« PreviousContinue »
from the moment he brutally turned you from his door, his mind has sunk in baseness in a similar degree to what yours has towered in virtue and a love of liberty: so that now, between you, the extremes of vice and virtue, meanness and generosity, ignorance and intellectual acquirements, are prominent. To your husband I grant the former, to you the latter.
Sloth is the characteristic of gratified lust, and I am of opinion, that Carlton House has shewn this assertion to be true. The desire of lovers is not to wander, but to enjoy their loves in some sequestered spot: strange habitations and long journies become a great annoyance to those whose delight is in dalliance, yet your enemies seem very ignorautly to have selected the most uncomfortable parts of your travels, as the most prominent instances of their infamous charges! They have sought to reverse the order of common occurrences, and in doing this, they have lost sight of probabilities entirely, perhaps, calculating that the minds of the great body of the people of England were on a level with their own stupidity. Their lies were told in so incredible a manner, that the most credulous person felt compelled to doubt before contradiction, and from a moment's doubt felt compelled to disbelieve them altogether.
In drawing this letter to a close, I would beg to state, as my motive for writing it and addressing it to you, that I considered it necessary as the tribute of a Republican. All parties but one, and that your enemies, have united in addressing you, and no doubt the republicans (for they are not the smallest party in this country,) have mingled themselves with other parties. A republican has no other object whatever, but to give effect to the will of the majority of the people, and that all the affairs of the state should be regulated by the will of that majority. It matters not to him who fills the office of chief magistrate, so that that office be filled by public choice, and for the interest of the whole. He is naturally the advocate of the representative system of government, and when once the people have their representatives assembled in Parliament, he wishes to see that assembly unfettered either by King or Lords. If a King and nobility, or rather, an aristocracy, be thought necessary as embellishments in a government, let them be subservient to, but not the masters of, the people. Without flattery, I am firmly of opinion that a fair and full representation of the people, would for the present retain the monarchical form of government, but I do not believe that it would continue through
many generations, unless it became an elective monarchy, which would be but another name for an elective presidency. All these considerations are but trifles, and such as never will trouble me. I am quite willing to leave this part of the business to the deliberative and correcting hand of the representatives of the people; but there seems a difficulty in bringing together this representation free from shackles. Custom makes the King anxious to retain all the power his ancestors have enjoyed-custom will make the House of Lords anxious to retain all its former power, and both of those obstacles are incompatible with the existence of the representative system of government. These are the difficulties to be surmounted, and the consideration of these difficulties has made me assume the name and title of a republican, which signifies that I would not allow any obstacle to exist, to a full and fair representation of the people in Parliament. If the King and Lords will make way for that only just system of government, I should not as an individual take the least notice of them, but while they form an obstacle to an all-important object, I feel it my duty as a republican to endeavour to remove that obstacle. However, I trust that every republican in the country, has a tongue and an arm to lift in support of Queen Caroline, as long as she identifies herself with the people, and advocates a Free Parliamentbut no longer. I trust that all my present assertions have been corroborated by my former conduct. I study to be as consistent as possible, and can safely say, that I have never written a sentence that I did not feel, unless that sentence carried a visible mark of irony with it. I heartily wish your Majesty a long life, and I as heartily wish that you might fill the monarchy of this country under the same disposition as you have shewn in answering the addresses of the people, which you will find to be a reign of peace and true glory. Confide in the Alderman, beware of lawyers and courtiers, and there is no doubt but you will steer into the haven of safety and happiness.
I am, Madam,
Your faithful servant,
P. S. Dec. 18th. It was not my intention to have divided this letter, but to have put the whole in the same publication; by writing more than I first intended, my situation has occasioned this circumstance, but I do not regret it, as I consider
since I began to write the first part, we have come to a still more important epoch in your life, and one which to me appears calculated to lead to some sudden and important change; the point I allude to is the City Address to the throne, and the King's insolent remark on it. Answer he did not deign to give any, but the language of his remark was a menace and an indication of hostilities. To me he seemed to say, "I have an army, I have a General in my Cabinet, and I have a Ministry who will encourage me to reign with absolute authority; as yet I have no fear of the people, and I will not yield an iota to their complaints, or grant the least respect to the Queen." Or in another point of view, his observation might be compared to that of the Emperor of Russia to the Polish Diet-" I will not negociate about my principles." This is the meaning-this is the sum and substance of the pretended answer to the City Address, it meant to convey a hint to the people, that “if you have any notion for fighting, here is Wellington and Castlereagh ready to meet you!" I view is incident as that most important epoch of your life, Madam, and I shall hold stronger hopes, that it will ere long make way for your further elevation. Prediction should be carefully hazarded, but I almost feel an irresistible impulse to say, that your fate is decreed, and your future happiness destined. Certainly your cup of suffering is full to the brim, and the vial of wrath will immediately be poured out upon the heads of your oppressors. I have heard the members of the Common Council in the city of London talk about the justifiableness of going up to the throne with a remonstrance when they have received an insolent reply to an address-they are now put upon their mettle, and we shall see what they are made of, for there will never be another opportunity, or another such an urgency and necessity for remonstrance. The necessity of remonstrance was talked about in consequence of the answer to the address respecting the massacre at Manchester, but the present is far more insolent, it is just like telling the Citizens of London that they are meddling with 、 things they know nothing about, and that whatever be their intention,they are doing much mischief! Really I had not contemplated such a treatment, and I find my assertion verified which I made in a former part of this letter, that the revenge of the King and his Ministers would increase with their ignominy. I carnot fail to transcribe this Address and Answer in this place, as I calculate on its becoming a subject of importance in the anpals of this country, and an incident for reference on a future
day. It is one of those jarring circumstances which, if further aggravated, must lead to a civil war.
"TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
"The dutiful and loyal Address and Petition of the LordMayor, Aldermen, and Commons of the City of London, in Common-Council assembled.
"MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN.-We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lord-Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons of the City of London, in Common-Council assembled, feeling ourselves called upon by the exigencies of the times and country, beg leave most humbly and respect fully to approach your Majesty, to express to your Majesty our profound regret at the measures pursued by your Majesty's Ministers, so contrary to the spirit of the British Constitution, and to the principles of universal justice, while they are subversive of the liberties and true interests of the na tion and of the honour and security of your Majesty's throne.
"The war which exhausted the wealth and resources of the country has long since terminated; yet, during a period of profound peace, we have seen no effectual retrenchment in the public expenditure, but loan after loan again resorted to for the support of useless and preposterous establishments -affording the means of the subjection of Parliament by the influence of ministerial patronage, and the over-awing of the people in the exercise of their just rights by unconstitutional military force.
"The discontent thus created, we lament to state, has not been counteracted by your Majesty's Ministers, either by just concessions, or by such a liberal policy as is due to a free people from their governors; but, on the contrary, the laws have been euforced with unprecedented severity, to the disgust and alarm of your Majesty's faithful subjects; and instead of obtaining redress, coercive laws have been introduced into the Legislature by those very Ministers, to uphold their own mal-administration. At the same time that the conduct of Ministers has tended to excite the dissatisfaction of your people, and to exasperate that dissatisfaction into acts of treason, those Ministers have so neglected the commercial and agricultural interests of the nation, that it is
at length become difficult to determine which of these sources of national prosperity is most impoverished; and, although numerous petitions of your Majesty's distressed subjects, from almost every class of industry, have been presented in successive years to the several branches of the Legislature, yet the people remain without relief, or even the prospect of relief; and your Majesty's Ministers seem as unwilling, from indifference as from want of political skill, to apply the necessary remedies to such complicated evils.
"It is with pain and reluctance that we allude to a subject which ought never to have been forced upon public attention; but the unjust and demoralizing proceedings adopted by your Majesty's Ministers, relative to your Royal Consort, having drawn forth the reprobation of the great body of the people, we should be guilty of a dereliction of our duty to your royal person and the interests of the country, if we restrained our expression of indignation at this flagrant outrage upon the moral and religious feelings of the nation, and forbore to represent to your Majesty this prominent instance of their utter disregard of public justice and of the honour of your royal family.
"The corrupt inducement offered to her Majesty to re-. main abroad in the state of alleged criminality falsely ascribed to her; the submitting to the House of Peers, after the House of Commons had pronounced the measure" disappointing to the hopes of Parliament, derogatory from the dignity of the Crown, and injurious to the best interests of the Empire," the results of the disgraceful subornations procured under an odious commission; the attempt to degrade her Majesty, and in her, the whole House of Brunswick, by an ex post facto law, unconstitutional in its nature and ope'ration; the mockery of justice, in uniting on the one hand the functions of accusers, judges, and jury, in the same persons, and withholding on the other the means of defenceand all the preliminary steps' leading to these disgraceful proceedings; the employment of foreign ministers and agents, the hiring of spies and corrupting of menials, and the prejudging her Majesty by the omission of her name in the Liturgy, and the withdrawing her from the public prayers of the people; and, lastly, after the defeat of their malignant efforts, the arbitrary assumption of the right of continuing to her Majesty, on their own authority, an allow ance out of the public money during the sitting of Parlia ment, and the advising of the abrupt prorogation of that Parliament to prevent inquiry into these iniquitous proceedings, and to obstruct her Majesty's appeal to the representaives of