ページの画像
PDF
ePub

time recollect, that the Protestant religion was, during | metaphysical objections to the declaration that James had the time of Charles, struggling for existence; that the abdicated," proposing to substitute “ deserted,"_and King was paid to aid the Catholic religion, that he was objected to the throne being called “ vacant," “ because, surrounded by desperate men of that persuasion, that the by the constitution of the Government, the monarchy is successor to the crown was the confirmed slave of Rome, hereditary and not elective." But, after having come to and that, on the rise of that religion, despotic power was an agreement, the Peers were so anxious to show their to rise along with it. It was in these circumstances new zeal, that they voted the throne to the Prince and that, when Charles granted a Declaration of Indulgence, Princess of Orange, without specifying their respective the Commons declared that the King had not the power shares in the Govermnent, or hinting at those celebrated of suspending laws. He went to his friends the Lords, limitations with which the Commons found it necessa ry and complained; and in their house he sat, with the Duke to limit the gift. (a) On these qualications being merged of York, till they had finished a dutiful address, and into the Bill of Rights, the Lords did their best to nul. heard the vote of the Commons called, in a mutilated lify its effect, by modifying the abolition of the power of quotation, “ monstrum horrendum ingens.(a)

dispensing with laws, by the addition, “ as it has been The celebrated Test Act, being an abjuration, by mem exercised of late ; " (6) and it has been owing, not to the bers of Parliament, of transubstantiation and the invo security of the law, but to the watchfulness of the people, cation of saints, was the next step of the Comnions; and that this celebrated enactment was not found to contain whatever may be said abstractly of such an act, such was its own remedy. considered its necessity as a protection from the court, William, who, whatever may have been his fault, was that the Dissenters, who were excluded by it, and the a far greater man than any of the petty oligarchy who Earl of Bristol, “ a Catholic of the Church of Rome, but had found it necessary to apply to him, wished to keep not a Catholic of the Court of Rome,' as he termned him. the agreement which the Church of England had entered self, supported it, and it certainly had the effect of crush. into with the Dissenters, to reward them for their assist. ing the Cabal. Its progress, in the Commons, was inter ance in the Revolution. Accordingly, a bill was prerupted by a dissolution : it was revived in 1675, when it pared, rendering the receiving of the Sacrament, accord. was rejected by the Lords, who, in this instance, as in ing to the Church of England, unnecessary for the tenure more liberal and peaceful times, when they were called on of any office of trust. This clause was rejected by the to repeal it, certainly acted up to the barrier system of Lords; and a similar fate befell the bill of comprehension, which they boast. Did religious freedom prompt their for enlarging the limits of the Church of England, by the vote? When they allowed it to pass in 1678, they mo abolition of tests obnoxious to those Dissenters whose destly attempted to except the members of their own creed most nearly approached it. (c) At the same peHouse, but managed only to favour the Duke of York. (b) riod, the Lords showed their zeal by passing a bill, mak

Meanwhile the Court, perceiving that the Commons ing it treason to correspond with the exiled Monarch ; could not be safely foiled in their intention to be rid of which was rejected by the Commons. (d) the government of James, brought in a measure, which, To the act for restoring the corporations seized by on the succession of a Roman Catholic Prince, put the Charles Il. and James, the Lords insisted on a verbal ecclesiastical benefices (the only things considered in dari amendment of importance-the withdrawal of the term ger from such an event) into the hands of the Bishops. (c) “illegal," as applicable to the seizures-(e) Such a term This was dropped in the Commons, where the Bill of was not to be applied to the act of one who sat on a Exclusion was soon after passed, on the natural principle throne. that the nation was entitled to choose the tenant of its It is the vice of the much lauded reign of William, that crown, and objected to the succession of James, not be being the first in which bribery was very serviceable to cause he was a Roman Catholic, but because he was the lo the work of prerogative, Parliament was corrupted by servant of Roman Catholics. The King called it a villain- places and money. In 1692, a bill “ for free and imparous bill, which he would not allow to pass. It passed twice tial proceedings in Parliament" passed the Commons, but through the Commons,—and being, of course, rejected by was of course rejected by the Lords. On being again the Lords, when taken up a third time, was interrupted | brought forward, it passed both Houses, but was refused by a sudden dissolution. (d)

the royal assent,-a piece of hauteur, on the part of Wil. The Houses showed their respective designs in such liam, which was spiritedly resented by the Commons. (f). measures as were of a purely constitutional nature. The Amidst many investigations, and complaints of undue Lords, in 1675, passed a non-resisting Test, declaring it influence, the Commons devised, in 1701, a bill for apunlawful, on any ground whatever, to take up arms pointing a committee to investigate public accounts ; proagainst a King, or s at any time to endeavour the altera- ducing, as their reasons, the fact that several millions of tion of the Government, either in church or state;" which the public money had not been accounted for, but the the Commons, busied with measures to prevent bribery | Lords baffled their aim, by introducing amendments li. and undue influence among their members, being by no miting the inquiry. (9) means in a humour to sanction, were prevented from dis At the accession of Anne, the poison which was in a cussing, by a prorogation. (e)

few years almost to reduce the constitution to its preIn February, 1674, the Commons passed the Habeas vious lifelessness, was fairly infnsed into the Parliament ; Corpus Act, In latter times, bad an attempt been made but it was not always powerful, and in the repeated atto improve that statute, the Lords would have termed it tempts of the Commons to disgorge it, appeared some “ the great palladium of our liberty, not to be sacrilegi. gleams of the better spirit which would have actuated an ously handled;" but when first brought forward, beiug uncorrupt elected body In 1702 the Court interest sean innovation, it was of course thrown out. The Com. cured the passage through the Commons of a bill to remons perseveringly recurred to it; but it did not become peal the act of Occasional Conformity, passed during the law till the year 1679. (f)

previous reign, abolishing the heavy penalties incurred Of the reign of James the Second we have little to re by holders of public offices who frequented dissenting cord. Much credit has been taken by the Peers for their meetings. The Lords moderated the penalties, but the spirited answer to James's declaration that he was re bill so altered was rejected in the lower House. In the solved to break the laws, by employing a Roman Catho two ensuing sessions it suffered the same fate. The Bi. lic army--but the Lords had at first returned an ap shops astonished the world with their moderation : but proving answer to the King's declaration, from which they were of William's choosing, with Burnet at their they did not think of departing until the Commons

head. (h) warned their King not to infringe the laws. (9)

In 1706 the laws of nature appeared to be restored. In the affair of the Revolution, the Peers were enabled The Lords took steps towards a bill for preventing evato perform their duty of interruption. They made aions of the law which devolved the property of Roman (a) Parl. Hist. IV. 558.

(a) Macintosh's Revol. 621.

(6) Hal. II. 143. (6) Hal. II. 580. Parl. Hist. IV. 1039. (c) Hal. II. 599.

(c) Parl. Hist. V. 196. Kennet 111. 518, Smollett. (d) Hal. 11. 580. Parl. Hist. IV. 1339. Dal. Mem. 1. 58.

(d) Parl, Hist. V. 246. (e) Ib. 536. (J) Ib. 745-93, 828 (e) Parl. Hist. IV.715. (5.) Parl. Hist. IV. 600-1148.

(8) Ib. 1321, Kennet III. 820 (8) Sir James Macintosh's Hist. Rev. 46.

(h) Parl. Hist, VI. 62, 94, 152, 170, 359. Somerville, 78,

mons.

Catholics on their next Protestant heirs; but having no mortalised in the rolling periods of Johnson's report. The hope that it would pass the Commons, who had just re biographer of Walpole exulted in his triumph over ca. jected such a measure by 119 to 48, they sent an aldress lumny.(a) to the Queen, complaining of “the intolerable boldness In 1756, when the nation was jealous of the use of and presumption of the Papists," and praying for protec foreign troops, and saw the utility of a well-disciplined tion to the suffering Protestants. (a)

army at home, a bill to regulate and discipline the mi. The battalion of inferior placemen, who occasionally litia passed the Commons. 6. But it is reported, my were enabled to form majorities for the Court, long ex lord," says Horace Walpole, writing to Lord Hardwicke, cited the disgust of the Commons. In the Act of Se “ that this bill, when passed in our House is to be dropcurity of 1706 they introduced a clause, limiting the ped in your Lordship's ;" and so it was. In the ensuing number of placemen who should be allowed to sit. This year, however, it passed ; and the Peers thus correctly the Lords rejected. (6) In 1710, 1711, 1712, 1741, and accomplished their legitimate purpose of delay.() 1742, the Place Bill met a similar fate: nor was it passed The unfortunate case of Admiral Byng is well known till the fall of the Walpole administration. (c) An act to to the readers of the history of this period. It was said that prevent pensioners from sitting in the Commons was a he was the victim of popular fury, and that expediency similar object of desire similarly met ; for noble Lords stopped the mercy of the Court. A member of the courthad boroughs to dispose of, and pensioners were sure to martial which condemned him, stating his opinion that rea. Fote in the proper manner. George I. called it a villain. sons for lenity might be found in the circumstances of the ous bill; and “ during his whole administration" says trial, moved for a bill to relieve the members of the Court Coxe, “ Sir Robert Walpole never made any strong op from their oath of secrecy; which was passed without position to it, but left it to be rejected by the Upper opposition. But the Peers would not expose the proHouse."

ceedings of a Court which had condemned a British subThe House of Lords was considered the proper place ject to death, to the light of day, and rejected the bill. (c) for introducing the Septennial Act of 1716. At the same In 1758 a gentleman had been impressed, and contime it must be mentioned, that it passed a bill for al. fined in the Savoy. His friends applied for a writ of Jowing counsel to persons accused of treason, which was Habeas Corpus, which was refused. He had been comrejected by the Commons.(d)

mitted for no crime, and so might remain a prisoner for In 1719 Sunderland passed through the Peers, with life at the will of the Crown. The defect in the act at. great ease, his celebrated project for perfecting the oli tracted attention, and a bill to amend it passed the Coin. garchy by limiting its number. Fortunately for the

In the House of Lords, to oppose it, was one of country the bill was rejected by the Commons.(e) those opportunities which displayed the power of Mans

In 1722, in spite of the ferocity of the Bishops, the field to advantage before an hereditary aristocracy. “He Lords allowed to pass the Quakers' Affirmation Bill. The spoke for two hours and a half," says Walpole. « His Archbishop of York moved the characteristic amendment, voice and manner, composed of harmonious solemnity, " that the affirmation should not go in any suit of law for were the least graces of his speech. I am not averse to tithes," and Atterbury was horrified at the indulgence own that I never heard so much argument, so much extended to “ a set of people who were hardly Christians." sense, so much oratory united.” (d) The measure was The Quakers had scruples about paying tithes, except lost. compelled by the decree of a Court; the expense of liti. The question of General Warrants, in 1766, was tho gations in the Courts of Westminster were often ruinous ; next important point of dispute between the Houses. The to the Commons passed, by a large majority, a bill, mak Commons passed a bill, declaring it illegal to grant a ing the determination of two Justices of Peace final, if warrant in general terms to seize the printers, &c. of a the Quaker did not litigate farther. The Lords rejected seditious libel, with their papers, &c. It was rejected by the measure without committing it.(f)

the Lords, and the Commons were obliged to be content In 1722 a bill to secure the freedom of elections passed to declare it illegal, and a breach of privilege, to apply the Commons and was rejected by the Lords. The re such a warrant to a Member of that House.(e) jection was repeated in 1726. In 1729 it passed with A steady calm of some years subsisted between the two amendments.(9)

Houses, while a storm was raging without. To the MinIt should have been mentioned that a bill to establish istry which was driving the American colonists to war, vote by ballot was passed in the Commons in 1710, and “the Bulwark of the Constitution, to protect it from rash thrown out by the Lords.(h) On what early day will this measures," &c. was never wanting in giving to the votes act of the drama be repeated ?

of the Commong the “ usual majorities.” The Quebec There were certain defects in the Scottish act of 1701, Coercion Bill made its appearance in the House of Lords. called the Habeas Corpus of Scotland. A falso accuser The Assembly of Mausachusets Bay was there goaded by could be screened from justice ; and the mere statement insulting resolutions ; and when the Ministry, too late, of a capital crime justified the denial of bail. Through introduced the repeal of the American Stamp Act, they these defects the Magistrates and Burgesses of the town for the first time saw a measure regarding America of Haddington had been seized and conveyed to a distant stagger as it passed the Upper House. The bill for rejail, for election purposes.

An amendment of the act-a straining the trade and fisheries of New England, was im. measure still wanted-passed the Commons, but was proved in the Lords, by its extension to New Jersey, Penthrown out by the Lords, at the instigation of the Earl sylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina. of Islay, who thought the defect convenient, and whose These amendments were rejected by the Commons; but viceroy, Lord Milton, had applied it.(i)

the hint was not lost, and an act was soon after passed Sir Robert Walpole, at his retreat from administration for restraining the trade of these colonies. in 1741, had left a million and a half of the public In 1772 a bill passed the Commons, to relieve the Dis. money unaccounted for. It was well known that he had

senters from those penalties which few were base enough repeatedly paid hard cash for a vote ; that the people's to follow the example of the Legislature, by enforcing. money came back to them in the form of election bribes, It was rejected by the Horse of Lords, by a majority of and that hired pamphleteers eulogised his Government. 102 to 29. The same measure modified, was lost in a A committee of inquiry being appointed, Mr. Paxton, similar manner in the ensuing year. (J) the Solicitor of the Treasury, coolly declined answering In 1780, Mr. Burke's bill for preventing members of questions. A bill of indemnity was passed by the Com Parliament from engaging in Government contracts, havmons, but rejected by the Lords. Carteret, the enemy of ing passed the Commons, was thrown out by the Lorde (g) Walpole, abhorred the “ disgusting inquiry,” and Harvey But at the same period we must record, per contra, tho "sporus, that thing of silk,”-had his indignation im rejection by the Lords, of Sir George Saville's Bill, for

(a) Parl. His. VI. 516. (6) Hal. III. 260.

(c) Parl. Hist. VI. 588, 1000, 1,109. XII. 1,592. Parl. Hist. VII. 306, 380. (eIb.616. Coxe's Walp. 1. 119. U) Parl, Hist. VII. 46. IX. 1210 (8) Ib. VII. 861, VIII. 520, 754.

(k) Hal. III, 275. () Parl. Hist, IX, 956.

(a) Coxe's Walpole I. 714. (0) Parl, Hist. XV. 706.69.

(c) Ib. 816. Smollet.
(d) Parl, Hist, XV. 871-923. Walp. Mem. II. 301.

(c) Parl. Hist, XVI, 209.
( Parl. Hist, XVII. 442, 790. (8) New An. Reg. I. 155, 1 1

1

1

1

preventing Roman Catholics from educating the children nouring it with an argument. (a) Mr. Fox had a simi. of Protestants; (a) a measure which passed the House of lar measure of reform of another branch of the law in Commons, because it was supposed calculated to appease readiness, but he saw the inutility of bringing it forward. the intane bigotry of the period at little cost, and was In 1792, Mr. Wilberforce, with great difficulty, passed probably rejected by the all-Protestant House for no bet through the Commons a resolution that the Slave Trade ter reason.

should be gradually abolished, its termination being to In the following year, Mr. Fox introduced to the Com. take place in 1796. On the resolution being carried to mons a bill to make marriages in England civil con the House of Lords, means were found to protract the tracts, binding on the contracting parties, and no longer measure indefinitely, by the appointment of a committee complicated routines of barbarous ceremony, an omission for hearing evidence. The same indefatigable advocate or infraction of the most minute of which invalidated of philanthrophy, whose fate it was to see the prospect of the contract, and when discovered years afterwards, might doing good continually diminish in the progress of his plunge families in disgrace_likewise to abolish the labours, obtained from the Commons, in 1794, the aboScottish monopoly in marriages. When it passed the Com. lition of that branch of the Commerce, which supplied the mons, the Lords rejected it. (6)

islands and territories belonging to foreigners; but the In 1783, Mr Pitt, after a Parliamentary inquiry, which Lords had, we presume, not made sufficient inquiry, to showed instances of great abuse and misconduct, passed enable them to accede to the boon, and rejected the bill by through the Commons a bill for regulating the Admi. 45 to 4. (6) ralty, Navy, Victualling, and Treasury Offices. This was In 1797, the Lords rejected a Bill for allowing Roman the reforming period of his Protean life ; and the measure Catholics and Protestant Dissenters to serve as officers would have made effectual retrenchments. It was rejected in the supplementary militia, which had just been proby the Lords, because it infringed on the prerogative of the vided. The Bishop of Rochester exceeded the usual imaCrown. (c) During the same year, a similar cautious re ginative powers of a Bishop, in attacking this unnatural spect caused the rejection of Mr. Fox's celebrated East provision, “ and expressed his surprise that a Bill should India Bills. The merits of the measure it is not our be introduced during the dog-days, which affected the bul. purpose to discuss; and, as it is well known, we shall not warks of the Constitution," &c. (c) give an account of it. It abolished a serviceable branch In 1803, considerable attention was attracted by the of the prerogative; and therefore the King told Earl more than ordinary constitutional amount of dishonesty, Temple, « That he should deem those who should vote which had been exhibited in the admiralty department for the Bill, not only not his friends, but his eneinies ;" during the war; and a bill, appointing commissioners to and so several Lords who had intrusted Ministers with inquire into frauds and abuses, passed the Commons. It their proxies, showed their independence by withdrawing was the purpose of this act, that the commissioners should them.(d)

institute the best course of examination they could devise, In 1786, Mr. Wilberforce passed through the Commons -ánd, among ther plans, that they should cross-question 2 Bill for the amelioration of the criminal code. It would the persons interested, and act on the information they probably be difficult now to discover the nature of its pro so acquired. This seemed hard to the Peers; and while visions, but its author's name is an index to its nature. they nominally passed the bill, they deprived it of its sting, Lord Loughborough said the judges had not been con. by protecting the persons concerned from being liable sulted on the propriety of the measure, and it would be to answer any questions which might criminate themvery wrong to pass it. It was rejected without a divi.

selves. (d) sion. (e)

Let us here notice an event which happened during Somo persons who felt the barbarism of the English the same year, which, though scarcely bearing reference law of imprisonment for debt, but who saw, and perhaps to the avowed subject of this paper, is so singular a na. partook in the “ nolumus leges Angliæ mutari," attempted tural curiosity, as a specimen of expeditious and attentive to soften it by procuring on certain jubilee occasions, (such legislation, that it cannot be too often noticed. On the as a birth, or birth-day in the Royal family,) which, are 28th of July, the House of Lords, after hearing an ad. excuses for all kinds of odd acts, an occasional insolvent dress from his Majesty, adjourned till eight in the eveact, releasing prisoners for debt, under certain conditions. ning, for the purpose of passing two bills, that night exIn 1783, 1784, 1785, and 1786, a succession of such bills pected from the Commons; the one for trying Irish rebels passed the Commons, and were rejected by the Lords. by martial law, the other for the suspension of the Another passed the Commons in 1787 ; but as the excuse habeas corpus act in Ireland. These bills had incurred for urging it was, not any event in the Royal Household, some opposition in the Commons; but, as anticipated, they but the vulgar fact that there were more more than 3000 stalked into the Upper House, between nine and ten debtors in the different jails in the kingdom, it was thrown o'clock on the expected night. The standing orders of out by the Lords. Lord Thurlow said, “ he had fre the House were dispensed with, and the bills passed quent opportunities of witnessing the temper of creditors, through all their stages before the noble Lords adjourned and had seldom found any cause of complaint.” His to the opera. The Bill continuing the suspension, passed Lordship was protected by privilege. (f)

in a similarly happy manner through all its stages in It may be mentioned, that to the abolition of the one day. There was a slight murmur of opposition, on Slave Trade Bill of 1788, the Lords added an amend the ground that ministers who knew when the act was ment, exempting from its prohibitions the persons hold to expire, should have come forward with a renewal at ing the assiento contract (or contract of providing slaves) an earlier period ; but they took it calmly, knowing with the Spanish Government. This bill was lost for the themselves to be among civil men, who would not questime, on a point of form. (9)

tion them much, when such a measure was wanted. (e) • 'The dispute as to the rights of Juries to decide both as In 1808, Mr. Banks obtained the consent of the Comto the law and as to the fact in cases of libel, or, more mons to a Bill for preventing the granting of offices in properly speaking, as to the whole fact in cases of libel, reversion. It was thrown out by the Lords ; but a Bill is well known. About the year 1770, a Bill to enable limiting the measure to one year was passed. In 1810, Juries to judge both of the fact of publishing, and the the Commons passed, by acclamation, a Bill to render the criminality of the publication, was lost in the Lords, be prohibition permanent, which the Lords threw out at the cause it was said such really was the law. But the at second reading; and the measure, in a modified form, tempts of Mansfield were effectual, and it came to be un. inet a like fate. (1) derstood that Juries could not decide on the criminality. During the same year, Sir Samuel Romilly's Bill to Fox introduced his first Bill for extending their rights, in abolish the punishment of death for petty thefts in shops, 1791. It passed the Commons; but at the dictum of the having passed the Commons, met in the Lords the usual Chancellor, the Lords dropped it in silent horror, not ho fate of a measure of clemency. (9)

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

(a) Ib. 176. (6) New An. Reg. IL 157. (c) Gent. Mag. LIIL 624. New An. Reg. IV. 119. (d) Aikin, I. 383. New An. Reg. V. 18. (e) Ib. VII. 156.

() Ib. VIIL. 108. (8) Ib. IX, 131,;

(a) Ib. XII. 170.
(0) Aiken, I. 447, 486. New An. Reg. XIV. 89, 91.

(C) Ib. XVIII. 20. (d) lb. XXIV. 60.
(8) Ib, 202._Riving. An. Reg. 70. Ib. 135 (6) Ib, 138.

In 1814, a Bill brought in by Sir Samuel Romilly Right Honourables recoiled from the polluted touch, and and Sir James Mackintosh, for subjecting the freehold es the measure was lost by 171 to 129.(a)} tates of persons dying in debt, to simple contract debts, In 1823, the progress of free trade opinions induced the having passed the Commons, was of course lost in the minister to sanction a bill to remove the restrictions of Lords, as a measure pot agreeable to men who had es the Spitalfields act, by which the wages of the silk tates. (a)

weavers were fixed by the magistrates, with a reference A Bill abolishing the demoralizing punishment of the to the quantity of work performed. The repeal passed pillory passed, the Commons in 1815, but was thrown the Commons; but was so far altered by the Lords that out by the Lords, who were not likely to be benefited by its friends did not recognize it, and deserted it. The it. (b)

Lords claimed the merit of humanity, and pointed to In 1818, the Lords rejected the Act for abolishing the respectful petitions from the wearers ; let it not be de punishment of death in thefts, amounting to above five

nied them.(6) shillings, in shops and warehouses, after it had passed the The same year witnessed the rejection, by 80 to 73, of Commons (c) They were pleased, two years afterwards,

a modified Catholic Relief Bill, bestowing the right of to give their consent to some of Mackintosh's meliorations electing, but not of being elected, which had passed the of the bloody code, with a few exceptions to the measure Commons with slight discussion.(c) as it had passed the Commons; among which they fa. In 1824, Lord Althorp introduced to the Commons a voured “ the Black Act" of 9th Geo. I., which denounced bill “for preventing delays and expences in the proceeddeath against those who committed certain offences, with ings of County Courts, and for the more easy and speedy their faces blackened. Meanwhile the Six Acts passed. recovery of small debts.” The bill was supported on These were not among the measures, which, like the abo. the general principle that it was not, according to the lition of the Slave Trade, required consideration, inquiry, state of the law, worth any tradesman's while to proseand delay. They were among those things which Lords cute for a debt under L.]0; and it proposed the appointcannot do too quickly; and we find that, having been an. ment of assessors to Sheriffs, who, in circuits through the nounced by Sidmouth on the 30th November, two of counties, should decide such cases by the intervention of them passed the Lords on the 7th December, and the rest a jury. It passed the Commons. In the Lords, Lord speedily followed.

Ellenborough observed, that it would make tradesmen In 1820, Lord John Russell attempted a petty reform less ready to give credit; a thing to be much deprecated in the House of Commons, by moving a Bill to prevent by noble Lords, who seldom prosecuted for debts under the issuing of writs to Grampound, Penrhyn, Camelford, L.10. The measure was lost.(d) and Barnstaple, at the ensuing general election. The In March 1825, the Catholic relief | bill was again measure passed the Commons' House ; but the noble Lord brought forward, on the principle of expunging from the might have anticipated the vanity of his exertions. It oath of supremacy, the portions offensive to the religious was lost in the Lords. (d)

feelings of persons of that persuation. It was thrown We now come to the Parliaments of George IV.; and out by the Lords.(e) in treating of events 80 recent and well remembered, shall In 1828, a bili which had passed the Commons for lega. be brief. Early in the year 1821, the claims of the Ca lizing the sale of game, and terminating the encouragement tholics to the rights of fellow-citizens were brought be given to poachers by their monoply of the market, fare the House of Commons by Mr. Plunkett; and on a was thrown out by the Lords. (f) In June 1829, a similar series of resolutions, expressive of the hardship of the de bill which had unanimously passed the Commons, was clarations against the essentials of the Roman Catholic thrown out. It was said, it would tend to depopulate creed, and the inutility of the disa vowal of a foreign spi the country of gentlemen.(9) ritual authority, two bills were framed, which, consolida In 1829, the Commons passed the anatomy regulation ted, passed the Commons, by 216 to 197. The motion for bill, to enable medical men to study their profession the second reading was lost in the Lords, by 159 to without the risk of transportation. The Lords said, the 120. (e)

idea of relations disposing of bodies, &c, had created a At the same period of the year, Lord John Russell, terrible sensation in the country ; so they rejected the bill, then abortively attempting, along with Lambton, the being unaffected by pulgar prejudices in favour of adoption of a general measure of Reform, carried through science.(h) the Commons a Bill to disfianchise Grampound, and To the bill of 1830, for altering the punishment of forgive the right of election of two members to Leeds. gery, the Commons added an amendment, abolishing the The Lords agreed that the voters of Grampound should punishment of death for forging negociable instruments, be punished , but the idea of giving members to a place transfers of stock, and stock receipts, which would have which had none in the days of Elizabeth, was an experi. made the law nearly as it now stands. On the motion ment too dangerous for their nervous feelings, and they of the Chancellor, it was defeated in the Lords. (i) amended the Bill, by giving two additional members to We are afraid, were we to enter on the rejection of the Yorkshire. (f)

Reform Bill, the Local Courts Bill, the Jews' Disabilities During the same session, Sir James Mackintosh continu Bill, the Warwick Disfranchisement Bill, and the Irish ed his efforts in mitigation of the criminal code. The Tithes Bill, we might get political in our remarks, a abolition of the punishment of death in certain cases of thing we wish much to avoid, professing to be but the forgery had nearly passed the Co mons; that for its calm and matter-of-fact historian; but, in passing, we abolishment in petty thefts in dwelling houses and in cannot avoid a slight mark of praise to the ingenious and narigable rivers, eluded the steady guardians of public conclusive argument of Lord Malmesbury, which shewed, morals in the Commons; but the abortion was crushed that giving Jews the right of British subjects might by the Lords. (9)

prevent the sitting of Parliament on Saturday; and we In 1822, a bill passed the Commons, at the instance of can assure his Lordship, that the course of our investigaMr. Canning, for allowing the Catholic peers to resume tions has in no case shown a more sound or practical their seats in Parliament, but the Right Reverends and ground for a vote of the House of Peers.

(a) Ed. An. Reg. 56. (6) Ib. 30.

(c) Ed. An. Reg. 98. (d) An. Reg. 29. (e) An. Reg. 42 U) Ib 47.

(82

(a) Riv. An. Reg. 142.9. (0) Hal. 192. (o) Ib. 231. (á) 1b. 24 117. (). An. Reg. 67. () Debates, 1694.;

(8) Ib. 1592. (1) Ib. 1740. (0) 'Ib, 842.6

Ib. 56.

JUNIUS REDIVIVUS ON THE WORKING CLASSES.

As it is the fashion for “ respectable” people | ter, this filthiness would cease. In saying that who do not work with their hands, to exhibit the English-and by the English I. mean the aristocratic contempt for those who do, it is mass of the inhabitants of the British Islandsworth while to go into the analysis of the circum in saying that they are not cleanly, I do not exstances which have produced such habits of think aggerate. In how many houses, even of the “reing. Natural it is not ; for amongst the uncivic spectable” people, are the means to be found lized tribes he is held the most useful man, who either of a warm or a cold bath? In cases of possesses the most handicrafts. In the days of illness, how common is it to send to the tinman's, Regnar Lodbrog, the fabricator of weapons, to borrow a bath for the occasion ; thus proving then held the most useful of all artisans, took that it is considered altogether a superfluity. his seat in honour at the board of the king or And, with regard to the working classes, the chief. It may, perhaps, be argued, that civiliza matter is altogether out of the question. As to tion has changed all that, by making the head. | public baths, such things are scarcely known, exworker of far more real importance than the cept a few for wealthy people in the large towns. hand-worker. But this argument would be a In London, a warm bath means three shillings fallacy. The real head. ikers have no aristo and sixpence, lawful money of the realm ; onecratic morgue: they would rather associate with an fourth the weekly earnings of a well-paid agriintelligent workman, than with an ignorant em cultural labourer, and one-half that of many ployer, let him be wrapped about as he will with weavers; therefore, a warm bath for poor people affected conventional refinements. The aristo is entirely out of the question, with our present crats are not the head-workers, but merely the arrangements. The Londoners, or a small pordistributors, who are enabled to wear better tion of them, may, it is true, resort to the clothes, and keep cleaner hands, in that they | Thames in warm weather; but they will run conperform not manual labour. Now, it is quite siderable risk of getting treadmilled for the indeclear, that, setting aside all considerations of cent exposure of their persons; and, after all, the greater or less intellect, or of sympathizing mere dipping the body in water is not sufficient for tastes, a person of cleanly habits cannot avoid a hard-working man, a blacksmith for example, feeling great repugnance even at sitting in the in whose skin an unctuous perspiration is consame room with one whose habits are uncleanly, densed, requiring soap and warm water and a and odours unpleasant. This fact is one great brush, to remove. And what means has he of cause of the general antipathy existing be- | keeping his person clean? The place he calls tween white men and black men. The subject his home admits of no privacy ; and his oblations is one of importance ; and therefore I shall not are confined to his hands and face, perhaps his be restrained, by any feelings of false delicacy, throat, and occasionally his feet. Physicians from making it as clear as my faculties may will admit that, for the sake of health, the enable me. Working men have at all times whole person ought to be bathed at least once a been charged with the want of personal cleanli- day, and cleansed with soap and warm water at

It is possible, however, that many of the least once a week ; the insensible perspiration respectables” do not take more pains to keep requires that much ; what then must be required themselves clean in their persons; but they ap in the case of a mechanic, whose body is reeking pear cleaner, simply because they do not go perhaps thrice a-day? Is it not a monstrous where dirt is in abundance, and they have no thing, that in England, and in London espeexercise to produce perspiration. The play of cially, where fuel and water is cheap and plenCoriolanus will furnish abundance of the names tiful, that so little attention is paid by the commonly assigned to working-men—"unwashed Government to the health of the community, artisan," &c.—and the phrases are not altogether that the working classes are left without the unmerited, though they might also be applied to means of personal cleanliness? In the old those who call themselves their superiors.* The Roman cities, the public baths were made a fact is, that, however mortifying to our national primary consideration ; in Russia and Turkey the vanity the acknowledgment may be, the English same regard is had to the public health ; in nation, like many other nations, not inhabiting France, and Spain, and Italy, the means of warm climates, have, in the mass,' a great aver cleansing the person are not difficult of access; sion to cold water; and, therefore, their perso but in England it is rendered almost an imposnal habits are exceedingly filthy. Were there sibility. It will scarcely be asserted that the abundant conveniences for bathing in warm wa useful labour of a mechanic .produces a more

unpleasant personal effluvia than the strong • I have known a highly respectable man who always

exercise of a rich man. A carpenter or a smith professed the greatest abhorrence of dirt, yet who never perspires at his work ; but so does the golfcame in contact with water save with his hands, and those player, or the cricket-player, or the fives-player, he would wash twenty times a day. His face he was accustomed to dry rub; the remainder of his person was

or the hunter, or the shooter, at his exercise. untouched. Yet this man would abuse the “ lower orders"

Where then is the difference between them? by wholesale, for their filthiness

That the rich man can get a bath if needful, -can

ness.

« 前へ次へ »