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I be present State of Europe compared with Antient
THE GRAVEL PIT MEETING IN HACKNEY,
FEBRUARY 28, 1794,
Being the Day appointed for a General Fajl.
By JOSEPH PRIESTLEY, LL.D. F. R. S. &c.
· WITH A PREFACE; ....
B. Quo fugis? Expecta. Liceat condiscere causas
Petrarch on taking leave of his patron, the Cardinal Colonna.
This discourse, and those on the Evidences of Dia vine Revelation, which will be published about the same time, being the last of my labours in this country, I hope my friends, and the public, will indulge me while I give the reasons of their being the last, in consequence of my having at length, after much hesitation, and now with reluctance, come to a resolution to leave this kingdom.
After the riots in Birmingham, it was the expectation, and evidently the wish, of many persons, that I should immediately fly to France, or America. But I had no consciousness of guilt to induce me to fly my country*. On the contrary, I came directly to London, and instantly, by means of my friend Mr. Russell, signified to the king's ministers, that I
* If, instead of flying from lawless violence, 'I had been flying from public justice, I could not have been pursued with more rancour, nor could my friends have been unore anxious for my safety. One man, who happened to see me on horseback on one of the nights in which I escaped from Birmingham, expressed his regret that he had not taken me, expecting probably some considerable reward, when, as he said, it was so easy for him to have done it. My friends earnestly advised me to disguile myself as I was going to London. But all that was done in that way was taking a place for me in the mail coach, which I entered at Worcester, in another name than my own. However, the friend who had the courage to receive me in London had thought it neceffary to provide a dress that should disguise me, and also a method of making my escape, in case the house hould have been attacked on my account; and foresome time my friends would not Suffer me to appear in the itreets.