« ZurückWeiter »
Of the many answers to Paine no one demands so much of our praise and our gratitude as Dr. WatSon's Apohgy for the Bible. From some weak attempts, by persons either unskilled on the subject or unaccustomed to wield the weapons of disputation, the deists began to triumph in the thought that the clumsy cavillings of their leader were unanswerable, when this most excellent work appeared, and left nothing unanswered or unrefuted *. It is as much impossible for me to do justice to the Apology, as to express my veneration for its author. Learning, genius, candour, modesty, and humility, all seem to have united heO, to do honour to the cause of Christianity, and cover its enemies with shame and confusion. And, a circumstance that must be particularly mortifying to Paine,.and to all the enemies of order and religion, the man to whom the world is indebted for this production, is an aristocrat, and a Prelate of the Church of England, raised to his dignity by the choice of a King.
Let us now return to the hoary blasphemer at the bottom of his dungeon. There he lies! manacled, besmeared with filth, crawling with vermin, loaded with years and infamy. This, reader, whatever you may think of him, is the author of the Rights of
* The Rights of Man also has, in this country, been pretty generally looked upon as unanswerable. This is not so much to be wondered at, when we consider the pains that have been taken to hide from the people every thing that might tend to wean ihem from their partiality to the new-fangled doctrine of liberty and equality. The Rights of Man has, however, been answered, and that in a most complete and masterly manner. This answer is now in my possession, and I promise myself the honour of communicating ii to the public in a few days. This work ought to accompany Dr. Watson's Apology; the two together will be an effective antidote tor all Tom's theological and political poison.
Man. Man, the eulogist of French liberty. The very same man who a few months back boasted of being "the representative of twenty jive millions of free "men" Look at him. Do you think now, in your conscience, that he has the appearance of a legislator, a civilian, a constitution maker? It is no tyrannical king, I'll assure you, who has tethered him thus. He was condemned by his colleagues, and his fetters were rivetted by his own dear constituents. Here he is, fairly caught in his own trap, a striking example for the disturbers of mankind.
After Thomas got out of his cachot (a word that, I dare say, he understands better than any other in the French language), it was reported that he was dead, which occasioned the epitaph on him, to be seen in the Censor for May; but, it has appeared since, that the report of his death was owing to a mode of expression which the French have, whereby a person sunk into insignificance is said to be dead. He, or some one in his name, has lately written a work, entitled, the Decline and Fall of the British System of Finance, of which it is quite enough to say, that it is of equal merit with the rest of his writings. All his predictions have hitherto remained unfulfilled, and those contained in the last effort of his malice will share the same fate. It is extremely favourable for British bank-notes, that he who doubts of their solidity will not believe in the Bible.
How Tom gets a living now, or what brothel he inhabits, I know not, nor does it much signify to any body here or any where else. He has done all the mischief he can in the world, and whether his carcass is at last to be suffered to rot on the earth, or to be dried in the air, is of very little consequence. Whenever, or wherever he breathes his
last, last, he will excite neither sorrow nor compassion; no friendly hand will close his eyes, not a groan will be uttered, not a tear will be shed. Like Judas he will be remembered by posterity; men will learn to express all that is base, malignant, treacherous, unnatural and blasphemous, by the single monosyllable, Paine.
ON THE PAMPHLETS LATELY PUBLISHED AGAINST
DEAR FATHER, when you used to set me "off to work in the morning, dressed in my blue "smock-frock and woollen spatterdashes, with my •' bag of bread and cheese and bottle of small beer "swung over my shoulder on the little crook that "my old god-father Boxall gave me, little did you "imagine that I should one day become so great a "man as to have my picture stuck in the winr "dows, and have four whole books published
"about me in the course of one week." Thus
begins a letter which I wrote to my father yesterday morning, and which, if it reaches him, will make the old man drink an extraordinary pot of ale to my health. Heaven bless him! I think I see him now, by his old-fashioned fire-side, reading the letter to his neighbours. "Ay, ay," says he, "fVill wjll stand his ground wherever he goes." i——And so I will, father, in spite of all the hell of democracy.
When I had the honour to serve King George, I was elated enough at the putting on of my worsted shoulder-knot, and, afterwards, my silver-laced coat; what must my feelings be then, upon seeing half a dozen authors, all Doflsrs or the devil knows what, writing about me at one time, and ten times that
number number of printers, bookbinders, and booksellers, bustling, running and flying about in all directions, to announce my fame to the impatient public? What must I feel upon seeing the newspapers filled from top to bottom, and the windows and corners of the houses placarded, with, a Blue Shop for Peter Porcupine, a Pill for Peter Porcupine, Peter Pocupine detecled, a Roaster for Peter Porcupine, a History of Peter Porcupine, a Piclure of Peter Porcupine? The public will certainly excuse me, if after all this, I should begin to think myself a person of some importance.
It is true, my heroic adversaries do all set out with telling their readers, that I am a contemptible wretch not worth notice. They should have said, not worth the notice of any honest man, and, as they would all naturally have excluded themselves by such an addition, they would have preserved consistency at least: but, to sit down hammering their brains for a fortnight or three weeks, and at last publish each of them a pamphlet about me and my performances, and then tell the public that I am not worth notice, is such a gross insult to common sense that nothing but democratic stupidity can be a sufficient excuse for.
At the very moment that I am writing, these sorry fellows are hugging themselves in the thought that they have silenced me, cut vie uj>, as they call it. They think they see me prostrate, and they are swaggering pver me, like a popish priest over a dead corpse. It would require other pens than theirs to silence me. I shall keep plodding on in my old way, as I used to do at plough; and I think it will not be looked upon as any very extraordinary trait of vanity to say, that the Political Censor will be read, when the very names of their bungling pamphlets will be forgotten.
1-2 I must