Billeder på siden

the Constitution. We mean to say that we shall pay no attention to them, as far as regards the spirit of this publication, which will be kept up with the same undeviatiog adherence to truth as heretofore. The Stamp Duties* Bill will, however, affect all publications in such a manner, that: an alteration must be made in the size, quantity of matter, and also in the price of the CAP OF LIBERTY. To effect this object, with the least possible increase of price to our readers, matters have been arranged so as to unite the MEDUSA with the CAP OF LIBERTY, which when together will form two sheets, for sixpence, that being the lowest sum: for which Lord Castlereagh will allow any thing political to make its appearance without a-stamp. To make this work, however, worthy of public patronage and support, shall be our constant and unwearied endeavour. The ÇAP OF LIBERTY shall be raised over the expiring banners of Albi: on's independance, to scare if possible the minions of des potism from the plunder end carnage of a prostrate People..

Amidst all the melancholy desolation of our Country's freedom, we can with difficulty refrain from a contemptuous smile at the insignificant nonsense of Lord Ellenborough. This young sprig of Nobility voted against changing the punishment of transportation into that of banishment, because, forsooth, transportation was intended for such low insignificant wretches as printers, publishers, and authors;s whereas banishment is for the higher orders. From this we must suppose that his Lordship means to argue that the House of Commons has conferred an honour upon us, by raising us upon a level with Nobility: as if it could be any consolation to a man who was going to the block, to tell him that a King was beheaded there before him. His; Lordship seems to have quite forgotten that his father wast at first a lawyer, and consequently not so far removed from the despicable rank of printers, publishers, and authors, as he would wish the world to believe. A man, however, who has a Seat in either House of Parliament, is to be, hences) forth privileged to talk nonsense by the hour, without any persons having the honesty to tell him of it, or to hold him up to the contempt and execration of the Country for which he would pretend to legislate. We, however, shall not attend to these infamous, these atrocious Aets of Parliament ; but taking Truth and Reason for our guides, and argument for our weapon, we shall proceed in the path of Patriotism, however dangerous to us, as the enemies of all that is vil lainous in a Government.

[ocr errors]

Printed and Published by T. DAVISON, 10, Duke Street, Smithfield,

[ocr errors]

midons, and public opinion conducted him to the scaffold; belieye me, Sif, however Ministers may urge you oni, by pointing your view to the Soldiery, (heaven knows too ntimerous for a suffering country), retiect a little; think that the standing army of France amounted to no less a number 'thon 220,000 men, in time of peace, and yet that number · were insufficient to protect Louis the Sixteenth from the revolutionary guillotine. The reason is self-evident--soldiers have an interest inseparable from the cornmunity of which they form a párt; they have fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters, who look to them as protectors of their liberties from INTERNAL TRAITORS as well as from a foreign army: and we trust a British soldier never will be found base enough to tarnish the laurels he has wreathed by his valour 'round the triumphant banners of his country, by treacherously attempting to subvert her liberties at home.

Independent, however, of all other considerations, there is one to which I would draw your Royal Highness's atten'tion, and one to which any individual not totally destitute of humanity or morality, must forcibly reflect upon, ere he sanctions a subversion of the charters upon which are founded the boasted . liberties of Englishmen:—that Englishmen. have rights, no person will have the hardiljood to deny; and amongst those rights is that of having arins for their personal security and the security of their families and property : "of this latter right--this acknowledged and inprescriptable right, Lord Castlereagh and his coadjutor Liverpool are attempting to deprive them, contrary to the spirit of the constitution to which they are ever boasting of their love and adherence. The people are not likely tamely to submit to a bareface usurpation of their privileges; and woe be unto the hapless wretches, wlio, under covert of the night, attempt to put the “ Search for Arms Bill” into 'execution! Inevitable death must be, in numerous instances, the consequence; and whoever may be thé Mayer, reflect, Sir, if the crime of murder will not rest with those who enacted, and with those who sanctioned, measures calculated to bathe the fields of Albion in the blood of Albion's children. Those measures, Sir, cannot be enforced without your signature. This circunstance would, Sir, to me, be a most weighty consideration, although I do not profess to be a disciple of the superstitious dogmas of the day, which the Society for the Sappression of Vice are at such contipual pains and expence to propagate and support. But there is yet another consideration which is worthy of your attention, äyd of which, doubtless, advantage will be taken by the

people, if you continue hostile to their interests, which it is your imperious duty to protect, even at the bazard of your lite. Remember, Sir, that it is giving the people an opportunity of rebelling against your Government, and of taking the redress of their grievances into their own hands, according to ike 70th Article of Magua Charta, which runs as * follows:

Anrl whereas, for the honour of God and the amendment of our'Kingdom, and for quieting the discord that has arisen between us and our barons, we have granted all the things sföresaid; willing to render them firm and lasting, we do give and grant our subjects tbe following security ;--namely,

that the barons may choose five-and-twenty barons of the "Kingdom whom they think convenient, who shall take care, - with all their might, to hold and observe, and cause to be

observed, the peace and liberty we have granted them, and : by this' our present charter confirmed; so as that it we, our

justicairy, our bailiffs, or any of our officers, shall in any case fait in the perforinance of thein, towards any person ; or shall brçak through any of these articles of peace and security, and the offence is notified to four barons, chosen out of the five-and-twentyaforesaid returned; the said four 'barons shall repair to us, or our justiciary, if we are out of 'the realm, and laying open the grievance, shall petition to hare it redressed withont delay; and if it is not redressed by us, or, if we should chance to be out of the realm, if it is not redressed by our justiciary within forty days, reckon'ing froin the time it has been notified to us, or to our justi

čiary, if we should be out of the realm: the four barons shall lay the cause before the rest of the twenty-five barons, and the said twenty-five barons, together with the community of the wholé kingdom, shalt distrain and distress us all the hcays possible, namely, by seizing our cattles, lands, possessions, and in any other manner they can, till the grievance is redressed according to their pleasure, saving harmless our own person and the persons of our queen and childreir; and when it is redressed, they shall obey is as before." ...93 ". The 71st Article is clearly conducive of what should, in times like the present, be the duty of a Juryman, should any insulted and injured individual be brought before them, for baving resisted illegal and tyrannical Acts of Parliament. It runs, Sir; as follows: ''" And any person whatsoever in the kingdom may swear that he will obey the orders of the five-and-twenty barons, aforesaid, in the execution of the premises, and that he will

the kingdownty bear


Wenand-twill not, o

just obsee saine o

distress us jointly with them to the utmost of his power; and . We give public and free liberty to any one that will swear

to them, and never shall hinder any person from taking the same oath."

The 72d Article makes a general insurrection for the redress of grievances compulsatory on the part of the People; and are you, Sir, prepared to crush that people by the dreadful arguments of the sword and pistol ?.

5. As for all those of our subjeets who will not, of their own accord, swear to join the five-and-twenty Barons in elistraining and distressing us, we will issue our order to make them take the same oath as aforesaid.*

. ' I would just observe, Sir, that no Parliament whatsoever

has any legal authority to infringe upon any principle which is laid down in that charter. No alteration whatsoever should take place, or legally can take place, without taking the sense of every individual in the nation, who felt at all interested in its prosperity, upon the propriety of such intended alteration. A venal House of Commons may pass an Act, and your Royal Highness may sanction it; but if it be in violation of the Constitution, it is a dead Jetter, a mere Act of Parliament, BUT NO LAW. The People cannot consider it as such, and will obey. it no longer than they can help it. If Acts are passed prohibiting Publie Meetings, the immediate consequence will be private conspiracies and combinatious to adhere to the constitution, by overturning a system of coereion and oppression, contrary to its express letter and spirit, and redressing themselves by “distressing" you, Şir, in all ways possible, namely, by seizing our castles, lands, possessions, and in any other manner they can,” according to the foregoing extract from Magna Charta. If things proceed to such extremities, there is yet another danger which perhaps may have some weight in your decisions respecting the Acts of Parliament at pre-" . sent in agitation. If once the People proceed to do themselves justice, according to the provisions of Magna Charta, in the wild enthusiasm attending the full enjoyment of their liberties, it is but too probable that, giving the reins to their indignation against their villainous oppressors, they may perhaps forget the clause granting protection to your person, and materially injure the revenue of the country, by doing that which I hope, for the sake of the country, you will by your future conduct induce them to refrain from. .

I would recommend your Royal Highness .carefully to peruse the speech of Lord Grosvenor, in the House of Peers, on Friday the 14th instant. With a sincere desire

« ForrigeFortsæt »