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May, I set off for the North the inexpressible satisfaction, the desecond time, and slept at ten monstrations of their joy; see miles on this side of Manchester their faces and hear their shouts, on the 28th. On the 29th, we and then ask yourselves whether passed through Manchester, Bol- there must not have been some ton, Chorley, and other villages, reason for all this; whether any to Preston. At Bolton, the people other man in the kingdom could met us with flags and banners and have drawn forth such demonstragreen boughs. They became a tions? Here was no plan; no great multitude before we got contrivance to get people together; through the town, and I shortly not a penny, nor a pint of beer addressed them from the window given to any body. All was purely of the inn where we changed voluntary. We proceeded on, borses. The people assembled in deafening the town with shouts, a large multitude at Chorley; till we got near the Castle Inn, and at another hamlet a little fur- which was my quarters, and which ther on towards Preston. When is situated on one side of the we came within about two miles Market-Square. We wished to of Preston, we were met by flags, drive in at the gateway, but that banners, and a band of music, was found to be impossible. 1, and by an immense multitude of people, many of them carrying green boughs.
therefore, jumped out upon some men's shoulders, and they carried me safe into the inn, from the winAs we proceeded on, the people dow of which I made my speech, came flocking from the hamlets and then my good and kind conand the detached houses; and we ductors departed for the night. It found the sides of the road, that is was towards the close of the evento say, the banks, which are very ing when we entered Preston: the deep and sloping along here, co-weather was fair, the sun was just vered with people. At some dis-setting, the air was mild, every tance from Preston, they were in thing in nature was beautiful, and groups rather than lines. The the beauty of the groups of women sloping grounds at the side of the far surpassed any thing that I had road were from thirty to forty feet ever beheld in my life. The wodeep. On these slopes, you beheld men, being the most beautiful here closely-packed groups of women that I ever saw; their vivacity and girls, from one to four or five distinguishes them greatly from the hundred in a group, all in their women of the south or the west; best clothes-all delighted; the all appears to be energy with gayest and most enchanting sight them; and judge of my happithat eyes ever beheld. As we ap-ness to receive smiles from so proached Preston, the shelving many thousands of beautiful faces, grounds became not the station of and to hear blessings upon me groups, but they were covered al- from so many thousands of pairs together with people. Seeme, then, of beautiful lips.
in an open carriage, standing upon Such was my entrance; the enthe seat with my hat off, and see trance of me, a stranger in the these immense multitudes of peo- land. Let us see what sort of an ple; behold their eager looks, their entrance the rival candidates had.
To begin with Mr. Stanley: he the people. My friends had furwas a young man, the son of a nished themselves with green Lord, born and bred in the county, boughs as a sort of standard to with family interest in the Borough, rally round, and taking "Cobbett great numbers of the wealthier for ever as the signal, or watchpart of the inhabitants on his side; word, they carried on a sort of he had canvassed the town very running fight with the whole of the minutely; he had been promised procession, until they got into the a great number of votes. He was town. The Stanleys were now in London when he got the news safe from further stones and clods; of my entry into Preston; it would but some of the horsemen, in rebe hard, indeed, if he could not venge for the jeers and reproaches obtain a welcome equal to mine of the people, having began to at least. In short, he and his spit upon them, a general spitting friends resolved to surpass it. We upon them began to take place; heard of their preparations for and as thousands can spit more many days; at last, in just seven than hundreds, Mr. STANLEY and days after my entry, he was met his party were literally covered upon the road, at some little dis- with spittle. The line of march tance from Preston, by a grand was so contrived as for the enterband of music, about twenty ing army to pass my window. costly flags, a body of horsemen This was intended as a sort of bearing his colours and marching bravado; but it turned out singuin files, a body of footmen bear-larly unfortunate for poor Mr. ing his colours and marching in STANLEY; for there I stood at my the same manner; about fifty or window and saw two or three hunsixty carriages of various sorts dred girls, all of them who were bringing up the rear of the proces-near him, spitting upon him, and sion. Mr. Stanley himself was in the whole of them laughing as if an open carriage. It was merely they were going into hysterics. a hired procession, and bore all the marks and characteristics of such an affair. Nobody flocked to salute him as he approached Preston; but when he came to Walton, then began to appear some of those dissemblings of love which I afterwards mentioned at the hustings. In short, groups of boys, who were soon afterwards joined by bodies of men, began to salute the ears of the cavalcade with cries of "Cobbett for ever, accompanied with these cries, sticks, clods of earth, tufts of grass, and now and then a stone, came flying at the beads of the horsemen in particular, who shook their whips and gave great offence to
From this scene, he never escaped, till he got safe into his inn, and here I must do him the justice to say that he acted the part of a great politician, for, standing in a coat covered with spittle, and with his ears dinned with reproaches, he kindly thanked the people of Preston and particularly the ladies, for the affec tionate manner in which they had received him. Some of the men hallooed out, "What then you like spittle, do you, Stanley?"
As to Mr. WooD and the CAPTAIN, they profited from the lesson afforded by Mr. STANLEY, and came in very privately. We discovered at last that they were
there; but they very judiciously were no shambles at hand, or he came in without giving any inti- would have been covered with mation of their intention. As to offal. What it was that the peothe latter of these two, the first ple threw at him, I do not know, glimpse that we were favoured but a most dreadful pelting took with of his person was in an place, and he and all his party extraordinary manner certainly. fled out of the court. He had, He had arrived at his inn, the however, a large portion of the White Horse, as privately as he master-manufacturers with him; well could; but, having been out he had the corporation with him: of it to visit some friend, or for he had all the high church aristosome other purpose, no matter crats with him, and he very soon what, on his return, he ventured made us see that the popular to pass through one corner of the voice, that the real voice of the market-place, and being recog-people was not necessary to give nised, a rush of all the loungers him a chance of carrying the and stragglers in the market-place election; and the election he gave us to understand that some- would have carried, had it not thing was the matter. The peo- been for one of those accidents, ple pursued, the Captain bolted; which no man can foresee, the and, though he had but a few like of which never was before yards to go, he was so hard and never will be again. pressed as to be obliged to force the back gate of a tradesman's house and seek refuge within, which was with a politeness that the urgency of the case demanded, conceded to him.
Nothing can be more deceptious than the appearances, in this case, as to the state of the poll. The poll stood, at the close, thus:
Stanley 5,041 | Barrie. 1,657
But, of these there were plumpers
Cobbett 451 | Barrie
Thus stood the parties previous to the beginning of the election. At the time of nomination, STANLEY and WOOD (not yet having come to blows with me) were heard. patiently enough; but the Captain's attempt to speak produced a dreadful storm. The Stanley 3,077 | Barrie. 1,728 Wood Captain and his party had been 2,064 Cobbett 1,446 very roughly handled as they And, observe, I left off all efforts came to the hustings, having to bring men to poll on the 9th nearly experienced the fate of day, when not much more than a the unfortunates at Coventry: but, third part of the polling had taken when the same man began to place. But, the curious thing to harangue, the people broke forth obse rve is, how Wood got in. into a fury. They knew what he had promised me, on my canvass, had been brought for; they were 1,142 plumpers, and 941 split quite sure that his great parcel of votes, nine tenths of which were money was intended to keep me split with Stanley. Stanley had out. They felt accordingly, and promised to him many fewer than accordingly they acted. There I had; and Woon about a fourth
part of my number, or less than let my own men come through it, a fourth part. By the Mayor's if they chose to come and vote, ditches and other contrivances, by and to let the voters of the other splitting with one another, by parties come through it also. never bringing up a man to split Here was an opening! Whoever with me; by these means, and (of Barrie and Wood) got excluespecially by the ditches, they sive possession of this ditch was would have obtained an apparent sure to win; for he would have majority over me, even if BARRIE two ditches voting for him to the had not come; and, it was, I am other's one ditch! What a pretty now convinced, their settled and system for making an election !. arranged design to do this. But I had it in my power to put in BARRIE disconcerted their pro- Barrie, or Wood, just as I pleased. ject. STANLEY despised WooD, It depended solely on my pleaand loathed the idea of being sure. I had a mind, at one time, elected with him. His natural to put my ditch up at public aucfear of me was, however, a still tion, on the market-place! Never more powerful motive, and of two was there so monstrous a thing evils he had chosen the least. heard of before.. When BARRIE came his hanker- Each party wanted exclusive ings after the old coalition with possession of my ditch. I would the corporation returned; but, grant it to neither; but left them his voters had been, in great part, to show, by their contentions for it, promised as opposed to all coali- what such a flagrant violation of tion. So that he had a delicate the law naturally tended to progame to play. BARRIE split with duce. It was clear, that there Stanley; WooD did the same; would be a real fight for this and STANLEY split sometimes with ditch. Wood's committee preone and sometimes with the other. pared for it without delay; and You see, that he had but thirty- my friends, polled and unpolled, six plumpers in the whole, and he furnished them with fighters, with got, from Wood and Barrie, bludgeons, and with voters to send pretty nearly two splits for every through the ditch to poll. It one of his own votes. So that should be observed here, that the his great majority is mere show, great hatred of the people towards and, in fact, a mere deception. Barrie was the main passion now WOOD and BARRIE were on a at work. There was no lonlevel, or within ten votes of it at ger any hope of getting me in; the close of the 9th day; and and, the next thing, with the peoBarrie must have beat Wood, ple, was to keep out Barrie. So had it not been for the following that my voters, who had all been curious circumstances and events. plumpers up to this time, now I had, at the close of this day, came through my ditch, and split ceased to countenance the non-between me and Wood, in order to strous thing any longer by bring- keep out Barrie, who was ing men up to poll. But, I had a openly supported by their detested ditch, and I resolved to keep that tyrants. Thus WOOD got from: ditch open, and to have fr te elec-me 446 votes; not one of which tion through it; that is to say, to he would have had if I had kept
on with my plumpers. These 446 | votes were a pure gift to him by my firm friends, in order to keep out Barrie. Many of these, when they came to vote for Cobbett and Wood, said that they did not like Wood, but that they hated Barrie. One man said, when he voted, "D-n Wood; but I vote for him to keep you out," (looking at Barrie); and there sat the mean creature, Wood, hearing all this; and he pulled his hat off to, and thanked, even the honest fellow that d-d him!
If you deduct these 446 votes from Wood's total, you will find him 126 below Barrie. But, this is not all. Barrie would still have beaten him, if my ditch had been left open to both. But, as soon as I had, on the evening of the ninth day, declared my resolution to open my ditch the next morning to all parties, Wood's Committee set to work preparing bludgeons and bludgeon-men, in order to take and keep exclusive possession of my ditch. The morning began with a struggle for the ditch; but the bludgeon-men soon triumphed, drove the Barrie-men off, and suffered none to come to vote through that ditch, except he came with some green colour, and that was sure to be against Barrie. In short, my plumpers now came and split for Wood, as before-mentioned, and they placed Wood above Barrie, and kept him there, by the aid of the bludgeon, till it was too late for Barrie to recover.
time, in came the soldiers, imprisoned or drove away the bludgeonmen, took the guardianship of the ditch to themselves, and suffered none to come into it but those whom they pleased; and then the polling went on at a famous rate : but still, Barrie was now too near the close to regain what had been taken from him by the bludgeonmen, and thus Wood got his apparent majority.
Thus you see, then, that Wood's votes were made up of splits from Stanley, which splits amounted to upwards of seven hundred, of splits from me, which amounted to four hundred and forty-six; and here we have eleven hundred and forty-six out of his nineteen hundred and forty-two votes, leav ing him only seven hundred and thirty-six votes of his own. Barrie had eight hundred and ninetyeight votes of his own; Stanley had thirteen hundred and twenty votes of his own; and I had, of my own, even according to the poll, fourteen hundred and fortysix votes of my own; for I got splits from nobody. Thus, then, with very nearly twice as many votes of my own as Cocky Wood, Cocky is returned to Parliament, aud I am at the bottom of the poll!
It is worth while to observe (with an eye to the future), that Stanley, though he had a great many votes of his own, carried his election by mere chance and trick combined. He had a very For nearly two whole days the early canvass; he disclaimed all bludgeon-men, armed and paid coalition with the Corporation by Wood's Committee, kept com- and High Church; he obtained plete possession of my ditch, numerous promises of votes bedriving away every man whom cause the people thought that he they suspected as coming to vote was not at all connected with the for Barrie. At the end of this corporation; and that the old.