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to whom America is really indebted; but, on the contrary, I have ever regretted their fate, and expressed my detestation of the barbarians who have dipped their hands in their blood.
The next charge is, I have " the astonishing ef"fro)itery to expose for sale, certain prints, indi"cative of the prowess of the British, and the dis"grace of the French." Here the hang-in-chains writer alludes to a print, entitled, "Earl Howe'9 "Decisive Victory over the French Fleet, on the "first of June, 1794." This print has had avast concourse of admirers. I had but two of them, one was sold instantly, and I have had more than five hundred applications for the other. What is very singular, is, that one-third part of those who have wished to purchase this print were French Republicans. The print is not sold, nor shall it be. I will keep it in my window, as long as any violence is talked of, and when that ceases, I will have it put in a gilt frame, and hung up in a conspicuous part of my house.
This offensive print is no more than a true representation of the action of the famous first of June, and if it be " indicative of the disgrace of "our allies," it is no fault of mine. If defeat is disgrace, they were certainly most shockingly disgraced on that day. But, I thought it had been long ago agreed on, that, though the fleet got a
of the public, as nothing shall be wanting on their part to render the exhibition pledging and satisfactory to their patrons.
"Price 3s. Children half price.
"To be 6een from 9 o'clock in the morning, until Q at night."
This exhibition a&ually continued for several months, and yet no one ever threatened to murder the proprietor.
druhbing, drubbing, and a pretty decent one too, the victory was, in facl, on the side of the French. I am sure Barrere told the French people so; and I am sure most of our Newspapers told the people of America the same story. How many believed them, I will not pretend to say; but if it was a victory, in facl, I am treating people with a representation of it, that's all, and am by no means exposing what is "indicative of British prowess."
When William Penn was tracing out his beloved city of Philadelphia; if anyone had told him, that the time would come, when a man should be threatened with murder, for offering to sale, in one of the streets, a print "indicative of British prow"ess," I much question, if the good man, though a Quaker, would not have said that it was a d—ned lie. Poor old fellow! he little dreamed what was to happen at the close of the "enlightened eigh"teenth century."
I could turn back to American publications, in which the prowess of Britons is the pleasing theme; in which the French are called, what I never called them, "poor effeminate poltroons." I could bring my readers back to the time, when they set the savages on to scalp the people of these States, and when the people of these States solicited the King of Great Britain to march an army against them. Has the American Revolution entirely changed the dispositions, affections, and even nature of the two rival nations? Did Great Britain lose every spark of courage, generosity, and virtue, when she lost America? That event certainly could not metamorphose the then inhabitants of the Island, nor could it have any great effect on their children, or at least I presume so. The people of the United States have solemnly declared, in their declaration of Independence, that the British nation are by aature, just and magnanimous; and will they now
swallow swallow their words at the command of the hirelings of the devastators of France?
To return to the print " indicative of British "prowess;" have I not as good a right to exhibit proof of this prowess at my window, as the Democrats have to exhibit the proofs of theirs on the front of the church opposite it? The half-destroyed bust of George II. remains as a monument of their valour, and why should I not be permitted to expose a print to perpetuate the valour of Earl Howe and his gallant fleet? These two pieces are, besides, necessary to the explanation of each other; for when a stranger asks, why the bust of the old king was so unmercifully mangled, the person he" addresses himself to, shows him the naval vidrory of Lord Howe. "There, Sir," says he, "is the fatal "cause." If the impertinent querist goes on, and asks, how George the Second, who died upwards of thirty years ago (and whose bust remained untouched during the whole of the American war) could deserve this rough treatment on account of the drubbing given to the French fleet in 1 794, we cut him short at once, by telling him, that he is a rank aristocrat, and totally unfit to live in a land of freedom.
Mr. Oldden is told, that there is but one way left of saving his house, and that is, by obliging me to cease exposing my "courtly prints" at my window for sale. It would seem bv this, that the cutthroats look upon me as Oldden's vassal; I shall convince them that I am not. To oblige me to desist from any branch of my lawful occupation would prove the toughest job that ever my landlord undertook, should he be silly enough to attempt it. As to obliging me to quit his house, there are no hopes there neither; for I have a lease of it, and a lease that I will hold in spite of all the sans-culottes in America.
But what does the cut-throat mean by " courtly
prints?" I have Ankerstrom the regicide; that can be no courtly print at any rate. I have, indeed, the portraits of the late king and queen of France; but as they are dead, one would imagine that they could create no alarm. Poor Louis little thought when he sent hither those portraits of himself and his queen, which now hang up in the CongressHouse, that the day would come, when a bookseller would be threatened with murder for exhibiting his likeness, in the capital of the Union. Others have exhibited him at their windows, stretched on the scaffold; they had a right so to do; every man to
his taste, and I to mine. 'Tis true, I have the
portraits of Mr. Pitt and Lord Grenville, and several other noble personages; but then, I have Marat and Lepelletier, by way of rubbing off as I go. I have a Right Reverend Father in God in one corner of my window, and if I could procure the right irreverend Father in the Devil, Tom Paine, I would hoist him up in the other; for want of him I have Doctor Priestley, who, upon a shift, is very capable of supplying his place.
I have some groups, too, executed by order of the French Convention, which, I humbly presume, will not be called "courtly.n'. The taking the Bastile decorates one pane of my window, as it did the Birmingham club-room; the French people on their marrow-bones acknowledging the existence of a God, by order of Robespierre, decorates another; and a third is ornamented with a representation of the glorious "victory" obtained over the Swiss guards, on the 10th of August, 1792« I am promised a print of Poor Richard, in the arms of a brace of angels, who are carrying him oft', God knows whither.
I am sure, now, all these things are republican enough; and if my sovereign lords will but please
.to to take my whole collection into view, I cannot think that they will find me so criminal as I have been represented.
And then, there are my books and stationary, almost the whole of which is English. I have been looking round, and cannot for my life find any other American book than Adams's Defence of the American Constitutions, and Peter Porcupine's works. The latter of these my sovereigns have proscribed, and the former speaks about the wellborn: so that, unless my gracious lords will condescend to permit me to sell these offensive things, I must shut up shop. But, if I must, I hope all the rest of the trade will be compelled to do the same. There is Mr. Campbell has published Hume's History of England, a book as full as it can hold of king's and queen's pictures, and aristocracy of all sorts and sizes; and contains, besides, a great num. ber of instances of " British prowess," and of " the "disgrace of our allies." Mr. Dobson too, and Mr. Carey, have published books on Royal paper, and Mr. Brown has dared to publish his gazette even on Imperial. These are crimes that I have never either committed or attempted. Is not this anti-republicanism to the last degree, and a downright insult on the citizens of the United States ?—Again, there is Mr. Young, and several others that I could mention, who have the1 assurance to expose for sale, Walkden's Royal British ink-powder, stamped with the "tyrant George's" arms. Shall all this go unpunished, and shall poor I be eat alive merely for exposing a print or two? Forbid it justice! Democratic justice forbid it!
Nor, should a strict inquisition take place, will the great Mr. Franklin Bache himself come off blameless. He has informed the public, that he is in correspondence with Peter Pindar, and it is notorious that this Peter is not only an aristocrat, but