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wretches to whom they belong, — when they are chased from the eye of day, and the society of civil life, into night-cellars and caves and woods. But when these men themselves are the magistrates, - when all the consequence, weight, and authority of a great nation adopt them, — when we see them conjoined with victory, glory, power, and dominion, and homage paid to them by every government, - it is not possible that the downhill should not be slid into, recommended by everything which has opposed it. Let it be remembered that no young man can go to any part of Europe without taking this place of pestilential contagion in his way; and whilst the less active part of the community will be debauched by this travel, whilst children are poisoned at these schools, our trade will put the finishing hand to our ruin. No factory will be settled in France, that will not become a club of complete French Jacobins. The minds of young men of that description will receive a taint in their religion, their morals, and their politics, which they will in a short time communicate to the whole kingdom.
Whilst everything prepares the body to debauch and the mind to crime, a regular church of avowed atheism, established by law, with a direct and sanguinary persecution of Christianity, is formed to prevent all amendment and remorse. Conscience is formally deposed from its dominion over the mind. What fills the measure of horror is, that schools of atheism are set up at the public charge in every part of the country. That some English parents will be wicked enough to send their children to such schools there is no doubt. Better this island should be sunk to the bottom of the sea than that (so far as human infirmity admits) it should not be a country of relig. ion and morals!
With all these causes of corruption, we may well judge what the general fashion of mind will be through both sexes and all conditions. Such spectacles and such examples will overbear all the laws that ever blackened the cumbrous volumes of our statutes. When royalty shall have disavowed itself,
when it shall have relaxed all the principles of its own support, — when it has rendered the system of Regicide fashionable, and received it as triumphant, in the very persons who have consolidated that system by the perpetration of every crime, who have not only massacred the prince, but the very laws and magistrates which were the support of royalty, and slaughtered with an indiscriminate proscription, without regard to either sex or age, every person that was suspected of an inclination to king, law, or magistracy, -I say, will any one dare to be loyal ? Will any one presume, against both authority and opinion, to hold up this unfashionable, antiquated, exploded Constitution ?
The Jacobin faction in England must grow in strength and audacity; it will be supported by other intrigues and supplied by other resources than yet we have seen in action. Confounded at its growth, the government may fly to Parliament for its support. But who will answer for the temper of a House of Commons elected under these circumstar.ces ? Who will answer for the courage of a House of Commons to arm the crown with the extraordinary powers that it may demand? But the ministers will not venture to ask half of what they know they want. They will lose half of that half
in the contest; and when they have obtained their nothing, they will be driven by the cries of faction either to demolish the feeble works they have thrown up in a hurry, or, in effect, to abandon them. As to the House of Lords, it is not worth mentioning. The peers ought naturally to be the pillars of the crown; but when their titles are rendered contemptible, and their property invidious, and a part of their weak. ness, and not of their strength, they will be found so many degraded and trembling individuals, who will seek by evasion to put off the evil day of their ruin. Both Houses will be in perpetual oscillation between abortive attempts at energy and still more unsuccessful attempts at compromise. You will be impatient of your disease, and abhorrent of your remedy. A spirit of subterfuge and a tone of apology will enter into all your proceedings, whether of law or legislation. Your judges, who now sustain so masculine an authority, will appear more on their trial than the culprits they have before them. The awful frown of criminal justice will be smoothed into the silly smile of seduction. Judges will think to insinuate and soothe the accused into conviction and condemnation, and to wheedle to the gallows the most artful of all delinquents. But they will not be so wheedled. They will not submit even to the appearance of persons on their trial. Their claim to this exemption will be admitted. The place in which some of the greatest names which ever distinguished the history of this country have stood will appear beneath their dignity. The criminal will climb from the dock to the side-bar, and take his place and his tea with the counsel. From the bar of the counsel, by a natural progress, he will ascend to the bench, which long before had been virtually abandoned. They who escape from justice will not suffer a question upon reputation. They will take the crown of the causeway; they will be revered as martyrs; they will triumph as conquerors. Nobody will dare to censure that popular part of the tribunal whose only restraint on misjudgment is the censure of the public. They who find fault with the decision will be represented as enemies to the institution. Juries that convict for the crown will be loaded with obloquy. The juries who acquit will be held up as models of justice. If Parliament orders a prosecution, and fails, (as fail it will,) it will be treated to its face as guilty of a conspiracy maliciously to prosecute. Its care in discovering a conspiracy against the state will be treated as a forged plot to destroy the liberty of the subject: every such discovery, instead of strengthening government, will weaken its reputation.
In this state things will be suffered to proceed, lest measures of vigor should precipitate a crisis. The timid will act thus from character, the wise from necessity. Our laws had done all that the old condition of things dictated to render our judges erect and independent; but they will naturally fail on the side upon which they had taken no precautions. The judicial magistrates will find themselves safe as against the crown, whose will is not their tenure; the power of executing their office will be held at the pleasure of those who deal out fame or abuse as they think fit. They will begin rather to consult their own repose and their own popularity than the critical and perilous trust that is in their hands. They will speculate on consequences, when they see at court an ambassador whose robes are lined with a scarlet dyed in the blood of judges. It is no wonder, nor are they to blame, when they are to consider how they shall answer for their conduct to the criminal of to-day turned into the magistrate of to-morrow.
The press The army
When thus the helm of justice is abandoned, an universal abandonment of all other posts will succeed. Government will be for a while the sport of contending factions, who, whilst they fight with one another, will all strike at her. She will be buffeted and beat forward and backward by the conflict of those billows, until at length, tumbling from the Gallic coast, the victorious tenth wave shall ride, like the bore, over all the rest, and poop the shattered, weather-beaten, leaky, water-logged vessel, and sink her to the bottom of the abyss.
Among other miserable remedies that have been found in the materia medica of the old college, a change of ministry will be proposed, and probably will take place. They who go out can never long with zeal and good-will support government in the hands of those they hate. In a situation of fatal dependence on popularity, and without one aid from the little remaining power of the crown, it is not to be expected that they will take on them that odium which more or less attaches upon every exertion of strong power. The ministers of popularity will lose all their credit at a stroke, if they pursue any of those means necessary to give life, vigor, and consistence to gove ernment. They will be considered as venal wretches, apostates, recreant to all their own principles, acts, and declarations. They cannot preserve their credit,