Imágenes de páginas

with this tale of my madness, and all the particulars, how the ropes were placed to fasten me down! lo getting to London, he was lodged in the Giltspur Street Compter, where I had then three or two, shopmen; for Humphrey Boyle had left, or was about leaving; and this tale was communicated to them immediately on the arrival of the smuggler. They, of course, made the quickest possible communication to Mrs. Carlile: and thus, in about twenty-four' hours after the hand-cuffing, the report of my madness was current throngbout London! I anticipated this rumour about iusanity, by a sort of instinct, before I could hear from London, and the next morning, at nine o'clock, I walked down round the Gaol Yards, to shew myself to the prisoners, not having been out of my room before for nine months. I have not a doubt now, after thirteen months consideration of the matter, that if I had made the least resistance to the handcuffing, which was as cold-blooded a stratagem as erer tyrant or villain practised upon a man in a prison, that Sturt, or the Gaoler, or both, were prepared to shoot me, under the plea of outrageous madness, or violence on my part. However, instead of being mad, I was so cool, and collected, and dignified, that you could see both Sturt and the Gaolor gnash their teeth with malicious vexation: apd the Gaoler is a very picture of wbat the New Testament says about Devils and sinuers gnashing their teeib. We read in the Bible about flames of fire, or gass, in a state of combustion, issuing forth sportingly from the nostrils of Jehovah! and I swear, that the hydrogen which issued forth speezingly, or snortingly, from the nostrils of niy Gaoler, was all but in a state of combustion, on his first visit to me, after my publishing of that little interesting phrenological account of him and his brother saints in No. 7, Vol. X. of this work, or the first letter to Henry Charles Sturt, as his mother called him.

However, to come back to Mr. Gourlay's case, I heartily commend him, for what he is doing, as to the refusal to give bail, and think, that, be merits the country's gratitude, for such firmness, in such a peculiar and interesting situation. Our Parliament, such as it is, must meet bis case in its next session. And, if Mr. Brougham has a sense of duty in the matter; he is the person most juterested in moving it. It is far from me to approve the assault, or interruption, or whatever it was; I think the step was little on the part of Mr. Gourlay--a playing of the fine gentleman, who has no courage but what the ridiculous law of honour imposes apon him;

and who, if he can but fire without bullets, feels, that his courage has saved his honour! If Mr. Brougham bad neglected or insulted Mr. Gourlay, the latter should have thrashed him manfully with the goose quill; at all times, the best sort of fighting: and the best test of honour, honesty, and courage.

As Mr. Gourlay's case is wholly a question as to state of miud, I have to apologize to the readers of the Republican, in saying, that nothing but bis peculiar situation could have induced me to consent to print, in this publication, such an uninstructive and uninteresting series of letters as are about to follow this heading. But I feel it to be a duty, in every man in the country, who has a press in his power, to do something towards the exposure of the villainy of charging insanity upon a man, so peculiarly methodical and cool as is Mr. Gourlay. And knowing, that Mr. G. is an industrious man, and a voluminous writer, I have to caution him, that no such another batch of letters will be admissible to the pages of this work. The greatest bore to an editor, and to his readers, is a voluminous correspondent, who writes about nothing and is still jocessantly writing. I have had a few of this kind; but have resolved to exclude them, and all of the sort, for the future. Mr. Gourlay must make a smart advance in his political and theological knowledge, before I shall deem him sane enough to be my regular correspondent. I see, that he is just but in his infancy, as to the question, which I, so much younger in years, am discussing. He has been wading through, or sticking fast in quagmires, whilst I have either jumped over or walked round them, evading a mass of filth, of which, wben gathered, it is difficult to clean oneself. He talks about the coarseness, and abuse, and vulgarity, and dirt of my writing; but there is no such objectionable matter about me; the fact is, that bis vision is foul and polluted, he has not yet cleaned himself of the dirt which he gathered in the slough of superstition.

I was very angry with Mr. Hume, and think, that I should · have been a fine gentleman, with honour enough to challenge

or cane bim, if I had been at large, for bis yielding so much to the saints, in and out of the House of Commons, as to say, that the Republican was partly filled with “ ribaldry." I deny the existence of either ribaldry, coarseness, abuse, vulgarity, or dirt, in the Republican; and I appeal from the polluted vision of the present day to the more clear and clean of the future, when men shall be able to judge without the aid of the foul eyes of Christianity. The only free course

that will suit your Gospel, Mr. Gourlay, is the course, that Mr. Cobbett is advocating, the Roman Catholic course, that allows no readers, but has all preachers and bearers: the preachers being those who feed on Gospel-crumbs, and of course, expound with plaudits, the Gospel, that returns them an easily-earned thousand a year.

As to bis descending from Gods to pigs, and putting the question of the existence of a God upon the existence of two kinds of pigs, one with, one without, a tail, I have to observe, that, I do not cousider it a descent, but an ascent, when we leave Gods, which are phantoms, to talk about pigs which are substances, material. Mr. Gourlay may startle, and so did I, when I heard Thomas Paide first called a very superstitious man, and when, I first read John Stewart's book, which speaks with equal contempt of deism and dogism. I have to inform Mr. G., that I know nothing more about God now, than I did, when I was a year old; if I except my knowledge of the folly, the insanity of mankind, about this shadowless personification. And I would ask him, after all his deep reflections about one pig with, and another pig without, a tail, what he is the nearer knowing any thing about a God? Can he find a God with or without a tail? For though Moses tells us, that he saw the breech, he made no observation, as to whether Jehovah had or had not a tail ! If he knows nothing about a God, he must know, that religion to him is false, and without good foundation, and that it is, consequently, an injurious vice.

But this pig-tail story, wbich, in the way of imitation, will be but short, reader, calls for a few more words. When Mr. Gourlay reflected upon God making one pig without, and another pig with, a tail, did he not ask himself, why bis God did not, or could not, make all bis pigs alike? why he made one pig to live by eating another pig? And after all, whether his God keeps a piggery where he lives, and where? Does Mr. Gourlay know, that there bave been men and even Christians with tails? Does he know, that Lord Monboddo, thougb I do not concur with him, supposed all mankind to have originally bad tails? Does he know the story about the Kentish people and their tails, and how it is said, that they grew out as a punishment, because some of them would not become Christians, or did not receive well, the first Christian Monks that disgraced this country ? Gad, he does not seem to know any thing about the theology of tails and the tailless theology! I would have the Christian wo. meu-to beware that they do not marry Christian husbands

with tails. They had better see or feel before they tie the final knot. It was but lately, that I read a very pretty story. in Telliamed, about a Christian man with a tail.

Mr. Gourlay may possibly learn, if he be kept quiet another year, that all the processes of animal and vegetable growth, that all the barks, and branches, and leaves, and fruit, and tails, and bair, and wool, and feathers, is a species of fibrous or nervous growth, that needs not the aid of a God to regulate it. Aud when he bas dived into this matter, he, too, will become a Materialist; he, too, will see, that there is not such a God in existence as any mau has preached; be, too, will see, that all religion is vice: and when he sees tbis, we shall have a greater degree of proof of his sanity than we now have; though now he is tolerable.

I have heard, that this Chaplain of the Cold Bath Fields Prison is a great bypocrite: and Mr. Gourlay's letters to bin will convince any one who reads them of the truth of what I have heard. He had the impudence to come to my shop in, Fleet Street the other day, and to boast tbat he had made a convert of William Tunbridge. I never knew Tunbridge to make an avowal of Materialism : he never wished for prosecution in its defecce. The way he became connected with me was, by his good natured and great attention to the men in Newgate, and the Compter, who were arrested from the shop at the close of 1821 ; and when he was engaged as an assistant at Water Lane, it was on the coudition, that he was not to be exposed to prosecution. Throughout his imprisonment, he has made a distinction between himself and the other prisoners, on the ground, that be was not a volunteer; and I have been as anxious not to make a distinction between them ; but I found hiin so very irritable, and difficult to piease, that I was soon compelled to drop all correspondence with him after bis residence in Cold Bath Fields Prison. I am still sensible, that he has some good qualities, and I shall be ever ready to do him a service, if the opportuoity offers, were it but for his kinduess to those who were imprisoned before him. At present, he bas renounced all connection with us, of which the Christians have made a handle as will be seen by the following extract from a religious Magazine. “ ADVERTISEMENT EXTRAORDINARY FROM THE

"TIMES' OF THE 16TH ULT. • William TUNBRIDGE requests the Deists, Atheists, and Materialists, as they style themselves, not to transmit to him any

further subscriptions, as from this period he declines all further connection with them. “ House of Correction, Cold Bath Fields,

“ October 13, 1824.

“This person is one of the young men who were employed at the shop of Mr. R. Carlile, to vend his blasphemous publications; and who, on his trial, manifested the most insolent and hardened spirit. May we not hope that “God has given him repentance to the acknowledgment of the truth,' and that he has recovered himself out of the snare of the devil.””


It can scarcely be misunderstood, that Tunbridge seeks to ay his Christian Fine of £100., by the aid of the hypocrite of a Chaplain.



House of Correction, Cold Bath Fields, SIR,

December 13, 1824. TILL lodged in this house, I had perused only a single number of your Republican, and from that, together with exhibitions in your shop window, which outraged religious feeling, my opinion was against you ; here, I found all the volumes of your periodical work, and sat down to review them; I had read the greater part of the first volume, when an unfortunate affray, between the Chaplain, and the owner of the book, deprived me of it. You are, I understand, a materialist, deny the existence of God, and say that all religion is vice. This is going great lengths; but, will you allow me to descend from Gods to pigs, and come home to your own door with a question ? On the 17th of January, 1823, travelling towards Dorchester, and within two miles of it, my

No. 25, Vol. X.

« AnteriorContinuar »