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Hyde, near Manchester, March 8, 1822. ESTEEMED FELLOW-CITIZEN, Premit me, on the behalf of a few of your friends in this and the neighbouring village of Denton, to request your acceptance of the enclosed sum of Two Pounds. We are sorry it is all our finances will allow us to send you at present; had it been rommensurate with our wishes, it would have amounted to hundreds of pounds, and which would have been a more adequate reward for the exertions you have made in the cause of Liberty, both Civil and Religious; the firm and undaunted advocate for free and uncontrouled discussion on all subjects relating to the welfare of society; the noble and bold assertor of Republicanism and the right of men to choose their Legislators and Magistrates, which you have proved yourself to be; the courage and heroism you have shewn whilst combating with the Vice and Bridge Street Hordes of Robbers and Plunderers; the unshaken fortitude you have displayed while suffering unparalleled persecutions and imprisonments, merits not only the pecuniary support, but the gratitude and esteem of every true friend to Liberty in every part of the habitable globe.
You, Sir, are to this generation what Thomas Paine was to the last; and such are the incontrovertible and convincing truths displayed in the writings of Paine, aided by the powerful effects of your great and expanded mind, that there is not the least doubt but they will be duly appreciated by the present and all future generations, and that your names will be handed down together with that veneration and respect they deserve to the latest posterity. Your names and deeds are engraven, in large and legible characters, on such imperishable metal, and that metal is supported by pedestals in the Temple of Fame, so firm and secure, that not all the ghastly grins your enemies may favour it with, nor all the deadly venom they may bespatter it with, will be able to deface one single letter, or remove one single atom of the structure.
Do the Wig, Gown, and Tythe Gentlemen think they can stop the progress of Reason, Truth, and Justice, by persecutions, imprisonments, and fines ? No: if they were to incarcerate and fine, nay, if they were to put to death and totally annihilate from the face of the earth all those persons who are now opposed to their system of idolatry, superstition, and fraud, it would set others not opposed to them at present to enquire why such measures were adopted ; and when once the most stupid begin to enquire into the nature of things, and reason upon them, rays of Truth will make their way on to their minds, a change will take
place in their sentiments, which not all the Kingcraft or Priestcraft in the world will be able to bring back to their former state of stupidity. Do they suppose that imprisoning you, your family, and your shopmen, will convince all your friends of what they wish them to believe are errors; and that in future, no one will dare to call in question their right and authority to dictate to the inhabitants of the world what they shall think and what they shall say? How laborious will be the task to convince us that truth is not truth! How futile and vain the attempt! The demonstrable truths you have published are now so (and will be still more) widely circulated, and so deeply engraven on the minds of thousands in this country, that our common oppressors view the effects of them on their
corrupt system with “ fear and trembling;" and the vengeance they are heaping upon the heads of your patriotic and praiseworthy shopmen, plainly shews, they are writhing under the conviction, that ere long their occupation will be gone.
Whatever may be the result of your present contest with your and our enemies; in whatever way they may dispose of you ; if they were to put you to death, (which Řeason and Justice forbids) be you assured, Sir, other Carliles would start up to vindicate your character and principles, and would continue to expose to the world the impositions and frauds of their idolatrous system, till it be totally banished from the earth. For let the bigoted, the interested; and the powerful exert themselves as much as they please, it is a truth confirmed to us by the experience of all ages, that whatever opinions may prevail in the world, how strongly soever established, or how ancient soever they may be, if not grounded originally on Nature, but on the consent only and contrivance of men, will be sure, in the end, to find the same fate with old buildings, which, while they acquire to themselves a sort of veneration from their very age, are every day gradually weakened, till being found at last rotten and ruinous, they are demolished by common consent.
I dare say it will be no less gratifying to you to hear, than it is for me to inform you, that Reason is assuming her
proper station in the minds of the people in this part of the country; that the principles of Republicanism are becoming better known and more generally adopted than they have been ; and that Christianity is now estimated by the conduct of its votaries, by their works, and not by their words.
If Murray, Sharp, or any other such shining examples of Christian honesty and morality, who belong to the Bridge Street Gang, would take a tour through the country, would call at every house, and so far insinuate themselves into the confidence of the inhabitants, as to get them to declare what they thought of your persecutions and sufferings, on their return to their fellow-despots they might truly say: “On our journey through the country we have met with thousands whose moral conduct is such, that if set
in competition with the same number of the most pious and devout Christians, they would far outshine them in all the social virtues; who think our persecuting Carlile for merely imitating our worthy Christian Divines in publishing to the world his opinions and sentiments, is vindictive, cruel, and inhuman ; who identify themselves with him; whose sentiments and principles correspond with his ; and who are determined to support him by every means in their power, as long as we interfere with his doing the same sort of thing that we expend thousands of pounds every year, and send out missionaries to every part of the world to do, that is, the publishing and disseminating our creeds and doctrines. We have found among the friends of Carlile such firmness of mind, such rectitude of conduct, and such resolution to support him in his present struggle for the first right of man, that of exercising his reason, and expressing his thoughts and sentiments on all subjects without the least restraint or controul, that, like the British Officer, on his return from the American General's camp, we exclaim, · What chance have we against such men.''
I understand a Banditti of Plunderers have been in your shop and have taken away your property. Roused into the highest state of alarm at your perseverance and determination to enlighten your fellow-countrymen ; to instil into their minds a knowledge of their rights and duties; warning them to be aware of “wolves in sheeps' clothing;” to be aware of such men as wish to enslave both body and mind; finding that imprisoning your shopmen had only the effect of doubling the number of those who were ready to go into your shop as others were taken out of it; driven to extremities, your enemies forcibly took possession of it, and shut it up, and then, no doubt, in imitation of the would-be-thought infallible “ Courier,” said, “ There, now the play is over we can sit down to supper."
Is such the result? Is the play over? Are your exertions in the cause of Freedom finally put a stop to ? Are the truths and sentiments of the great and immortal Paine, and of the no less great and noble Carlile, never more to please our eyes and en. liven our hearts ? Are we from the present time to sink into a state of listless apathy, and pay no attention to any thing but the dogmas of non-resistance and passive obedience to the Powers that be? No such thing. Your persecutors are doomed to sink back into that insignificance from which they ought never to have emerged; while your prospect will grow brighter and brighter every day. Like a tight-made ship on the stormy ocean, you may for awhile be overwhelmed by the rude waves of Persecution and Oppression, but you will rise superior to every obstacle, and like an expert and experienced Captain, assisted by steady and determined sailors, bring your vessel into the desired port, where all will be peace, harmony, and happiness,
For my own part, I shall continue to give you that support I
have hitherto done, by purchasing your works for myself and neighbours, and will raise a subscription for you as often as I can, while you, or any of your family, agents, or shopmen, are suffering imprisonment in the cause you are now suffering for.
I cannot close without expressing for myself and friends our sincere regard and esteem for your amiable wife and sister. We consider their case as very hard and cruel; yet we hope the time is not far distant when they will receive a more just reward, and see ample justice done to their present persecutors.
Trusting you will acknowledge the receipt of the enclosed sum for the satisfaction of your friends, whose names are below, I shall conclude with wishing you and your family health and a speedy release from your Prison, and hope always to remain, Your sincere Friend and Fellow-Citizen,
$. d. W. Hunter
Oldham Samuel Mercer
7 0 Z. Peacock Elizabeth Mercer, as a Token S. Bromley
of her Sympathy and Esteem J. Etchells
2 6 W. Yates J. Gosling
2 0 John mley James Shepley
2 T. Barker J. Stansfield
0 6 S. Lawe T. Kinder
0 6 W. Hardy J. Wrigley
0 6 James Bromley J. Shaw
1 E. Bredbury James Broom
0 6 C. Booth W. Bowker
1 J Clifford J. Johnson
0 3 J. Sale D. Cordingley
1 W. Stopford J. Artinstall
Ó 6 J. Rylance S. Newton
0 J. Simpson
$. d. 2 6 1 6 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 06 O 6
O O OOOOOOOOOOO
0 3 06 0 6 0 6 1 0
TO MR. SAMUEL MERCER, OF HYDE, NEAR
Dorchester Gaol, April 7, 1822, To increase a connection and mutual excbange of sentiment with tbe inbabitants of the vicinity of Manchester, is of itself a pleasure sufhcient to drown all the unpleasant sepisa
tions that inevitably attend a prison, because it evinces the certainty that the object of my imprisonment is defeated; in competition with which I wish my personal feeliugs or endurance of imprisonment to count as nothing; let it be considered only as a part of my good wishes and humble exertions in the cause of free discussion and a Representative System of Government; for I verily think it has formed the most powerful part, as far as success has hitherto attended the pursuit.
To the inhabitants of the villages of Hyde and Deaton, wbo bave subscribed their mites to my support, I return my sincere thanks, and wish the poorest of them to be assured that bis pence are valued as highly as the pounds of the richer man. It is the number and principles of the men that I look at, more than any thing else, and although the sums subscribed towards the payment of my fines have not reached much beyond the third part of the necessary sums, I verily believe that the numbers subscribing, equal or exceed those connected with any former subscription of the kind. I was very anxious to enrol names in expression of approbation of my conduct, when I did not see the want of money, as I knew then, and still know, that it is by dint of numbers, known and avowed, that we can alone stay the rage of persecution, and establish, in opposition to the bigotry and idolatry of the day, and the interests of its supporters, the right of free discussion.
However flattering your letter may be to me personally, I have derived greater satisfaction from the ability with which it is written, and I beg to offer it to the notice of Castlereagh, as a proof that the men who are educated at the two Universities are not the only men in the country entitled to the term educated: they by no means engross all the intelligence and common sense.
Mrs. Carlile, and my Sister, beg to make their acknowledgments of the kind and sympathising manner in which they bave been noticed by you and Mrs. Mercer. I am, Citizen, faithfully yours,
TO MR. R. CARLILE, DORCHESTER GAOL.
CITIZEN AND FRIEND, Manchester, March 20, 1822. It is with great pleasure I forward to you the sum of £1. 11s. 1d. that I have received from John Howard, Isaiah Wood, and others,