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The Anti-Jacobin - Its Objects and Violence—“The
Friends of Freedom”-Imitation of Latin Lyrics—The “Knife Grinder'—The “Progress of Man.”
THE “Anti-Jacobin” was commenced in
1 1797, with a view of counteracting the baneful influences of those revolutionary principles which were already rampant in France. The periodical, supported by the combined talent of such men as Gifford, Ellis, Hookham Frere, Jenkinson (Lord Liverpool) Lord Clare, Dr. Whitaker, and Lord Mornington, would no doubt have had a long and successful career, had not politics led it into a vituperative channel, through which it came to an untimely end in eight months. The following address to Jacobinism will give some idea of its spirit :“ Daughter of Hell, insatiate power,
Destroyer of the human race,
There were pictorial illustrations consisting of political caricatures of a very gross character, representing men grotesquely deformed, and sometimes intermixed with monsters, demons, frogs, toads, and other animlas.
One part of the paper was headed “Lies,” and another was devoted to correcting less culpable mis-statements. Some prose satirical pieces were introduced, such as “Fox's Birthday,” in which a mock description of a grand dinner is given, at which all the company had their pockets picked. After the delivery of revolutionary orations, and some attempts at singing “Paddy Whack,” and “ All the books of Moses,” the festival terminates in a disgusting scene of uproar. Several similar reports are given of “The Meeting of the Friends of Freedom," upon which occasions absurd speeches are made, such as that by Mr. Macfurgus, who declaims in the following grandiloquent style:
“Before the Temple of Freedom can be erected the surface must be smoothed and levelled, it must be cleared by repeated revolutionary explosions, from all the lumber and rubbish with which aristocracy and fanaticism will endeavour to encumber it, and to impede the progress of the holy work. The completion of the edifice will indeed be the more tardy, but it will not be the less durable for having been longer delayed. Cemented with the blood of tyrants and the tears of the aristocracy, it will rise a monument for the astonishment and veneration of future ages. The remotest posterity with our children yet unborn, and the most distant portions of the globe will crowd round its gates, and demand admission into its sanctuary. "The Tree of Liberty' will be planted in the midst, and its branches will extend to the ends of the earth, while the
friends of freedom meet and fraternize and amalgamate under its consolatory shade. There our infants shall be taught to lisp in tender accents the revolutionary hymn, there with wreaths of myrtle, and oak, and poplar, and vine, and olive and cypress, and ivy, with violets and roses and daffodils and dandelions in our hands, we will swear respect to childhood and manhood, and old age, and virginity, and womanhood, and widowhood; but above all to the Supreme Being. There we will decree and sanction the immortality of the soul, there pillars and obelisks, and arches, and pyramids will awaken the love of glory and of our country. There painters and statuaries with their chisels and colours, and engravers with their engraving tools will perpetuate the interesting features of our revolutionary heroes."
The next extract is called “The Army of England,” written by the ci-devant Bishop of Autun, and represents a French invasion as imminent:
“Good republicans all
The Directory's call
The cup of his misery's full;
Sball cut a free citizen's caper.
To Deal or to Dover,
Par Dieu ! he shall bleed like a pig.
A grand baiting will make
“ With grape-shot discharges,
And plugs in his barges,
The following is on “ The New Coalition” between Fox and Horne Tooke.
Fox. When erst I coalesced with North
Tooke. Thelwall's my name for state alarm;
But the most celebrated of these poems is “ The Knife Grinder."
“ The Friend of Humanity, and The KnifeGrinder” –
Friend of Humanity. Needy knife-grinder! whither are
So have your breeches !
Scissors to grind, O!”.
Or the attorney P
All in a lawsuit ?
Pitiful story. Knife-grinder. Story! God bless you! I have none to
Torn in a scuffle.
Stocks for a vagrant.
With politics, Sir.
thee d md first! Wretch! whom no sense of wrong can rouse to vengeance ! Sordid ! unfeeling! reprobate ! degraded!
Spiritless outcast! (Kicks the knife-grinder, overturns his wheel, and exit in a
transport of Republican enthusiasm and universal philanthropy.)
This poem, written as a parody of “The