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protection; I ask not mercy, but for the sake of my children, I would ask the favour of being sent to the same prison and of being confined with my husband; for where I go my children must follow me, and we can be no where so well situated as with their father, from whom I have no fear but they will receive the best of moral instruction. I have not a friend in London to whom I can confide them with safety and satisfaction, and wherever I go I must beg to be allowed to take them with me.
MORE POLITICAL LIBEL JUDGMENTS.
THE insatiate maw of corruption still preys with redoubled fury, on all the virtue and honesty of the country. Our Judges pander to her appetite with an increased diligence, and still, like the grave, she never cries-Enough. Messrs. Russell and Osborne, of Birmingham, have to linger another winter in prison, the one for eight months, the other for twelve, for selling a number of the Republican. We felt surprised at the Easter Term, to see so many persons sentenced to short periods of imprisonment; but it now seems, it was to answer the purpose of further prosecution. Some of the defendants were sentenced so that they might come out of prison just in time to take another trial at the Assizes in August, for which the Judges knew that indictments were prepared this has been the case of Mr. Osborne, and although he has relinquished the sale of political pamphlets, our persecuting Judges have not relinquished their power of persecution. Mr. Osborne has now to spend twelve months in Cold Bath Fields Prison, unless a revolution takes place before the expiration of that time, which is not the least of present probabilities. Mr. Russel seemed in a dying state, and the Judges seemed to think, that to hasten his death would be a mercy, for this unfortunate man has been more harassed than any other sufferer that I know in the country. In November last, Judge Abbot had the copscience to sit and bear, and to advise a sentence of six months imprisonment upon him, for selling a copy of the Litany three mouths after Mr. Hone, the original publisher, had been acquitted, although a stupid Warwick Jury recommended Russel to Judge Abbot for mercy, but found him guilty. If those' Judges were not Atheists, and that of the worst species, they
Vol. IV. No. 14.
could never steel their bosoms to wound and destroy so many innocent men as they do. It is more than probable that Russell will breathe his last in prison this winter, and he will have been murdered in the strictest sense of the word.
"Mr. Lewis, for a libel upon the Magistrates and Yeomanry of Manchester, with a few indecorous hints of the necessity of caution, to a high personage, is to be imprisoned for two years in Okeham Gaol, besides a fine of £50, and securities for five years in £300."
Mr. Brandis, of Birmingham, has received a sentence of twelve months imprisonment in Cold Bath Fields Prison, for publishing something called a libel, and only so, because it was well written, and honest in its intention. Mr. Chapman, of Manchester, has some months to pass in the same prison for similar good conduct. Sir Francis Burdett seems to let the whole host of lawyers play with his purse-strings, and while this be the case, the Judges will assist them in filching as far as possible; we doubt whether ever the Baronet will now see the inside of a prison. He does not seem to have any taste for it. As yet we are not aware whether we shall be able to add any others to the above list; there is a host in reserve, only they struggle hard to keep out of the prison, though much against the inclination of the Judges. A prison is now become the sure path to fame in all political cases. It forms the best proof of honesty and good intention, for our Ministers know the men that are opposed to them much better than we know each other. By their agents and system of espionage they know the private affairs and the private disposition of every man that is opposed to them. A prison is by no means a disgrace but rather a mark of favour, and a degree of promotion in opposing such men as the present Ministers. To us it appears that they will begin to imprison by wholesale in the spring of the next year, if they keep their places until that time. If the present Ministers are to reign over us, that reign will be one of terror, such as France exhibited under the Robespierrian faction. We see what they are capable of doing by their manner of breaking up the last session of Parliament. Castlereagh delights in human blood and human sacrifice, and he will strain every nerve to play another such game as he played in Ireland. The Despots of the Continent appear disposed to play a similar game, and we rather think the declaimers at home about the propriety of resistance on certain ccasions will be fairly put to the test before another summer approaches.
TO MR. CARLILE.
Manchester, Nov. 20, 1820.
MUCH ESTEEMED SIR,
A FEW friends to universal liberty hope you will accept of the enclosed one pound note towards meeting your enormous fine, and the great expences arising from your prosecution and unjust imprisonment.
We, Sir, return our most hearty thanks to you for the great good you have done in the cause of universal liberty. We give you great praise for the manly conduct and undaunted courage with which you have combated corruption in both Church and State.
You, Sir, have opened the eyes of hundreds of our fellowcitizens in and about the town of Manchester; those people who were the first to condemn you, are now the first to sing your praises; they have began to unlock their senses, and are determined they will no longer be guided by false pretences. They have began to shake off the fetters of superstition that are held together by prejudice; they have began to inquire about Nature and her laws. They see that you have been the avowed advocate of truth and sobriety. We admire your publications as being the only productions that can elevate the mind. They have Reason for their basis, and Justice for their guide. But when that Vice Society, that sink of corruption, properly called the Society for the Suppression of Virtue, lays hold of your publications, they instantly condemn it as being a scandalous, blasphemous, and wicked publication, tending only to irritate and cause disaffection in the minds of the people. We rejoice that such a man as you adorns the age we live in. Go on, noble Sir, in the great cause you have in hand; it is the cause of truth, justice, and equity. Truth, as it regards matters of opinion-justice, as it regards freedom-equity, as it regards our rights, which when once properly obtained is universal liberty.
This is the cause we are struggling in. This is the cause for which you are incarcerated within the walls of a prison for three years, with a fine on your back of £.1,500! For a mere nothing, only because you did not think as they did.
It is for the cause in which the Reformers of Manchester bled on St. Peter's Field on the never-to-be-forgotten 16th of August, 1819, and for which Brandreth, Turner, and Ludlam, died on the scaffold. We are sensible that our rights and liberties have been violated in our persons by a wicked and corrupt administration, sanctioned and supported by a profligate priesthood. It is reason that has illuminated the mind of man, and has dispelled bigotry and superstition into the whirlpool of oblivion. It is on thee, O Reason! that all good Governments must be founded, and what are not thus founded must be in error, and are therefore corrupted. A Republican system of Government is by far the most consistent, the most rational, the most agreeable with common sense, with the order of Nature, and with every thing that makes mankind happy and comfortable. Therefore, seeing the good effects that must follow such a Government, we profess ourselves candidly and openly to be Republicans, as we are the inveterate enemies of a despotic administration, and every other sort of tyranny and misrule. You, Sir, have more than baffled your enemies in their attempt to put you down and to stop your publications. Do they think that dungeons, gags, axes, hangings, long imprisonment, or enormous fines, can stop the progress of truth and free discussion? No-it is the only way to propagate it. Therefore, we say, go on, ye despicable tyrants, with all the base malignity you can invent, the means you take defeat your ends. We, Sir, return our most sincere thanks to you for your steady, persevering conduct in vindicating the cause of universal liberty.
We were not alarmed in the least when we heard that a packed jury had found a verdict of guilty against Mrs. Carle. But we were astonished that ever there were any proceedings against so mild, so harmless, and so beautiful a quotation as that she was charged with. We commend her independent spirit. She is a pattern to her sex, and an example to posterity. With the hope that you and your family may triumph over your enemies, we remain your faithful friends and well-wishers to the cause of universal liberty.
I subscribe myself on behalf of the above,
Rider's Row, London Road.
TO MR. JOSEPH CHORLTON.
I RETURN to you, in conjunction with my friends at Manchester, my sincere thanks for the tribute you have paid to my humble efforts in the cause of universal liberty. I am fully aware that I have made a most violent attack upon the prejudices of a great portion of my countrymen, who were earnest in seeking a political reform, but who had never dreamt of the necessity of having that reform accompanied with a reform in matters of religion: but I have the conscious satisfaction of knowing, that a few years, perhaps a few months, will convince every such man of the necessity and propriety of what I have done.
So strong is my conviction of the necessity of demanding a free discussion on all subjects, that I should consider we had gained nothing were I to see a Reformed Parliament supporting sectariau prejudices, which I verily think would have been the case if I had not taken the line of attacking the abuses of all sects and all prejudices. There was sufficient superstition in the country two years since to have produced a Parliament like the one in the seventeenth century, that made longer prayers than speeches on all subjects of debate and legislation. Besides, it may be clearly seen in the present persecution of the Queen, that a State religion is the main proof and strongest hold of. despotism. It is 'under this feeling that I have acted, knowing that all kinds of religion, which is set forth in books, bas its foundation in fable and imposture. I am fully sensible that I might have gained much more momentary popularity not to have meddied with any religion question, but I felt the duty to be irresistible, and its necessity so important, that I am quite content to wait the decay of the prejudices of the great body of Reformers on this point, knowing, that finally we shall fully agree, and shake hands on the propriety of my conduct. Until then I shall proceed in my present course, heedless of the clamours of any sect or party.
I am, Sir, the friend of no liberty but that