« السابقةمتابعة »
very few words.
LESS THAN A MAN.
INASMUCH AS HE WAS A Lord, he was He only advanced to manhood, as he began to shake off his aristocratical education and notions, and, I repeat, that, as a man, he was never half educated. His writings will not bear reading in another century; at least, they will be as little thought of as those of Dryden are now. At any rate, I am quite confident, that, I am making a better use of my clod-like ignorance, than ever Lord Byron did of his brilliant genius. I am not alone in saying this, and write it, with the assurance, that it will be backed by some of the wisest men in England, France, and the United States of North America. I grant, that there are men who have more knowledge than I have; but there is not one, excepting those now identified with me, who will venture to throw as much among mankind, and bid defiance to despotic ignorance. I have uniformly made a practice, and shall continue it, of throwing my little knowledge before the public, as fast as I obtain it: others fear to do this, and gain knowledge but to conceal it.
You have called me a low, illiterate, and ignorant person, and you called the late Mr. Richman of Dorchester, a singularly learned man. Now, I refer you to Mr. Arden, the present Mayor of Dorchester, as to the fact, of what sort of an appearance, this singularly learned man made, before me, in a discussion, about fourteen months ago. And, may I not fairly ask you, why, every learned clergyman in Dorset, is, as your Sacred Scriptures stile such men, a "dumb dog," before me?
I have made a long article, but not longer than some insertions I have seen in your paper; and, in the way of explanation, or of setting your readers right upon some most important matters, I am sure, that, it will not be the least useful of your insertions. Not to extend it, to each I leave the summing up: as to my character, I shall content myself, with denying here, that I have offended a single law of this country, and refer you for proofs, to my just published memorial to Mr. Peel.
I am, Sir, yours, though void of Christian charity, free from anger, RICHARD CARLILE.
TO THE VISITING MAGISTRATES OF DORCHESTER GAOL.
Dorchester Gaol, Dec. 22, 1824.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR WORSHIPS, FOR the first time, since I have been in this Gaol, a string of rules has been presented to my notice, by the officers of the Gaol. I find only one of them to concern me, and that the last. It says: "When any prisoner shall conduct himself
with extraordinary diligence or merit, he shall be recom mended to the Royal Mercy, and receive other such reward as his good behaviour may deserve."
Now, your worships, I have been above five years in this Gaol working with the most extraordinary diligence and merit, so as to have nearly worn out my eyes, and I wonder much, that I have not received this Royal Mercy and reward and not even Beef and three halfpence farthing at Christmas. I am, your worships, your diligent ward,
COPY OF A LETTER SENT TO THE KING, WINDSOR CASTLE.
Dorchester Gaol, Dec. 21, 1824, sixth year of my imprisonment.
SIR, I HAVE enrolled my name on your roll of Privy Councillors, and I promise you most faithfully, that I will do, that, which, I fear, my privy fellows do not give you my very best counsel without fear, reserve, or reward. I purpose, rather to amuse and instruct, than to insult or deceive.
My counsel for this week is, that ALL RELIGION IS VICE, and that, you will do well, both for yourself and fellow citizens, to assist in getting rid of it, with all possible and prudent dispatch. My reasons are:
First. Religion is vice; because, it is all founded in error, as was shewn in my last week's counsel.
Second. Religion is vice; because, it corrupts, every mind that imbibes it, and becomes an impediment to the gaining of more useful knowledge.
And Third. Religion is vice; because, where there is sectarianism, and there has always been where religion has existed with a small degree of mental freedom, it constitutes one of the most dreadful immoralities that can degrade a people and afflict a state.
For a case in proof, I refer you to what is now passing, to what has passed, and to what is likely to pass, among those two distinctions of your fellow-citizens called Protestants and Catholics, to the constant toil and turmoil which you must feel religious disputes to introduce into your councils, aud, finally, above all, to that mental distraction, to that worst and most mischievous insanity, which a high state of fanaticism perpetuates among the illiterate mass of a people.
I will further counsel you, Sir, upon the state of your health; for, I really wish you a long life. I wish you to outlive, every one of your brothers, and your cousin, my neighbour, the Duke of Gloucester.
I learn, by the newspapers, that, you suffer much pain from the gout, or undue calcareous concretions; and knowing, that I can prescribe for your relief, I will, by your leave, take a lead in your medical council.
If, on the receipt of this letter, or as soon after as convenient, you will begin to take four drachms of quicksilver daily, two in the morning and two in the evening, in a month, you will find an indication of relief from gouty symptoms; in a year, you will be wholly free from them, and as pliant in the motion of your limbs as when a boy; and if you go on to take the same quantity daily through life, it will extend the period with you by many years. It requires no caution, beyond that of avoiding all excess of strong meats and strong drinks. It is an excellent substitute for a want of due exercise: it greatly assists temperance in the promotion of health and greatly checks the evils of intemperance, whether past or present.
I am, Sir, neither your slave, nor your courtier,
COPY OF A LETTER SENT TO THE KING. WINDSOR CASTLE.
Dorchester Gaol, December 27, 1824. My counsel to you for this week is, that you assist the wise men of this day, in working suitable reforms in the legislature of the country. If you will do this, you will find yourself the happiest and most honoured man alive; whilst, by neglecting to do it, you will live the most unhappy and most dishonoured.
On the ground of family connections you can have no scruples about lessening the kingly prerogative, as you have no children, nor have your brothers any children, that can make you wish to leave the kingly office as you found it. Besides, the hereditary kingly office is not half as honourable to the possessor, as an appointment to the chief magistracy by election.
An indulged nation is so generous a creature, that I will engage, it shall be found striving to outlive its benefactor in gratitude. Upon the bare score of prudence, it would be wiser to continue the chief magistracy in your family, to the last of your brothers, than to risk a civil war about it. It will be something in prospect, to be sure of not having to import another chief magistrate. alike foreign to our country, its laws its customs, its language, and its interests. I am, Sir, your prisoner,
TO THE SAINTS NOT YET GONE TO HEAVEN, AND TO ALL OTHERS WHO MAY DESIRE TO ARRAY THEMSELVES AS MY ENEMIES.
I HAVE been informed, that, an offer of money, on the part of some of you, has been made to John Barkley, one of my late imprisoned Shopmen, to obtain a disclosure of my affairs. As I know a great deal more upon the subject than Barkley knows, I have to request, that you will send to me all the money you can afford upon the subject, and I will make a full disclosure of all that you may wish to know. I will tell you some matters gratis.
I find, that up to the present Christmas, I have received, as subscription money, the sum of £1355. 3s. 6d. This sum is independent of what has been subscribed for the different shopmen and for Mrs. Wright. It may be asked, what bas been done with it? I answer, more public good than ever the same sum of money did on any former occasion. It has maintained a warfare, more important in its consequences, than any other warfare that has passed among mankind. And this warfare, it has successfully maintained. It has been employed in the creation of materiel for this warfare, and what is still more satisfactory, it is not exhausted; but its full value in materiel is preserved for the the prolongation of the warfare, and for certain victory! If we could but ascertain what sum of money you saints have spent against us, we should be able to judge better of our progress; but under a very moderate view of your expenditure, I engage, that you have spent at the rate of a thousand to one with our subscription, purchasing with it nothing but discomfiture! whilst we, in fact, have spent nothing and are sure of victory! The cause of Materialism or Anti-Christianity has been placed upon a foundation more solid, and more sure than that on which our little Island rests; for, it has extended its foundation to many Islands and to many Continents.
It may gratify you to see some calculations made as to the progress and state of my business. About six years ago, I was scarcely worth a penny, and had nothing worthy of being called a stock in trade. You, Saints, began to persecute me, your Gods could not assist you, and I began to flourish. From January, 1819, my expences have been very great; but you have created the means of supporting them. If I include rent, taxes, rates, wages, family expences, and expences attending prosecutions, that is, all the
expences which I have incurred for carrying on of business, for supporting a scattered family, and for making a stand against prosecutions, I may strike an average at twenty pounds per week, or a thousand pounds per year. The rent, &c. has been about £5. per week. Wages, and other expences attending the business, including allowances to imprisoned shopmen*, lease money, fixtures, and repairs of tenements, have been at least another £5. per week. Expences of a scattered family, with journeys to and fro from one to the other, have been at or near £5. per week. And the other £5. may be set down to general expences of prosecutions, &c. It is not contended that this calculation is precise, nor is it necessary, that it should be so. The two last heads might be over-rated; but any person with a head may suppose nearly what such expences have been. Now, then, Saints, if we suppose the average price of books and pamphlets, that I have sold within the last six years, to be one shilling, and, the average profit, threepence on each, as many threepences as you find in fifteen hundred pounds will be the number of Anti-Christian books with which I have medicated the unhealthy social system of this country. And I assure you, that they have been excellent purgatives. The patient is not yet sufficiently purged; but I will go on, with the additional aid of quicksilver, to scour her well, and to cleanse her at every pore.
Lest you should be deterred from an enquiry into the precise number, I will try my hand at a sum in reduction. How many pieces of money of the value of threepence are there in the sum of fifteen hundred pounds?
Pieces of Threepence 120000
We have sold at least an average of one hundred and twenty thousand Anti-Christian books of the value of one shilling, or about twenty thousand a year. But the truth is, that we have had no such profits as threepence in a shilling,
*It ought to be known, that I make no allowance to the present imprisoned shopmen, and that they are entirely on their own bottoms doing the best they can for themselves. Subscriptions should be therefore regulated accordingly, and not made jointly to me and them; as it occasions a difficulty to know to what is meant by the subscribers.