life, will be thought naturally to urge me to promote misery, discord, or confusion, or to exult in the subversion of order, or in the ruin of property. I have no reason to contemplate with pleasure the poverty of our country, the increase of our debts, and of our taxes; or the decay of our commerce.—Trust not, however, to my report: reflect, compare, and judge for yourselves.

But, under all these disheartening circumstances, I could yet entertain a chearful hope, and under∣take again the commission with alacrity, as well as zeal, if I could see any effectual steps taken to remove the original cause of the mischief.— Then would there be a hope?

But, till the purity of the constituent body, and thereby that of the representation be restored, there is NONE.

I gladly embrace this most public opportunity of delivering my sentiments, not only to all my Page  228constituents, but to those likewise not my consti∣tuents, whom yet, in the large sense, I represent, and am faithfully to serve.

I look upon restoring election and representa∣tion in some degree (for I expect no miracles) to their original purity, to be that without which all other efforts will be vain and ridiculous.

If something be not done, you may, indeed, re∣tain the outward form of your Constitution, but not the power thereof.

(To be continued.)

ON THE AUTHORITY OF ONE COUNTRY OVER ANOTHER.

FROM the nature and principles of Civil Liberty, it is an immediate and necessary inference that no one community can have any power over the pro∣perty or legislation of another community, that is not incorporated with it by a just and adequate re∣presentation.—Then only, is a state free, when it is governed by its own will. But a country that is sub∣ject to the legislature of another country, in which it has no voice, and over which it has no controul, can∣not be said to be governed by its own will. Such a country, therefore, is in a state of slavery. And it deserves to be particularly considered, that such a slavery is worse, on several accounts, than any slavery of private men to one another, or of kingdoms to despots within themselves.—Between one state and another, there is none of that fellow-feeling that takes place between persons in private life. Being detached bodies that never see one another, and re∣siding perhaps in different quarters of the globe, the Page  229state that governs cannot be a witness to the suffer∣ings occasioned by its oppressions; or a competent judge of the circumstances and abilities of the peo∣ple who are governed. They must also have, in a great degree, separate interests; and the more the one is loaded, the more the other may be cased. The infamy likewise of oppression, being in such circum∣stances shared among a multitude, is not likely to be much felt or regarded. On all these accounts there is in the cafe of one country subjugated to another, little or nothing to check rapacity; and the most flagrant injustice and cruelty may be practised with∣out remorse or pity. I will add, that it is particu∣larly difficult to shake off a tyranny of this kind. A single despot, if a people are unanimous and reso∣lute, may be soon subdued. But a despotic state is not easily subdued; and a people subject to it cannot eman∣cipate themselves without entering into a dreadful, and, perhaps, very unequal contest.

I cannot help observing farther, that the slavery of a people to external despots may be qualified and li∣mited; but I don't see what can limit the authority of one state over another. The exercise of power in this case can have no other measure than discretion; and, therefore, must be indefinite and absolute.

Once more. It should be considered that the go∣vernment of one country by another, can only be sup∣ported by a military force; and, without such a sup∣port, must be destitute of all weight and efficiency.

A LESSON FOR DARING PUBLISHERS.

The PROPRIETORS of the MORNING CHRONICLE were prosecuted, and tried the 9th of December, 1793, for publishing in their Paper the following ADDRESS, and the Jury, after a conscientious No. XX.

Page  230Struggle of Fifteen Hours! returned a Verdict of NOT GUILTY. It is therefore inserted in this Publication as a Specimen of what the FREE∣BORN SONS OF OLD ENGLAND may no longer publish with Safety.

THE DERBY ADDRESS.

At a Meeting of the Society for Political Information, held at the Talbot Inn, in Derby, July 16th, 1792, the following Address, declaratory of their Principles, &c. was unanimously agreed to, and ordered to be printed:

To the Friends of Free Enquiry, and the General Good.

FELLOW CITIZENS,

CLAIMING it as our indefeasible right to associate together, in a peaceable and friendly manner, for the communication of thoughts, the formation of opi∣nions, and to promote the general happiness, we think it unnecessary to offer any apology for inviting you to join us in this manly and benevolent pursuit; the ne∣cessity of the inhabitants of every community endea∣vouring to procure a true knowledge of their rights, their duties, and their Interests, will not be denied, except by those who are the slaves of prejudice, or the interested in the continuation of abuses. As men who wish to aspire to the title of Freemen, we totally deny the wisdom and the humanity of the advice— to approach the defects of government with "pious awe and trembling solicitude." What better doctrine could the Pope, or the Tyrants of Europe desire? We think, therefore, that the cause of truth and justice can never be hurt by temperate and honest discussions, and that cause which will not bear such a scrutiny, must be systematically or practically bad. We are sensible that those who are not friends to the general Page  231good, have attempted to inflame the public mind with the cry of "Danger," whenever men have asso∣ciated for discussing the principles of government; and we have little doubt but such conduct will be pur∣sued in this place; we would therefore caution every honest man, who has really the welfare of the nation at heart, to avoid being led away by the prostituted clamours of those who live on the sources of corrup∣tion. We pity the fears of the timorous, and we are totally unconcerned respecting the false alarms of the venal. — We are in the pursuit of truth, in a peace∣able, calm, and unbiassed manner; and whereever we recognize her features, we will embrace her as the companion of happiness, of wisdom, and of peace, This is the mode of our conduct: the reasons for it will be found in the following declaration of our opi∣nions, to the whole of which each member gives his hearty assent.

DECLARATION.

I. That all true Government is instituted for the general good; is legalized by the general will; and all its actions are, or ought to be, directed for the ge∣neral happiness and prosperity of all honest citizens.

II. That we feel too much not to believe, that deep and alarming abuses exist in the British Govern∣ment, yet we are at the same time fully sensible, that our situation is comfortable, compared with that of the people of many European kingdoms; and that as the times are in some degree moderate, they ought to be free from riot and confusion.

III. Yet we think there is sufficient cause to en∣quire into the necessity of the payment of seventeen millions of annual taxes, exclusive of poor rates, county rates, expences of collection, &c. &c. by seven mil∣lions of people; we think that these expences may be reduced, without lessening the true dignity of the nation, or the government; and therefore wish for satisfaction in this important matter.

Page  232IV. We view with concern the frequency of Wars. — We are persuaded that th interests of the poor can never be promoted by accession of territory when bought at the expence of labour and blood; and we must say, in the language of a celebrated author,—"We, who are only the people, but who pay for wars with our substance and our blood, will not cease to tell Kings, or Governments, that to them lone wars are profitable: that the true and just con〈7 letters〉 are those which each makes at home, by co••••ting the peasantry, by promoting agricul∣ture and manufactories: by multiplying men, and the other productions of nature; that then it is that Kings 〈…〉 themselves the image of God, whose will is perpetually directed to the creation of new beings. If they continue to make us fight and kill one another, in uniform, we will continue to write and speak, until nations shall be cured of this folly."— We are certain our present heavy burthens are owing, in a great measure, to cruel and impolitic wars, and there∣fore we will do all on our part, as peaceable citizens, who have the good of the community at heart, to enlighten each other, and protest against them.

V. The present state of the representation of the People, calls for the particular attention of every man, who has humanity sufficient to feel for the ho∣nour and happiness of his country; to the defects and corruptions of which we are inclined to attribute unne∣cessary Wars, &c. &c. We think it a deplorable case when the poor must support a corruption which is calcu∣lated to oppress them; when the labourer must give his money to afford the means of preventing him having a voice in its disposal; when the lower classes may say. —"We give you our money, for which we have toiled and sweat, and which would save our families from cold and hunger; but we think it more hard that there is nobody whom we have delegated, to see that it is not improperly and wickedly spnt: we have none to watch over our interests; the rich only Page  233are represented."—"The form of Government since the Revolution, is in some respects, changed for the worse by the triennial and septennial acts we lost annual Parliaments: besides which, the wholesome provision for obliging Privy Counsellors to subscribe their advice with their names, and against Placemen and Pensioners sitting in Parliament, have been repeal∣ed." It is said, that the voice of the people is the constitutional controul of Parliament, but what is this ••t saving, that the Representative, 〈◊〉 naturally in∣••••d to support wrong measures, an that the peo∣•••〈◊〉 be constantly assembling to oblige them to do their duty. An equal and uncorrupt representation would, we are persuaded, save us from heavy expences, and deliver us from many oppressions, we will there∣fore do our duty to procure this reform, which appears to us of the u•••ost importance.

VI. In short, we see with the most lively concern, an army of Placemen, Pen••ners, &c. fighting in the 〈◊〉 of corruption and prejudice, and spreading the ••••agio far and wide;—a large and highly expen∣sive military establishment, though we have a well regulated militia; —the increase of all kinds of rob∣beries, riots, executions, &c. though the nation pays taxes equal to the whole land rental of the kingdom, in order to have its property protected and •••ured; nd is also obliged to enter into separate associations against felonious deprelations. — A criminal code of law sanguine and inefficacious. — a civil code so vo∣lominods and mysterious as to puzzle the best under∣standings; by which means, justices, denies to the poor, on account of the expence attending the obtaining of it; — corporations under ministerial or party influence, swallowing up the importance and ••cting against the voice of the people; — pena•••••icted 〈◊〉 those who accept of office, without 〈…〉••in to one vio∣•••• of their consciences a••〈…〉; the voice of 〈◊〉••••••ry drowned in p••••••tion, and the cla∣mours of the pensioned and interested; and we view, Page  234with the most poignant sorrow, a part of the people deluded by a cry of the Constitution and Church in danger, fighting with the weapons of savages, under the banners of prejudice, against those who have their true interest at heart;—we see with equal sensibility the present outcry against reforms, and a cruel procla∣mation (tending to cramp the liberty of the press, and discredit the true friends of the people) receiving the support of numbers of our countrymen;—we see the continuation of oppressive game laws and destructive monopolies;—we see the education and comfort of the poor neglected, notwithsdanding the enormous weight of the poor r•••;—we see burthe•• multiplied— the lower classes sinking into poverty, disgrace and ex∣cesses, and the means of these shocking abuses increased for the purposes of revenue;—for the same end, Excise Laws, those badges and sources of oppression, kept up and multiplied.—And when we cast our eyes on a people just formed in a free communit, without •••∣ing had time to grow rich, under a Government by which justice is duly administered, the poor taught and comforted, properly protected, taxes sew and easy, and that at an expence as small as that of our pension lift—we ask ourselves—"Are we in England?—Have our forethers fought, and bled, and conquered ••r liberty?—And did not they think that the fruits of their patriotism would be more abundant in pea••, plenty, and happiness?—Are we allways to stand still or go backwards?—Are our burthens to be as heavy as the mo•• enslaved people?—Is the condition o the poor never to be improved?" Great Britain must have arrived at the highest degree of national happi∣ness and prosperity, and our situation must be too good to be mended, or the present outcry against refer us and improvements is inhuman and criminal. But we hope our condition will be speedily improved, and to obtain so desirable a good is the object of our present Association; an union founded on principles of ere∣volence and humanity; disclaiming all connection Page  235with riot and disorder, but firm in our purpose, and warm in our affections for liberty.

VII. Lastly—We invite the friends of freedom throughout Great Britain to form similar Societies, and to act with unanimity and firmness, till the peo∣ple be too wise to be imposed upon; and their influ∣ence in the government be commensurate with their dignity and importance,

THEN SHALL WE BE FREE AND HAPPY.

By Order of the Society, S. EYRE, Chairman.

ODE TO HUMAN KIND.

From Dodsley's Poems.

IS there, or do the Schoolmen dream?
I, there on earth a power supreme,
The Delegate of Heaven?
To whom an uncontroll'd command,
In •••ry realm, o'er seas and lnd,
By special grace is given?
Then say what signs this God proclaim?
Dwells he amidst the diamond's slame,
A throne his hallow' shrine?
Alas! the pomp, the arm'd array,
Want, fear, and impotence betray,
Strange proofs of power divine!!!
If service due from human kind,
To men in SLOTHFUL ease relin'd,
Can form a sovereign's clam,
Had Monares! e whom Heaven ordains,
Our toils unshar'—to share our gins,
YE IDIOTS BLIND and LAME!
Page  236
Superior virtue, wisdom, might,
Create and mark the Ruler's right,
So REASON must conclude—
Then thine it is, to whom belong,
The wise, the virtuous, and the strong,
THRICE SACRED MULTITUDE.
In thee, vast ALL! are these contain'd,
For these are those, thy parts ordain'd,
So Nature's systems roll:
The sceptre's thine, it such there be,
If none there is—then thou art FREE,
GREAT MONARCH! MIGHTY WHOLE!
Let the proud Tyrant rest his cause
On Faith, Prescription, Force, or Laws,
An host's or senate's voice,
HIS VOICE affirms thy stronger due,
Who for the many made the few,
And gave the species choice.
Unsanctif••'d by thy command,
Unown'd by thee, the scepter'd hand,
The trembling slave may bind;
But loose from Nature's moral ties,
The oath 〈◊〉 force impos'd, belies
The un•••nting mind.
THY WILL's thy rule—thy good its end;
You p••••• only to defend
W••••••ent Nature gave;
A•• he 〈◊〉•••e her gif••••vade,
By 〈…〉••de,
〈…〉•••ctim 〈◊〉 s••ve.
The 〈…〉 founds the just decree,
O••ive 〈…〉,
No private 〈…〉 sign':
T•••••h 〈…〉 Nature'••vide extent,
No 〈◊〉 AE 〈…〉 o'er 〈◊〉 meant,
To hurt the GENERAL ••nd.
Page  237
Avails it thee, if ONE devours,
OR LESSER spoilers share his powers,
While BOTH thy claim oppose?
Monster, who wore thy sully'd crown,
Tyrants who pull'd those monsters down,
Alike to thee were foes!
Far other shone fair Freedom's band,
Far other was the immortal stand,
When Hampen fought for thee:
They s••te'd from rapine's grief thy spoils,
The fruits and prize of glorious toils,
Of arts and industry.
The foes, with fronts of brass, invade;
Thy friends afford a timid aid,
And yield up half thy right?
Ev'n LOCKE, beams forth a mingled ray,
Afraid to pour the flood of day,
On man's too feeble sight.
O! shall the bought and buying tribe,
The slaves who take and deal the bribe,
A people's claims enjoy!
So India murd'rers hope to gain,
The pow'rs and virtues of the slain,
Of wretches they destroy.
Avert it Heav'n! you love the brave,
You hate the treach rous willing slave,
The self-devoted head;
Nor shall an hireling's voice convey,
That sacred prize to lawless sway,
For which a nation bled.
Page  238
—To shew—
The very Age and Body of the Time its Form
And Pressure.—
For comments pray don't look;
For whatsoe'er we think
In these informing times
We scarce dare SHRUG OR WINK!
Sweet s•••• for Old English Roast Beef!!!
Don't open your mouth at me, fellow.

DUKE OF YORK's ARMY.

Head Quarters, Tourney,Dec. 13, 1793.

HIS Royal Highness orders, that all the troops under his command pay proper respect to the Host, and all other religious processions. He directs, that ll centinels carry their arms when any religious procession is passing; and demands the attention of all officer, but particularly of those on duty, to prevent the s••••est impropriety being committed on these occasions.

His Royal Highness is confident, that the troops under his command will ever bear in mind, that though we differ in some of the ceremonies of reli∣gion, we unite with our gallant allies; and it is our glory to do so, in every sentiment of devotion to our CREATOR, and attachment and loyalty to our SO∣VEREIGNS.

Extract of a Letter from Mons, to the Convention, dated December 12.

"We send you a list of the famous relics taken from the Rebels.—1. The HEAD of St. Charles Page  239Borromu. 2. BLESSED STUFFS! found in the Shrine of St. Dennis. 3. Papers to PROVE that the RELICS of St. Vincent are GENUINE. 4. A TOOTH of the LOWER Jaw of St. Vincent. 5. A Bit of the HEAD and the Hair of St. Guignelot. 6. A PIECE of the ROBE of the HOLY Virgin. 7. A PIECE of the FROCK of the Infant Jesus. 8. The SKULL of St. Sebastian. 9. The GRIDIRON of St. Laurence. 10. A Piece of the TRUE Cross. 11. Two Vials of the MILK of the MOST Holy Virgin."

The perusal of this List produced much laughter.

Monday, December 16, 1793.

A Deputation from the Commune of DIJON in∣formed the Convention, that various SAINTS of BOTH Sexes, GOLD and SILVER, would arrive in a sew days. We gave them nothing to cat on the road, said the Orator, because we are told they can change stone to bread, and water to wine. We asked what kind of carriage they would chuse? To which they replied, That, being Saints of Burgundy, they should prefer wine casks; and in two or three days you will so receive them, with flaggons once thought sacred. (Honourable mention, and insertion in the Bulletin.)

A PANEGYRIC! A SAFE MORSEL FOR THE PIGS. FROM CATO LETTERS.

WE have at last, by the bounteous gift of in∣dulgent Providence, a most 〈◊〉 King, and a wise and uncorrupt Parliament; a••et—But what shall I say, or what shall be left unsaid? I will Page  240go on.—We have a Prince, I say, who is possessed of every virtue which can grace and adorn a crown; a Parliament too, than whom England has never chosen one better disposed to do all those things, which every honest man in it wished, and called for, and yet—by the iniquity of the times, or the ini∣quities of particular men, we are still to expect our deliverance, though I hope we shall not expect it long.

Public corruptions and abuses have grown upon us: sees in most, if not in all offices, are immensely in∣creased: places and employments, which ought not to be sold at all, are sold for treble values: the ne∣cessitie, of the public have made greater impositions unavoidable, and yet the public has run very much in debt; and as these-debts have been encreasing, and the people growing poor, salaries have been ang∣mented, and pensions multiplied: I mean in the lst reign, for I hope that there have been no such doing in this.

THE NEW CONSTITUTION OF FRANCE.

[Concluded from page 212.]

OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL.

62. THERE is one Executive Council composed of twenty-four members.

63. The Electoral Assembly of each Department, nominate, one Candidate. The Ligislative Body chooses the Members of the Council from the general list.

64. One half of it is renewed by each Legislature, in the last month of the session.

65. The Council is charged with the direction and superintendance of the general Administration. It Page  241cannot act, but in execution of the laws and decrees of the Legislative Body.

66. It nominates, not of its own body, the Agents in chief of the general Administration of the Republic.

67. The Legislative Body determines the number, and the functions of these Agents.

68. These Agents do not form a Council. They are separated, without any immediate correspondence between them; they exercise no personal authority.

69. The Council nominates, not of its own body, the external Agents of the Republic.

70. It negotiates treaties.

71. The Members of the Council, in case of mal∣••rsation, are accused by the Legislative Body.

72. The Council is responsible for the non-execution of laws and decrees, and for abuses which it does not denounce.

73. It recals and replaces the agents in its nomi∣nation.

74. It is bound to denounce them, if there be oc∣casion, before the Judicial Authorities.

OF THE CONNECTION OF THE EXECU∣TIVE COUNCIL WITH THE LEGISLA∣TIVE BODY.

75. The Executive Council resides near the Legi∣slative Body. It has admittance and a separate seat in the place of sittings.

76. It is heard as often as it has an account to give.

77. The Legislative Body calls it into the place of its sittings, in whole or in part, when it thinks fit.

OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND MUNI∣CIPAL BODIES.

78. There is a Municipal Administration in each commune of the Republic; in each District an inter∣mediate Administration; In each Department a cen∣tral Administration.

Page  242 79. The Municipal Officers are elected by the Assemblies of the Commune.

80. The Administrators are nominated by the Electoral Assemblies of Department and District.

81. The Municipalities and the Administrations are renewed, one half, every year.

82. The Administrators and Municipal Officers have no character of representation; they cannot, in any case, modify the acts of the Legislative Body, or suspend the execution of them.

83. The Legislative Body determines the functions of the Municipal Officers, and Administrators, the rules of their subordination, and the penalties they may incur.

84. The sittings of Municipalities and Administra∣tions are public.

OF CIVIL JUSTICE.

85. The code of civil and criminal laws is uniform for all the Republic.

86. No infringement can be made of the right which Citizens have to cause their differences to be pronounced upon by arbitrators of their choice.

87. The decision of these arbitrators is final, if the Citizens have not reserved the right of objecting to them.

88. There are Justices of Peace, elected by the Citizens in circuits determined by the law.

89. They conciliate and judge without expence.

90. Their number and their competence are regu∣lated by the Legislative Body.

91. There are public Arbitrators elected by the Electoral Assemblies.

92. Their number and their circuits are fixed by the Legislative Body.

93. They take cognizance of disputes which have not been finally determined by the private Arbitra∣tors' of the Justice of Peace.

94. They deliberate in public; they give their opinions aloud; they pronounce, in the last resort, on Page  243verbal defences, or simple memorials, without proce∣dures, and without expence; they assign the reasons of their decision.

95. The Justices of Peace and the Public Arbitra∣tors are elected every year.

OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE.

96. In criminal cases, no Citizen can be tried, but on an examination received by a Jury, or decreed by the Legislative Body; the accused have Counsel chosen by themselves, or nominated officially; the process is public; the fact and the intention are declared by a jury of judgment; the punishment is applied by a criminal tribunal.

97. The Criminal Judges are elected every year by the Electoral Assemblies.

OF THE TRIBUNAL OF APPEAL.

98. There is one Tribunal of Appeal for all the Republic.

99. This Tribunal does not take cognizance of the merits of the case: It pronounces on the violation of forms, and on express contravention of the law.

100. The Members of the Tribunal are nominated every year by the Electoral Assemblies.

OF PUBLIC CONTRIBUTIONS.

101. No Citizen is exempted from the honourable obligation of contributing to the public charges.

OF THE NATIONAL TREASURY.

102. The National Treasury is the central point of the receipts and expences of the Republic.

103. It is administered by accountable agents, no∣minated by the Executive Council.

104. These agents are superintended by Commis∣sioners nominated by the Legislative Body, not of its own members, and responsible for abuses which they do not denounce.

Page  244OF ACCOUNTABILITY.

105. The accounts of the Agents of the National Treasury and the Administrators of the public money are given in annually to responsible Commissioners, nominated by the Executive Council.

106. These verificators are superintended by Com∣missioners in the nomination of the Legislative Body, not of its own members, and responsible for errors and abuses which they do not denounce; the Legislative Body passes the accounts.

OF THE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC.

107. The general forces of the Republic is com∣posed of the whole people.

108. The Republic maintains in its pay, even in time of peace, an armed force, by sea and by land.

109. All the French are soldiers; they are all exercised in the use of arms.

110. There is no Generalissimo.

111. Difference of ranks, their distinctive marks and subordination, subsist only with relation to ser∣vice, and during its continuance.

112. The public force employed for maintaining order and peace in the interior, does not act but on the requisition in writing, of the constituted autho∣rities.

113. The public force employed against enemies from without, acts under the orders of the Executive Council.

114. No armed bodies can deliberate.

OF NATIONAL CONVENTIONS.

115. If in one more than the half of the Depart∣ments, the tenth of the Primary Assemblies of each, regularly formed, demand the revision of the Consti∣tutional Act, or the change of some of its articles, the Legislative Body is bound to convoke all the Primary Assemblies of the Republic, to know if there be ground fot a National Convention.

Page  245 116. The National Convention is formed in the same manner as the Legislatures, and unites in itself their powers.

117. It employs itself, with respect to the Consti∣tution, only on the objects which were the cause of its convocation.

OF THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC WITH FOREIGN NATIONS.

118. The French people is the friend and the na∣tural ally of every free people.

119. It does not interfere in the government of other nations. It does not suffer other nations to in∣terfere in its own.

120. It gives an asylum to foreigners, banished from their country for the cause of liberty; it re∣fuses it to tyrants.

121. It does not make peace with an enemy, that occupies its territory.

OF THE GUARANTEE OF RIGHTS.

122. The Constitution guarantees to all the French, equality, liberty, safety, property, the public debt, the free exercise of worship, a common instruction, public succours, the indefinite liberty of the press, the right of petition, the right of meeting in popular societies, the enjoyment of all the rights of man.

123. The French Republic honours loyalty, cou∣rage, age, silial piety, misfortune. It puts the deposit of its constitution under the guard of all the virtues.

124. The Declaration of Rights and the Con••••∣tional Act are engraven on tables, in the ••som of the Legislative Body, and in the public 〈◊〉

  • COLLOT D'HERBOIS, President.
  • DURAND-MAILLAN, UCOS, Secretaries.
  • MEAULLE, CIL DE•••ROIX, Secretaries.
  • COSSUJ, P. A VOY, Secretaries.

Page  246

CAUTIONS Against the natural Encroachments of Power.

From CATO'S LETTERS.

PEOPLE are ruined by their ignorance of Human Nature; which ignorance leads them to credu∣lity, and too great a confidence in particular men. They fondly imagine that he, who, possessing a great deal by their favour, owes them great gratitude, and all good offices, will therefore return their kindness: But, alas! how often are they mistaken in their fa∣vourites and trustees; who, the more they have given them, are often the more incited to take all, and to return destruction for generous usage. The common people generally think that great men have great minds, and scorn base actions; which judgment is so false, that the basest and worst of all actions have been done by great men: Perhaps they have not picked private pockets, but they have done worse; they have often disturbed, deceived, and pillaged the world: And he who is capable of the highest mischief, is ca∣pable of the meanest: He who plunders a country of a million of money, would in suitable circumstances steal a silver spoon; and a conqueror, who steals and pillages a kingdom, would, in an humbler fortune, rifle a portmanteau, or rob an orchard.

Political jealousy, therefore, in the people, is a necessary and laudable passion. But in a chief magi∣strate, a jealousy of his people is not so justifiable, their ambition being only to preserve themselves; whereas it is natural for Power to be striving to en∣large itself, and to be encroaching upon those who have none. The most laudable jealousy of a magi∣strate is to be jealous for his people; which will shew that be loves them, and has used them well: But to be jealous of them, would denote that he has evil designs against them, and has used them ill. The Page  247people's jealousy tends to preserve Liberty; and the prince's to destroy it. Venice is a glorious instance of the former, and so is England; and all nations who have lost their Liberty, are melancholy proofs of the latter.

Power is naturally active, vigilant and distrustful; which qualities in it push it upon all means and expe∣dients to fortify itself, and upon destroying all op∣position, and even all seeds of opposition, and make it restless as long as any thing stands in its way. It would do what it pleases, and have no check. Now because Liberty chastises and shortens Power, therefore Power would extinguish Liberty; and consequently Liberty has too much cause to be exceeding jealous, and always upon her defence. Power has many ad∣vantages over her; it has generally numerous guards, many creatures, and much treasure; besides, it has more craft and experience, less honesty and innocence: And whereas Power can, and for the most part does subsist where Liberty is not, Liberty cannot subsist without Power; so that she has, as it were, the enemy always at her gates.

Some have said, that Magistrates being accountable to none but God, ought to know no other restraint. But this reasoning is as frivolous as it is wicked; for no good man cares how many punishments and pe∣nalties lie in the way to an offence which he does not intend to commit: A man who does not intend to commit murder, is not sorry that murder is pu∣nished with death. And as to wicked men, their being accountable to God, whom they do not fear, is no security to us against their folly and malice; and to say that we ought to have no security against them, is to insult common sense, and give the lie to the first law of nature, that of self-preservation. Human reason says, that there is no obedience, no regard due to those rulers, who govern by no rule but their lust. Such men are no rulers; they are outlaws, who, be∣ing at defiance with God and man, are protected by Page  248no law of God, or of reason. By what precept, moral or divine, are we forbid to kill a wolf, or burn an infected ship? Is it unlawful to prevent wickedness and misery, and to resist the authors of them? Are crimes sanctified by their greatness? And is he who robs a country, and murders ten thousand, less a criminal than he who steals single guineas, and takes away single lives? Is there any sin in preventing, and restraining, or resisting the greatest sin that can be committed, that of oppressing and destroying man∣kind by wholesale? Sure there never were such open, such shameless, such s••fish impostors, as the advo∣cates for lawless power. It is a damnable sin to op∣press them; yet it is a damnable sin to oppose them when they oppress, or-gain by the oppression of others. When they are hurt themselves ever so little, or but think themselves hurt, they are the loudest of all men in their complaints, and the most outrageous in their behaviour: but when others are plundered, oppressed and butchered, complaints are sedition; and to seek redress is damnation. Is not this to be the authors of all wickedness and falsehood?

To conclude: Power, without controul, appertains to God alone; and no man ought to be trusted with what no man is equal to. In truth, there are so many passions, and inconsistencies, and so much selfishness belonging to human nature, that we can scarce be too much upon our guard against each other. The only security which we can have that men will be honest, is to make it their interest to be honest; and the best defence which we can have against their being knaves, is to make it terrible to them to be knaves. As there are many men wicked in some stations, who would be innocent in others; the best way is to make wickedness unsafe in any station.

Page  249

DEFINITION OF LOYALTY, By Mr. TOPLADY, Vicar of Broad Hembury, Devon, in his Church of England Vindicated, page 49.

Printed in 1769.

TRUE Loyalty extends to one's country, as well as to the prince: and to oppose tyranny, is no breach of Loyalty, but an essential branch of it, Loyalty (as the very word imports) is such an attach∣m••• to king and people, as is founded on the LAWS: and an hair's breadth beyond LAW, true LOYAL∣TY does not go. So allegience is obedience ad leges, ACCORDING TO LAW. Whenever therefore (as was eminently the case in Mr. Prynn's time) a prince over-steps law, Loyalty itself obliges a loyal people to say to such a prince, as the Almighty to the sea, "Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further."

The Meaning of the Word PENSION.

From Dr. Johnson's Dictionary.

AN allowance made to any one without an equi∣valent. In England it is generally understood to mean pay given to a State-hireling for treason to his Country.

The Meaning of the Word PENSIONER.

From the same Authority.

A Slave of State, hired by a stipend to obey his master.

In Britain's Senate he a seat obtains.
And one more Pensioner St. Stephen gains.

POPE,
Page  250

BURKE's ADDRESS TO THE "SWINISH MULTITUDE!"

Tune, "Derry down, down," &c.
YE vile SWINISH Herd, in the Sty of Taxation.
What would you be after?—disturbing the Nations?
Ghe over your grunting—Be off—To your Sty!
Nor dare to look out, if a KING passes by:
Get ye down! down! down!—Keep ye down!
Do ye know what a KING is? By Patrick I'll tell you;
He has Power in his Pocket, to buy you and sell you:
To make you all Soldiers, or keep you at work?
To hang you, and cure you for Ham or Salt Pork!
Get ye down! &c.
Do you think that a KING is no more than a Man?
Ye Brutish, Ye Swinish, irrational Clan?
I swear by his Office, his Right is divine,
To flog you, and feed you, and treat you like Swine!
Get you down! &c.
To be sure, I have said—but I spoke it abrupt—
That "the State is defective and also corrupt."
Yet remember I told you with Caution to peep,
For Swine at a Distance WE prudently keep—
Get ye down! &c.
Now the Church and the State, to keep each other warm,
Are married together. And where is the Harm?
How healthy and welthy are Husband and Wife!
But Swine are excluded the conjugal Life—
Get ye down! &c.
The State, it is true, has grown fat upon SWINE,
And Church's weak Stomach on TYTHE-PIG can dine;
Page  251But neither you know, as they roast at the Fire,
Have a Right to find fault with the Cooks, or enquire.
Get ye down! &c.
"What Use do we make of your Money?"—You say;
Why the first Law of Nature:—We take our own Pay
And next on our Friends a few Pensions bestow—
And to you we apply when our Treasure runs low,
Get ye down! &c.
Consider our Boroughs, Ye grumbling SWINE!
At Corruption and Taxes, they never repine:
If we only Proclaim, "YE ARE HAPPY!"—They say,
"WE ARE Happy!"—Believe and be Happy as they!
Get ye down! &c.
What know ye of COMMONS, of KINGS, or of LORDS,
But what the dim Light of TAXATION affords?
Be contented with that—and no more of your Rout:
Or a new Proclamation shall muzzle your Snout!
Get ye down! &c.
And now for the SUN—or the LIGHT OR THE DAY!
"IT doth not belong to a PITT?"—You will say.
I tell you be silent, and hush all your Jars:
Or he'll charge you a ••rthing a piece for the Stars
Get ye down! &c.
Here's MYSELF, and His Darness, and Harry Dun∣••:
〈◊〉, F••••••, and Irish, with Fronts made of Brass—
A Cord plated Three-sold will stand a good pull,
Against SAWNEY, and PATRICK, and old Johnny Bal!!!!
Get ye down! &c.
To conclude: Then no more about MAN and his RIGHTS,
TOM PAINE, and a Rabble of Liberty Wights:
That you are but our "SWINE," if ye ever forget,
We'll throw you alive to the HORRIDIE PIT!
Get ye down! down! down!—Keep ye down!
Page  252

[ROMAN HISTORY, concluded from Page 189.]

M. GENUCIUS and C. Curtis being consuls, the commons of Rome demand, that the plebeians may be admitted into the consulship; and, that the law, prohibiting patricians and plebeians from inter∣marrying, may be repealed. In support of this de∣mand, Canulcius one of the tribunes of the people, thus delivered himself:—

"What an insult upon us is this! If we are not so rich as the patricians, are we not citizens of Rome, as well as they? Inhabitants of the same country? Members of the same community? The nations bor∣dering upon Rome, and even strangers more remote; are admitted not only to marriages with us, but to what is of much greater importance, the freedom of the city. Are we, because we are commoners, to be worse treated than strangers? And when we de∣mand that the people may be free to bestow their of∣fices and dignities on whom they please, do we ask any thing unreasonable or new? Do we claim more than their original inherent rights? What occasion then for all this uproar, as if the universe was fail∣ing to ruin? They were just going to lay viole•• hands upon me in the senate-house. What, must this empire then be unavoidably overturned: must Rome of necessity sink at once, if a plebeian, worthy of the office, should be raised to the consulship? The partricians, I am persuaded, if they could, would de∣prive you of the common light. It certainly offends them that you breathe, that you speak, that you have the shapes of men. Nay, to make a commoner a consul would be, say they, a most enormous thing, Numa Pompiliu, however, without being so much as a Roman citizen, was made king of Rome. The elder Tarquin by birth not even an Italian, was, ne∣vertheless, placed upon the throne. Servius Tullius, the son of a captive woman, (nobody knows who Page  253his father was) obtained the kingdom, as the reward of his wisdom and virtue. In those days, no man, in whom virtue shone conspicuous, was rejected or de∣spised on account of his race or descent. And did the state prosper the worse for that? Were not these strangers the very best of our kings? And, supposing now, that a plebeian should have their talents and me∣rit, must not he be suffered to govern us? Must we rather chuse such governors as the decemvirs? Those excellent magistrates, I think, were mostly patrici∣ans. But we find, that upon the abolition of the regal power, no commoner was chose to the consu∣late. And what of that? Before Numa's time there were no pontifices in Rome. Before Servius Tullus's days, there was no census, no division of the people into clases and centuries. Whoever heard of consuls before the expulsion of Tarquin the proud? Dic∣tators, we all know, are of modern invention; and so are the offices of tribunes; ••diles, questors. Within these ten years we have made decemvirs, and we have unmade them. Is nothing to be done but what has been done before? That very law forbid∣ding marriages of patricians with plebeians, is not that a new thing? Was there any such law before the decemvirs enacted it? And a most shameful one it is in a free state! Such marriages, it seems, would taint the pure blood of the nobility! Why, if they think so, let them take care to match their sisters and daughters with men of their own sort. No plebeian will do violence to the daughter of a patrician. Those are exploits for our prime nobles. There is no need to sear that we shall force any body into a con∣tract of marriage. But, to make an express law to prohibit marriages of patricians with plebeians, what is this, but to shew the utmost contempt of us, and to declare one part of the community to be impure and unclean? Why don't they lay their wise heads to∣gether to hinder rich folks from matching with poor? They talk to us of the confusion there will be Page  254in families, if this statute should be repealed. I won∣der they do not make a law against a commoner's living near a nobleman, or going the same road that he is going, or being at the same feast, or appearing at the same market-place. They might as well pre∣tend, that these things make confusion in families, as that inter-marriages will do it. Do not every one know, that the child will be ranked according to the quality of his father, let him be patrician or plebeian? In short, it is manifest enough, that we have nothing in view but to be treated as men and Citizens; nor can they who oppose our demand have any motive to do it; but the love of domineering. I would fain know of you, consuls and patricians, is the sovereign power in the people of Rome, or in you? I hope you will allow, that the people can, at their pleasure, either make a law, or repeal one. And will you then, as soon as any law is proposed to them, pre∣tend to list them for the war, and hinder them from giving their suffrages, by leading them into the field? Hear me, consuls: Whether the news of the war you talk of be true, or whether it be only a false rumour, spread abroad for nothing but a colour to send the people out of the city; I declare, as a tribune, that this people, who have already so often spilt their blood in our contry's cause, are again ready to arm for its defence and its glory, if they be restored to their natural rights, and you will no longer treat us like strangers in our own country. But if you account us unworthy of your alliance by inter-marriages, if you will not suffer the entrance to the chief offices in the state to be open to all persons of merit, indifferently, but will confine your chief ingistrates to the senate alone; talk of wars as much as ever you please; paint in your ordinary dis∣courses the league and power of our enemies ten times more dreadful than you do now; I declare that this people, whom you so much despise, and to whom you are nevertheless indebted for all your Page  255victories, shall never more enlist themselves; not a man of them shall take arms, nor a man of them shall expose his life for imperious lords, with whom he can neither share the dignities of the state, nor in private life have any alliance by marriage."

You have seen by the foregoing speeches, the pro∣gress of the struggles between the patricians and the plebeians, which continued for many years; the people always encroaching more and more upon the privileges of the patricians, till at length, all the great offices of the state became equally common to the one and to the other. The following speech, which was spoken above an hundred years after the foregoing one, may serve as an instance and a proof of that great simplicity of manners, public virtue, and noble spirit, which raised that people to that height of power and dominion, which they after∣wards attained. The occasion of it was this. The Tarantines having a quarrel with the Romans, in∣vite Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, to their assistance, who lands with his forces in Italy, and defeats the Roman army under the command of Laevinius. Af∣ter this battle, Fabritius, with two other Roman senators, is sent to Tarentum to treat with Pyrrhus about the exchange of prisoners. The king, being informed of the great abilities, and great poverty of Fabritius, hinted in a private conversation with him, the unsuitableness of such poverty to such distin∣guished merit, and that if he would assist him to ne∣gociate with the Romans an honourable peace for the Tarentines, and go with him to Epirus, he would bestow such riches upon him, as should put him at least upon an equality with the most opulent nobles of Rome. The answer of Fabritius was to this effect:—

"As to my poverty, you have indeed Sir, been rightly informed. My whole estate consists in a house of but mean appearance, and a little spot of ground, from which, by my own labour, I draw my Page  256support. But if, by any means, you have been per∣sunded to think that this poverty makes me less con∣sidered in my own country, or in any degree unhappy, you are extremely deceived. I have no reason to complain of fortune, she supplies me with all that na∣ture requires; and, if I am without supersluities, I am also free from the desire of them. With these, I con∣fess, I should be more able to succour the necessitous, the only advantage for which the wealthy are to be envied; but as my possessions are, I can still contri∣bute something to the support of the state, and the assistance of my friends. With regard to honours, my country places me, poor as I am, upon a level with the richest: For Rome knows no qualifications for great employments but virtue and ability. She appoints me to officiate in the most august ceremonies of religion; she entrusts me with the command of her armies; she consides to my care the most important negotiations. My poverty does not leslen the weight and influence of my counsels in the senate, the Roman people honour me for that very poverty which you consider as a disgrace; they know the many oppor∣tunities I have had in war to enrich myself without incurring censure; they are convinced of my interested zeal for their prosperity; and, if I have any thing to complain of in the return they make, it is only in the excess of their applause. What value then can I set upon your gold and silver! What king can add any thing to my fortune? Always attentive to discharge the duties incumbent on me, I have a mind free from self-reproach, and I have an honest fame."

Page  257

THE MARRIAGE ACT CENSURED.

From The Citizen of the World. By Goldsmith.

NOT far from this City lives a poor Tinker, who has educated seven sons, all at this time in arms, and fighting for their country, and what reward do you think has the tinker from the state for such im∣portant services? none in the world; his sons, when the war is over, may probably be whipt from parish to parish as vagabonds, and the old man, when past la∣bour, may die a prisoner in some house of correc∣tion.

Such a worthy subject in China would be held in universal reverence; his services would be rewarded, if not with dignities, at least with an exemption from labour; he would take the left hand at seasts, and mandarines themselves would be proud to shew their submission. The English laws punish vice, the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue!

Considering the little encouragements given to ma∣trimony here, I am not surprised at the discourage∣ments given to propagation. Would you believe it, my dear Fum Hoam, there are laws made, which even forbid the people's marrying each other. By the head of Confucius, I jest not; there are such laws in being here; and their law-givers have neither been instructed among the Hottentots, nor imbibed their principles of equity from the natives of Anamaboo.

There are laws which ordain, that no man shall marry a woman contrary to her own consent. This, though contrary to what we are taught in Asia, and though in some measure a clog upon matrimony, I have no great objection to. There are laws which ordain, that no woman shall marry against her father and mother's consent, unless arrived at an age of ma∣turity; by which is understood those years, when woman with us are generally past child-bearing. ThiPage  258must be a clog upon matrimony, as it is more difficult for the lover to please three than one, and much more difficult to please old people than young ones. The laws ordain, that the consenting couple shall take a long time to consider before they marry; this is a very great clog, because people love to have all rash actions done in a hurry. It is ordained that all mar∣riages shall be proclaimed before celebration: this is a severe clog, as many are ashamed to have their mar∣riage made public, from motives of vicious modesty, and many, afraid from views of temporal interest.

It is ordained, that there is nothing sacred in the ceremony, but that it may be dissolved to all intents and purposes by the authority of any civil magistrate. And yet opposite to this it is ordained, that the priest shall be paid a large sum of money for granting his sacred permission.

Thus you see, my friend, that matrimony here is hedged round with so many obstructions, that those who are willing to break through or surmount them, must be contented, if at last they find it a bed of thorns. The laws are not to blame, for they have deterred the people from engaging as much as they could. It is indeed become a very serious affair in England, and none but serious people are generally found willing to engage. The young, the gay, and the beautiful, who have motives of passion only to induce them, are seldom found to embark, as those inducements are taken away, and none but the old, the ugly, and the mercenary are seen to unite, who, if they have any posterity at all, will probably be an ill favoured race like themselves.

What gave rise to those laws might have been some such accidents as these. It sometimes happened, that a miser, who had spent all his youth in seraping up money, to give his daughter such a fortune as might get her a mandarine husband found his expectations disappointed at last, by her running away with his footman; this must have been a sad shock to the poor Page  259disconsolate parent, to see his poor daughter in a one∣horse chaise, when he had designed her for a coach and six: what a stroke from providence!!! to see his dear money go to a beggar; all nature cried out at the profanation!!!

It sometimes happened also, that a lady, who had inherited all the titles, and all the nervous complaints of nobility, thought fit to impair her dignity, and mend her constitution, by marrying a farmer; this must have been a sad shock to her inconsolable rela∣tions, to see so fine a flower snatched from a flourish∣ing family, and planted in a dunghill; this was an absolute inversion of the first principles of things!!!

In order, therefore, to prevent the great from be∣ing thus contaminated by vulgar alliances, the obsta∣cles to matrimony have been so contrived, that the rich only can marry amongst the rich, and the poor, who would leave celebacy, must be content to increase their poverty with a wife. Thus have the laws fairly inverted the inducements to matrimony; nature tells us, that beauty is the proper allurement of those who are rich, and money of those who are poor; but things here are so contrived, that the rich are invited to marry by that fortune which they do not want, and the poor have no inducement, but that beauty which they do not feel.

An equal diffusion of riches through any country constitutes its happiness. Great wealth in the posses∣sion of one stagnates, and extream poverty with ano∣ther keeps him in unambitious indigence; but the moderately rich are generally active; not too far removed from poverty, to fear its calamities; nor too near extreme wealth, to slacken the nerve of labour; they remain still between both, in a state of continual fluctuation. How impolitic, therefore, are those laws which promote the accumulation of wealth among the rich, more impolitic still, in at∣tempting to encrease the depression on poverty.

Bacon, the English Philosopher, compares money Page  260to manure; if gathered in heaps, says he, it does no good; on the contrary, it becomes offensive; but, being spread, though never so thinly, over the sur∣face of the earth, it enriches the whole country. Thus the wealth a nation possesses must expatiate, or it is of no benefit to the public, it becomes rather a grievance, where matrimonial laws thus consine it to a few.

But this restraint upon matrimonial community, even considered in a physical light, is injurious. As those who rear up animals take all possible pains to cross the strain, in order to improve the breed; so in those countries where marriage is most free, the inhabitants are found every age to improve in stature and in beauty; on the contrary, where it is confined to a cast, a tribe, or an hord, as among the Gaurs, the Jews, or the Tartars, each division soon assumes a family likeness, and every tribe degenerates into peculiar deformity. From hence it may be easily in∣ferred, that if the Mandarines here are resolved only to marry among each other, they will soon produce a posterity with Mandarine Faces: and we shall see the heir of some honourable family scaree equal to the abortion of a country farmer.

These are a few of the obstacles to marriage here, and it is certain they have in some measure answered the end; for celebacy is both frequent and fashion∣able. Old batchelors appear abroad without a mask, and old maids, my dear Fum Hoam, have been abso∣lutely known to ogle. To confess in friendship, if I were an Englishman, I fancy I should be an old batchelor myself; I should never find courage to run through all the adventures prescribed by the law. I could submit to court my mistress herself upon reasonable terms, but to court her father, her mother, and a long tribe of cousins, aunts, and relations, and then stand the butt of a whole country church, I would as soon turn tail, and make love to her grand∣mother.

Page  261I can conceive no other reason for thus loading matrimony with so many prohibitions, unless it be that the country was thought already too populous, and this was found to be the most effectual means of thinning it. If this was the motive. I cannot but congratulate the wise projectors on the success of their scheme. Hail, O ye dim-sighted politicians, ye weeders of men! 'Tis yours to clip the wing of industry, and convert hymen to a broker. 'Tis yours to behold small objects with a microscopic eye, but to be blind to those which require an extent of vision. 'Tis yours, O ye discerners of mankind, to lay the line between society, and weaken that force by dividing, which should bind with united vigour, 'Tis yours, to introduce national real distress, in order to avoid the imaginary distresses of a few. Your actions can be justified by an hundred reasons like truth, they can be opposed but by few reasons, and those reasons are true. Fare∣well.

I also will shew mine opinion.
JOB xxxii. ver. 10.

THE RIGHTS OF MAN, BY QUESTION AND ANSWER.

Q. WHAT is Man?

A. An irrational, unsocial, cowardly, and covetous animal.

Q. How do you prove he is irrational?

A. His actions are as much influenced by present passions and interests as are the actions of other ani∣mals deemed irrational.

Page  262Q. How is it that he is unsocial?

A. His ridiculous pride makes him imagine him∣self in an infinite variety of ways superior to others of his species, and of course too noble for every company.

Q. Give some instances?

A. Some prefer themselves for being born of pa∣rents in this or that station, or in some particular country, or for being more tall, handsome, &c. and therefore refuse to associate with their supposed in∣feriors in these respects (excepting to serve some sinister purpose), nor will they allow those despised people equal privileges.

Q. How do you make it appear, that man is a cowardly animal?

A. Because he hunts in packs like hounds, the most cowardly of all dogs. He seldom attacks singly either his own or any other species without manifest superiority of situation or arms. When a company of them make a booty, they do not all boldly fall on to partake, each according to what his hunger or necessity requires, but sneakingly keep at a distance, till the strongest or most presumptuous think proper to allow them to partake.

Q. Do the herds or companies of other animals be∣have in the same timid manner to certain individuals among them?

A. By no means; they are not half so complaisant. A company of hounds or wolves will partake equally of their prey, or else they will fight for it, and wage eternal war till they gain their rights. A hungry beast will attempt again and again, whereas men have been frequently known to starve rather than help themselves to the common provisions of nature monopolized by their arrogant fellow-creatures.

Q. Do we not frequently see a striking difference in sleekness and fatness among a herd of cattle feed∣ing together in the same pasture, owing to the pre∣sumption of some of them driving away the weaker animals from their victuals?

Page  263A. No. None of them will submit to suffer thus far by others. The most voracious and mischievous will only fill his own belly. And while he is sight∣ing and driving off one, another will have the as∣surance to come in for a share, and thus, either by force or stealth, they are sure to partake pretty equally.

Q. Are not droves of hogs frequently seen passing through London of different appearance among them∣selves; some being hardly able to walk with fat, while others are like greyhounds for thinness?

A. No, never. Swine living together are all alike, either all fat or all lean.

Q. Are mankind living in the same neighbour∣hood all of the same liking too?

A. No; very far from it. Some are like to hurst with fat and saticty, while others appear like shadows, and frequently die of want, and dis∣eases flowing from scarcity, or unwholsome diet.

Q. Did not Edmund Burke then very improperly term his starving fellow-creatures the Swinish Multi∣tude?

A. Yes, he therein blundered most egregiously. For on very flight observation, he would find real Swine to be more noble animals, and far from being so obsequeous. They will not quietly suffer want on any account, much less by the encroachments of their fellow-creatures. If any great hog offer to thrust them from the trough, they will scream most sedi∣tiously, and will, without regard to consequence, in∣sist on having their noses in, on one side or the other. Besides, if men were like swine, how would they be drilled into soldiers? Could an army of hogs be disciplined and marched against another army of hogs? No, they are not so fond of armour and trapping as to dance in them to their destruction. They leave such stupid bravery to the rational be∣ing called Man. They do not understand slaying each other for masters. They only know bravery in Page  264persisting in what they think tends to their own happiness, and that they will most obstinately do. Mr. Burke must think of some other name for his filly brethren, for they will never have the sense or spirit to defend their Rights and Interests like Swine. —Thus much for the cowardliness of mankind above other animals.

Q. Have men no other way of shewing their pe∣culiar meanness, than by tamely giving up their Rights to the first usurper?

A. Yes. By insulting decrepid individuals or small numbers of their own species, when they are in company with other malicious beings like them∣selves. But this they never venture upon except emboldened by their numbers. No single man could ever yet venture to be insolent or witty upon another, without his own companions. As observed before, they are like hounds—they always hunt in packs.

Q. How does it appear that men are covetous animals?

A. Nay, they are so much so, that this passion seems to be the source of all their other bad quali∣ties. Other animals only covet till their present ap∣petite is satisfied, and then leave the world in peace to others. But man is insatiable. He is like the grave, he never saith he hath enough.

Q. Does his covetousness induce him to take things not absolutely necessary to life, from his species by force?

A. Yes: for the sake of mere superfluities to hoard up, and which are of no manner of use but to look at, he will destroy his fellow creatures in num∣bers to the utmost of his power.

Q. He is a vicious, dangerous, and detestable animal. Does he ever compel others of the species to toil for him, in procuring him food and raiment, and those superfluous articles which he covets?

A. Does he, aye. He was not long in the world Page  265till he reduced his fellows to slavery. He continues to do so still, and while the world lasts he will con∣tinue such injustice if the species do not acquire more spirit to resist the usurpations of each other. If there is not universal and individual spirit to resist universal and individual presumption and covetous∣ness, a great portion of men must always be in sub∣jection to the assuming few. For mankind are not very likely to relinquish their injustice and avarice.

Q. What pity that they are not rational! For then might this universal injustice and covetousness spur them on to invent some preventative against their common encroachments on the rights and properties of each other?

A. Certainly. A small portion of reason might suffice for that purpose.

Q. What are the specific rights of the animal called Man?

A. Though the species, by their inconsistent be∣haviour to each other, may raise doubts concerning their rationality, yet, by their superior form of body, and inventive powers of mind, they seem qualified to turn all nature to their advantage, and may not im∣properly be termed the Lords of the Creation. And the Psalmist (Psal. viii. ver. 5.) says, God has made man but a little lower than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honour. Has made him to have do∣minion over the works of his hands, and has put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea. Again, in Psal. cxv. ver. 16, it is said, The Heaven, even the Heavens are the Lord's: BUT THE EARTH HATH HE GIVEN TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN.

Q. If then the earth be given to the children of men, what pity it is that they cannot agree on some equitable mode of enjoying their common property, and be content to live and let live, like other crea∣tures?

Page  266A. Nothing seems more easy than to devise such a mode, were men honest enough to be content with equality of rights and privileges.

Q. Whether such a plan may or may not be adopted, it ought to be presented to them, and then they will be left without excuse?

A. There is no more requisite to render mankind as happy as they can be on earth than simply this: That the people in every district or parish should appoint collectors to receive the rents, and divide them equally among themselves, or apply them to what public uses they may think proper.

Q. Can any tyranny or abuses flow from such a principle?

A. No, none can exist where such a principle is adhered to.

Q. Ought every one to pay rent to those col∣lectors?

A, Every one should pay according to the full value of the premises which he occupied, whether farm, house, or apartment.

Q. How would the value of those tenements be known?

A. By letting them by public auction to the best bidder.

Q. For how long a term would the public pro∣bably let their tenements?

A. For the life of the occupier, if he so long make good his payments, that he might enjoy the fruits of any improvements he might make during his re∣sidence.

Q. But what if an occupier or tenant should not make good his payments?

A. Then the parish agents would let the premises by public auction to the best bidder, that the people might receive no damage.

Q. Who would build and repair the houses, &c.?

A. The parish agents, who would have to state the accounts of these and all other expences to the peo∣ple, by whose orders alone they could act.

Page  267Q. Would such a people pay taxes as usual for sup∣port of the state, or would they supply the state immediately out of the parish rents?

A. That they might do as they chose. If they wished not to be shackled by revenue laws, or pestered by excisemen and informers, they would probably pay the state a sum of money as their quota at once, and have done with it.

Q. Would such a people build bridges, make roads, or rather public works, with their money?

A. They might if they would.

LESSONS FOR PIG EATERS.

LESSON I.— From the General Epistle of James, Chap. ii. ver. 6.

DO not rich men oppress you, and draw you be∣fore the Judgment Seats?

LESSON 2.— From Ditto, chap. v. ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

Page  268

LESSON 3.— From Amos, chap. ii. ver. 6.

Thus saith the Lord; for three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punish∣ment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes; that pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek.

LESSON 4.— From Isaiah, chap. iii. ver. 12.

As for my people, children are the oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. The Lord standeth up to plead, and he standeth to judge the people. The Lord will enter into judgment with the Ancients of his people, and the Princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vine∣yard: the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What mean ye, that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord of Hosts.

A Comparison between the AFRICAN SLAVES in the WEST INDIES, and the CELTIC SLAVE, or SCALLAG, in some of the HEBRIDES.

From Travels in the Western Hebrides, by the Rev. JOHN LANE BUCHANAN.

[Continued from page 125.]

1st. With regard to the respective conditions of their life in general, it is in neither case of their own chusing. The African is bereft of his freedom, and sold into slavery by fraud and violence. The Hebre∣dian Slave is, indeed, neither trapanned into slavery by guile, nor compelled by physical compulsion; but he is drawn into it by a moral necessity equally in∣vincible, Page  269by a train of circumstances which are be∣yond his power to controul, and which leave him no option, but either to serve some master as a Scallag, or to protract a miserable existence for some time in the forest, and near the uninhabited sea shores, where he may pick up some shell fish, to perish at last, with his wife, perhaps, and little ones, with cold and hunger.

2dly. With regard to labour. The Negro ge∣nerally works only from six o'clock in the morning to six in the evening; and out of that time he has two complete hours for rest and refreshment. The Scallag is at work from four o'clock in the morning to eight, nine, and sometimes ten at night.

3dly. With regard to respite from labour. The Negro is allowed two days in the week for himself— so is the Scallag: but the precepts of Religion allow the Scallag only one of these days to labour for his own maintenance.

4thly. With regard to food. The Negro has a plentiful allowance of such common fare as is sufficient for his support; besides his little spot of land which he cultivates for himself on Saturday and Sunday, as well as in the evenings, after he has finished his mas∣ter's work. The Scallag, when at hard labour for his master, is fed twice a day with water-gruel, or brochan, as it is called; or kail, or coleworts, with the addition of a barley cake or potatoes; and all this without salt. But, for his family, and for him∣self on Sundays, or when he is unable to work through bodily indisposition, he has no other means of sub∣sistence than what he can raise for himself, by the labour of one day out of seven, from a scanty por∣tion of cold and moorish soil—barley, potatoes, cole∣worts, and perhaps a milch cow, or a couple of ewes, for giving milk to his infants; though if often hap∣pens, that he is obliged to kill these household gods, as it were, to prevent his family from starving. At certain seasons he has fish in abundance, but this he Page  270is, for the most part, obliged to eat without bread, and often without salt. The Negro, if he be tole∣rably industrious, can afford on Saturdays and other holidays, with pepper-pot, a pig, or a turkey, and a cann of grog; nay, Negroes have been known to clear, besides many comforts for their own family, twenty, thirty, even forty pounds a year; so that there is a fair probability that a Negro may, be ena∣bled to gain the price of his liberty. But, of relief from bondage and woe the Scallag has not a single ray of hope, on this side the grave.

5thly. With regard to lodging and cloathing. The Negro is comfortably lodged, in a warm climate. The Scallag is very poorly cloathed, and still more wretchedly lodged, in a cold one. And as the Ne∣gro is provided by his master with bedding and body clothes, so he is also furnished by him with the implements of husbandry. The Scallag, with sticks and sods, rears his own miserable hut, procures for him∣self a few rags, either by what little flax or wool he can raise, or by the refuse or coarser part of these furnished by his master, and provides his own work∣ing tools, as the spade, &c.

6thly. With regard to usage or treatment. The Slave is driven on to labour by stripes: so also is the Scallag; who is ever, on some occasions, formally tied up, as well as the Negro, to a stake, and scourged on the bare back. The owner of the Slave, it may be farther observed, has a strong interest in his welfare; for if he should become sick or infirm, the master must maintain him; or if he should die, the master must supply his place at a considerable expence. There is no such restraint on the peevish humours or angry passions of a Hebredian laird or tacksman. The Scallag, under infirmity, disease, and old age, is set adrift on the wide world, and begs his bread from door to door, and from island to island. Nor is it necessary in order to supply the place of a Scallag, to be at any expence: for the frequent failure of Page  271settlments affords but too many recruits to the wretch∣ed otder of Scallags.

7thly. As there is nothing so natural as the love of liberty, and an aversion to restraint and oppression, the Scallag, as well as the Negro, sometimes attempts emancipation, by fleeing to the uninhabited parts of the country: though such attemps are not so of∣ten made by the Scallags after they are enured to slavery, as when they feel themselves on the verge of sinking into that dreadful and deserted condition of existence.

The only asylum for the distressed in the Long Island is the King's Forest; where several are shel∣tered with their families and cattle for the summer season; where they live in caves and dens of the earth; and subsist, without fire, on milk, the roots of the earth, and shell fish. But in the winter sea∣son, cold and famine drive them back again to seek for subsistence and shelter under the same tyranny that had driven them to the forest. The Blue or other mountains afford the means of life to runaway-negroes (if they can escape the search of their mas∣ters), both summer and winter.

In the West Indies, no planter or captain of a vessel is allowed by the law of the Colonies, to kidnap, con∣ceal, or keep any runaway slave, or by any means to detain him from his master. Here also the compari∣son holds between the Slave and the Scallag. There is not a takcsman who will take or retain in his ser∣vice, or on his land, either the Scallag or subte∣nant of another master, without a written certificate from that master, that the Scallag or subtenant has a good character; and also, if he be otherwise satisfied as to the character of the poor man, that his master is willing to part with him. For as the Colonists by their laws, so the Tacksmen of the Hebrides, by their country regulations, have entered into a firm compact, that no one shall harbour the subtenant or Scallag of another, who does not produce a proof Page  272of his humble and unlimited obedience to his former master. And it is evident from reason, were it not proved by experience, that certificates are most with∣held when they are most wanted. For no landlord who is known to be cruel to his people will ever give them certificates, because in that case they would all leave the tyrant, and seek for milder treat∣ment under some less severe master.

GENERAL POLITICAL APHORISMS, OR MAXIMS.

From HARRINGTON'S WORKS.

THE errors and sufferings of the people are from their governors.

The people cannot see but they can feel.

Where the security is no more than personal, there may be a good monarch, but can be no good com∣monwealth.

Where the security is in the persons, the govern∣ment makes good men evil: where the security is in form, the government makes evil men good.

Assemblies legitimately elected by the people, are that only party which can govern without an army.

Not the party which cannot govern without an army, but the party which can govern without an army, is the refined party, as to this intent and pur∣pose truly refined; that is, by popular election, ac∣cording to the precept of Moses, and the rule of Scripture: take ye wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.

The people are deceived by names, but not by things.

Where there is a well ordered commonwealth the people are generally satisfied.

Page  273Where the people are generally dissatisfied, there is no common-wealth.

Where civil liberty is entire, it includes liberty of conscience.

Where liberty of conscience is entire it includes civil liberty.

Either liberty of conscience can have no security at all, or under popular government it must have the greatest security.

To hold that a government may be introduced by a little at once, is to wave prudence, and commit things to chance.

Government is of human prudence, and human prudence is adequate to man's nature.

Where the government is not adequate to man's nature, it can never be quiet or perfect.

A King governing now in England by an army, would for the same causes find the same effects with the late protector.

A king governing now in England by parliaments, would find the nobility of no effect at all.

A parliament, where the nobility is of no effect at all, is a mere popular council.

A mere popular council will never receive law from a king.

A mere popular council giving law to a king, be∣comes thereby a democracy, or equal commonwealth; or the difference is no greater than the imperfection of the form.

A commonwealth or democracy to be perfect in the form, must consist especially of such an assembly, the result whereof can go upon no interest whatsoever, but that only which is the common interest of the whole people.

An assembly consisting of a few, may go upon the interest of one man, as a king, or upon the interest of one party, as that of divines, lawyers, and the like; or the interest of themselves, and the perpetu∣ation of their government.

Page  274The popular assembly in a commonwealth may consist of too few, but can never consist of too many.

To make principles or fundamentals, belongs not to men, to nations, nor to human laws.

To build upon such principles or fundamentals as are apparently laid by God in the inevitable necessity or law of nature, is that which truly appertains to men, to nations, and to human laws. To make any other fundamentals, and then build upon them, is to build castles in the air.

Whatever is violent, is not secure not durable; whatever is secure or durable is natural.

Government in the whole people, though the ma∣jor part were disaffected, must be secure or durable, because it waves force, to found itself upon nature.

Government in a party, though all of these were well affected, must be insecure and transitory, because it waves nature, to found itself upon force.

Commonwealths, of all other governments, are more especially for the preservation, not for the de∣struction, of mankind.

THE BANEFUL INFLUENCE OF DEPEN∣DENCE ON THE MIND.

From The Citizen of the World, by Dr. Goldsmith.

AMONG many who have enforced the duty of Giving, I am surprized there are none to incul∣cate the ignominy of Receiving, to shew that by every favour we accept, we in some measure forfeit our native freedom, and that in a state of continual de∣pendence on the generosity of others in a life of gra∣dual debasement.

Were men taught to despise the receiving obliga∣tions with the same force of reasoning and declama∣tion that they are instructed to confer them, we might Page  275then see every person in society filling up the requi∣site duties of his situation with chearful industry, neither relaxed by hope, nor sullen from disappoint∣ment.

Every favour a man receives, in some measure, sinks him below his dignity, and in proportion to the value of the benefit, or the frequency of its ac∣ceptance, he gives up so much of his natural inde∣pendence. He, therefore, who thrives upon the un∣merited bounty of another, if he has any sensibility, suffers the worst of servitude; the shackled slave may murmur with out reproach, but the humble dependent is taxed with ingratitude upon every symptom of dis∣content; the one may rave round the walls of his cell, but the other lingers in all the silence of mental confinement. To encrease his distress, every new obligation but adds to the former load which kept the vigorous mind from rising; till at last, elastic no longer, it shapes itself to constraint, and puts on ha∣bitual servility.

It is thus with the feeling mind, but there are some who, born without any share of sensibility, receive favour after favour, and still cringe for more, who accept the offer of generosity with as little reluctance as the wages of merit, and even make thanks for past benefits an indirect petition for new; such, I grant, can suffer no debasement from dependence, since they were originally as vile as was possible to be; dependence degrades only the ingenuous, but leaves the sordid mind in pristine meanness. In this man∣ner, therefore, long continued generosity is misplaced, or it is injurious; it either finds a man worthless, or it makes him so; and true it is, that the person who is contented to be often obliged, ought not to have been obliged at all.

It is perhaps one of the severest misfortunes of the great, that they are in general, obliged to live among men whose real value is lessened by dependence, and whose minds are enslaved by obligation. The hum∣ble Page  276companion may have at first accepted patronage with generous views, but soon he feels the mortifying influence of conscious inferiority, by degrees he sinks into a flatterer, and from flartery at last degenerates into STUPID VENERATION. To remedy this, the great often dismiss their old dependents, and take new. Such changes are falsely imputed to levity, falsehood, or caprice, in the patron, since they may be more justly ascribed to the client's gradual de∣terioration, No, my son, a life of independence is ge∣nerally a life of virtue. It is that which fits the soul for every flight of humanity, freedom, and friend∣ship. To give should be our pleasure, but to receive our shame; serenity, health and affluence attend the desire of rising by labour; misery, repentance, and disrespect, that of succeeding by extorted benevo∣lence; the man who can thank himself alone for the happiness he enjoys, is truely so; and lovely, far more lovely the sturdy gloom of laborious indigence, than the fawning simper of thriving adulation.

ON DOING GOOD TO OUR COUNTRY.

From SWIFT'S SERMONS.


TEXT—Gal. vi. ver. 10.
As we have therefore op∣portunity, les us do good unto all men.

BUT, beside this love we owe to every man in his particular capacity under the title of neigh∣bour, there is a duty of a more large and extensive nature incumbent on us; which is, our love to our neighbour in his public capacity, as he is a member of that great body the commonwealth; and this is usually called love of the public, and is a duty to which we are more strictly obliged than even that of loving even ourselves; because therein ourselves are Page  277also contained, as well as all our neighbours, in one great body. This love of the public or of the com∣monwealth, or love of our country, was in ancient times properly known by the name of virtue, because it was the greatest of all virtues, and was supposed to contain all virtues in it: and many great examples of this virtue are left us on record, scarcely to be believed, or even conceived, in such a base, corrupted, wicked age as this we live in. In those times it was common for men to sacrifice their lives for the good of their country, although they had neither hope or belief of future rewards; whereas, in our days, very few make the least scruple of sacrificing a whole nation, as well as their own souls, for a little present gain, which often hath been known to end in their own ruin in this world, as it certainly must in that to come.

Have we not seen men, for the sake of some petty employment, give up the very natural rights and li∣berties of their country, and of mankind, in the ruin of which themselves must at last be involved? are not these corruptions gotten among the meanest of our people, who, for a price of money, will give their votes at a venture, for the disposal of their own lives and fortunes, without considering whether it be to those who are most likely betray or to defend them?

But, if I were to produce only one instance of a hundred wherein we fail in this duty of loving our country, it would be an endless labour; and therefore I shall not attempt it.

But here I would not be misunderstood: but the love of our country, I do not mean Loyalty to our King, for that is a duty of another nature; and a man may be very loyal, in the common sense of the word, without one grain of public good at his heart. Witness this very kingdom we live in. I verily believe, that, since the beginning of the world, no nation upon earth ever shewed (all circumstances considered) such high constant marks of loyalty in all Page  278their actions and behaviour, as we have done: and, at the same time, no people ever appeared more ut∣terly void of what is called a public spirit. When I say the people, I mean the bulk or mass of the peo∣ple, for I have nothing to do with those in power.

Therefore I shall think my time not ill spent, if I can persuade most or all of you who hear me, to shew the love you have for your country, by endea∣vouring, in your several stations, to do all the pub∣lic good you are able. For I am certainly persuaded, that all our misfortunes arise from no other original cause than that general disregard among us to the public welfare.

I therefore undertake to shew you three things.

First, That there are few people so weak or mean, who have it not sometimes in their power to be use∣ful to the public.

Secondly, That it is often in the power of the meanest among mankind to do mischief to the pub∣lic.

And, lastly, That all wilful injuries done to the public are very great and aggravated sins in the sight of God.

First, then, there are few people so weak or mean, who have it not sometimes in their power to be use∣ful to the public.

Solomon tells us of a poor wise man who saved a city by his counsel. It hath often happened that a private soldier, by some unexpected brave attempt, hath been instrumental in obtaining a great victory. How many obscure men have been authors of very useful inventions, whereof the world now reaps the benefit? The very example of honesty and industry in a poor tradesman will sometimes spread through a neighbourhood, when others see how successful he is, and thus so many useful members are gained, for which the whole body of the public is the better. Whoever is blessed whith a true public spirit, God will certainly put it into his way to make use of that Page  279blessing, for the end it was given him, by some mean or other: and therefore it hath been observed in most ages, that the greatest actions for the benefit of the commonwealth, have been performed by the wisdom or courage, the contrivance or industry, of particular men, and not of numbers; and that the safety of a nation hath often been owing to those hands from whence it was least expected.

THE YEAR NINETY-THREE. A SONG.

COME hither good people, come hither and hear,
The dainty fine deeds of this marvellous year,
For ever and ever each Briton so free,
In triumph shall carol the year Ninety-Three.
Derry down.
We all call to mind not a twelvemonth ago,
Our trade was increasing, our riches did flow;
Each heart was then light, fill'd with mirth and with glee,
We had not yet come to the year Ninety-Three.
Derry down.
The devil ill bearing to see us so gay,
To tame our proud spirits, soon found out a way;
In his friend Billy's ear he was ever a flea,
Crying "war Billy war," then behold Ninety-Three.
Derry down.
Each day and each hour a merchant then stops,
Only shutters are seen, they all shut up their shops,
Whole families ruined! 'twas piteous to see—
Oh what a fine year was the year Ninety-Three!!!
Derry down.
Trade's now at an end, there's no work to be found,
Brave Britons are dying with hunger around.
Page  280Or at famine's approach to the Continent flee,
And York lets their blood—that's the year Ninety-Three.
Derry down.
By sea and by land, nought but shame and defeat,
('Tis the judgment of heaven) our arms ever meet.
The like Britain never, no never, did see!
Oh shame of all shames, is the year Ninety-Three.
Derry down.
In ancient good times 'twas the Briton's proud boast,
To be loyal, yet free, King and Country his toast,
To praise or to censure then boldly dar'd he—
'Twas in ancient good times—not in year Ninety-Three.
Derry down.
Now pillory, whipping post, British bastille,
The loss of old times makes each Englishman feel:
No spirit, no thought, now dare circulate free,
For Pitt, Kenyon, Dundas, in curst Ninety-Three.
Derry down.

THE PROGRESS OF LIBERTY.

Tune—"Britannia rule the Waves."
HARK! hark! on yonder distant shore,
The noisy din of war I hear;
The sword's unsheath'd—the cannons roar,
And Gallia's sons in arms appear,
'Tis France, 'tis France, the people cry,
Fighting for sacred Liberty.
Though num'rous armies her invade;
Of warlike slaves a barb'rous host;
Of Despots crown'd, a grand crusade,
To crush her Liberty they boast.
Page  281But France like Britain will be free,
Or bravely die for Liberty.
No more the grinding hand of Power,
The op'ning bud of Reason blights;
On eagle's wings fair Truth shall tower,
For Man begins to know his Rights.
The iron yoke we crumbling see,
Beneath the Cap of Liberty.
Go on, great souls, no dangers fear,
Your glorious Standard high erect;
Then Freemen to it will repair,
And Providence your cause protect.
Go, plant on distant shores the Tree,
Sacred to god-like Liberty.
No dreams of conquest you inspire,
Great Nature's Cause depends on thee;
Europe will catch the sacred fire,
And bid adieu to Slavery.
Then raise your warlike banners high,
And rally under Liberty.
No longer war, of Kings the spoil,
Usurping nations shall divide;
Nor stain with blood each fruitful soil,
By Nature form'd to be allied.
But Britons hope the world to see
Unite in Peace and Liberty.

A DESCRIPTION OF GOVERNMENT, AS REALLY OR FICTITIOUSLY FREE.

I Have observed; that though, in a great state, all the individuals that compose it cannot be admitted to an immediate participation in the powers of legisla∣tion Page  282and government, yet they may participate in these powers by a delegation of them to a body of representatives.—In this case it is evident that the state will be still free or self-governed; and that it will be more or less so in proportion as it is more or less fairly and adequately represented. If the persons to whom the trust of government is committed, hold their places for short terms; if they are chosen by the unbiassed voices of a majority of the state, and sub∣ject to their instructions; Liberty will be enjoyed in its highest degree. But if they are chosen for long terms by a part only of the state; and if during that term they are subject to no controul from their consti∣tuents; the very idea of liberty will be lost, and the power of chusing representatives becomes nothing but a power, lodged in a few, to chuse at certain pe∣riods, a body of masters for themselves and for the rest of the community. And if a state is so sunk that the majority of its representatives are elected by a handful of the meanest persons in it, whose voices are always paid for; and if also, there is a higher will on which even these mock representatives them∣selves depend, and that directs their voices: in these circumstances, it will be an abuse of language to say that the state possesses liberty. Private men, indeed, might be allowed the exercise of liberty; as they might also under the most despotic government; but it would be an indulgence or connivance derived from the spirit of the times, or from an accidental mild∣ness in the administration. And, rather than be go∣verned in such a manner, it would perhaps be better to be governed by the will of one man without any representation: for a representation so degenerated could answer no other end than to mislead and de∣ceive, by disguising slavery, and keeping up a form of liberty when the reality was lost.

Page  283

THE ADVANTAGES ACCRUING TO MAN∣KIND FROM A HABITUAL CONSCIOUS∣NESS OF THEIR BEING EQUAL.

From Barlow's Advice to Privileged Orders.

IN the United States of America, the Science of Li∣berty is universally understood, felt, and prac∣tised, as much by the simple as the wise, the weak as the strong. The deep-rooted and inveterate ha∣bit of thinking, that all men are equal in their Rights, that it is impossible to make them otherwise; and this being their undisturbed belief, they have no concep∣tion how any man in his senses can entertain any other. This point once settled, every thing is set∣tled. Many operations, which in Europe have been considered as incredible tales or dangerous experi∣ments, are but the infallible consequences of this great principle. The first of these operations is the Business of Election, which, with that people is carried on with as much gravity as their daily labour. There is no jealousy on the occasion, nothing lucrative in office; any man in society may attain to any place in the government, and may exercise its functions. They believe that there is nothing more difficult in the management of the affairs of a nation than the affairs of a family; that it only requires more hands. They believe that it is the juggle of keeping up im∣positions to blind the eyes of the vulgar, that con∣stitutes the intricacy of state. Banish the mysticism of inequality, and you banish almost all the evils attendant on human nature.

Another consequence of the habitual idea of Equality, is the facility of changing the structure of their Government whenever and as often as the Society shall think there is any thing in it to amend. As Page  284Mr. Burke has written no "Reflections on the Re∣volution" in America, the people there have never been told that they had no right "to frame a go∣vernment for themselves;" they have therefore done much of this business, without ever affixing to it the idea of "Sacrilege," or "Usurpation," or any other term of rant to be found in that Gentleman's Voca∣bulary.

Within a few years, the Fifteen States have not only framed each its own State-Constitution, and Two successive Federal Constitutions; but since the settlement of the present general Government in the year 1789, three of the States, Pennsylvania, South-Carolina, and Georgia, have totally new-modeled their own. And all this is done without the least confusion; the operation being scarcely known be∣yond the limits of the State where it is performed. Thus they are in the habit of "choosing their own Governors," of "cashiering them for misconduct," of "framing a Government for themselves," and all those abominable things, the mere naming of which, in Mr. Burke's opinion, has polluted the pulpit in the Old Jewry.{inverted ⁂}