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instances only, I will, at this time we could lay down our arms! trouble your Majesty with the This was answered by the calm · mention.
disdain of the President, and by In the year 1812, when it was the thunder from the American evident to me, that, if the Minis- ships. Then it was, for the first try pursued their then measures, a time since England was England, war with the United States of that Englishmen were beaten, gun America was inevitable, I used, for gun and man for man. through the means of the press, I cannot bring myself to bemy best exertions to prevent that lieve, that, if your Majesty had war.
The party in opposition to read what it was then in my the Minisiry, pledged themselves power to write to you, in the form to support the war upon a cer- of petition, that war would ever tain contingency, which they have been begun. I possessed thought would not arrive. I knowledge upon the subject which knew that it would arrive; and, your Ministers did not possess. 'I therefore, I endeavoured to con- knew what the result would be vince both the parties tliat they before the first shot was fired. I 'were wroug; ihat war would was in possession of fäcts, the 'come; that the progress of that bare statement of which must have war would be disappointment and convinced any man open to condefeat; and that the result would viction, that defeat was certain. be enormous loss and everlasting These facts I could not disclose in disgrace. The whole nation will print. To disclose them to a man bear witness to my strenuous la- like Mr. Perceval, the · very bours to prevent that war, and it sound of whose name I abhorred, will also bear witness that I la was liardly to be expected; but, boured alone.
besides this, I despised him on Upwards of seventy millions of account of his arrogance, insomoney, now making part of our lence, and total want of judge. hideous Debt; upwards of seven- ment and of talent. Add to this, ty millions of money expended in a firm conviction in my own mind, that war, and now forming a part of founded upon positive assurance, the irredeemable mortgage of the as well as upon reason and ex. lands and labour of the people of perience, that every thing urged this kingdom; great as this was, it by me against any measure, was, was nothing compared with the dis with the Ministers, a strong ingrace of that war, which remains ducement to persevere in it. It written in the history of muner has been thus, in several instan. pus battles by land, and still more ces; and I have little scruple in legibly written in more monerous saying (however presumptuous it battles by sea: the history of may be deemed) that a very conwhich bastles an Englishman will siderable portion of the calaminever be able to look at without ties which the nation has to enfeeling his cheek burn with shame. dare at this day, may be truly At the outset of that war, one of ascribed to a rejection of saluthe ihen Lords of the Admiralty, tary measures proposed by me. Sir Josepll Sidney Yorke. A spirit of baughtiness has prevauntingly said, in the House of vailed'; and to that spirit we may Conimons, that we had the Presi. ffairly attribute a great part of ent of America to depose before our sufferings.
When your Majesty was a ners, feelings and interests of all
youth, occasionally rambling with classes of mankind. elo
two of your brothers and your To this one cause, I ascribe a be
tutor, about Kew Gardens, I was very considerable part of the a little boy, in a blue smock Debt, and the whole of those laws
frock, working in those gardens ; against popular liberty, and par . nd
and I remember that you passed ticularly the liberty of the press,
grass-plat round the foot of the like anything but England. But, be
Pagoda. But, since that time, I have at any rate, I know for certain lad
seen a great deal of this world; I that, at the time of beginning the have seen more of mankiad, in late disgraceful war against Ameall their various situations, ihan rica, one man in authority actual. most men have seen. I have been ly said: “ we shall vow beat these a very attentive observer; a very
C Americans; and alat will deich
aceurate relainer of all that I “stroy COBBETT's credit for . have observed. I have been
Monstrous as this may
communicative, and have found, seem, I know the fact to be true;
in all raurks and degrees, ever; and as a truth, I solemnly state it he body that knew me ready to im- in an address to your Majesty.
part to me their thoughts. Al Therefore, I could have no ways ready to repose confidence hope, that any petition or memo
in others, I have sometimes been rial, addressed to the Ministers, 10 deceived and betrayed ; but I would be of any use.
They 32 have never been intimate with would, I knewv, spurn at it; and,
that human being who was not as I had no means of approachdready, almost at first sight, to re-ing your Majesty with a petition, ully pose confidence in me. Hence, the facts have remained in my DE
and from the resources of my in- own bosom; the war took place;
dustry, and my delight in labour and the fatal result we have to e of all sorts, a stock of knowledge deplore. si
has accrued, which was unavoid Upon another occasion, not dable ueless 'nature had deprived much less important, I wrote, e,
me of the common capacity of and caused to be printed, a peti
comprehending and remembering. tion, addressed to your Majesty. ed
But your Ministers seem io I allude to the petition written in kave had the little blue smock-America, not published there, but
frock continually in their eye, and published in England, with re. It
to have thought it beneath their gard to the struggle going on in bigh mightinesses to condescend the South American provinces.
to listen to any thing coming from But that the petition contained a 1
an origin so low. They, who, for very small part of the knowledge the far greater part, had never ex. which I possessed upon the subchanged the purlieu of a county ject. Though living in a very and ihe chicanery and wrangling obecure part of the country, genof a Quarter Sessions for
tlemen from South any
America, thing but the smoke and buz oí agents from the Provinces, found Loudon, were, nevertheless, as
me out. I had opportunities of full of conceit as if they had knowing every thing relating to occasionally resided in different the contest; relating to the views dations and had studied the man and wishes of the insurgents; and
I was put in possession of nume fences; I hope not much less
WM. COBBETT. therefore, remained with myself; a series of measures, the contrary 'of what I should have petition. DEATH OF THE KING. ed for have been pursued ; and the result will be as heavy a
His Majesty expired, it appears, blow as the greatness of this king
at Windsor Castle, on Saturday dom ever received.
evening, the 29th instant, at halt Could I have entertained the past eight o'clock, in the eighty
second year of his age, and in the smallest hope of my petition fifty-ninth year of his reign; hav . reaching the hand of your Ma
ing been born in the year 1738, jesty, I should have dispatched a and having ascended the throne in son as the bearer of it, notwith the year 1760. standing the dungeons were still In the remarks which I have to open to receive every one, whom offer upon this event, I shall proyour Ministers might chuse to bably differ from many of my conimprison, on suspicion of treason temporary writers; but, it offers able designs. But, having left, an occasion for laying before the of my unalienable Right of Peti. Public, truths which I deem of an tion, nothing but the Right of useful nature: it is, therefore, Petitioning Lord SIDMOUTH, the
my duty to lay those truths before duty which I would have per it; and I trust that fear of clamour, formed remained unperformed; will never prevent me from diso la and the Gulf of Mexico will now charging any part of my duty. be passed by a British fleet only It would be impertinent in me by sufferance, if it ever again pass to pretend that I 'feel any sorrow that Gulph at all.
upon this occasion. All the cifThese, may it please your Ma- cumstances considered, if it had jesty, are only amongst a few of been my own father, whose dethe evils which naturally arise cease, in place of that of his Maout of this not very gracious cur- jesty, I had now to announce, I tailment of the last resource, in should be afraid to express any. the way of right, left to an op- feelings of sorrow, lest I should pressed subject. A new reign be taken for a fool or a hypocrite, ought to begin with acts of grace; I should thank God that he had and, though I anxiously hope that released my parent from a state, the first exercise of your Royal the prolongation of which could Prerogative will be to open the be viewed by no rational man as prison doors to those who have any thing other than a very serious een imprisoned for political of..I calamity. I cannot, for my part,
[ue bring myself tf entertain even a alty, which we are not called upon good opinion of persons, (especial to show on the demise of common ly those not connected with his Ma- men, however highly they may jesty by ties of blood), who pre- have been respected in their lives tend to be oppressed with grief and how well soever they may upon this occasion. However have deserved that respect. But, clearly we may be convinced that if we carry the thing further, and, the death of our parents or chil- pretend that our feelings are en. dren is a great good to themselves, gaged in the matter, all the world reason, when the moment comes, sees that we are guilty of affectawill give way to the weakness of tion, not to call it by the harder natere. But; is it not imper- name of hypocricy, and they turn tinence, as well as affectation in from our lugubrious whine with us, who never can have known contempt and disdain. any thing even of the private cha Much higher duties, however, racter of his Majesty; and who has the public writer to perform by no possibility, can have con- in such a case; for, let it be borne tracted for him any personal affec- in mind that the pages of to day tion ; is it not, in us, impertinence become the documents of posterity. as well as affectation, to pretend Kings and Princes and all rulers, that we are overcome by those enjoy, during their lives, innumefeelings, which, in the case of rable things withheld from common parents, children, wives and per. men. And, therefore, it is just sonal friends, are allowed to lay that, when that enjoyment comes reason asleep for the moment, and to an end, the acts of their lives lead men to express their sorrow should be more freely canvassed at events which ought to be a sub- than the acts of common men. ject of joy?
As to the private character of Decorum, good manners, a feel his Majesty, I know full as much ing of respect for the office of the as my countrymen in general, King, and also a feeling of respect and that is, just nothing at all. It towards his successor, and the rest is to discover a degree of inof his Royal Family; all these call modeaty, rendering the party dead upon us, on an occasion like this, to all feelings of shame, to preforagrare and serious deportment, tend to know any thing of the and for those outward marks of character of a personage that the veneration even for deceased Roy- party has never been able to ap
say of it.
proach. His Majesty s prirategistrates of all descriptions, and character I know nothing of; I especially those of Princes and of have never known any thing of it; Kings! and therefore, nothing can I truly This is a matter wholly out of say of it; and not being able to our province. The relationship say any thing truly of it' (except between us and our King, is that by mere guess), nothing will I of subject and Sovereign; and
partake, not, in the smallest de. Indeed, this is a matter with gree, of any of those ties which which we, the subjects of the are not purely political. I, thereKing, have Hothing at all to do. fore, keeping these principles in And, if we take but a moment to view, shall now proceed to subreflect, we shall see the great mit to the public some few obser. danger of our impertinently pre- vations relative to the acts and tending to meddle, one way or the events of his Majesty's reign, other, with the private character which reign, instead of having of a chief Magistrate. If we are been glorious, as
some persons to praise him for a good private have thought proper to declare it character, does it not follow that to be, has, in my opinion, been we are to censure him, if he have inglorious in the extreme, a bad private character? If we I wish to premise, however, are to obey him with the more that I ascribe to his late Majesty, willingness and alacrity, on ac none of the acts of his reign; countof his good private character, and, of course, none of their fatal are we not placed in danger of un- consequences. To do this would willingness to obey him at all, if be to remove the responsibility his character should happen to be from where the law and constitubad ? And, let it be borne in mind, tion have lodged it, and to place that unwillingness to obey is only it where it never was yet placed one' short step from resistance ! | by any faithful subject or sensible Yet, what mischiefs; mischiefs man. Our government is not a how great and how numerous, monarchy, which means a goand how dreadful in their results, vernment in one single person. It bave not arisen from this fatal is a mixed political government, political error of confounding the at the head of which we have a private character with the public King, whom the law presumes infunctions of men in power; Wal capable of doing wrong towards