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ductory; and that, though it stated transactions of a date long antecedent to the period in which the acts of the societies implicated had assumed the serious aspect of practical treason, and though they were of notorious publicity, it was nevertheless necessary to bring them forward again to observation, to give a clue to unravel the complicated circumstances of the plan, and, by comparison and combination of them with the subsequent proceedings of the individuals concerned, to shew, that from the beginning their views were the same, and that the pretext of reform, under which they masked their purpose, was far from being the true object of their intentions. The House would also carry along with them, that the committee, having been stinted in point of time, had not been able to digest methodically, or point out distinctly, the various minute parts that formed the great and momentous business before them. In order to give the House, however, as soon as possible, possession of so much of it as might serve to point out the daily and increasing approximation of danger, the committee, in examining and making up the report, had kept in view the great object, the leading design of the plan : for it was not to be imagined, that the distance of the transactions in point of time, and the fact of their being previously known, made them the less material as comments on those parts of their conduct which were discovered in their full maturity.

It would be seen by the report, that the papers found, as far as related to that part of the conspiracy which immediately implicated the Corresponding Society, and that for constitutional information, contained two years' correspondence with various other societies in this and a neighbouring country; and from these, coupled with their subsequent and more recent proceed. ings, it was evident that those societies, which would be found to be now setting on foot a convention, had had such a measure in contemplation from the very outset ; that it was conceived so long ago as two years back; was openly avowed in their correspondence, but kept in reserve to be reduced to practice as soon as a seasonable occasion should offer. This whole system of insurrection would appear, from the papers found with them, to be laid in the modern doctrine of the rights of man; — that monstrous doctrine, under which the weak and ignorant, who are most susceptible of impression from such barren abstract positions, were attempted to'be seduced to overturn government, law, property, security, religion, order, and every thing valuable in this country, as men acting upon the same ideas had already overturned and destroyed every thing in France, and disturbed the peace and endangered the safety, if not the existence, of every nation in Europe. However gentlemen might ground arguments against the cautionary measures taken to prevent the evil effects of that pernicious doctrine, on the contemptible situation of the authors, and the absurdity of the principles of those books in which it was inculcated, yet allowing the one to be in the extreme as contemptible as the others were absurd, it was no light or trivial circumstance, when, deduced from it, alarming principles were promulgated and eagerly adopted by large bodies; and when the proceedings of all those jacobin societies would appear (as the papers before the House fully demonstrated) to be only comments on that text; - a text for the inculcation of which those societies were the disciples here, as their corresponding French brethren were the instruments for disseminating it in France, and extending it by carnage and slaughter to all other parts of Europe.

It would appear, that, prior to the enormities committed in France, a correspondence had been carried on between those societies and the jacobin club in Paris, and that delegates were sent from them to the national convention, and received formally by that assembly; and that, at the very moment when the jacobin faction which usurped the government of that country had commenced hostilities against Great Britain, those societies still, as far as they could, had pursued the same conduct, expressed the same attachinent to their cause, adopted their appellations, forms of proceeding and language, and, in short, bad formed a settled design to disseminate the saune principles, and sow the same sceds of ruin, in their own country. It would be

found, not only that the most effectual plans which cunning could devise, had been laid to carry this design into practice, but in the report would be seen a statement of the catalogue of manufacturing towns marked out, as the most likely (from the vast concourse of ignorant and profligate men who necessarily collect in such places) to adopt their plans, and corresponding societies established there, to keep up the chain of seditious intercourse, and promulgate and give it universal circulation. Gentlemen would find in that catalogue a well-chosen selection of the places where those people dwell, who must be naturally supposed most ready to rise at the call of insurrection; who were most likely to be blinded by their artifices, and prejudiced by professions; whose understandings were most subject to be misled by their doctrines, and rendered subservient to their views, and whom fraudful persuasion, proneness to discontent, and the visionary and fallacious hope of mending their condition by any alteration of it whatever, would be most likely to congregate into an enormous torrent of insurrection, which would sweep away all the barriers of government, law, and religion, and leave our country a naked waste for usurped authority to range in, uncontrolled and unresisted.

In considering this subject, the House could not but remark the extraordinary manner in which those societies had varied their plans of operation ; sometimes acting in undisguised audacious hostility, sometimes putting on the mask of attachment to the state and country; one day openly avowing their intentions, as if purposely to provoke the hand of justice; the next, putting · on the mask of reform, and affecting the utmost zeal for the preservation of the constitution. In their letter to the society at Nerwich, would be seen a plain avowal of their object, an apology for deigning to apply to parliament; and a candid, sincere confession, that, not to the parliament, not to the executive power were they to look for redress, but to the convention which they proposed to erect, and to themselves : afterwards they recommended persevering in petitioning for reforın to be used as a mask to their designs, which they were to throw off when time

served, and a period propitious to their views should arrive. Happily for this country, and for the whole world, they had prematurely thought that period at hand, and thrown off the mask just when the bulk of the nation unanimously were uniting with government in vigilance and care for its protection, and in the resolution to oppose their efforts.

By a due attention to the correspondence of that society, the House would find, in their communication with the British convention at Edinburgh, which still retained some flimsy remnant of that disguise, some remair.s of that hypocrisy assumed to hide those designs which, though not publicly declared, too obviously appeared, that they styled this convention the representatives of the people, clothed in all the right to reform, and send delegates to it; and, when some of the most mischievous and active of its members fell under sentence of the law, that they boldly asserted their innocence, nay their merits directly in the teeth of that law, paid every tribute of enthusiastic applause to the persons convicted by the verdict of juries legally constituted, and of respect to the convention, pronouncing them objects of panegyric and envy. In conformity to their prior declarations, and to the plans of insurrection laid by them, they made the legal condemnation of those guilty persons the signal, as they styled it, of coming to issue on the point, “Whether the law should frighten them into compliance, or they oppose it with its own weapons, to wit, force and power !" that is to say distinctly, Whether they should yield obedience to the laws of their country, or oppose them by insurrection ? That was avowed in as plain and marked language as man could possibly conceive. He thought that that case, so circumstanced, and supported by such a variety of coincident matter, was as strong a case as the mind of man could well imagine; yet, singular though it might appear, all this was but introductory to facts of a still stronger nature which were to follow. He should call the attention of the House to the history of a society which, despicable and contemptible though the persons who composed it were, as to talents, education, and influence, yet when looked at with cautious attention, and compared with the objects they had in view, and the motives on which they acted, namely, that great moving principle of all jacobinism, the love of plunder, devastation, and robbery, which now bore the usurped name of liberty, and that system of butchery and carnage which had been made the instrument of entorcing those principles, would appear to be formidable in exact proportion to the meanness and contemptibility of their characters. Of that society the characteristic was, that, being composed of the lower orders of people, it had within it the means of unbounded extension, and concealed in itself the seeds of rapid increase. It had risen already to no less than thirty divisions in London, some of those containing as many as six hundred persons, and was connected by a systematical chain of correspondence with other societies scattered through all the manufacturing towns where the seeds of those principles were laid, which artful and dangerous people might best convert to their own purposes. It would appear in proof, that that society had risen to an enormous height of boldness, and erected in itself, in express terms, a power to watch over the progress of parliament, to scan its proceedings, and prescribe limits for its actions; beyond which if it presumed to advance, that august society was to issue its mandate, not only to controvert that act, but to put an end to the existence of parliament itself: so that, if the parliament should think it necessary to opposc, by any act of penal coercion, the ruin of the constitution, that would be the war-whoop for insurrection ; the means of our defence would become the signal for attack, and the parliament be made the instrument of its own annihilation. Such language as this, coming from people apparently so contemptible in talents, so mean in their description, and so circumscribed in their power, would, abstractedly considered, be supposed to deserve compassion, as the wildest workings of insanity; but the researches of the committee would tend to prove, that it had been the result of deep design, matured, moulded into shape, and fit for mischievous effect when opportunity should offer.

About six weeks since, there had arisen a new era in this his

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