Obrazy na stronie

"the Parliament; if this breach be- it appears, from an article in the bloodiest "tween the two systems DO NOT of bloody publications, the Times "LET IN REFORM, it is hard to say newspaper, that those two brothers had "how very low this country may be long been " readers of Cobbett's Regis"sunk in the scale of nations. Let us ter.' I will take an opportunity short"hope, however, that this is not to be ly of publishing the infamous para"the fate of our country: let us hope graph from that infamous paper, "that she is yet to be freed from this which chuckled with delight that "millstone of debt, and this all-de- those two men were to be transported "grading boroughmongers' curse."- for life, leaving their widowed mother Leave-taking address, Register, vol. 32, to starve or go to the parish for relief. pages 19 and 23. Of these two excellent men, JOSEPH and Have I not, then, a right to be proud? ROBERT MASON, of the parish of BulIs no this day the day of my triumph? lington, in Hampshire, I never heard Yes, and of your triumph, too. How any-thing in my whole life until the many thousands of you have been trials at Winchester took place. Bulactually ruined merely because you had lington is close by the estates of the the honesty to avow that you held BARINGS. Every-thing was sifted out my opinions! How many hundreds relative to what was called "the poof thousands injured in some degree; an- litics" of these men; and it was found noyed, vexed, goaded through the sides that they regularly took the Register, of their families; teazed, tormented and that one of them read it aloud every and worried: but, how many thousands Sunday night, or some one night in the actually ruined, actually reduced to beg week, to twenty or thirty of the villagers. gary, for holding, and for having the I will hereafter publish as full an achonesty to avow that they held, those count as I can of all the proceedings opinions which are now become the against these two men,; and be you asopinions of the nation at large, and sured, my friends, that as long as I have which are now about to receive the my senses remaining, I will never cease stamp of an act of Parliament! Nay, to endeavour to obtain them justice, if my friends, I have to relate to you, and justice be not obtained for them before I shudder with horror as I write, that those senses cease. I rest, observe, the prisoners in jail on account of the upon the statement of the execrably late riots have been carefully canvassed bloody newspaper above-mentioned. for the purpose of ascertaining whether When I have time to inquire into all the they read my writings! Nay, I have to facts, you shall be more fully informed relate to you that two of the worthiest upon the subject. I enjoy this day of men that England ever produced have triumph; but I cannot, during even just been transported for life from this day, forget JOSEPH and ROBERT Hampshire, not for fires, not for break- MASON; and, indeed, if I knew their ing machinery even, but for forming names, I might, I dare say, add hundreds part of an assemblage who got a trifling to the list of victims whose cases it sum of money from a farmer. The pro- would have been and may become my prietors of all the land in the parish in duty elaborately to mention. which they lived, 'came and gave them. Now, then, as to the reform proposed the best of characters. It was proyed by the Ministers, I have not the means by the parson of the parish, and of the of giving the detail accurately as yet: adjoining parish, that they were two the reports are necessarily imperfect; most sober and industrious men and but, this

[ocr errors]

that, so far from resorting to any-thing rottenhoroughs are to be wiped but their labour for support, they of off. If the Ministers had stopped there, themselves supported their widow mo- I should have applauded even that: I ther. In short, the whole World can- should have said they had done well. Produce two labouring men of more But they have done a great deal more exemplary character and conduct. But than this: they have extended the suf

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

the moment atonement shall be made. I want no atonement made to nie. › But, when I forget other sufferers, may God forget me! What do I not recollect when the "authorities" of Manchester were prepared with horse, foot, and artillery, to prevent me from going to

frage, though not to all householders, for the good, for the happiness, of the yet to householders of a very low de- people, and for the revival of the great gree they have taken in copyholders ness of the country, I should be quite and leaseholders without disfranchising content with what has been done; and, freeholders; they have given repre-I am sure that the country will be con sentatives to a great number of potent. With how much less should we pulous places which had them not have been content in 1817! And now before; and, in short, it is a reform let the base and brutal and insolent bowhich we all ought to approve of, roughmongers reflect on their exultation which we all ought to applaud. It when the Parliament, in answer to our does not extend so far as my wishes humble and earnest prayers, for fat less would go; but, as I have always said, than has now been conceded; let them in the first place, every sensible reflect on their exultation, on their man takes what he can get; and, inexpressible baseness, in chuckling in the next place, we are to con- at the passing of a law by which sider that here was a great variety of we were consigned to dungeons, at interests to be combated, and a great the pleasure of SIDMOUTH, CASTLEmass of prejudices and aristocratical REAGH, SCOTT ELDON and Co. !IF fears to subdue; and the question with the name of OGDEN should come the ministers was, in the first place, athwart their minds, will not the whether they should make no reform at ruffians how tremble in their shoes! all, and thereby expose the whole fa- Forgive! Oh, yes, I am for forgiving, bric of the government to destruction, and the country to convulsive revolution; or whether they should make, all at once, such a reform as would satisfy all reasonable men for the present, and not expose the fabric to total destruction, by a breaking up of every vestige of the former species of representation. that town to dine with friends who For my own part, I am of opinion; an had invited me to dine there? Do I opinion settled in my mind after the not recollect when JoHN HAYES, of most impartial investigation and ma- Bolton, was crammed ten weeks into ture consideration, that there would have a stinking prison because he went round been no danger to the prerogatives of with a bell to apprize the public-spirited the King, to the just privileges of the people of that town that their country Peers, or to any of the institutions of the man, William Cobbett, had arrived at country properly so called, if, at once, Liverpool, in good health? Not for me the right of voting had been extended do I demand redress. I call for no to every man being of twenty-one years atonement towards me; but as long of age, of sane mind, and untarnished as this tongue or pen shall be able to by indelible crime; and if the voting move will I seek to cause atonement to had been settled to be by ballot. Iain be made for those who have suffered firmly convinced that the aristocracy, unjustly for my sake. that the crown, and even that the clergy However, sufficient unto the day is would have found themselves better the triumph thereof. I cordially apunder a reform to this extent than they prove of what the ministers have done; will do now. But, it does not follow and, for the first time, in about eight that I am not to applaud, and greatly and twenty years, I am quite anxious to to applaud, that which has now been give a Ministry my support, though some done. On the contrary, so much has base tax-eaters are, at the same monent, been done now, that I am quite willing prosecuting me, and that, too, in the to wait, and patiently wait, too, for its meanest and most malignant manner. fair effects; and, if those effects be such A prosecution, however, which I will as to render further change unnecessary cause to cover them with confusion

[ocr errors]

for their conduct, not, however, like servile creatures overlooking the great share in the triumph which is ascribable to ourselves.

and disgrace. It is curious enough, their want of firmness to resist what that, in the Register published only they call the “clamours of the people." the week before last, speaking of They have the good sense, the real the stupid plots and contrivances in-courage, to set these taunts at defiance. tended to drive me out of the country,"The fear of the Lord is the beginning I said, "Abscond, indeed, here is an im-" of wisdom. The voice of the people "pulent fellow, talk of my absconding!" is the voice of God;" and when it is a pretty set indeed, in the House of the voice of a whole people, it is the Commons and the Hells to make me voice of their Creator. Therefore, to abscond. They may now pass suspen- act upon a fear of opposing the voice of sion-of-Habeas-corpus-acts, dungeon- the people was, in the language of "acts, gagging-acts; they may put Scripture, the "beginning of wisdom." " down the press altogether: they may And you have only to look back to the do what they like; but never shall fate of CHARLES the First, to the fate of they make me abscond or quit English Louis the Sixteenth, and the aristocracy ground. They are much more likely and clergy of France; to the fate of "to abscond than I am. I have done George the Third, with regard to the my work; I have firmly planted the American States, to be convinced that "tree; and, please God, I will remain the Ministers have now acted wisely as "to see and taste the fruit. In the first well as justly. They are entitled, "of these two last, I was wrong. I therefore, to our hearty commendations "had not quite done my work: I finished "that last Saturday, in the ever-living "article called FRENCH REPUBLIC and ENGLISH REFORM.'" That was the finisher of my work; and it will take a great deal to persuade any man who has read it, that it had not a considerable share in urging the Ministers to adopt that grand measure, which now fills the mouths of all honest men with applause. The work, however, is now done. Here is the tree, bearing the fruit; and, res-own hands. This paper that I am now pecting you, fellows, BLANDFORD and writing will go to the press before I SLAPP, here am I to taste the fruit, in shall know the result of this day (Thursspite of your backbitings and slanders day's) debate; but, in all probability, Though, however, I ascribe a great the second reading of the bill will not part of this grand work to my own take place until early next week, when Herculean labours, the nation at large the division on it (if any division) will, 'bas its share; and I am by no means of course, take place. The hill will pass; for denying that great merit belongs to and though I know nothing about the the Ministers for what they have done. matter, I should suppose that the preTheir enemies in Parliament are no-sent Parliament will sit the Sessions thing, they themselves having the peo-out, transact the necessary business of ple at their back; but they have had the Session; then be prorogued, then other greater enemies to overcome, and dissolved, and the new and Reformed much greater enemies, too; the Parliament elected in the month of Ocgreatest of all the enemies that men in tober, rendering immortal the memory power know any-thing of; namely, of the year 1831. The interest excited their own pride and deep-rooted pre-by the deliberations of the remainder of judices. Here the combat must have this session will be far less than the inbeen severe indeed! They have had terest excited in the nation at large by the courage to set at defiance those taunts which their political opponents were sure to deal in, with regard to

With regard to the opposition to this measure, it is sheer nonsense. Had it been a little trifling measure, the oppo sition would have thrown out the Ministers, and the nation, regarding the two factions as forming but one body, would have taken the Reform into its

the proceedings in a vestry of any of the parishes of Westminster or of London. The nation, full of hope, will be quiet in

[ocr errors]

foretelling, in Parliament, stoo, that the.
believes that the fires will recommence,
if the Parliament be not › efficiently re-
formed. I have triumphed over this
bloody newspaper but Lrepeat, what
I have said a hundred times over, that,

worth a single straw, which will not give rise to a state of things that.. will bring punishment on the heads of such ruffians as those who have laboured through the columns of this newspaper, to cause the destruction of the liberties and the lives of the people. There is no act of cruelty, not of oppression am I speaking, but no act of cruelty, of savage barbarity, that this bloody newspaper has not defended and even called for. Like the croak of the raven, its voice has been the omen and precursor of death; and it has seemed to be mortified that there was nothing beyond death to glut its propensity for blood. Amongst the advantages of this mea sure of the Ministers is to be numbered the exposure of this bloody newspaper.

every part of it. We shall hear of no more riots and disturbances; no more petitions for a repeal of the Union with Ireland; and amfirmly of opinion with Mr. HODGES, that, unless in cases where deep revenge has been left im printed on the heart by deeds of injus-no Parliamentary reform ever can be tice and of cruelty too great for human nature to endure, we shall hear of no more fires. Mr. HODGES, though the villanous “reporthers" have given us no part of his speech, told the Ministers, in the House of Commons, on Saturday last," that “he had the inexpressible "pleasure to tell them that the riots "Cand fires had wholly ceased in the "county of Kent, for which he was a "member; that he verily believed that " cessation to have arisen from the hope "and expectation which the people en“tertained of an extensive and efficient "Reform of the Parliament; and that "he believed most firmly, and most "solemnly declared that belief, that, "if such reform were refused, the "riots and the fires would begin again. I believe so too; and it was upon pre-It has now turned about suddenly, and cisely this principle that I proceeded in is as loud in cries for the destruction of those lectures in Kent and Sussex which victims of another sort. Its furious the bloody Times newspaper, in con- and brutal assault of this morning junction with the certificates of Parson (Thursday) upon Lord ELLENBOROUGH RUSH and of WALTER BURRELL and Co. is a sort of first step in its general aş→ endeavoured to represent as the cause of sault upon every pensioner and sinethe fires in those counties. At every curist; and if such were unhappily place (and I can call witnesses from the case, that a DANTON, a COLLOT every place to prove it) I advised the D'HERBOIS, and a ROBESPIERRE, were farmers to call all the people of their to succeed the present King and his several parishes together; to bring with Ministers, we should see this bloody them a short petition ready written for newspaper, not their apologist, but the Parliamentary Reform; to sign it, and Coryphaeus of the band of writers, to get the people to sign it too; to as breathing blood and carnage. I be sure them that that would bring them seech my readers in particular, and all better times if their prayer were attend- the public, now to keep their eye upon ed to; to tell them that their prayer this vehicle of sentiments of blood. It would be attended to, and that, there- hates the present Ministers: it attacked fore, they ought to be patient in the them the other day in the most brutal meanwhile. This, I told the farmers, manner, when it thought the duration would fill the people with hope, would of their power was uncertain. It said, make them patient, would put a stop to of this Ministry, that all was "feeblethe fires, and to violences of all sorts." ness, uncertainty, CROTCHET, and And it is for having laboured thus, that" POULETT THOMSON." This was only this infamous and bloody newspaper last week; and the viperous attack has been labouring day by day to pre- arose from the proposition to lower the the way for causing my blood to be tax upon newspapers, which it knew to shed! However, here is Mr. HODGES have originated with Mr. Thomson.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

During the summer, the Ministers they will congratulate themselves that will have plenty of time to arrange themuckworm has taken an alarm at their what is called the machinery of taking measures. It is the nation voiteds, this the elections.They will have the peo- industrious, this laborious; this honest plecat in good humour; and, severely people, that hail their measure with joy as they feel the taxes, and odious as are and thanks, and what need they care the tithes, they will find every one wil- for the feelings or opinions of a merceling to pay The Ministers may throw nary band who are sucking the blood of aside all the stupid projects which have this people, and who are undermining been intruded upon them for getting all property, and all the institutions of rid of the people! They will soon find ages? There is, however, a very able that they have not got too many people article in The Star newspaper of yesterThey will soon find, too, that that deep day, showing that the measure must disgrace to the country, the flocking of ultimately be advantageous even to the people of property to America, will fundholders themselves, And I say so, cease. I could give them some most too, provided they be content with that striking proofs of this; but I have not which is equitable; for there is no quesroom in the present Register. tion that a refusal of efficient, reform Let not the ministers be disheartened would, in a few years, and more probaat the fall of the funds, even if they bly in a few months, have deprived should come down to 40 or 30. Let them for ever of every farthing that them remember the words of the first they claim. Every sensible fundholder Lord CHATHAM: "The stocks are a good that I have ever known, who is unable "criterion enough: for, when they fall to remove his money from the funds, "you may be sure that the nation is has expressed his willingness and readi“rising and when they rise, you may ness to submit to a very considerable be sure that the nation is falling." reduction in positive amount. It would But, without going so far back as be easy to show that a reduction must the time when this great statesman follow in other things, and that the funddelivered this sentiment, have we, holder would in reality lose, but very the reformers; have I, and has Lord little by a reduction in his interest. GREY, forgotten the year 1817, when, But there will be time enough to discuss in answer to a speech of Lord HoL- these things hereafter. LAND, in which he most urgently At present, before I conclude (my pleaded (but in vain) that the persons room being small), let us turn and take whom the ministers might choose to a look at the dejected countenances of imprison should be permitted to see the fellows who are to be trundled their kindred and friends, and to have out of the rotten boroughs: let us look the use of pen, ink, and paper; and at the DIVANS, called close corporations; when he described the disgrace that the let us look at the hypocritical, proflidungeon-bill would bring upon the gate, profoundly lying, beastly, mercecountry, and the alarm which it wouldnary crew called free burgesses and excite in the breasts of the people; freemen; let us look at the swarms of when he did this, for which he was applauded by every good man in the kingdom, the dry and short answer of unfeeling Liverpool was, "Let the noble "Lord look at the funds! He will "there see that public credit has been benefited by the introduction of this "Bill, for the funds have risen ever since the determination of Parliament “was known." Therefore, let the ministers not be alarmed at the fall of the funds. Let them recollect 1817; and


attorneys of inexpressible villany; villany, as BURKE calls it, defecated; that is to say, purged of every alloy arising from the remains of conscience. Let us look at all these; see the heterogeneous group; and see them all destroyed

at one fell swoop," by the hand of little Lord JoHN, who, in future story will surpass the famous "Little John," the brother or the rival champion of ROBIN HOOD, and even "JACK the

GIANT KILLER" himself. Sir

« PoprzedniaDalej »