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those his enemies, who have presumed on such grounds to present him to the notice of the public.
When, therefore, I perused a hand-bill addressed to “ The Electors of Exeter," and signed by “ The Committee” of Mr. Northmore, I could not but feel hurt, that men of education and ability, as many of that committee are known to be, should have suffered their minds to become so prejudiced against the events which have occurred, as to present to their neighbours a picture, which the committee must know is most partially, and in many parts, most incorrectly drawn ; and the obvious tendency whereof can only be to excite disgust, discontent, and every other sentiment calculated to create a general insurrection. To counteract the bad effects, and to expose the fallacy of the contents of this hand-bill, is my chief object; and with this view I maintain, in the first place,
* That the noble bulwark of our liberties has” not “ been surrendered by slavish servility to the wanton wishes of men in power. The parliament of this country, for purposes and from causes which have been furnished to them, have been induced for a time, to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act; and ministers, with the extraordinary powers vested in them by parliament, have carried into effect such measures only, as they conceived to be necessary for the public tranquillity. To assert, therefore, that the bulwark of our liberties has been surrendered, is, neither more por less, than to DEFAME and LIBEL the KING, LORDS, and COMMONS of THIS LAND!
As to “millions falling a prey to sorrow and despair,” such a statement, if true to the extent of “millions,” (which I am happy to add is not the case) when coupled with the expression of “ compulsive charity,” shews, that every possible alleviation has been administered to the numerous persons in distress : and as to “ the pampered sons of corruption” presenting to the country false statements of ‘our public resources, I can venture to deny the asser tion, and to affirin, on the other hand, that do official account of the revenue has been given, which cannot be supported by the most satisfactory vouchers. So much with regard to our domestic events.
With respect to matters abroad, I can only consider the statement of Mr. Northmore’s coinmittee as striving to throw into contempt every crowned head in Europe. For this purpose, the Allied Sovereigns are termed despots, and the reigning Monarch . of the house of Austria (one of the oldest and noblest families in Europe) styled “the legitimate gentleman at Vienna.” Besides, the people at Exeter are, according to the notion of this committee, to chuse a representative, who is not only to frame laws for his orøn country, but also for the rest of Europe ; and who, if the Foreign powers do not make decrees for their respective internal governments conformably to the ideas of propriety of a certain class of the people at Exeter, are, I presume, to be declared enemies : and thus the friends of MR. NORTHMORE would soon cause us to be at war!! So much for their political consistency; they, who in the time of war cried aloud for peace, when peace is obtained and likely to last, now wish to excite war!
If then MR. NORTHMORE's pretensions to popular favor be solely founded on the foregoing political and erroneous sentiments, I confidently predict, that he will inevitably fail in his object, and that every loyal man, however, in other respects, he may consider the private character of MR. NORTHMORE to be amiable and creditable, will join spontaneously and unanimously in opposing principles, which, if properly and fairly considered, can only tend to excite that spirit of anarchy and confusion so much und 80 deservedly execruted by all peaceable and welldisposed people.
Fully impressed with this conviction, let me ear. nestly recommend to MR. NORTHMORE to issue a hand-bill diametrically opposite to that, which has been published and circulated by his committee. Let me implore him, as a man of property, to dismiss from his mind the councils of those, who, for want of property, would, if they had it in their power, stir up a revolution throughout the country.
But if MR. NORTH MORE shall not think fit to comply with this recommendation, I call upon you, O Electors of Exeter! as you love your King,--as you value the constitution of your country, -as you admire social order and harmony,—and, above all, as you fear and reverence your God, to rally round the standard of loyalty, and exclaim “ KING AND CONSTITUTION FOR EVER."
AN ENGLISHMAN. Exeter, 19th January, 1818,
To the Electors of Exeter.
King and Constitution for ever,” cries “an Englishman.”-“ King and Constitution for ever,' cries every member of Mr Northmore's committee. They would see the sovereign unfettered by an oligarchy, and the constitution bright in the radiant gems by which it was surrounded by their forefathers; whilst this strange sort of Englishman, caring only for things as they are, not as they should be, admires the men who have shorn that constitution of its beams.
He pretends to be a prophet, and sapiently predicts that Mr. Northmore will inevitably fail in his object, unless he “ issues a hand-bill diametrically opposite” to the one which he ventures to oppose. The spirit of prophecy in this gentleman is a little wild, for if he could see as far as a farthing rushlight darts its rays, he would kpow, that if Mr. Northmore were to follow his recommendation, he would inevitably destroy his own hopes.
Not content with his daring spirit of prophecy, he discovers in the hand-bill in question, what no mortal else can see, even with his spectacles on, a wish on the part of the committee to chuse a representative to make laws for Europe. How such a Tom Fool's notion could enter his brain, it would puzzle a wise man to conjecture : but it is a maggot not worth tracing to the dunghill to which it owes its birth. If such absurdity be reasonable in the mind of this new sort of Englishman, it is very evident, that his reason is not very rational.
But in the midst of his reveries, he grows furious: “ to assert," says he, “ that the bulwark of our liber. ties has been surrendered, is neither more nor less than to DEFAME and LIBEL the KING, LORDS, and COMMONS of THIS LAND!" Gracious heaven! what dreadful words, in great black letters --How terrible! how alarming! Why the blowing up of the old gentleman in one of Punch's puppet shows, is nothing in comparison with this horrid, blasting, devilish defamation and libel !
To reason a little soberly on the question-Is the Habeas Corpus Act the bulwark of our liberties, or is it not? If it be the bulwark of our liberties, has it not been surrendered? And if it has been surrendered, is it a libel to say so ? To be sure, Lord Mansfield told us, that the greater the truth, the greater the libel, ---a very pretty doctrine for a complaisant judge ; and so because this is a great truth, according to this odd Englishman's notions, it is also a great libel.
The rest of his arguments are worthy of the bad cause which he supports, though to call himself an Englishman is a gross mis-nomer, for every Englishman hates tyranny and oppression,-admires the constitution in its purity,-reveres the good old practices of his forefathers,-loves the doctrines of the revolution of 1688,-abhors divine indefeasible hereditary right,-- despises corruption,-detests foreign despotism,--supports the just prerogatives of the crown, and the rights of the people,-and sings with delight, * BRITONS NEVER WILL BE SLAVES."
ONE OF THE COMMITTEE. Jan. 20, 1818.
To the Electors of Exeter.
When men resort to violence and abuse, for the purpose of supporting their cause, it is a convincing proof that they are conscious of its weakness ; and, therefore, as they cannot convince the understanding, they wish to inflame the passions.
The committee of Mr. Northmore have realized this observation. Their first hand-bill, dated Jan. 1818, was extremely violent:-the second is grossly and personally abusive.
Stung to the quick with the just and merited comments, which, as a lover of my country, I felt compelled to make, when I saw ANARCHY and INSURRECTION rearing their hideous heads under the specious terms of LIBERTY and FREEDOM from the FETTERS of SLAVERY,” every endeayour is used to throw my writings into obloquy, and myself into the basest contempt.
With regard to my former address, 1 shall not offer a single observation :-it speaks for itself.
With respect to the terms of "FALSE PROPHET,"--- TOM
"_" MAGGOT,”“ DUNGHILL;" and the epithets “ HORRID, BLASTING, DEVILISH," they are not such as I am in the habit of hearing, reading, or answering; and, therefore, until Mr. Northmore's committee redeem themselves from this disgraceful language used by one of their members, I shall not condescend to offer a reply.