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SERIES OF LETTERS
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Pall-Mall, 12th Oct. 1801. MY LORD, The PORCUPINE, of which I was the founder, and of which I am still the Proprietor*, has, ever since the terms of the Peace have been promulgated, borne a distinguished part in disapproving of those terms. On this important subject, it has contained several articles, which, while their literary merit have commanded the admiration, have not failed to
* These letters were first published in The PORCUPINE, of which paper, at the date of this letter, I was still the Proprietor, but in which I have had no concern,
either as Proprietor, or Conductor, since the 21st of November, 1801.
awaken the fears, and to direct the opinions, of the public.
By those, who are not accustomed to examine and compare the characteristics of style, these articles have, of course, been imputed to me; and, while it appeared probable that they might draw down popular vengeance on the head of the writer, I scorned to make the slightest attempt to remove the imputation; but, now, when the “ tumult of « exultation and delirium of joy” have somewhat subsided, when the citizens have suspended, for a time, the exercise of their “ imprescriptible rights," when, in plain English, the reign of the rabble has given place to the reign of the law, now, it is my duty to yield this literary honour to the Gentleman, to whom it belongs, and to whose zeal, talents, and perseverance, the Church and the Monarchy of England owe that support, the want of which, I greatly fear, they will, at no very distant day, have occasion to lament.
But, my Lord, though I cheerfully resign all the honour of writing the articles, above alluded to, I resign no part of that which is to be derived from participating in the principles and sentiments of the writer. As to communications from Correspon
dents, and little straggling paragraphs, the Conductor of a paper is never looked upon as being politically responsible for their contents ; but, with respect to the Leading Articles of The PORCUPINE, on the subject of the Peace, I do most implicitly subscribe to every sentiment contained in them; and, were. I to propose an addition to any of their qualities, it would be to the keenness of their censure.
Censure, as well as applause, if unaccompanied with the reasons, whereon it is founded, seldom produces any very lasting effect; and, as I have not resumed the pen
for the purpose
of furnishing amusement for an idle hour, I shall, in the series, to which this letter is merely an introduction, go at some length into an examination of the measure, which
you and your colleagues have thought proper to adopt, and shall, unless I am very much deceived, most clearly prove to you, that that measure is not less dangerous in its consequences, than it is disgraceful in itself. I am,