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VOL. XIV. No. 18.] LONDON, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1808. [Price 100.

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“ That it is the RIGHT 01 the subject to petition the king... And thev" (the people of England) do claim, demand, and insist upon, all and singular the premises " (the right of petitioning being umly a. part), as their indonzaled rights and liberties; and that no declaracions, judzincrits, doings, or proceedings, “ to the prejudice of the people in any of the said premises, ought in any wise to be drawn hereafter into

consequence or example."—-BILL OF Rights. 673]

(674 To the FREEHOLDERS. AND OTHER Inha- | those who are invested with the care and BITANTS OF HAMPSHIRE.

superintendance of our rights and interests ; GENTLEMEN,

if onr feelings are to be stified; it we have It is with great pleasure, and with some not the right, or, wbich is the same thing, degree of pride, that I have seen, in the if we are deterred from exercising the right, public papers, a notification, . that, on of demanding justice to be done upon those Wednesday, the 2d of November, a meeting who have been the cause of what we coinof the Nobility, Gentry, Clergy, Freehold plain of; if this be the case, there is nothing ers and other Inhabitants of this county, is in our situation which discinguishes it from to be beld at the city of Winchester, for the that of slares. Fur, Gentlemen, what is parpose of taking into consideration the the great characteristic of slavery? It is propriety of a petition to the king for an this; that though the slave feel loss and vex. Inquiry into the causes of the Convention, ation, he dares not openly complain. We lately entered into by cur generals in Por- are in the daily habit of speaking of Buotugal. That this meeting will be well at- naparte as a despot, and if the people of tended as to numbers, and that there will France as his slaver; and, in so doing, we be present gentlemen able and willing to are not, I am couvinced, guilty of injustice. point out what ought to be done, there can But, what are the proo,'s, which we possess, be no doubt; but, as it appears to me, that or pretend to possess, of the despotism of a few previous remarks, with respect to the Buonaparte and of the slavery of the French objects of the meeting, may tend towards people? What are these picofs? For, if producing unanimity, and thereby adding we assert, without proof where with to supforce to the decision, I beg leave to offer you port our assertions, we are guilty of falseby sentiments u poa the subject.

hool; and falsehood is not less falsehood, Gentlemen, the sorrow and indignation merely because it is uttered against an enemy. at the Convention in Portugal have been, What are these proofs, then? Not that he and are, more general than any feeling ever has no parliament, for he has a legislative has been known to be in this country, with- assembly as well as we; not that, in his in the memory of the oldest man living, legislative assembly, his ministers have alwith the sole erception, perbaps, of the ways a decided majority, fo:, you know sorrow wbich was feli at the death of LORD well, that our king's ministers have the Nelson. That this sorrow and indignation same; not that be can do what he pleases were not founded in reason no one has at- with his army, appointings, promoting, and tempted to shew us. There have been at- cashiering the officers al bis pleasure, for, lempt: made, amongst the parties co:cerned you know, that our king has precisely in the transaction, të shiti the blame tron the saine power, and that, when, upun one to the other; there have been attempts a late occasion, an attempt was made made to make us believe that the Convention to abridge that power, that attemyt wastigwas not aliogether so bad! as we thought it; mat:zed as an attack upon the just prerobut, there has been no mu bold enough to gatives of the crown; noi because the people stand forward and assert, that we were a of France are not represented in their lenation of fools, who had all joined in con- gislative assembly, for, there are elections in demning ihat which had in it nothing worthy France as well as in England, and, perhaps, of condemnation.

it would be very difficult to prove, that bé. It is clear, then, that the thing itself, the tween those elections and ours there is any deed which we so wuiversally lament, is a material difference. Well, then, Gentle propar subject of lamentation. It is clear, men, what is the ground, upon which we that our sorrow and our indignation are well charge the people of France with belig founded. But, if these teelmgs of ours are slaves, and what is the proof which we pos. to produce no effect upon the conduct of sess of ihe fact? The ground is simply

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this, that they dare not go to their sovereign and drawers of water. In the present case, with complaints; and, the only proof that those who do pretend to understand military we possess of this fact, is, that they do not affairs have not attempted to defend the go to him with complain!s. If, therefore, transaction of which we complain while we do not complain to the king, when it is some of those persons, who are most active notorious to the world, that we have so in opposition to our petitioning the king, bifterly complained to one another, will not have asserted, that one of the generals prothat world conclude, that we dare not com- lested against the Convention. But, what plain ; and, upon the same ground that we are their opinions to us? It is sufficient, call the French people slaves, will not the that the thing appears to us to be matter for world justly impute slavery to us? No

No complaint. That is all that is required to matter what be the cause, by which we are justify our complaining; unless we be conrestrained from complaining ; whether it be tent to see and hear only through the eyes the bayonet in the bands of a soldier, or the and ears of those, who appear to think that

ineans of corruption in the hands of a ini. they have a right to treat us as their slaves, nister ; whether it be the dread of death merely because they wallow in luxury upon from the hands of the executioner or from the fruit of our labour. Wben, bat a very the cravings of huvger. The cause matters few months ago, it was thought useful to not, so that the effect be the same ; so that those in power to obtain addresses to ibe we' are slaves, it matters not whether we king in praise of his speech about Spain and are held in slavery by the force of steel or Portugal, and of the military measures be by that of gold.

intended to adopt with regard to those cour. Those who wish to prevent the people tries ; then you were not thought to be from petitioning the king upon this occa- quite so unfit judges of matters of this sort; sion, tell us, that we are not competent then you were called upon to give your opi: judges of the matter, upon which we have nions of measures even before they had taken it upon us to decide: That we are been put into execution. And now, by the not all soldiers is certain, and that very few very same persons, who then so called upr of us, comparatively speaking, would be

you, you are told that military operatin able to conduct battles and sieges is obvious; and making Conventions are matters abort but, all of us, who are not absolute ideots, your capacity. So that, though you se pery know, that when an army is sent abroad at good judges as long as you are disposed to a vast expence, the people who pay that ex- praise, you are not fit to judge at all, utan pence, have a right to expect some services you are disposed to condemn; and, in short

, from that army; we know, that when one you are to be well-broken dogs in the service army is double the force of another, and of the ministers of the day, at whose corwhen the latter has been beaten by a third mand you are to dash on, come in, stand, part of the force :of the former, that it is back, give tongue, run mute, creep, cringe

, reasonable to expect, that the weaker army or lie, dead as a stone, at their feet. Tb ought, very soon, to become captives to the expedition to Portugal, the intention of stronger. There does not require any mi. undertaking which you were, by the agents litary science to enable us to speak with of the ministers, called upon to praise, has confidence as to these points. If we must cost England as much as the whole amount be generals, or admirals, in order to be able of one year's poor-rates ; that it has done to form correct opinions, in every case re- barm to England instead of good no man hs lating to military and naval affairs, it is the assurance to deny; and yet you are told, plain, that we must, in future, hold our that you ought not to call for inquiry into tongues ; and that we have nothing to do the conduct of those who have caused all with such affairs, but to pay the expences this injury, because you are not competent attending them. Upon the same principle, judges of the matter. This insolence may we could never, with propriety, complain of show you in what contempt you are held by any measure of the government, however, the persons to whom I have so frequently disgraceful or oppressive it might be. If a alluded; and, if you now sutter youtselves treaty were made giving up the Isle of Wight to be bullied or wheedled into silence, you to France, we might be told to hold our will convince the world that you are worthy peace, seeing that we are not plenipoten- of that contempt. ciaries and secretaries of state ; the chancel- Bot, there is another objection to pure lor of the exchequer might, upon the same petit oning the king, at this time, which principle, bidiiybatsilept upon the subject objection is worthy of your particular of taxation

we were re- tice, and, I trust you will think, of you duced to the Betewers of wood marked reprobation.

It is this that

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since the promulgation of the king's answer are " pronouncing judgment without previto the city of London, any further petitions ous investigation." It would be an infor inquiry are unnecessary, seeing that sult to your understandings to pursue the he therein declared his {ntention to institute illustration ; for there is not a man of you, an inquiry, after which further petitions, who will not clearly perceive, that the apbesides being useless, may seem to imply a plication of the poor humble citizens of petition of the city of London was express with the principles of British justice, but, ed in terins as humble as it is possible for as nearly as the case would permit, with any description of human creatures to make the forms of legal proceedings. As to use of towards any earthly being ; and the the necessity of this application, the king answer they receivel contained as sharp a re- alluded to the trial of General Whitelocke, buke as any king of England ever gave to and told the poor citizens, that he should his subjects. The king told them, that it have hoped, that his conduct in that case was " inconsistent with the principles of would have convinced them, that their in" British justice to pronounce judgment terposition was not necessary to induce him * without previous investigation;" and that, to institute inquiry in this case. But, Gen" the interposition of the city of London tlemen, pray mark the distinction. In both We could not be necessary for inducing him cases the transaction was reprobated by the " to direct due inquiry to be made." nation at large; in both cases the NATION Now, Gentlemen, there was no judgment complained of disgrace and inquiry ; but, pronounced on any one by the perition of he not so with the MINISTRY, who, in the poor cringing Londoners. They only pray- former case, gave, at once, evident signs ed that an inquiry might be ordered; they of their agreement in feeling and opinion said, what the whole nation had said, that with the nation; whereas, in the latter the Convention was disgraceful and injurious case, they gave signs as evident, that they to the country ; they expressed their sorrow disagreed in feeling and opivion with the that so many English lives and so much nation, and that, though they might not English money should have been lost and openly justify the Convention, their intenexpended in vain ; and they humbly im- tion was not to put upon their trial any of plored the king to institute an inquiry into the persons, who had framed or ratified it. the cause of such a calamity, and to bring Upon the arrival of the intelligence, or, at the offenders to justice ; but, they judged least, when the intelligence could no longer no one ; they marked out no one for be kept from the public, they made a short panishment; they pretended not to say, and equivocal communication of it to the whether the blaine lay with the ministers Mayor of London; they caused the guns of or the generals ; they, with the rest of the the Park and Tower to be fired, which, bation, were convinced that blame lay some- as you well know, is the token of joyful where, and they prayed, in a most humble tidings; they caused an illumination to be style, that an inquiry might take place. made at all the offices and buildings under Was there, in this, Gentlemen, any thing their controul; they put ns to the expence " inconsistent with the principles of British of candles, coloured lamps, and Aambeaux, justice ?” Why, is not this the mode of for the celebration of the event; and, in proceeding in all our courts? The man, short, they did, upon this occasion, exhibit who thinks himself aggrieved by another all those marks of joy that were by them exman, comes into court, in his own person hibited at the intelligence of the battle of or by his attorney, and demands that the Trafalgar. --Well, then, Gentlemen, what alledged offender be put upon his trial. The similarity is there in the two cases : and, demand cannot be refused; it often hap- why were the poor citizens of London to be pens, that the party accused-is found to be rebuked, because they secuned 10 suspeit, innocent; but, no one attempts to say, that that Wellesley and his associates would not the demand is inconsistent with the prin. be brought to trial, without a direct appliciples of British justice ; no judge, when cation of the people to the king? Were applied to for a warrant, a writ, an attach- they, because Whitelocke was tried for an ment, or citation, ever tells the plaintiff act which the ministers openly lamented, to

pronounce judgment.” conclude that Wellesley would be tried for When any of us a ply for a warrant or an act at which these same ministers openly summons against a thief, or a poacher, we rejoiced? Poor creatures, how is it possible, assert that the person has been guilty of that they could have drawn such a conclu. tbiex ing or poaching; yet

, the justices ne- sion? There were, moreover, Gentlemen, Ter send us away with ine rebuke, that we other circumstances to justify this interposi

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tion on the part of the people. Whitelocke not been given to us. If we approve of had the misfortune ter commit his disgraceful what they did, it is our duty to do the same; act at a time when the ministry was com- or else, upon all other occasions, the whole posed of a new set of men, of men who nation is to look upon itself as being reprewere the political enemies of those who sent sented by the city of London ; one peciting him out on his command; and the citizens and one answer will do for the whole ; Lon. of London, slavish as they have been for don will be the only part of the nation, many many long and disgraceful years, had whom any 'king or any minister, will have bad opportunities enough of perceiving, to manage ; and the country at large, all that circumstances of this sort are not with: the land and all its owners and all its cultiout their influence. They knew, besides, vators, are, at once, sook into complete that the Convention-making generals were insignificance. Not so, however, think she not only appointed by the present ministry, government agents, when they call for who, of course, were their political friends, praises of the ministry. Then, as in the but that one of them, he who led the way late instance, the more addresses the better. in the transaction that has filled us with The city of London began last summer, and indignation, was one of the ministry, one of they had their answer ; but, the addressing his brothers another of the ministry, and did not stop there. The counties and that his family had, at least, twelve fast cities and boroughs, down to the borough friends in the parliament. These were cir. of ten men, followed the example. Nocumstances calculated to have great weight; body told them that it was unnecessary and when the citizens of London perceived, proceed; but, on the contrary, they were that the ministers, in the Gazette Extraor- urged on, till there was not a single spot dir.ary, in which they gave us an account of left, from which an addreas of praise had the transactions in Portugal, published the not been extracted.-Besides, Gentleme. Armistice, which was negociated and signed do you perceive, in the answer of the king by Wellesley, in the French language only; to the citizens of London, any assurer when they perceived this, must they not that he will cause an inquiry to be institut have been convinced, that it was the resolu- The words are these: "I should barelyzet

, tron of ihe ministers to screen this general, " that recent occurrences would bare at any rate, and that to screen him would be “ vinced you, that I am at all times reaktion impossible, if either of the others were put " institute inquiries on occasions is a upon their trial ? Must not this have been “ the character of the country or the hopesa evident to every man of common sense? of my arms is concerned, and that the is Well, then, in this state of things, what terposition of the city of London coch do the citizens of London do? Why, they not be necessary for inducing me to die ' meet, and determine to appeal to the king; rect due inquiry to be made into a france they say, we see that the ministers are dis. " tion which has disappointed the hopes and posed to withhold satisfaction from us for expectations of the nation." Now, Gerthis great injury and disgrace, and therefore, tlemen, this is, you perceive, by no mean as to the prime source of justice, we will a positive assurance that any inquiry shell apply to the king himself. They do this in take place; and, suppasing it to amount to language the most humble; their prayer is that, the word due, carefully qualifying the Termed an unnecessary interposition; they word inquiry, leaves, I think, little room to are accused of acting inconsistently with the doubt, that the inquiry, if any, is not likely principles of British justice ; and they are to be of thavigorous kind, which it is oke charged with pronouncing judgment previous wish of the nation to see take place. — Ite to investigation, at the very moment when apster implies, that the knig has been a they pray for an investigation.

all times ready to institute inquiries of the Now, Gentlemen, can you discover any sort in contemplation. There was a con. thing in this transaction which ought to pre- vention at the Helder, by wbich eight these vent us from petitioning the king for in- sand French sailors were released out quiry? We have all the original inducements prisons to go and fight againsę us; and, it that the citizens of London had; but, we any inquiry did take place upon that occa; are told, that; at any rate, the king has now sion, ani occasion io which the character of declared that he will institute an insuiry, the country and its arms was certainly con:

and that, therefore, to petition for that pur- cerned, it was of so secret and quiet a kind • pose now, would, besides being useless, that the people never even heard of it; aud

, seem to imply a doubt of bis sincerity, I take it, that this is not the sort of inqirisy, Genilement, ibis doctrine is quite new. The which we now wish for. Besides, doesit greziEllswer given to the citizens of London has

ly encourage us to rely upon the advice that

colour the king will now receive, that we see, at sentation of what he or she deems to be the very same levee, where the Londuners wrong, whether public or private. It is for are rebuked, Sir Arthur Wellesley the first the petitioner, or petitioners, alone to judge upon the list of persons graciously received ly of the necessity, or propriety, of pethe king ; that we see that saine general who titioning. There exists no where a right signed the armistice, inmediately after his 10 punish them for petitioning.” The réturn from court, set off for Ireland to re- right is absolure, and the people are to be suine his place and functions as a minister ot the judges as to the time and the occathe crown, and the chief minister, too, in sion of exercising it. Such, as far as relates that part of the kingdom ; that we see Sir to our present purpose, is the constitution of Harry Burrard, Sir Charles Coiton, Col. England, that constitution to preserve which Murray, and all those who must necessarily wo are called upon to spend our last shilling be material witnesses, “ left to keep the and to shed onr last drop of blod. police at Lisbon"; do we, from these well B!t, what do we now hear, from those, known facts, derive any great encourage- too, who are the most loud in calling upon ment to rely, to rest satisfied, to hold our us for suco terrible sacrifices? What do tongues and remain quiet, in the assurance, Thiey new tell us; " That the citizens of that the king will be advised to instirute such “ London sneaked out of the presence of an inquiry as is likely to obtain us justice? - their sovercign, whose digning had reNay, Gentlemen, is it probable, is there the proved their in:lpcency and rebuked their smallest probability, that those minister's, presumption, and became a laughingwho made public rejoicings at the intelligence “ stock.” Well, we really deserve this lane of the Convention, will advise the king to guge. We have so long submitted to be'ilis proceed to the prosecution of those, who tools, the sport, the slaves, of the minister of were the authors, or the cause, of that Con- the day, that there is no insult which we do not vention? You cannot believe, that this is merit at their hands, or the bands of their probable ; you can hardly believe that it is underlings. Then, again, we are asked: possible ; the answer to the citizens of Lon“ do the people believe that their old king don alone must convince you of the contrary; “i is wanting in justice and integrity so and, therefore, if you wish to see justice “ much, as to require a lecture upon both, done upon the authors of the Convention, from every Burgh, City, and county in you are called upon to endeavour, by a reso- " the kingdom?" You will observe, Genlute exercise of your right of peritioning ulemen, that when the object was to obtain the king to induce him to listen to his peo- addresses of praise, these same people had ple, and to reject the advice whi", is so no oljection to a lecture from every Burgh,

to be otiered to him by his ministers. City, and County in the kingdum. But, Gentemen ; it is our lot to live in times, what is now become of this boasted right of wher we are daily called upon " to spend petition, it it be proper to reprove and reaur last sluding, and a shed our last drop buke the petitioner, and to treat his petition of blund, for the preservation of the consti- as a presumptuous lecture ? A petition,

and, though this would be going from ihe very meaning of the word, must very far, it being ditficult to form an idea of contain a prayer that something may lie done ; any thing much worse than beggary followed a petition to che king must necessarily cou. by extermipation, we should I trust, if tain an expression of the petitioner's desire necessary, be ready to encounter the literal That the king will do something : anit, shere. perforinance; but, then, we onght to be fure, if to express such a desire be indecent quite certain that we have this constitution. and presumptuous; if to express such When the bigotted and besorted tyrant James desire be to insinuate that the king is want. was driven troin the throne of England, ing in justice and integrity, it is evident, which he lid surrounded with peculators that there can be no petition free from the and slaves, the nation, when they declared charge of snch insinuation ; and, of course, that another king should take his place, first that the right of petitioning the king, as declared what were their own rights, and, laid down and secured in the Bill OF amongst these rights, was that of petitioning RIGHTS, is, in fact, a right to remind the the king. This declaration, which makes King of his want of justice and integrity. part of an act of parliament, contains the The truth is, that a right, in one man, imletter of what we call the constitution. plies the power of doing, without risk tò Every man; every individual person, in what- person or property or characier, certaiu acte ever rank or situation of life, has, according which may be disagreeable to some other to the constitution of England, an unques- man ; and a will, or declaration, of rights tionable right to lay before the king a repre.

would have been downright stupid stutt';

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