Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the House of Hanover; and since that fag :-cruel insult on the feelings of time it has seen rebellions, arising from Britons ! yet, happily, this folly predifference of opinion in respect to the served our national colours from such proper object of loyalty; but, it has seen disgraceful pollution. no general rising of the people for the Ånd it was then, to the brave depurpose of setting aside any part of the fenders of their country (our sailors, established Government, the Legislature, principally) that this flag was displayed the acting powers of the State. as a rallying token ! The very fag against

In fact, the people, of themselves, which they had exerted all their enerhave no desire of destroying the machi- gies for many years, which they never nery of the State: they know also, saw without giving chace to it, and to that their occupations in life do not which they had sworn enmity times qualify them for the highest duties of without number, till they had driven it the highest stations : they have seen off the seas? Precious infatuation, that the dreadful consequences of Anarchy chose this fag for its standard !-the in another country; and they are aware livery of Orleans for the ensign of Brithat no possible advantage, to be de- tons ! rived from similar confusions, could This was done openly; shame did not compensate a thousandth part of the blush, por did the weakness of commiseries inevitably attendant on popu- punction betray a latent reserve of Brie lar commotion. If guilt may be sepa- tish sentiment; but, the machinations rated from crime, the guilt of disturb- which were proceeding in private, were ing the public tranquillity, rests with such as the public could have no saspithose who stimulate the people. We cion of. The metropolis stood in susdo not say, that the people are not cri- pense when the populace were assemminal ; because, it is the duty of all bled, but little thought of the main men, and of every man, to preserve spring and object which caused that asthe public peace; but, we say, that semblage. The Reports submitted to those who suggest to the populace, Parliament by the Committees of both what they would never otherwise have Houses, have disclosed so much of this thought of who by such suggestion, secret proceeding, as prudence permits rouze their passions, while they lull at present; enough to convince the citheir reason—are guilty in a super-emi- tizens of London that they have bad an nent degree, as well of the crime, as of Escape from the extreme of violence; its conseqnences.

- from seeing their city the seat of turWe are too much citizens of the bulence and contention, of bloodshed world to acknowledge the justness of and battle. In this, too, the nation is the phrase " natural enemy,” to admit included; for had London become the that one nation is the “ natural enemy" prey of the revolters, every city and of another; yet, we confess, that our town would have followed its fate, and feelings revolt at the idea of mimicking the calamity would have been general, the devices of our Gallic neighbours. not to say universal, and moreover, Whoever is so misled is a disgrace to universally destructive. this country; and should be banished For it cannot be supposed, that men of from its civilized society ;-but, that property would have yielded that properly any Englishman, or any number of without a struggle, would have seen the Englishmen, should adopt as their own dependence of themselves and their fathe mischievous, the bloody insignia of milies torn from them by the rude hand Gallic insanity, is what we never could of lawless violence, without endeavourimagine, and cannot contemplate with ing to arrest that band, and to repel out horror, Are we reduced to the that ruflian power which exerted itself dire necessity of displaying colours un- in destruction and ravage. Could those known to us, unacknowledged by us who so lately stood forward to defend their Or do the honest badges of Britain country from foreign foes, so soon forstart from meditated crime against her get every military emulation, and hide peaceable citizens ? The signal for themselves from invaders, because those Shedding blood was the tri-coloured invaders were domestic The thing is

name.

impossible; hence must have arisen con- , denomination of JACOBIN. Accident ficts, attack and defence, murder and brought us acquainted with them, by resistance, civil war, with all its hor- means of one of their chiefs ; and it rors, carried into the heart of the coun seems that the same plans are now purtry, and not a family safe from the ag- suing by the same means under another gression, and plunder, and revenge,

What were Jacobin clubs are at and blood-thirsty malice, of its own la present Hampden clubs. They were bourers, of rival townsmen, of secret or scenes of riot and noise ; they gave ocacknowledged enmity, in every form. casion to ribaldry and treason in the form

The metropolis, the nation, has the of songs, toasts, mock speeches, and greatest cause to rejoice at the failure other ludicrous exhibitions. They went of this bloody plot; and if language ad further; for some of the most treasonamitted a superior degree of comparison, ble songs were sung to the tune of those unwary wretches who would have “God save the King” and “Rule Bribeen drawn in to commence these hor- tannia," in order to disguise from casual rors, hare still greater cause of rejoic- hearers the true purport of the sentiing; for, it cannot but be supposed that ments uttered. We, therefore, can bethousands were incautiously giving coun. lieve all, and more than all, disclosed by tenance to the revolters, and night have the Reports, though we wonder much at been excited to action, who bad no such the mere dull spirit of imitation and original intention ; — and it must, in repetition, which condescends to renew charity, be hoped that among those who what has so long been scouted even by were parties to the scheme, there are the refuse of mankind. not a few who in their cooler moments, But, the Jacobin clubs of former shudder at the thought of the mischiefs years had a prodigious advantage in the their design included in its execution. patronage they derived from France: True it is, that Religion, with its sanc- they_had French agents among them, tions, had been rejected and ridiculed by and French money; they had the then those duly initiated at the Clubs; never- triumphant establishment of a Jacobin theless, no man can absolutely banish government in France, to refer to.conscience; it is an integral part of him- 'reason had been already too powerful self; and where conscience still exists, for loyalty; and why not, again ?-and Religion is of a nature to return, to revi- if in France, why not in Britain ? Alas! sit the individual, not seldom by power that Argus-eyed minister, Mr. Pịtt, ful compunction.

bad spies in these social meetings : and Nor can we easily persuade ourselves thus, he knew their proceedings ; he that Patriotisnı, 'also, would not have knew, too, the agents; and be knew the revived in many a British bosom, terri- numbers which every week was reported fied at the consequences of error, and of those who augmented the strength shrinking from ihe contemplation of un- of these societies. Were not the preexpected scenes. The sight of a coun- sent plotters informed of this ?. There try destroyed, would have swam before are still living some who could have told the eyes of all but the most hardened, them, yet greater secrets ;-but, it does while life endured. These, then, have not appear that experience had taught the utmost possible reason to be grateful wisdom to the conductors of this bumto whatever power prevented impending ble imitation of former plots, having the evils. They ought to feel the duty of same object. making every possible amends to their The Report presented to the House country, though the evils did not take of Lords being earlier by one day than place; and to atone for their participa- that to the House of Commons, is the tion in crime, though, happily, they one inserted in our pages ;--but the were spared the guilt of actually com- Report of the Commons Committee is, mitting it.

not only in perfect unison with the Lords, It is known to our readers that we but it is couched in many places in have formerly acknowledged an acquaint- stronger language. It discloses some ance with the mancuvres of the affiliated what more of the management employed. Clubs, many years ago known under the 2 I 2

It seems that perfect unanimity pre- Their guilty intention was the same ; vailed in both Committees on this oc- but the public stood aloof from their casion, and that there was no dissenting crime. voice, on the facts of the case, or on the measures to be taken in consequence.

On the intended progress of the rioters Both Committees pronounce the under

we offer no remarks. The plan of seta taking desperate. The means at the ting fire to the barracks, of liberating disposal of the conspirators were inade- the prisoners from the various places of quate. The mob was taken for confinement, of furnishing them with

every thing; and the people for nothing. But arms, and preparing them by an address, even the mob was not large; and that

are so many demonstrations of an inportion of it which seemed to be inclined tention, a settled intention to disturb

the to mischief was not over hearty in the

peace.
We suppose

that the person cause, or desirous of proceeding to ex

who paid the expences of these proceedtremities. The undertaking was too ings is not yet taken; and there may vast for the heads which guided it; and be a prudence also in withholding, at too ponderous for the hands which present, information, as to the quarter attempted to grasp it.

from which he obtained supply. No hint The Reports state the manufacture is dropped of any exalted or wealthy and delivery of two hundred and fifty personage being implicated in the plot; pike heads; what could these be intend although we suspect that it was suffered ed for, if the meeting against which

to proceed to a certain point, not withthey were provided was of peaceful ci-out some desire on the part of Governtizens only: yet this was but a feeble ment, to know who was really the austore of arms by which to overset the thor of it, and the prime mover in it. British Constitution. The scheme of

It is more than possible that the pupobtaining arms from the shops of the pets which fill the scene, are moved by gunsmiths might have been available, wires, guided by an invisible hand. under a regulated body; but a mob is They are the actors, and they act acnot a regulated body, nor in a moment, cording to their own wishes; but the inreducible to regularity: the scheme, stigator, or principal agent, may be contherefore, failed. Even Masaniello, whở cealed; perhaps he is known to but few overthrew the Government of Naples by

of the secondaries, means of a few boys, and fruit women, The chief towns in the country which had had his boys in training many were likely to be implicated in equal weeks, if not months. They were horrors, bad the plan succeeded in Lontaught to obey his signals ;-not merely don, are those large manufacturing to shoulder their sticks (muskets] at places where workmen usually crowd command; but to be noisy and cla- together by thousands :--and the reason mourous at a certain sign ;-another is clear; because in such over-populous sign hushed them into silence. The neighbourhoods, only, could the clubs whole insurgent populace of Naples stood reckon on numbers. It may be strongly silent, at a motion of the finger of their suspected that the lenity shewn to the Commander in Chief,

Luddites at Nottingham had no small Neither was the execution of the share in promoting these dangerous soscheme so sudden that the ruling pow-cieties. "Riot and tumult nnpunished ers were likely to be overcome by sur never stop there. The temper and disprise: the first meeting in Spa-Fields position which destroy the property of a was succeeded by riot and robbery; it neighbour should be suppressed in the was, therefore, a hint not to be mis- first instance; for this is a principal end taken, of what might be expected from of the social compact. The litile misthe second meeting. But there was no chief, gradually, but certainly, becomes public welcome given to the conspirators; great: it enlarges itself as opportunity their clamour was cheered in not a offers. The mind of the criminal is single street : not a house was opened slowly hardened; but, in the issue it to receive them favourably; nor were commits, without remorse, atrocities. they joined by one additional corps. from which in an earlier stage of iniquity,

held

coun

it would have recoiled with horror and the time will come when they and their detestation.

pestiferous doctrines will be properly esAnd now, whatever degree of guilt imated. The time will come when the may have been incurred, we rejoice to poor and private but industrious indivithink that the violated Constitution of dual will bless his absence from the noisy our country affords even to those who society of those who affected to be better violated it, the means, the opportunity, and wiser than their neighbours ;—those and the advantage of a fair trial.- who to prove their superior goodness, No arbitrary power will sit in judg- cast off Morals, Religion, the regulations ment on a single life : no jury will be of life ;-and to prove their superior suborned or tampered with ; neither wisdom put their confidence in traitors will it be overawed, or fined, or even who abuse their credulity with promisréprimanded. No Military Commission es, which they know cannot be realized. sanctioned by the tri-coloured flag, Happily for our nation, by far the will be ordered to find a culprit greater mass of the people hear of these guilty, and to pronounce his doom, doings with abhorrence; and this gives before he appears. The accused will be us occasion to congratulate the steadi

in judgment by their ness of our countrymen, at large, which try; and the verdict of that country amidst all the circumstances of the will acquit or condemn them. If they times- times, undoubtedly, of much have broken no existing law, no law will anxiety and distress, does them infinite be pleaded against them; and to them, honour; and will, no doubt, ultimately as to others, if they plead “ Not contribute to their distinguished adGuilty," the charitable wish will be di- vantage and prosperity. rected, “ God send you a good deliverance."

REPORT. With reluctance we allude to proceed- By the Lords Committees appointed a Seings inevitably consequent on the Re cret Committee to inquire into certain ports before us. It is no small vexation Meetings and Combinations endangering the whole vation must undergo, in con

the public tranquility, and to report to sequence of the misconduct of a small the House as they shall see occasion. portion of its members. Some-and ORDEREĎ To RePORT, those not trivial of the defences of per

That the Committee have met, and have sonal liberty must be set aside for a proceeded in the examination of the papers

referred to them. time, in order to render them permanent

Their attention was in the first instance hereafter. The Constitution must suffer

directed to those which relate to the metroa temporary breach ; much to the mor- polis; and they have found therein such evitification of every genuiné Briton. dence as leaves no doubt in their minds Every man who loves his country must that a traitorous conspiracy has been formexceedingly regret the repeated inter- ed in the metropolis for the purpose of overruptions of the Constitutional order. throwing, by means of a general insurrec. It were sacrilege to recur without im- tion, the established Government, laws, and perious necessity, to such violations of constitution of this kingdom, and of effectour rights and privileges. We contem-ing a general plunder and division of proplate them as we contemplate the cut

perty.

In the last autumn various consultations ting off of a limb; if it will save lifeif it will secure the Body Politic, the gaged in this conspiracy. Different nea

were held by persons in the metropolis enoperation must be submitted to. The sures, of the most extensive and dangerous sufferings of the Patient are beneficial nature, were resolved upon; partial prepa. on the whole; and it is, occasionally, rations were made for their execution, and one of the conditions of life that remedi- various plans were discussed for collecting able evils should be endured, by way of a force sufficient for that purpose. But at avoiding irremediable destruction.

a subsequent consultation another plan was

adopted, which was, to get a great numLet those bad subjects who have con

ber of men together to see what force could tributed to promote these evils rejoice, be raised ; and it was agreed, that the best if they can rejoice, in the delusions they way to get them together would be to call have disseminated ainong the people :- a public meeting. Spafields was fixed upon

as the place affording the greatest facilities clubs or societies, or laboured in conver for entering the town, and attacking the sations, apparently casual, at public. houses most important points in the city. In pur to work up the minds of those with whom suance of this design, and in order to as they conversed into such a state of ferment semble in the neighbourhood of London a aud irritation as to render them, when great number of the poorer classes of the collected in sufficient numbers, for, whatcommunity, and particularly of those in ever ostensible purpose, the fit and ready whose minds the pressure of the times might instruments for the execution of any, probe supposed to have excited disaffection ject, however rash and desperate. In the and discontent, advertisements were insert course of these circuits one of their chief ed in newspapers, and handbills were in-objects appears to have been to take every dustriously distributed, inviting the distres, opportunity of attempting to seduce from sed manufacturers, marivers, artisans, and their allegiance the soldiers of the different others to assemble at that place ov the 15th guards, and at the barracks. The principal of November. A large body of people ac- persons concerned in this plan actually cordingly assembled at the time and place proceeded to Spa fields on the ed of Deprescribed. The most inflammatory lan cember, some of them with concealed arms, guage was there held to the multitude, hav- and with ammunition previously prepared : ing a direct tendency to excite them to they had also provided themselves with outrage and violence; and the meeting was tri-colour flags, and with a standard bearin fact followed by some acts of plunder and ing the following inscription :—"The brave riot. A petition to bịs Royal Highness the soldiers are our brothers; treat them kindPrince Regent was agreed to at that meet- ly.” And also with tri-colour cockades, ing, and an adjournment to Palace-yard on evidently adopted as the signal of revoluthe first day after the meeting of Parlia- tion. After much inflammatory language, ment was proposed : but the 2d of Decem a direct invitation was by one of these perber was subsequently fixed upon (on the sous addressed to the multitude to proceed proposition of one of the persons concerned immediately to actual insurrection : and it in the plans already described) for another appears quite certain, that the acts of meeting in Spafields; and that day appears plunder which were perpetrated for the to have been determined upon for the exe- purpose of procuring arms, and the other cution of their design.

measures of opeu insurrection wbich folVarious schemes were formed for this lowed, were not accidental or unpremedipurpose ; amongst them was a general and tated, but had been deliberately preconforcible liberation of all pessons confined in certed, as parts of a general plan of rebelthe different prisons in the metropolis: lion and revolution. There appears also into some of which, in order to facilitate strong reason to believe that the execution its execution, an address to the prisoners of those projects at that particular time was introduced, assuring them, that their was expected by some of the associations in liberty would be restored under a new Go- distant parts of the country. The conspivernment; announcing the intended attack rators seem to have had the fullest confiupon all the prisons, for that day; apprising deuce of success; and a persuasion has the prisoners that arms would be ready for subsequently been expressed amongst them, them; exhorting them to be prepared with that their plans could have been defeated the national tricolour cockade, and to co only by casual and unexpected circumoperate by the most violent and sanguinary stances. Even after the failure of this at. means to ensure success.

tempt, the same plans appear not to have It was also proposed to set fire to various been abandoned. barracks, and steps were taken to ascer Your committee are deeply concerned tain and prepare the means of effecting to be compelled, in further execution of this purpose. An attack upon the lower their duty, to report their full conviction and the Bank, and other points of import- that designs of this nature have not been ance, was, "after previous consultations, confined to the capital, but have been exfinally determined upon.““ Pikes and arms tended, and are still extending, widely in to a certain extent were actually provided, many other parts of Great Britain, parti, and leaders were named, among whom cularly in some of the most populous and the points of attack were distributed. It manufacturing districts. further appears, that the interval between At the meeting of the ad of December the two meetings was employed with un in Spa-fields, that part of the assembly remitting assiduity by some of the inost which had not engaged in the acts of plunative agitators in taking regular circuits der and insurrection before mentioned, througli different quarters of ihe town. In came to a resolution to adjourn the meet. these tivy cither resorted to the established ing to the second Monday after the meet.

« PreviousContinue »