Friday 14 August 2015

14th August 1815: The Leeds Intelligencer publishes another outspoken editorial about Charles Sutton

We have promised to pay a little occasional attention to the Nottingham Review, and to shame, if anything can shame, the other paper published in that town, into the discharge of this duty, a duty, which, in such a place as Nottingham do [illegible] [illegible] print professing loyalty to the King, and attachment to the establishments of the country. But, while we spare a few "words of rebuke" to the convicted libeller of the British army, the detected instigator to outrage, murder, and insubordination of the British manufacturer, we must not entirely neglect the raving vagaries of its fraternal politician, the other weekly herald of discontent and [disapprobation], the public spirited and patriotic MERCURY of LEEDS! As these illustrious compatriots, however, even when united, are scarcely worth one's powder and [shot], we must be as sparing of our time and our ammunition as possible, and by placing them, as often as we conveniently can, together, to make to take aim at the [illegible], that we may kill both fools with one stone. The task we undertake, though loathsome, is necessary; and we shall lose no proper opportunity of [chastising] these mercenaries of a foreign tyrant, these malevolent and croaking scribblers, according to the magnitude of their respective [slur], and of arresting and beating back upon themselves, the putrid stream of moral and political quackery and delusion, with which they incessantly endeavour to annoy the Government of their country, and to poison and defile the already corrupt and feeble intellects of their infatuated disciples and admirers.

Of the Nottingham patriot, we have at present little to say. His feelings are so much engrossed by the issue of his trial for libel, and his ingenuity is so exercised with endeavours to persuade the public of his innocence, that he has neither time nor inclination to attend the general oppressions of the Government, nor to soothe the grievances and the miseries of his enslaved countrymen and country.—He plumes himself not a little on one part of the defence at up to him by his counsel, "that it is impossible he could be an instigator to Luddism, as he had, in strong and eloquent terms, reprobated a late outrage at Basford, in which two men lost their lives!"—But unfortunately for this last effort to establish the purity of his intentions, we are in possession of a fact which appears to have been unknown both to the Counsel for the Crown and for the Defendant. The article re-probating the conduct of the assassins in the outrage alluded to, was sent for insertion in the Review, from a certain gentleman, in Nottingham, distinguished for the moderation and liberality of his views, and holding a high office in the town, whom Mr. Sutton dared not disoblige by refusing a place to that very article, to which he now eagerly clings like a drowning man to a straw. Like the straw, it is, alas, insufficient to sustain his head above the water, and down he must go, into that abyss of ignominy and of guilt he has opened for himself; oppressed and weighed under the flood by the consciousness of the mischief he has created.—loaded with the indignation of the just, and with the reproaches of the criminals he has led astray. As a proof of the accuracy of our statement respecting the article to which we have alluded, it appeared, on the very same day, in all the three Nottingham papers; and so far was the Review from expressing any indignation at the atrocities perpetrated in its immediate neighbourhood, that it did not add a single word, not one representation, from itself, to the paragraph which it reluctantly admitted, in small and obscure print, into its columns!

As for the poor Mercury, we are almost as much disposed to pity us to quarrel with it, in the present depressed state of its idol. The swimming of Buonaparte, in the Bellerophon and Northumberland, appears to have given the jaundiced Editor a swimming in his head. He last week dwelt, with complacency, on the proofs afforded of Buonaparte's "splendid talents," by the mob assembled to gaze upon his prison-ship, paying him "the slight mark of respect of being uncovered" forgetting that he himself, (this same writer for the Mercury) only a few days ago, had discovered that all the misfortunes of the Tyrant were owing to his "want of common prudence!" In the eagerness of his zeal for "soothing the wounded honour of France"—"binding up the wounds of that unhappy country,"—and "preserving the integrity of its territory," he prophecies, that, if a "good round paring" be taken from its present frontier, Europe will be exposed to a second irruption of Barbarians from the North! The only irruption of Barbarians from the North, that has taken place in the present times, is the irruption of the honest, though rude and uncultivated COSSACKS! And Europe owes too much to these unshaved and [illegible] soldiers, who have treated their vanquished enemies with a magnanimity, unknown to "the wounded humour" of their French aggressors, not to wish that the BARBARIANS OF THE SOUTH may again be driven back by them, should an almighty Providence ever permit another irruption from southern devastators into those remote and frozen legion regions of the North, where their unburied and bleaching bones bear testimony to the extent of their ravages, and to the power of an avenging God.

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