Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

456

Letters of Mr. W. Smith and Lord Stan hope. of private judgment in matters of is my duty towards those millions conscione, would have placed re. of clients, whose just and sacred ligious liberty on its only true and cause I have voluntarily espoused, legiumate basis.

to expose to their particular no. VASSAL HOLLAND. tiee every attempt, either to main. STANI!OPE.

tain the foul and execrable cause NORFOLK.

of intolerance, or to support the LANSDOWNE. no less despicable system of mere

toleration.' Liberty, duly recog. Letters of Mr. W. Smith and nized, in matters of religion, Lord Stonhope.

breaks the people's chains; but, To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle. toleration (which always necessa. Sir,

rily implies a right to be intoleIn the account of Lord Stan- rant) tends to rivet them. hope's speech, given in your pa.

I have now to ask this Mr. por of this morning, 1 observe so William Smith a few plain and very extraordinary an attack made honest questions; and to which on me, in so very extraordinary questions the public will expect a manner too, by name, in a place clear and distinct answers, where I could neither reply, nor Firsi, let me a-k him, What even clewhere regularly notice the future system of luns would what was there said, that I can- have been, supposing that his innot but hope that your reporter tended bill had actually passed ? has been incorrect; as otherwise I mean by the question, What I am unavoidably reduced to the would have been ihose laws, if necessity of doubting the decorum, carried into execution, which his the accuracy, and the candour project would have left unrepeal. of the noble Lord. I am, Sir, ed ? Your obedient humble servant, Secondly; to come with him

W. SMITH. to cioser quarters still, I will ask Park Street, Westminster,

him, Whether any Methodists, or July 4, 1812.

Protestant Dissenters, any To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle. Nonconformists, either men or SIR,

women, could, notwithstanding In consequence of a strange let. the passing of his Bill, go to any ter, signed “ W. Smith, and meeting-house legally, and with dated Park Street, Westminster, out fear of punishment, till after July 4th, 1812,” which has ap. such men or such women respecpeared in the Morning Chronicle tively, shall have travelled to the of the 6th instant, I decin it quite General Sessions of the Peace, in necessary to interrogate a little order, in open court, to qualify that gentleman before the public. themselves, even to hear at a Mr. William Smith, so interro. meeting-house a discorrse about gated, shall no longer have to say, religion, or to say their prayers (as he has stated in his printed there publicly, supposing them to letter) that he can " neither re. be so inclined ? ply," nor regularly notice" my Thirdly, The expence attendpropositions.

ing the carrying the Yorkshire As a warm, zealous, and sin- freeholders only to the place of eere friend of religious liberty, it poll, at the last general election,

or

bring estimated at one hundred swers themselves. But if Mr. thousand pounds, I will ask Mr. Smith shall insist that his projíct William Smith, Whether the tra. is a wise one, this grand question velling expences of the whole body between him and me may be of the male and female noncone submited to the decision, either formists of the county of York of the liberal and enlightened pube alone, which would be incurred lic at large, or to that of the wore for the purpose of obeying the thy citizens of Norwich in partilaw, would not amount to two cular. millions of money, or 10 some

STANHOPE. other enormous sum, independent. Berners-street, July stb, 1812. ly of the loss of their valuable time? ---And let him recollect, that time is the poor man's pro.

Afr. W. Smith's Reply to Lord

Stanhope. perty; and that depriving him of it wantonly is in fact, robbing him To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle. of his estate.

SIR, Fourthly, Does Mr. William Some of my friends have ex. Smith, who affects in his letter pressed their surprise, that I should such mighty respect for deco. bave taken any public notice of rum,” deem it either decent or the attack which Lord Stanhope decorous, that the female part of made on me in the House of Lords, the community, of all ages, should and in deference to their opinion be stuck up in open court, in pre. I will conless, that, had the knowsence of a grave bench of laical ledge of what his lordship then and clerical justices, and a gazing said been confined 10 the walls public, to take oaths, and to of Parliament, I should have make declarations, before those thought any defence of myselí una females are to be by law permitted necessary : but I think these gine to attend a place of worship, and tlemen under-rate bis lordsh:p's to offer up to the Deity either their power, on his 'vantage ground, thanksgivings or their prayers ? The introducer of a liberal propo.

Fifihly, I will now ask him, sition naturally and justly meets Whether any man (and what man with a favourable reception from by name) except himself, has the public : nor is a peer of the since the commencement of this realm supposed to prefer grave nineteenth century, ventured to charges on insulhcient foundations. propose to the ministers of the — Thus ( reasoned last Saturday; crown, either the revival or the and the same reasons induce me continuance of laws of such un. again to trespass on you, and to bounded absurdity, so contempti- request the public attention to this ble in principle, s repugnani to answer to his lordship's better and every sound notion of religious lic questions of Thursday last. - My berty, and in practice so infinite. note his lordship calls “ strange." ly oppressive?

Why? That I should not be dis. Ti Mr. Smith shall not chuse to posed to pass wholly unnoticed, answer these pointed questions, so direct and herce an attack, and the nonconformists of all denomia from such a quarter, he himself, nations will supply the proper an. at least, ought not to think suranges VOL. VII.

3x

as

458

Mr. William Smith's Reply to Lord Stanhope. Was it then “the manner,” or “ This Mr. W. S. proposed by his " the substance" of my letter Bill a completely new system, by which excited his lordship's asto. which no man was to preach, no nishinent? By not taking for old womau to say her prayers in granted the accuracy of the re- a dissenting place of worship, porter, I afforded the speaker an without a licence, and from him!" opportunity of correcting, or dis. But for the kind information of the avowing any error or misstatement, noble lord bimself, I should have Did this forbearance create , sur- been as much at a loss as any prise? Or, did it seem strange to other human being to have form. him that this charge, so unusually ed the slightest conjecture as to made, should strike me as indeco. the meaning of this. Let the pubrous, when I do not find that even lic learn the fact and admire. his own ingenuity can suggest any After several communications other defence of it than the gratu. with Mr. Perceval in the course of itous imagination of my being the the last spring, on some inconveni. advocate for "sticking up” females ences and hardships to which the of all ages in open court to “take Dissenters were subjected, the oaths before they say their pray- main object of which was to obers?" If this, Sir, were as true tain the repeal of the primary of me as it is otherwise, even then, evil, the Conventicle Act; Mr.

an argument, how relevant P: said, he was ready to accede would it be, and how conclusive ! to our wishes, so far as “ to place But I am also reduced to doubt the Toleration Act, unquestions the noble lord's accuracy and can, ably, in law, on the footing of the dour ;-whether in this I shall be generally accustomed practice; entirely singular, let those who with one or two other minor conmay have the fortitude to read cessions; and, desired that we this letter through, determine. His would state the manner in wbich lordship in his speech asserted, we should think “ these objects that one Mr. W. Smith,”(whom might best be accomplished, laying he knew, pretty intimately, full aside for the present all matters on five-and-twenty years ago)," had which we might differ, and going on lately been dabbling in the matter together till we should be obliged on which he was speaking, but to separate.” To this proposal, (sarcastically) not with much suc. protesting against it as incomplete,

How fortunate, and how we agreed, and heads for a Bill disinterested is Lord Stanhope in were accordingly sketched out by his selection of the criterion of a professional man, on this prinmerit, for any proposed legislative ciple-avowedly short of our enactment: Success! In, the wishes and claims, but not creat. names, Siry of that crowd, of his ing any new system, only estaba own abortive offspring, (numbers lishing and confirming the most of which, in my opinion, deserved liberal construction of ibe old one; a better fate) I protest against it. not requiring any licence, but for Could they but rise and speak, the express purpose of preventing how would they deprecate the magistrates from changing, qualis standard to which he so mercilessly fications into licences, (terms, of subjects themk. To proceed; which the noble lord must know

[ocr errors]

cess.”

[ocr errors]

the difference, however he has con. tion. I answer also, that my pro. founded them). This sketch, with ject was to leave as few as possible perhaps some few alterations, was of the obnoxious laws unrepealed. submitted to another body to be His second and third queries apcompared with one they had pre- ply to the first clause of the Tol.

pared, to decide which was prefer. eration Act, not to any system or 1 able, or whether they might be wish of mine ;-the obligation to

amalgamated with advantage; but take the oaths which it contains it was never entirely settled, was had better be repealed, and pronever shewn to the minister, (to bably might have been, if it had my knowledge at least) nor was not been long disregarded and al. ever determined on as a measure most forgotten. His lordship's to be brought forward. If the fourth interrogatory states a bare noble lord can impugn this state- possibility, and, practically, affects ment in any one point, material nobody. To the fifth, I shall to his argument, let him; if he only reply by asking, what must has any other ground for his be ihought of a dispuiant who im. charge against me, let him produce putes to his antagonist " a propoit; if neither, let the charge of sal for the continuance of un

proposing,” “ by a Bill," "a bounded absurdities, contempti. new system,” “ of establishing a ble principles, and infinite oppres. new universal necessity for licen. sions,” because he endeavours, ces,” (I omit the “ from him," as in the way which approves itself a figure of speech, though it was to his judgment as most effectual, not inserted for nothing) let this, to destroy and abolish as many of I say, be compared with “an un- those absurdities, follies and opfinished sketch," introducing no pressions, as his power and oppor. new system, but endeavouring to tunities enable him to cope with. correct the inconveniences of the The truth is, that Lord S. has been

" and particularly de- saying a great deal, and I have stroying as far as possible the been endeavouring to do as much very idea of a licence,” and, sure. as I could. I quarrel not with ly, he who runs may read.” I him for his saying ; on the conam ashamed, Mr. Editor, of hav. trary, I very generally agree with ing solong trespassed on your paper, the principles and proposed en. and the patience of your readers ; actments of his Bill; but I knew but I hope that this explanation, it could not pass, and said so to if tedious in itself, will enable many who were fascinated with me the sooner to dispatch the its theoretic beauty, which much noble lord's very pointed interro- enraged some of them, and may gations. His first question, as lu- possibly have caused the present cidly explained by himself, is, ebullition of the noble lord's spleen, " What would have been those which I can assign to no other laws, if carried into execution, immediate cause. I object to the which his, (i.c. my) project would word toleration, and the doctrine have left unrepealed." My answer implied in it, as much as he can is, those laws, if carried into ex. do, for the same reason too, and ecution, would have been the same have long since declared that laws as if not carried into execu: opinion in Parliament as expliv

old one,

460

Lord Stanhope's Second Letter. citly as himself; but I will not suffer, either in reality or imagirefuse to accept a real and attain. nation, from being “ stuck up” 10 able good, because there is some. take oaths: and if these more subthing yet better which I cannot stantial evils may be permitted to yet ubla'n: and for so acting, exist a little longer, unmolested by should it at this beated moment this sturdy and unyielding cham. appear criininal to bis lordship, I pion of principle, by what rule can quité authority to which he of candour, on what principle may perhaps defir, --his own. On of fairness, justice or common the 191h May, 1789, his lordship sense, am I to be held out as forfirst made that excellent speech feiting all the credit I may have which he repeated last week; and, acquired on this subject during a on the day when his motion was whole political life, as honest, as rejicied, wold the House, “that independent, as consistent and as if the bishops would not let him long 100 as his lordship’s, because, remove the rubbish by cart forsooib, I have yielded to a nea loads, he would do it by wheel. cessity of the same kind with that barrous; nay, even by spadefulls;" before which his inflexible nature -a most laudable determination; has been compelled to bow. I mi aning, of course, by this classic have now done. His lordship may and bi autiful metaphor, that he answer this or not, as he may would attempt to perform by de- please ; nothing will induce me to grees the lask which he could not prolong the warfare. I have no at once accomplish. And hat ambition for the last word in any else, or bat less, do I say? 1 sense but the epigrammatical one know but of one difference, in this addressed to Colley Cibber : poini, belucen us, that I begin at Your endless rejoinder's not always the the comparatively easy end, he strongest, prefers the impracticable one. For that's the last word, which will Only one word more.-If it be

lasi, Sir, the longest. necessary, for the sake of main.

I am, Sir, taining principles, to attempt all

Your obliged humble servant, at once; if nothing may he post.

WILLIAM SMITH. poned for expediency-how came Park Street, Westminster, his lordship in this, " his last best July 11, 1812. work," bis panacea for all reli. P.S. To his lordship's kind and gious ills, bis grand eradicator of friendly hint about Norwich, I all in Jerance ;-how came he, can only say, that if he will be I say, lo omit, (not to forget) to good enough to print bis own very repral the Test and Corporation pointed interrogatories, with this Acis? Are not these disabilities reply, adding any rejoinder he may on account of religion ? Are not think fit, I will not quarrel with they at war with some just and him for that neither, sound principles of his and mine? Do not Dissenters complain of, Lord Stanhope's Second Letter. and suffer more from them, than To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle, all the women young and old of Sir, the county of York, or the whole I rejoice that I have brought kingdom, ever did suffer or will before the public tbe consideration

« AnteriorContinua »