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But the authority to call a National Convention should rest somewhere, and if no where else, the resolutions of the several counties in public meetings assembled should be a sufficient authority, and would be a just and legal authority. It is evident and well known, that a National Convention, or a Reformed Parliament, is the wish and desire of pinetenths of the inhabitants of Great Britain, then wby should it be delayed? I say nothing about Ireland, I wish to see it independent and acting for itself. The island of Great Britain is by no means too large for one Convention, and from the long union of England, Wales, and Scotland, it is desirable that they should form but one and the same Government. Ireland is an island sufficiently large to defend itself and to manage its own affairs, and all colonies sooner or later become an evil to the mother country. A National Convention would soon discover the necessity of converting all our colonies to free Republics. The Spanish Cortes has not yet began to act upon this system, but I doubt not that we shall see it done in another Session, if any portion of their colonies remains unconquered.

England has never yet known what a National Convention is, for at the commencement of the English House of Commons, the principles of government were but ill understood, and the Commons of England were kept in awe by the aristocracy; and whatever authority that House bath obtained, it has been by the dint of struggle with the King and the House of Lords. Our King's first thought that a House of Commons would in some measure check the insolence and turbulence of the Barons, and with this understanding they tacitly consented to its formation, but in the reign of James the First, when the Commons began to talk about the privilege and prerogative independent of the favour of the King or his nobles, the necessity of overaweing or corrupting them was immediately seen, and the one or the other has been kept in practice ever since, The Stuarts manfully attempted to overawe them, but in consequence of their failure the Dutchman and the Hanoverian Guelphs have had recourse to corruption, and that but too successfully.

A National Convention would know nothing of parties, nor factions, nor aristocrats; it would comprise the voice of the nation—the people-in their common character of citizens. It would, as a matter of course, consult the welfare of the people as a whole, and not the pretended privileges of this person, or that person, of this body, or that body. Socie.

ties of men are apt to corrupt by being fixed to certain habits: it is a staguation that is unwholesome and will ultimately destroy, without a timely regeneration. Motion is the first principle of nature, and without motion nature becomes clogged and unable to act beneficially. Men are apt to talk about the benefit of stability, but they mistake the true principle of stability in imagining that it consists in tying a body to one fixed position. Stability in politics consists in giving effect to the national will, and in making that will predominant. The national will should form the magnet of all institutions and government. To proceed well upon this plan, the more useful knowledge there was scattered among the mass of the people the more accomplished and useful would be all our institutions, and the opposite of the present system which studies to keep the great body of the people in a state of ignorance and under certain gross delusions, would be essential. It is a lamentable fact, that thousands of educated men, and those wbo have been improperly called philosophers, have argued the necessity of l:eeping the body of the people under what they call a state of happy delusion, that is, to fill their minds with a sort of popery both in politics and religion : but true philosophy will most assuredly rejoice in scattering useful knowledge as wide as possible, and not seek to confine it to a certain class of men, and call them a privileged order. It is a species of moral robbery, and the deprivation of useful knowledge is generally attended with an unjust and unequal deprivation of property. It is a state of society where ignorant industry is made to toil for indolence and despotism. True philosophy will ever denounce slavery in all its various shapes and bearings. It is allied to philanthropy, and will delight in dispelling ignorance, and in expanding the human mind with useful knowledge, as the latter delights to heal tbe wound of sorrow and misery, and comfort the sufferer. Sophistry might argue that the want of ignorance will not amend the morals of mankind, but time will convince us of the contrary. Every thing that is calculated to elevate the mind of man will improve his morality, and on the contrary, immorality is the sure attendant of a debased mind. Luxury and despotism is calculated to debase the mind of man, and its opposites want and slavery have the same effect; but the nearer we keep to the middle course the better will be the state of morals. Each of the above states is fatal to the progress and attainment of useful knowledge, and consequently the cause of the absence of morality. Let the lover of morality discourage


the vices of luxury and despotism, and encourage the progress and dissemination of useful knowledge, and he will act consistent with his profession, but not otberwise: without this bis practice will belie his profession, which is evidently the case with Sidmouth, Wilberforce, Gambier, Kenyon, and the rest of the hypocritical members of that society, which professes to associate for the suppression of vice. They are the avowed supporters of despotism and oppression, and the ayowed opposers of all other knowledge than that' idle nonsense which the Bible affords.

A National Convention would become a great national school, whence every inhabitant of the country would derive useful instruction, merely by watching the actions of those who represent him. At present we feel nothing but disgust at reading parliamentary debates, and sicken at the sophistry, the corruptions, the despotism, and the servility of the legislature. But this last attempt to destroy the Queen has crowned the whole, and has stamped with indelible infamy the present system of Government. We have been shewn most clearly that the advocates and adherents of the present system have no regard for morality or deceixy, if the contrary be necessary to support their views and wishes. They bave written immorality, perjury, and villainy, on their own foreheads, and in a character too legible to be erased. Let us no more hear the advocates of Parliamentary Reform accused of any vices. We stand as chaste and pure as the blossoms of May when compared with our opponents. The advocates of reform have fnow every thing on their side but brute power or armed force: they have long excelled in numbers, and now it has been made apparent that they excel in all that can add to the happiness and welfare of societymoral virtue. There can now be no rational or decent objection offered to a National Convention, as our opponents by their conduct towards the Queen have loudly proclaimed its necessity. It is barbarous and horrible to think that this country must continue to be swayed by Castlerergh, Liverpool, Eldon, and Sidmouth, with that foul blot upon them of having hired all the perjury that Italy could afford to destroy an innocent woman. If they are to continue in power this country will justly become the symbol of every thing ibat is vile and corrupt. We must bear no more idle bragging abrut British honours, British generosity, and British valour: these laurels must be strewed on the tomb of the Bill of Pains and Penalties.

The very aristocrats of Birmingham þave publicly as

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serted that the people had better be decimated at once than live any longer under the present system of taxation: but how is this taxation to be reduced but by a National Convention? To me it seems impossible that the present system of Government, which has contracted all this debt, taxa. tion, and misery, can move a step to abate it: at least, they cannot do it with any thing like consistency or without admitting their former misconduct. We find them year after year talking about an improvement in commerce, but each year grows worse and worse, and I am of opinion that the Ministers themselves know, as well as I do, that it must grow, worse and worse, and that ibeir whole and sole object is to leave the country a wreck, but first to grapple all the plunder they can from it. Let us consider for a moment what a dreadful waste of movey has been made this year, and all to no purpose, in preparing for the ceremony of the coronation, and in prosecuting the charge against the Queen. Money enough to have maintained every poor family in the country for a month, I'll warrant it! And all this waste of money has been made, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer had to borrow seventeen millions for the current expences of the year! In addition to the above expenditure, and the secret service money, the Solicitor to the Treasury has drawn eighty thousand pounds for law expences in sending a few reformers to gaol! A sum of money that formerly would have supported all the expences of Government for a year! The present Ministers one would imagine bad a desire to accelerate the Crisis of their own downfal, did we not fear that they will just save time to convey their plunder to some other country at the close of their career. expect to see them begin to clear out immediately, and in a few months betake themselves to the Continent.

That at present there is some difficulty in getting together a National Convention without the consent and assistance of the King, I can readily perceive; but the whole of the public voice should be bent to that ore object, aud speak in language like thunder to the King, if he continues obstreperous. The nation cannot, must not tolerate such a game as was played by a few aristocrats in 1688.' The Dutch William was completely forced down the throats of the people: he was by no means their choice, and it might be fairly said that he conquered them by intrigue instead of

The Convention of 1688, was not a National Convention, it was a Dutch Convention, a Court Convention, or a mere cabal of courtiers, who never for a moment consult

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ed the interests of the people. The Whigs of the present day will be for playing a similar game, if they are not well watched and kept down, or at least deterred by the public voice from any such a line of conduct. The advocates of the revolution in the monarchy in 1688, were and are the abettors of treason in every sense of the word, and treason ought never to go unpunished, I mean treason to the country; I acknowledge no treason as relative to individuals, although the persons to whom I allude were even guilty of that species of treason, in addition to the other. There is a strange inconsistency in adhering to men as monarchs at a moment of any great national change, and the honest man would do best to lose sight of the man who fills the office of monarch and look well to his country. Let the monarch and the monarchy takes its own chance in the storm: both are unworthy the attention of the patriot, particularly, when that storm is occasioned by the individual filling the office of monarch.

I shall conclude this article by repeating, that a National Convention is the only legal, rational, and straight forward mode of settling the affairs of this distracted nation. Whatever other power, short of a National Convention, attempts to meddle with a reformation of abuses, it will but make matters worse. It will prove a species of quackery that will probably destroy the patient, aud if not destroy bim, will make him still worse by new pains and tortures. The nation as a whole is alone equal to the task of its own regeneration. The knowledge of the necessity and utility of the representative system of Government has made so extensive a progress in England and Scotland that nothing else will suffice and satisfy the people. In the year 1688, the people bad an idea of the representative system of Government, or it is not probable that they would bare set down so quiet under the trick that was played upon them. Let those beware who have any idea of inaking that period a precedent for the present: that revolution was founded on no one good principle but that of expelling James: we are now in a much worse state than the country was at that time, and it is become absolutely necessary to the future safety, and essential to the interests of the country, that we should now revert to the first principles of Government-a NATIONAL CONVENTION.

R. CARLILE. Dorchester Gaol, Nov. 24, 1820.

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