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have placed me in a situation, in which may be secure against the attempts of to refrain from plain speaking, with re- false guides to lead him astray ; provided gard to certain facts, as well as to sup- only he have strength of mind, for prepress apprehensions for the public, which ferring sound argument to hollow sofrom those facts receive no small light, phistry; solid demonstration to empty would savour too much of torpor where declamation. a great national interest is at stake, and I have already noticed the coincidence, a public duty is concerned. At the same respecting the Birmingham observations time, I trust, it cannot be doubted, that and the Liverpool speech, which coming no one will be more gratified than my- on ine at the same moment, excited a self, should events prove me in error; train of serious reflections. These op.and, indeed, that I may be an instrument posite documents, when the speech at towards that very proof, is not the least Liverpool was viewed in connexion with of the motives under which I now write. the two speeches at the Crown-and-An
In the second place, when I contem- chor, presented to my mind's eye a conplate the juncture of a new Parliament trast as strong as that of frost to fire, under very new circumstances, as well darkness to light; prompting me to a as the present political aspect of all the COMPARISON, which may be of use civilized states in the old world and new, to the friends of constitutional reform, and ruminate on the signs of the times : by putting them on their guard against -and when, in particular, I reflect on being misled. Should my remarks prove the critical state of that vital question, no incentive, they cannot become imparliamentary reform-on which hangs pediments, to performances truly pathe fate of my country; and believe I triotic; a reflection which reconciles me see danger in the conduct and language to an unpleasant task. of one looked up to as a leader; can it As an additional motive for exhibiting be more than will be expected of me, the drift of the documents, in a COMto state the grounds of that belief, al- PARISON of one with the other, it was though that leader should be Sir Francis on a moment's reflection obvious, that Burdett?
it was of far more importance to guard And thirdly, considering the cause of against any evil to be apprehended from personal dissatisfaction given me by the errors in the author of the speeches, party of whom I am to speak, it behooves than from errors in the author of the me to keep a guard on myself, that I may review, on whom, in the foregoing neither injure the cause of reform, nor letters to the Duke of Eedford, it will my own reputation, by language which be found much attention had been becould be interpreted as disregarding the stowed. public interest while gratifying a private That reviewer had no constitutional feeling
name that could give any false weight Still hoping, after all I had observed, to his errors; the baronet has a great and the treatment I had experienced, one for giving weight and currency to that to support the baronet's election was his. The author of the review had no to serve the cause of reform, it accorded reputation for knowledge in the science with my notions of duty to give him, at of representation : the buronet had the general election, my vote. And, I much. The author of the review had no presume, that the whole series of my character for a lofty exemption from letters to the Duke of Bedford, as yet faction, or for integrity as a patriot : the only in part made public, will evince baronet had long stood high
these rethat personal considerations do not warp spects. Although of late his mysterious me either to the right hand or to the left, conduct had staggered the faith of obfrom my right onward course, and that servant persons; yet his having at length those letters will serve as beacons and acceded to, and actually professed the finger-posts for directing on his way the doctrines of, universal freedom and the political traveller in search of the prin- ballot, still enables him to keep possesciples of representation; so as that he sion--whatever may be the solidity of his titles—of the post of parliamentary a bill for constitutional reform, infileader in the business of radical réform. nitely more important than aught in
If the mystery I have noticed did in contest between the ins and the outs! reality proceed from a hope of making I do not feel that I have any need to complete proselytes of the political apologize for the extreme reluctance I pharisees of our country, how little so- had to saying, on the 11th of July, to ever we may acknowledge the wisdom my fellow-citizens, all I then thought of of it, or how little soever we may in any the conduct of Sir Francis Burdett; view of it be able to approve of it as far but enough, I think, was said, to show as possible and as long as possible, it that there was necessarily an end to any may be allowable in the liberal-minded confidential intercourse between us. to put on it the most charitable construc- The 12th of the questions which tion. Time, which has cleared up greater make part of my address, is as follows: mysteries, will clear up this.
-“ In proposing to the electors of Before proceeding, however, with “ Westminster a new man, altogether comments on others, it is proper, accord- “. unknown in the field of reform, as the ing to wtrat I have premised, to notice personal friend of Sir Francis Burdett, what is objected to myself. “Mr. Cobbett " what was the inference likely to be is extremely liberal of praise, for the “ drawn? What the effect actually services which, in his opinion, I have produced ?" rendered the public, and the disregard I To which question this is the answer : have therein shown to my own fair am- -“ It seemed to warrant an inference, bition; which disregard, he thinks, I “ that in respect of the leader and have, however, carried to a blameable " lieutenant ABOVE-DIENTIONED, between extreme; that, in short, respecting the “ whom there had been so much coline where sacrifices of this kind ought" operation, there had been no friendto end, I had “overstepped the mark," ship.” long and long ago." Here I might far- No human being could be supposed ther quote and argue to some extent in so dull as not to see, in this passage, iny my own justification ; but that I shall conviction that the description of the rather leave to my actions. Mr. Cobbelt new man, so given by the committee, imputes to me that I still call Sir Francis was, in fact, the baronet's own descripBurdett " our leader;' whence he infers tion, as a distinction, between that new that I “
cling to the baronet somewhat man and his old reforming associate, improperly. It is true, that in addressing On a private account, I have no precertain friends of reform, assembled on tence for taking exception to that disthe 18th of August last, I certainly did tinction; of free and familiar as our so call the baronet, because he had taken political intercourse had for some years a leading step in Parliament, towards the been, I never felt that I had the personal introduction of a Bill for a radical re- friendship of Sir Francis. Ours had form ; and sincerely do I wish he may not been a private friendship, but a ponot compel me to cease calling him litical connexion; and on political our leader.”
grounds it had, as I thought, entitled Should leaders err, they ought to re- me to a very different treatment than, at ceive counsel from such as are able to his hands, on that public occasion-an give it. The moving of propositions, occasion so very important to the cause which constitute the intended preamble of reform, and consequently of freedom of a BILL, entitles us to expect the bill -I experienced. itself. A new Parliament has been a That the baronet's " personal friend" fortnight assembled. Ministers have was likewise a fox-hunting companion, I made their motions. Opposition have well knew. But still I persuaded mymade theirs. But the anxious friends self that the baronet's patriotism had of England's freedom have not yet ob- been of the same kind as his, who, served that their LEADER has given any on a similar occasion, had said, “ I have notice of a motion for leave to bring in no fox-hunting vote to bestow on any heart;
one; neither have I a vote for party, not walk the streets without having
nor for connexion : No; nor even for evidence of it. I remember, in par“ sacred friendship. To my friend I ticular, the salutations, at different times, "" will give my purse, my hand, my to that effect of Sir John Throckmorton
but I will not give him that and Mr. Richard Sharpe; the latter, at “ which is not mine. My vote I hold that time, and I believe now again, in “ in trust; my vote belongs to my Parliament; and both, as I understood, country; and my country alone shall members with Sir Francis, of Brookes's
club, in St. James's Street. In the hope of representing West- I further learned, that Sir Francis minster, it did not become me to court Burdett, having been waited on by Mr. the favour of the baronet, by the most Cieary and Mr. Henry Brooks, of the indirect hints of wishing for his counte- Strand, relative to business of a different nance, and I was proud enough to imagine nature, the baronet asked those gentleit impossible that HE, of all men, should
men, “ Who was thought of, to be put be the person to defeat my just and na- “ in nomination with him, for representtural expectations.
“ing the city?" when the answer he For awhile previous to the election, received from Mr. Henry Brooks was I understood it to be a prevailing senti- this :~" Oh, Sir, no one is thought of ment, that he who more than forty years but the old Major.” ago had successfully vindicated the le
Considering the hold which “ the old gislative rights of the commonalty, t-he Major" then had on the affections and who had been mainly instrumental in the confidence of the truly enlightened the enlightening of those whose petitions and sincere friends of constitutional refor parliamentary reform had not been form, such news, if news it were, was of scantily laid on the table, but had co- a nature, it might have been thought, vered the very floor of the House of to have gladdened the coldest heart in Commons; and he who, in all ways, the coldest bosom of any one belonging ha been indefatigable in the cause, and to that class in the community :-But it had, in particular, for several years, been gladdened not the heart of Sir Francis in close connexion and co-operation with Burdett! Sir Francis Burdett; was considered as Considering the obvious interest of having claims on his fellow.citizens, the that reform, and the plain-speaking dieelectors of Westminster, so far outweigh-tate of honest policy, that the happily ing any that would be opposed to them, favouring circumstances for that great that the baronet's name and his, as no question should have been seized on with minees for the representation of the city, avidity, and promoted with ardour, -names so long united in the public, while Westminster, true to her reputaservice, ought by no means to have been tion, ought to have surpassed her sister put asunder.
cities of the metropolis in kindling up It was thought that the union of those in the cause a patriot fire, whose rays names was so natural, so congenial with should have diffused life and hope to public feeling and public expectation, the remotest borders of the land; was it that it would call forth a support so to have been expected that any man unanimous and so ardent, as to cause an calling himself a constitutional reformer, undisputed return; and to this day no- could have been found, who was capable, thing has occurred to invalidate that of not merely throwing cold water on opinion.
the kindling fire, but even of throwing During the period alluded to, I could down an apple of DISCORD, for defeat
From an election speech at Lincoln, in ing the proposed joint nomination ?-1796, published in “ The Constitutional De. But such a man was found in Sir Francis fence of England, Internal and External,” Burdett!-In Sir Francis Burdett, who, + The work was entitled, The Legislative in a concerted plan of operations for de
a second time within five months, joined Right of the Commonalty Vindicated. It was published in 1776.
feating the hopes of his quondam asso
ciate in the cause of reform, and who, between one who “ thought” and acted on the 17th of November, harangued, as the baroriet had done, and one who with such art and emphasis on the value thought and acted as I thought and of UNANIMITY!
acted. On receiving the information of Mr. I therefore immediately wrote and Henry Brooks, the baronet perceived the dispatched my servant with a note, exhour for activity was arrived. It quickly pressing my feelings as follows :produced a letter to the father, Mr.
" To Sir Francis Burdett." Samuel Brooks, naming three gentlemen, “ I find that, after sacrifices to public any one of whom might be considered |“ liberty which have not, in this age, as acceptable to the baronet, and worthy“ been made by many; after a fidelity of being put in nomination with himself; “ to the state, which had been surpassed in which letter, “ the old Major” was “ by none,--and after vital services to neither named nor noticed.
"the cause of parliamentary reform, The three so recommended, were Mr. " which have been exceeded by few,Fawkes (whose determination, by the " there are persons among whom I have way, against going into Parliament, “ acted, who oppose the confiding to me during the continuance of the presents a trust, in the execution of which, system, had been repeatedly declared), " there are those and not a small Mr. Kinnaird, and Mr. Hobhouse.
“number,--who are persuaded, cirThe baronet's fiat thus issued, all was
“ cumstanced as I have long been, and instant alertness for Mr. Kinnuird, as
“ continue to be, I might be enabled personal friend” of Sir Francis “ to advance the cause in which I have Burdett. We know the rest. We know " long laboured, and with some credit, that on that occasion Westminster did"
more than perhaps any other indinot add to the phalanx of radical reform. of vidual. We know that even the baronet was but
“ I also learn that, for the trust in second on the poll. And now we also “ question, a preference by the opposing know, that although in June it was, but“ persons is now given to gentlemen, most incomprehensibly assigned as the " who, for years past, and years which baronet's reason for not naming as Mr. " our cause made years of trial-years Henry Brooks had done to him," the" in which the opposed person has done old Major,” in his recommendatory " so much, these preferred gentlemen, epistle, that he “ THOUGHT the " whatever may be their patriotism,
Major did not wish for a seat in Parf" their talents, and their virtues, have “ment;" he (the baronet) in November," done nothing. as a new reason for the exclusion was | " Seeing these things, I have nothing, unfortunately become necessary, had |“ thank God! to lament for myself, but accordingly discovered a new one-but" much as I conjecture, shall I have to not a whit less incomprehensible than " lament for my country, in which such the former one-namely, that although things are possible. there appeared no bar whatever to the
“ John CARTWRIGHT. introduction of another “ personal
“ June 2, 1818.” friend,” another reformer of new-born Considering the auspicious crisis to pretensions, “ it was impossible that the which the cause of constitutional reform Major-should be elected!"
was brought.--considering that to bring But I must return to the recom- it to that crisis, had cost a two-andmendatory letter of the baronet to Mr. forty-years' controversy, and that in that Samuel Brooks. On its contents being controversy, from first to last, mine had communicated to me by the committee- not been the least prominent part, men, who had seen it, I felt that I had considering the nature, the object, and been
very ill dealt with, and that it was, the intimacy of the political intercourse indeed,
impossible that a political between the baronet and myself,--and connexion in the sacred cause of consti- considering the honour which is ever tutional reform could any longer subsist supposed to govern men co-operating in
so sacred a public cause,-considering, I both, I observe, that having long dealt say, all these, could less on the occasion in strict demonstrations as standards of under consideration, have been expected right and wrong in political principle, I from Sir Francis Burdett to me-and, am not easily prejudiced either against may I not add, to our country, for which an enemy, or for a friend. I thought we were jointly labouring, After what I have already noticed rethan a manly frankness and an open specting Sir Francis Burdett, and the dignified conduct?
doubls which his conduct has excited in And considering, moreover, that for the minds of myself and many others, it the eight years during which I had been will be right that I should so far account a citizen of Westminster, I had been se- for those doubts, as to show that I am cond to no man in sustaining and ele- not writing from spleen, but from a devating her reputation for services to sire, on the one hand, to guard the public reform and public freedom, I would ask from a misplaced reliance on serious and why, if all the baronet had in view were unremitting exertions in the cause of fair and honourable, I was to be exclu- reform, which may not take place, and, sively kept in the dark, until the plot for on the other hand, to furnish the baronet excluding me were fully ripened, and himself with a salutary warning of what the name of one of the gentlemen he may happen to his reputation, if he do recommended was placarded for nomi- not take care to prevent it. nation and support in conjunction with Notwithstanding the
declarations his own, and as his “ personal friend,” which have been made, respecting annual -a gentleman who, although likewise a Parliaments, universal freedom, and the citizen of Westminster, had never once ballot, -objects which are unquestiona appeared when she had so distinguished ably necessary to be obtained for esherself as aforesaid by her services to tablishing our freedom-it is but too reform and public freedom ?
apparent, that it will be difficult to If a true interpretation of the former reconcile the late conduct of the baronet conduct, when the baronet“THOUGHT with any very rooted attachment to “ the Major did not wish for a seat in those objects : especially when the “ Parliament,” were wånting, it is now tenor of his public speeches shall be duly supplied. We see the old reformer attended to. again pushed aside, to make way for The baronet's predilection for annual that other gentleman of new-horn pre- Parliaments is not, as we know, many tensions, whose name stood last in the years old; and moreover that it rests, aforesaid letter of the baronet to Mr. not on the true sound foundation of inSamuel Brooks,
herent demonstrated right; which is inIn the apprehensions to be entertained defeasable and immutable; but—on the from such facts, and from the mysterious unsound basis of history, of ancient conduct of the baronet for two years statutes and the practice of our ancestors, past, or more, as well as from his public all which are property changeable, as our speeches since the election, I may pos- expedience may require. And it is not sibly be wrong; and no man more ar- a little remarkable, as I shall presently dently than myself wishes I may prove show, that for the change which did take
place, by departing from annual ParliaShould there be any ready to suspect inents and for continuing in that deparme of a deficiency in charity, let this ture, the baronet, in his last public sentiment be put in the scale against speech, furnished the adversaries of our that notion of others, who misinterpret- freedom with an argument which, faling patience and forbearance, impute to lacious as it is, they will quote as of great me a facility of being too easily duped force; and which their own ingenuity by professions. To the former class of never before hit upon. persons, I say, in the words of the old Then, we are further to consider, that Lord Chatham, “ In an aged bosom con- the baronet's belief in the doctrines of fidence is a plant of slow growth.” To universal freedom and the ballot, had not