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will not frighten nor damp one single of Bristol at the time when this contuworking man; but it will fill the breasts melious lawyer was about to enter it for of the whole of them, even in the most the purpose of administering justice. obscure hamlets, with feelings that it The London daily papers, which have would be unnecessary for me to de- taken notice of this matter, choose to scribe.
consider the working people almost as A3 to the immediate cause of the brutes in point of mind; they choose, preseat violent state of things, it is particularly the Morning Chronicle, to clear that WeTHERELL was not that ascribe all the violences at Bristol to the cause, except upon one spot, and even ignorance of the working people. Never there there were predisposing causes, was there ignorance or impudence surwithout which the dreadful effect would passing that of these writers. The not have been produced. To be sure, working people, in country as well as his conduct had been particularly offen. town, know their interests a great deal sive; he had called the working people better than these writers seem to know by all manner of vile names; he had them. Of their quick-sightedness I will called the 10l. voters" a pauper consti- give the editor of the Morning Chronituency ; he had called the working cle the following instance. When I was -people of London " the turbid, base in Hampshire, the other day, a choppopulace;" he had been constantly stick, who came to my place of lodging insisting that the people were become cool to talk to me about the mode of harvestin the cause of reform; he had called ing and preserving his corn, and who for special commissions to go forth soon diverged into a talk about the Reagain"; he had, in short, been à co- form Bill, said: " And this cholera operator with THE LIAR in calumni- | morbus, Sir, don't you think it's a sört ating the people on the subject of the “of a shoyhoy to frighten us out of the
he had done every thing to irritate“ reform" s Not exactly that,” said and provoke the people. But still, if I, " but when one of your children has the people had felt co lent that the got the hiclups :" " Ay," said he, BILL would finully be carried, they interrupting me, “then my dame tells would, indeed, have hissed and groaned " it some frightful lie, and away goes him most gloriously in a noble-spirited the hickups." “ Just so," said I: place like Bristol, and they might have " Ay," said he, “but they won't smashed his carriage ; but there their“ frighten us by their cholera morbus, 'anger would have endel. He would " and make us contented with potatoes have been a subject of laughter and of " and water.” My friend, Doctor mockery, instead of serious assault, if Black, who owes his diploma entirely they could have been confident that all to me, understands a great many things; his efforts against them would finally be he knows a great deal; but he does not defeated. Far, however, was that from know the state of the minds of the being the case. They had seen THE working people of England, who unBILL rejected ; and, which was a great derstand, quite as well as he does, the deal worse, they had reason to appre- nature and the tendency and the object hend ANOTHER BILL, by which the work- also of all the laws affecting them, ing people would be for ever cut off from which have been passed since the oldest the right of voting. Their minds were of them came into the world. They soured by this prospect : they had no know all about STURGES Bourne's promise that this should not be done ; bills; all about Peel's new felony and they looked upon themselves as betray- new trespass laws; all about the pued; the inflammable matter was already nishment of them without trial by jury; in their breasts, and the offensive, the all about the parson-justices; and the contemptuous, the insolent WETHERELL pensioner and placeman, and military was the match.
and naval officer-justices; they know I beg your Lordship to consider a all about the origin and ancient distrilittle the state of the mind of the people bution of tithes. They understand well how a bill came into the House of Com-general good; and of this whole country, mons, and was passed there, to authorise containing so many cities and towns the selling of their dead bodies; they do where the working men possess this not form themselves into clubs, in order peculiar privilege, nowhere has the to raise money to defray the expenses generous surrender been made with so of watching the graves of their deceased much enthusiasm as in this very city of relations ; they do not do this without Bristol. When, therefore, they learned, asking, why the Parliament cannot pass and from your own mouth, that it was a law to protect the dead bodies of the the intention to prorogue the Parliapoor, while they pass so many laws to ment until a time undefined, was it not protect the live and dead bodies of to be expected that their feelings of pheasants, partridges, and hares? In disappointment would be strong in proshort, they want no instruction upon portion to their generosity and zeal and these subjects: they know well, that all devotion? It is a common saying, that their hardships arise from the want of you cannot have blood out of a flint having members in the Parliament stone; but it is as reasonable to expect chosen by themselves.
blood from that callous material as to The people of Bristol knew these expect passive obedience and nonthings as well as the people in every resistance to associate with enthusiastic other part of the kingdom ; and, be- public spirit. sides this general knowledge, they were But, if the people of Bristol felt sore particularly interested in the fate of the at the delay in passing the bill, what Reform Bill; particularly interested in must have been their feelings at susthe passing of that bill without any al- pecting, as I suspected, and as we had terations ; and especially an alteration good reason to sūspect, that the new which would raise the qualification of bill was not only to deprive them of voting in large towns. The elections their ancient right of suffrage, but to at Bristol were made by the freemen, deprive them also of the ten-pound who are a very numerous body, and voting contained in the last bill; or, at who are principally working men. The any rate, so to alter the suffrage as to bill that has been rejected by the diminish the number of voters in the bishops and other lords took the right city of Bristol ? If I be asked what away at once from all the freemen who ground they had for this suspicion, I are not actually residing in the town at once more repeat the speech of the Lord the time of the election, and for some Chancellor, made towards the close of months before ; and it also took away the debate on the Reform Bill; and the right of all resident future freemen; here are the parts that I allude to of that so that the present apprentices never speech. At the beginning of his speech would, as freemen of the city, have a (Oct. 8), he said, " I have listened with right to vote at elections; but the bill“ profound attention to the debate, of did not do injustice to Bristol, because “ which this, I believe, will be the last it
gave a vote to every man that paid night, and which has already occupied ten pounds a year rent for a house," five days, and having heard a vast which was better for the city and better " variety of objections, having weighed for the nation ; because, while it gave “ the arguments on both sides, and a greater number of voters than existed careless whether I give offence in before, it made those voters more inde-" any quarter, I must say, that I am so pendent, less liable to be over-awed or "far moved by some points urged as to corrupted.
“be ready to reconsider some matters The world lias never exhibited ina“ upon which I had deemed that my stances of public spirit, of generosity," mind was sufficiently made up." After of devotion to country, equal to those an hour or two of very unmeaning stuff, which have been exhibited by the work- he came to this : “In London and the ing men of England in their
great towns, in the Tower Hamlets, give up their peculiar privileges for the “ in Lambeth, and the like, ten pounds
" is a low qualification ; but in other and thus leave the working millions “places it is not. TWENTY POUNDS without the power of returning one
was ORIGINALLY DESTINED for single member. Does your Lordship “ the qualification; but, upon inquiry imagine that the people of Nottingham, 66 into the circumstances of the small of Derby, and of Bristol, did not see “ towns, we were induced to abandon it. this as clearly as I did ? They saw that “ But if noble Lords, speaking upon the the Lord Chancellor was ready to give “ question in general, choose to object them up; they heard, coming from “ to this qualification that it is uniform, your Lordship's own lips, that the new « and say that it ought to be different bill was to contain alterations; what " at divers places-lower in the smaller those alterations were to be was kept a.
towns, and higher in the larger-1 secret ; and no contradiction was ever “ will not say that I agree with them; given, and has not yet been given, to . “ I will not say what was originally my the interpretation which I gave to the “ opinion ; I will not tell the reasons speech of the Lord Chancellor ; and o that now recommend the bill, as it what, then, were the people to think “ stands, to my support; but I will say other than that this part of the bill was " that whoever holds that doctrine will to be surrendered ? What the feelings “ find me ready to secure for him the of the people are may be best described, “ most ample, the most scrutinising, the perhaps, by what they would inevitably “ most candid discussion of the subject be if the new bill, with this alteration in « in the committee. I speak as an in- it, were to pass. The bill being passed ;
dividual ; candour compels me to say the famous Reform Bill having become “ thus much. But I, at the same time, a law, off would go the reforming men-, " say that it is emphatically a subject for bers to Dover, to Canterbury, to Ro“ the committee."
chestep, to Chichester, to Portsmouth, to Now, my Lord, it was impossible for Southampton, to Chester, to Northampme to read this without seeing clearly ton, to Liverpool, to Derby, to Nottingthat the Lord Chancellor was ready, not ham, to Hull, to York, to Newcastle, and like the hunted beaver, to throw any other large towns. If we suppose one thing to the hunters belonging to him- of these members addressing his conself; but to throw to them the sole stituents in order to get them to choose protection of the working people. Let him again; and, as a happy instance, it be observed, and your Lordship let us suppose your Attorney-General knows it well, that the ten-pound suf- arrived for this purpose at Nottingham; frage in the great towns was the thing something like the following would, if on which the opposing bishops and he were to speak common sense, be bis peers made the stoutest stand. They speech : saw, as see, and as the people saw,
" GENTLEMEN, that the ten-pound suffrage in the great " When I last had the honour to be towns would be a real good to the “ elected by you, you deputed me to working people. The opponents of the “ to keep together in my chivalry with bill, therefore, took it as their strongest “ my learned brother, Lord BROUGHAM. ground of objection. They dwelt upon" We have fought the good fight; we it more than upon any other part of the “ have beaten the boroughmongers; we bill. With from fifty to a hundred " have carried our glorious Reform men, really chosen by the working peo- “ Bill; we have, indeed, taken away ple, they clearly saw that the Pension “ the suffrages of all those working and Sinecure List never could stand a men in this ancient and high-spirited year. They saw, in short, that they “ town who returned me to Parliament i might as well give universal suffrage at“ and we have given the right of voting
Therefore it was, that the Lord “ to the tax-eaters and tithe-eaters, and Chancellor made the speech that I have“ others who live by the labour of the quoted from, clearly expressing a readi-working men; but, then, we have ness to give up this ten-pound suffrage, "taken care to secure to those working
“men the valuable, the precious, privi-excepted. In Cambridgeshire not a single
leye of paying taxes and of fighting working man would have had a vote, " for those who have the votes !
and the same in Huntingdonshire, RutLong before he arrived at this sentence, landshire, and Leicestershire. There happy man would he be if nothing harder were absolutely no places at all the than rotteni eggs saluted his eloquent suburbs of London, Norwich, Bristol, mouth; and, if he exclaimed, that he and the great towns in Warwickshire, had a right to say what he thought, he and Staffordshire, Derby, Nottingham, would be answered by being reminded and the great towns in Lancashire, that he denied to the Duke of Newcastle Yorkshire, and further to the North, the right to do what he liked with his including the great towns in Scotland,
Such, however, must be the sub- and four or five great towns in Ireland; stance of his speech, if he were to give there were none but these populous spots, his' vote for such a bill. He might en- in which there would have been one deavour to varnish the matter over. single working man entitled to a vote; He might tell the people of Nottingham, and yet this was too much, and the that houses were rented higher in Not- famous patriot Brougham was "ready tingham than in the towns of Hamp- to reconsider” even this! Here, how shire; and that, therefore, it would not ever, I take my stand. Not one shilling be fair, it would be ununiform, to give of rise in the qualification ; no trick of a vote to as low a rent in Nottingham shifting the suffrage from rent to rate, as in Winchester. But his clever and so as to enable the owners of houses to sharp-sighted constituents would tell nullify the right of voting by letting him, that the way to make the thing their houses free of rates and paying uniform would be to make the ten- the rates themselves: as touching this pound, rent the highest qualification, matter, I will never give niy assent to and to go on lowering it according as any alteration that shall, in any manner, rents were lower in other places. The raise the suffrage in any towns, great or “patriot" Colonet Davis wanted a small; or that shall, in any way, tend scheme of proportion; but he was for to diminish the number of voters, raising the qualification in the great whether in the towns or the counties. towns, and lowering it in the sinall Amongst all the schemes of disqualitowns, in which he was not afraid of fication, I do not hear of any one for adding to the number of voters; because, disqualifying any persons who live upon in those towns, the aristocracy would the taxes or the tithes! Pensioners in have great and immediate influence. general are nothing more than state
Even according to the rejected bill, paupers. Lord ALTHORP said, that there are many whole counties in which many of the pensions were given as not a single working man would have charity. While parish paupers are dishad a vote. The ten-pound rent shuts qualified, why not disqualify state pauout every working man in every town pers ? Our fathers, when they, in evil in Sussex ; in every town in Hampshire, hour, consented to mortgage the counexcept, perhaps, Portsmouth; in every try and to establish a revenue to be town in Kent, except, perhaps, a few at raised by internal taxation, disqualified Rochester and Chatham; in every town revenue-officers from voting at elections in Wiltshire, Dorsetshire, Devonshire, of members to serve in Parliament; Cornwall, and Somersetshire, 'unless because such officers had a manifest Bristol be deemed a part of Somerset-interest in choosing such men as were shire; in every town without exception likely to heap taxes upon the people. in the whole of Wales, North and South; Even so late as the date of the estain every town in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, blishment of the paid justices of the Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire ; and in Wen, this principle prevailed; and short, in every town even in Lincoln- these paid justices cannot vote at elecshire; and, it is the same to the east, tions in consequence of a clause in the Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk, Norwich first police act, moved, I believe, by
yourself, or, at least, I recollect well tion will be their resentment if they see that it was supported by you. This was themselves studiously marked out as very proper; to introduce the clause creatures' fit only to be trodden underwas a very meritorious act ; but, my foot. Lord, are these police magistrates more Besides the injustice and the insodeeply interested in returning to Par- lence of such an alteration, there is the liament men" disposed to heap taxes flagrant impolicy of it; that is to say,
the people, than are the pen- impolicy on the part of the aristocracy sioners, sinecure people, grantees, re- particularly, who, as a permanent privi. tired-allowance people, dead-weight, leged body, have nothing so justly to and even the officers of the army and dread as the rivalship of an aristocthe navy, and all the long train of com- racy of money, which in this country missaries and commissioners and must always be powerful, always interclerks? If there was good ground, posing, always full of envy of the noand never was there better, for disqua- bility, and must always be desirous to lifying officers of revenue and magis- pull that body down to their own level. trates of police, is there not equally I have known the dispositions of a pretty good ground for disqualifying all others many men in my life-time, and I have who have a manifest, a vital, interest in always observed that the most bitter returning such men to Parliament as enemies of hereditary rank and heredishall be likely to heap taxes upon the tary wealth are to be found amongst people?
who measure lords I by no means impute blame to by the scale of pounds, shillings, and vour Lordship for not attempting to do pence, and who, having been the this act of justice at this time; nor makers of their own fortunes, take spedo I argue, from your not doing cial care never to look behind them, it, the want of disposition in and have not the smallest regard for you to do it; but I beseech your any-thing that bears a traditionary chaLordship to consider, how mortifying, racter. All the world is the same to how galling, how 'provoking it inust them; and, as all men have ambition of be to the working man, who pays some sort or other, the ambition of such taxes and who receives none, to men is, not to see a greater man than perked up by the side of him a person themselves; and as the order of nobility who lives upon the taxes, qualified to tells them, thus far shall you go, and vote at elections, while he himself is no farther, they have a natural desire disqualified ! If the editor of the to pull down that order. Now, this is Morning Chronicle, in the fulness of by no means the turn of mind of the his contempt for the knowledge of the working people, whose utmost ambiworking people, think them too ig- tion is that of attaining excellence in norant to perceive, or too blunted to their several callings, and whose desires feel, the injustice and insolence of this, all terminate in being able to live well, he knows less of the working people of in exchange for their constant labour. England than he knows of the Hebrew From thousands of men in the middle tongue. They do perceive the insolence rank of life I have heard invective of this distinction; they do feel upon against the order of nobility; from no the subject as it becomes them to feel : working man did I ever hear such in their good-nature; their generosity; my life, and I am perfectly satisfied their proneness always to think well of that there would be more danger to the the Government; their natural abhor- order of nobility from voting confined rence of every-thing tending to dis- to twenty-pound householders than from honour the country and to tear it to voting on the principle of a suffrage pieces, made them eagarly seize the perfectly universal. Nay, I am satisfied Reform Bill as the olive branch ; but that if the twenty-pound householder in, exact proportion to the sacrifice scheme were tried, the peers would, for which they willingly made to concilia - their own safety, be compelled to resort