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the slavery, both of body and mind, into which the people are plunged, is likewise to be attributed. A condition which can only be ameliorated by a progressive improvement of their mental faculties.
Knowledge is power,” said a celebrated writer; but he would have been more correct, had he said “ Knowledge is happiness.” For knowledge alone can make a man virtuous for virtue's sake, and constitute his real felicity.
So extensively propagated is the system of imposture by the dishonest and ignorant few over the cheated many, that I fear it will require the lapse of centuries to eradicate it from the earth. Let a man commit a rape, a robbery, or even a murder, he has still a chance of escaping punishment. But let him publish any writing, tending in the least to open the eyes of his fellow creatures, and he is sure of being put upon, what is generally known by the appellation of, a “ Mock Trial;” where he is brought before twelve, either of the most stupid, or the most villainous of his species, selected by his very accusers, or by men interested in his ruin. A victim to such lawless power, he may make what defence he chooses, (but he must not offend the ear of the Lord Judge); his argument may be, what they generally are, as irresistible as an adamantine rock, or as clear as the meridian sun; but then, his Judge, his Jury, and accusers, are all on one side of the question. Guilty he must be found, and guilty he is found; and punished with more than inhuman severity. And what is all this for? The answer must be,“ to keep the people in the dark." For the moment they shall become enlightened, those very men, who now plunder them in the shape of taxes and imposts, and who can commit all sorts of crime with impunity, because they have usurped their high positions, would be quickly hurled down from their eminences, as powerless and as innoxious as lambs.
I have often amused myself, while contemplating the innumerable schemes for Parliamentary Reform, which have so frequently been presented to the public, by men of high literary attainments, some of whom have, from time to time, laid their several plans before either of the Honourable Houses, and the result has been, a conviction on the public mind, that a Reform of Parliament can only be effected from without. My opinion is, that it should be pulled down and re-erected upon an honest plan. But to effect this, superstition and idolatry must be rooted out of the majority of the people. They must learn, that so long as they foolishly relinquish every means of obtaining true happiness here, while they more foolishly fix their hopes in an imaginary hereafter, so long will they be the slaves and the victims of their more crafty brethren. For the truth of the foregoing observations, I need only refer you to what has passed and passes in Spain. You will see there, a fine people, inhabiting one of the finest portions of the globe, worse treated than their grazing cattle, crouching their carcases under the throne of despotism, and bending the
knee before the holy crew, with which their God-houses abound; knowing nothing, and obeying only the omnipotent will of a wretched monster in the shape of man. Under such systems, the people can only be rendered paupers snd miserable slaves.
To arrest the progress of similar evils arising from a similar system in this country, you, dear Sir, have most generously stepped forward, and sacrificing your home, your family, and your liberty, you have for nearly five years suffered, and continue to suffer, only to try whether your fellow-man be redeemable or not from the fangs of his merciless oppressors, or whether he will tear off the bandage of superstition from his eyes, or break asunder the chains of an unrighteous captivity. You have humanely undertaken to guide his faltering steps out of that frightful labarynth of cimmerian darkness, to which a criminal apathy had bound him fast for ages without number. You have already cleared away the weeds, which a blind superstition had so successfully reared in his way to happiness, and by exhorting your fellow mortals to shake off all supernatural chimeras, you have lastly placed him on the grand road to true honour, real glory, and solid felicity. LET HIM FOLLOW.
I remain, benevolent Sir,
Yours, in civic esteem,
J. E. ELLERKER.
J. E. Ellerker, Esq. Grea
A man who thinks for himself 1 tham 20 O Daniel Gibson
0 Democritus 5 0 Rebert Harrison
1 0 Susanna Wright, who is ho
1 0 noured by the name : 0 Edward Fawell
1 0 Man and wife 2 0 Edward Blakestone
1 0 Another man and wife
2 0 One who thinks, but says little 1 0 Thomas Weblear
0 A Friend to Free Discussion, Robert Spicer 1 0 by T. W.
06 A wise man 1 0 A Republican
0 A Methodist !!!
1 0 An Enemy to Priestcraft 0 6 Thomas Shepherd 0 George Rymer
6 John Turnbull
1 0 Thomas Paine, at whose A Craft
1 0 torch the greatest political Robert Garbutt
1 0 writer of the age first lightAn Old Sceptic 1 0 ed his flambeaux
Robert Armstrong, a Mate
The Ghost of “ Old Chop
06 O 6
TO MR. J. E. ELLERKER, GREATHAM,
NEAR STOCKTON UPON TEES.
Dorchester Gaol, Sept. 27, 1824. Excuse the Esquire. It is a ridiculous word which you and I above all men ought to be the first to drop. It always puts me io mind of Knight Errantry, and is, in reality, a relic of that nonsense. Let us leave it to Burke to lament, that the age of Chivalry bas passed, and let us above all things recollect, that the chivalrous knights and esquires of old were men grossly superstitious, purely Christian, few of which could write or read. The word Esquire is a badge of that aristocracy which delights to tyrannize over the multitude of their fellow men, and in writing to the man whoin I consider my friend, I will never hereafter use it. I get this foolish word sometimes put to the tail of my name; but I declare, that it is offensive; whilst, I know that it is equally offensive to others to have it omitted. They may enjoy the bauble, whilst you, and I, and others, go ou to scout it. It can be no mark of respect--and it is not now a criterion of the possession of a given amount of property; for, every Banker's Clerk, Merchant's Clerk, and Shop Boy, in London, makes free with the title. Originally, it meant servitude; for the Esquire was then to the Kight, what a Footman is now to the Esquire, Knight, or Lord-an attendant.
Between the words Sir and Citizen, I see but little difference, and nothing to cavil with. I use them indiscriminately, as I take them to be a mere substitute for the dame, or a part of the name, of the individual addressed. Custom has made it a necessary something, wberewith to begin a letter; but that custom is going on to corrupt it with the addition of idle pronouns, adverbs, and adjectives-in dear Sir, my dear Sir, my very dear Sir, &c. I take the better way
to express our feelings of the person whom we address, to be in the contents of the letter, and not in the appellatives. I am sure, that I could write the nost flattering letter without a single flattering appellative; and under the most flattering appellatives, I could cloak the most bitter sarcasms. So, I deem it to be the right course, in this and in every other matter, to avoid that wbich is fulsome.
With one friend with whom I correspond, we neither use heads nor tails to our letters; but write on, as if we were conversing : a knowledge of the hand writing being equivalent to personal knowledge. Another, adopts the old Roman stile: J. H. to R. C.-Health, &c. ending with a vale or farewell. This last stile, for manly simplicity, exceeds all the customs that have been in use : and that very simplicity, is dignity itself, in comparison with the modern titles of a Sicilian, or of any otber aristocracy.
The use of the Mr. seems to exist more as a distinction for age, tban for
and as it becomes a substitute for the Christian name, it can scarcely be said to be su. perfluous. Its original expression of MASTER seems to be lost in the common abbreviation and corrupted pronunciation as Mister. We now ridicule the Maister of the pea. sant, but forget, that bis pronunciation is much more correct than our Mister, and comes near to the Magister of the Ro. mans. Who will say, that the Romans did not commonly pronounce it Maister? The French retain nearly the same expression in Maitre, which is one proof. It often occurs to me, that wbat we now.consider the broad and coarse pronunciation of our peasantry, or widely scattered country people, was once the most polished language of our ancestors, and I venture to say, that the court dialect of Queen Elizabeth's reign was nothing superior to that which now of. fends the ear of a courtier, and still exists in the sequestered farm bouse and cottage: though the general establishment of schools is doing much to change and render uniform the language. The greater the intercourse of persons, the greater the change in language; but the jeered peasant may re. mind the scoffer at bis dialect, that such was the most polished dialect of his forefathers. You may yet find traces, in the dialects of different counties, of every serious invasiou that has taken place since the time of the Romans: the stronger impression being retained in the most remote districts. The word Esquire has drawo me into this digression ; but seeing that the subscription list began and ended with an Es. quire, a sort of novelty in my general lists of subscribers, I
thought it became me to say a word upon the subject; particularly, to a man of your mind, too strong and too sensible to be offended at it.
I begin the real subject of this letter, by congratulating you, a native of Cuba, that Monarchy is extinct in Mexico, and that even the tyrant and usurper Iturbide bas been shot! In my view, this promises a speedy emancipation to the Island of Cuba. The calm and dignified manner in which he was sent out of that country, assured me, that his case was hopeless there; and the still inore calm and dignified manner in which he has been most deservedly shot as a traitor to his country and his engagement with its people, assures me that monarchy is extinct in North America: for the Canadas are not worthy of being called an exception. They will fall in another American war, if they do not assert their independence before. Conquest would be liberty to the people of Canada. It would be emancipation from slavery.
I am very desirous of seeing the Island of Cuba declare itself an independant Republic; though I am fully sensible that the inhabitants do not yet know enough about MATTER AND MOTION to make the best use of such an advantage. And pure Republics will never exist with a priesthood.
There must be an utter extirpation of idolatry to constitute a pure Republic. A theocracy is not a jot better than an aristocracy or a monarchy; and every shade of religious as well as of political idolatry corrupts that which bears the name of a Republic. So that there will not be a pure Republic in any part of America within the present century. The people of the next century may expect to see it.
We must be rid of priests as well as of kings to establish a Republic and to have good government. And the grand object towards this attainment is, that each individual should proclaiin aloud that be can do better without that with either priest or king. We want neither church nor state trappings, to constitute good government; nor shall we have good government whilst we retain them. Government is a matter of business, and has no more need of a guady ostentation, than a merchant bas to carry on bis mercantile af.
Where there is much of ostentation, it affords a sure proof that the business is neglected. A King ought to be a hard working man, incessantly at business, and ought to think less about luxuries and indulgences of appetite than any other man. Our European Kings are mere pampered idols, useless animals, that exist only to complete the juggle of priestcraft upon the people: the mere tools of the priests