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not novel readers, ought to read. It but of men who are interested in the preis by far the best disquisition on the servation of our rights, and who do not Radical question we have met with. think it necessary to become the tools of It possesses all the luminous wisdom faction, or the preachers of sedition, in of a Burke or a Canning, united with order to check the excesses of a minister of all the dramatic quickness and liveli- the peculations of a public servant'—"They ness of a Sheridan, and all the ster. may all be shaken in a bag together," re

turned the strangers whigs and tories, ling unanswerable pith of a Swift.

ins and outs, and the devil not be much Pen Owen, our friend the Grazier, puzzled when he puts his hand in.'and a third hand, a reformer, though And yet, sir,' resumed Pen, it is to che not after all a very bloody-minded conflicting interests of party that we owe one, are seated around a table covered the blessings of our constitution.' • Pretry with pewter-pots, &c. The curtain blessings ! and heaven thank these corruprises, and it rises on what might not tion-breeders for them.' •What has all unworthily have given materials for on a sudden corrupted these meu ?" asked one of the Noctes Ambrosianæ theme Pen; men who, from their property, selves, these exquisite sketches which station, and connexions, are at least as shew that, in spite of “ pale cant and much interested as the sturdiest reformer fat humbug,"the art of comic dialogue corruption, and boroughmongering !

can be in the common weal ?'— Bribery, is not extinct in England. We have

• But, sir ! you will admit, that open bobeen obliged, however, to leave out a roughs and counties are often bribed into a few passages here and there.

return of members.' -'That may be ; we "* Is not Parliament,' says Pen, just can't help that.'—Will that mend the what it always was; or, if any alteration matter. How is a man, who has bought has taken place, is it not all—on the popu- and corrupted whole masses of people, to lar side po* • The deuce it is !' cried the carry a load of virtue into parliament ; - stranger ; what, the corruption, the bo- whilst he who simply pays the same money roughmongering system, them. I know for the purchase of a seat, without either nothing of these cant terms of party ; I say corruption or bribery, is loaded with exethat, in what are called the proudest pe- cration, and accused of mercenary motives?' riods of our history, corruption stalked in • Because it is against the constitution !' open day, and members of Parliament re- • Where is the constitution, sir?' asked ceived bribes, as openly as lawyers now do Pen.- Where! the Lord knows where; their fees. What's that to the question ? any where but where it ought to be.'- though I don't believe a word on't.' "Sir,' The Lord deliver me from such a rigmaexclaimed Pen, I speak from authority.' role,' cried the grazier ; the constitution • Suppose you do, sir ; our eyes are now anywhere! Odds, mun, thee dostn't mean opened ; we see the corruption, and we to sai ould England ba'nt a constitution ? must crush it.' " You see what doesn't What's all to do at Westminster there ?' exist, sir,' retorted Pen ; no such degra- “I only wished the gentleman,'observed ding traffic is carried on in the present, Pen, with a smile of contempt, peculiarly corrupt times.' • Whoi, ater all, gentle- his own, to point out the constitution, men, cried the grazier, 'what the dickens which appears so defined to him, and to has Parliament to do wi moi pocket being show how the practice of the same conpicked by that confounded rascal Noah stitution in the best times, differs from that Toop, as he called himself ?' • Every of our own.' • Why, zounds,' exclaimed thing ! if there is no foundation, the whole the stranger, ' you don't mean to defend building will totter,' answered the stranger. corruption ! • Far from it, sir,' answered

But, sir,' observed Pen, ' you have not Pen; • I only want to ascertain it.' And proved the fact yet.' • Proved ! isn't it as isn't it before your eyes ?' *If so, I am light as day? What need of proof? Are too blind to perceive it.' • None so blind not seats bought, and sold, and trafficked as those who will not see.' I only ask like bales of goods ?' 'A man may buy a you 10 open my eyes.' • Hav’nt I told you seat in parliament,' returned Pen, with- seats are bought and sold among the boout carrying rottenness to the constitution. roughmongers ?' I have been told that almost all our greatest • • I answer again, this is no proof of patriots and most distinguished statesmen corruption, or at least po proof of corruption have bought their seats.'• What of that, peculiar to our times; for I repeat, it existthey're your sham patriots, your lack-a- ed in what the reformers of the present day daisičal whigs, who denounce a minister, call the great and glorious times of the and walk arm in arm with the honourable constitution. But I will go further, and gentleman the next moment.' •Why, sir,' confess that I think a man infinitely more exclaimed Pen, . it is to such men we owe independent, in the fullest sense of the the existence of our liberties. I don't speak term, who enters the House of Commons of trading politicians on one side or the as the purchaser of a seat, than one who, other, either in the bigher or lower ranks; to secure his own interests with them, has been playing the courtier and sycophant, stamp and character of men of honour so and must continue to do so, to please and legibly, that the least flaw in their title is pamper the prejudices and passions of his discernible, pointing them out to public constituents. Such a man is a slave to one scorn, and barring their access to the highsmall faction of the nation, and shackled er honours of the state ? • Still they are in his efforts to benefit the whole. If he is not elected by the people.' • Not by the sincere in the proffers he makes, (alas ! how people at large, admitied; but were they seldom,) and in the gross Aatteries he be. ever so elected, or was it eyer proposed they stows upon them, he is fitter for a courtier should be • By the constitution they than the legislator of an extensive empire : ought to be.' if he is acting the hypocrite with them to is ? Shew me any authority, prescriptive gain a seat, he is capable of any baseness or practical, and I will admit the fact, howto turn that seat to his own profit. The ever disposed to deny its expediency.'man who pays his money for what you • At least, it is generally so believed ; and gentlemen call a rotten borough, may be a at all events, you will not deny that the rogues but, at least, he has not proved right of voting has been shamefully infrinhimself one by previous practice. He may, ged upon,' • I do deny it, sir; and upon like the other, hypocritically profess patriots authority you cannot dispute. When the ism, to further his own selfish ends; but elective franchise was limited to forty shil. be has not previously cajoled and cheated ling freeholds, the GREAT BODY OF THE his electors, as an earnest of his talent at PEOPLE were excluded from the right almaneuvering.'

together; for forty shillings, at that period, “ • And you call this man a representa- were at least equal to as many pounds of tive?' I do, sir, in the strictest sense of our present money, and the change has the word. A member of the British Par- operated to extend the franchise to thouliament is not a DELEGATE. When a man sands, who, without this nominal change once passes the threshold of the Commons in the value of money, would by the conHouse of England, he represents the Com- stitution have had no vote at all. I know mons at large, and not a particular county nothing about that,' returned the stranger, or district. He may, from circumstances, in rather a subdued tone; I am only inhave local interests to guard, but even a terested in what concerns the present day; tumpike bill, or an enclosure, interesting and thousands who have the right of voalone to his constituents, can but command ting are excluded by the tricks and knahis solitary vote. It is the country,—the very of those who have power to keep us majority of the representatives of the whole down.' • I have shewn, I think,' continued empire,—that must decide its adoption or Pen, that they have no right; for nalu. rejection. If it were otherwise, a member ral rights, as you reformers call of Parliament would resemble a satarap or demand for a participation of power, can. governor of a district, and his constituents not be abstractedly considered, or applied would become eventually little better than to a state existing under fixed laws and the slaves of the soil. Each would be ab- established compact. But this is from the sorbed in the petty interests and cabals of point ; I would limit myself to present his particular charge; and being responsi. evils, which you affirm to exist, and the ble to his constituents, rather than to his existence of which, until you produce countrymen at large, his public conduct proofs stronger than mere assertion, I must without a check, and his private intrigues still deny. What have you to say,—not beyond the reach of investigation, a power theoretically, but practically,—against the unknown to the institutions of a free state, description of men, (subject, I admit, to would be engendered and fostered in every human infirmities, and not without excepcorner of the empire. County would be tions,) who at this present moment constifound jobbing against county,-borough tute the legislative body? Including in against borough; and the practised politi- their number the whole host of boroughcian might, by turns, bribe and sell his mongers ?' •I see no ground of excluconstituents, with whose local interests he sion. Why, sir,' cried Pen, raising his would thus so identify himself as at length voice, as was his father's practice, when he to render a separation on their part impo- supposed an assertion might be mistaken litic, if not impracticable.'—. This is all for a paradox ; . why, sir, I have no hesiwild-all abroad, sir.' • Wild! is it so tation in saying, that the objects, abstractwild, as to suppose that you can check cor- edly considered, for which parliaments are ruption, by extending the means to cor. constituted, would be fully accomplished, if rupt ? or that by opening the doors to the electors of Northumberland were to sharpers and adventurers, you can cleanse choose representatives for London, or those and purify a legislature, composed (no of Westminster to return members for matter how) of all the prominent talent and Cornwall. All local interests, by the spiprofessional wisdom of the country; of the rit of the English constitution,--which is, most distinguished representatives of the after all, the depositary and the aggregate landed, the commercial, and trading inte of the good sense and sound experience of rests; and altogether of those who bear the successive generations --are to merge, and

every wild

not novel readers, ought to read. It but of men who are interested in the preis by far the best disquisition on the servation of our rights, and who do not Radical question we have met with. think it necessary to become the tools of It possesses all the luminous wisdom faction, or the preachers of sedition, in of a Burke or a Canning, united with order to check the excesses of a minister or all the dramatic quickness and liveli- the peculations of a public servant.' _ They

all be shaken in a bag together,' reness of a Sheridan, and all the ster- turned the stranger & whigs and tories, ling unanswerable pith of a Swift.

ins and outs, and the devil not be much Pen Owen, our friend the Grazier, puzzled when he puts his hand in.'and a third hand, a reformer, though And yet, sir,' resumed Pen, it is to the ' not after all a very bloody-minded conflicting interests of party that we owe one, are seated around a table covered the blessings of our constitution.' • Pretty with pewter-pots, &c. The curtain blessings ! and heaven thank these corruprises, and it rises on what might not tion-breeders for them.'•What has all unworthily have given materials for on a sudden corrupted these men ?' asked one of the Noctes Ambrosiunæ thema Pen; men who, from their property, selves, these exquisite sketches which station, and connexions, are at least as

much interested as the sturdiest reformet shew that, in spite of “ pale cant and can be in the common weal ?' — Bribery, fat humbug," the art of comic dialogue corruption, and boroughmongering ! is not extinct in England. We have

• Bat, sir! you will admit, that open bobeen obliged, however, to leave out a roughs and counties are often bribed into a few passages here and there.

return of members.' That may be ; we “Is not Parliament,' says Pen, just can't help that.' Will that mend the what it always was; or, if any alteration matter. How is a man, who has bought has taken place, is it not all—on the popu- and corrupted whole masses of people, to lar side go? . The deuce it is !' cried the carry a load of virtue into parliament ; stranger ; . what, the corruption, the bo- whilst he who simply pays the same money roughmongering system, the 'I know for the purchase of a seat, without either nothing of these cant terms of party ; I say corruption or bribery, is loaded with exe. that, in what are called the proudest pe- cration, and accused of mercenary motives? riods of our history, corruption stalked in * Because it is against the constitution ! open day, and members of Parliament re- • Where is the constitution, sir?' asked ceived bribes, as openly as lawyers now do Pen.“ Where ! the Lord knows where; their fees.' What's that to the question ? any where but where it ought to be.'though I don't believe a word on't. "Sir,' The Lord deliver me from such a rigmaexclaimed Pen, I speak from authority.' role,' cried the grazier ; the constitution • Suppose you do, sir ; our eyes are now anywhere! Odds, mun, thee dostn't mean opened ; we see the corruption, and we to sai ould England ha'nt a constitution ? must crush it.' . You see what doesn't What's all to do at Westminster there ?' exist, sir,' retorted Pen; no such degra- "I only wished the gentleman,'observed ding traffic is carried on in the present- Pen, with a smile of contempt, peculiarly corrupt times.' • Whoi, ater all, gentle. his own, to point out the constitutioo, men, cried the grazier, . what the dickens which appears so defined to him, and to has Parliament to do wi moi pocket being show how the practice of the same conpicked by that confounded rascal Noah stitution in the best times, differs from that Toop, as he called himself ?' • Every of our own.' • Why, zounds,' exclaimed thing ! if there is no foundation, the whole the stranger, you don't mean to defend building will totter,' answered the stranger. corruption ! • Far from it, sir,' answered -But, sir,' observed Pen, you have not Pen; . I only want to ascertain it.' . And proved the fact yet.' • Proved ! isn't it as isn't it before your eyes ?' • If so, I am light as day? What need of proof? Are too blind to perceive it.' None so blind not seats bought, and sold, and trafficked as those who will not see.' I only ask like bales of goods ?' 'A man may buy a you to open my eyes. •Hav'nt I told you seat in parliament,' returned Pen, with- seats are bought and sold among the boout carrying rottenness to the constitution. roughmongers ?' I have been told that almost all our greatest "• I answer again, this is no proof of patriots and most distinguished statesmen corruption, or at least no proof of corruption have bought their seats.' What of that, peculiar to our times; for I repeat, it exist. they're your sham patriots, your lack-a- ed in what the reformers of the present day daisičal whigs, who denounce a minister, call the great and glorious times of the and walk arin in arm with the honourable constitution. But I will go further, and gentleman the next moment.' Why, sir,' confess that I think a man infinitely more exclaimed Pen, • it is to such men we owe independent, in the fullest sense of the the existence of our liberties. I don't speak term, who enters the House of Commons of trading politicians on one side or the as the purchaser of a seat, than one who, other, either in the bigher or lower ranks; to secure his own interests with them, has

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been playing the courtier and sycophant, stamp and character of men of honour so
and must continue to do so, to please and legibly, that the least flaw in their title is
pamper the prejudices and passions of his discernible, pointing them out to public
constituents. Such a man is a slave to one scorn, and barring their access to the high.
small faction of the nation, and shackled er honours of the state ?' • Still they are
in his efforts to benefit the whole. If he is not elected by the people.' • Not by the
sincere in the proffers he makes, (alas ! how people at large, admitted ; but were they
seldom,) and in the gross flatteries he be. ever so elected, or was it eyer proposed they
stows upon them, he is fitter for a courtier should be — . By the constitution they
than the legislator of an extensive empire : ought to be.'
if he is acting the hypocrite with them to "! Shew me any authority, prescriptive
gain a seat, be is capable of any baseness or practical, and I will adınit the fact, howe
to turn that seat to his own profit

. The ever disposed to deny its expediency.'man who pays his money for what you • At least, it is generally so believed ; and gentlemen call a rotten borough, may be a at all events, you will not deny that the rogue , but, at least, he has not proved right of voting has been shamefully infrinhimself one by previous practice. He may, ged upon,' • I do deny it, sir ; and upon like the other, hypocritically profess patriot. authority you cannot dispute. When the ism, to further his own selfish ends ; but elective franchise was limited to forty shil. be has not previously cajoled and cheated ling freeholds, the GREAT BODY OF THE his electors, as an earnest of his talent at PEOPLE were excluded from the right almaneuvering.'

together ; for forty shillings, at that period, “. And you call this man a representa. were at least equal to as many pounds of tive ?' • I do, sir, in the strictest sense of our present money, and the change has the word. A member of the British Par- operated to extend the franchise to thouliament is not a DELEGATE. When a man sands, who, without this nominal change once passes the threshold of the Commons in the value of money, would by the conHouse of England, he represents the Com- stitution have had no vote at all.'' 'I know mons at large, and not a particular county nothing about that,' returned the stranger, or district. He may, from circumstances, in rather a subdued tone ; I am only inhave local interests to guard, but even a terested in what concerns the present day; tumpike bill, or an enclosure, interesting and thousands who have the right of voalone to his constituents, can but command ting are excluded by the tricks and knahis solitary vote. It is the country,—the very of those who have power to keep us majority of the representatives of the whole down.' *I have shewn, I think,' continued empire, that must decide its adoption or Pen, that they have no right; for natu. rejection. If it were otherwise, a member ral rights, as you reformers call every wild of Parliament would resemble a satarap or demand for a participation of power, can. governor of a district, and his constituents not be abstractedly considered, or applied would become eventually little better than to a state existing under fixed laws and the slaves of the soil. Each would be ab. established compact. But this is from the sorbed in the petty interests and cabals of point; I would limit myself to present his particular charge ; and being responsi. evils, which you affirm to exist, and the ble to his constituents, rather than to his existence of 'which, until you produce countrymen at large, his public conduct proofs stronger than mere assertion, I must without a check, and bis private intrigues still deny. What have you to say,-not beyond the reach of investigation, a power theoretically, but practically,--against the unknown to the institutions of a free state, description of men, (subject, I admit, to would be engendered and fostered in every human infirmities, and not without excepcorner of the empire. County would be tions,) who at this present moment constifound jobbing against county,-borough tute the legislative body?' • Including in against borough; and the practised politi- their number the whole host of boroughcian might, by turns, bribe and sell his mongers ?' I see no ground of exclu. constituents, with whose local interests he sion. Why, sir,' cried Pen, raising his would thus so identify himself as at length voice, as was his father's practice, when he to render a separation on their part impo. supposed an assertion might be mistaken litic, if not impracticable.'- This is all for a paradox ; • why, sir, I have no hesi. wild-all abroad, sir.' • Wild! is it so tation in saying, that the objects, abstractwild, as to suppose that you can check cor. edly considered, for which parliaments are ruption, by extending the means to cor. constituted, would be fully accomplished, if rupt ? or that by opening the doors to the electors of Northumberland were to sharpers and adventurers, you can cleanse choose representatives for London, or those and purify a legislature, composed (no of Westminster to return members for matter how) of all the prominent talent and Cornwall._All local interests, by the spi. professional wisdom of the country; of the rit of the English constitution,--which is, most distinguished representatives of the after all, the depositary and the aggregate landed, the commercial, and trading inte. of the good sense and sound experience of rests ; and altogether of those who bear the successive generations --are to merge, and

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must be made to merge, in the general in- himself. And so, in the only instance of terest of the whole ; as each individual in these rights being literally reduced to pracsociety must necessarily sacrifice a portion tice in later times, universal suffrage apof his independence to secure the liberty of pears to have been the harbinger of univerall.' • Cuom, cuom, now,' interrupted sal slaughter, where the constituents and the grazier, . that would be a strange soit, their free-chosen representatives were alhowsomever ; a caunt consent to that by no ternately victims and butchers.' manner o' means. I mauu chuse my oune parliament, man, cuom what wull'I “Why should the same excesses follow don't know where the deuce the gentleman from a reform in this country ? • Because is running,' cried the stranger.-- I run at the same causes will generally produce the nothing, sir,' answered Peni. • I have as-' same effects; because, in the present moserted, and do assert again, that the mere ment, the cause is advocated upon the same mode of election is a matter of comparative principles, appeals to the same dangerous indifference; I say comparative, so long as passions of man, and opens the same means the property of the country is duly repre- of gratifying them; because, erroneous as sented ; so long as the representatives of was the principle upon which those men that property, in some shape or another, acted, many good, honest, and patriotic inare sent to parliament. As to the qualities dividuals, were sincere in their adoption of and principles of men, they will differ as them. Whereas there is not one,Do, sir, much after your projected reforms as be- not one among the present leaders of pofore, and will so continue to do until hu- pular delusion, who does not anticipate geman nature itself be reformed. Common neral havoc and destruction, which the safety is the real bond of political union ; ethers never contemplated; who does not and those who possess property, individual. look to revolution when he cries REFORM ? ly, will be most anxious to preserve proper. They only hoped to effect reform, when ty, upon the whole.' Why is property,' they found themselves plunged in REVOdemanded his opponent-why is property LUTion.' • It is'nt fair, sir, to stigmato be the only thing represented ? • Sim- tize, in this sweeping manner, thousands ply because property is the first thing to be of your countrymen.' 'I would say the secured upon a permanent basis ; for withe same if they were my brothers, and meritout this, liberty can be nothing but licen- ed it as truly,' answered Pen, coolly. tiousness.' • And so the rich are everlast. " . The short of the matter, then, is, sir,' ingly to grind the poor?'How that fol. said the stranger, ' you would have no relows, I am at a loss to conceive,' replied form at all.' . I object to reforin no where, Pen, who began to grow warm in his sub- sir,' replied Peri, • when it is necessary; ject, .unless you conclude government un- but I must be convinced of its necessity by der every form to be a tyranny.' • Pretty better arguments than I have heard tonear the mark,' retorted the stranger. night, before I give my voice to so hazard• Then we need argue no further, sir,' cried ous an experiment.' • Necessity ! why, Pen, starting upon his legs; • if you un. hav'nt you yourself admitted the fact, that derstand the force of your inference, you seats in parliament are bought and sold ; are the advocate of pure anarchy; and and what have you urged in defence of it? none but a madman will reason from such -moonshine--an opinion-Moonpremises.' I mean---I mean no such shine,--my opinion, sir! Are you aware thing, sir ; it is you that are the madman, - No offence, no offence intended; I think.' • Sir!' exclaimed Pen. 'I but opinions are but opinions, and, as you mean no offence, sir ; but when you talk yourself observed just now, cannot weigh of the electors of Westminster electing against facts.' • Facts ! true; but you members for Cornwall, and at a sweep get must call your facts by their right names.' rid of the glorious franchise of

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They are still facts, call them as we will ; sir ! you confound hypothesis with argu. but let that pass. I only ask you, sir, why a ment. I never meant to recommend such few great overgrown landholders are to moa measure, but to illustrate my opinion nopolize all power, and grind down the that even such a mode of election would be great mass of the people, as if they were more consonant with the first principles of mere slaves of the soil. I should rather the constitution than your bewildering chi. ask you to prove your fact, before I can be mera of universal suffrage.' Right is called upon to account for it.' Who are right, sir ; every man has a right to vote our law-makers, but those imperious lords for representatives in parliament. Pray, who combine to rivet our chains ?' . They sir, may I ask where you find this right?' may be law-makers, without either impoIn the constitution. In the clouds ! - sing chains or rivetting them ; but, perShew me, sir, something more tangible; haps, by this pretty figure of speech, you shew it me in the practice of the constitu- design to represent the laws altogether tion.' • It needs no shewing ; it is among • The laws in these hands I certainly don' the first rights of man.' So is eating his • Then, sir, we understand each other. brother, if he be strong enough to slaugh. You would prove that anarchy is preferable ter him ; if not, he must submit to be eaten to any regular form of government, and it

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