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What adds to the curiosity of the lived all my life as free as a bird in the thing is, that I never have wished to woods; who have never been thwarted possess any public power of any sort, in my will by any-body, and who have except that of being in Parliament, and never had on my shoulders responsibility that wish arose from a desire to assist in to any living soul; who value not effecting a Parliamentary Reform 1 wealth, who cannot gain a particle of cannot but know the prodigious difficul- fame, who despise the very thought of ties that must surround a man who shall possessing what are called honours and now undertake to assist in putting the diguities, and who would not pass affairs of this great and troubled country one evening amongst the guttlers and to rights. I know well that my thir- gossippers and spitters and belchers of teen propositions, which Lord Wyn- the boozing-ken of Bellamy, even on FORD (I think they call him), who was condition of thereby adding five years once the renowned SERJEANT Best, to the length of my life ; can I, for my lamented that he had lost, and therefore own sake, sigh after a seat in the Parliacould not read them to the House, and ment? which I will subjoin to this letter, that Yet, what a fuss, what a contriving, the late Serjeant may have them another what a plotting, to keep me out of that time; I know, my Lord, that these hole of candle-light confusion, to sit in thirteen propositions must be adopted which, more than one session by candle to the very letter, or that the discontent light, would demand a motive much after the reform will be even greater stronger than I can at this moment than it is at this moment. And am I, conceive! What an intriguing, what a of all men in the world, so stupid as not plotting, what a prosecuting, by both to perceive the great difficulties attend the parties; and what terrible calamiing that adoption ? Am I so short- ties to this our country! And, at once sighted as not to foresee the turmoil horrible and ludicrous as is the thought, which will arise in consequence? Do I verily believe that, at last, both parties I know so little of mankind as not to would prefer a going upon the rocks to be aware, that he who inflicts present the seeing of me in that Parliament, ia les evil on a comparative few, is sure to which I do not want to be, but to go find but weak apologists in the many, into which I will never decline, if any. on whom he is bestowing future and body of electors shall freely, and of cour permanent good ?. Do I not know, their own accord, choose me to be the that reproaches follow the knife of the representative of their will; and in which surgeon, though it be necessary to the Parliament the nobility, if they had had saving of life? Can I behold in pros- common sense, would have taken care pect, as I do, as clearly as I behold the to have me long and long ago, seeing paper on which I am writing, swarms that, while I would not have suffered of clamorous pensioners, sinecure peo- them to take one penny unjustly out of ple, retired-allowance people, discarded the pockets of the people, I would not commissioners, dead-weight people, by have suffered them to be despoiled by thousands upon thousands, growling loan-mongers and Jews; always having fundholders, and dependents of all been convinced, as I still am, that an these, swarming like locusts upon the aristocracy of title and of privilege, banks of the Nile, and all directing a when kept within due and constitutional good share, at least, of their reproaches bounds, brings none of that oppression towards me : can I behold all this, and upon the working people which is al behold, at the same time, the delivered ways brought upon them by a damned the freed, the benefited, the happy na- aristocracy of money, tion, leaving me to bear the reproaches I have, thus, my Lord, very frankly, as well as I can: can I behold all and, I trust, with becoming respect
, this, and, still possessing my, senses, offered you my opinion upon a subject embark in the perilous concern as on a deeply interesting
to those industrious party of pleasure? Can I, who have and laborious millions to whom our
country chiefly owes its greatness. I am glebes; and, for the rest, leave fully persuaded, that it is your indi them to the voluntary contributions vidual wish to act justly towards them; of the people. and that you may have the resolution 5. To take all the rest of the property, to give effect to that wish, or to appeal commonly called church-property ; from your opponents to the people, is all the houses, lands, manors, tolls, the anxious desire of one who has never rents, and real property of every had any ambition other than that of kind, now possessed by bishops, seeing his country the greatest and the chapters, or other ecclesiastical bohappiest in the world.
dies, and all the misapplied proI am, my Lord,
perty of corporate bodies of every Yeur Lordship's most obedient
sort ; and also all the property called and most humble servant, crown-lands, or crown-estates, inWM. COBBETT. cluding that of the Duchies of Corn)
wall and Lancaster; and sell them P.S. The following are the 13 pro all, and apply the proceeds to the positions which OLD SERJEANT BEST had lost, or put into the wrong pocket.
discharge of the Debt which the
late parliaments contracted with It is a pity that he should not have have
the fundholders. them at hand ready for another bout ; 6. To cease, during the first six months and therefore I insert them here.
after June, 1832, to pay interest on 1. To put an end to all pensions, sine a fourth part of the debt ; second
cures, grants, allowances, half-pay, six months, to cease to pay interest and all other emoluments now paid on another fourth ; and so on for out of the taxes, except for such the other two fourths ; so that no public services as, upon a very
more interest, or any part of the scrupulous examination, shall be debt would be paid, after the end (f found fully to merit them; and to
of two years. reduce all salaries to the American 7. To divide the proceeds of all the prostandard,
perty mentioned in paragraph No. 2. To discharge the standing army, ex: 5, and also in paragraph No. 2, in cept such part of the ordnance and due proportion, on principles of
as may be necessary to equity, amongst the owners of what maintain the arsenals at the sea is called stock, or, in other words, ports in a state of readiness for the fundholders, or persons who war; and to abolish the military lent their money to those who bor: academies, and dispose of all bar rowed it in virtue of acts of the late racks and other property now ap
parliaments; and to give to the plied to military uses.
fundholders, out of the taxes, no . 3. To make the counties, each accord thing beyond these proceeds.
ing to its whole number of mem- 8. To make an equitable adjustment bers of parliament, maintain and with respect to the pecuniary conequip a body of militia, horse as tracts between man and man, and well as foot and artillery, at the thereby rectify, as far as practicable, county expense, and to have these the wrongs and ruin inflicted on bodies, as they are in America, thousands upon thousands of virmustered at stated periods ; so that tuous families by the arbitra' y at any time, a hundred thousand changes made by acts of the late efficient men may be ready to come parliaments, in the value of the into the field, if the defence of the money of the country, kingdom require it.
9. To abolish all internal laxes (except 1. To abolish tithes of every descrip
on the land), whether direct or intion; to leave to the clergy the direct, including stamp-taxes of churches, the church-yards, the every description; and to impose parsonage bouses, and the ancient such a postage-charge for letters
as to defray the real expenses of an the same day, and in such manner economical and yet efficient post as to cost in the collection, or, office establishment, and no more; rather, payment, not more than so that the postage would be merely four hundred pounds a year in any a payment for the conveyance of one county; to make the rate and letters, and not a tax.
amount of this tax vary with the 10. To lay just as much custon-house wants of the state, always taking
duty on importations as shall be care to be amply provided with found conducive to the benefit of means in case of war, when war the navigation, commerce, and shall be demanded by the safety, manufactures of the kingdom, the interést, or the honour of the viewed as a whole, and not to lay kingdom. on one penny more.
Now, my Lord GBey, here, at any 11. To make effectual provision, in rate, there is nothing of an abstract
every department, for the main- nature; nothing theoretic, nothing tenance of a powerful nary; to dark, nothing covert. This is what I give such pay and such an allot- would do, if I could have my will; and ment of prize-money to the sea- if I were a member of Parliament, and man as to render impressment found that this, the whole of this, could wholly unnecessary ; to abolish the not be obtained by the Parliament, I odious innovation of naval acade- would quit the concern as soon as I had mies, and re-open the door of pro- ascertained this to be the fact; as soon motion to skill and valour, whether as I had ascertained that the people had found in the heirs of nobles, or in the chosen men not ready to do all this; sons of the loom or of the plough ; or, at least, as soon as I had ascertained to abolish-all military Orders, and that the people would again choose such to place the nuvy next in honour to men. I would not consent to be the rethe throne itself.
presentative of any body of persons who 12. To make a legal, a fixed, and a would not pledge themselves inost so
generous allowance to the King, lemnly to support me in my endeavours and, tbrough him, to all the to accomplish all this. And, further, branches and members of his fa- I would accept of the post only on the mily; to leave to him the un-condition that I should be at liberty to shackled freedom of appointing all vacate it if I chose, at the end of one his servants, whether of his house session, if the Parliament continued the hold or of his public ministry ; to shameful practice of sitting by candleleave to him the full control over light, and under the same roof where there his palaces, gardens, and parks, as are an eating house and a boozing place. land-owners have over their estates; I will never sit, for any length of time,
to take care that he te not worried amongst " legislators," who drop in one : with intrigues to purloin from him after another, or half a score at a time,
that which the people give himn for belching, and picking their teeth. In his own enjoyment; so that he such a scene, how can attention and remay be, in all respects, what the flection exist? From such a scene sober Chief of a free people ought to be, thought is excluded by the laws of na.
his name held in the highest iure. From the fumes of port and i honour, and his person held sacred, sherry and grog and brown-stout and
as the great guardian of the peo- tobacco; from the spattering of the ple's righus.
frying-pan and the hissing of the grid13. To make an accurate valuation of iron, wisdom Aces as men flee from a : all the houses, lands, mines, and pestilence. To account for so great a
other real property, in each county country being brought to the state in in the whole kingdom; to impose which this now is, after ages will only a tax upon that property, to be paid want to be informed that its legislators quarterly, and in every county on lounged away the morning in bed, and
held their deliberations in the night- and thrown over into his own garden ! time, under the same roof with a guttling He of Bristol was absent, when 'his and guzzling house, and that, on an palace was burnt ; or he might have average, a fourth, or a third, of them experienced something more serious. were eating or drinking, at the very Instead of Guy Fawkes, who has, for moment that laws affecting the pro- more than 200 years, been annually perty, the liberty, the life of millions burnt in effigy on the 5th of Nowere under discussion. This is all that vember, the Bishops have been burnt after-ages will want to know about the this year! What a change !
How causes that produced a state of things that lie, that infamous lie, which has such as that which now exists in Eng- for more than 200 years, been played land. To a body of men leading such off against the Catholics, has now relives and addicted to such manners, no coiled on the Protestant Bishops! I motive, not much inore powerful than wonder how he of Exeter felt, while the I can have an idea of, would induce me transactions, which are related by the to belong any longer than the time Chronicle as follows, were going on ! sufficient to enable me to ascertain that I wonder whether, when surrounded in no ehange in their manners was to be his palace by SOLDIERS, he thought reasonably expected. So that the re- of Lord Grey's advice to the bishops, Downed OLD SERJEANT need not be to put their house in order! very uneasy about the danger to be “ This city has been in a constant apprehended from my being in Parlia“ state of alarm for several days past, ment. Those who have the power of " in consequence of the vast influx of choosing members of Parliameut gene strange ill-looking fellows, and as it rally look for a little coaxing ; and “ was well known to the authorities none will anybody ever get from me. “ that it was the intention of certain It will be service for me to bestow, and “ parties to burn the effigy of the not a favour for me to receive. I lave, " Bishop, an officious little Tory with the rest of the people, an interest “ Alderman, the Bishop's secretary, and in the general happiness of the nation ; " severalother obnoxious characters, on bat I have none but a common interest; “ the 5th of November, it was greatly and there is no moral obligation on me “ feared this scene would be taken adto submit, for the sake of the general “vaniage of by the ill-looking fellows good, to endure the breath of the “ who were lurking about the city in ' belchers from Bellamy's, who have, I" parties of six and eight; accordingly am told, even a “smoking room !" All "The Mayor sent to Piyinouth for a this must be changel, or there can be no regiment of soldiers, but none could good arise from reform. At any rate, “ be spared. All the inhabitants were it shall be changed, or I will have no “ requested to be sworn in as special thing to do with it for more than one "constables, and as that force would session. So that, again I say, Old Sra- “ only be adequate to protect the city, JEAXT Best may make himself pretty “ four regiments of yeomanry cavalry easy oa account of me.
were quartered in the barracks to de“ fend the county jail and bridewell. “ So affrighted were many of the
" wealthy inhabitants, that they reTHE BISHOPS.
“ moved their plate and valuables, proPRETTY generally these
“ vided themselves with fire-arms, and of the Apostles," as they call them- " fortified their houses in every possible selves, have been hanged and burnt in " way. The long-dreaded 5th of Noeffigy, since the rejection of the Reform" vember came, and the morning, as Bill. He of Wincuester was, as the “ usual, was ushered in with a merry newspapers told us, hagyod, on the top " peal on the parish bells, firing of of the market-house, just opposite his “
The day passed off palace, at Faruham; afterwards burnt, " quietly, and, in the evening, the usual
“ display of fire-works took place ;/" past twelve, when the whole Palace “ but the spectators were comparatively was set in commotion by a few idle “ few; no more was made to burn the boys rolling a burning tar-barrel to
effigy of the Bishop, &c., till eleven “wards the Palace, which was supposed "o'clock at night, when a large body " to be the signal for its demolition : W of deteripined fellows made their ap “ but it was only done to frighten and “pearance in the Cathedral-yard with "make a deeper impression on the " the effigy of the poor Bishop, mitred “mind of the Bishop, of what might be " and lawn-sleeved, &c., also a large “ the consequence of a second act of
quantity of faggots; a temporary hostility towards the people. The
gallows was soon erected, and the boys continued their course down a “pious scaramouch was soon hoisted "street towards the river, which soon "upon the gibbet. Its appearance was " quenched the tar-barrel, and dissipated “ ridiculously emblematical of this the fears of the Bishop, the Tory Lord
notorious hater of liberty and re “ Rolle, and others assembled in the e form. The head was composed of “ Palace, to support the droopiog spirits “ a hollow turnip, with a candle in the " of the holy and right rer. Father in
centre, in which were cut the nose God, whose compunction of conscience " and mouth, but no eyes-showing, they had serious apprehension would " that though the head possessed light, urge him to apply one of the loaded “the bishop was blind to the past and/" muskets to his head, and blow out
present scenes around him. The fag. “ the small portion of brains his skull “gots being adjusted, they were set fire "contained. Soon after , burning the to, and the light soon discovered the “
e “ effigy of the Bishop, the assembled “ vitals, composed of the liver and lights " multitude separated, quietly went to “ of a sheep, and a heart one mass of their homes, and up to the present
corruption, wbich the flames soon time, Monday morning, there has not " devoured, with the hollow head,“ been a single committal for riot or “ mitre, and lawn sleeves, of one of " disturbance. I again repeat, much " the twenty-four enemies of reform, “ credit is due to the Mayor for fore“and withholders of the people's just sight, determination, and coolness, in “rights; all this was done in the permitting the effigy to be burot, which “ Cathedral-yard, in full sight of the could not have been prevented without “ Palace. Had any attempt been made "bloodshed. Willthe liberty-bating Tories “ to prevent this innoceni ebullition of “now dare to say there is a re-action in re“public indignation, I have no doubt " form in Devon, and especially in this
many lives would have been lost,“ city, which till lately has been com" and we should have had a second“ pletely under their thraldom? It has “ Bristol affair. Much credit is due to “ thrown off its shackles, and the people “ the Mayor in permitting the people are now as free as the air they breathe. “ to vent their indignant feeling (created “ An anti-reform petition has been
by the late blind, obstinate, and wicked" hawked about the city for the last " conduct of the bishops) on this effigy “week past; and notwithstanding “ of a man who can never reclaim his “ Tories have had the meanness to get “ character but by voting for reform" upwards of thirty people to sign it " when the bill is next brought before“ under the pretence of its being in " the House of Lords. The bonfire “ favour of reform, and several other “and effigy being consumed, the assem poor creatures at sixpence a-head, still " bled multitude, which was composed only forty-three individuals of the “ of many thousands, gave three groans "lowest class have disgraced them. " for the bishops and Tories, and nine “selves by signing it
. No sooner had “ hearty cheers for the cause of reform." the affrighted inhabitants of this city " The Bishop's Palace was filled with " recovered themselves on Sunday, than “ armed soldiers, who kepi guard all
created about two night. Nothing occurred until hall- " v'clock by the galloping of the yeo