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self.” I see that I am set down as a mushroom politician, of which he has seen hundreds spring up in a day and gone in an hour. I think I may venture to say without being charged with egotism or dogmatism or any other ism, that I have so far proved a mushroom of five years standing, that withers not, and such a one as Henry Hunt can neither trample under foot, nor pluck, nor root. But in the same comparative point of view, if I am the more wholesome mushroom, I think Henry Hunt has a near resemblance to the larger sort of toad-stool, neither fit for sauce nor food, that often gets mistaken for the mushroom by its alluring deceitful appearance and poisons those who partake of it. How do you like the simile Mr. Hunt? It is not the most inapplicable figure I ever saw or heard, and the dry stuff that I have addressed to you requires some relief or something amusing to excite a smile. A dozen years will solve the metaphor and show which is the more palatable, the mushroom or the large sized toad-stool: whilst, in the meantime, this short paragraph may serve as a key to “ The Memoirs of Henry Hunt Esq. written by himself.”
Let me recommend you Mr. Hunt when you quote any thing from the writings of another for animadversion, to quote a whole sentence. It is neither fair nor honest to dismember a sentence and exhibit the half of it under a sepse foreign to the original, as you have done with one of mine. I rejoiced to see you imprisoned because of the scandalous treatment I had received from you after I was myself imprisoned, and not from any other feeling. I am not hypocrite enough to profess to return good for evil, I always wish to see both virtue and vice meet its due reward, which I know to be a principle of nature that it should be so, and which nothing can change or counteract.
Your plan for petitioning the Parliament in its present Session was arranged before your new restrictions were imposed : those restrictions gave a zest to the matter, but you made dead sure of getting out of Gaol by the force or the farce of petitioning. It was to this that my objection applied. It was an abandonment of principle. But a few months before, when Mr. Cobbett addressed the Radicals and told them that they must hold themselves ready for petitioning for a certain purpose, you cried, “Hold! this will be an abandonment of the principles on which we have stood for some time; we have petitioned enough, and in vain; we have resolved to petition no more :” but when the more interesting or weightier matter of getting Henry Hunt
out of Gaol was the question, you proclaim to the Radicals that the most agreeable way of communicating with you was to petition the House of Commons on your behalf, and the old argument about the utility of the discussion was brought up: whilst if I had begun such a thing, and I bave had quite as much reason for it as you have had, you would have been the first to scout it, to have proclaimed its inutility, and to have called it cringing, abandonment of priuciple, and so on. But here the thing was set on foot by you. You tried every scheme in London, but failed in all. Resolutions, ready cut and dried, were sent up to your man Wilde, a vote of thanks cut out for Judge Bailey! and different Members of Parliament were to be allured by votes of thanks for nobody knows what! Wilde Robert announced in different companies that Mr. Hunt bad written to town to say that if the Radicals did not resent the treatment he was receiving, they were monsters who deserved eterual slavery !!! All would not do in London! In Leeds so much were you afraid that your petition would meet the fate of the corrupt Address to Sir Charles Wolseley, that the Great Chronicler-was ordered there from Manchester to assist. This he actually avowed in a company at Leeds without knowing that he bad some few of the Republicans in company with him. It is easy enough to set petitions a going to Parliament, but it is a most degrading game, as well as useless. It may have amused you, but it has availed you nothing more tban your own siniple statement of your grievances would have done. If ever there be any petitioning for me, I hope it will be by my enemies, the Priests. Prayer is their trade, and nothing can degrade them.
And now, Mr. Hunt, I take my leave of you with a hope that we may agree to differ in silence towards each other, and so differ until we agree in Republican and Deistical principles.
Your fellow-prisoner, ILE
To the magnanimous and illustrious Assertor of Reason, the noble British Youth, on Monday condemned to 18 Months Imprisonment by a Christian Judge and Jury; an Isle of Wight Lady-Es. 6d.
WHICH CHARACTER SUITS BEST,
That of corrupt Judges, or equal and impartial Admini
strators of Law and Justice?
Next to the false delusive and stupid lore about the value and purity of the British Constitution, we may rank the very corrupt eulogiums, wbich are constantly put forth by very corrupt men, upon our very corrupt Judges. : To irritate our minds, and to aggravate our wounded feelings, we are continually dinned with a palaver about the purity of our laws, and their equal administration, and the more than pure characters of our Judges, even whilst we have to complain of the most public wanton corruptions, and the most flagrant acts of injustice, by partialities, and by perversions of such laws as do exist.
I have been led into this article by the sentence lately passed upon Arrowsmith, Shackell, and Weaver, the ostensible proprietors of the John Bull newspaper. For all the infamous lies, the foul slanders, and the cut-throat attacks, that were issued in that paper against the late Queen, Shackell and Weaver are to have three months walk in the King's Bench Prison, with a fine of one hundred pounds each, and Arrowsmith a fine of £300 with no imprisonment! and are we to be told that this is impartiality and comparative justice? Let this be compared with my sentence, with the sentence of Mrs. Carlile; with the sentence of my Sister; with the sentence of Holmes and Rhodes in Giltspur Street Compter; with the senter:ce of Joseph Swaun in Chester Castle; and then where is the man who will say, that Abbott, Bailey, Holroyd, and Best, are any thing short of being very corrupt Judges? That canting hypocrite Bailey, in addressing Arrowsmith, Shackell, and Weaver, observed, we have taken into consideration, that the libels for which you now stand here to receive judgment, were published before the sentence of the Court under which you are now suffering was passed; but if you come here again, we don't know what we will not do‘to you! This is something of the same sort of treatment that a father would observe towards a froward child ; and it was evident that the Judges were eager to be considered the fathers and the patrons of “ The John Bull,” newspaper, and those connected with it. If those men deserved only such a sen
tence as was inflicted upon them bow dared the Judges, how dared Best to sit and hear Messrs. Den man and Brougham depict their cbaracters in a strain, wbicb, if they bad not felt that they deserved it, must have been more cutting than seven years transportation beyond the seas? Never, never was such a case shewn for au aggravation of punishment as was shewn against those men by the counsel for the prosecution, while they dared not offer a word in mitigation in person, or by counsel! Poh! it was all a planned job! Such men were to be shewn wbat they might do with comparative impunity to support Castlereagb and bis nominal master's government. Joseph Swann, a poor man with a wife and four children dependent upon bis labour for bread, was tried upon three indictments at one Sessions: the first was for attending a meeting at Macclesfield, where he scarce said or did any thing but look on, and this brought him two years imprisonment: the other two indictments were for selling the Republican, of which he must have sold very few, and whence he got them I know not; he did not get any direct from me, however, for one of these cases he was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment, for the other to twelve, making altogether four years a balf! This, as Bailey would say to Shackell and Co. was not for an accumulation of offences, or a committing of one after punishment had been suffered for a former, but if an offence at all, it ought to have been viewed but as one, and the first. I will warrant it that Swann never dreamt of imprisonment, nor bad be any idea of offending against the law in what be did. He was a poor man impressed with the necessity of a Reform in the whole System of Government, and being as honest and as bold as he was poor, he endeavoured to make himself useful in bringing about that Reform. Whatever Swann did it was upon an honest principle, without any view to profit: wbat Shackell and Co. did was with no other principle or view than to make a gain.
I know Shackel] well: he was a Reader in a Printing Office wbere Mr. Sherwin's Register was printed at its commencement, and consequently the Reader and Correcter of the Register. He was a man who made no profession whatever in politics, but just that sort of man that would do any thing for gain, and stick at nothing so as it counted money into his pocket. Having married the daughter of Griffiths, the Printing-Ink Manufacturer, he found means of going into business in Johnson's Court; and his first step was to go round to the customers of his former employer, and offer to do their work at more credit and a less price. I have heard those who knew him better than I had an opportunity of knowing him, describe him as any thing but an honest man in all the relations of life! Of Arrowsmith I know nothing ; neither did I ever know that Shackell had a real partner. Weaver is evidently a man of straw, or a mere intended scape-goat for the others; but the blockbeads have not managed their matters with any degree of cunning, for it is stupidity itself to have more than one ostensible proprietor, printer, and publisher to any paper or periodical publication, as under what is how called law in this country, it is impossible for the mosi scrupulous person to say what will and what will not come under the denomination of libel. Eager to grasp at the profits, it appears, Master Shackell has forgot to take care of his body, and has hired and had to pay a scape-goat, and to be sacrificed himself to the bargain. What inducements he met with to start such a paper must be best known to himself, but I have always entertained the idea that it was a mere money speculation, and that no principle or line of conduct was determined upon on the appearance of the first number. However it bas done one good thing: in the support it has received from the Priests, the Judges, the Aristocracy, the Ministers, and the King; it has evinced, more than any thing else could have done, their corrupt natures and profligate dispositions. In this respect the John Bull newspaper has been a beacon indeed to the people of Great Britain.
Whilst' on this subject, I will notice the cases of some women who are confined in this Gaol as convicted felons, which will display forcibly the difference of being subjected to the tempers of different Judges, under the vague nature of what is now called law. In the year 1819, Mr. Justice Best made his first Western Circuit, and in Dorchester he found two women to be tried, the one as a receiver, the other as having stolen some trifling articles from the house of her master. Elizabeth Steel, a young woman, lived a servant with a widow-man a considerable time, during which he resolved to marry again, and brought home a wife accordingly. Preparations, of course, were made to make some improvements in the house for the new wife, and some new articles of furniture were provided. This Elizabeth Steel, the servant, was ordered to prepare some new articles, such as window-curtains, a bed-side carpet, and other articles, and take away the old ones. The wife was brought home, and I understand the servant continued to