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this speech and of others; having" gallantry, vigilance and valour. Make heard the House laugh and the public us not ashamed of our existence; laugh at his challenging any one to make us not afraid to look our wives prove that he had ever spoken ill of the" and sweethearts in the face, by making House out of the House, the news-" them believe, that the man whom we papers of the 3d of March ( quote" chose, and whom our Committee from the MORNING CHRONICLE) pub-" under their hands and seals proclaimed
fished a stuff which it imputed to the" to be the VERST MAN IN
Cock, and from which stuff I take the "ENGLAND,' first made the Manfollowing passage, just as I find it in" chester speech; and then, while that the MORNING CHRONICLE of the 3d of " speech was yet tingling in the ears of March, which was the next day after" the people of the North, went into the stuff was said to have been uttered:" the House of Commons and uttered "He assured them there was no new these words" !! "light broken in on him with reference to this matter. He had always held My friends, my friends, I have noththe same opinions. At election din- ing to do with the matter, except merely ners, and elsewhere, when a little as an historian. I did not hear the knot of politicians condescended once words uttered at Manchester; nor did I a year to meet their constituents, and hear these words uttered in the House where he heard them utter language of Commons. I find the passages stated they would not have dared to make use in two publications, and if they be of in that House, he had always re-two fabrications, one by the Editor of commended that these persons should the ADVERTISER at Manchester, and the be sent to say those things in the place other by the Editor of the MORNING where the whole world' would hear CuRONICLE; or, if you believe this to them, and benefit from them; and be the case, you will believe it still for that, rendering duty to their cousti- any thing that I shall say to the tuents, those constituents might also contrary; but, be the effects upon be left to play their own part when your reputation for discernment what "the occasion required it. He might they may; such is the light in which “occasionally have been led to use ex-your Cock stands before the people. pressions, respecting that House, And now I come to the proof of that which were thought disrespectful, which I stated in a former part of this "but he confessed he HAD BEEN letter; namely, that the stuff, called "MISLED BY OTHERS, and that, a speech in the House of Commons, "with the exception of some interrup-and reported to have been uttered there ❝tions, of which he could scarcely on the 2nd of March, and ascribed by "complain more than others, he was the Morning Chronicle to your Cock, bound to say, that he had been mis- contains every-thing that the stuff-maker "taken with respect to the character of was capable of, calculated to prevent Members, and that it did not de- the adoption of that reforin which the serve the censure he had cast on it. Ministers have proposed to make, and "(Hear, and a laugh.)" which has been hailed with delight Oh " ! you will exclaim, "the by the middle and working classes of scoundrel reporters must have misre-people in every part of the kingdom. ‘I "presented him! He never could have say, my friends, that I will prove to you "said this! Oh, no, Cobbett, Cobbett ! that this stuff which the MORNING "Do not cause it to be believed that it CHRONICLE publishes and imputes to was possible for him to say this! your Cock, has done all that the feeblenot, for our sakes; do not expose ness of the stuff-maker would permit it us to everlasting ridicule by catis-to do, in order to prevent the adoption ing it to be believed that our red game of this great and salutary measure. You "Cock ever said this! The game Cock, will be pleased to perceive, and to bear 'you know, Cobbett, is the emblem of in mind, that the great argument of
the advocates for the Boroughs has not been addressed to the people; but to the peers and the King, and this argument is, that if the aristocracy give way to the extent proposed, the people willDEMAND MORE and that they will go on from demand to demand, till they leave no vestige of the present form of Government. Now, the staff impated to your Cock does not say that the people will never rest till they hat destroyed the present form of Government, but it says, and repeatedly says, and keeps hanging on to the point, that the people will not be content with this reform; that, if there were no ballot, the representation would become even more corrupt than before; that the people would not hear of the meusure with much gratification; that those who were drawn in the militia would not serve unless permitted to vote; that many of the young men in the north were determined to rot in jail rather than serve in the militia if they had not this privilege; that be, if he were in their place, would do the same; that he HOPED this measure would be carried, and that there would be no re-action, although he really might ask how the great mass of the people could be called on to come forward to support a reform from the benefits of which they were to be excluded, and which was intended for those above them; that he believed that this subject would now be pressed on their attention by petitions; that he had heard of numerous meetings about to take place; that although the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) thought that there would be no agitation, he (Mr. Hunt) knew, from good authority that there would be such agitation as they had never seen before; that he was anxious to hear Sir Charles Wetherell and Sir Robert Peel speak, and was sure that they would not make use of his (Mr. Hunt's) arguments to serve their purposes: lastly, that (as I have quoted before), he had been misled by others, when he had used expressions that were thought disrespectful to that House, and that he had been mistaken with respect to the character of its
Members, and that the House 'dia noë deserve the censure he had cust on it I n
This, my friends, if you look into the stuff before-mentioned, publislied as aforesaid, you will find to be an accurate analysis of the said stuff, as far as any meaning can be discovered in 'ft; and there is not a person in not even a girl or a boy twelve years of age, who will not clearly perceive that the effect of the stuff must be, if it has any effect at all, to furnish the strongest of all arguments to the opponents of the measure, and thereby to cause one of two things, the rejection of all reform, or the producing of a convulsive revolution. It is impossible for you not to perceive that this was the direct tendency of the stuff.
A few days after this stuff was published, I, perceiving the drift of it, published the following in the MORNING CHRONICLE, as the next day of the pub2 lication of the Register was too distant. Here you will see the nature of universal suffrage more fully explained than I had ever explained it before. I beg you to read it with attention, and then to lend me your patience while Toffer you some further remarks
sad sit to moitɔnsa
Kensington, ington, March 6, 1831 bloode ds20qorq 981
I PERCEIVE that one great ground of opposition to the measure how before Parliament, for making a reform in the Commons' House, is this that the Radical Reformers will still remain as discontented as ever; and will never rest till they have totally destroyed the Government in King, Lords, and Commons." Now, Sir, I have, for rather better than twenty years, been, what is called a radical reformer, and my opinion is, that this ground of opposition is wholly false. Supposing the mass of radical reformers, to feel as I feel, upon this occasion, their feeling is that of entire satisfaction, and of gratitude to his Majesty, who has chosen, and given his countenance to, servants who have proposed this reform. My opinion is, that every sincere radical reformer ought to be contented with the measure at present under discussion, if it be carried into
full and entire effect, but, Sir, having the Government, the Aristocracy, and no pretension to that sort of weight in the Clergy! The old Dake of Richmond the community which might lead me had seen this fifty years ago, and you to hope for any effect from a mere opin will hardly believe that it had escaped 2013 2on of mine unsupported by reasons; my attention now, I who had discussed I will, Sir, if permitted by the room the matter so many times with the vethat you have to spare and by your great nerable Major Cartwright, who, at one indulgence, proceed to submit to you time, actually proposed to shut out b 9 ose reasons. For two things, not soldiers, sailors, custom-house officers, embraced in the present plan, the radi- and the like; but who, when he percal reformers have prayed, namely, ceived that this destroyed his principle, UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE, and the BALLOT, abandoned his intention in this respect. With regard to the last of these, it is not To the old Duke of Richmond it was yet under discussion; but in the observa- objected that he would," by giving the tions which I am about to submit to you," right to yearly or other menial servants, I shall I embrace them both. th. Whoever and especially to paupers, throw too had the patience to read my writ-"great a weight into the hands of the ings, during the last ten years espe-" aristocracy!" For the dignity, for the cially, know that I have most strenuous- honour, of man, I would, if the thing ly contended for the abstract right of were left to me, still have Universal voting as belo as belonging to every man ar- Suffrage, in spite of the knowledge rived at the age of maturity, being of which I must have that it would bring sane mind, and not stained by indelible tribes of pickpockets to the poll; but, Sir, crime In the last number of "Advice the question has, as you will perceive, to Young Men, I have deduced this two sides to it; and I am not, for the sake tight from the law of nature itself; but, of maintaining a favourite principle, to Sir, my immoveable conviction upon reject, no, nor to lessen the value of, the this subject tis, not to prevent me from mighty unmixed good which is now to entertaining a deep sense of gratitude be conferred upon my country. towards w Let not those who would cavil against sanction of the under the gracious King, have tendered to this good, attempt to cite in this case the people this mighty good. If I had been the United States of America; for, as I the proposer, I should have gone the told Mr. Jeremy Bentham, in my write length of Universal Suffrage; but, being ings from Long Island, one of which a receiver instead of a giver, am I not writings will be found in the " Year's to feel grateful for so much good, merely Residence in America," ignorance of because a something is omitted, which facts as to this point, made him put I had made part of my plan? This forth and rely upon an argument of exwould be presumption indeed, and would perience wholly untenable. In one certainly have earned me the contempt State of America there is something of the whole community, not excepting approaching to universal suffrage; but those in whose behalf. I had contended in no other State, that I am aware of. for this disputed right, vinow In Virginia, for instance, a man must be J&Besides, Sir, UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE a freeholder. In other of the Slave bas tun sides to it, which men, of sense States, every free man has a has a vote; and do not overlook? If, on the side of the observe, that free men are white men; people,idit admits every working and that a white man is not there a -man who honestly gains his living working man. In the Midland States, byther sweat of his brow, let it be where slavery does not exist, no man recollected that it admits also soldiers, has a vote who does not pay a fax, In isailors, people in the dock yards, servants three of the New England States, in the public offices, excise men, tide-Massachussets, New Hampshire, and waiters, coachmen, grooms, footmen, gar-Rhode Island, the elector must swear deners, and all the innumerable tribes of that he is worth a hundred pounds. In poor persons absolutely dependent on Connecticut (the other New England
State), 1. the voter must be a white man, that the radicals would not be satisfied who shall have attained the age of twen with this reform; and this was prety-one years, must have resided in the cisely what they stood in need of as an township six months, and have in the argument against abolishing the boState a freehold of the yearly value of roughs, and against giving any reform seven dollars; or, must have been en- at all! Curious! that the good and sinrolled in the militia, and have done duty cere and disinterested people of Preston therein, one year next before the time of should, by making sacrifices not to be voting; or must have paid a state-tax described for what they thought the within the year next before his voting, good of their country, send into the and must in all cases have sustained a House a man, who has been incessantly good moral character; and a proof of laughed at by these unmannerly people, bad moral character is, a conviction of until he took upon him to make an bribery, forgery, perjury, duelling, fraud, assertion, the obvious tendency of which or theft, or other offences for which an was to defeat the King and Ministers infamous punishment is inflieted. in their intentions to put an end to This is the most extended suffrage rotten boroughs.
known in the United States of America. However, Sir, the Member for PresWhy, then, have I contended for a greater ton, in his apparent eagerness in this extent of suffrage in England? not be- case, expressed no disapprobation of cause I found it universal in America; any scheme that might have prevented but because there the people choose paupers from voting! He expressed, King and Lords as well as Commons. indeed, his decided approbation of this; The reader will find the whole argu- and this is the more surprising, as he well ment in "The Year's Residence," from knows that one-third part of the whole of paragraph 400 to 412 inclusive. I re- the electors of Preston are deprived of the peat, however, that if I could cause my right of voting in consequence of being wishes to be acted upon, I would try the paupers! The right is not withheld universal suffrage; because in principle from them by any general principle or it is right; but when so much is ten- law. It is not a right not given; but it dered us of good, and about the nature is a right taken away, and solely in conof which no man can dispute, I am not to cavil at this, immense mass of good, because it is not accompanied with the including of this principle.
sequence of their being poor and in need of relief. Of this he approves, and repels, with indignation, the insinuation that he has been elected by paupers! But, there is another description of This, then, is the universal suffrage of persons whom I would by no means this radical champion! What, Sir, is it exclude from a scheme of universal a part of our radical creed, that soldiers, suffrage: but whom some of those who sailors, excisemen, tide-waiters, dockprofess to wish for universal suffrage, yard people, coachmen, grooms, footseem quite willing to cast out; namely, men, Peel's new policemen, and whole the paupers. The Peels, the Barings, swarms of pickpockets; is it a part of the Horace Twisses, the Calcrafts, our creed, that all these ought to be cheered again and again! most voci- suffered to vote, and that the poor la ferously cheered the Member for Preston, bourer, the poor artisan, the poor and when he said, "that this reform would destitute weaver of Preston, shall have "not satisfy the Radicals, because it his right of voting taken away, merely "did not go the length of universal suf-because he has a larger family than he "frage." This was precisely what they can maintain without that parochial wanted; this was the assertion upon assistance to which he has an imprewhich they had been resting from the scriptible right? beginning of the debate. They wanted Such, Mr. Editor, is by no means the 1 friend in need, and here they found creed of the radicals of England. They, him! He declared himself a thorough on the contrary, contend with me, that radical; he took upon himself to say to demand parochial relief, in case of
need, is the RIGHT of every Englishman, "luded to by the right hon. Gentleman, and they y are neither so foolish nor so felt it right to that he had been cruel as to allow that the political rights" misunderstood. What he had said was, Liable to of any man are to be taken away upon that in his mind, every man the insolently tyrannical pretence that "be called out to serve in the militia he has been in the enjoyment of a civil" should have a yote for the representaright. The radicals of England would" tives who made that call. He never admit soldiers, excisemen, footmen;" could mean to extend the franchise to nay, thief-takers, and even crowds of " paupers, as the law of England disstrongly suspected thieves; they would "qualified all paupers from voting." admit all these to vote, in order to leave no pretence for excluding the honest ploughman and weaver, whom calamity has compelled to resort to the parish book; but far from their minds to exclude the latter while the former were admitted. The radicals of England, Sir, despise not the poor because he is poor." They would fain have seen the suffrage extended to all men; but I know not a real radical, reformer, who would not treat with scorn inexpressible the man who would cavil at so much good as is now intended the country; he man who would furnish the deadly enemies of reform with an argument for the discovery of which they might be in despair; the man whose patriotism bursts forth in strains indignant at the thought of keeping swarms of pick-bly profound ignorance, displayed in the pockets back from the polling booth, while his blood moves as slowly as the water along the feculent pool at seeing the honest, though indigent, ploughman and weaver, repelled in his approach to that scene of the enjoyment of his rights.
The length at which I have been led to trespass upon you prevents me from entering, at present, upon the other part of my subject.
Iam, Sir, your most obedient and most humble, servant.
I beseech you to mark this well! I have before shown the injustice, the savage cruelty, of taking away the right of voting, or of withholding it from parish paupers, while it was left to be fully enjoyed by soldiers, sailors, footmen, all the menials of every description, police-runners, pick-pockets, and other reputed thieves, and even by street or hedge beggars and gipsies. I have before remarked on the brutal injustice of giving the right to all these, and withholding it, at the same time, from the laborious and honest ploughman or weaver, whom ill-health or a large family may have brought to the poorbook; it is not, therefore, of the savage cruelty of this that I am again about to speak, but of the gross, the immeasura
short stuff which I have just inserted from the Times newspaper as ascribed to your Cock. The Cock is here represented as if totally ignorant of the most common concerns of the country in which he was bred up. He would exclude paupers from his universal suffrage; but would not exclude, by any means, men liable to be called on to serve in the militia. Now, then, the fact is, that in all the agricultural counties, and markedly so in the county in which he was born, three-fourths of the men liable to serve in the militia, are paupers, during a very considerable part You will perceive, my friends, that of the year, and some during the whole the stuff says that every man ought to of the year round! What, then, behave a vote, who is liable to be called on comes of his principle of representato serve in the militia, Now, I pray tion; what becomes of his universal you mark it well, there was a short suffrage? What becomes of his castuff published in the TIMES newspaper pacity for the making of laws? But on the 5th of March, as having been his reason for this exclusion of paupers spoken by your Cock on the 4th of really surpasses, in point of profundity March, which stuff was in the following and fitness, the proposition itself. He words: "Mr. HUNT having been al-would exclude the paupers " because
1 WM. COBBETT.