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sequences. Had it been possible to ment, is the last drivelling of craze
sorrow that a question so pregnant lent demagogues—with all the coun- with mischief to public morals, and tenance of corporations in Common with evil to the monarchy, should ever Council openly assembled, boldly de- have been agitated. But where now claring their abhorrence of a persecu- is the wisdom of keeping alive the tion that no man could justify, and divisions to which it gave rise, by with the example of all those proud insulting the public principles of maand brave processions, whose innu- ny, who in all other things have, permerable banners insulted the faces of haps, too liberally approved of the the very sentinels at the palace gatés present administration? Wherein con-the mean, wretched, starvling, and sists the truth or the justice of reprepusillanimous radicals, did not ven- senting the evanescent apparition of a ture to make one single demonstra- resistance to some score or two of soltion of manly hostility to that go- diers, on the part of those who had vernment which they had proscribed cheered the Queen in her difficulties, in so many resolutions, and at such and who had, with true English con. “numerous meetings," as one too in- stancy, assembled to pay the generous tolerable to be longer endured, and homage of their respect to her remains, which, by something that may now --wherein consists the truth or jusbe almost described as a fortunate tice of representing such an accidental fatality, had embarked in an under- incident as the manifestation of some taking which set at nought the laws concentrated and organized system of God, and the opinions of man. The of defiance, having rebellion for its peaceable termination of the Queen's means and the overthrow of the state business settled the radical question. for its object? Sir, in that business The miserable creatures will never every friend of the ministers who will again be of any political importance in frankly speak his sentiments, must our time. They may vamp up grie- confess that the order of the funeral vances, and disseminate their « two was essentially absurd, and the repenny trash,” as long as there are ears sult was exactly what ought to have to be annoyed, or they can find means been foreseen, and what ministers
paper and printing; but from the first ought to have allowed their power is departed, the frauds of it to be. But it partook of the chatheir mysteries are exposed to deri- racter of the whole course of the prosion, and their penny tricks, to buy ceedings to which the ill-fated Princess seats for Hunt and Cobbet in Parlia- had been subjected. It is a maxim of
expediency, never to risk any undere all the inestimable benefits which the taking except with the hope of advan- free circulation of the daily press contage--no advantage was proposed to fers on the country, it is one of the be obtained by the trial of the Queen, greatest sources of popular delusion. ·and none could be gained by opposing Not that I think the newspapers are the popular affections at her funeral. conducted on any principle of decepTo do so, was an act of singular poli- tion,- I merely regard them as influtical folly, and only to be equalled by "enced by the feelings of self-interest, to the inadequacy of the means employ- render their columns as attractive as ed to carry it into effect. But to sup- possible; and I daresay it will be alpose, because the inadequacy of those lowed, that there is no readier access means enabled the populace to carry to circulation among a numerous and their point, that the strength of the sensitive class of politicians, than by government has been in any degree cherishing the apprehensions of poweakened in the estimation of the peo- pular dangers. No doubt, in the apple in general, is to ascribe effects to pearance of a London mob, there is a cause which it is incapable of pro- much that justifies those enormous ducing. The whole affair cannot and raw-head-and-bloody-bones stories of never will be regarded as any thing the newspapers, which so afflict and else than as an incident arising from alarm honest John Bull at his couna temporary cause, and consequently try fire-side ; but the vital part, the temporary in its effects. It had no- stirring energies of the multitude, the thing to do either with radicalism, or ignitious nucleus of the mass, bears rebellion, or discontent; it belonged to no proportion to the magnitude of the a series of fatalities in the history of whole. A London mob is naturally an individual, whom many strange greater than a mob in any other town and impressive circumstances had ren- of the kingdom, merely owing to the dered a remarkable object of popular greater population there congregated. interest and commiseration, and the Independent, however, of that, many whole impression and impulse which circumstances peculiar to the metroit produced must perish, as the heat polis, tend to swell the numerical apwhich her case had excited gradually pearance, without adding to the viopasses away.
lence; on the contrary, perhaps they But as the Queen's trial served to have the effect to lessen it. In the demonstrate the strength with which first place, there is always in London the frame of the government is upheld a prodigious floating multitude of cuby the great masses of the people, rious strangers; and the Londoners notwithstanding the political blunder themselves are remarkably under theinwhich it was throughout, so her fu- fluence of curiosity. And, in the second neral contributes to prove the little place, there is a nefarious and unknown importance that should be attached to number of miscreants, ever ready to the sentiments of the mob of London, profit by tumults, and who, in all aseven when it may be said they are in semblages of the populace, strenuousthe right, and the government in the ly exert themselves to produce turbuwrong. It cannot, I think, be ques- lence, purely as such, without any retioned, that the public funeral, which ference to what may be the objects of was got up for the men accidentally the meeting: slain in the scuffle with the soldiers, Owing to these circumstances, to the was a guilty device, contrived for the vastness of the multitude, consisting, express purpose of bringing the popu- for the major part, of persons brought lace and the military into open hosti- together by motives of curiosity, and lity. Yet what was the result ?- to the turbulence produced by disA little hooting and a few peltings orderly characters, the appearance of at the gates of the barracks, a London mob is much more tremenmere “row," not half so outrageous dous than of mobs in general elseas hundreds that happen annually in where; but, from the very nature of country towns on market-days; but the same things, it is in fact much which' the daily newspapers, who more pusillanimous. Strangers are more have an interest in the exaggeration of apt than the townsmen to the impresevery political occurrence, endeavour- sions of fear; and curiosity, of all moods ed to swell into the most alarming of the mind, is the least calculated to consequence. The fact is, that, with withstand the influence of panic-de
linquents, still more than even stran- tent; and the Whigs tell us, that gers or the curious, are liable to give these are entirely owing to a Tory adway at alarms. The flight of a detect- ministration, and only to be removed ed pickpocket in the crisis of a tumult by a reform in the representation. in London, is sufficient to occasion the Any reform is a good thing; and cerdissolution of a mob. You are not, tainly the representation might be therefore, to believe, when you read in improved ; for it cannot be questioned the newspapers of the prodigious thou- that by commerce and manufactures, sands assembled on occasions of popu- a vast mass of unrepresented wealth lar interest, that it either indicates the has accumulated in the country; Bụt strength or the popularity of the cause. ițis, I think, not very clearly made out, I have myself, more than once, seen that by any change in the representambassadors among crowds assembled ation, by any extension of the elective for radical purposes; but it might as franchise, our existing burdens and truly and as justly be said, that the difficulties would be more speedily represence of such personages on such lieved, than by the system which it is occasions, was in consequence of some the interest of Government to adopt, dark and dreadful machination of fo- and which, it appears, ministers are reign policy, as that the thousands, steadily pursuing. I do not think, for whom any fantastical and poverty- example, that Mr Lambton or his stricken orator of sedition may, at any friends have yet shewn that any altertime, assemble, meet for the purpose of ation in the construction of the House tearing down the government." I re- of Commons would have the effect of member a meeting in Westminster- increasing the income of landlords, or Hall about the Duke of York's affair of lessening the difficulties of tenants with Mrs Clarke, to which I accompa- -of procuring better markets for our nied a friend from the country, a gen- merchants abroad, or more lucrative tleman of great learning and high ac- employment for our artizans at home knowledged talents, but who had never-the evils with which the kingdom, seen any thing of the kind before. at the present time, is most deeply afThe snuff-man Wishart played a dis- flicted. On the contrary, that prostinguished part, and the speeches spo- perous state, from which landlords, ken on the occasion, were as bold and tenants, merchants, and manufactuseditious as any thing of the kind that rers have declined, was produced uneither the Whigs or the Radicals have der the existing system of the represince attempted--and they were, of sentation, and has been blighted by course, most vehemently applauded. causés altogether independent of any My friend was petrified, and expected thing in the frame of the legislature, nothing less than an immediate re- and the principles upon which the govolution-all the afternoon he was vernment is administered, and can onthoughtful and sentimental. He had ly be renovated by the application of no appetite for his dinner, and at his adequate remedies-remedies which it wine after, rapped his snuff-box with is less in the power of Government more than common emphasis, and pro- than of the people theinselves, to apphecied about the axe and scaffold, ply. and all the other et ceteras of anarchy, The prodigious expenditure of the with the accents of a seer, and the sa war, the circulation of the trade of gacity of a sybil. But here we are; the world through this country, like the Duke's case was soon forgotten ; the the blood through the heart, the enQueen's is fast following; and even Sir ergy of successful speculations, and Robert Wilson's, that is but bursting the superiority which our manufacthe bud, will perish, and like every tures had acquired in every market, other, from the triumph of Dr Sache- had introduced into every family hayerel, in Queen Anne's time, to that bits of luxury and expence, which the of Hunt, in our own, will only serve more limited channels of profit, in a toswell the catalogue of innocuous ma sober state of peace, could never sup. nifestations of popular feeling in a ply. Things have fallen back to their
old level, but these habits have not But independent of the Queen's case been changed; and the adversaries of and radicalism, it is supposed and al- Government dexterously ascribe the leged, that there are serious and deep- difference between our means and our ly-seated causes of national discon- wants, entirely to the operation of a
mal-administration, although perfect- thing so delicate in the management ly aware that retrenchment and re- of public affairs, as the disbanding of duction in our family establishments an army, and the reduction of national are as requisite as in those of the establishments. Nothing, certainly, State. Indeed, without a co-operation could have been easier, than immediin private life, along with the econo ately, on the signature of the treaty of my which the Government is gradual- peace, to have paid off the army and ly introducing, and introducing quite navy, the clerks in the offices, and the as rapidly as the circumstances of the labourers in the arsenals. But what country will allow, all the frugality was to become of the men ? Would that any set of ministers might prac- they have been less a burden to the tice, would be of very little effect on country, on the poor-rates of their rethe aggregate of those burdens which spective parishes, than on the general our habits, more than the taxes, make revenue of the kingdom ? And I would us suffer.
therefore ask if it was not a wiser poThere is, perhaps, no popular error licy on the part of government, to go more flagrant than that which is so on with the reductions gradually, preconstantly preached by the Opposition, paring the minds of the men for the that ministers are the patrons of cor- change, and allowing the demand for ruption, and are, from the possession labourers to absorb from time to time of place and power, the enemies of the one portion of the disbanded, before people. The mere statement of the another was sent in quest of employ. dogma in this form shews its absurdi- ment? Has the policy of government, ty; for, to every man who reflects in this respect, been fairly apprecia for one moment, it must be evident ted; on the contrary, are not all the that ministers themselves, having a opponents of ministers constantly enlarge stake in the country personally, deavouring to make it appear, that cannot but have a deep interest in every reduction in the national expenevery plan for alleviating the public. diture, is a boon obtained by them? burdens, which bear as hard upon How much, for example, is said by them as upon the other classes of the them of Mr Hume's industry? No community. In addition to this, in person can be more impressed with order to preserve their official superio- the extent of that gentleman's merits rity, they have the strongest motives than I am ; and considering that he to cultivate the good will of the peo- is not in office, and obliged to seek his ple, which can only be done by a sincere details from indirect sources, I confess and practical enmity to corruptions. that his perseverance, and the degree To this, however, it may be said, that of his accuracy, are quite wonderful. although the case should be so, yet But does it therefore follow that behistory and experience instruct as of cause Mr Hume has made himself the contrary, and that the possessors master of the public accounts, in a of place and power have in all ages nanner which no man in Opposition conceived themselves, as it were, in ever before could pretend to, that we hostility with the people. It cannot are to ascribe to his representations be denied, that it is natural to man, those abridgments of the war estawhen dressed in authority, to play blishments, which the crown is carrymany fantastic tricks. But then it is ing into effect? In truth, even his always shewn by the means which he friends must allow that his exertions, employs; and the spirit of the Bri- meritorious as they undoubtedly are, tish constitution so works upon our have not been conducted in the most rulers, as to abridge the power of do- judicious spirit, and that he has too ing mischief, while it compels an en often considered the necessary protecdeavour to do good. Were the minis- tion which ministers are obliged to ters for the benefit of their own par- extend over office, as proceeding from tizans, at the present time, so mad as a personal regard for official corrupto persist in maintaining the establish- tion-just as if men in such conspicu. ments which the war obliged them to ous stations, were less sensible to the form, the force of public opinion would feelings of honour than others of the soon shake them from their places, same rank in life, or that their responand were they to reduce them as rashly sibility should make them less awake as the impatience of popular orators to the consequences of malversations, would require, they would not be less injurious to their personal comforts blameable. There is, in truth, no- and honest fame. VOL. X.
But on the question of retrench- curtailing every unnecessary expendiment, it seems to be overlooked, that ture. But still we must bear in mind, the call for reform necessarily arises that the quantity of the circulating from those out of office. The machines medium would be in consequence reof official routine cannot detect the duced, and that labour, already too effects of their own movements, and cheap, would become still more so in it is a factious misrepresentation to the market—that thegood which would say, because ministers hesitate and result from any reduction of the taxes, pause, to consider what may be the to those particular classes who have result of that revulsion which any fixed incomes, would be balanced by proposed change may produce upon as much evil to those who depend on the general system, that they are, the interchanges of the circulating therefore, averse to improvement. This medium. The satisfaction, therefore, obloquy, however, they share in com- to be obtained from retrenchment on mon with all the possessors of public the part of government, and of a stricttrusts. What, for example, can be er fiscal administration in towns and more ungrateful than the manner in corporate bodies, together with a rewhich it is heaped upon the magis- turn to greater temperance in domestrates of towns, whose time and talents tic economy, will not consist in posare gratuitously given to the public sessing greater means of enjoyment, service, and who, of all men, have the but in that moral pleasure which is strongest motives to be found clear derived froin the contemplation of inin their office and trust, at the expiry tegrity and rectitude in public trusts. of their temporary authority. But This, however, is not the result that the spirit of the age is against all in- the reformers in general look for. They stituted power, and it is only to be thirst for more luxury, and consider appeased by a sedulous endeavour on the expences of public institutions as the part of those in authority to anti- so much substracted from their means cipate complaints. This spirit has of procuring enjoyment-forgetting arisen out of our embarrassments, and that profits are derived from prodigait can never be effectually laid but by lity, and that labour, to be lucrative, a resolution as universal as the cir- must be in request. cumstances which have called it forth.
It may perhaps be said, that this The nation is pining under the dif- view of the subject is calculated to be ficulties which have resulted from the construed into a defence of existing profusion of the war, and seeks alle- abuses ; inasmuch as it would imply, viation to individual suffering, in an that no effectual remedy can be applied abridgment of the expence of the to our privations. No doubt it may public establishments. It seems, how- be so construed; public abuses have ever, to be forgotten, that every man always been private advantages; but discharged from the public service is it does not therefore follow, that they a new member added to the number are not great evils, although I do conof the needy, and that every diminu- tend, that the removal of all the abution of salary substracts so much from ses in the administration of the counthe expenditure among the tradesmen try, cannot have the effect of restoring where the placeman is located, while the affluence which flowed in upon
the the amount of the reduction scarcely kingdom during the late war. produces any palpable effect in the truth, the utmost that can be said of public treasury. It may, therefore, I the call for retrenchment is, that it is 8 ispect, be almost said that the reduc- founded in an abhorrence of an untions of the national establishments warrantable dissipation of the pubhave a tendency to engender dissatis- lic wealth, and that, with the reflectfaction; and indeed, if they are not ing portion of the people, it is not exmet by a determination on the part of pected that any perceptible advantage the people to return to their old fru- will be experienced in private life, gality, there can be no effectual cure from all the reductions in the power applied to the disease with which the of any administration to propose, in state is afflicted.
the present state of the world, and the It is astonishing to think of the ef- order of things in this country, fects that may be produced, of the al Before concluding, it was my intenleviation that might be extended to tion to have said something to those many families, were the corporations who seem to expect manna and quails of towns to act upon a principle of from what is called a Reform in Par