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MORE EX-OFFICIO INFORMATIONS-FURTHER PERSECUTION OF MRS. CARLILE.
THE Attorney-General Gifford seems to have a predilection for the prosecution and false abuse of women, for he no sooner finds himself defeated and thrown in the mire by his attempt to blacken the Queen, than he begins to shake and prepare himself for another scurrilous attack upon Mrs. Carlile. We have already noticed the information for which Mrs. C. was arrested during the last term, and which was not thought of until it was found that the Vice Society were disappointed in their victim for sacrifice; but now, by way of being trebly sure, Mr. Attorney-General has prepared two other. Informations, one for the Republican Vol. 4, No. 3, Sept. 15th, the other the following number. It might be asked why these Informations were not ready by the November Term, as there were full two months to prepare them? From the manner of proceeding, and from the passages selected, we have always thought the present Attorney-General makes his office the best mart possible for sound republican principles. We cannot help thinking but that he still remains an insidious enemy to monarchy. As critics and reviewers, we shall lay before the public the pith of the present Informations, particularly as the Attorney-General is now so condescending as to furnish us with copies gratis! The alleged libel in No. 3. of the present volume, is from the article on the revolution in Portugal, and a piece from a correspondent: it is thus:-" The new mode of revolutionizing corrupt governments by the union of the citizen and soldier, is the grand desideratum. Strong hopes may be entertained that the English soldier will hold out the hand of fraternity to his fellow citizen, and that England will not be deluged with a civil war. The right feeling is evidently displaying itself among the English troops, and a short time will furnish the rallying point." The Correspondents article
"Sir, The present situation of the two chief persons in
this nation present a perfect contrast to each other.”
"A King-vicious, malignant, implacable, despised, rejected and hated."
"A Queen-virtuous, benignant, affable, honoured, caressed and loved."
This is all of the first Information, with the exception of Mr. Attorney-General's official lies; and if a London Special Jury have found out that truth is not licentiousness and ought not to be punished, we shall have no fear for the safety and comfort of Mrs. Carlile on this Information; but if she falls into the hands of some of those reptiles who call truth seditious and blasphemous, then we must be content, and rejoice to see her suffer in a good cause.
The alleged libel in No. 4. of the present volume too, comprises seven whole lines, and is to be found in a review of Mr. Harrison Wilkinson's pamphlet on an equitable system of Finance, it is thus: (from page 119) " As far as vice is opposed to virtue, so far will the present Parliament be opposed to the equitable system of finance. To men educated in chicane and deceit, honesty and simplicity become a most grievous punishment. Another obstacle to improvement is, the disposition of the King; he is the simile of Ferdinand of Spain, and will never be good and honest until he is compelled to it, and has no power left to be mischievous." Here is a libel for you! When we commenced this publication, we resolved to pay no heed to what are commonly called libels, but to make truth our helm, and falsehood a rock to be avoided. Under the present system of government, it is impossible to say what is liable, or not liable to prosecution: therefore, the most comfortable way is, to laugh at prosecutions and go on. A very foolish, if not a malicious printer, has been cutting out all the best points in the Republican for the past year, under the pretence that they were libels; but he might now take a lesson and see that he has left some libels behind. He has done us much mischief and not the slightest good, for we verily believe that the title of this work is the greatest libel in the eye of the present Government. We have some idea of laying by for a few months at the close of the present year, and the present volume. We do not mean to be idle, but from the want of venders both in town and country, we deem it prudent to change our mode of attack. We shall give our readers due notice next week, which will close the present volume.
TRIAL OF MR. TYLER FOR SELLING A COPY OF THE AGE OF REASON.
ON Thursday, the 14th instant, Mr. Tyler was summoned to Westminster Hall, to participate in the sufferings of those who are the victims of the persecuting spirit of the Christiaus. The Vice Society hath seduced him into the sale of a copy of the above work, and then pursues him to a prison for its own act: for if it had not sent a wolf in sheep's clothing to intreat as a favour a copy of the Age of Reason, Mr. Tyler had never sold it. Mr. Adolphus was employed by the defendant, and the mode he took to defend him was, to ask the Jury for a verdict of Guilty, but to accompany it with a recommendation to mercy! The supposed favour was granted, but what is it likely to avail Mr. Tyler? Wedderburn too was recommended to mercy, and the mercy shewn him by the Christian Judge Bailey was two years imprisonment in Dorchester Gaol! The Christian calls it mercy to destroy the body in endeavouring to save the soul. "Better," cries he, "that the body should perish untimely, than that the soul should be exposed to everlasting torment." This is your doctrine-is it not Christian Judge Bailey?
In answer to the recommendation to mercy, the Vice Society's Attorney General, Mr. Gurney, got up, and said, that the Society had pardoned him once on a promise that he would not sell any thing of the kind again. I wonder Mr. Tyler did not rise and call him a liar, for, unless Mr. Tyler himself has much deceived me, the statement was a gross falsehood The case, as I have been informed by both Mr. Tyler and his father, was this: they were both living together in Cow Cross, Smithfield, the father rented the house, paid the rates and taxes, &c., and followed the business of a hair-dresser; whilst the son, who is a printer, occupied part of the shop, as a book and pamphlet-seller. The father had nothing to do with the son's business, nor the son with that of his father, but it happened, that Mr. Tyler, jun. publicly sold the Age of Reason when I published it, and the Vice Society obtained a bill of indictment against the father instead of the sou. Mr. Tyler, sen. was arrested and gave bail, and to my knowledge appeared in the Court
of King's Bench to plead the following term, which was the Hilary Term, 1819. Not being called on to plead on the first day of term, I advised him to wait until he was summoned, and he took my advice; but, in the meantime, the Vice Society had found out that they had mistaken the father for the son, and consequently they took the advantage of the old gentleman, and frightened him by saying, that if he did not pay them seven pounds, the Society would cause his recognizances to be estreated, as he had neglected to plead. I advised the old gentleman not to pay the money, as it was a dead robbery, and to wait the issue as he had made his appearance in the Court of King's Bench, according to the terms of his recognizances. But the Vice Society's Lawyer, Pritchard, had set his agents to frighten the persons who had become bail for Mr. Tyler, and they, ignorant of the nature of the circumstances, and finding that seven pounds would stop the whole business, insisted upon it, that Mr, Tyler should pay it, or they would pay it for him. Out of respect to his bail, Mr. Tyler paid the seven pounds, and this is the ground, as both the Tylers have told me, upon which Mr. Gurney had the impudence to say, that the Society had desisted from a former prosecution, on a promise not to sell again. I told Mr. Tyler, at the time, that his father had been completely robbed of the seven pounds, and in the manner the circumstance was related to me, the robbery was the same as if he had been hustled and robbed in the street.
Whilst I am on this subject, I would again call on some individual to stand forward and publicly sell the Age of Reason. I certainly would print another edition, but the new laws have placed my property completely in the hands of the public and legal thieves. They could seize an edition of the work from me, but not from a person who has not been convicted of selling. If any individual would undertake it, in the manner I did last year, he would find it both a profitable and a honourable concern. The appetite for Deistical publications daily grows stronger, and the Christians, from the king to the beggar, have so completely unveiled themselves, within the last year, that there is a general suspicion that the Christian religion is more the emanation of the bad passions of mankind, than a work of God.. Look at the fracas in a church in Westminster about a fortnight since, where three or four persons conspired together to exclude from the Church a Lecturer, who had been chosen by the inhabitants, and on the ground that this new
Lecturer held some shades of difference in opinion from the Reverend Gentlemen who were previously connected with the Church. The Times newspaper, speaking of the circumstance says: it had no parallel but in the O. P. riots at Covent Garden Theatre! blows were struck, desks were scaled, and the hissing, hooting, and groaning was so dreadful, as to make the timid part of the congregation take shelter at the altar! The paper further says, that the beadle took some of the rioters into custody! A Christian congregation assembled to worship their three Gods, called rioters! Shocking! We have the days of Athanasius coming again, and the Christians are becoming the most seditious part of the community.
I cannot help thinking, that humble and weak as have been my efforts to instil a little reason into the minds of the people, as to their theological opinions, I have been most powerfully assisted by concurrent circumstances. The bigotted part of the Christians have assumed an air of madness, and they are actually cutting up their own religion root and 'branch. I shall now begin to manœuvre a little, and change my mode of warfare; as I am almost inclined to think that my silence would in no small degree further my cause for two or three months. I must now, for a time, work my gun with grape and canister shot, instead of twenty-four pounders. I must bring forward my light infantry to harass the astonished and paralyzed enemy.
I feel much satisfaction in the aspect of the times, by an assurance that now, a Reform in the Representation must inevitably be accompanied with Religious Liberty, and all penal laws on matters of opinion must be abolished. In a manner of speaking, without this we should have gained nothing. I see that a most powerful discussion has been excited in the public mind on the subject of true and false systems of theology, and it must end in mutual toleration. I do not mean to be idle, for I find the subject absorbs all others in my mind. I will still continue to do my best in removing superstition and prejudice, and in expanding the mind to a knowledge and worship of the God of Nature alone. Idolatry has been a most grievous pest to mankind, and almost seems like a disease on the human mind, which baffles the art of man to eradicate. But as Swift says, "the knowledge of a disease is half its cure." I trust the great body of the inhabitants of Europe are beginning to open their eyes and to unlock their senses. An unshackled Printing Press, where nothing but printed lies are punishable, is