« PreviousContinue »
“ land." This sentence I, for my own part, perfectly understand; but as it was intended for the public at large, he should have subjoined its various significations. Thought it necessary to leave England,” means, was forced to leave, or fled from, or ran away from, or escaped from England. It was in this sense that Rowan, Tandy, Reynolds, and Cary, " thought it necessary to leave” Ireland, and that citizen Lee, who, like a true sans-culotte, slipped oụt of Newgate in petticoats; and Callender, who eloped from the catchpoles, “ thought “ it necessary to leave England;" but, I do not know that even any of these ever thought it necessary to secrete themselves in America, or to assume a feigned name.
If, in the place of this paltry attempt to disguise the truth, he had honestly told the public, when, and on what account, his pupil "thought it neces
sary to leave England," he would have saved me the trouble of writing a paragraph or two on a very villainous snbject.
“ He, like me, thought it necessary to leave Eng66 land.”
What does this mean? From it are we not to infer, that he and the Doctor left England under similar circumstances, and from similar motives? Is not this the natural inference? Did the writer not wish by this sentence to make the people believe, that Vaughan was an oppressed and persecuted man, and that, like Priestley, lie fled to America, as to an asylum “from the rude arm of violence, “ from the rod of lawless power: from barbarian
fury that put even life itself in danger ?” Did he not wish, I say, to cause this lying cant of his democratic addresses to be revived and applied to the emigration of his friend and pupil ? Most certainly he did ; his words cannot possibly admit of any other construction. Now, then, Doctor, listen to a true, unsophisticated tale ; and when you have heard to the end, hide your head for ever; go to Kennebeck, assume a feigned name, and take shelter under the same roof with your secreted pupil.
John H. Štone, the writer of the infamous Intercepted Letters, went to France at an early period of the revolution. He had a brother named William, a coal-merchant in London. On the 29th of January, 1796, this brother William was tried for High Treason before Lord Kenyon, in Westminster Hall, and the following is the substance of the printed report of that trial.
• The prisoner, WILLIAM STONE, was charged with two species of treason; the first, with compassing and imagining the king's death; and the second, with conspiring with John H. STONE, his brother, and with a person named WILLIAM JACKSON. It was given in evidence, that the French government had employed John H. Stone and Jackson, to gain such intelligence of the situation of Great Britain and Ireland as might
enable them to judge of the expediency of an in"vasion. The connection between these two per
sons and William Stone, the prisoner, was placed beyond the possibility of a doubt. The former
was his brother, already become a domiciliated - Frenchiman, and whom he knew to be in the con
fidence and interest of the French government; " the latter had been, to the knowledge of the pri
soner, sent over to England by John H. Stone, ' for the purpose of acquiring intelligence; and, . notwithstanding the prisoner was fully aware
of Jackson's mission, he nevertheless, though a . British subject, had held correspondence with, ' and assisted him in making enquiry how the
kingdom might most successfully be invaded, or s if it would be for the interest of the French go
vernment to make any invasion whatever. In the course of their correspondence, it appeared, that a great deal was said concerning a certain family at Shields ; all which, though seemingly innocent, was an ingenious invention to convey a double meaning, and, under these symbols and allegories, the real business was mysteriously concealed. It appeared too, that John H. Stone had repeatedly recommended Jackson to his brother, - the prisoner, as his confidential friend, conse
quently an immediate connection and correspon• dence took place between Jackson and the priso
ner, and the former was furnished by the latter ' with money to effect his purposes. Their cor
respondence was carried on under feigned names. " John. H. Stone's letters were signed Benjamin
Beresford; Jackson's were signed Thomas Popkins, and William Stone's were signed by his own name reversed, William Enots. In the beginning of the year 1794 fifteen ships were lost to the country, in consequence of intelligence, sup
posed to have been conveyed through this chan' nel to the enemy.-Jackson, during this corres
pondence, was in Ireland, whither he went to execute his part of the traitorous plan, which was,
to procure such intelligence of the situation of · Ireland, and of the disposition of the people, as
would best enable the French government the
more effectually to plan the invasion and reduc• tion of that country. Jackson (previous to the • trial of S:one) was tried, in Ireland, for high.
treason, and convicted; but he poisoned himself before sentence
was pronounced on hiin-In " the course of the trial certain papers were pro• duced in evidence.
[Now for Monsieur M. B. P.] “ One of the papers read was written by BEN“ JAMIN VAUGHAN, member of parliament
“ for CALNĖ, and had been given by him to the
prisoner. It appeared to be written with the “ view to describe the temper and opinions of the
people of Great Britain, respecting the threaten“ ed invasion of the French, and purported to “ show the improbability there was of any such “ measure succeeding, at that time, from a variety 6 of causes; and that, from the disposition of the “ people, which had been clearly indicated in se5 veral instances, there was every reason to appre“ hend, that such an attempt would prove abor“ tive. The paper concluded with observing, that 66 it would be expedient for the French TO
FAIR AND MODERATE TERMS OF PEACE.”
It was after this rascal William Stone, was seized, » and Vaughan's paper along with him, that the latter “thought it necessary to leave England.” W. Stone told a tough story, and brought in Smith, Sheridan, Lauderdale, with some three or four sectarian priests, to corroborate what he said ; in consequence of which a deceived Jury brought in a verdict Not Guilty. It was said, that, though John H. Stone was clearly proved to be a traitor, his brother might not be one. He, it was said, as well as Vaughan, were (poor innocent souls!) only endeavouring to persuade the French not to injure Great Britain !!! But what must have been the vexation of the duped Jury, when they found, soon after, that both these good creatures were safely arrived at Paris !
Had M. B. P. alias Benjamin Vaughan, remained calmly in England, after the seizure of his papers, or had he “ thought it necessary to leave England" for America, we might have supposed it possible that he was innocent, and that the intelligence, found in his hand-writing, and destined for the use of the French, was obtained from him by deception: we might, in short, have thought him the
dupe, rather than the accomplice, of Jackson and the two miscreant brothers. But, when we know that he went from England to Paris ; when we behold him seeking safety in the bosom of that enemy, against whom it was pretended, he wished to defend his country; when we see him in the closest connection with the traitor Stone, the spy Gallois, and the minister Talleyrand; when all these indubitable, concurrent, and striking facts stare us in the face, we are not, like a Westminster Jury, to be cozened out of our conviction by a miserable Unitarian subterfuge.
Having thus traced the Hackney pupil to his home, the Republic of France, where he was so happily situated, under the mild and benignant government of Barras, and in the society of his i dear friend' Stone, and the virtuous Citoyenne Williams ; seeing him thus placed amidst the charms of liberty and equality, literature, philosophy, and love, I trust we ought not to be accused of impertinent curiosity, if we ask, What could induce him to think it necessary to leave France, and why should we not still regard him as a spy in her service ?
Why did he assume a feigned name? Was this ever done, but from some base or wicked motive? The word alias is frequently heard in courts of justice; highwaymen, pickpockets, deserters, traitors, and spies, often coin themselves a variety of names, as well as of occupations; but is this ever done by the honest man? Is it ever done by the innocent traveller ? and, above all, is it ever done by a gentleman coming to sit peaceably down in his favourite country?
It has, I find, been said by the French faction, that Vaughan assumed a feigned name, in order to avoid being claimed by the British government, under the XXVIIIth article of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, and not for any purpose hostile to