Obrazy na stronie

and plenty of food and raiment man, indued with such rare faculamongst the more than half- ties as to politics as I seem to starved working classes; but this possess, foreseeing and foretelling remedy, these details, shall never every thing, and having, too, so be seen by any eyes other than large a portion of the people at those of my own family as long as his back, should be kept out of these abominable conspiracies, power; or rather, kept out of these foul and unnatural combina- Parliament. But, pray consider tions and coalitions, continue to that the putting me into Parliaexclude me from my proper placement is a question not between in the Government. In Parlia-WooD and BARRIE; not between ment I will be, or this remedy a canter and a dog-fighter; but shall never be communicated to between the tax payers and the public. You, my friends, of the tax-eaters. The tax-eaters the working classes, cannot easily have, at present, the power to be worse off than you are: it

some way or other. If they can preserve their power, to its full extent, they will effect their purpose still; but I am satisfied that

must be almost the devil himself keep me out; and as long as they to come to add to your sufferings have that power, they will exerand privations. Therefore, cise it and effect their purpose in shall stand by and see the thing work; and as long as he sits there, let the Cotton Lords of Lancashire cry out for assistance to Mr. WooD. I cannot conclude without requesting your particular attention to what is said in the above article they cannot preserve it beyond a relative to the price of the bonds. short time yet to come; and I It was in the month of November, will please to observe, when should not be surprised if it were I put in print these words relative to vanish into air even before to the South American bonds. that election, which we shall see "I now declare, that I think them


"of less value than the Spanish at Preston in the month of April "bonds now are, if the owner be or May next. Once more, my "compelled to keep them unsold friends, I assure you that you "for a year. Now, observe, I the Spanish bonds were, when shall receive the publication of wrote this article, at twenty-one, which I spoke before I left you; and the Colombian bonds are that you shall receive it within a now at twenty-three; but, then, we have got five months nearly yet to come before the year will be expired. So that, if any thing coming from mortal man ought to be called a prophecy, this is a prophecy, one of the truest that ever was put upon paper.

In conclusion, you will, I dare say, wonder how it happens that a

fortnight from this time; and that, while I hope I shall neglect no part of my various duties, I never

will neglect one particle of that which is due to my excellent and affectionate friends of Preston.




To the Fund for defraying the Expenses of an endeavour to put Mr. Cobbett into Parliament.

Kensington, July 4, 1826.

efforts which we have made, of
the objects which we have ac-
complished, and of the effects
which have been, and which, in
all probability, will be, produced
way of pre-
by our efforts. In the
face, I beg leave to remind you of
what I said in the Register of the
22d of April last, before the affair
of Preston was undertaken. I
will insert the whole passage here,
because it is extremely well calcu-
lated to show the exact state of
mind in which I was when I en-
tered upon the contest; and I

[ocr errors]

GENTLEMEN,-Here I am, after an absence of thirty-seven days, during which days I have travelled five hundred miles, have seen and spoken to half a million trust that you will now be conof people; have had, I dare say, vinced that I have adhered most fifty thousand men and women strictly to the promises contained shake me by the hand, and more in this article. The article was than five thousand of these, have, in the following words: perhaps, come from an average "In the meanwhile, it is proper distance of more than twenty" for me to notice a report which miles, expressly for that purpose," has been circulated in many of and that they might go home and the newspapers, that I have have to say that they had touched" been canvassing, or that it has Mr. Cobbett's hand. Many per-" been settled that I shall offe sons came on this errand from a "myself for the Borough of Newdistance of fifty miles; which of " ark. I have not canvassed the itself ought to be deemed by me Borough of Newark: I really more than a compensation for all know not in what county it is. I my labours. "have had a letter from Newark, It is my duty to give you some "but not of that stamp that would account of the uses to which the" call upon me to think seriously subscription money has been ap-" of the matter. The truth is, I plied. I am but just returned" can fix upon nothing, without home; the noise and uproar in previously consulting the Comwhich I have lived for so many "mittee; and, even after that days, have hardly ceased their" has been done, it is possible that effect upon me. By the next" we may not have the means to week, I shall receive from Sir" make any attempt which would THOMAS BERVOR his account of" not manifestly be labour in vain. the expenditure of the money. "One thing I will venture to We have rather exceeded the "pledge myself for; and that is, whole amount. I know that we "that I will be returned, if at all, have exceeded it by about two "by no corrupt and infamous hundred pounds. Of this, how-" means. One single farthing of ever, I shall speak hereafter. At the money shall not, with my present I have to give a short ac- "consent, be given to bribe or count of our proceedings, of the corrupt any human being. If

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

country, once so happy, to be "the most miserable upon the face of the earth.

"chosen, therefore, I must be " years heretofore, without the "chosen by men who choose me" smallest relaxation in my efforts "for the good of the country, and "to change, if possible, the sys"not for their own profit. I must "tem which has brought this "be for some place where some "considerable number of the peo"ple have something to say in the "matter. There have been ru- "I regard this as no very great 64 mours, and pretty widely-cir- "effort; and above all things, not "culated, of my intention to stand" one, the failure of which ought "for a place more conveniently" to produce disgust or disheart"situated in point of locality, and "ening. When I compare my "even to attempt which, would "situation, in the eyes of the "certainly be more honourable" public, with my situation only "than to succeed in almost any "other place. As to these rumours, it is not for me to say, just at present, whether they "have any foundation or not. "Certain it is, that if I have life" till I saw the day when the cor

[ocr errors]


five years ago, am I to be dis"heartened by any thing? When "I reflect on the abuse, the opprobrium, the scorn through "which I maintained my ground,

[ocr errors]

"and health, my friends shall be "rectness of my opinions were "convinced that, in this case, as "verified by events, and recog "well as in so many others, I am "nised by the acts of the Minis"not deficient in industry, zeal, "ters themselves; and when I "and perseverance. I am well" reflect, that it is fear of my aware of the numerous obstacles" talents and my integrity, and "and difficulties; but, having so" that all the world will be con "frequently urged others to en-"vinced that it is nothing else "deavour, at least, to overcome "that will cause me to fail, if "such, it would be a shame, in-"fail I should, am I a man to "deed, if I were not ready to "pout and sulk and retire, at the "practise what I preach. I am "loss of an election? Am I a "determined, if possible, to make "man, beholding, as I do, the an open and solemn appeal to "events which are now fast tread"the people. If I find them so "ing upon the heels of the other ; "cowed down; if I find their an-" am I a man, beholding these "cient spirit so completely ex-" things, having all the materials tinguished; if I find that they "for calculation so plainly before "can bear even their present suf-"me; am I a man to fly off in a "ferings, without a desire within "huff, and reject the apple, be"them to remove those sufferings, "cause I am not permitted to take "strong enough to urge them to "it by the tail? No such a thing; "exertion, I shall be greatly mor- but I must act, in my usual "tified; I shall deeply lament "course, as if every thing de"the fallen state of my country; "pended upon this, I should not "but, having done my duty, Ideal fairly with the people, if, "shall enjoy in perfect tranquillity," having sufficient means just at "the same sort of life that I have," my disposal, I did not give some "thank God, enjoyed for so many" part of them, at least, an oppor

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Such, then, was the temper of mind, and such were the promises with which I entered upon the Preston contest. And, Gentlemen, have I not fulfilled those promises to the very letter? Have I not carried on and concluded this contest in a manner worthy of your friendship and of the actions of my whole life? You will answer in the affirmative, even if you found your opinion upon nothing but the mere newspaper reports; but those reports can give you but a very faint idea of the extent and nature of my exertions, and especially of the effects which I have produced in the North of England. Judge you what must have been the effect, when scores upon scores of men came expressly from such great distances for no other purpose than that of seeing, or of touching the hand of the man, whom your public spirit had enabled to make this effort without injury to himself.

"tunity of proving to the world, "that they are animated by a de"sire to serve and save their "country. Again I say, that this is only one effort, in addition to "that which was made before, "and even that would have suc"ceeded had it not been for base " and treacherous friends,' who "would now gladly exchange si"tuations with me. This is only "one effort of many which are "probably to succeed it; but I "predict, and upon another Gridiron pledge I predict it, that in "Parliament I shall be, first or "last; and that I am destined to "have a hand in the changing of "a system which has so long "been a scourge to the country. "I am satisfied that, as far as my own fame is concerned, the fai"lure at Coventry was fortunate. "In all human probability, the progress of the THING, uninterrupted by me, would bring me greater reputation than I "could acquire by arresting that I hesitated for some time be"progress. Being of this opinion, tween Westminster and Preston; "I have, many times, hesitated as and, indeed, I was not without "to whether I should now make some thoughts about Middlesex. "the effort or not. But, a desire I cannot behold the four miserable "to mitigate, at least, the suffer-things, who have been returned ings of the people, has prevail- for Westminster and Middlesex "ed, at last, over every other as quietly as if for a couple of "consideration, and has induced rotten Boroughs, like Old Sarum "me to endeavour to obtain the or Gatton, without lamenting that "means to make the attempt I did not remain to make a stir

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

" now.

"Thus stands the matter, at "present. In a short time, the "public must be informed of the "place chosen for the trial; and, "in the mean time, they may be "assured that, if made at all, "(of which I have not the least “doubt), it shall be made openly, “and in a manner worthy of the "conduct of my whole life.”

against them; yet, when I think of the excellent people of the North; of the sensible, the publicspirited, the zealous, the disinterested, the generous, the devoted people of Preston, I can feel sorrow at nothing that tended to take me into their country; I can lament nothing which has arisen from my being present amongst them; to have made an effort to

give them freedom, to have ac- with regard to almost every other tually given them fifteen days of town of Lancashire, Liverpool exliberty to pour out just reproach cepted, where I knew personally, upon the execrable tyrants who and had, as an acquaintance, only oppress them; to have been pre- one gentleman: I except Liversent with them for a month, and pool, however, as being, generally to have witnessed the sacrifices speaking, a very vile place, a which they made to their duty villanous borough inhabited by a these are beyond all value: be- parcel of people that have neither yond all estimate; and I can la- public-spirit nor private virtue. ment nothing to have enjoyed This I mean is the general chawhich would have prevented me racter of the place, with doubtless from knowing and loving these numerous exceptions. It is a sort excellent people of Preston; to of bastard wen; and bastards, which, observe, I might add the when cherished, are always worse main body of the people at Black-than legitimate scoundrels. The burn, at Rochdale, at Bury, at gang of merchants at Liverpool Chorley, at Wigan, at Bolton, at ape the Royal-Exchange fellows Manchester, at Stockport; and, of London; are equal to them in indeed, throughout the whole baseness towards the people at County of Lancaster. I can la-large, and exceed them in stument nothing that has taken place, pidity and insolence. I thank if the preventing of it would have God that they are following fast kept me from Lancashire; and, in the steps of ruin and beggary; therefore, I take no blame to my-for, until these gangs be comself, and I feel no sorrow at see-pletely pulled down; until events ing Westminster and Middlesex come that will send the far greater again degraded by its four hum- part of them to sweep the streets, bugging mummies, who, all put there can be no chance of the together, will never produce so country recovering its liberties. much effect as was produced by me and my party in Lancashire in any one of the day-light hours during the last thirty-seven days. It will be necessary, in order to give you a tolerably correct idea of the effect which we produced in the North, to state to you certain facts, which have either been wholly kept out of sight, or greatly misrepresented, in the newspapers. You will observe that I went to the North, a total stranger as to person. I had no friends there; I had never been there before; and I knew not one single person, of any description in the town of Preston, not even by name. I was in the same state

I went, then, a complete stranger, into this famous county of Lancaster; yet, on my first entrace into Preston, which was on Whit-Monday, I was met and accompanied by, at least, ten thousand people, and was received with marks of attention and respect surpassing those I believe ever shown to any other man. During that day, and the two following days, I made three speeches. My audiences increased, and the third did, I believe, exceed twelve thousand persons. At the end of the third day, Sir THOMAS BEEVOR and I returned to London, there to remain until the near approach of the election. On the 27th of

« PoprzedniaDalej »