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cell forty hours without food; but that he ate his three. pound loaf in the first eight of forty-eight hours. Still, though the rules of the Gaol would not have supplied him with more bread for the next forty hours, if he remained in his yard, I submit, that he was entitled to a pound or a pound and half on the day that he was locked up withont any. Had he remained in the yard, he might have eaten his two days bread in one day, with a view of buying more on the second; but as he was locked up, he became a new prisoner in that condition, and his means of buying, borrowing or begging food were removed. He was entitled to a new consideration as to food. I asked, if the Gaoler was informed by a turnkey of this man's case, and was answered in the affirmative, and that he would not allow him bread in the cell, until the forty-eight hours were up from the delivery of the former loaf.
These are statements, of the truth or falsehood of which, the Magistrates have an easy means of enquiry, and if true, they shew, for they are but two of almost daily occurrences with this Gaoler, that he is totally unfit to have any power entrusted to him in such a place. I have long made up my mind upon this subject, and have long proclaimed it, and could I have had a Stevens to communicate to me the real management of this “ best managed Gaol," I would have had the Gaoler out of it years ago.
Whilst in the heat of communication, I will mention another little matter, which adds to the same species of illustration of his character. Mrs. Wright, who has been identified with me in my publishing career, lately capie to visit me. She is a little mild and particularly civil woman, unless insulted. On meeting the Gaoler to ask admission, he said, you must send a letter to Mr. Carlile to know if he wishes to see you. Oh, Sir, she said, Mr. Carlile wants no letter from me; I know he wishes to see me. Ah, but I want a letter from him to that effect was his answer. Well, Sir, will you allow me to write my name in your office to send to Mr. Carlile ? Certainly not, certainly not, I shall allow no such thing, was his answer. She knew, beforehand, the character she was about to meet in the Gaoler; but here was a woman, a perfect stranger to all in Dorchester, puzzled what to do. Every turnkey at hand blushed for his master, a dog would have blushed had he understood it. Mrs. Wright had to go back into the town, to buy paper and beg ink and pen, to tell me that she was at the gate; when the person, who brought her naine on paper, might have brought it verbally, if that ridiculous custom were necessary. I have never asked it, and look upon it as a designed annoyance.
Let us suppose Mrs. Wright incapable of writing and an entire stranger in Dorchester, running from house to house, asking strangers to write her a letter, and lastly obliged to resort to an attorney, who are the only professional letter writers. What a fuss to gratify a base fellow ! Suppose a little further, that she had
Which of your
no money; then she might have begged her way back to London, or have come to one of your worships for a pass; because she could not get her name communicated to me! worships does not blush at an identification with such a Gaoler ? This is not the only case of the kind.
Public officers take public wages, and they of all men owe a regular civility to every individual of that public. If the Gaoler required Mrs. Wright to write her name to me, it was a duty on his part to have afforded her the means to do it, particularly, when there was every convenience for that purpose at hand of public materials. To send her back into the town for such a purpose was an outrage upon all social and official intercourse and official duty. I will thank the Magistrates to enquire by whose orders such a practice was instituted. In the written order for my visitors, made in December 1823, there are no instructions of the kind. And I have never asked any thing of the kind. Whilst the practice has occasioned much unnecessary and frivolous trouble, and much of insult to my visitors.
To conclude with the case of Thomas Bunn and his wife, I wish to testify, as a matter of duty on my part, that, with the exception of being thus left to make up their living by a tax on the prisoners, I never saw a more industrious and more virtuous couple, I never saw more faithfulservants, and I could almost challenge the country to match them for good qualities as servants. It has come to my knowledge, that the Gaoler has often accused Thomas Bunn of improper attentions to me; and, in particular, at the time of interrupting the manner in which I got my room cleaned. In his rage, then, he accused him of admitting improper persons to see me, which was a vile fabrication; at the same time he accused Robinson, of making secret communications to me, which was as vile and false.
I declare to your worships and I challenge the experience of the Gaoler to contradict me, that Thomas Bunn never did an act for me that was a breach of his fidelity to his employer. He was always very kind in the way of attentions to my parcels and letters, which are the things of the most consequence to me; but there never was a secret between us, nor have I ever had a secret with any person in the Gaol.
I have much cause to fear false report before a tribunal that hears but one party or one side of a case, and I have had many reasons for concluding, that such false reports have not only been made by the Gaoler and Visiting Magistrates at the Sessions; but that they have been sent to the Secretary of State ; for Mr. Peel has stated many untruths as to my conduct in the House of Commons and has excluded all subsequent inquiry or explanation.
No man ever lived, that strived to be more correct at all points than' myself. I may err, I may adopt erroneous conclusions ;
but I adopt them upon the same ground as all others do, and I am open to correction by a child, or I would thank a servant for it. if, as the play says, every man has his fault, every man ought to bear his own, and not, because he has a little throw them upon an innocent person that may be weaker.
For my part, I would bear a torture to death, with the firmness of an Indian, rather than not defend myself against a bad man, who would seek a triumph over me by falsehood. There is too 'much of tyranny and servility among mankind, I wish to root it up and to increase the amount of genuine civility and mutual good offices. As far as ever the Magistrates of Dorset will go with me, they shall have my commendations : where they oppose me, as far as I can, I will declare hostility.' But still, whenever a parley is necessary, I will be a very civil enemy, and shall be always glad to make peace upon honourable terms.
These documents plainly speak for themselves, I heard nothing of the reception of my report; but I shall take care that a printed copy goes to Mr. Peel's office. Instead of discharging Thomas Bunn, who was the best officer in the place, the magistrates should have first discharged the Gaoler, and then, themselves, to have made way for better men. I see, that Mr. Morton Pitt has taken my advice, or somebody's advice, to retire from the representation of the county, which he was never qualified to represent; and, I hope, after a few years further residence in the Gaol, that I shall make some of his colleagues know their proper stations in life. Every thing in this Gaol is whim, ignorance, bad feeling or ruffianism, and almost every prisoner made to waste his time in a state of unhappiness. They write up in front of the Gaol—“ A HOUSE OF CORRECTion !" but they should rather write A HOUSE OF MISCHIEF
Dorchester Gaol, Nov. 16, 1825.
COPY OF A LETTER SENT TO THE KING,
Dorchester Gaol, Nov. 10, 1825. THOMAS PAINE is to be the subject of this letter, and, though a king, I hope that you have too much sense to be annoyed by it. Public men who have passed through life, have exhibited certain characters, which cannot be changed and should not be misrepresented. Truth will at all times work to the public good. Falsehood brings us cala
mities. Thomas Paine has been misrepresented, calumniated, slandered, belied, by Christians and Royal slaves, dupes and parasites. The No. of The Republican which I now send will place his character in its true light and the vilifyings of his enemies will be converted to corruscations of his worth. Were I not convinced that Thomas Paide was the most useful political and theological writer and actor that has passed through life, I would not espouse him, for I am in search of, not this or that man, but the best principles, truth in any sbape.
In addition to the testimonies collected by Mr. John Fellows as to the real character of Thomas Paine in his old
I can here add the testimony of one of bis executors, which I copy from the Examiner Newspaper :
LAST MOMENTS OF THOMAS PAINE.
Mr. Morton, one of Mr. Paine's executors, gives the fol. lowing account of the last moments of that extraordinary individual;-" In bis 72d, year, and but a few months before bis death, his mental faculties continued vigorous and his memory so retentive as to repeat verbatim whole sentences, either in prose or verse, of any thing striking which he had either read or heard; this he always did with great ease and grace.-about six months before his death, after his limbs became so feeble that he could scarcely move, he told me, that he felt the decay of nature fast increasing, adding, that he might possibly survive six or even twelve months, but that it could not extend much beyond that, and he feared nothing but being reduced to a bed-ridden state: incapable of helping himself.-In his religious opinions be continued to the last as steadfast and tenacious as any sectarian to his own definition of bis creed; he never indeed broached the subject first; but to inquisitive visitors, wbo came to try him on that point, bis general answer was to this effect :- My opinions are before the world; all have an opportunity to refute them if they can. I believe them to be unanswerable truths, and that I have done great service to mankind by boldly putting them forth - I do not wish to argue on the subject. i have laboured disinterestedly in the cause of truth.' I shook his hand after the use of speech was gone ; but wbile the other organs told me that be sufficiently knew me and appreciated my affection, bis eyes glistened with genius uuder the pangs of death! The proper.
ty left by Mr. Paine consisted of a farm at New Rochelle, valued at 8,460 dollars, given to bim by the state of NewYork for his political services, and about 1,600 dollars in money, and debts due to him, making altogether 10,000 dollars."
Here is ample proof to set at nought all the lying religious tracts that have been circulated by millions against the character of Thomas Paine. These religious tracts are a disgrace to your kingdom and so is the imprisonment of
Sir, your prisoner,
These are yet the fashion in the Republican, and, last week, by merely substituting a p for an f, in refutation, in the letter to the Editor of the New Times, I was made to say, that I did not care about reputation! The cause of this sad, bad work is, that the persons who have printed for me iu chief for these last five years, were not, nor can they become, qualified to manage the composition and reading part of printing. The fact is, that, in some measure, I was obliged to make printers of people who had not been brought up to any thing like it, and they sought boys instead of men to assist thein. Their dispositions have been as good as my own, and I am allowed to say, as an appeal to the gallantry of my readers, that, all the faults lie with an excellent woman, provided, that I allow her to possess every other accomplishment. In 1820, I could scarcely find a regular printer to work for me; now, there are but few who would refuse; so, in a few weeks, I shall be connected with some competent masters. The projected joint stock company bids fair to make my printing equal to that of any house in London.
Printed and Published by R. CARLILE, 135, Fleet Street.-All Correspoc
dences for “ The Republican" to be left at the place of publication.