Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

reason enough to know that), that in England has his belly full of bread SOMETHING MUST GIVE WAY; and meat every day. Damned potatoes that if the funds do not, the church must, or the army must, or the dead weight must, or something must. I have been a true prophet hitherto, and I shall be a true prophet still.

were never intended to be the food of a labouring man, and his dress never was intended to be that of the scare-crow; and until his state be changed for that which it ought to be, I, as long as I have life and health, will contend for that change.

With regard to the treatment of the labourers in agriculture; with regard to their having A RIGHT to a sufficiency "Here will I hold: if there be a God of meat and bread, out of the produce" above, and that there is all Nature of the land, and also to good clothing," cries aloud through all her works," if they honestly and duly labour, or are he must abhor the wretch who would ready to labour, that is a point from wish the honest labourer, who raises which all the railers and bawlers and all the meat, all the bread, and all abusers on this side of hell, or in hell the clothing, to be compelled to live itself, shall never drive me. I have all upon a root nine-tenths of which are my life laboured, since I knew what I dirt and water, while those who do not was about, to better their wretched lot. labour, live in luxury on the fruit of his I have taken infinite pains to teach toil. I know well that the labourer them how, by their own exertions, they cannot have his due, and that, at the may assist in providing for their well-same time, the funds, the army, the being. My little book, entitled Cor-church, and all the rest, go on in the TAGE ECONOMY, teaching them how to present way. I know this perfectly do things which they might not under-well. I repeat that SOMETHING stand how to do, instilling into their MUST GIVE WAY. Choose you minds principles of industry, of sobriety, what it shall be: I have suggested the of frugality, of cleanliness, of a disre- remedy often and often enough: you gard of tawdry fineries; of every virtue, have rejected my advice: reject it still : indeed, tending to make them able and do what you like with your own confaithful servants, kind parents, dutiful cern; but, Benett, if I can prevent it, children, good husbands, and good and the labourers of England, SHALL NOT beloved wives; this little book, of LIVE UPON POTATOES. This is my which a hundred thousand copies have resolution; and from this all the abuse been sold; and in employing my time in the world shall never drive me one about which I must of necessity have single inch. I dare not make an atbeen animated by the best of all earthly tempt to bring your House into conmotives; this little book will live, will tempt; but any expression containing be read with admiration of the great respect, either for you or for it, shall talent which could condescend to em-never be wrung from the lips or pen of ploy itself on so humble a subject, WM. COBBETT. when your name will be forgotten even on the spot where you were born, or be P. S. Benett, take my advice now: remembered only in the very writings bring in a bill (suggested to me by which this report represents you as hav-letter by a good honest man of Wilting so grossly abused. shire) to cause every labouring man, Far, however, is this, and similar boy and woman, to have a pound of abuse, from giving me any pain. The meat a day, and every thing else in prolabourers of Wiltshire have had their portion. That will make the country wages raised. If I have been in any quiet, and nothing else ever will. degree the cause, to the winds I cast all Leave off talking about me; and go the calumnies that it has brought upon along, and pay the interest of your debt me. They now get a morsel of meat in full tale, and in sovereigns of full now and then; but I shall never be con-weight and fineness. Go and do that; tent, till every honest hard-working man and take your gallant Yeomanry cavalry

across the Channel, and set them to keep the French out of Belgium. Do that, BENETT, and let me and my writings alone. Do those two jobs; and then I will say that you are a clever fellow, and will leave off talking about your "gallon loaf and three-pence a week for food and clothing."

FRANCE.

LETTER FROM MR. W. COBBETT,
AT PARIS.

SIR,

that so much more influence now even than with the other Bourbons.

In their comments on the late debate (of Thursday and Friday) in the Chamber of Deputies, the Quotidienne, and the other journals which are devoted to the Duke de Bordeaux, openly say, that if Charles X. had remained, he would have set at nought the treaties of 1814 and 1815, in the case which has happened with regard to Poland; and that, whatever may be said on the score of liberalism, the Bourbons cannot be accused of so base an abandonment of the To the Editor of the Register. glory, honour, and the prosperity which is linked to them, of France, as this Paris, 1st Feb., 1831. government of liberals. They observe THE news from all quarters received that, notwithstanding the charges of here is of the most perplexing descrip- subjection to the English ministry, the tion. That of the resignation of the government which was so charged dictator in Poland, of the finding of the made the brilliant conquest of Algiers bill against Mr. O'Connell and the pelt-in defiance of that ministry; and that ing of the Lord Lieutenant in Ireland, during different ministries, the Bourbons and of the contested election between conquered Spain in spite of the English, the Duke de Nemours and the Duke de who by French prowess were reduced Leuchtenberg for the kingdom of Bel- to prayers as the only means of opposgium, arrived altogether, on Sunday; ing it. So much for a hint as to the and it puzzles all the learning and civi- tone the royalists take, and I think any lization of Paris to divine what is to be one must allow they have the best of the the course of events. Some of the argument upon this question brought rumours which are afloat to-day, are re-on by Poland and also by Belgium. specting the destination of the vesse's of They even exceed in boldness the opwar fitted out recently from Portsmouth; position in the Chamber, who, somehow and, conjointly with the intelligence, or other, seem to rest much upon the which some believe, of the final election faith and spirit of treaties, which they of the Duke de Nemours, it is supposed say are in favour of the independence of that there will be war between France Poland: they have not the courage to and England. At the same time, peo- open their eyes to the change in the ple are prone to believe that the Ameri-situation of mankind produced by cans are eager to abet France in such a revolutions; and it is unwelcome to the war. The same persons believe that people for M. Lafayette to cite the General Lafayette is probably engaging policy or opinions of that tyrant, Frehimself with this object. This is the derick the Great, as his argument for chat of the common people, and I men- supporting the Poles against the Rustion it to show that they are thinking of sians. The people view the matter activity, and that their minds are pro-wholly independent of treaties, in which bably going before that of the govern- they never took part, and which were ment. They cannot see why their never made but to keep them down, as kingdom should not be extended, and the first object, and as forming the why Louis-Philippe might not be Em-whole basis of treating. Now, since peror of the French and King of the the Revolution, a different nation is in Belgians, as Napoleon was of Italy. existence from that which treated. You, They are totally incapable of under- Sir, always maintained that even the standing the arguments of prudence government of legitimacy had French which are come into vogue; aye, and blood in their veins, and that they felt

the oppressors, despoilers and degraders | cathedrals and churches during the first of France, to be their natural enemies, revolution, and the increase of populaand that in that character they would tion since, there is now a great profupersevere against England: and that sion of space in the churches. In short, which is now urged by the royalists is the revolutions have, I think, been perfectly in unison with all your argu- complete in this respect, at any rate, of ments on this point, at the time when freeing the people from the domination this nation began to lift its head under of priests and hypocrites. These are the Bourbons, in 1822. M. de Chateau-treated with the most ineffable contempt; briand, who was the vigorous Minister but it does not follow that it is from of Foreign Affairs then, still adheres to either atheism or deism, but from a pure the Bourbons, and appears to be now and simple detestation of priestcraft. occupied in the tutorship of the Duke It is observed that, since the Revolution, de Bordeaux; a thing which shows, I there has not been any murder of that think, something of the spirit in which atrocious and unaccountable kind so that family sustain their hopes. frequently heard of during the reign of As to laughing at the possibility of the Bourbons, and all which have inthe Duke de Bordeaux ever coming to contestably been ascribed, in some way the throne, it would be exceedingly or other, to the priests or to the effects thoughtless; and to affect to do it would of their operations. Viewed in conargue, in a Frenchman, a carelessness nection with the priests, the Bourbons upon the subject. Nothing would have are completely detested, and Louisbeen more absurd, three months ago; Philippe, who, I believe, never goes to but that spirit which either dies, or Church, is very much admired. Nobecomes so scattered, in the people, as thing, as far as I can perceive, are the to be of no avail, cannot make head French so in dread of, as the influence against the persevering and unanimous of the old priesthood; and, when they inveteracy of the royalists. If one were are once completely hors de combat, the to enumerate the acts of the Chambers and of the government, it would not be surprising if the spirit of the people be totally damped, as for the enthusiasm which was so general soon after the Revolution.

nation may be said to be in a pretty happy state. The importance of this matter has made me deprive myself of room to notice many other things which are also important. The rapidity with which events now arise, and the confusion in which, really, the world seems ready to be lost, will make it necessary for me, in order to keep you informed of the most interesting facts, to send you my diary, or daily account of what passes; which will be more than you may find worthy of inserting in the Register, entire, but from which I shall leave you to make those extracts which you think proper.

One great change has certainly been made for the better, on the score of religion, or rather of priest-craft; and it is a very remarkable thing, that a society of Catholic priests is established, who perform the mass in French, and who are totally unpaid, except by voluntary contributions. This society furnishes priests to any commune which chooses to apply to it, and many communes, dissatisfied with the political The "intense" state of Ireland agiantipathies of their priests, have so tates the absentees; no small number of done. They avoid politics, except that whom seem to have abandoned Ireland, they really and sincerely join the people and even England, for France. These in this respect. The first mass was men wish Mr. O'Connell hanged, and performed the Sunday before last, in think that if he were so disposed of, Paris, and, the house (a private one) was peace and comfort would ensue. crowded, and even the street was hope, however, that the wish of absencrowded. On the other hand, the tees is not a wish which finds any echo churches may be said to be empty. amongst the industrious classes in EngNotwithstanding the dilapidation of land, who must be sadly deluded, or

I

exceedingly base, to honour any one
man so much. Buonaparte was not more
dreaded, than O'Connell seems to be.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
WM. COBBETT, JUNR.
7th Dec.

We do not, however, feel ourselves at liberty, much as we should wish it, to close our report here. Besides the allegations of the pregnancy and delivery of the princess, those declarations, on the whole of which your Majesty has been pleased to command us to inquire and report, contain, as we have already remarked, other particulars respecting. the conduct of her Royal Highness, such as must, especially considering her exalted rank and station, necessarily give occasion to very unfavourable interpretations.

P. S. The affair of Belgium is really settled. The intrigues in England have all failed. Intrigues without bayonets and field-pieces are little worth. The From the various depositions and proofs. King has refused bis assent to his son annexed to this report, particularly from the being King of Belgium; and, to be sure, examinations of Robert Bidgood, William because it would only delay that re- Cole, Frances Lloyd, and Mrs. Lisle, your union which must take place. Alas! Majesty will perceive that several strong cir cumstances of this description have been poor VELLINTON! The caricature-positively sworn to by witnesses, who cannot, shops already begin to make one burst in our judgment, be suspected of any unfavourone's sides with the various ludicrous able bias, and whose veracity in this respect exhibitions of the " Conquerant de la we have seen no ground to question. France," "Le Heros de Waterloo," &c. facts thus appearing, it is not for us to decide; On the precise bearing and effect of the these we submit to your Majesty's wisdom: but we conceive it to be our duty to report on this part of the inquiry as distinctly as on the former facts, that, as on the one hand the facts of pregnancy and delivery are to our minds satisfactorily disproved, so on the other hand, we think that the circumstances to which we now refer, particularly those stated to have passed between her Royal Highness and Captain Manby, must be credited nutil

&c.

No. III.
HISTORY

OF THE

REGENCY AND REIGN OF GEO. IV. they shall receive some decisive contradiction;

[merged small][ocr errors]

(Continued from No. 3, col. 144.)

THE identity of the child now with the Princess, its parentage, the place and the date of its birth, the time and the circumstances of its being first taken under her royal highness's protection, are all established by such a concurrence both of positive and circumstantial evidence, as can, in our judgment, leave no question on this part of the subject. That child was, beyond all doubt, born in the Brownlow-street hospital, on the 11th of July, 1802, of the body of Sophia Austin, and was first brought to the Princess's house in the month of November following. Neither should we be more warranted in expressing any doubt respecting the alleged pregnancy of the Princess, as stated in the original declarations-a fact so fully contradicted, and by so many witnesses, to whom, if true, it must in various ways have been known, that we cannot think it entitled to the smallest credit. The testimonies on these two points are contained in the annexed depositions and letters. We have not partially abstracted them in this report, lest by any unintentional omission we might weaken their effect; but we humbly offer to your Majesty this our clear and unanimous judgment upon them, formed on full deliberation, and pronounced without hesitation on the result of the whole inquiry.

and if true are justly entitled to the most serious consideration.

We cannot close this report without humbly · assuring your Majesty, that it was on every account our anxious wish to have executed this delicate trust with as little publicity as the nature of the case would possibly allow;~ and we entreat your Majesty's permission to express our full persuasion, that if this wish has been disappointed, the failure is not imputable to any-thing unnecessarily said or done by us.

All which is most humbly submitted to your Majesty. (Signed)

July 14th, 1806.

ERSKINE,
SPENCER,
GRENVILLE,
ELLENBOROUGH.

61. It does not comport with my plan to enter here into the case of the cruelly-treated Princess, who was, during the whole of her married life, dogged by spies, and beset by perjurers and traitors; her case, which forms the great characteristic of the regency and reign of this “mild" and " generous and "gentleman" king; her case, though as we go along we shall find it force upon us here and there, must wait for full display, till we come to the date of her death and burial. In this place it is my business to show how this affair of the Princess affected the great and general interests of the nation; how it

existence of which, and of the injurious con-' sequences to the country, not one mau out of ten thousand has any the most distant idea.

in the cabinet. How this ministry came to be in power is a matter which belongs to the history of George ft. For our present purpose, it is, as to this matter, sufficient to say, that this ministry had succeeded that of PITT, upon his death, which took place in January, 1806. Now, let it be well remembered, that Fox, who, and whose adherents, had now got into power, had always been a sort of political mentor of the Prince; that ERSKINE, who was now the lord chancellor, had, for many years, been one of his chief companions; and that Lord MOIRA, who was now master general of the ordnance, had been on the footing of a brother with the Prince for a great many years, his “personal friend" par excellence,

affected the policy of the kingdom, external as well as internal; how clearly it showed that the interests and safety of millions were thought little of in comparison with the in- 64. The Ministers of that day were those dulgence of the passions of one single man. who are called the WHIGS. They consisted 62. One thing, in this report, will have of a coalition indeed; but this was the name stricken every reader; namely, that the they bore; and the principal offices were Princess should have the child in her own house filled thus: Lord Grenville, first lord of the four years, and that no complaint should have treasury; Lord Erskine, lord chancellor : been made by the Prince before now. When Lord Spencer, secretary of state for the home we look at the evidence, we find that the department; Mr. Fox, secretary of state for originators of the whole story were a Sir JOHN the foreign department; Mr. Windham, DOUGLAS and HIS WIFE, who had gone to live secretary of state for the department of war at Blackheath (near MONTAGUE-HOUSE, the and colonies; Mr. Grey (now Earl), first lord Princess's place of residence) in 1801, and of the admiralty; Lord Moira, master general who swore positively to the facts of the preg-of the ordnance; Lord Fitzwilliam, president nancy and delivery in 1802. They both swore, of the council; Lord Sidmouth, privy seal; also, that they communicated the facts to the Lord Henry Petty (now Marquis of LansPrince from a deep sense of duty, as loyal sub-down), chancellor of the exchequer; and jects; the four lords say, in this their report, Ellenborough, the lord chief justice, had a seat that it was the bounden duty of the Prince to communicate to the King matter "so nearly "affecting the honour of the royal family, "and, by possibility, the succession to the "crown;" but it does not appear to have occurred to those lords to state why the Prince had not made the communication to the King at an earlier period! He might not be informed of the facts before. Strange, indeed! What! a child kept in the house of the Princess for four years, nursed as if it were her own; and the Prince, her husband, never hear of it though only at five miles distance from his own palace, though his wife was surrounded by servants that had been, for the greater part, in his own service! But did those Douglases, those loyal people, those people who swore that they communicated the facts to him from a sense of their duty as loyal subjects, did those people suppress their auxiety about the succession to the crown for four years? Did they hide the facts for four years? and if they did, were they to be believed when they communicated the facts? And how came the FOUR LORDS not to ask (and it does not appear that they did) at what time it was that the Douglases first communicated the facts to the Prince?" and if the first communication were in 1806, how came the lords never to ask the Douglases why they did not communicate the facts before the year 1806? And when it became clear that the evidence of the Douglases was false, how came they not to be prosecuted for perjury? And if the tribunal were (as was alleged) not of a nature to bring those who had sworn falsely before it, under the law for punishing perjury, why did the Ministers of that day counsel the King to appoint such a tribunal?

63. Who, then, were the Ministers of that day? And here, when we answer this question, we see all the mystery removed; we see why the child lived so quietly for four years; we see why the Douglases could restrain their feelings of loyalty no longer than the year 1806; we see how it came to burst out all at once at that time; and this leads us to the development of intrigue upon intrigue, of the

65. The Princess, in her answer to the report of the four lords, distinctly declared that the report, and the whole of the proceeding against her, were the fruit of a "foul conspiracy;" and though there be in the documents no proof of any subornation of the Douglases, it is, at any rate, certain, that their information against the Princess was not made known to the King until, as appears by the WARRANT, (paragraph 60,) the month of May, 1806; that is to say, until about a hundred days after the Whigs, the Prince's friends, got into power! For four years, while Addington and Pitt were ministers, the child lived very quietly; the Douglases had known of the pregnancy and delivery; they (as they swore) were alarmed for the succession to the throue, and yet the first trace of their communicating the information is, from the documents, found to be in December, 1805. But, at any rate, we find that they had made the communication to the Prince before the 3rd of that month; what time before is not stated; but on that day Lady Douglas gave a narrative to the Duke of Sussex, who took it down in writing, and it was signed by him, as having been made in his presence: and the was attested by BLOOMFIELD. true copy" The narrative sets out with stating that the narrator has been "ordered by the Prince of Wales" to give the narrative; but the precise time of the first communication to him does

« PoprzedniaDalej »