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opinions propagated by force and violence because it is prima facie acknowledgment that they are founded in falsehood and cannot bear the scrutiny of a rational criticism. I contend that there is no necessity for laws to regulate opinions in society; a diversity of opinion with mutual toleration will form the most stable base of its well being. But when we see men crushing the propagation of certain opinions, because the opposite are productive of profit to them, it is no longer society, but a nest of robbers who prey upon the weaker part. However I shall hope to see the imprisonment of Mrs. Carlile and Mr. Davison produce half a dozen new shops in the same line,
Dorchester Gaol, Oct. 18, 1820,
CONCLUSION OF THE MOCK TRIAL OF THE QUEEN.
The Ignobles will very soon be called upon to exercise what they call their honour in voting for a Queen or no Queen. The Counsel on both sides will have done their task by the time this goes to the press, and we may expect some time next week, to have the first decision upon it, We have no further observations to make upon the evidence, than that every kind of influence has been used upon the Continent to prevent any one coming over on the behalf of her Majesty, and much important evidence has been effectually prevented.
Mr. Attorney General Gifford tried to get an adjournment again, for the purpose of giving the famous cousin of Lord Castlereagh, the gallant Colonel Brown, an opportunity of telling their Lordships that he had not been guilty of all those naughty tricks imputed to him. That he had not made free with Majocchi's wife, and charged the expenses of the compensation, and the satisfying Majocchi's conscience, to the Milan Commission. That the Times Newspaper is a very libellous paper in saying such abominable things of so immaculate a person as the cousin of my Lord Castlereagh, Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Seditious and Treasonable Placards, &c. &c.
We shall be able to enter more at large into this subject, when we see the result of the first division amongst the Ignobles. The country is fully alive to all the machinations that have been at work to run down the Queen, and they are now fully sensible that she is innocent of all the charges brought against her, and that the whole has been the effect of a conspiracy for the gratification of an abandoned and profligate husband.
The amiable je ne me rappelle pas has been put to the bar and further convicted of perjury and lying, by a milliner from Switzerland, but this second examination was almost superfluous as her testimony was knocked to pieces before.
Mr. Powell has been obliged to submit the extracts of his letters from Colonel Brown respecting Rastelli's escape, wherein the Colonel calls Rastelli a shuffler, and clearly points out that he is afraid to return again to England. The fever is all a bugbear. He says he does not like the manner of being confined in Cotton Garden!
TRIAL OF MRS. CARLILE.-VERDICT AS USUAL, GUILTY.
On Monday last, the trial of Mrs. Carlile came on at Guildhall, before Mr. Justice Best, for selling a copy of two publications, of which her husband had previously sold some thousands without hearing any complaint against them. The two publications which were included in the same indictment were Sherwin's Life of Thomas Paine, and No. 9, Vol. I. of the Republican. Sherwin's Life of Paine is the only book of the kind that has done justice to the man, and the Aristocrats cannot endure that any thing but slander should be promulgated relative to Paine. However, the conviction of Mrs. Carlile shall not stop the struggle: the name of Paine shall rise superior to all opposition, and be pronounced the brightest of all the bright ornaments that this country has hitherto produced, and coutinue so as long as Britain shall be visible as an inhabited island.
In consequence of Mrs. Carlile's trial coming on late in the day, and after the trial of Mr. Davidson, which, for the noble and manly conduct of the defendaut, excited much interest, the newpapers have given but a very brief report of it, so that I am debarred from making any observations on the defence set up by Mr. Hill. As I have said before, I am satisfied there was an ample defence to induce a honest Jury to acquit, and with a packed or selected Jury, a defence is no consideration. With them the cousideration is, how they can best
profit themselves. For my part I have resolved that no twelve men, be they honest or dishonest, shall ever regulate my opinions, or what opinions I think proper to print and publish. They may suppress a book under one title, but I can print the same opinions under another title, and so far the laws regarding opinions are a mere nullity, further than they inflict punishment on individuals, or misery on families.
It appears that Mr. Gurney, the Counsel for the Vice Society, is made, by the report, to lament the necessity of prosecuting the woman, and goes on to observe, but if that woman, unmoved by the lenity which the prosecutors had shown to her-unwarned by the fate which had attended her husband-would persist in violating the law, the law must be vindicated.
Pray, Mr. Gurney, what lenity have the prosecutors shown to her? Was there any lenity in dragging a woman, with an infant child a few weeks old, from her home by a warrant, merely to obtain bail? If the Vice Society had felt any thing like a lenient disposition towards her, as a woman in that situation, why, would it not have been sufficient to intimate without an arrest that bail would be required? You and your employer's lenity, Mr. Gurney, would be to destroy the whole family, if you had the power to do it. Talk of lenity indeed! You all know well that the publications for which Mrs. Carlile has been persecuted, did not proceed from her as the publisher, neither had she the least controul over the publication. I have no hesitation in saying, that I do not believe that a single pamphlet has ever been published from that shop as an original, but that you might, with your mode of packing juries, have found a verdict against it. For my own part, I should be sorry to write or publish any thing that would find the approbation of such men as Wilberforce, Gambier, Kenyon, Sidmouth, the bench of Bishops, or the Judges, or Gurney, the barrister. Ye are all a gang of immoral persecuting hypocrites. The very worst of hypocrites, because your profession and practice is quite opposite.
Could Mrs. Carlile have imagined in January last, that she was violating any law in selling a single copy of two publications, of which her husband had published large editions the year before, without hearing any complaint. I declare candidly, that I could never have dreamt that Sherwin's Life of Paine would have been selected for prosecution. If there be any thing in that book beyond what the Judge and Mr. Gurney call fair discussion, I am at a loss to conceive their meaning. There is no reviling the truths of scripture there. There is no attack upon any thing sacred. Ne, it is a beok that is calculated to convey correct notions of what was the real character and disposition of Paine. Well, well, Mr. Gurney, you shall have a cheaper edition of the Memoirs of Paine within a month: one would have thought the price of 7s. 6d. would have satisfied you. I will try what a shilling edition will do to please or perplex you, for I am quite indifferent which takes place.
*Unwarned by the fate that has attended her husband" cry you, Mr. Gurney. Let me beg leave to assure you, that the husband has been the sole means of influencing Mrs. Carlile in keeping open the shop: she has acted entirely in deference to his most earnest entreaties and wishes, and he will do her the justice to say, that he sincerely and affectionately believes, that she has neither consulted her own will or interest on the subject. I have endeavoured to impress upon the mind of Mrs. Carlile, that your prosecutions have raised me into an importance, that I had not expected; and that it is now only necessary, that I should struggle boldly with you to ensure both fame and competency in the decline of life. My fate! I never was happier. I never was so well employed for my own future interest before! I have never once regretted my imprisonment or the cause of it. I have now passed twelve months in prison, and I sometimes fear that the gates will be thrown open before I am fully prepared, or before I have accomplished the first object of my desire. I mean improvement as to education. If any thing has given me pain it has been the idea that my wife, my sisters, my aged mother (now gone) or my friends might feel pain from my situation. I believe it shortened the days of my mother, but I have this consolation, that had she lived longer, it would have been in pain of body, and feeling this herself she rather wished than dreaded to part with life. No, no, Mr. Gurney, Mrs. Carlile has not been warned to evade my fate, but to follow it. She has done it nobly, and in a manner that has strengthened my fections towards her. I tell you frankly, that I have felt more solid happiness as a married man, within this last year, than all the former years of my wedded life. I have been delighted to think that I had a wife that would struggle in a cause next my heart in deference to my opinions and wishes, and in some measure in opposition to her own. It will form the ground work of my future happiness and
Do what you like with Mrs. Carlile, you shall not suppress those opinions. Libel prosecutions are calculated to propagate any desired opinions, much swifter than the faggots and tortures of olden time. Ever since I have been a bookseller or publisher, my first desire bas been prosecution for libels. I have seen the importance of it in so many instances where a stand has been made, that whether the verdict be guilty, or not guilty, is but a secondary object with me, I will pursue my object until prosecution for matter of opinion be dropt, or if they exceed the period of my life, I hope my children will follow my example. So long as a pretended omnipotent religion stands in need of the protection of the law, so long shall I be its enemy, and no longer; and Mr. Gurney, Mr. Best, and the Vice Society, may vindicate the law, and the religion of the law, as long as they think proper, which I expect will be just as long as they find it conducive to their own interest. I don't believe that Best is a Christian in mind any more than I am: he is a Christian according to law. Judge Abbott is an avowed Deist in the company of his private circle of friends,
and I know that he did all he could to dissuade Castlereagh from prosecuting the Age of Reason last year, and that a long correspondeuce took place between them ou the subject. But Castlereagh would be master, and Mr. Chief Justice is but his servant.
The only further notice I can take of Mrs. Carlile's trial, for want of a report, is the observation of Mr. Justice Best, as to what women had gained by the propagation of the Christian religion: he says, “he could not but be astonished at seeing a woman stand forward as the opponent of that system from which every thing valuable to woman was derived. It was strange to see a woman forgetting, that before Christianity prevailed, her sex had been but slaves to the passions of their masters; that Christianity had raised her at least to a level with man-bad made her his companion and his equal in this world, and the joint partaker of his hopes in the next."
Pray, Mr. Best, are the women of England, a jot more free than were the women of Rome, during the republic? Are they a jot more free than were the women of Greece? Are they more free than were the women in the German and Gothic tribes, before the birth of the Christian Mythology? Do we find by history, that the Jewish women were ever less free than the Christian women are now-a-day? If you had intended to have made a simile that would not have borne contradiction, you should have contrasted the Christian with the Mahometan women. The latter, I believe, are not allowed to possess souls, or to enter Paradise! Mrs. Carlile knows nothing about what prevailed before Christianity prevailed; and I believe there are but few women that trouble themselves to enquire. Therefore, she could not forget any thing of the kind, Mr. Best. But I hope your lesson will make her doubly grateful for her elevated condition; and by your permission, or by the permission of the law, I will take her to Heaven with me. I believe I have promised too much, too, for I am a candidate for Mahomet's Paradise, and I am letting my beard grow to be in the fashion when I get there, lest the lack of beard should be an object of ridicule among the fair, black-eyed, and virgin Houries. Go, Mr. Best, Mr. Gurney, and the Vice Society, and teach your royal master what the Christian religion has done for wives. I have never desired to degrade Mrs. Carlile my object and wish has been to elevate her. The King stands in need of your advice, or your prosecution for libel.
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE PROFITS OF THE JOINT STOCK COMPANY.
Dr. Lushington has helped us to an appropriate epithet for the prosecutors of the Queen, the Joint Stock Company, formed for the laudable purpose of degrading the Queen, and destroying the Throne! This epithet presents the perfect whole of what has hitherto been considered a shapeless monster ! The exact number of the share-holders with the number and value of their respective shares, it may be impossible for us to ascertain, without a view of the books, which the Company may not