Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

theretofore ; and when the political- preferring Long Island to a dangeon

might not have known that you had the bills, were all insufficient to check the coat ; and even if he had known it, he tide of reform, resorted to that long and might, you having had the coat in your bloody war, the real object of which was possession a long while, have said no- to keep down and to siifle the reformers thing about the matter, seeing that he in England, but which war (here, indeed, had been quiet upon the subject for so Lawyer Croker, one may well " call long a time. This is your argument, o'God," and admire the way in which Lawyer Croker; this is the argument he inflicts justice) made the debt unof the whole of you : it is in the mouth bearable, and that unbearable debt is of every tax-eater, from yourself down to now producing reform, and urging men the draggle-tailed oily-tongued wife of to call for the abolition of the tithes ! the lowest clerk in the lowest of the During that long and bloody war, and offices established to uphold this system the suspension of ail liberty of the peoit is the argument of every scoundrel ple of England, the reformers were attorney, and of the wife of every made to be comparatively silent; scoundrel attorney, who has fattened by but still they were always active : the being the agent of the boroughmongers, question was always kept alive; and a and who sees in the Reform Bill some- session of Parliament never passed thing as hidevus as the dreadful anticipa- without ten or more petitions for reform. tion which was presented to the mind of The war ended at last; but the burFalstaff when he thought that the dens did not end. Distress spread itself black fly on Bardol ph’s nose was a black all over the kingdom ; and though soul beckoning him to hell! This is there were quack remedies enough on your argument, which is directly con foot, the sensible part of the nation saw tradicted by the notorious facts. no remedy but in a reform. And from

For upwards of sixty years, the the date of the peace to the year 1917, question of reform has been under dis- not a session passed without more than cussion ; the American war was as- two hundred petitions for Parliamentary cribed by Major Cartwright and his col- reform. In 1817, a million and a half leagues, at the time, to the corrupt bo- of men petitioned for a Parliamentary rough system, and to the immense sums reform; they were abandoned by Burof noney which, through the means of the dett, who had been their great stimuborunghs, the boroughmongers sacked lator to petition, and the answer to their through the channels opened to them by petitions consisted of two bills, passed the war. Fifty-one years ago, or there with speed indeed, and for both of which abouts, the Duke of Richmond actually Lawyer Croker voted, as did Peel's-Bill brought a bill into the House of Lords, Peel also ; one of which bills took away to destroy the whole of the villanous the liberty of the press, and the other of system. At about the same period, the which bills empowered Castlereagh and old Lord Chatham warned the Parlia- Sidmouth to imprison any man or woment, ibat, if it did not reform itself man that they pleased, in any jail or within, it would be reformed from with- dungeon that they pleased, without out with a vengeance ; and a little after stating to any-body what they did it for; this time, his since-political-apostate son to let such persons

when they declared, that without a Parliamentary pleased, to keep them in the jails and reform no honest man could be a Minis- ihe dungeons as long as they pleased ; ter in England; an assertion which he to refuse them, if they pleased, the use most amply verified by his afterwards of pen, ink, and paper, and also to rebeing the Minister for about fifteen or fuse them a sight of their parents, wives,

Next came the years and children; and accordingly, the 1792 1793, 1794, when the qucstion of dungeons resounded with their groans. apostate Pitt, finding that gagging bills, of Sidmouth, I took myself thither, dungeon Lills, power-of-imprisonment whence I reached the old fellow with my

out

sil'een years.

long arm, and whence I, joining with the oaf says to be true ; admitting that my brother reformers left in England, this base reporther, who I dare say exsent the honourable concern at West-ists by sponging about, and picking up minster my petitions for reform. From rewards for reporths of this kind; adthat time to the month of November in mitting even this to be true; allowing the last year, more and more numerous, the audacious lie that the press stimuextending to richer and richer classes of lated the people of Bristol to bastinado, persons; more and more loud have and even to murder, Wetherell ; admitbeen the petitions for Parliamentary ting this atrocious lie to be a truth, reform, for an abolition of the accursed what did the press do this FOR ? Why, boroughs, and for greatly extending the because Wetherell had done more than suffrage, and greatly shortening the any other man to throw obloquy on the durations of Parliament.

Reform Bill, and to stimo ulate the Lords How, then, Lawyer CROKER, can the to reject that bill. Therefore, it is still tempest” have been raised by these to the rejection of the bill that the Ministers, who have been in office only tempest is to be ascribed. thirteen months. You cannot deny that Now, then, it being undeniable that the tempest does not direct itself against both the immediate and the distant them : you cannot have the impudence causes of the" lempest” are to be found to deny that the terrible affair at Bris- in the refusal and rejection of reform, tol arose immediately out of the rejec- let us come back again to the epoch at tion of the Reformu Bill. Stop, now, which these Ministers came into power, Lawyer Croker. Will you say that and let us see what was the state of the you believe that WETHERELL would country then! The fires had been blazhave been obliged to flee from the ing over the country for some time bench in disguise; that the bishop's when the Parliament' met in October. palace would have been burned ; that The Prime Minister took the earliest the bishops would have been burned in opportunity of proclaiming that no reeffigy; that the opposition lords would form was wanted, and that he never not have been able to go to their would consent to reform. The country country houses in safety? Will you was absolutely in a blaze of indignation. say, Lawyer Croker, that you believe The King, who had accepted an invitathat these things would have been, if tation of the city of London to dine the Reform Biil had not been rejected ? with the Lord Mayor, was compelled Tell me that, flat and plain ; because, if to decline to fulfil the engagement, lest you will say that, I have done with he should thereby cause a spilling of the you. There is a reporther who, in a blood of his people. And have you publication which he puts forth, as forgotten, Lawyer Croker, and has he has frequently put forth others, un- Peel's-Bill Peel also forgotten, that der the word “ Hunt :” this bas re- the Prime Minister was hooted and porther, this FOOL-LIAR, states that pelted and groaned at wherever he the violences at Bristol were occasioned went; that he could neither walk nor by the press, which the oaf-liar says, ride the streets in safety ; that it was called upon the people of Bristol to impossible for him to remain in place 66 murder WETHERELL.

But, you, any longer without the risk of producLawyer CROKER, though you rail in ing general anarchy? You will not goodly terms against the press, are not deny, Lawyer CROKER, that this was fool enough to say this: you are not the state of the country; that “this such a beastly oaf as to put forth a lie tempest” was raging, when the Minisso impudent as this. And, now, our ters came into power, and that they speaking of the press, and bringing in stilled that tempest; and how did they what you say with regard to it : admit- still it? Why, by explicitly declaring in ting, for argument's sake, that the press their places in Parliament, that they has had a great deal to do in raising had come in upon the express condition the “ tempest;" nay, admitting what that the King would allow them to pro

pose a reform of the Parliament! Thus, until the pension, sinecure, grant, retiredclear as daylight is it, that the borough- allowance, and dead-weight lists, have mongers and their supporters, and not been made sheets of blank paper; and the Ministers, have raised this tempest ; this I believe to be one of the great and thus you have received from me, subjects of your alarm, if your speech Lawyer CROKER, the answer which was such as it was given to us by the you ought to have received upon the reporther, and on whose words I have spot from the Ministers themselves : commented not as having been uttered and, Lawyer Croker, alarmed as you by you, but as a publication which he say you are, and as I believe you to be, has put forth under your name. Having and most justly alarmed too, I venture mentioned lists, I cannot help adverting to assure you that the reform will take to what the reporther puts forth under place in spite of your alarm and in spite the name of Scott Eldon, who, in this of every thing that you can do to pre- publication, is represented to have exvent the success of this great and con- pressed his uneasiness at a publication ciliatory measure.

called the Black List. The following LAWYER CROKER, another part of are the words attributed to Scott your speech tells us that this reform will Eldon by this publication :not be large enough to satisfy the people,

He could not bere help expressing his suror, at any rate, large enough to satisfy rise, that in the course of the last three months the millions. Now, Lawyer, I do not nothing had been said or done with respect to take upon myself to say that it will be

a publication called “ The Black List.Was large enough to satisfy them; but I such a publication ever before suffered to pass think I may venture to say that, if this (without animadversion? It was there stated reform be not large enough to satisfy that he himself, ever since he had a seat in them, they will not be satisfied with a that House, bad been receiving 54,0001. anreform that is smaller than this. I will nually out of the taxes. He wished these further venture to say, that this reform Black-List people would tell him where he would have satisfied them if it had been could get it. And then they said that a nephew adopted at once, and had gone honestly of bis-meaning a brot ber of bis—who was into execution, without that viperous

now eighty-seven years of age, and whom they opposition that was made to it, and chose to call nephew, had 4,0001. a year out

. without that endless and bitter strife

of the taxes; whereas, in reality, he had not which taught the people to estimate the

one farthing out of the taxes.

In the same powerful motives of its opponents. I do not take upon me to say that the manner, others of their Lordships had been people will ever be brought back to that represented as receiving millions from the

taxes who did not receive one fartbing from disposition to conciliate in which they them; and yet these things were suffered to were in the first week of last March; and of this I am very sure, that, if the pass without animadversion. new bili withhold from them any part I know nothing of this Black List; which the former bill acknowledged to but I know of a Black Book, published be their right, they never will be in that by Mr. Effingham Wilson, at the Royal conciliating temper again; and that Exchange; and I know that, animadverchange after change must succeed, until sion, or not animadversion, and I know that will come which even your af- full well what Scott Eldon means by frighted mind does not appear to an- animadversion ; I know that England ticipate.

never will know real peace again till I hope, but, what is more, I believe, that book be made blank

paper. that, if the same bill be passed, or a bill I should now come to the speech of acknowledging the right of suffrage Peel's-Bill Peel; and after that to equally extensive, all will yet be well; Lawyer Croker's Essay upon Irish but let me not flatter you, LAWYER Tithes ; but, the latter subject is too CROKER, that perfect peace and har- important to be discussed by me to-day; mony will be restored to the country and of Peel's-Bill Peel's speech, I shall

only notice what he says about the their progress; nay, they did invade dawnings of the revolution in France. France; and, thanks to the bravery of After speaking of what he calls the out- the French National Guard, they were rages in England, and comparing them defeated. Was the revolution over, then ? to what he calls the reign of terror in " It was easy to pronounce the words, France, he asks whether similar results the revolution is over ;" but the people may not be the consequence in this saw that it was not over. All the blood country.

that was shed in France fell upon the In saying this, I do not mean to confound head of the royal family, the nobility, the first seeds of revolution with the after and the clergy, and their tax-eaters : progress of anarchy and blood; but what I do their oppressions in the first place ; mean to do is to compare our first steps with their persevering opposition and treach those that took place in France, and to ask ery in the next place, were the causes whether such things may not be the conse

of the whole of that blood. I wonder quence of disturbing and unsettling men's why Peel's-Bill Peel, when he was tellminds? I have read that the National Con- ing us that in France, the priests and vention, before Marat had influence there,

aristocrats were the persons cried out made a denunciation against Clubs (hear, against by the popular agitators; and hear), and that the same assembly, too, pro

that the persons cried out against by claimed death to the man who should propose

those agitators here are the boroughan Agrarian law. I have read that when the mongers; I wonder why Peel's-Bill King accepted the Constitution of 1791, he Peel forgot to tell us that the clergy began in the words “ La Revolution s'est fait,"

here also are cried out against by the thinking that he had then arrived at the ter

agitators. Surely, Peel's-Bill Peel canmination of the Revolution. So those days the have come in for their share of the cry!

not have forgotten yet, that the bishops persons cried out against by the popular agita. He will find, I believe, before it be tors were the priests and the aristocrats. In this country now it is the boroughmongers that over, the tithes will be full as loudly have to bear the burden.

complained against as rotten boroughs

ever were; but upon that subject we These are his words, at least such as shall have to speak more fully another they are given in the publication of the time. I must now proceed with the reporther. Now, Peel's-Bill Peel, hear speech, for the remainder of which I me a bit. The revolution in France, as have very little room. ARTHUR YOUNG and Doctor Moor will

I deeply lament the distress which still show you, arose out of the intolerable oppressions of the nobility, the clergy, for which the preservation of peace both at

prevails in many parts of my dominions, and and the taxing people. This you can-home and abroad will, under the blessing of not deny. The French proceeded at

Divine Providence, afford the best and most first by fires privately set ; then by fires

effectual remedy; I feel assured of your disopenly set to gentlemen's houses by bands of men, armed with such wea

position to adopt any practicable measures,

which you will always find me ready and pons as they could collect.

This was long before there was a national con

anxious to assist, both for removing the causes vention; and, as to the king thinking,

and mitigating the effects of the want of emwhen he signed the constitution, that ployment which the embarrassments of comthe revolution was over, it was over merce, and the consequent interruption of the provided he acted honestly: but there pursuits of industry, have occasioned. were his brothers and his cousins on The and and the both have no business the frontier, and other runaway French- here, and the and does mischief. Strange men, principally nobility and clergy, that the King should say, at the end of forming armies, and joining the open sixteen years of peace, that the preenemies of France to invade France, servation of peace will be the most effectthreatening to burn every town, and to ual remedy for the distress. No, may put every man to death who opposed it please your Majesty, the want of em.

ployment does not arise from any em In parts of Ireland a systematic opposition barrassment of commerce. It is found in has been made to the payment of tithes, atagriculture as well as in commerce; it tended in some instances with afflicting roarises from a transfer of property from sults; and it will be one of your first duties to farmers, manufacturers, and traders, to inquire whether it may not be possible to effect loanmongers, Jews, and other usurers, improvements in the laws respecting this subwho suck up the products of industry ject, which may afford the necessary protection through the channels of taxation; and to the Established Church, and at the same this sucking up arises from the measure time remove the present causes of complaint. of that fine young statesman, Peel's- But ia this and every other question affecting Bill Peel : and this evil can never be Ireland, it is above all things necessary to look cured but by my thirteen Manchester to the best means of securing internal peace propositions.

and order, which alone seem wanting to raise It is with great concern that I have ob. a country, blessed by Providence with so many served the existence of a disease at Sunder- natural advantages, to a state of the greatest land, similar in its appearance and character prosperity. to that which has existed in many parts of

The and is again unnecessary, and Europe. Whether it is indigenous, or has the which has an equivocal reference. been imported from abroad, is a question in. The subject of this paragraph of the volved in much uncertainty, but its progress speech is important beyond description. bas veither been so extensive nor so fatal as

In another Register Í shall examine on the Contineat. It is not, however, the less what Mr. Stanley said upon the subject. necessary to use every precaution against the Here I have only room to observe, that further extension of this malady; and the it is utterly impossible to effect the two measures recommended by those who have objects propounded, if it be meant by had the best opportunity of observing it, as protection to the church, to take nothing most effective for this purpose, bave been from that church. It is very true that adopted.

no good is to be done to Ireland, nor to The is ought to have been be, and England either, without securing inthe has, have, according to common ternal peace and order; but, then, alas ! sense well as to the rules of that peace and order, in Ireland at any grammar.

As to the subject-matter rate, are wholly incompatible with the of this part of the Speech, it gives existence of an establishment whịch has not the least alarm to us who have the kept that at once fine and miserable happiness to live in the city of London, country in a state of continual turmoil, seeing that we have “ Charley Pear- from the barbarous reign of Elizabeth to son, the chairman of our Committee of the present day. Health, who sends us round his rescripts, The conduct of the Portuguese Governcommanding us to white-wash our ment, and the repeated injuries to which my houses, scour our water-courses, wash subjects have been exposed, have prevented a our hands and face, keep our persons renewal of niy diplomatic relations with that clean, and to abstain from over-drink- kingdom. The state of a country so long ing, from keeping bad hours, and par- united with this by the ties of the most intiticularly from the use of ardent spirits mate alliance must necessarily be to me an to excess! Seeing " Charleyin cor- object of the deepest interest ; and the return respondence with the Privy Council upon to Europe of the elder brauch of the illustrious this subject, and perceiving that our house of Braganza, and the dangers of a dispaternal Lord Mayor ias committed the puted succession, will require my most vigilant keeping of our health to Charley's attention to events by which not only the safety care, for ourselves, we are perfectly at of Portugal, but the general interests of Europe, case, but naturally entertain an anxious may be affected. solicitude for our unfortunate fellow The arrangement which I announced to you subjects, on whom the Government and at the close of last session, for the separation constituted authorities do not appear to of the States of Holland and Belgium, has have bestowed such peculiar care. been followed by a treaty between the five

as

« EdellinenJatka »