Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

to serve him, and the present would gladly retire if they could with safety. They fear the loss of their beads more than the loss of their places. I begiu to bave strong hopes that the next will be a year of Britain's regeneration. The distressed state of commerce and agriculture, the finances, aud the Queen's case, all seem to be co-operating to that one object. It must come, and the sooner the better for all parties, even those who oppose it; for the longer it is deferred the greater will be the certainty of its opposers finding their merits. Their manner of procuring loyal addresses is be- ' come a complete burlesque, and more than any thing else has shewn the irretrievable infamy into which they have sunk.. I said a fortnight since that the numbers to all their loyal addresses throughout the country, would not equal that to Mr. Hunt from Manchester and its vicinity; and I now perceive the assertion has proved a fact. The Queen bas twenty to one in number against the King and his Ministers! This is a number not to be trifled with, and if the King and his Ministers resolve to pursue their hostilities against the Queen and people any further, they had better never have tried their strength in loyal addresses. It proves that they are disgraced past recovery, for it is the sytem and not the individuals tbat bas drawp forth the scurvy addresses which have appeared in the Gazette. It is singular that none of the addresses appear in this Royal Journal which have been moved as amendments, and have been carried as amendments whererer there has been an open and previously known meeting; and wbich pray the King to dismiss his present Ministers. I suppose Sidmouth keeps all these in his office, or his pocket, to see who are the seditious and the disaffected throughout the country! If he now wishes to take a proper list of the disaffected, he must make a census of the whole pation : or the names of the minority might be easily found in the list of taxgathers, at the War-Office, or in the roll of the black regiment. There is not an honest and independent man in the country but is disaffected to the system of government. The public papers say that a Circular has been sent rouud to all the supporters of Ministers and the system in the House of Commons, accompanied with a copy of the speeches of Eldon and Liverpool on the Bill of Pains and Penalties against the Queen, as a guide for their opinions when the House meets: this Circular also begs hard for an attendance on the opening of Parliament, as important business will be transacted! The Ministers seem anxious for eanothr hooting out of the Parliament, and this they appear

likely to have, although they might still keep a small majority. Report says, that no set of Ministers can be found without a change of system ! An excellent comment on the conduct and characters of the present; and an ample reason for their continuance in office!

I shall close my observations on the political part of this publication, by saying, that its object has been consonant with the wishes of all Reformers-a representative system of government. This I protest has been my only object, and if any persons have had further suspicions of my motives, they must have arisen solely from the want of any suspicious cant on my part about attachment to the monarchy and the royal family. I am not attached to any individual, or family. I look at a royal family with the same indisference, as I would look at any other family. Io lookiog at the interests of the country, I can lose sight of a family, There is nothing sacred in my eye but truth and reason. I despise all royal families, and if they can exist with a representative system of government, I may begin to think better, or, at least, I shall feel it my duty to be silevt about them. Queen Caroline is the only member of any royal family, to whom I have ever felt attachment, and I do consider that she is worthy to fill a throne, if she continues to support her present professions. My plan ever has been, and ever shall be, to speak as I think both of men and things. I cannot flatter what I disapprove: and whatever may be my other faults, I feel that I am free from hypocrisy.

With respect to the Deistical part of ibis publication, I am of opinion that I bave done enough to teach even the Members of the Vice Society, that imprisonment cannot stupify my mind with bigotry. They have now the opportunity of seeing that persecution defeats its own object. Had I never been persecuted upon the score of that bug bear called religion, I should never have had my eyes fully opened to its impositions. I am now convinced that all religion is imposture, and I feel a pleasure in being its

avowed opponent. I now see so clearly through the busi, ness, that I challenge any man to shew me that any species

of religion is not a trick and imposture. I clearly perceive that it makes no part of morals, and that it is quite unconnected with morality. In fact, it is the dross of morals, and should be separated from the pure metal. I doubtless have shocked the prejudices of thousands, but I now can go no further: I proclain all pretended words of God to be fiction, and all stories about God to be forgeries and fabri,

cated impostures. I deny that man has any immortal part about him, and I boldly state that he is but a part of the apimal world, and lives and dies by the same rules and causes as do all other animals. I do not say that there is no God, or Omnipotent Disposer of all things, I feel that there is a power in nature superior to my comprehension, and I am content to call this power God, or by any other respectful and appropriate epithet. But I also feel, that every thing said and done in the name of this God, is but priestcraft and delusion: for as we cannot comprehend God, neither ought we to assume any thing respecting this Great' Power. All such assumption must be a definition of the word blasphemy, because it must be irreverent and uncertain as to its appropriateness. Our ignorance and fears have been the chief source of this delusion called religion, and by what I feel, I can say: HAPPY IS THE MAN WHO CAN REMOVE THIS IGNORANCE AND THOSE FEARS.

I did expect from the 'professions of the Reverend William Wait of Bristol, to have bad a further correspondence with him; but I have heard nothing since June last, not even the acknowledgment of my last communication to him. Those priests will write volume upon volume, upon the minor points of their religiou; as to what relation exists between the Son and the Father of God; as to what relation exists between them both and the Holy Ghost; as to wbat becomes 'of the soul after death; and such like nonsense, but not ope of them durst meet an opponent upon the fundamental point; as to whether all religion be or be not delusion. This is cutting too near the root: the greater part of them are fully alive to the imposition, and they durst not trust themselves into the field with a real opponent. As much shan fighting as you please, but we must not come to blows, cry they, or we shall soon be undone!

In mixing up this question with politics, I may not have studied my own interest, as I have had two classes of readers; the one who wished me to exclude the theological subject, the other the political; but few who approved the mixture, and I have from both parties received repeated exhortations to exclude both subjects. I consider the theolo-' gical subject to have beeư strictly consonant with the title, as whatever is for the public good is Republican. In future I shall endeavour to please all my subscribers, by separating the two subjects. I shall occasionally publish a sheet on each. I do not expect to publish at regular periods, 1 shall write only wheu I feel an inclination, and have a

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

subject to proceed upon. Above all things I dislike writing by measure, and I am certain that where the quantity is great, there must be much repetition, and much nousepse to fill up. I congratulate the readers of the Republican on the aspect of the cause of Liberty both at home and abroad. I thank them for their support, and still hope its continuauce, with my future publications, and now 1 most respectfully take my leave under the title of “The Republican."

R. CARLILE. Dorchester Gaol, Dec. 27, 1820.

[ocr errors][merged small]

At the close of the present year, the liberal mind must look back with pleasure on the important scenes which it has exhibited ; and we feel the less reluctance to discontinue this publication from the convictiou that it is not necessary to the advancement of the representative system of government, at this moment. Example operates much more powerfully than precept. It was the example of Spain which produced the resolution in Naples and Portugal; and the example of the rępiblican, form of goverument at Port-au-Prince, bas abolished monarchy at Hayti, and formed the Island of St. Domingo (an island not much interior to Great Britain) into one Republic. It is more than probable that the example of Portugal will produce a revolution in the Brazils: already have indications to that object been displayed. Thus the tide of relormarjon polis on The obsluacy of George the Third towards the colonies of America began it, and tbe obstinacy of his son, George the Fourth, to all reformation,' bids fair to cap the clinax.

It was on the first day of the present year that Quiroga and Riego proclaimed the Constitution in Spain-a day that ought to be celebrated on each anniversary wbilst a spark of freedom exists in Europe. The revolution in Spaio bas eulivened every liberal mind, and has taught us that nothing is too much to be hoped or struggled for, if its foundation be in nalure and conducive to the welfare of man. We bave now good examples before us, and let us endeavour to make a

good use of them, and not become the last among nations to recover our freedom. Surely the British army is vot infe. rior in intellect to that of Spain, Naples, Portugal, and St. Domingo! Surely the Printing Press in this Island most have brought the soldier and the citizen to one mind! We cannot believe the contrary: the opportunity for union must be'the only remaining object.

We hail the coming year as auspicious to the cause of freedom, although we feel a conviction that the Holy Alliance of Despots will make it a year of bloodshed. Scarce a doubt remains but that Austria will make war upon Naples. It has been a sad misfortune for Naples, that she has not displayed a more liberal spirit towards Sicily. The blood and treasure which has been wasted on that Island would have thrown the balance into the scale against dustria, for with such a noble resistance as the Palermitans have made, the combined force of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, would not suffice to conquer the two Sicilies. It is impossible, to conquer a united nation where every inbabi tant resolves to sell bis life as dear as possible. The natives of a country acting in self-defence might, by stratagem and caution, destroy a dozen of the invading army for every native that fell. The only maxim at such a moment should be to sell life as dear as possible. Individual safety should not be considered, for none but a coward and a slave would wish it at the sacrifice of bis liberty and couutry. Death is by far the least of the two evils, when slavery is the alternative; and the idea of revenge on the invading aggressor must make even death sweet. It is alniost impossible that Naples can expect any support from the inhabitants of the Island of Sicily, after what has passed. Were we in the condition of the Sicilians, we conless that we should view a chastisement from Austria upon Naples as a just and merited retaliation, although it is painful to think ibat the cause of general liberty would suffer thereby. Naples lust sight of her own interest by her opposition io the independence of Sicily: it formed a proof that she was scarcely deserving of independence her. self. We regret the circumstance, and fear the evil of its consequences is yet to come.

It is evident that the despots of Europe are straining every nerve to disturb the peace of Spain and Portugal, and, we verily think that the base and perjured Ferdinand of Spain is heart-in-hand with them. Since the prorogation of the Cortes, every effort has been used in the latter country to produce a counter-revolution, and the firmness and sincere

« AnteriorContinuar »