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his titles—of the post of parliamentary a bill for constitutional reform, infileader in the business of radical reform. nitely more important than aught in
If the mystery I have noticed did in contest between the ins and the outs! reality proceed from a hope of making I do not feel that I have any need to complete proselytes of the political apologize for the extreme reluctance I pharisees of our country, how little so. had to saying, on the 11th of July, to ever we may acknowledge the wisdom my fellow-citizens, all I then thought of of it, or how little soever we may in any the conduct of Sir Francis Burdett; view of it be able to approve of it as far but enough, I think, was si:id, to show as possible and as long as possible, it that there was necessarily an end to any may be allowable in the liberal-minded confidential intercourse between us. to put on it the most charitable construc The 12th of the questions which tion. Time, which has cleared up greater make part of my address, is as follows: mysteries, will clear up this.
"In proposing to the electors of Before proceeding, however, with “ Westminster a new man, altogether comments on others, it is proper, accord“ unknown in the field of reform, as the ing to what I have premised, to notice " personal friend of Sir Francis Burdett, what is objected to myself. Mr. Oubbett " what was the inference likely to be is extremely liberal of praise, for the drawn? What the effect actually services which, in his opinion, I have produced ?" rendered the public, and the disregard I To which question this is the answer : have therein shown to my own fair am —“ It seemed to warrant an inference, bition; which disregard, he thinks, 1 " that in respect of the leader and have, however, carried to a blameable “ licutenant ABOVE-MENTIONED, between extreme; that, in short, respecting the " whom there had been so much coline where sacrifices of this kind ought" operation, there had been no friendto end, I had •
overstepped the mark, “ ship." long and long ago.” Here I might far No human being could be supposed ther quote and argue to some extent in so dull as not to see, in this passage, my my own justification ; but that I shall conviction that the description of the rather leave to my actions. Mr. Cobbett new mu, so given by the committee, imputes to me that I still call Sir Francis was, in fact, the baronei's own descripBurdett " our leader;" whence he infers tion, as a distinction, between that new that I “cling” to the baronet somewhat man and his old reforming associate. improperly. It is true, that in addressing On a private account, I have no precertain friends of reform, assembled on tence for taking exception to that disthe 18th of August last, I certainly did tinction; of free and familiar as our so call the baronet, because he had taken politicul intercourse had for some years a leading siep in Parliament, towards the been, I never felt that I had the personal introduction of a Bili, for a radical re- friendship of Sir Francis. Ours had forin; and sincerely do I wish he may not been a private friendship, but a ponot compel me to cease calling him litical connexion; and on political " our leader.”
grounds it had, as I thought, entitled Should leaders err, they ought to re- me to a very different treatment than, at ceive counsel from such as are able to his hands, on that public occasion-an give it. The moving of p:opositions, occasion so very important to the cause which constiute the intended preamble of reform, and consequently of freedom of a BILL, entitles us to expect the BIL -I experienced.
A new Parliament has been a That the baronet's " personal friend" fortnight assembled. Ministers have was likewise a fox-hunuing companion, I made their motions. Opposition have weil kvew. But still I persuaded mymade theirs. But the anxious friends self that the baronet's patriotism had of England's freedom h ve not yet ob- been of the same kind as his, who, served that their leader has given any'on a similar occasion, had said, “I have police of a inotion for leave to bring in “ no fox-hunting vote to bestow on any
one; neither have I a vote for party, not walks the streets without having
nor for connexion : No; nor even for evidence of it. I remember, in par“sacred friendship. To my friend I ticular, the salutations, at different times, “ will give my purse, my hand, my 10 that effect of Sir John Throckmorton “ heart; but I will not give him that and Mr. Richard Sharpe; the latter, at " which is not mine. My vote I hold that tiine, and I believe now again, in " in trust; my vote belongs to my Parliairent; and both, as I understood,
country; and my country alone shall inembers with Sir Francis, of Brookes's “ have it."*
club, in St. James's Street. In the hope of representing West I further learned, that Sir Francis minster, it did not become me to court Burdett, having been waited on by Mr. the favour of the baronet, by the most Cleary and Mr. Henry Brooks, of the indirect hints of wishing for his counte- Strand, relative to business of a different nance, and I was proud enough to imagine nature, the baronet asked those gentleit impossible that HE, of all men, should
men, “ Who was thought of, to be put be the person to defeat my just and na-" in nomination with him, for representtural expectations.
ing the city?" when the answer he For awhile previous to the election, received from Mr. Henry Brooks was I understood it to be a prevailing senti- this :-“ Oh, Sir, no one is thought of ment, that he who more than forty years but the old Major." ago had successfully vindicated the le
Considering the hold which “ the old gislative rights of the commonally, t-he Major" then had on the affections and who had been mainly instrumental in the confidence of the truly enlightened the enlightening of those whose petitions and sincere friends of constitutional refor parliamentary reform had not been form, such news, if news it were, was of scantily laid on the table, but had co- a nature, it might have been thought, vered the very floor of the House of to have gladdened the coldest heart in Commons; and he who, in all ways, the coldest bosom of any one belonging had been indefatigable in the cause, and to that class in the community :-But it had, in particular, for several years, been gladdened not the heart of Sir Francis in close connexion and co-operation with Burdett! Sir Francis Burdett; was considered as Considering the obvious interest of having claims on his fellow.citizens, the that reform, and the plain-speaking dicelectors of Westminster, so far outweigh- tate of honest policy, that the happily ing any that would be opposed to them, favouring circumstances for that great that the baronet's name and bis, as no- question should have been seized on with minees for the representation of the city, avidity, and promoted with ardour, -names so long united in the public while Westminster, true to her reputaservice, ought by no means to have been tion, ought to have surpassed her sister put asunder.
cities of the metropolis in kindling up It was thought that the union of those in the cause a patriot fire, whose rays names was so natural, so congenial with should have diffused life and hope to public feeling and public expectation, the remotest borders of the land ; was it that it would call forth a support so to have been expected that any man unanimous and so ardent, as to cause un calling himself a constitutional reformer, undisputed return; and to this day no- could have been found, who was capable, thing has occurred to invalidate that of not merely throwing cold water on opinion.
the kindling fire, but even of throwing During the period alluded to, I could down an apple of DISCORD, for defeat
From an election speech at Lincolo, ining the proposed joint nomination ?1796, published in “ The Constitutional De But such a man was found in Sir Francis fence of England, Internal and External,” Burdett !—In Sir Francis Burdett, who, + The work was entitled, The Legislative in a concerted plan of operations for de
a second time within five months, joined Right of the Commonalty Vindicated. It was published in 1776.
feating the hopes of his quondam asso
ciate in the cause of reform, and who, between one who “ thought” and acted on the 17th of November, harangued, as the baroriet had done, and one who with such art and emphasis on the value thought and acted as I thought and of UNANIMITY!
acted. On receiving the information of Mr. I therefore immediately wrote and Henry Brooks, the baronet perceived the dispatched my servant with a note, exhour for activity was arrived. It quickly pressing my feelings as follows :produced a letter to the father, Mr. “ To Sir Francis Burdett.” Samuel Brooks, naming three gentlemen, “ I find that, after sacrifices to public any one of whom might be considered |“ liberty which have not, in this age, as acceptable to the baronet, and worthy" heen made by many; after a fidelity of being put in nomination with himself; " to the state, which had been surpassed in which letter, " the old Major” was “ by none,--and after vital services to neither named nor noticed.
"the cause of parliamentary reform, The three so recommended, were Mr. " which have been exceeded by few,Fawkes (whose determination, by the “ there are persons among whom I have way, against going into Parliament, “ acted, who oppose the confiding to me during the continuance of the present“ a trust, in the execution of which, system, had been repeatedly declared), “ there are those—and not a small Mr. Kinnaird, and Mr. Hobhouse.
“ number, — who are persuaded, cirThe baronet's fiat thus issued, all was
“cumstanced as I have long been, and instant alertness for Mr. Kinnaird, as
“ continue to be, I might be enabled the “personal friend” of Sir Francis" to advance the cause in which I have Burdeit. We know the rest. We know
long laboured, and with some credit, that on that occasion Westminster did
more than perhaps any other indiDot add to the phalanx of tadical reform. “ vidual. We know that even the baronet was but “ I also learn that, for the trust in second on the poll. And now we also “ question, a preference by the opposing know, that although in June it was, but“ persons is now given to gentlemen, most incomprehensibly assigned as the " who, for years past, and years which baronet's reason for not naming as Mr." our cause made years of trial-years Henry Brooks had done to him, " the “ in which the opposed person has done old Major," in his recommendatory " so much, these preferred gentlemen, epistle, that he “ THOUGHT the “ whatever may be their patriotism, “ Major did not wish for a seat in Paraf" their talents, and their virtues, have “ment ;" he (the baronet) in November," done nothing. as a new reason for the exclusion was “Seeing these things, I have nothing, unfortunately become necessary, had " thank God! to lament for myself, but accordingly discovered a new one-but" much as I conjecture, shall I have to not a whit less incomprehensible than “ Jament for my country, in which such the former one-namely, that although “ things are possible. there appeared no bar whatever to che
“ John CARTWRIGHT. introduetion of another
“ June 2, 1818.” friend,” another reformer of new-born Considering the auspicious crisis to preiensions, “it was impossible that the which the cause of constitutional reform Major should be elected!"
was brought,-considering that to bring But I must return to the recom- it to that crisis, had cost a two-andmendatory letter of the baronet to Mr. forty-years' controversy, and that in that Samuel Brooks. On its contents being controversy, from first to last, mine had communicated to me by the committee- not been the least prominent part, men, who had seen it, I felt that I had considering the nature, the object, and been very ill dealt with, and that it was, the intimacy of the political intercourse indeed, “ impossible” that a political between the baronei and myself,—and connexion in the sacred cause of consti- considering the honour which is ever tutional reform could any longer subsist supposed to govern men co-operating in
so sacred a public cause, --considering, I both, I observe, that having long dealt say, all these, could less on the occasion in strict demonstrations as standards of under consideration, have been expected right and wrong in political principle, I from Sir Francis Burdelt to me-and, am not easily prejudiced either against may I not add, to our country, for which an enemy, or for a friend. I thought we were jointly labouring. After what I have already noticed rethan a manly frankness and an opeu specting Sir Francis Burdett, and the dignified conduct?
doubts wbich his conduct has excited in And considering, moreover, that for the minds of myself and many others, it the eight years during which I had been will be right that I should so far account a citizen of Westminsier, I had been se for those doubts, as to show that I am cond to no man in sustaining and ele- not writing from spleen, but from a devating her reputation for services to sire, on the one hand, to guard the public reform and public freedom, I would ask from a misplaced reliance on serious and why, if all the baronet had in view were unre
remitting exertions in the cause of fair and honourable, I was to be exclu- reform, which may not take place, and, sively kept in the dark, until the plot for on the other hand, to furnish the baronet excluding me were fully ripened, and hiniself with a salutary warning of what the name of one of the gentlemen he may happen to his reputation, if he do recommended was placarded for nomi- not take care to prevent it. nation and support in conjunction with Notwithstanding the declarations his own, and as his “ persmal friend,” which have been made, respecting annual -a gentleman who, although likewise a Parliaments, universal freedom, and the citizen of Westminster, had never once ballot, -objects which are unquestionappeared when she had so distinguished ably necessary to be obtained for es. herself as aforesaid by her services to tablishing our freedom-it is but too reform and public freedom ?
apparent, that it will be discult to If a true interpretation of the former reconcile the late conduct of the baronet conduct, when the baronet“THOUGHT with any very rooted attachment to “ the Major did not wish for a seat in those objects : especially when the “ Parliament,” were wanting, it is now tenor of his public speeches shall be duly supplied. We see the old reformer attended to. again pushed aside, to make way for The baronet's predilection for annual that other gentleman of new-born pre- Parliaments is not, as we know, many tensions, whose name stood last in the years old, and moreover that it rests, aforesaid letter of the baronet to Mr. not on the true sound foundation of in- : Samuel Brooks.
herent demonstraled right, which is inIn the apprehensions to be entertained defeasable and immutavie; bui—on the from such facts, and from the mysterious unsound basis of history, of ancient; conduct of the baronet for two years statutes and the practice of our ancestors, past, or more, as well as from his public all which are property changeable, as our speeches since the election, I may pos- expedience may require. And it is not sibiy be wrong; and no man more ar- a little remarkable, as I shall presently dently than inyself wishes I may prove show, that for the change which did take
place, by departing from annual ParliaShould there be any ready to suspect inents and for continuing in that deparme of a deficiency in charity, let ihisture, the baronet, in his last public sentiment be put in the scale against speech, furnished the adversaries of our that notion of others, who misinterprei- freedom with an argument which, faling patience and forbearance, impute to lacious as it is, they will quote as of great me a facility of being too easily duped force; and which their own ingenuity by professions. To the former class of never before hit upon. persons, I say, in the words of the old
Then, we are further to consider, that Lord Chatham,“ In an aged bosom con- the baronet's belief in the ductrines of fidence is a plant of slow growth.” To universal frecdoin and the ballot, had not
a many months' possession of his mind It is not, however, to be supposed, but prior to the general clection. If, in the that while that powerful writer, as well simplicity of my nature, I had indeed, as Lord Cochrane and myself, had free given him credit ; for a fruit-bearing communication with the baronet, his sincerity, of attachment to the doctrines Lordship, and myself, and perhaps of our political salvation, and should in others, heard from the complainant fre-'! the end prove deceived,
although it may quent observations to that effect. But show that I had not sufficiently profited in whatever degree I felt the force of his by that scripture, in which it is written, observations, I also felt a desire to be that seed sown on stony ground, for instrumental, if possible, towards the want of root soon withers away; yet if baronet's acting as the enlightened and I be not wholly incorrigible in error, and virtuous expected from him, in the great if experience have not been quite thrown cause of parliamentary reform. away upon me; now, that I am brought, I therefore continued a perfectly by what has recently passed, to my re- friendly political intercourse with the collection, and called or to put other baronet, until a sense of what was due good confiding Christians on their guard, to personal honour compelled me, as I may possibly be of some use.
hath been explaineil, to free him from a Allow me then lo state, that in es- political connexion he seemed desirous of sentials towards reform, the late Duke dissolving. of Richmond went considerably further It will be recollected what extreme than Sir Francis Burdett has yet gone. anxiety was felt by the radical reformers That very able and very energetic noble on the approach of the parliamentary man, who was a complete working man session of 1817, when deputies from an of business, not only tendered in Parlia- immense number of petitioning comment an actual BILL for universal munities assembled in London, in the freedom and annual elections, but he ardent hope of a grand effort being made likewise published that BILL to the in Parliament, by means of a bill, which world, as well as his famous letter to it is understood was to be brought in by Colonel Sharman; unanswerably proving Sir Francis Burdett. by close logical argument and demon The unparalleled distress of the nation, stration, the truth of the principles on which distress was by that time univerwhich that BILL was founded ;-a mode sally seen to be a direct consequence of of proceeding and of pledying the party, the House of Commons not representing not hitherto adopted by the baronet. the people, but having been metamor
With the facts before our eyes, of phosed into an engine of their oppresthese proceedings of the Duke of Rich- sion; had given rise to numerous petimond, who, however, afterwards sat in tions, in which it appeared that the the same cabinet with that political effective power of the House of Comtiger, Mr. Pilt; would not experience mons was considered as concentrated in be useless, might I not, without un an oligarchy, whose barefaced usurcharitable imputations, be permitted to pation and insufferable tyranny were warn the nation against believing the upheld by a corruption as notorious as impossibility of the baronet himself be- it was infamous. coming a changeling?
The suffering people, agonizing under Here, if circumstances have taught their miseries, looked, as they had a me, that it is niy duty to speak, I must right to look, for such a bill, and their nevertheless claim to stand in that re- eyes, as well as the eyes of all sincere spect perfectly apart from a powerful reformers, were universally turned on writer who has dealt largely in accusa- Sir Francis Burdett. This was, of tion of the baronet, for his want of sin-course, the case of Mr. Colbett, who, in cerity as a constitutional reformer. The the meeting of deputies, had moved a accusation of that writer must stand or resolution of high compliments and enfall
, as supported, or contradicted, by tire confidence in Sir Francis Burdett, facts and evidence.
although at that time the baronet did