Page images


of the £. 200 bargain with, and of the an- | dustry has collected, and which his paternuity to, Mrs. Clarke; nor will it have nal affection would fain devote to the any weight at all against the evidence of comfort of his one-day fatherless family; Mrs. Clarke herself. Conspiracy, indeed! is such a man, because he-feels sore, beWho should conspire? Where is the con- cause he expresses his indignation at seespiracy? Much has been said about the ing his earnings squandered in this way; cowardice of general insinuations against is such a man for such a cause to be rethe Duke, and about the advantage of, at viled as a jacobin and a conspirator, and last, getting at the accusations in a tangible to be held forth as worthy of the gibbet? shape. Why do we hear nothing specific If this be the case, away with all the talk about this conspiracy? A conspiracy ge- about the sacrifices necessary for our denerally implies conspirators. Where are fence against a conqueror; for if the devil they? At present, all the persons that have himself were to become our master, he appeared are Dr. Thynne, Mr. Robert could not make our situation worse. But, Knight, and Mrs. Clarke. Are these some I hope and trust, this is not to be the of the conspirators? Is Mr. Adam one, case; I trust we shall still have a country who has told us all about the connection to fight for, and courage to defend it; that and the annuity? Who the devil are these we shall still be truly free and truly loyal conspirators then? Where is the place of in spite of all the endeavours of all our their meeting? Why not place this con- enemies foreign and domestic; in spite of spiracy before us in a tangible shape?" all their efforts to enslave us, or to goad These loose assertions about a conspiracy us into disloyalty.To Mr. WARDLE, must operate to the injury of the Duke of for his public spirit, his frankness, his canYork; for the people of this country are did and bold manner of bringing the mat too much in the habit of deciding upon the ter forward, his steady perseverance, and merits of the case; of deciding upon actual all the admirable qualities he has displayevidence, not to suspect to be bad that cause, ed, upon this occasion, the unanimous which has recourse to recrimination. It is so thanks of all the wory part of the naconstantly the case to hear the guilty revile tion are due, and, I will add, are justly his accusers, that if the Duke had a real rendered. I have not conversed with a friend, that friend would not fail to avoid single person upon the subject, who has all such revilings, not fully justified by the not expressed admiration at this gentleproved turpitude or malice of the party man's conduct. No, he did not consult reviled.- "Jacobinism"! Is it, then, to with you, Mr. Sheridan, nor with any of be a jacobin to complain, that bargains such the party; but, this, Sir, is that part of his as that between Mrs. Clarke and Mr. conduct which we most approve of. He Knight were going on? Is it to be a jaco- wanted no counsel but that of a sound bin to complain, that while the Duke of head and an honest heart; no support York was borrowing public money from from any thing but truth and justice. the minister, he was, as his counsellor has He wanted no parliamentary experience." informed-us, settling an annuity of £. 400 None of what has been called "the a year upon a person such as her whom "tactic of the House." He had a comthis counsellor has described to us, and plaint to make, in the name of the people, who has now, in the parliament, been and he made it, without discovering fear called "an infamous woman"? Is this Jaco- either for himself or for his cause. He binism? Is this to conspire against the il- has neither obtained, nor asked for, any lustrious House of Brunswick? Oh! no. indulgence. In his arduous and most laIt is not the House of Brunswick, but the borious task, he has received assistance House in Gloucester Place, and other such from SIR FRANCIS BURDETT and LORD scenes of corruption and profligacy, if any FOLKESTONE; but, whether by declaimers exist, that the conspiracy is formed against; or any thing else, he appears never to and, say the revilers of the press what they have been disconcerted; his own resources will, this is a conspiracy of which all the appear never to have failed him; and, at virtuous part of the nation approves, and every stage of the proceeding, he has risen in which it most cordially partakes. Is the in the esteem of the nation, the trading man, who sees thus squandered part, at "anti-jacobins" excepted. least, of the means which his incessant in


Botley, Wednesday, 8th Feb. 1809.

LONDON: Printed by T. C. HANSARD, Peterborough Court, Fleet Street; Published by R. BAGSHAW, Brydges-Street, Covent-Garden: Sold also by J. BUDD, Pall-Mall.

VOL. XV. No. 7.] LONDON, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 1809. [Price 10d.

On the 27th of July, 1796, a Pension was granted for life to Lady Augusta Murray, (lately called DUCHESS OF SUSSEX,) the amount of which pension is 1,200 pounds a year; and on the 24th October, 1806, another Pension was granted to the same person, under the name of Lady D'Amiland, for life, which last Pension is, in amount, 1478 pounds a year; both pensions together making 2,678 pounds a year.




ther consisting of money or of a vote, will ever refrain from plundering, from any other motive than that of the fear of detection. In such a case, all the effects of morality, all the influence of sentiments of honour, are completely lost to the public. That which is "conceived in sin "and brought forth in corruption," must naturally be productive of wicked and mis

to Mrs. Clarke, large sums of money for (Continued from page 224.) his appointment as a Commissary, is it TO THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND. not clear that he would not fail, during THE attention of every person in this the execution of his office, to keep in view country is now, with more or less eager- the money which he had paid for that ness, directed towards what is going on in office? And is it not equally clear, that the House of Commons. By a sort of he would miss no opportunity of reiminvoluntary motion, all eyes have been bursement? Indeed, it is impossible to turned that way. There is no man that believe, that a person, who has obtained now seems to think it of any consequence his office by the means of a bribe, whatwhat is done in the way of war, or of nc-ever the nature of that bribe may be, whegociation. All of us seem to feel, that, until this affair be settled, it would be absurd to waste our thoughts upon any question connected with our interests, or our honour, as a nation.So far the state of the public mind is what it ought to be. But, while all are exclaiming against the infamous corruptions, plunderings and robberies; the insulting profligacy, that have now been proved to exist; while all mouthschievous deeds.Now, then, the money are open upon these topics, there has appeared no attempt to draw the attention of the people to the effect which these abominations have upon them, in their individual and family capacity. Be this my task, by way of introduction to such other matters and remarks as it appears to me necessary, at this time, to submit to those, who bear the burdens, which arise from the corruptions that have now been proved to exist. To persons, not accustomed to go beneath the surface of things, it may possibly appear, that it makes little difference to the people, whether commissions and offices be sold or not, because, in whatever manner they be disposed of, the expence of them must still be the same. But, it requires but very little reflection to perceive, that this proposition is opposed to the truth; for, in the first place, it is evident, that the person who purchases a post, will seek for reimbursement, either in the positive profits of the post, or in a deduction from the time or the services, which ought to be spent or rendered in that post. In the case of DoWLER, for instance, who paid, it appears,

which DoWLER paid to Mrs. Clarke we must consider as coming, through the exercise of his office, out of our pockets, whence it has first been taken by the taxgatherer. To this we must add the probable further sums, which a man who had obtained his office by a bribe would be likely to appropriate to himself; and, when we see to what extent this system of bribery has prevailed, we shall not be surprised at the immense amount of the sums which we are annually called upon to pay on account of the Commissaries department.In the case of offices, which are merely military, the mode of our suffering is different; but, it is not less real than in cases more immediately connected with money transactions. If the office be obtained by money, when no money ought to be paid, then there will be, by leaves of absence, or other means, a deduction of services due to the public; and, if money ought to be paid to the public, which is paid to a kept mistress, then the public clearly loses the amount, which ought to go to its credit. But, the chief evil here is, that unworthy and base persons are preferred before per


sons of a different description; that the vile and corrupt vermin, who hang about the metropolis, step over the heads of veterans, who have passed their lives in toils and dangers; that boys become entrusted with commands, which ought never to be in any hands but those of men of experience; that the comfort, the happiness, the backs, and the lives, of our brave soldiers are committed to the power of such men as Captains Donovan and Sandon and Col. French; to the power of men, whose promotion to that power has been obtained by means such as those which have now. been brought to light. Hence desertions; hence the sufferings of the soldiers; hence blunders and failures without end; and hence the millions upon millions, which all these annually cost us. To be a good military officer requires, not only bravery, but wisdom, experience, and integrity; a good understanding and a just mind. And, can these be expected in men, who have gained their posts by bribes given to a kept mistress? -Besides these, there is a positive loss in money. We pay for more officers than we need pay for if this infamous system did not exist. We see, in the case of one of the MALINGS, that he became a captain without ever having been on military duty. We see that others have been officers, while at school. Well, then, less officers are necessary; or, if that be not the case, the service must suffer, and the public must lose, by the absence of so many of those whom it pays.—I cannot refrain here from mentioning the case of MR. ADAM's son, who became the Lieut.Colonel of a regiment at the age of twenty -one years. After he was appointed an Ensign, he was sent to school. His father tells us of his feats in Holland. A second commission, that of Lieutenant, was given him while at school. At the age of sixteen he went to Holland; and here his father says he distinguished himself in the command of a body of men usually committed to a Lieutenant. " They were from the Supplementary Militia, and required a great deal of management." Did they so? Then, was it well to commit them to a boy of sixteen, just come from school? Should it not have been a man to have the command of such men? At twenty-one years of age no person in the world can be tit for a Lieutenant Colonel. He has the absolute command of a thousand men. The comfort, the happiness, the morality, the bucks of a thousand men depend upon his wisdom and integrity. A person to be intrusted with such a charge, ought to be

sober, considerate, compassionate, and yet firm to execute justice. Where are these to be found united with the passions inseparable from youth? Besides, is it possible, that the other officers, captains old enough, perhaps, to be his father, and who have every fair claim to prior promotion, can cordially submit to the command, and, occasionally, to the reproof, of a boy of twenty-one? What would Mr. Adam say, if he had to plead before a judge of twenty-one years of age? Yet, the Lieut.Colonel of a Regiment (for the Colonel never commands) has powers still greater than those of a judge. He has, in the course of a year, to decide upon the cases of, perhaps, two thousand offences. He has to judge of characters; to weigh the merits of candidates for promotion; his smile is encouragement, and his frown disgrace; it depends upon him, whether the soldier's life be a pleasure or a curse. Is not all this too much for the age of twenty-one years?Every desertion from the army is a loss of fifty pounds to the country; and, how many of these losses must arise from the want of wisdom and experience in commanding officers?

-But, the cost, the bare cost, of officers who do not actually serve, is immense. The younger Sheridan, for instance, has, it is notorious, been living in and about town all his lifetime. Yet, he was same time ago, a captain in a regiment serving abroad, and will now, I believe, be found upon the half-pay list. A return of all the officers belonging to regiments abroad, not serving with those regiments, would give us a view of the extent of this intolera ble abuse. If men give money, or render secret services, for their offices, to a kept mistress, how can it be expected, that any service should be performed by them to the public? They give their money, or render secret services, for the sake of getting the pay. When Colonel French gave his money to Mrs. Clarke, it was with a view of getting three or four times the sum out of the taxes that we pay. We were the payers for Mrs. Clarke's service of plate; we paid for her landau; we paid for her trip to Worthing; we paid for her wine glasses at a guinea a-piece; we paid for her boxes at the opera and the play-house; and French and Sandon and Dowler and Knight and the rest of the bribing crew were merely the channel through which the money passed from the taxed people to her.-Oh! how many hundreds, how many thousands, of the people have suf fered for her! She has stated, and no one


has attempted to disprove her statement; she has stated, in answer to the very judicious questions of LORD FOLKESTONE, that she received in money from her keeper only 1,000 pounds a year; and that this was barely sufficient to defray the expence of servants' wages and liveries; but, that the Duke told her, if she was cleper, she need never want money. Twenty thousand a year was, perhaps, not sufficient to detray the amount of all her expences. Here is 20 pounds a year taken, in taxes, from each of a thousand families. It is the maintenance of 645 labourers' families at 128. a week, the common wages of the South of Hampshire. It is equal to the poor-rates of about 50 parishes of England and Wales, taking those parishes upon an average. It is equal to the poor-rates of 66 parishes like this of Botley. It is equal to all the direct taxes, every sort, of 21 or 22 parishes like -The immense sums received by Mrs. this. First, the farmer is deprived, by Clarke were not devoured by her. She these means, of a part of his comforts and did not consume more food than before conveniences; his house contains less of she was the Duke's kept mistress. But, goods and displays less of hospitality; she was enabled to keep a crowd of from him the deprivation descends to the persons, of various descriptions, who, labourer, whose scanty and coarse food, had they not been so maintained, must and want of raiment and fuel, produce, have laboured for their bread.This besides the pinching of hunger and cold, is a view of the subject of which the the miseries of disease, and which disease, people should never, for one moment, lose the never-failing erect of hunger and filth, sight. This is the way, in which they are is spreading far and wide its baleful and directly affected by the hellish system, hereditary elects. How many widows and which has now been proved to exist. From other females, whose incomes admit of no this view of it, they will not, I trust, be nominal augmentation, have suffered, and diverted by any attempts to induce them are still suffering from this accursed system? to attach most importance to the meanness, Every penny paid to Mrs. Clarke is just so or even the immorality, of the parties. These much taken out of the pockets of the people. are quite sufficent to excite national All her four or five men servants"; all disgust and hatred; but, the main thing her dashing carriages; all her wines, her is for the people to see the robberies, and to music; all her endless luxuries, have been be able clearly to trace to these, and such taken from the comforts of this suffering like robberies, their own privations and nation, as clearly as if the tax-gatherers miseries.Now is the time for the people had taken the money and paid it in to her to ask the revilers of SIR FRANCIS BURDETT, house-keeper or her tradesmen. That whether he was so very inuch to blame, which has been devoured by her crowd of when he told the Electors of Westminster, footmen, waitingwomen, pimps, and bawds, that no good was to be expected,'till we would, if the system of corruption and pro- could "tear out the leaves of the accursfligacy had not existed, been left to aug-ed Red Book.” Col. French, and Col. ment the hospitality of gentlemen, the conveniences of tradesmen and farmers, and the loaf of labourers aud journeymen; while those, her footmen, waitingwomen, pimps and bawds, would have been compelled to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow.Taxation, when excessive, must produce misery; and especially when the taxes are applied to the purposes of luxury. It is necessary, at this time, in particular, that the people should clearly

perceive this truth. Suppose there to exist a community of a hundred persons, all of whom labour, in one way or another, usefully to the community. Let ten of them cease to labour, and let them live upon the labour of the other ninety; and the consequence must be, that the ninety must work one tenth harder upon the same quantity of food, and raiment, and fuel, or that cach will have one tenth less than he used to have, of these necessaries of life. Hence a general decrease in productions, or a general increase of the miseries growing out of labour not sufficiently fed; hence the fall of some into utter inability to supply their wants; and hence the increase of the number of paupers in this country has kept an exact pace with the increase of the taxes, or, in other words, with the increase of the number of persons who are not engaged in productive labour.


Knight, and Capt. Donovan, and Capt. San-
don, and Mr. Dowler, and the rest of the
numerous petticoat-patronized crew, are
all to be found in that Red Book, the leaves
of which he wished to tear out.
voice will, I trust, now be heard by those
who were before misled; if, indeed, there
could be any such. I trust that now, the
venal declaimers about " Jacobinism
will no longer be able to blind the under-
standing of any man, however simple that

sufficient. Thus has the nation been degraded; its spirit subdued; its heart broen; and its property rendered a prey to the infamous reptiles, who, at last, stand exposed to its execrations, and who, I trust, are at no great distance from the hour of feeling the effects of its vengeance. I mean not the vengeance of a mob, but the steady, sober, deliberate vengeance of the law.

I now would fain call the attention of the people to the altered language and tone of the House of Commons. It will not soon be forgotten, that, when Mr. Wardle first brought forward his Charges, he was answered with the boldest defiance. From both sides of the House he heard of nothing but of joy, that, at last, the charges against the Commander in Chief could be met in a tangible shape. He was told, that a conspiracy had long existed against the illastrious House of Hanover, and that his hearers were delighted to find, that they should now have fair play against that conspiracy. He was told, that he had incurred "a heary Responsibility;" and that the result must be " infamy upon either the accused or the accuser." Mr. Perceval said, that, was the present mo"ment suitable for the statements, he be"hieved he could enter into particulars,

[ocr errors]

man may be. The man, who now affects to believe, that a deep-rooted system of corruption does not prevail, must be an arrant knave; and, of course, none but an arrant knave will affect to believe, that a radical reform of that system, and a speedy one too, is not necessary to the preservation of the throne, as well as of the remaining liberties of the people. But, in the mean time, and, indeed, as necessarily conducive to this reform, let the people bear in mind, that it is their money that has been sported with; that it was not Col. French's money nor Mr. Dowler's money that the Duke of York's kept mistress took, and that was expended upon her footmen, chariots, musicians, singers, players, dancers, parasites, pimps, and bawds, but in the end, the money of the people. This is the important truth for them to keep in view. Let every father of a family consider how much less, from this cause, he will have to bequeath his children. When those, who formerly lived in affluence from the rent of their estates, reflect how they have been obliged to dismiss servant after servant; sell horse after horse; abridge pot after pot of the ale that formerly gladdened the heart of the comer; aye, and to cut down tree after tree, and sell acre after acre; let all such persons, when, with aching heart, they so reflect, think of which would convince the House, that it Mrs. Clarke and the services of plate and "was impossible to bring these alledged the wine-glasses at a guinea a-piece and "charges home to His Royal Highness." the rattling carriages and the laced-foot- He said, in the name of the Duke, "that men and the musicians and the singing- "his wish was, that the investigation boys and the players and the dancers and "should be most complete and public; the pimps and the bawds in Gloucester "that there was nothing His Royal HighPlace; and let every mind in the kingdom"ness so particularly deprecated as any be fixed upon the scene described by Miss TAYLOR, every tongue repeat, and every ear tingle at, the words, "how does French behave to Darling?" Darling! How many a widowed mother has had to pronounce that word over a child driven from beneath her roof by the penury produced by these and similar corruptions! Look into families, once respectable in point of fortune, and you find them consisting of a crowd of helpless females, unable to work and ashamed to beg, the sons all forced away, for want of the means possessed by their father, to seek a subsistence from patronage, to get back again some small portion of what their father has paid in taxes, and, in order to succeed, creeping to those whom that father would have despised; nay, perhaps, the last stake of the family is converted into a bribe for a whore, while a score of breasts are filled with anxiety lest the sum should not be

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


"secret or close discussion of these charges; "that, standing as that illustrious personage did, on the fairness of his character, " and the fulness of the evidence he was "enabled to produce in refutation of these charges, he was most particularly anx"ious to appear before the country, acquitted by the most accurate and severe " inquiry." All this bold language, tone of menace, have been dropped for some days; and, it seems to be almost forgotten, that Mr. Wardle ever was under any very heavy responsibility." Nay, Mr. York, who spoke so roundly of the Jacobir Conspiracy against the illustrious House of Brunswick, seems to have begun to think, that all the "talking" was not without some foundation. Mr. Canning says not a word, neither does Lord Castlereagh; Mr. Wil liam Smith, the famous Whig-Club member, thinks it no longer necessary to disclaim Mr. Wardle, in the name of his party;

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »