Billeder på siden

theatrical, bombastick, windy phraseology of heroick virtue, blended and mingled up with a worse dissoluteness, and joined to a murderous and savage ferocity, forms the tone and idiom of their language and their manners. Any one, who attends to all their own descriptions, narratives, and dissertations, will find in that whole place more of the air of a body of assassins, banditti, house-breakers, and outlawed smugglers, joined to that of a gang of strolling players, expelled from and exploded orderly theatres, with their prostitutes in a brothel, at their debauches and bacchanals, than any thing of the refined and perfected virtues, or the polished, mitigated vices of a great capital. Iş it for this benefit we open

" the usual rela(tions of peace and amity ?” Is it for this our youth of both sexes are to form themselves by trayel? Is it for this, that with expense and pains we form their lisping infant accents to the language of France! I shall be told that this abominable medley is made rather to revolt young

and ingenuous minds. So it is in the description. So perhaps it may, in reality, to a chosen few. So it may be, when the Magistrate, the Law, and the Church, frown on such manners, and the wretches, to whom they belong; when they are chased from the eye of day, and the society of civil life, into night, cellars, and caves and woods. But when these men themselves are the magistrates, when all the con. sequence, weight and authority, of a great nation adopt them; when we see them conjoined with victory, glory, power and dominion, and homage paid to them by every Government, it is not possible that the downhill should not be slid into, recommended by every thing, which has opposed it. Let it be remembered, that no young man can go to any part of Europe without taking this place of pestilential contagion in his way: and, whilst the less active part of the community will be debauched by this travel, whilst children are poisoned at these schools, our trade will put the finishing hand to our ruin. No factory will be settled in France, that will not become a club of complete French Jacobins. The minds of young men, of that description, will receive a taint in their religion, their morals, and their politicks, which they will in a short time communicate to the whole kingdom.


Whilst every thing prepares the body to debauch, and the mind to crime, a regular church of avowed Atheism, established by law, with a direct and sanguinary persecution of Christianity, is formed to prevent all amendment and remorse. Conscience is formally deposed from its dominion over the mind. What fills the measure of horrour is, that schools of Atheism are set up at the publick charge in every part of the country. That some English parents will be wicked enough to send their children to such schools there is no doubt. Better this

Į 4


Island should be sunk to the bottom of the Sea, than that (so far as human infirmity admits) it should not be a country of Religion and Morals.

With all these causes of corruption, we may well judge what the general fashion of mind will be through both sexes and all conditions. Such spectacles, and such examples, will overbear all the laws, that ever blackened the cumbrous volumes of our statutes. When Royalty shall have disavowed itself; when it shall have relaxed all the principles of its own support; when it has rendered the system of Regicide fashionable, and received it as triumphant, in the very persons, who have consolidated that system by the perpetration of every crime; who have not only massacred the prince, but the very laws and magistrates, which were the Support of royalty, and slaughtered, with an indiscriminate proscription, without regard to either sex or age, every person, that was suspected of an inclination to King, Law, or Magistracy, I say, will any one dare to be loyal? Will any one presume, against both authority and opinion, to hold up this unfashionable, antiquated, exploded constitution ?

The Jacobin faction in England must grow in strength and audacity; it will be supported by other intrigues, and supplied by other resources, than yet we have seen in action. Confounded at its growth, the Government may fly to Parliament



for its support. But, who will answer for the temper of a House of Commons elected under these circumstances? Who will answer for the courage of a House of Commons, to arm the Crown with the extraordinary powers, that it may demand? But the ministers will not venture to ask half of what they know they want. They will lose half of that half in the contest: and when they have obtained their nothing, they will be driven, by the cries of faction, either to demolish the feeble works they have thrown up in a hurry, or, in effect, to abandon them. As to the House of Lords, it is not worth mentioning. The Peers ought naturally to be the pillars of the Crown : but, when their titles are rendered contemptible, and their property invidious, and a part of their weakness, and not of their strength, they will be found so many degraded and trembling individuals, who will seek by evasion to put off the evil day of their ruin. Both Houses will be in perpetual oscillation between abortive attempts at energy, and still more unsuccessful atlempts at compromise. You will be impatient of your disease, and abhorrent of your remedy. A spirit of subterfuge, and a tone of apology, will enter into all your proceedings, whether of law or legislation. Your Judges, who now sustain so masculine an authority, will appear more on their trial than the culprits they have before them.



The awful frown of criminal justice will be smoothed into the silly smile of seduction. Judges will think to insinuate and sooth the accused into conviction and condemnation, and to wheedle to the gallows the most artful of all delinquents. But they will not be so wheedled. They will not submit even to the appearance of persons on their trial. Their claim to this exemption will be admitted. The place, in which some of the greatest names, which ever distinguished the history of this country have stood, will appear beneath their dignity. The criminal will climb from the dock to the side-bar, and take his place and his tea with the counsel. From the bar of the counsel, by a natural progress, he will ascend to the bench, which long before had been virtually abandoned. They, who escape from justice, will not suffer a question upon reputation. They will take the crown of the causeway: they will be revered as martyrs ; they will triumph as conquerors. Nobody will dare to censure that popular part of the tribunal, whose only restraint on mis-judgment is the censure of the publick. They, who find fault with the decision, will be represented as enemies to the institution, Juries, that convict for the Crown, will be loaded with obloquy. The Juries, who acquit, will be held up as models of justice. If Parliament orders a prosecution, and fails, (as fail it will) it will be


« ForrigeFortsæt »