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tion. They are bad in themselves : and afford too many opportunities for enormous abuses. They may be in conformity with the letter of the law; but they are utterly repugnant to the spirit of the Constitution. Associations in the country for the prosecution of felons are not a case in point. These latter associations can have no probable or conceivable objects, but mutual protection and the furtherance of justice. But the former can have many. They may become instruments of the grossest subserviency to the Ministers of the day: the tools and engines of a party; or the ladder and stepping-stone for personal ambition. Supported, besides, by common funds, they have the most unfair advantage over the individual, whom they prosecute. They may destroy his character and means of livelihood without proving his guilt; and drag him into law-expenses, which he is unable to bear. He may thus be punished without conviction, ruined before his trial, and imprisoned without having violated the laws. A truly English heart revolts at this petty but oppressive tyranny. It is now suspected, that the contributions of weak-minded alarmists, and thorough-going Tories, are beginning to fal. We feel no desire to precipitate in general the downfal of the sinking: but we shall not grieve at the dispersion and dissolution of the Constitutional Association.

Our own plan is widely different. The only real defence, we conceive, of societies like the one just mentioned, must be grounded on their necessity. It must first be proved that no other methods will avail; that the poison is too strong for common antidotes. It must be demonstrated that the love of error is natural to man; that reason and religion are not sufficient to support themselves. But such is not the case. In our eyes the very supposition is little less than blasphemy. We would rather fight the profane and seditious press with its own weapons. Argument-exhortation-satire-ridicule--contempt—these are the arms with which we would assault and repel. The friends of justice, order, and regular government, ranged against the abettors of turbulence, revolution, and impiety, if they have a fair field, and stout hearts, and are not attacked from vantage-ground, cannot but be successful in the

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struggle : the cause of truth, if properly maintained, must ultimately triumph. The old saying is still true: “ Magna est veritas et prevalebit.” The great mischief is in the supineness of the well-disposed. This it is, that gives confidence and courage to the brood of brawling orators, and incendiary writers. The body of the nation is sound. We will hear no libels against the people of Great Britain. They may be, as they have been, deluded and inflamed by the persevering and periodićal efforts of mischievous publications. But the press is the best engine for counteracting the influence of the press. All that is required is boldness, activity, and energy, in keeping watch over its conductors; and striking the blow, where it is most wanted, and will have most effect. This must be the business of the Council of Ten.

LETTER FROM THE SQUIRE.

We have already mentioned the departure of the Squire; but we forgot to state that a letter has been since received from him, and answered by the President, in the name and on behalf of the Council. We shall present both the letter and the answer to our readers ; for the former may be applicable to the state of more villages than the one described, and the latter may be of use to more country gentlemen than the one to whom it was addressed.

To the President of the Council of Ten. MY DEAR PRESIDENT,

I am once again on my own grounds, and surrounded by my tenants. It was most pleasing to me to observe that my arrival was greeted by them with unmixed and heartfelt satisfaction. I could not well be deceived in their honest looks and cordial expressions; and this is one of the circumstances, among many others, which must endear to every landholder his paternal acres, and the mansion of his ancestors.

Neither yourself nor the council would thank me for a detail of the petty politics of a country village. But alas ! my good friend, one melancholy reflection forces itself upon me. Human nature, I find, is the same here as in London. in the country, as in cities, the bad and angry passions of men and women are always making them miserable. How strange and lamentable it is, that the most retired hamlet in the kingdom, of which the very look might inspire tranquillity of mind, is filled with its own paltry broils, and intestine discords ! So at least it is in my domains. There has been sad work going on during my absence. I could give you a long history of domestic jars, where the husband has been beating the wife, or the wife scolding the husband from his home; of the father turning the son out of doors, or the son rising in rebellion against the father. Bitter complaints are brought before me by both parties ; and I hear daily of the increased jealousies between our little shopkeepers and their spouses about their retail custom, and dress, and visitings, and the Lord knows what besides; and then, with the catalogue of broken vows among betrothed lovers, and infidelities in married couples, these foolish villagers are following your damnable metropolitan fashions at least in their vices. Jilts, coquettes and rustic seducers are swarming about at this season like the butterflies. To crown the list of grievances, the wildest, idlest, most hair-brain'd and dissolute youth for miles round, has carried off the miller's daughter, who is the belle of the parish. Here is an account to send you ; and yet I have been away only a few months.

However, I could laugh at these things as matters of course; but, my dear President, you have not even now been informed of the whole of my misfortunes. With all their follies, the country people in these parts seldom troubled their heads with politics, except at an election, or when the accounts came of a victory over our foreign enemies. They were well contented, too, with the doctrines which they heard at church. But two pestilent fellows have lately introduced themselves among them, who threaten to agitate our little community with eternal factions and heart-burnings. They have already disturbed and bewildered the brains of but too many, and turned all their notions topsy-turvy. I wish to heaven that I could have them both fairly drummed and whipped out of the village.

I forget that I have not yet told you who they are. The first is a radical shoemaker, who thinks, I suppose, that he confers an obligation upon us by settling in the place. I shall soon undeceive him. We want no such inhabitants. You shall have the scoundrel's biography in three words. He has found it convenient to retire to a spot where he is unknown, because he failed twice in his business in London, and has lately taken the benefit of the insolvent act. No doubt there was some roguery in the transaction. It is, moreover, certain,-for you see I have been at some pains in collecting information,--that he only adopted his jacobinical principles at the time of his bankruptcy. He had always been before a staunch friend to the government. You will not be surprised that he has run away from his wife and children, and left them to starve ; for these abhorrers of despotism, these sticklers for the rights of man, and pretenders to universal benevolence, are always tyrants in their family, and deserters of the defenceless beings who depend upon them for support. For the next, he is as ill-looking a fellow as the generality of his tribe, with as impudent a face as ever grinned at a fair., Whenever I pass him, he makes it a point to assume peculiar airs of consequential impertinence, as if to shew me that all ranks are on a level of equality, and that I am no longer to consider myself as the greatest man in the neighbourhood. He detests me cordially as a proprietor of land, and a man who derives some influence from his property ; and my bile, perhaps, is as much moved by my aristocratic prejudices, as my hatred of villany and imposture. He is proud of thwarting and affronting me, and I am nettled at having to contend with such an antagonist. In short, we regard each other with mutual aversion and antipathy.

It is easy, you know, at all times to become the oracle of village-politicians, and to instil angry feelings into a mind irritated by present calamities, and the approach of want. Hence our radical manufacturer of boots and shoes has two powerful handles and auxiliaries for his rascally designs, in the ignorance of the peasantry, and the distressed state of agriculture at this moment. And he manages skilfully enough to take advantage of these circumstances. He has, I hear, quite a levee in the evening, either at his own shop, or the alehouse, which you may possibly remember by the magnificent figure of a red cow, which is painted as the sign. It is in this theatre that he declaims with the most vehement and licentious extravagance against all established institutions. I shall send you a short specimen of his harangues, which I heard from one of my tenants, who is at present uninfected with the general mania. You will easily perceive what is the staple of his argument; and observe, that when he mentions any person's name, he seldom condescends to prefix to it the terms of customary respect. Now you must imagine our jacobinical orator speaking in the following terms to a gaping country audience over his beer :

“ You complain of distress, my worthy friends, and, God knows, you have good reason ;-ay, and you may complain long enough, you may exert your lungs for nothing for a twelvemonth, unless you redress your own grievances, and take the matter into your own hands. Distressed indeed ! why, you are ground down to the earth by privations ; in another year you must emigrate to some place where you will be butchered by the Hottentots, or be starved. And what else could you expect ? I tell you again, that you must take up the cudgels for yourselves, and apply strong sturdy remedies, instead of groping about to find out the

Here is a pretty business-causes forsooth! as if there was not cause enough in rates, tithes, and taxes; as if there was not cause enough, when every shilling and every sixpence you scrape together by the sweat of your brows is seized by some scoundrel of a collector, and put into the clutches of our corrupt, greedy, rapacious, tyrannical rulers. My good fellows, just look how your hardearned money is snatched from you ; and where it goes, and what becomes of it: I am ready to swear that it is wasted, every farthing, in lavish, unnecessary, profligate expenditure-in sinecures and pensions and jobs and bribes, and foreign missions, where the ambassador himself hardly

causes.

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