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currency, occasioned by over-issues, ed from the most earnest desire to rethough they have not been able to lieve the hardships of every class of show that our currency was in a state the community. But it is a necessary either of discredit or excess. They result of rash and heedless censure, attribute them to excessive taxation, and of party censure, which is often though it is not to be doubted that it the most rash and heedless of all was by this taxation that we were en- others, that it draws upon time for abled to accomplish the deliverance of its own certain refutation. There is Europe. They attribute them to the scarcely one of these objections which injury sustained by our commerce, did not grow weaker under the inves, occasioned by our own bad policy, tigation they excited ; and during the though this injury proceeded, first period which has elapsed since the from the unprecedented measures of time when they were agitated, until our enemy, and next from the rash that at which these annals have been and precipitate speculations of our compiled, the conviction of the utility own merchants, when the power of of the measure in question has been gra. that enemy was at an end, causes dually strengthening. Various causes, over which our government had cer- most of which we have already referred tainly no controul. And they de- to, have no doubt interrupted and scribe the measure devised for the re. thwarted its beneficial results; but these lief of these distresses as at best a causes, we think, we have also shewn piece of blind and short-sighted poli- to be merely of a temporary nature, cy, calculated only to aggravate the and likely, ere long, to give way to the distresses of the poor, by raising the powerful operation of those general price of bread, though it cannot for a principles upon which the measure is moment be doubted that it was adopt. founded.
Domestic Affairs.-Imposture of Joanna Southcote.-Fanaticism of her Disci
ples.-Her Death and Interment.-Extension of the Order of the Bath.Classes into which it is divided.- Remarks on the Measure, and its Tenden: cy.--Trial of Sir John Murray.-Riots on Account of the Corn Bill.-Members of the House of Commons Attacked and Insulted.- Houses attacked and Property destroyed.—Continuation of the Riots on the 7th.- Persons Shot in Burlington-street.-Petition of the Electors of Westminster against the Corn Bill.-Conduct of Sir Francis Burdett in moving it, and Debate which en. sued, in the House of Commons.-- Acquittal of the Soldiers indicted for Murder in defence of Mr Robinson's House. - Liberal Feelings of the Populace towards them.--Anecdote of a Private Soldier of the Guards.
The first domestic event which oc- ral days ; and derived no ungainful cupied the attention of the public, in trade, by selling a sort of sealed passthe year 1815, is almost too ridiculous port, which, like the Pope's of yore, for recital, were it not the duty of the was supposed to procure the bearer annalist to record all that can preserve instant admittance into the heavenly the form and pressure of the times, regions. Many condemned criminals, from which he forms his record. It and others, who had not inclination was the close of an impious and extra- or leisure to repent of their sins, and vagant imposture, which had long in- petition for repentance, embraced this sulted religion, scandalized morality, compendious mode of assuring their and entertained the idle and thought- part of paradise. A seal with the letless.
ters J. S., which she found in sweepA wretched old woman, called Jo- ing out her master's shop, was the only anna Southcote, originally a Metho- visible proof to which she appealed in dist, had, for no less than twenty-five support of her celestial mission. She years, assumed the character of a pro- had a formal disputation with her forphetess and an inspired writer. It is mer pasiors, some of whom are said impossible to discover, from the fool- to have acknowledged her divine au- . ish and blasphemous trash which she thority. To the disgrace of an enoccasionally published, whether she lightened age, pretensions so blasphewas altogether an impostor, or held mous and extravagant, instead of co that dubious rank between madness veying Mrs Southcote to Bridewell and knavery, which may be justly as- or Bedlam, as her case required, prosigned to most founders of false reli- cured her an extended circle of dis. gions. The Woman, as she called ciples, among whom were enrolled seherself, pretended to have immediate veral of those who had been former. intercourse with the Deity; held con- ly believers in the maniac Brothers. troversies with Satan, whom she ba. In the month of May, 1814, deceived nished from her presence in confu- by some inward complaint, or desision, after sustaining a debate of seve- rous to ascertain how far the credulity of her miserable followers would carry ced that the faithful possessed wealth them, she announced, that she was in a degree very disproportioned to impregnated with a mysterious birth, their allowance of common sense. a new incarnation of the Deity-a se- Nor was it only by such expensive cond advent. Being unmarried, a gifts that the disciples of this miseravirgin, as she said, and certainly in ble enthusiast shewed their confidence her sixty-fifth year, she was never- in the truth of her mission. Wagers, theless, she averred, to become the according to Voltaire, are the English mother of the promised Shiloh of test of sincerity; and that it might the Jewish prophesies. Wonderful not be wanting on this occasion, a to say, this annunciation rather ex- citizen of Gravesend laid a bet of tended than abridged the number of two hundred to one hundred pounds, her disciples. She could now reckon Joanna Southcote would be deliveramong them, the Reverend Mr P. Fo- ed of a child before the first day of ly, whose name well merited an ad- November. The Chief Justice Gibbs ditional letter; and the no less Reve. afterwards refused to sustain an ac. rend Mr Towzer, whose chapel she ho- tion on this wager, as contrary to noured with her attendance; a third good morals, so that the defendant reverend, who afterwards saw visions escaped for the disgrace of public exon his own account; an eminent ar- posure. Nine medical men (it was tist; a half-pay colonel ; and some pretended) visited her, six of whom, old women of both sexes. That pos- to the credit of that learned faculty, terity may judge with what gross, are said to have pronounced her preg. thick, and palpable vulgarity and non- nant, wbile the other three more cau. sense, an impostor of the nineteenth tiously suspended their judgment. century might bait her hook, and yet Her followers applied to the Archbi. not fail to catch gudgeons, we will re- shop of Canterbury to provide her cord six lines of the inspired strains with suitable apartments and assistof the Prophetess, or rather of the ance worthy of the expected birth; Spirit, by whom, she affirmed, they and it was by others gravely suggested, were dictated :
that the Lord Chancellor should take
Mrs Southcote under his protection, So now thy writings all may sec in order, doubtless, that Shiloh, on The way that I have spoke to thee ; Because I said the second Child
his expected arrival, might become a
ward of Chancery. But however deepThat way the learned all would foil ; I said the man that set thee free, ly both church and state were inteA David's crown I'd give to He. rested in the event, neither the right
reverend archbishop, nor the learned At such slender expense of reason, lord on the woolsack, could be moved rhyme, and grammar, Mrs Southcote to give such a farce the sanction of went on and prospered. The family their countenance. of the prophetess was now maintained Mrs Southcote adjourned her mysupon a footing as suitable to ber bigh terious delivery from time to time, pretensions, as the means of her fol- until at length she appears to have lowers could support ; and several ex- been partly undeceived by the pain pensive presents of plate, a cradle, or of an internal disease. A female comcribb, as it was called, the magniti- panion addressed a medical gentleman cence of which called forth the super. by her desire. “ Her case,” said her latives of newspaper eloquence, and amanuensis, after detailing the sympother elegant and valuable articles for toms, “ is singular in other points, the use of the expected Shiloh, evin- this event being the criterion by by which herself and friends are to be easily supposed that the cause of decide whether she has been directed decease was found to have no relation by a visitation from the Lord, or it to the imaginary pregnancy. The has been from an invisible spirit to mob assembled to enjoy the doleful deceive, as she neither wish to de- and disconcerted looks of the departceive or be deceived herself; she have ing disciples, and, according to cusfaithfully and honestly laid before her tom, did not fail to accompany their friends and the public, an event which hootings with some mud, and a few must either establish her mission to stones, a discipline which nearly probe of God, or annihilate it altogether. ved fatal to an old lady of respectable Therefore into the hands of the Al appearance and singularly demure asmighty she commit her cause, if it is pect, who called to enquire after Johis divine work that he will make it anna's resuscitation, and imprudently manifest in his own good time; if not suffered surprise to escape her that she have no wish or desire to live." the event had not yet taken place.
But although the prophetess herself To elude the insults of the rabble, the seems to have abated in her copfi- mortal remains of Joanna Southcote dence as the disease increased, and were interred at an unusual hour, and her strong mental delusion, as well as with much privacy. Four gentlemen the necessity of sustaining her high (disciples doubtless) attended the pretensions, failed, in the agony of ceremony, muffled and disguised; pain and before the fear of death, her mourning at once, it may be presufollowers abated not an iota of their med, the death of their inspired miszealous faith. Even the death of the tress, and the downfall of their own unbappy woman, which took place in extravagant hopes. The service of the end of December, was incapable the Church of England was read upon of quenching their hopes. In a will, the occasion; a profanation of the holy dictated at what she called lucid in- office, unless we charitably suppose tervals, she asserted her conviction that the blasphemies of the deceased that she had been visited by a divine were the exclusive fruits of insanity. inspiration, or evil possession, and that One sort of posthumous atonement she was to be the mother of a living Joanna Southcote had indeed made, child, of divine or infernal origin. by directing that the gifts sent in for As one of her early prophecies had the use of the expected child and his announced, that the mother of Shiloh mother, should be restored to those was to be seemingly dead for four by whom they were sent. The list days, the will directed her body to got into the public papers, and amube preserved for that period ; and sed the readers by the various degrees should the four days elapse without of wealth and rank which the donors re-animation, she committed the exa- seem to have possessed; for the mis. mination of her corpse to persons of cellaneous catalogue contained all anatomical skill. Her death therefore, sorts of accommodations, from silver being considered as a mere intermis- plate and articles of splendid embroision of existence, did not shake the dery, down to two nutmegs, a silver confidence of her followers, wbosixpence, and a paper of pins. But watched the corpse constantly for the another and more direct palinode was four days, although the state of the made by her apostle, the Reverend body rendered the task disgusting and Mr Towzer, in the paper called the even dangerous. The inspection of Observer, by a letter stating, that he the body then took place by medical was directed by Joanna to acknow. practitioners of character, and it may ledge her former wicked errors; and
to state, that being recovered from a promoted to the class of Grand state of mental delirium, and ap- Crosses, without having previously proaching to her end, she had renoun- been a Knight Commander. The ced before her death the visions of third class was to consist of officers her distempered brain ; and implored holding commissions in the land or all good Christians not only to forgive sea service, and to be distinguished ber, but to join in fervent prayer, that as Knights Companions. Their prethe Almighty would pardon her mani- cedence was ranked beneath Knights fold blasphemies. Thus ended a de- Bachelors, but before all Esquires. lusion, which, had it been used by a This measure did not escape severe dramatic writer or a novelist, laying eriticism. It was first represented as bis scene in the nineteenth century, degrading the Order of the Bath;-and would have been consider d as a gross no doubt, abstractedly speaking, every outrage upon sense and probability. honorary distinction is liable to lose its The peace being now considered as
value in proportion as its numbers are placed upon a permanent foundation, extended, unless this tendency to demeasures were adopted by the Prince preciation be counteracted by other Regent for conferring degrees of ho- circumstances. But, considering the nour upon the gallant officers of the persons who, at the close of a war in Davy and army, by whose honourable which British valour had so proudly exertions the war had been carried on distinguished itself, were selected to through such difficulties, and brought share the purposed honours, it is prefinally to so glorious a termination. sumed that the Order of the Bath For this purpose, the ancient and ho- rather acquired lustre by the fame of nourable Order of the Bath was enlar- those on whom it was conferred, than ged, and divided into three classes. lost it by the extension of the instiThe first, to be termed in future Grand tution. The question might indeed Crosses, instead of Knights Compa. be safely perilled upon the single pions of the order, was to comprehend issue, whether the Order of the Bath, seventy-two knights, of whom twelve reckoning from its earliest records, exmight receive the honour for civil or hibited such a constellation of names diplomatic services; the remaining of distinguished lustre, as were added sixty were to be either major-generals to its rolls in consequence of these in the army, or rear-adrá irals in the
new regulations. As, therefore, the navy. These Grand Crosses were to honour of an order depends less on enjoy all the honours and immuni- the great or limited number, than on ties belonging to the former Knights the character of those enrolled in it, Companions of the order, who were, it is scarce worth notice, that as of course, included in the highest sixty Koights of the Bath already exclass. The second class was to be isted, only twelve were added by this stiled Knights Commanders of the new arrangement. order, to take place of all Knights It was further urged, though someBachelors; the number was limited to what inconsistently with the first arone hundred and eighty, to be com- gument, that the proposed augmentaposed of persons not under the rank tion of the Order was adopted in imiof lieutenant-colonels in the army, tation of Buonaparte's Legion of Hoand post-captains in the navy. Ten nour; and designed to elevate the foreigners holding British commis- rank of the military, as the immediate sions might be added to this class as dependents of the crown, over the anhonorary Knight Commanders. And cient gentry of the country. It was Ro one, it was provided, should be replied, that the nervous apprehen