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PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES OF LORD BYRON.
NOTE.-In presenting our readers with the Parliaineatary Speeches of the late Lord Byrou, we entirely divest ourselves of any party feeling; indeed, so many years bare now elapsed since their delivery in the House of Lords, so many changes have taken place in the political world, and public opinion has so often varied, that at the present day these speeches will generally be considered in their true light-as coopected with the Literature of our Couutry. Under this conviction, we give them in their original form, as further characteristic oi bis Lordship's talent.-EDIT.
" I only addressed the Honse twice, and made little impression. They told me that my manner of speaking was not dignified enougla' for the Lords, but was more calculated for the Commons. I believe it was a Dop Joan kind of speech ; the two occasions were, the Catholic Question," and (I think he said) some Manchester affair.”-Medwin's Conversatious willi Lord Byron. PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES perseverance of these miserable men in of Lord BYRON. their proceedings, tends to prove that No. I.
nothing but absolute. want could have
driven a large, and once honest and Debate on the Framc Work Bill, in the industrious boily of the people, into the House of Lords, Feb. 27, 1812.
commission of excesses so bazardous to The order of the day for the second themselves, their families, and the comreading of this Bill being read,
munity. At the time to which I allude, LORD BYRON rose, and (for the first the town and county were burtbened time) addressed their Lordships as with large detachments of the military; follows :
the police was in inotion, the magistrates MY LORDS;—the subject now sube assembled, yet all the movements, civil mitted to your Lordships for the first and military, had led to-nothing. Not time, though new to the House, is by no a single instance had occured of the means new to the country. I believe it apprehension of any real delinquent had occupied the serious ihoughts of all actually taken in the fact, against whom descriptions of persons, long before its there existed legal evidence sufficient for introduction to the notice of that legis. conviction. But the police, however lature, whose interference alone could be useless, were by no means idle: several of real service. As a person in some notorious delinquents had been detected; degree connected with the suffering men, liable to conviction, on the clearest country, though a stranger not only to evidence, of the capital crime of Poverty; this House in general, but to almost men, who had been nefariously guilty of every individual whose attention I pre- lawfully begetting several children, sume to solicit, I must claim some whom, thanks to the times they were portion of your Lordships' indulgence, unable to maintain. Cousiderable injury whilst I offer a few observations on a has been done to the proprietors of the question in which I confess myself deeply improved frames. These machines interested.
were to them an advantage, inasmuch as To enter into any detail of the riots they superseded the necessity of employwould be superfluous: the House is ing a number of workmen, who were lest already aware that every outrage short in consequence to starve. By the adopof actual bloodshed has been perpetrated, tion of one species of fraine in particuand that the proprietors of the frames lar, one man performed the work of obnoxious to the rioters, and all persons many, and the superfluous labourers supposed to be connected with them, were thrown out of employment. Yet have been liable to insult and violence. it is to be observed, that the work thus During the short time I recently passed executed was inferior in quality; not in Nottinghamshire, not twelve hours marketable at home, and merely hurried elapsed without some fresh act of vio. over with a view to ex portation. It was lence;
and on the day I left the county, called, in the cant of the trade, by the I was informed that forty frames had name of “ Spider work." The rejected been broken the preceding evening, as workmen, in the blindness of their ignousual, without resistance and without rauce, instead of rejoicing at these im. detection.
provements in arts so beneficial to mauSuch was then the state of that county, kind, conceived themselves to be sacriand such I have reason to believe it to ficed to improvements in mechanism. be at this moment. But whilst these In the foolishness of their hearts they outrages must be admitted to exist to an imagined, that ihe inaintenance and well alarming extent, it cannot be denied that doing of the industrious poor were they have arisen from circumstances of objects of greater consequence than the the most unparalleled distress. The enrichinent of a few individuals by any
A gentleman w bo was present at his maiden speech, on the Catholic Question, says, that the Lords left their seats, and gathered round him in a circle; a proof, at least, of the interest which be excited : and that the satue siyle was attempted in the Commons next day, but failed.
PARLIAMENTARY SPEECHES OF LORD BYRON. 183 improvement in the implements of trade, for your Lordships' decision, would have which threw the workmen out of em- had conciliation for its basis ; or, if that ployment, and rendered the labourer were hopeless, that some previous eninworthy of his hire. And it must be quiry, so ne deliberation, would have confessed that although the adoption of been deemed requisite; not that we the eolarged machinery in that state of should have been called at once without our commerce which the country once examination, and without cause, to pass boasted, might have been beneficial to sentences by wholesale, and sigu deaththe master without being detrimental to warrants blindfold. But admitting that the servant ; yet, in the present situa- these men had no cause of complaint ; tion of our manufactures, rotting in that the grievances of them and their warehouses, without a prospect of expor- employers were alike grouudless; that tation, with the demand for work and they deserved the worst; what ineffiworkmen equally diminished; frames ciency, what imbecility has been evinced of this description tend materially to in the method chosen to reduce them! aggravate the distress and discontent of Why were the military called out to be the disappointed sufferers. But the real made a mockery of, if theyweroto be called cause of these distresses and consequent out at all? As far as the difference of disturbances lies deeper. When we are sessons would permit, they have merely told that these men are leagued together parodied the summer campaign of not only for the destruction of their own Major Sturgeon ; and, indeed, the whole comfort, but of their very means of proceedings, civil and military, seemed subsistence, can we forget that it is the on the model of those of the Mayor and bitter policy, the destructive warfare of Corporation of Garratt.--Such marchings the last eighteen years, which has de- and counter-marchings! From Nottingstroyed theincomfort, your comfort, all ham to Bullwell, from Bullwell to Banmen's comfort ? That policy, wbich ford, from Banford to Mansfield! and when originating with “great statesmen now at length the detachments arrived at their no more," has survived the dead to destination, in all “the pride, pomp, and become a curse on the living, uuto the circumstance of glorious war," they came third and fourth generation! These men just in time to witness the mischief which dever destroyed their looms till they bad been done, and ascertaio the escape of were become useless, worse than useless; the perpetrators, to collect the "spolia till they were become actual impediments opima," in the fraginents of broken to their exertions in obtaining their daily frames, and return to their quarters bread. Can you, then, wonder that in amidst the derision of old women, and times like these, when bankruptcy, con- the hootings of children. Now though, victed fraud, and impated felony, are in a free country, it were to be wished, found in a station not far beneath that of that our military should never be too your Lordships, the lowest, though once formidable, at least to ourselves, I cannot most useful portion of the people, should see the policy of placing them in situaforget their duty in their distresses, and tions where they can only be made ridi. become only less guilty than one of their culous. As the sword is the worst argurepresentatives? But while the exalted ment that can be used, so should it be offender can find means to baffle the law, the last. In this instance it has been new'capital punishments must be devised; the first ; bul providentially as yet only new snares of death must be spread for in the scabbard. The present measure the wretched mechanic, who is famished will, indeed, pluck it from the sheath ; into guilt. These men were willing to yet bad proper meetings been held in the dig, but the spade was in other hands : earlier stages of these riots, had the they were not ashamed to beg, but there grievances of these men and their maswas gone to relieve them : their own ters (for they also had their grievances) means of subsistence were cut off, all been fairly weighed and justly examined, other employments pre-occupied, and I do think that means might have been their excesses, however to be deplored devised to restore these workmen to and condemned, can hardly be subject of their avocations, and tranquillity to the surprise.
county. At present the county suffers It has been stated that the persons in from the double infliction of an idle the temporary possession of frames military and a starving population. In’ connive at their destruction; if this be what state of apathy have we been proved upon enquiry, it were necessary plunged so long, and now for the first that such material accessories to the time the House has been officially apcrime should be principals in the punish- prised of these disturbances? All this has ment. But I did hope, that any measure been transacting within 130 miles of proposed by his Majesty's government, London, and yet we, “good easy men,
have deemed full sure our greatness was than inactivity, at length comes forth the
THE CRYPT CHAPEL IN LAMBETH PALACE.
185 to neglect. The framers of such a
ence, about to be torn for ever from a Bill must be content to inherit the family which he lately supported in bonours of that Athenian lawgiver whose peaceful industry, and which it is not his edicts were said to be written not in ink fault that he can no longer so support--but in blood. But suppose it passed ; suppose this man, and there are ten suppose one of these men, as I have seen thousand such from whom you may select them,---meagre with famine, sullen with your victims, dragged into court, to be despair, careless of a life which your tried for this new offence, by this new Lordships are about to value at some- law; still, there are two things wanting thing less than the price of a stocking- to convict and condemo him; and these frame---suppose this man surrounded by are, in my opinion,--- Twelve Butchers the children for whom he is unable to for a Jury, and a Jefferies for a Judge ! procure bread at the hazard of his exist.
[No II. in our next]
This is generally thought to be the oldest port of the palace. It consists of a series of strong stone arches, supported in the centre by a short massy column, and is thirty-six feet long by twenty-four feet wide: the height of the roof from the ground is about ten feet. These vaults are now converted into cellars. These Crypts are generally supposed to have been places allotted to private devotion, though sone authors give it as their opinion that they were used for clandestine drinking, and feasting, and things of that kind. For an account of the palace and chapel we must refer the reader to Mr. Allen's interesting History of Lambeth.
body of foreign troops, and courts in
structions. (From Colonel Stanhope's Letters.)
“ Odysseus arrived here yesterday': “I have been constantly with Odysseus. Negris accompanied him. This Negris He has a very strong mind, a good heart, is perhaps the cleverest fellow in Greece. and is brave as his sword; he is a doing He is a rugged statesman out of employ, man; he governs with a strong arm, and professes to be a republican.
He, and is the only man in Greece that can Mavrocordato, Odysseus, and Sophiapreserve order. He puts, however, com- nopulo, are famed for political iutrigue plete confidence in the people. He is and tactics. Neither Lord Byron nor for a strong government, for constitu- Mavrocordato have yet arrived. Odystional rights, and for vigorous efforts seus has despatched a letter to the latter, against the enemy. He professes him- stating that the authorities in Western self of no faction, neither of Ipsilanti's, Greece are assembled to meet him in nor of Colcotroni's, nor of Mavrocor. congress. Mavrocordato, finding that dato's; neither of the Primates, nor of the government are strong, will probably the Capitani, nor of the foreign king excuse himself, by stating the troubled faction. He speaks of them all in the state of Missolonghi, owing to the most undisguised manner. He likes conspiracy to deliver that place over to good foreigners, is friendly to a small the 'Turks.
“The captains are generally adverse the executive body the disgrace of har. to the loan. They say that it will be ing thwarted the loan, and thereby to plandered by the government party. render them odious to the people, and, The fact is, they fear that it will de- consequently, powerless, prive them of power and the means of “ Colocrotoni, after Corinth had suracquiring wealth. They have a notion, rendered to other chiefs, despatched too, that the government is hostile to his followers thither for the purpose of the army,
and I have solicited plundering. The friends of good governthe government to remove this opinion, ment pretend that he has no great qualities. by paying their soldiers, and doing He was only brave the day before he them strict justice; also, by issu- became wealthy. They report too, that ing proclamations against those cap- he and his adherents are most uptains who do uot pursue this course. It popular. should always be considered that an “In fact, the system in Greece is army consists of two brauches; if, there- quite military and feudal, and the laws fore, you cannot gain the officers, gain are neiethr much' known nor observed. the men, and you render their leaders “ 'Tbe executive are accused of having impotent."
attempted to sell and to appropriate to Nov. 23.-" The accounts received their own use the public lands, which here about Greek affairs are not favour- has rendered them odious. 'able. It is my duty to speak the whole “ The followers of the Greek religion, truth to the committee. Lord Byron, like the Catholics and the Hindoos, do Colonel Napier, all in fact, coucur in not read their Scriptures; the consequence representing the executive body as devoid is, ignorance of their creed, and superof public virtue, and actuated by avarice stition, upon which is always engrafted or low ambition. The legislative body despotism. The only edition of the have always acted with great discretion. Scriptures in modern Greek, was, I The armies and navies are ill spoken of believe, published at Venice a few years by all Europeans: they, however, back. possess this redeeming quality, they are “Prince Mavrocordato is a good man. invariably successful. The priniates have Do not imagine, however, that he is a many of them exercised power under friend of liberty in a large seuse.
He is the Turks, and are, generally, vicious not: but these are no times for an and devoid of honour. The clergy are avowal of sentiments hostile to freedom.-illiterate, and not distinguished for their “ Fle lately informed me that the pollmorality. But wbat is most important tax of one piastre had been levied last is the character of the people. They year. From it the government had are said to possess many of the vices of ascertained that the whole population Asiatic nations; but they are sensible, now under their controul, including the shrewd; discriminating, anxious to ac. islands, amounted to about two millions of quire knowledge, and attached to the souls. legislative body. M. Paraidi, Mavrocor “ Mavrocordato is a clever, shrewd, dato's secretary, called on me yesterday. insinuating, and amiable man. He wins He told me that Colcotroni had filled men, at first, by his yes's and his smiles. Napoli di Romania with his friends; He is accessible and open to good that the legislative assembly had, in con- counsel; but he pursues a temporizing sequence, quitted it, and had settled at policy, and there is nothing great or Argos. The executive body adhered to profound in his mind. He has the Colocotroni. I told the secretary that, ambition, but not the daring or the selfwhile the government remained in this confidence required to play a first part state of anarchy, they could expect no in the state. His game, therefore, is to loan. ..
secure the second character either under “I proposed to Lord Byron, be- the commonwealth or under a king. The fore M. Paraidi, to address the executive constitution is said to be his child, but and legislative bodies, to represent to he seems to have no parental predilecthem the grief he felt at these calamitous tions in its favour. And what, after all, dissensions, which must thwart all the can you expect from a Turk or Greek exertions that had been made to obtain of Constantinople ? All men are more, a loan for the Greeks; and the anxious or less influenced by the circumstances hope he entertained that, for the safety and the society that surround them; and and happiness of Greece, they would Mavrocordato, in the office of a vizier, make a generous effort toward reconcilia- might be eulogised by the historian as a tion. The object of the proposed demoi-god. measure was to force a reconciliation “Monsieur Negris, who is the ablest between the parties, or else to attach to man in Greece, and professes wir