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Come, Thorpe," he said quietly, I thought thou had more

Let us hear what it is all about." Thorpe recognised instantly the folly of quarelling, and calming himself, told Smith the ground of his disquietude. Smith glanced round the room uneasily when he heard what had given rise to the dispute, and when Thorpe had concluded, asked quietly, " Does thou suspect anybody, Will ?”

· No," replied Thorpe,“ but it is as well to take proper precautions I think."

“And I agree with thee,” said Smith, “I think we might insist on all the men taking an oath not to divulge what they know."

“Well," put in Mellor, who, having had a little time for reflection, began to see the the folly of neglecting precautions, “I agree with that. We'll make every man in the place who knows anything about the matter take an oath of secrecy. Thee go into the new shop, Thorpe, and start with Sowden, bring him into the press room, and I will see about the rest.”

Thorpe left the room as requested, and went into the new shop where Sowden worked.

Here, Sowden," he said, standing in the door way, I want thee."

The man addressed left his work and went into the adjoining room. Thorpe closed the door and then turned towards the astonished workman.

Sowden," he commenced, thou knows all about Horsfall's affair."

I know what thee and the rest have told me," replied Sowden. “Well, I must have thee swear to keep Horsfall's murder in all its circumstances a strict secret,” continued Thorpe.

“I can keep the secret without being sworn," said Sowden.

“Well, may be thou can, but I intend thee to be sworn," answered Thorpe, firmly.

Now look here, Thorpe," replied Sowden, doggedly, “I do not belong to the Ludds because I do not agree with them in all things, but you need not be afraid I shall peach. I never took an oath in my life and I don't mean to begin now. Besides the oath you would administer is an illegal one, and you are well aware I should be liable to seven years transportation if I took it." "Oh yes ! its all very nice," sneered Thorpe,

for such chaps as thee to stand on one side and say I don't agree with the Ludds, leaving others to do all the work and risk their lives. I have already said thou shall take this oath and thou shall, or I will shoot thee dead where thou stands !"

Thorpe produced a loaded pistol which he always carried and planted himself in front of Sowden. Lifting the trigger he fixed his eye on his prisoner, and raising his voice said,

Now, will you take the oath ?" “I will," responded Sowden, who saw it was vain to contend further with the desperate man before him.

Repeat after me then," cried Thorpe, and Sowden repeated after

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him the following oath :-“I, Joseph Sowden, do hereby declare and solemnly swear I never will divulge to any person or persons under the canopy of heaven the names of the persons concerned in shooting Horsfall, nor do anything nor cause anything to be done which might lead to the discovery of the same, either by word, deed, or sign, on penalty of being sent out of the world. So help me God to keep this my oath inviolable."

“ Now kiss this book," added Thorpe, holding a Bible to Sowden's lips.

Sowden placed the book to his face as if kissing it, but did not actually do so.

· Now I have not done with you yet," said Thorpe, still presenting the pistol. “As you have given me some trouble I will make you administer the oath yourself to every man that is brought into the press shop!"

Sowden had nothing wherewith to defend himself. He knew he was in the hands of a desperate, unscrupulous man, who would not hesitate to carry out his threats, he saw therefore that it was useless to resist.

Now, sit here," commanded Thorpe, on the press table; take this book and read the oath written on the paper at the back to all who are brought before you; say nothing to any but what I said when I administered the oath just now, and remember that I stand beside you and that my pistol is handy in my pocket here.”.

Having thus spoken, I'horpe drew the bolt back in the door, and Mellor entered, accompanied by Benjamin Walker, who looked astonished to see Sowden there taking the leading part in the proceedings, but he took the oath with a cool and indifferent air, offering no observation, and then gave place to his fellow workmen who were brought one by one into the room by Mellor.

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CHAPTER XVIII.

THE MURDER OF THE PRIME MINISTER.

“ For murder, though it have no tongue,
Will speak with most miraculous organ.”

SHAKESPEARE. The daring assassination of Mr. Horsfall in open day spurred on the Huddersfield authorities to make still greater efforts to detect the Luddites, who, they were well aware, were very numerous in the town and neighbourhood, but they found their task more difficult than ever, as the old fear of the vengeance of the dreaded fraternity had resumed its sway over the minds of the people since the murder, and many who might have put the officers of the law on the scent were fain to bury their information or suspicions deep in their own hearts.

On the evening of Monday, the 27th of April, the military authorities received an anonymous ietter informing them of the hiding places of three wounded men who, it was thought, had been concerned in the attack on Cartwright's mill. Steps were taken by the soldiers to effect their capture, which proved successful, and the prisoners were conveyed for the night to the Huddersfield barracks. A few hours after, the stables which adjoined the room where the prisoners were confined were found to be on fire, the object of the incendiaries being, it is thought, to distract the attention of the guard from the prison, on which an attack had been planned if the ruse had proved successful. The sentries, however, remained at their posts, and the fire having been extinguished before it reached the main building, the purpose of the Luddites was defeated. The capture however, proved useless after all, for no evidence could be adduced to incriminate the prisoners, and they were eventually discharged.

Notwithstanding the military were harrassed by night watches, and patrols were continually marching through the suspected districts, great robberies of arms took place during the month at Almondbury, Wooldale, Melton, Netherthong, Marsden and Honley. The Ludds mustered in gangs of twenty or more and stripped those localities of guns, pistols, swords, and all other weapons, litile or no resistance being offered. Major Gordon and his troop, finding they could not hinder the raids, perambulated through the places which had not been thus visited and seized all the arms they could possibly find to prevent the rioters from getting them also. While on one of these expeditions, William Sykes, a Melton shopkeeper, who, thirsting probably for notoriety, represented himself as one of General Ludd's men, and said he had been engaged in seizing arms for the fraternity, was taken into custody and committed to York.

At Nottingham the disturbances continued much the same as before, the Luddites showing no signs of discontinuing their lawless movements. On the 12th of May the rioters were thrown into a delirium of joy by the arrival of the startling intelligence that Spencer Percival, the hated Prime Minister, who had forced through the House of Commons the sanguinary measure making it death to destroy a frame, had been shot the day before as he entered St. Stephen's. Immediately on the news becoming known a tumultuous crowd assembled in the market-place and paraded the town with drums beating and flags flying in triumph.

The account we are giving of the Luddite excesses would be incomplete were we not to introduce into the narrative the particulars of this assassination, an event which produced in the two Houses (assembled at the time) the utmost consternation and also throughout the country at large, as the news spread abroad according to the means available in those days of not over-rapid communication. The bloody deed was perpetrated on the afternoon of the 11th of May, 1812 ; and as the fight at Rawfolds mill had taken place on the 11th of the preceding month and the murder of Mr. William Horsfall on the 16th, and as up to the time of the shooting of Mr. Perceval no clue had been obtained to lead to the discovery of the actors in either the Rawfolds mill fight, or the assassination on Crossland Moor, it was but natural to conclude, at the first, that the shooting in the lobby of the House of Commons was part and parcel of the tactics of the Luddite conspirators; and almost universal was the alarm and dread as to what would happen next, or whose turn it might be to fall by the hands of the assassins. This fear pervaded the minds of both Ministers and Parliament, as is evidenced by the speech of the Lord Chancellor (Eldon) in the House of Lords on the day following the murder of Mr. Perceval ; a speech indicative of the utmost alarm, as to what might follow in the then “state of the country." This alarm, however, gradually gave way as it becarne more and more apparent that John Bellino. ham, the man who shot Mr. Perceval, had acted in the or entirely on his own account, and had no accomplices

The Luddites were thus cleared of all participation in the shocking deed, which had at first been attributed to them; and one result was that some coercive legislation, intended to put down the Luddite disturbances, was abandoned.

The account we subjoin, which is the most complete we have met with, was written by the famous “ master of the English language," the late William Cobbett. He was, at the period in question, serving out a sentence of two years' imprisonment in Newgate (with the additional punishment of having to pay a fine of £1000 to the king), for having expressed indignation at the flogging of English militiamen under a guard of Hanoverian bayonets-a sentence of extreme judicial savagery, and for a cause which now would be hailed as an act of patriotism. The account was, as the reader will see, in the form of a letter, which we now proceed to give

“My Dear Friend, -In your last letter received by me in this place, you requested me to write an account of myself and family, and also to give you a true description of the situation of old England, the beloved and venerated country of our forefathers.' First, then, I have the pleasure to tell you that, though I have been now in jail upwards of twenty-two months, I have never been ill for a single moment; that I never had even a head-ache, and that I feel myself as strong as at any period of my life. What my wife has suffered, I shall leave you and the kind families at Bursledon and Bibery, who know her to guess. This much for my private concerns, which may, I hope, also suffice as an answer to our old and kind friend, B. Story, from whom, to my indescribable satisfaction, I received a lletter no longer ago than Saturday last. With respect to public matters, I shall begin by telling you, the Prime Minister of the Prince Regent, Spencer Perceval, the man during whose administration I was sent (for you know what) to this jail, was shot dead by the hand of an Englishman, named John Bellingham. The affair I should not have written much about, because, in spite of all the falsehoods which the hired newspapers in London have and will publish upon the subject, the people will get at the truth; but I am anxious that the truth should be known all the world over, and particularly in the American States, whence, even from the banks of the Mississippi, my own writings, issuing from this jail, have returned to me through the channel of the American press. This fact, by making it obvious to me that I am writing for the use of America as well as for that of England, points out to me that it is my duty to give only a true account of the trial and execution of John Bellingham, but also that I should give it in such a way as may make the whole affair plain to persons who were never in London, and to whom many circumstances must, without explanation, remain wholly incomprehensible. My intention, therefore, is to present to you, in the first place, with a regular narrative of the facts from the time of the pistol being fired to the moment of the death of the man who fired it, uninterrupted by any commentary of my own, and shall inform you of what has

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