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paper lanterns became transparent, and the large letters of light continued to tranquillize the town till sleep brought silence, broken but by that gradually deepening and widening snore, that, in a great city, to night-wandering Fine-ear, doth surely sound, beneath the mute moon and stars, if aught be so on this earth of ours, sublime.
Suppose an insurrection of the Newhaven fish-wives. To quell it, the Edinburgh Political Union are ordered off towards Trinity, to arrest the progress of the Phalanx of the Variegated Petticoats, and, if need be, to deliver battle on the high-road, where that long line of wall defends from the dust those beautiful nursery gardens. Why, the Union would sustain a total overthrow.
Not that the battle would be bloody—the killed and wounded would bear but a small proportion to the missing-the prisoners would exceed in numbers the whole victorious army-and the presidents, or field-marshals, would present a specimen of a curious predicament, carried captive in creels past the chain-pier crowded with spectators, to be kept in durance on oysters, till the establishment of a cartel, by which they might be restored to their patriotic parents, on condition of their taking, through the season, an additional supply, at an extravagant price, of cod's-head and shoulders.
They are a droll set. Having been told, in common with their fellow townsmen, that "all who were disposed to concur" with the opinions expressed in a requisition, for a Public Meeting of the Conservatives, would find admittance at the great gate of our Assembly Rooms, they pretended to interpret the words, "determined not to concur," and accordingly shewed their faces-a few-black but not comely-tête a tête-yet without any appearance of spittle-with the avowed resolution of intruding into the presence of gentlemen, who, conceiving such conduct to be worse than unreasonable, had made adequate provision for kicking them commodiously down a wide flight of stairs. Did they wish for an argumentative disputation? Heaven pity them should they ever have that wish gratified-and it is not impossible-their fate will be like that of a creel of crockery lifted up
in the arms of a strong man, and let fall with a clash on the floor into ten thousand flinders. But that persons-in ordinary life respectable
should have so far forgotten the feelings and the principles by which gentlemen are guided in all their conduct-can be satisfactorily accounted for only by a knowledge of the nature of their disease-the delirium tremens of radicalism, in which the unhappy patient sees real objects in ghastly distortion, and imagines himself haunted by a thousand devils, who are not only men but Toriesaffable archangels all, who pity the wild distemper that, to common eyes, gives to folly the semblance of sin, whereas they know that the poor creatures are not wicked, but merely mad. The only cure is a placardif that fail-accipe calcem. In that case, how could they deny reaction?
No doubt many of the Political Unions sprinkled over the country are as harmless as the Edinburgh one; and as we should be sorry to see any attempt made to put down what never was up, we trust they do not fall under his Majesty's late proclamation. In such unions there is much illegible, but nothing illegal; little sedate, but less seditious; the members are tiresome, but not traitorous; and though able to smoke a cigar, unwilling to blow up the state. They are political pustules on the surface of society, that will come to a point of themselves, and after the escape of the purulent matter, no need for a pin, not the minutest scar will be seen on the clean-skinned public. Whereas, were you to rub the pimple, it would fret, and there might be poison in the pus.
What really is the character and composition of the Birmingham Union, we now know somewhat better than Lord Grey. It has been declared illegal, and what not, on the highest authority, and so has an assemblage of 150,000 people, (a large sum) of which the Lord Chancellor of England said, " with all respect for the multitude which were assembled-he trusted the individuals alluded to would reconsider the subject." What individuals—and what subject? The individuals who declared to that multitude, whom the Lord Chancel"" that lor regards" with all respect," they ought no longer to pay the
king's taxes." "It was physically impossible," quoth the Lord Chancellor, "that in an assembly of 150,000 persons, 1000 could know what they did." We should think not so many -and on that ground is founded his Lordship's respect. But the Premier's respect includes the enemies of taxation. He corresponded-if we mistake not-with the official organs of that very society-" on terms of courtesy and compliment, with the violators of law, and the dissolvers of the elements of government." He granted their request-he alleged "inadvertence," in extenuation of his conduct towards the L.10 voters, which the government at Birmingham had rated "an inadvertence," which Mr Gregson, a man of unimpeachable honour and great talents, in his own exculpation, forced an equivocating Ministry in the House unequivocally to deny; and that his friends might not be behind him in folly, the signatures of ALTHORP and JOHN RUSSELL were seen appended to docucuments of degradation, from which, not even amidst the " roar of a faction," can these persons recover their former place in the estimation of their country. "It may, perhaps, be said, that the correspondence between the Prime Minister and the Birmingham Political Union, took place before the unlawful resolution not to pay taxes was passed. If so, it is the difference between an accessary before, and an accessary after the fact." Look at the four-the Premier-the Lord Chancellor-the Chancellor of the Exchequer-and the Paymaster to his Majesty's forces. A., G., and R., corresponding with, explaining to, complimenting, flattering, consulting, on the weightiest matters of state and legislation," with the ostensible agent of an association, of which B. declares that its resolutions are a violation of law, and that the elements of government would be dissolved unless its practices were put down. And they have been put down by proclamation-by a proclamation, says the author of the Reply, which informs us that it is wrong to transgress the laws, right to obey them, and the duty of magistrates to enforce obedience." He might have added, with equal truth, that it is not the duty of a Minister of the King of England to inflame
the minds of the people, by calling the solemn decision of the legislature" the whisper of a faction." To men-to noblemen-who could stoop so low-and thus trail their foreheads in the dirt, at the feet of seditious demagogues-England is to trust for the Reform of her Constitution!
No wonder that with such a Ministry to imitate, the Press became mob-worshipper. Not even during the dreadful season immediately preceding the French Revolution, was there a more hideous howl set up in Paris than we have heard within the year in London. Doctrines subversive of all our institutions, social and sacred, have been promulgated in execrations. They have been daily dinned into the ears of the people over all the land. But the people would not rebel-they had a dismal apprehension of some great evil that might befal them, even during the exasperation of spirit which those accursed arts had kindled; in the turbulence of passion they felt that the creed taught them was wrong, that the conduct they were exhorted to was wicked; and it is encouraging to think that the lower orders-aye even the lowest, have withstood the pernicious advice of their leaders, and that, in obedience to it, towns have been fired by those wretches only-so let us believe-who without it would for kindred crimes have been punished by deportation or death. The people of England have been deluded and betrayed, and instigated into a state of mind and a line of conduct dangerous indeed, and if long persisted in, destructive of all government-but that they have not risen up to subvert the state, a rising that would to themselves have soon had a terrible catastrophe, proves how great, after all, must be their attachment to it, shaken as that attachment has been by so many infamous appliances, once, and that not long ago, firm, because deeply rooted amid the roots in their hearts, proud amidst many sufferings and many sacrifices, of their country's greatness, under which was still sheltered much enjoyment of life's best blessings, while they beheld from their shores on which no invader dared to set foot, for the Conqueror of Europe feared to face the sons of liberty,
people after people subjugated, we may say, and enslaved, thrones tolerated to native kings, or filled, at his beck, with aliens, till Britain overthrew the Man of Blood, and blasted his brotherhood of usurpers.
What atrocious wickedness to practise such arts on such a people! They have borne, with heroic fortitude, many evils which the fluctuations incident to our vast commercial system periodically bring upon their condition; fluctuations which we verily believe it is beyond the power of human wisdom to prevent or avert, though we have as little doubt that some of the most fatal were directly produced by the folly of our rulers, in their ignorant zeal for what they irrationally called the Principles of Free Trade. Our immense debt, too, must be a weight felt by every poor man; but it was incurred in the cause of liberty, and through the progress of glorious wars, of which any one victorious battle was "worth a whole archipelago of sugar islands." So said Wyndham; for he was a patriot who knew that the power and opulence of every people lie in the greatness of their character, and sometimes that can be shewn and sealed only in blood, and accredited by difficult and dangerous achievements. The rch blood of brave men was pourel out not only ungrudgingly, but exultingly, for their country's honour-treasures transcending in their worth all the gold in all the mines. The people complained not of that expense, nor would they complain now, but for reforming Ministers and mobs who assail with curses the Constitution for which those heroes fought, and under which their forefathers flourished, and who have had the desperate audacity to attribute to its abuses calamities, which in the course of nature, and by nature's laws, arose out of a policy which they and their friends abetted or pursued, and that, too, with the bold avowal of their belief, that much misery must ensue from such measures, but that it would be merged at last in the general prosperity of the nation.
With the causes of the frequent distress of the people patent before them-and at the same time with the wellbeing of the people, (for they were on the whole contented at
the time this insane scheme of Reform was broached and spread out before their eyes,) these Ministers of ours, who, to hear them and their adherents speak, a simpleton might suppose were the sole sincere and disinterested friends of the people, were so thoroughly unprincipled as to bring forth a Bill composed of firebrands, and to throw it among the people, audaciously declaring, that to set the whole country on fire was the only way to save it from ruin, and keep it in peace. The people, unable to believe that all this was done merely to keep Whigs in office, became in crowds converts to the Ministerial
creed that they were the most wretched of slaves—trampled upon by the cloven feet of a cruel oligarchy, and the victims of an oppression that had gradually grown over them out of that hideous heap and hubbub of heinous anomalies-the British Constitution.
'Twere long to tell the story of all the base, brutal, and wicked arts employed to delude the people into this insane persuasion 'twere long to tell the story of all the native tendencies to delusion implanted in the constitution of men's souls, and how, at particular periods of its history, a nation seems sometimes for a while suddenly to go stark-staringmad. Suffice it now to say, that waxing more daring day by day, we shall not say from impunity, for the law is now a dead letter, but from encouragement given them in every possible way, directly and indirectly, openly and covertly, by Ministers, the tribe of traitors who work a large portion of the press incessantly called aloud on the peaceful people of this happy land to tear their robbed rights from the hands of tyrants. Unawed by the majesty of the laws -now in abeyance-they scattered their not ambiguous words among the soldiers, whom they first tried to cajole out of their allegiance to their King, country, and their own unequalled fame-and then, when they found all the heroes true as the steel of their bayonets, to frighten the invincibles by that notable project of a general arming, which, at the first flush of the scarlet like dawn upon the mountains, would have melted away like snow. 'Twas a coward scheme, and could have been con
ceived but in the hearts of cowards.
auctioneer. It is melancholy to see such a man as the accomplished Editor of the Westminster, so besotted by the dregs of the drugs of Radicalism, as to admit into its boards the blackguardisms of that consummate blockhead-the Ass of the Age, who brays himslf in a mortar. The cuddy is a coxcomb too, and must needs have a wreath of dockens round his ears, as if he were a victor crowned at the Olympic Games. But in the midst of his capers, independently altogether of his ears, at every step on his hind legs he betrays the donkey. No animal more difficult of concealment than your ass, and your son of an ass. He ought never to go in character to a masquerade. There he goes-obvious to all eyes-the Knight of the Thistle. One domino after another thwacks him across head or tail-there is little difference be tween the two in shape or soundyet in the inscrutable obstinacy of his being, he will not budge from the cudgel, but opposes bone to blud geon with a determination of pur pose that, in a higher cause, would make the helot a hero.
We allude to Long-Ears now merely to illustrate, by this Vicar o Bray, the character of the stupid and insolent radicals who have bee bawling the lower orders into rebel lion. And what think you of D Bowring himself-advertising as puff preliminary to a new number o his Review, that the people have al ready expressed their opinion o Reform, and that now is the tim for every man of them to take hi part in revolution? And what thin ye of a Ministry, who take such man into their employment, and sen him over to Paris to learn how t conduct accounts! The Imbeciles!
As a relief from our eloquence do peruse the following passage fro the Reply.
"I accuse no man of wicked intention who has been acting in this ill-fated worl But there is a wise rule, and it seems true in morals and politics, as in tl practice of municipal law, that men mus for the purposes of correction, be take to have intended those things which a the natural consequences of their o actions. Who would have thought it is the exclamation of every heedless an mischievous man, who is mischievous b cause he is heedless, and runs into ruil
ous practices, because he never contemplated the consequences of his own acts. But the law will not allow mischievous idiots to be abroad, any more than it will suffer sane men to disown the ill effects of their own voluntary doings. The intention must be presumed, where the act is palpable.
"What did these men think was likely to be the consequence of telling unlettered multitudes, that the Government under which they lived was one of corruption, tyranny, oppression, and misrule? Did they suppose that magistrates would be allowed to discharge their duty, and execute the laws, when the King's Government had been proclaiming to the people, that the fountain of all law was foul and polluted? Are the makers of the laws to be
ligion, and law, are a peculiar stumblingblock, and who will gladly join the King's Ministers in removing these rocks of their offence.
"Oh, how I should pity these Ministers, if the time for pity were yet come ! But pity must give way to justice. Pity sleeps while justice tarries. Justice, whether she resides in mortal laws or abideth in Almighty councils, whether the arm of man be her depository, or the arm of God her surer refuge, will assuredly break from the cloud beneath which she now slumbers, and once more lighten on the hearts of men, who, for no cause shown, and no reason assigned, have excited the discontent of numbers of their countrymen, against the essential institutions of the government of their country, inflaming the passions of the workers of mischief, and deluding the simple to their own destruction; who in one little year have, by their evil councils, so torn, harassed, and distracted their poor country, that better men do not care to undertake the reparation of those wrongs, of which others have been the headiong authors; men who, from the beginning even to the end of this unhallowed work, and by the mouth of this great man whose speech I have here considered, have given no one single reason, so help me, God! why such a work should have been underta
branded with ignominious epithets by men in power, and the laws to be held in veneration by the simple? Is a Parliament to be vilified, and its acts obeyed? But unless the Ministers of the King can answer these questions by assent, they are no less the enemies of the law than of the constitution of their country. Those who, in their places in Parliament, denounce bishops for defending the cause committed to their care, and for doing their duty before their country and their Godthose are they, and not the ragged wretches impassioned by a momentary frenzy, who truly hurl the firebrand at the palaces of men whom they have publicly stigmatized as meet objects of the vengeance of an injured country. Who are the allies of this British Neckar? Who are they who are called forth with triumphant air to prove that there is no repentance in the work of revolution? They are the same men of whom, in 1793, one who is now on the same side the question with Cobbet, and Carlile, and Earl Grey, thus spoke-All the enemies of the British constitution will cling to him, in spite of revolution, and flourished for nigh two
his efforts to shake them off, until their hatred of the present establishment shall have been completely satiated in the ruin of the state, in the misery and perhaps in the blood, of all ranks and orders of the people
"Non missura cutem nisi plena cruoris hiru
Men who tell bishops that they should not vote, and ministers of religion that they should not perform their sacred of
ken, either by the proof that the present formation of Parliament was inefficient
for its great purposes, the protection of liberty, and the protection of property, or the proof, or even the intimation, that these purposes would be better answered by its reconstruction on a new plan; but who, adopting change for the love of change, or the love of something worse, suppose for by their actions they appear to suppose it-that long enough bas England been free from the miseries of
centuries of tranquillity and repose; long enough has she been contented at home, and feared abroad; contented, as far as is consistent with that freedom which is her best birthright; feared, wherever liberty has required protection, or the arm of the oppressor has been felt. Long enough has the balance of power between the three estates of the realm, controlling, not conflicting powers, that unrevealed secret of antiquity, which sages saw in
fices, and magistrates that they should vision, and sighed, and toiled, and prayed not dispense the laws, lest those, forsooth, for, but never could accomplish; long be offended, to whom judgment, and re
enough has the just equipoise of King,
Lord Mornington's Speech on Mr Grey's motion, 1793.-Parliamentary Re
Jister, vol. xxxv. p. 449.