페이지 이미지
PDF

even upon his own statement.—After this I shall, I hope, receive no more menacing calls for publication. The Rector manifestly has kept copies of his letters. If, however, it should happen to be otherwise, I shall readily furnish him with eopies.

WM. COBBETT.

State Prison, Mewgate, July 8, 1812, where I have just paid a thousand pounds fine T0 THE KIWC: and much good may it do his Majesty!

THE LUDDITES,

OR

HISTORY OF THE SEALED BAC, No. II.

In my last, under this head, I inserted and commented on, an article, published by the hireling press, about a row at the Theatre at Nottingham. The following letter, published in the Nottingham Review of the 3d of July, will shew how false and how base were the charges contained in that article,

o Libels AGAINST The People of NotTINGHAM.

To the Editor of the Mottingham Review.

SiR,--It seems that a dark scheme has been laid by several character-assassins, for the purpose of exciting the particular resentment of Government against the inhabitants of this town, as several of the London papers of this week have teemed with abuse against them, equally false and malignant. We are told that a man has been shot at, who had been active in bringing the “evil-disposed people to justice;” that “parties of these deluded people are in the habit of assembling in different parts of the town, to carry their revengeful designs into execution; that it is dangerous for the military to walk the streets in the evening; that on the 24th ult. Brigade-Major Humphries, who is on the Staff here, was laid wait for on his return from the Theatre (which seems to be a favourite resort of these lawless ruffians) by a large party, and without the slightest provocation on his part, was knocked down by a shower of stones, two of which took effect, and one, which struck him on the forehead, nearly terminated his existence; and that an Officer of the Somerset Militia, who was quietly walking along the streets, was assaulted by a considerable

party of these desperadoes, and narrowly escaped with his life,” &c. Now, Sir, the truth or falsehood of these grave charges will shew what credit is due to the testimony of these calumniators, who seem to ape the conduct of those worthy gentry, that some time ago corresponded with the celebrated and honest John Bowles.—It is true that a man was shot at eight miles hence on the 20th ultimo; but the writers in question might with as much propriety have charged the Lord Chancellor of England with having been accessary to the assassination of Mr. Perceval, as to implicate the people of Nottingham with an attempt on the life of a man eight miles hence, for his Lordship was very likely much nearer the House of Commons when Bellingham drew the fatal trigger.—As to the other charges, brought by these scribbling gentlemen, they are still of a more infamous complexion; but a short statement of facts will set the business to rights.--The Theatre is described as having been the rallying point for a set of ruffians; and, perhaps, this may prove correct; for it can be proved by many respectable witnesses, that few evenings passed over during the late season of performance at that should-be place of social amusement, without a row being kicked up by certain military characters, and a few stripling ruffians who had honourably inlisted under their warlike banners.-The practice generally was for these worthies to make their sober appearance at half price, and as soon as the curtain fell, to vociferate “God “save the King;” and those who did not immediately obey their second imperious mandate, which was “hats off,” were instantly assailed with oaths, sticks, swords, &c. Parly in politics made no distinction here; for many persons of great respectability, who are known to be staunch friends to what is called “the high party,” met with much abuse, because they chose to act as men; nay, many of the fair sex felt the effects of the gentlemanly conduct of some of these defenders of our country, and their worthy coadjutors. One of them, a conspicuous officer of the 45th, for abusing a man in the pit, was brought before the Magistrates; and had not the prosecutor have taken the hush money, he would have appeared in his true colours in a court of justice; a gentleman of high character both for property and personal respectability, was a volunteer evidence on the occasion, but who has had the tables turned upon him for his services; for this same gallant Officer has since caused him to be bound over to the Sessions, on a charge of having excited an assault upon the latter, though I do not understand that he exhibited any honourable wounds obtained in either his offensive or defensive operations. A jury will, however, set this business to rights.-As to the charge about the Somerset Officer, I will beg leave to inform you, that his valour had often been displayed against the hats of the audience in the Theatre, and that he one evening received a severe chastisement by the aid, as I understand, of a horsewhip, for which he has caused a man to be bound over to the Sessions.—As to the wound received by Brigade-Major Humphries, I have no doubt, but every person in the town laments the unfortunate circumstance; because, since his residence here, he has invariably conducted himself as a gentleman. The truth is, however, that as he was departing from the Theatre, in company with some other officers, he was struck on the forehead by a stone, or some other hard substance; but, happy I am to say, so far from his life being endangered by the blow, that a gentleman of my acquaintance Inet him the next morning going about his business.—The principal sufferer in consequence of these outrages, is Mr. Robertson, one of the Managers of the Theatre; who, as a good husband, a good father, and in other respects, a good member of society, it grieves me to say, was deprived of his benefit, the Mayor ordering the Theatre to be shut; but who, I hope, will be remunerated when he makes his appearance here at the Races.—The writer of the inflammatory article in one of the London papers, whose character and station in life, I believe, I am acquainted with, concludes by saying, “It is a lamentable circumstance, that with the powers granted by the Watch and Ward Bill, such acts of atrocity should not be prevented.” To this I will reply, that, with the exception of the disturbances occasioned as above described, so peaceable is the state of the town, that the Magistrates have not seen it necessary to saddle the inhabitants with the expense and trouble of Watching and Warding since the 5th of June. So much for the veracity of these correspondents to the London papers: A FRIEND to TRuth.

MINISTERIAL NEGOCIATIONS.

Documents publishED, RELATING To THE LATE NEGociations for MAKING A New MINISTRY. o

(Continued from page 32./

day expressed to you, as to the nature of the proposal which you were authorized by

the Prince Regent to make to Lord Grenville and me, has been confirmed by subsequent reflection, as well as by the opinion of Lord Grenville, and, indeed, of every person with whom I have hitherto had an opportunity of consulting.—I have the honour to be, with the highest regard, my Lord, your Lordship's very faithful, humble servant, GREY. *

No. 19.—Lord Grey's and Lord Grenville's Reply, (June 3d) to Lord Wellesley's Minute of the 1st of June. My Lord, We have considered, with the most serious attention, the minute which we have had the honour to receive from your Lordship ; and we have communicated it to such of our friends as we have had the opportunity of consulting.—On the occasion of a proposal made to us under the authority of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, we wish to renew, in the most solemn manner, the declaration of our unfeigned desire to have facilitated, as far as was in our power, the means of giving effect to the late vote of the House of Commons, and of averting the imminent and unparalleled dangers of the country.—No sense of the public distress and difficulty, no personal feelings of whatever descrip

tion, would have prevented us, under such

circumstances, from accepting, with dutiful submission, any situations in which we could have hoped to serve His Royal Highness usefully and honourably.—But it appears to us, on the most dispassionate reflection, that the proposal stated to us by your Lordship cannot justify any such expectation.—We are invited not to discuss with your Lordship, or with any other public men, according to the usual practice in such cases, the various and important considerations, both of measures and of arrangements, which belong to the formation of a new government in all its branches; but to recommend to His Royal Highness a number, limited by previous stipulation, of persons willing to be included in a Cabinet, of which the outlines are already definitely arranged.—To this proposal we could not accede without the sacrifice of the very object which the House of Commons has recommended, the formation of a strong and efficient Administration. We enter not into the examination of the relative proportions, or of the particular arrangements which it has been

judged necessary thus previously to esta

blish. It is to the principle of disunion and jealousy that we object. To the supposed balance of contending interests in *

t

cabinet, so measured out by preliminary stipulations. The times imperiously require an Administration united in principle, and strong in mutual reliance, possessing also the confidence of the crown, and assured of its support in those healing measures, which the public safety requires, and which are necessary to secure to the government the opinion and affections of the people.—No Soch hope is presented to us by this project, which a posts to us equally new in practico, and of, coable in principle. It teo's, as we think, to establish within the Cabinet itself a system of counteraction, inconsister., with the prosecution of any uniform and beneficial course of policy.-We must therefore request permission to decline all participation in a government constituted upon such principles. Satisfied, as we are, that the certain loss of character, which must arise from it to ourselves, could be productive only of disunion, and weakness in the Administration of the public interests.-We have the honour to be, my Lord, your Lordship's most faithful, and Inost obedient humble servants, GREY. GREN ville.

No. 20.—Explanatory Letter from Lord Moira to Lord Grey, June 3d, on the subject of Lord Wellesley's Minule, JWo. 17. My dear Lord, The answer which you and Lord Grenville have returned to the proposal nade by Lord Wellesley, seems to throw an oblique imputation upon me: therefore I intreat your re-consideration of your statement, as far as it may convey that impeachment of a procedure in which I was involved. You represent the proposition for an arrangement submitted to you as one calculated to found a Cabinet upon a principle of counteraction. When the most material of the public objects, which were to be the immediate ground of that Cabinet's exertion, had been previously understood between the parties, I own it is difficult for me to coinprehend what principle of counteraction could be introduced. If there be any ambiguity which does not strike me, in Lord Wellesley's last paper, surely the construction ought to be sought in the antecedent communication; and I think the basis on which that communication had announced the intended Cabinet to stand, was perfectly clear.—With regard to the indication of certain individuals, I can assert that it was a measure adopted through the highest

mand.

spirit of fairness to you and your friends. Mr. Canning's name was mentioned, be: cause Lord Wellesley would have declined office without him; and it was a frankness to apprize you of it; and Lord Erskine's and mine were stated with a view of showing, that Lord Wellesley, so far from having any jealousy to maintain a preponderance in the Cabinet, actually left a majority to those who had been accustoned to concur upon most public questions ; and he specified Lord Erskine and myself, that you might see the number submitted for your exclusive nomination was not narrowed by the necessity of advertence to us. The choice of an additional member of the Cabinet lest to you, must prove how undistinguishable we cousidered our interests and your's, when this was referred to your consideration as a mere matter of convenience, the embarrassment of a numerous Cabinet being well known. . The reference to members of the late Cabinet, or other persons, was always to be coupled with the established point, that they were such as could concur in the principles laid down as the foundation for the projected ministry. And the statement was principally dictated by the wish to shew, that no system of exclusion could interfere with the arrangements which the public service might deOn the selection of those persons, I aver the opinions of you, Lord Grenville, and the others whom you might bring forward as members of the Cabinet, were to operate as fully as our own, and this was to be the case also with regard to subordinate offices. The expression, that this was left to be proposed by Lord Wellesley, was intended to prove that His Royal Highness did not, even in the most indirect manner, suggest any one of those individuals. . It is really impossible that the spirit of fairness can have been carried farther than has been the intention in this negotiation. I therefore lament most deeply, that an arrangement so important for the interests of the country should go off upon points which I cannot but think wide of the substance of the case. Moi RA.

No. 21.-Lord Wellesley to Lord Moira, approving Lord Moira's Letter, (...Yo. 20, J to Lord Grcy, of the 3d June. My dear Lord, I return the copy of your Lordship's letter to Lord Grey. This communication to Lord Grey is most useful, and the substance of it is admirably judicious, clear, and correct.—My declaration, this day, in the House of Lords,

[graphic]
[graphic]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

June. 4th June, 1812.

My dear Lord, Being obliged to go immediately from the House of Lords to a dinner party, and afterwards to a meeting at Lord Grenville's, which occupied me till a late hour, it was not in my power to answer your letter last night.—You Inust be too well aware of my personal feelings towards you, of my esteem for your character, and of my confidence in your honour, to entertain any opinion respecting your conduct, inconsistent with those sentiments. Nothing, therefore, could be more remote from my intention, and I am desired by Lord Grenville, to whom I have shewn your letter, to give you the same assurance on his part, than to cast any imputation whatever on you, as to the part you have borne in the proceedings which have lately taken place, for the formation of a new Administration. We know with how sincere an anxiety for the honour of the Prince, and for the public interest, you have laboured to effect that object.—Whatsoever objections we may feel, therefore, to the proposal which has been made to us, we beg they may be understood as having no reference whatever to any part of your conduct. That proposal was made to us in a formal and authorized communication from Lord Wellesley, both personally to me, and afterwards in a written minute. It appeared to us to be founded on a principle to which we could not assent, consistently with our honour, and with a due sense of public duty. The grounds of this opinion have been distinctly stated in our joint letter to Lord Wellesley, nor can they be altered by a private explanation; which, though it might lessen some obvious objections to a part of the detail, still leaves the general character of the proceeding unchanged. Nothing could be more painful to me than to enter into any thing like a controversial discussion with you, in which I could only repeat more at large the same feelings and opinions which, in concurrence with Lord Grenville, I have already expressed in our formal answer. I beg only to assure you, before I conclude, that

I have felt very sensibly, and shall always have a pleasure in acknowledging your personal kindness to me in the course of this transaction.—I am, with every sentiment of true respect and attention, &c. &c. GREY.

No. 23.-Lord Wellesley's Reply to the Letter /Yo. 19, ) from Lords Grey and Grenville, of the 3d of June. My Lords,--I received the letter, by which I was honoured from your Lordships this morning, with the most sincere regret; and I have discharged the painful duty of submitting it to His Royal Highness the Prince Regent. It would have afforded me some consolation, if the continuance of the authority confided to me by His Royal Highness had enabled me, under His Royal Highness's commands, to offer to your Lordships a full and candid explanation of those points in my minute of the 1st of June, which your Lordships appear to me to have entirely misapprehended. But as His Royal Highness has been pleased to intimate to me his pleasure, that the formation of a new Administration should be intrusted to other hands, I have requested permission to decline all further concern in this transaction.—I remain, however, extremely anxious to submit to your Lordships, some explanatory observations respecting the communications which I have had the honour to make to you; and I trust that your Lordships will indulge me with that advantage, although I can no longer address you under the sanction of the Prince Regent's authority.—I have the honour to be, with great respect, my Lords, your most faithful, and obedient servant, WELLEs LEY.

No. 24.—Lord Wellesley to Lord Grey, on the same Subject, dated 4th June. My Lord, When I applied yesterday to your Lordship and Lord Grenville, for permission to submit to you some explanatory observations, respecting the communications which I have had the honour to make to you by the authority of the Prince Regent, I was not aware that Lord Moira had addressed a letter to your Lordship of the same nature as that which I was desirous of conveying to you.-The form of such a letter, either from Lord Moira or me, must have been private, as neither of us possessed any authority from the Prince Regent, to open any further communication with your Lordship, or with Lord Grenville; a circumstance which I deeply lament, under a sanguine hope, that additional explanations, sanctioned by authority, might have removed the existing obstacles to an amicable arrangement.— Lord Moira has sent me a copy of his letter" to your Lordship of yesterday's date; and as it contains an accurate, clear, and candid statement of the real objects of the proposal, which I conveyed to you, it appears to me to have furnished you with as full an explanation as can be given in an authorized paper. Under these circumstances, it might be deemed superfluous trouble to your Lordship and to Lord Grenville, to solicit your attention to a private letter from me; although I should be most happy if any opportunity were afforded, of renewing a conciliatory intercourse, under the commands of the Prince Regent, with a view to attain the object of our recent communications.—I have the honour to be, with great respect, my Lord, your Lordship's most faithful and humble servant, WEllesley.

No. 25.-Lord Grey's Reply to Lord Wellesley's Letter, Wo. 24, june 4th, 1812.

My Lord, I have had the honour of receiving your Lordship's Letter of this day's date.—As Lord Moira has communicated to your Lordship the copy of his letter to me, I take it for granted that you have in the same manner been put in possession of my answer, which contains all that I can say with respect to the explanation of the proposal made by your Lordship to Lord Grenville and myself.-I was perfectly aware, that Lord Moira's letter could in no degree be considered as an authorized communication, but that it was simply a private explanation, offered for the purpose of removing the objections which had been stated by Lord Grenville and me to the proposal contained in the written minute transmitted to us by your Lordship, under the authority of the Prince Regent. But though it could not vary the effect of that minute in my opinion, I was happy to receive it as an expression of personal regard, and of that desire, which we readily acknowledge both in your Lordship and Lord Moira, and which is reciprocal on the part

of Lord Grenville and myself, that no difference of opinion on the matter in question should produce on either side any personal impression, which might obstruct the renewal of a conciliatory intercourse, whenever a more favourable opportunity shall be afforded for it. —I have the honour to be, with the highest regard, my Lord, your Lordship's very faithful humble servant, GREY.

No. 26.-Lord Moira to Lords Grey and Grenville, proposing an Interview with them, 5th june. Lord Moira presents his best compliments to Earl Grey and Lord Grenville. Since Lord Wellesley has declared his commission from the Prince Regent to be at an end, Lord Moira (as being honoured with his Royal Highness's confidence) ventures to indulge the anxiety he feels, that an arrangement of the utmost importance for the interests of the country should not go off on any misunderstanding.—He therefore entreats Lord Grey and Lord Grenville to advert to the explanatory letter* of the third of June, written by him to the former. And if the dispositions therein expressed shall appear to them likely to lead, upon conference, to any advantageous result towards co-operation in the Prince’s service, he will be happy to have an interview with them.—Should the issue of that conversation prove such as he would hope, his object would be to solicit the Prince Regent's permission to address them formally. He adopts this node to preclude all difficulties in the outset. Let him be permitted to remark, that the very urgent pressure of public affairs renders the most speedy determination infinitely desirable. —N. B. This was written in the presence of the Duke of Bedford, in consequence of comversation with his Grace; and was by him carried to Lord Grey.

No. 27.-Wole from Lords Grey and Grenville, declining unauthorized Discussions, 5th June. We cannot but feel highly gratified by . the kindness of the motive on which Lord (To be continued./

* No. 20.

* No. 20.

Published by R. BAGSHAW, Brydges-Street, Covent-Garden. LONDON: Printed by J. M'Creery, Black Horse-Court, Fleet-street.

« 이전계속 »