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with Bergami-what offence could that be? Recollect that a place of worship is only worth seeing during the time of service, and here is no ceremony with Princes or Princesses. Her Majesty travelled for information and curiosity, and yet her entering a Catholic Chapel, during service, is charged to her as a crime ! It is likely that she never before witnessed the ceremony of Catholic worship, and how could she better become acquainted with it than by partaking of it. This is a base effort of your's, to excite the bigotted and intolerant part of the community against her Majesty. Apostate! look into your own heart-you have embraced the worship of three gods, after professing to worship but one all your life-time, merely to comply with the custom of your office. It is evident enough with you, that you can sacrifice your god to your interest. I will sound it again in your ears, that as soon as you entered in your official character as a law officer of the Crown, you renounced the Unitarian Society at Exeter, which you had hitherto supported, and ordered the secretary to erase your name from his books. You are worse than an apostate, because you have evidently bartered have evidently bartered your former opinions, without a conviction of error, for an increase of profit, and by the same rule you would have served the devil, if he was a worse character than your present master, for an increase of filthy lucre. Neither apostacy, simony, or blasphemy, can comprehend your vices, hypocrisies, perjuries, and crimes. Vile reptile.
You attempted to contrast her Majesty's neglect of household worship with her journey to Jerusalem, alledging that it had been represented as a journey on religious motives. This is your own lying invention-no one ever hinted that her Majesty's visit to Jerusalem arose from any superstitious, or, if you like, religious motive. The same motive which led her to Athens, to Tunis, to Utica, and to Constantinople, led her to Jerusalem. The order of St. Caroline, about which you have made so much fuss, forms a proof that her Majesty had sufficient good sense to treat superstition with a becoming irony. Her taking the title of Saint, is a burlesque that cannot be mistaken. Recollect, Mr. Gifford, that her Majesty has never swerved from any one principle that she ever professed, whilst you and your master have made a great deal of profession, without practising any one liberal principle. Her Majesty's virtue and consistency has twice enabled her to triumph over her persecutor, and that same virtue and consistency will again enable her to triumph over him. There is not vice enough in
her character and bosom to make her a fit partner to share the throne of George the Fourth.
Devonshire has the disgrace entailed upon her of having issued two corrupt and abominable characters of the name of Gifford-you are one of them, the son of a grocer of Exeter, and the brother of two Giffords, who, prior to your elevation to office, carried on the strange and motley business of dealers in hops and Manchester goods. It is somewhat singular that I should have a sort of family connexion, in the way of business, with both of you. I have told you in a former letter that when a boy, I have many a time received a douceur from your brother; but of the other Gifford I have in some measure a more intimate knowledge. He is my townsman. have passed through those very schools which gave him the first rudiments of his education. He was the parish appren→ tice of one Thomas Carlile, a shoemaker: (the custom of the rotten Borough of Ashburton being, that every inhabitant whe rents a house to the amount of ten pounds per year, shall take an apprentice from the Workhouse, or a child above eight years old, who may be thrown upon the parish for support.) The person to whom I now allude is William Gifford, late a tutor to the present Earl Grosvenor, now a Commissioner of the Lottery, Paymaster of Gentlemen Pensioners, and supposed Editor of the Quarterly Review, pocketing yearly, not less than a Thousand Pounds of the public money, for which he is one of the most strenuous supporters of all that is corrupt in the English system of government. Many of my relations who are now living, and who are the immediate descendants of the above-mentioned Thomas Carlile, were the compeers in age, and the inhabitants of the same house with Gifford. There is one in particular, a Richard Carlile, now a superanuated Custom House Officer, at Newton Bushel, with whom I have been particularly intimate. This person was the fellowstudent of Gifford over the lapstone-and they would club their pence to get at a few books necessary for the rudiments of education. This person has shewn me a number of Gifford's first essays at verse, and related to me a number of anecdotes concerning him. I have also sat by the hour to hear one Charity Carlile, whose maiden name was Curtis, and who was apprenticed as a milliner to Gifford's mistress, and lived in the house at the same time with him, relate anecdotes of him. I have heard both Richard and Charity Carlile say, that Gifford in his person, when a boy, appeared like a living
mass of corruption-that he was an extremely filthy
and ill-looking boy. I have read the memoir which Mr. Gifford has affixed to his translation of Juvenal, in which I find he has totally mis-stated his early life, or that which with him should have been the most interesting part. He complains of having had a harsh master, without mentioning his name, although he has designated him as an intolerant presbyterian. The fact is simply this: Gifford's master was far from being an intolerant or ignorant man, for he has lived in my time, and in addition to a close acquaintance with his children, I have a vivid recollection of him. Gifford being a parish apprentice, his master had no kind of premium with him, and was at the same time compelled to clothe, feed, and lodge him. I have heard the persons whom I have before mentioned say, without intending any disrespect, that Gifford was so fully intent on book-reading and making verses, that he would scarcely make a child's shoe in a day; and it follows as a matter of course, that a master, whose whole mind was in the leather, and troubled himself not about Gifford's genius at verse-making, should deem him a lazy fellow, and feel dissatisfied at having to maintain a boy that would do him no work. The fore-mentioned Richard Carlile, was like Gifford, much fonder of books than leather and lap-stone, and he would league with Gifford against his father. The old man of course, when he saw his work neglected, endeavoured to deprive the boys of books and paper, as Gifford has related of himself, but to charge him with any further intolerance, is a piece of Mr. Gifford's ingratitude. However, Gifford's ability in verse-making soon became rumoured about the town, and some of his lines having fallen into the hands of Mr. Cookesly, a surgeon, he immediately discovered the latent genius of the boy, and obtained a subscription sufficient to release him from his apprenticeship and to send him to the Free Grammar School of the town, paying his former master for his board and lodging. As an exposure of the ingratitude of Gifford in speaking of his master, I would observe, that immediately on Mr. Cookesly making him acquainted with his wish of releasing the boy, he not only found him willing to forward the object as a benevolent one, but he continued him in his house as a lodger after the release of his indentures. After he had received such education as the town of Ashburton could afford him, this same Mr. Cookesly commenced another subscription to send him to Oxford; and although Mr. Gifford, in his Memoir, has certainly spoken of Mr. Cookesly in the most affectionate manner, st
I have heard, that his first essay at verse, after leaving Ashburton, was to write a satire on its inhabitants. Those inhabitants who had by their benevolence rescued him from poverty because they saw a genius in him! If this be fact, there must be something inherently vicious and corrupt in the
I perceive the "Black Book" calls Mr. Gifford a good moral man, and a good private character! As a neighbour he may be a quiet and inoffensive man, but the man who pockets a thousand pounds yearly out of the public plunder, as a hire for deluding and corrupting that public, cannot merit the epithet of a moral man. In such a character there can be no virtue, no morality; there may be religion. My present situation makes it singular that, ten years since, on my first leaving Dévonshire for London, I should have been strongly advised, by the fore-mentioned Richard Carlile, to call upon Mr. Gifford, and see whether he would acknowledge the name of that family in which he had formerly beeu apprenticed. I did not call, not from political motives, for I had not the least knowledge of the political state of the country, knew nothing about parties or hireling writers, and was as ignorant of the whole machinery of Government as a boy of ten years of age. I could never relish the idea of personal intrusion, much less the idea of a rebuff on such an intrusion. So I have no personal knowledge of Mr. Gifford, neither is it likely now that I ever shall. If Ashburton has produced a Gifford, it has also produced a Dunning, who obtained for himself the acme of fame by more honest means than the former has pursued.
I must beg pardon, Mr. Attorney-General Gifford, for this digression, but the coincidence of two such Giffords coming from my native county, and from those two towns in which I was born and passed the first twenty years of my life, has been its cause. Ye are both corrupt hirelings, and I felt it my duty to do the best I could for your exposure. It ill became a man of your origin and capacity to complain of the advancement of Bergami to the office of Chamberlain to her Majesty, on the ground of his former condition in life. If Bergami could have been placed at your side in the House of Ignobles, at the time of your making such an assertion, those ignobles themselves would have confessed that the greater wonder was, how the King came possessed of such a man as Gifford for his Attorney General.
I cannot yet say ought to you on the termination of the Bill of Pains and Penalties, as I find an adjournment has taken place
in the House of Ignobles, from Monday the 80th ult. to Thursday the 2d inst., but as I have read the whole of your reply, I can say, that one so lame and so totally inadequate to so momentous a question, could hardly have been expected from Robert Gifford himself. Your colleague has displayed more ability, as far as being master of more and better words means ability, and I perceive he has not failed to make his reply somewhat bawdy, and such as the Vice Society would cock their ears at in any other place and person. You are both disgraced past all recovery; and even if your master should change your names, and increase your share of the public plunder, you will not be lost sight of. Titles are a common cloak for villainy instead of the prize of merit, in this country, and a new badge of ignobles is particularly necessary at this moment. Whether or no, you will ultimately grace the halter under the title of a Knight, Baron, Earl, Marquis, or Duke, I cannot conjecture, but that in one instance or the other it will be the case I have no doubt at present.
Your old acquaintance,
Dorchester Gaol, Nov. 1, 1820.
P.S. I begin to fear that you and I shall never meet again in Guildhall. I mean to occupy the whole term of my imprisonment to prepare myself for the next defence of the Age of Reason. If ever we should meet again I shall certainly detain you a month. I had calculated on ten days instead of three before, but I had not studied my subject in the slightest instance. I left every thing to natural feelings, and a few hours arrangement of books. I suffered myself very foolishly to be brow beaten by Abbott, but the next time I will either make my defence or drive him out of the Court, or he shall remove me from the Court to finish the case. In the last six months of my imprisonment I intend to form a special jury of twelve block or plaister heads, and fix them on a couple of shelves in my cell, and address them on the subject of theology, as a preparation for addressing the next special jury in Guildhall. As to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the High Priest of the Jews, &c. I shall take them into Court in effigy, an make speeches for them, or deliver their opinions, myself. Will not this be all according to law and our glorious constitution, Mr. Attorney General? Ask the Chief Justice for me.