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sitively declare whether I had voted against the Bill or not ; but if I had, that it was quite unintentional, and that I was anxious to make the most ample apologies ;” and, further, that this blow was followed up next day by sending Quentin, that “knight without fear," if not “ without reproach,” to assure them, that he was the person who had really voted against the Bill.
Having thus satisfactorily shown the thorough viciousness of our present plan, let me unfold my own, and deploy arguments in its favour, unless it forces your approbation at the first glance. I propose, then, that we buy up at once all the newspapers, magazines, reviews, pam. phlets, and histories of the last two years, along with the lists of division on East Retford and Penrhyn ; that as soon as this is completed, all the Tory candidates of the empire walk in procession to Crockford's, with your Grace, the gallant Cumberland, the meek Newcastle, the munificent Northumberland, the princely Buccleuch, and the statesmanlike Londonderry, at our head ; that after having gambled for two hours, we unanimously and simultaneously proclaim ourselves bitter reformers, and that we have been always such, particularly during the last two years, when we voted night and day for the bill; and that for proof of this we refer to the newspapers, &c. which we will have destroyed. But this is not sufficient ; on every question, the Church, Barik Charter, Belgium, Portugal; in short, every point of home and foreign policy, we must out-herod Herod, cut up the Radicals by the roots, make Hunt appear a creeper, and Cobbett a tortoise. Without this, consider the rooted hatred this nation bears to our principles, and truly consider the rooted hatred our principles bear to all the nation holds dear, including always its breeches' pocket, and then tell me is it on the balls we should win? With this, we are booked certain. I remember when John Bull was as simple, credulous, easy a man as your Grace could desire ; inde Van. and Co. must have been stony-hearted Greeks to pluck so unmercifully such a Johnny Raw ; but he is now as cautious as a fish with a hook, and a yard of line attached to it, in his jaw; and yet we go on tempting him with a hook that would frighten a gudgeon after a forty days' fast ! I repeat tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis, which, as your Grace knows, means “ the Tories must face to the right-about.” John Bull has an obscure notion that an enemy to reform is not a reformer in his heart; that if you hate freedom, you are not a lover of liberty ; and that a system of jobbing, sinecures, places, and pensions, is not what runs so much in the poor man's head, viz. economy and retrenchment. Our first requisite, therefore, is hypocrisy, our second hypocrisy, and our third hypocrisy ; not lachrymose and frightened at its own meanness, but bold, clamorous, and active. The sooner, too, we begin to fly our kites the better.
My dear Duke, there is one point I feel some reluctance in approaching, and nothing short of necessity could compel me to enter on it. We must give up the Church for the present. What," you say, bishops! my surest cards, true as steel to Toryism! The man is mad. Why, a Gold Stick, “a sturdy beggar of the treasury,' a gambling younger son, in steady downright voting, is not to be compared with a bishop for one moment. He sticks to the minister like a hero, on any question, from shooting a score of women and children in a tithe matter, up to shooting a pheasant : he never boggles,-no, never. Give them up? D-d nonsense.” My dear Duke, we passed through harder days than this. It must be done. Look at Henley's pamphlet. All you've said is as
NO, IX,VOL. II,
true as if Phillpotts denied it; but our canipaign must be one of daring enterprise, of rapid manæuvres, and in that the bishops cannot aid us. Were you behind the lines of Torres Vedras indeed ;—but now it is neck or nothing. Desperation is prudence in our state. Do you consider the position of our affairs, and the odium that burns, like a pan of coals, on every fireshovel hat? Is it when our gunwale is nearly even with the surface of the water, you would throw in such a mass of abuses, and political corruption, as the Church,—the Irish branch alone being suffi. cient to sink the Britannia ? Would you go to battle, like those Indians of whom you drove 5000 into the river, with a harem, and a cloud of slaves, cooks, and sutlers, in your rear?
Would to God you had the same head for a political as a military campaign : the liberties of England would not be worth five years' purchase. But no man is perfect. I have studied the ground-you didn't despise my advice at Waterloo—and I tell you, the House of Commons is the key of the enemy's position. To gain that, every thing must be sacrificed. The next election is the life or death of corruption. Flatter, bribe, deceive the electors, give up the Church, slavery, &c.; at any rate command the election, and the battle is yours, rotten boroughs, patronage, jobbing, and all. Corrupt the next representation, and we will take the sting, ay, and kick the guts out of Reform. Leave the Bishops for a while to their fate ; their Toryism will no more suffer diminution in the interval, than a turtle grow poor by being left for a fortnight on its back. Corrupt the next representation,-promise until we are black in the face,-sign pledges to outweigh the Duke of Buckingham,—by any means procure a majority of Tories, and we can cripple Reform. Wont it be easy with the King's name, the army, the whole weight of the executive, and the House of Commons, to load the registry with forms, fees, and expenses ; to make it a tedious, troublesome, worrying, money-losing process ? Can't overseers get a hint ? Can't we have a cartload of objections to every voter? Will not registering barristers with the land of promise, i.e. profuse patronage, expanding to their view,--the old glorious system of quartering men in thousands on the public purse,will they not understand the winkings of authority, and be troubled with doubts, to the admiration of Eldon himself? Why, you must know that the prospect of “ cheap law” makes them hate Reform already, as bitterly as Newcastle does. Cannot we make pretexts, and by degrees raise the qualification? Cannot we, in short, have back the rotten boroughs? It is as easy as my glove.
Corrupt the next representation, and we can have back the days of reversions, sinecures, pensions, and places without number. Corrupt the next representation, and we can have back the days of boards and establishments to do nothing, with comptrollers to direct, and inspectors to watch, and auditors to hear nothing. Corrupt the next representation, and we can have back the prosecutions of the press, (Scarlet, thanks to Lucifer ! is still lively,) and gagging bills, and domiciliary visits, and suspensions of the Habeas Corpus: nay, what say you to a censorship of the press ? Sidmouth’s notions were sometimes good.* In short, corrupt the next representation, prevail on the electors-no matter how-to return Tories, and the people will be at our feet, with their persons and purses. One phrase--you see where I got it—the
*“It had been in consideration, but, for a moment only, whether some slep should not be taken preliminary to publication ; but that idea was immediately discarded." Specch of Lord Sidmouth on proposing the “ Six Acts."
Reign of Terror; but the thoughts I got by having lately read the history of 1817-18-19-20. Is your secretion of bile bad ? or have you any friend in the blue stage of the cholera ? Then put into his hands the history of those years, and if he hasn't instantaneously a rush of gall that would be sufficient to make an ocean of ink, why, his bowels must be hard to move.—Well, if we can once get them down :—but no matter.--You surely won't any longer encumber yourself with the Church ? It wont do for twenty or thirty fat men to peril such a prospect; particularly when, if once in the saddle, we can restore them all they may have lost, and vote five or six millions in addition, for churches, &c. It has often amazed me to see what a total want of commonsense the Church shows. It hasn't a spark of genius. If it had, what service might not the parsons do us at this moment! They could take up slavery :—if Goulburn were kicked out, the thing, as I said, would look well. They could take up Poland : and why mercy or justice should not sound as well from their mouths as from a private gentleman's, is hard to conceive. Certainly it would be in character with their profession : they could have a meeting on the French Revolution, or the Belgian question, the game laws, the state of the poor, or the punishment of death, as it is going ; but you can never get them to be hypocrites in the cause of freedom or humanity ; they are always right in the wrong place. One of them, the other day—Brock, or Block, or some such name-should go and make, in open daylight, an outrageous attack on Hume. Have you seen it? I laughed with vexation until my eyes ran over. Philpotts is the milk of human kindness compared with him. Every sentence is a running sore of abuse ; and the whole speech has a virulent rot that would taint the entire flock of his brethren in the eyes of the nation. The meek minister seems truly to know as little of the eral feeling if he had been locked up for the last fifty years in the heart of a stone. I detest Hume ; a bitter thorn he has been in our sides; he stuck to us like a blister ; but this madman has returned him, I suppose, to spite Henley for his pamphlet. The English people have absurd notions of gratitude ;-what, then, could Hume desire more than to have recalled to them the services of fifteen years?
During that time, almost alone and unaided, he fought the battle of economy, against majorities that would make any other man despair. At considerable personal expense, and with a weight of labour, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was paid for it, never dreamed of undergoing, he waded through the mass of public accounts; and by reducing each charge to distinct items, rendered it easy to detect enormous estimates, double entries, and every other sort of fraud which poor Van. was in the habit of practising. By this system of exposure, which certainly no man, unless supported by notions of public duty, could have continued so long, amidst repeated insults and the clamours of the revenue blood-suckers, the attention of the country at length was roused, and the Tories were forced to present intelligible accounts, and something like reasonable estimates. I detest Hume; he has dogged us like a bloodhound; he has hung on our flanks like the Mahrattas ; he has made poor men of us; but who can deny that whatever improvement (as this shopkeeping nation calls it) in the revenue has taken place, is principally owing to him? Then, again, his services to reform. Did you read his speech on that d-d motion of Ebrington's? I met Croker in the lobby. “ Who's up?" “ Hume !” “What is he about ?” “ Nothing, but driving a twelve-penny nail in the Duke's coffin. If you
wish to see your friend for the last time, you had better make haste, or the lid will be down on him.” The fact is, it was much, longo intervallo, by several lengths, the best speech that night. I did not think it was in him.
Besides, the conduct of the Church in Ireland disgusts me. I don't know what is the cause, but of the fact I'm certain, that massacres ruin any party. We never recovered Manchester. There seems to be some bad luck about much blood. People begin to shun one; and even in company, you can't help thinking they have a trick of looking at a fel. low's hands, which must be unpleasant. This shooting of unarmed men on the one side, even provoking, as it does, on the other, the shooting of aged innocent clergymen, might be endured; but the murder of women and children—'tis unmanly. No gentleman can be seen with the Church, As to Stanley, I must cut him, that's flat. I could as soon know him as take the arm of Jack Ketch in Bond Street.
Would you think it? I believe one of those youngsters, that has never seen a shot fired, or a cowardly lawyer, whom one could rob with a hollow cabbage stump, contemplates more coolly the death of a fellowcreature than your Grace or I, who have seen the field of battle strewed with thousands. I leave it to the philosophers to explain ; but this is certain, that the Tories dare not have attempted half the Whigs are doing with Ireland. Had your Grace (I beg your pardon) ordered so many of your unhappy countrymen to be shot, according to law, this old dotard of a premier would have moved the stones to mutiny, and Brougham, who sent his brother, the Master in Chancery, to a public meeting, in Southwark, in order to teach them how to evade the taxes, would have pledged his character as a lawyer for the perfect legality of the tithe meetings.
I end as I began—we must go with the tide. We must alter our tactics. Too truly says our worthy friend Blackwood : “ The Conservas tives can no longer rest on the close boroughs, or Parliamentary influence; they must rest on the support of the middling ranks of society, or they will speedily perish. The pride of Aristocracy, the stateliness of office, the etiquette of nobility, must yield to the pressure of the common danger. The great families must throw open their doors to the gentlemen of their counties; the peeresses must be condescending and affable to ladies who are not quite so fashionable as the clegantés of Almacks. It is no time to stand upon ceremony, or be exclusive. The great families are the generals of the Conservative host; but what are generals without officers or soldiers? And how are officers or soldiers to be obtained, unless their affections are conciliated. It is indispensable, now that power is placed in the hands of the lower orders, that the gentlemen who influence them should be conciliated ; and this is not to be done without a total change of system.”—1 say, Ditto to Mr. Blackwood. We must, indeed, change the system, at least for the present, and appear to become new men. We must muzzle our opi. nions, or our ruin is as plain as the sale of Ludlow. If our dearest principles meet us in the street, we must cut them dead. Hypocrisy is our game. The grenadiers must be hypocrites, the light company hypocrites, and the battalion hypocrites. To that tune Perceval must preach, Croker sneer, and even Wetherell pull up his breeches. Our solicitor is cajolery, our lawyer fraud, and our assessor falsehood. Shout for reform, economy, liberty, any thing ; and let there be no measure to our promises, but the stupid credulity of the people. I speak, however, quite sincerely, when I subscribe myself, my dear Duke, ever
Few measures would be more popular than the repeal of the assessed taxes; and we are therefore aware that, when we oppose that measure, we undertake an unpopular task. But, convinced as we are that the assessed taxes are much less objectionable than many others under which the country labours, and that their repeal will, even in a reformed Par. liament, prevent the removal, for a number of years, of any other tax, we proceed to state our grounds of dissent to the popular voice :
These taxes, for the year ending 5th January, 1832, amounted to £4,058,222, and consist of the following heads :
365,881 Horses for riding,
334,751 Other horses and mules, 57,221 Dogs,
13,780 Armorial bearings,
51,589 Game duties,
115,742 Composition duty,
by the Barons of Exche-
Scotland. £76,270 91,646 26,587 27,081 21,621
4,262 16,616 1,413
588 3,300 9,689
The land tax for the same year yielded £1,133,222, in England, and £33,944, in Scotland ; total, £1,167,167. Houses under £10 of rent are not assessed, nor those containing fewer than six windows. It will thus be observed, that the assessed taxes fall entirely on the middle and upper ranks of society; and in this way an approach is made to the true principle of taxation, which is to make every one contribute according to his ability. This principle is, unfortunately, entirely overlooked in our system of taxation, for nearly the whole of our revenue is raised on expenditure. Thus, of the net revenue for last year, of fifty millions, the Customs and Excise produced thirty-five millions and a half, and the Stamps and Post Office about nine millions and a half more ; so that a person with a family is forced to contribute, not in proportion to his wealth, but in proportion to the size of his family. Farther, the assessed and land taxes are almost the only part of our revenue which is collected directly; and it is a great advantage that a tax should pass through as few hands as possible, between the person by whom the tax is paid and the public treasury.
The great advantages of direct taxation can easily be elucidated, by considering the effect of an indirect tax, such as the Excise. The traders who are under the operation of this tax are shackled in every possible form. They are not masters of their own premises. They can. not work how they please and when they please, but every different operation in their manufacture can be performed only after a precise method, after certain prescribed notices, and on the elapse of specified periods of