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Mr Baring Wall, who avowed him- tween attending to the interests and self to belong to the class of mode- to the will of the people. rate reformers, delivered a speech Mr Thomas Babington Macauley full of intelligence, strength, and then uprose, liveliness, which made a great im
* The applause of listening senates to compression on the House. As a mode
mand,” rate reformer, he was determinedly opposed to the bill, and stated, that and rattled away with such rapidity before his party attempted to deve- and brilliancy, (we heard an ill-nalope their own plans and wishes, it tured person say flippancy,) that the was absolutely necessary “ to get rid reporters were astounded, and could of, to destroy, and turn out the mea- not accurately tell what he said. He sure brought forward by the noble has, however, published his speech, lord--to get rid of it should be the as he knows the world and the trade first object of the moderate re- of authorship too well, to take the former."
trouble of writing a speech without Lord Newark did not touch the making some money of it. We would merits of the question in debate-he have bought it, but that the charge would rather support a reasonable was eighteenpence, which we thought amendment on the question than the unconscionable — the Lord Advoquestion itself, but he would rather cate's was only a shilling--and not have the proposed reform than no liking to encourage a want of moreform.
desty in a young man, we took the Lord Darlington expressed the learned lord's as being the cheaper question in brief-it was, whether and the better of the two. Mr Macthe sovereign power was to be lodged auley's speech has been honoured in King, Lords, and Commons, or to with many compliments in the House, be transferred to the people alone ? and we are willing to believe that it Lord Darlington is neither a Solomon was “ vastly clever," but we hardly nor a Cicero, but he hit the point think it is worthy of being rewarded pretty fairly here. Lord Ebrington with a lordship of the Treasury. We supported the ministerial plan, be sincerely advise Mr Macauley not to cause it went to represent all inte- take this office when it is offered rests, and to produce that sympathy to him—is not his fellow-reviewer, between the House and the people Brougham, a peer and a chancellor ? which had long ceased to exist. The He should be at least a master of the first part of the noble lord's reason rolls — we were going to say viceis a matter of argument, and we ut- chancellor—but as this would deprive terly deny that the plan would tend the country of his services in Parliato the representation of all interests ment, we feel considerable remorse -on the contrary, the principal, and, for having even inadvertently wished as it appears to us, the palpable ob- for an event involving so great a najection to it is, that it would destroy tional calamity. Mr Macauley is, by the mixture of interests now to be the by, one of Lord Brougham's found in the House. The second “ Septuagint,” as he calls them, which part is matter of opinion—we do not his self-denying Chancery Reform mean to say that the sympathy be- Bill is to sweep away; we shall see tween the House and people has in due time what arrangement has of late years been very lively, or that been entered into in the way of comit ought to have been so; but we feel pensation. Lord Mahon spoke next, satisfied that, were this bill to pass, and thought that the whole fabric of the sympathy would be lessened, and, our institutions ought not to be deif it be thrown out, it will be increa- stroyed, merely to meet the caprice sed. Lord Stormont was adverse to of radicals or visionary reformersthe bill, and dwelt upon the impro- he opposed the measure. Mr Hunt priety of the time chosen for such an supported it, and talked of his conagitating topic. Sir John Walsh, finement in Ilchester gaol. whose able pamphlet on reform en- Sir Charles Wetherell's speech titles his opinion to no inconsider was one of which no report can conable weight on the question, was de- vey any thing like an adequate nocidedly adverse to the bill. He took tion. The appearance and manner a nice, but very just distinction, be of the man are so peculiarly his own
- his gesticulations are so odd-his supposed that the House would have style so singular, and yet the sense, been able to produce such a night's honesty, and force of what he says, debate, of which England at any so remarkable, that we cannot choose time might be proud. Mr Hart Dabut highly respect him, while we vis's talents are not those of an oralaugh both with and at bim. Ne- tor; but setting him out of the list, ver was any thing at once so ludi- Lord Palmerston, who can sometimes crous and so sensible, as Sir Charles make a good speech, was considerWetherell's speeches. The House ably inferior to all the rest. Mr was convulsed with laughter during Bankes's speech was forcible and his speech on the Reform Bill. The ingenious, and shewed great research chief force of his argument was di- upon the history connected with the rected against the violation of char- question. Mr Hobhouse's reply was tered rights, which this bill would full of force and spirit, and made the occasion. Because Mr Locke said very best of the subject, but he did that things should be called by pro- not enter with any closeness into the per names, he would call the mea- practical details of the measure. The sure “ corporation robbery." His weight attached to Mr Baring's posidescription of an imaginary scene tion in the House, and the strict combetween Sir James Graham and one mon-sense view in which he discussed * of his Cumberland constituents, in the question, gave to his disapproval which the baronet admits that he of the measure a force that very sensicould take off no taxes, but had ta- bly affected the opinion of the House. ken off sixty-two members from the He maintained, that “while a mixHouse of Commons instead, was ture of aristocratic and popular influgiven so well—the dialogue managed ence in the House had been the with such irresistibly comic effect, greatest promoter of freedom and of that Treasury bench and all joined equal and just laws, he knew of no in the universal roar of merriment. oppression, of no grievance, which He concluded by affixing a name to had sprung from their union.” What the measure, which is not likely to has been the reply to this ? Has the die-the “ Russell purge” will not grievance, the practical evil, the persoon be forgotten.
nicious laws, arising from the preSir Thomas Denman replied in a sent state of the representation, been speech, to which, had the House not pointed out ? No. Has the practibeen previously exhausted, it would cal good, in the shape of greater lihave been pleasant to listen, as it al- berty, or less taxation, or more trade, ways is to a mau possessing so fully or greater plenty, which the reform the graces and ingenuity of an orator will effect for the people, been pointas Sir Thomas Denman; but of argu- ed out? No. Lord Palmerston talkment bearing on the general ques- ed vaguely of public opinion in fation we found none, except that vour of a change-of wbat Mr Candrawn from his own individual ex- ning's opinion would be were he perience, of the painfulness of sitting now alive; and lightly assumed the as the nominee of the patron of a existence of five defects in the reborough. This is a matter rather of presentation; when the whole matsentiment than reasoning, and when ter in controversy is, whether these the question is, whether the boroughs things do exist, or, if existing, wheare or are not of advantage to the ther they are defects ? But he pointworking of the political system of ed out no direct evil as the result of the country, we do not think that an the working of the system which he argument of this kind goes for much. says is so defective. We do not say
On the third night of the debate, that the system is so perfect that no the speakers against the bill were evil resuli could be pointed out; but Mr G. Bankes, Mr Hart Davis, Mr we do not find that the supporters of Baring, and Sir Robert Peel; in its the measure of reform liave discofavour, Mr Hobhouse and Lord Pals vered such a result. merston. It is with great regret that From the speech of Sir Robert our limits compel us to notice these Peel the House and the country exo speeches so slightly; for we must pected much; and we who have been, confess that, in the absence of any and may perhaps be again, as ready very leading man, we could not have to blame Sir Robert Peel as to praise
him, confidently feel, and, therefore, On the fourth night of the debate, hesitate not to say, that whoever has the measure was supported by Mr heard or read the speech must in Gisborne, Mr John Smith, Mr Stancandour admit, that even the highest ley, and the Lord Advocate, and opexpectation has been amply fulfilled. posed by Mr Freshfield, Mr Dun
It is, in truth, a most masterly dis- combe, Mr Calcraft, Mr H. Seymour, quisition, both upon the general Mr Wynn, and Mr Croker. Here is question, and the arguments (if a goodly array of debaters, and they such they may be called) brought played their parts well. Mr Stanley's forward in support of it; and, in- speech was a very able one, but endeed, were it not that the public tirely theoretical as far as it related craves something new, and will not to the question, and only touching bear a repetition of the same dish, facts when it became personal. Mr however excellent, we should feel John Smith did allude to one practhat we served the cause better by a tical result to arise from the measure, reprint of this speech, than by any which he seemed to think would be commentary of our own. The menaces a beneficial one; it was, the disapby which the necessity of the mea- pearance of many now in the House sure is sought to be established, are —“many well-dressed, well-behaved, met, and indignantly repelled—the well-bred young gentlemen, but sophistries and avoidance of the real whose loss would be well supplied question, on the part of his adversa- by the twenty new members who ries, exposed—the authorities in fan would be returned from the towns vour of our mixed constitution, to be enfranchised.” We are willing quoted, (the noble mover of the pre- to give this fact, whatever weight sent Revolution bill being one,)-the those who dislike well-dressed, welldisfranchisement of various bodies bred young gentlemen, may please to of electors, without any delinquency allow it; it is well to get even one proved against them—the exclusion practical argument out of such a of the lowest orders, in some places, heap of declamation. Mr Calcraft where they are now enabled to vote declared himself a Reformer, but dithe “tendency" of boroughs to become rectly adverse to a Reforming meathe means of introducing men of ta- sure of the extent of that proposed. lent to the House-the desire of other Mr Wynn held the same view, and states to imitate our forms of legisla- evinced his sincerity by sacrificing tive deliberation all these are used his place in support of it. as arguments against the adoption of The high character of the Lord the measure, and then he comes to Advocate for profound and varied that which to us appears the most abilities, and great dexterity in the important of all. “ What, sir, are the use of them, led to great expectation practical advantages which are now from this his first important display promised as the consequence of the in the House of Commons. He was change we are invited to make-as destined to be tried by a high standthe compensation for the risk we ard, that of his own reputation; and must incur? Positively not one. Up if he in some degree failed, which, to this hour, no one has pretended in the general impression of the that we shall gain anything by the House, and the metropolis, he cerchange, excepting, indeed, that we
tainly did, it was because mere exshall conciliate the public favour. cellence disappointed, when someWhy, no doubt, you cannot propose thing transcendent was expected. to share your power with half a He did not hit the tone of the House million of men, without gaining some -he fell into the error, in this repopularity—without purchasing, by spect, which many men of genius such a bribe, some portion of good do, who adopt a more refined, and will. But these are vulgar arts of
less obvious train of argument or ilgovernment; others will outbid you, lustration, than such a mixed audinot now, but at no remote period tory as the House of Commons have -they will offer votes and power to patience to follow. They require a million of men-will quote your something that strikes the senses precedent for the concession, and more immediately, and which it takes will carry your principles to their le- very little trouble to understand. It gitimate and natural consequences.” was thought that the mantle of Brougham was to descend upon Jef- adorn the speeches of its supporters. frey; but this thought is gone for The quotation from the Edinburgh ever: the intense earnestness—the Review bore very hard on the conheadlong passion-the strong plain sistency of its quondam editor, and sense of Brougham, which made him were we to regard the speeches of the wonder, terror, and sometimes these two learned and literary genthe delight, of the House of Com- tlemen as a trial of strength between mons, are not found to belong to his them, we should be inclined to deliterary associate. While Jeffrey cide that he of the north came off spoke, it was whispered about in the but second best in the tussle. House, “ this is not a speech he is The fifth night of the debate delivering, but a treatise ; he ought brought forward no less than sevennot to have spoken it here, but printed teen speakers, of whom, ten were it in his Review.” So great was the for, and seven against the measure. impatience of a part of the House at Of the former, only one, Mr Robert his manner, that, at one time, an at- Grant, said any thing deserving of tempt was made to silence him by notice or remembrance, unless, incoughing and other noises, but the deed, we except Lord Howick, the vehement cheers of his friends put tone of whose speech excited very an end to what must certainly be marked disgust. On the other side, considered unfair towards a man of the principal speech was that of Mr Mr Jeffrey's character for intellect, North, which we have heard expeeven though the manner of its dis- rienced judges declare to have come play, on that occasion, was not the nearer the best style of Mr Canning, most fortunate. As to the practical than any thing that has been heard part of his argument, he avowed that in the House of Commons since the the evil he wished to avoid by the death of that fascinating orator. Sir measure, was the danger of driving George Clerk and Mr Hope gave a great proportion of the distressed spirited answers to the speech of the population into excess, by a denial Lord Advocate; and Colonel Tyrrell, of their just demands—that is, we in a plain country-gentleman style, suppose, the danger of a violent ex, spoke effectively upon the question, ertion of physical force, and the good and put the House in great goodto be derived, was the “ infusion” of humour, at the expense of Mr Wbit500,000 new constituents,who would tle Harvey. The balance of effective create an additional phalanx for the speaking on this night, was exceedprotection of the authority, and the ingly in favour of the opponents of loyalty of the kingdom.
the measure. On the sixth evening, Of all the men in the world, the the promoters of the bill rather revery one whom we could have wish- covered ground by the powerful talk ed to rise up after Mr Jeffrey, did of O'Connell, who certainly, on that actually rise—his literary and criti- occasion, brought up a great deal of cal rival, Mr John Wilson Croker. leeway in the estimation of the Mr Croker was, and is, we are sorry House. Sir J. Graham's was rather to say, suffering from severe ill health, a good speech, but not so good as but he nevertheless made a speech was expected, and he made sad full of admirable points, some of blunders with some nautical illustrathem rather over-laboured; and his tions which he attempted-he broke manner altogether too bitter, but still down in the principal one, amid his speech was powerfully effective, great laughter of the House, and got and the facts that he flung out, like quizzed by that merry bluff gentleCongreve rockets, stuck and burned man, Admiral Sir Joseph Yorke. where they fell. After his facts about Mr Attwood's speech against the the history of Parliamentary Reform measure, was, as his speeches al. Petitions, no one could venture to ways are, full of sound practical speak of the gradually increasing de- sense. Sergeant Lefroy, from Dubsire of the people for Reform; and the lin, was not well, nor very well re“principle” of a representation adapt- ceived. Mr Praed's speech, which ed to population, was pretty plainly was also delivered under manifest shewn to be utterly disregarded in indisposition, and at a bad hour of the government scheme, though it the night to win easy approbation, served to point the arguments and was one of very great promise. The newspapers very inadequately re- any other members. They are pleadported it; but those who heard it, ing a cause, not giving evidence, and were not disappointed in marks of they come forth as champions in the that brilliant genius which has led to fair field of argument, to stand or fall his obtaining a seat in the House. by the test of truth and facts, which Mr Bethell of Yorkshire spoke, but are open alike to all. If the members it was not discoverable on which for boroughs be able men, should we side.
not be cautious how we interfere On the seventh and last night with the system which brings them there were many speeches, of which into the House ?—if they be not able the principal were Mr Perceval's men, why are their speeches thus against, and Mr Harvey's for the feared ? for as yet it is not the intermeasure. The former, let who will ference of their votes which has been ridicule it, was an excellent speech, objected to. striking home upon the really impor- We do most sincerely trust that no tant matters in the question.
clamour without, nor intimidation Facilis est rigidi censura cachinni."
nor abuse within, the House, may
have the effect of giving any sucIt is easy to laugh at Mr Perceval — cessful countenance to a measure of because he puts his religion, perhaps, a tendency so revolutionary, that too much in the van, when it is not were it to pass into a law, we cannot likely to be treated with respect; but see how sober thinking men could when a man speaks plain practical have confidence in the stability of any sense, he should not be sneered down institution in this country. We think for a peculiarity of manner. As to it perfectly obvious that such a revoWhittle Harvey, he spoke as he gene- lution in the mode of electing the rally does-clever, impudent, hard, House of Commons, would give a and superficial. His support adds preponderance to the democratical no weight of character to any mea- part of our constitution, which would sure-he is sufficiently well known soon be fatal to the existence of the to be, as Colonel Tyrrell said, “ not other parts, and therefore destrucparticular to a shade.” Lord Jobn tive to the well-being of the demoRussell's reply was very bad in the cracy itself. If we could believe that beginning, and better towards its
the common people, or the middle close, but throughout feeble in man- class, (as that is the favourite phrase,) ner, and uncandid in statement. were capable of more happily go
Such is a sketch, rapid and imper- verning themselves, if all authority fect it must be allowed, of the great were taken away from those above debate on the bringing in of the re- and below them, we might look upon form bill; but who can describe with such a measure as this with some in a few pages the minute particulars hope, but we think no such thing; of seven times seven hours speech- and whatever respect we may have making ? Upon the whole debate we for the sound sense of this class, disshould not fear to leave it to any played in the management of their honest critic, of any party, to decide own affairs, we firmly believe that, which had the advantage, sure of a in matters of government, a mixture decision in favour of the speeches of other influences with theirs is against the measure. In the morti- necessary not only for the good of fying consciousness of this being the the nation at large, but even for their fact, the friends of Ministers cry out own peculiar good. against the right of borough mem- We have looked, but looked in bers to have been heard at all upon vain, for any argument establishing the question. So violently unjust a a link of connexion between the Repoint was, we suppose, never before form so much clamoured for, and an set up upon a matter where public abolition of the causes which distress rights were in controversy. "Why the people, check their industry, and should not borough members be thwart their efforts to be prosperous heard ? They do not appear as uit- and happy. This should be looked nesses in their own cause-they are, to first, and were this attended to, we as members of the House of Com- should then be by no means adverse mons, members for the whole country, to such a cautious and gradual pnd on an equality as senators with amendment of our representative