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States, presumes to solicit your Grace's permission to visit the House of Lords this evening.
'I am, my Lord Duke,
'Your Grace's Humble Servant,
This circular was addressed also to the Duke of Buccleugh, Viscount Melbourne, Marquis of Londonderry, etc., for the Lords; and to O'Connell, Hume, Spring Rice, and Sergeant Talfourd, for the Commons. To ensure success, I took a cab, and called on their graces and lordships in person. At Whitehall-Gardens, the powdered and goldlaced footman, gracefully bowing for a sixpence to drink my health,' presented me with a note, neatly sealed with the duke's arms, which purported thus:
'The Duke of Buccleugh presents his compliments to Mr.- and has the honor to inclose an order for the House of Lords.'
This for my friend. Now to the premier's for myself. The viscount's house is certainly not more ostentatious than his neighbors.'
'On business?' asked the porter, as 1 presented my 'little affair.'
'Yes,' said I stoutly.
Then you must take it to the office, in Downing-street. His lordship transacts no business at home.'
'Oh!' it is private business-very special, and requires an immediate answer,' returned I, remembering the advantage of an air of consequence, with these 'gentlemen's gentlemen.'
The official disappeared, and soon brought me a roughly.
'Orders' for the House of Lords.
folded note, addressed in true great men's hieroglyphics:
It inclosed the order. Next, to Apsley House: 'The duke will send an answer.' To Piccadilly: The Marquis not in town.' To Cavendish-Square: 'The duke will be at home shortly; an answer at two o'clock.' To Lang. ham-Place: Reply endorsed on the petition:
'Finding Mr.is not a resident of a slave-holding state, Mr. O'Connell has the honor to comply with his request.
'Admit the bearer to the gallery.'
To Guildhall: Mr. Talfourd, the author of Ion,' in court, examining a witness. Asked the constable to give him my note, when he was disengaged; but he pushed inside, before judge and jury, thinking I had something touching the case in hand. Luckily the sergeant was busy, and I escaped. A brace of orders came from him in season, so I supplied my friends; for no member can give an order for more than one person at a time.
We went to the House of Lords at five P. M. The room is about the same size as that of the Commons, but looks, of course, a little more genteel.' The throne is a large arm-chair, under a crimson canopy, not particularly splendid. The members' scats are elevated on each side, and covered with red moreen. The ministerial bench' is in front, near the woolsack and the bishops; and their party (at present whigs) all sit on the same side, while the
opposition, or tories, occupy the other, facing their opponents. In this house, the tories, or conservatives, of course predominate. The members were in plain citizen's dress, except the bishops, the chancellor, and the clerks, who all wear a black gown and big wigs. When we entered, a witness was being examined in an election-bribery case: presently the house was called to order, and the chancellor (Lord Cottenham) took his seat on the woolsack, which is nothing more than a good sized red ottoman. An ordinary-looking man, who it appeared was the Earl of Wicklow, then rose, and made a studied speech, in which there were far more words than ideas, against appropriations for a charity-school in Ireland, which he alleged was under Catholic influence. Some one at the door announced, 'My luds! a message from the House of Commons!' and on each repetition of this, the chancellor, poor man, had to leave his seat and come down the hall with a bag, which they call the purse, to receive the 'message.' One of the prelates (the Bishop of Exeter) rose and supported the Earl of Wicklow's motion; and then presented petitions from manufacturing districts, praying for interference in behalf of the children employed in factories, who were often required to work twenty hours out of the twenty-four, and were otherwise ill-treated. The bishop made some remarkable statements in the course of his appeal, which was manly and sensible; and I observed Melbourne, the minister, who is a full-sized, elderly man, leave his seat and whisper to somebody, and then return with a point-blank con
tradiction to one of the bishop's assertions, which of course produced a rejoinder.
When I revisited the house on the 17th, the Marquis of Londonderry had the floor. My object was to see Wellington. Pray is he here?' 'Yes; don't you see his nose?' Ah, there's no mistaking the duke. There he sits, between the dandy-exquisite-moustached-tory-Duke of Cumberland (the king's brother) and Lord Lyndhurst, the intellectual giant of the house, the ablest peer of them all, and the best orator, perhaps the only orator, among them. He is an extraordinary man, that,' said my neighbor. No doubt,' thought I. His father was a native of our own Boston. 'That tall man, with a short neck, and black hair, is Lord Ellenborough, and he in the rear, the Earl of Devon, all tories-"birds of a feather." Brougham is not here; he appears to have retired of late from public life. But hush! The duke is going to speak! Lo! the great captain, who is at once two dukes, (Spanish and English,) a prince, (of Belgium,) two marquisses, three generals, a field-marshal, four or five ex-premiers, knight of the garter, Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Constable of the Tower, and filling I know not how many other stations; the conqueror of Napoleon; the commander of three great armies; the leader at the ball of Brussels, when
'There was a sound of revelry by night,
this famous great-little man rose to speak. And he spoke 'pretty well considering.' He hesitates and stutters at
times, but when he gets warm with his subject, as he is now, he waxes quite eloquent. He is evidently listened to with much deference and attention. They have not forgotten Waterloo.
A few days since a meeting of the "friends of O'Connell and reform was held at the Crown and Anchor' to raise a subscription for the great agitator in consideration of his expenses at recent elections.* Mr. Hume, one of the radical leaders in the House, presided, and made a speech. He is a Scotchman, and looks honest as well as able and talented. At another meeting, in reference to the case of Dr. Beaumont, an Englishman who had been imprisoned in France for some political offences, O'Connell himself was in the chair, and exhibited his peculiar powers of satire and bitter invective in an harangue against Louis Philippe and the whole French nation. In person he is very large and tall with a full, broad, and strikingly Irish face, and his style of oratory is well adapted to work on the passions rather than the reason of the populace.
I usually attend church on Sunday afternoons at Westminster Abbey. I love to go there. One can read sermons on the walls. The very tombs discourse history, poetry, and philosophy. The verbal preachers are usually sufficiently dull. Among others, I have heard the Bishops of Hereford, Chester, and Exeter; and (in his own church) the Rev. George Croly, the poet, author of 'Salathiel.' Croly is a man of fifty, or thereabout, a high tory, and
*It was stated that one election had cost Mr. O'Connell if I recollect right, 19,000!!