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I'll engage that he came up from the country that very morning; and that he had not the smallest intimation beforehand, that any letter from Mr. Alderman Combe was about to be read. The motion could have proceeded from nothing but a sense of duty ; and, if my Lord Mayor be elected, as I trust he will be, it will be a most seasonable as well as a most powerful blow, given to the dreadful system that is now going on, it being well known, that the Lord Mayor is an honest and bold enemy of that system
There is, too, the more merit in this proposition of Mr. Hunt, as it cannot possibly be ascribed to any thing other than a sense of duty. The public will recollect, that Mr. Hunt received last winter a letter from the Lord Mayor in his official capacity, which was not well calco. lated to gain the personal friendship of the former. I do not say that the Lord Mayor's letter, which was probably written without much time for reflection, and was indeed in all probability, written by a clerk or secretary, it being impossible for the Lord Mayor to have written, at that time, a hundredth part of his letters: I do not say that this letter was either rude or unfriendly; but there was a sort of sarcastic tone in it, which men in general are very apt to receive not very graciously. I have never understood, that my Lord Mayor has ever shown any particular marks of partiality to Mr. Hunt during any of the discussions in Guildhall. But, then, I know well, that Mr. Hunt has always entertained the highest possible opinion of the Lord Mayor's integrity, humanity, industry, and all those qualifications which are so necessary at the present time; and I have always observed in Mr. Hunt a most anxious desire to see the Lord Mayor in Parliament. Indeed the Lord Mayor is such a man as there are very few like him. He is sincerity itself. He has no envy in his composition. He has no disguise of any sort. He abhors every thing like tyranny. He is as bold as he is honest; and if ever he commits an error, it is soon repaired by his frankness in avowing it.
Mr. Waitsman's conduct upon this occasion, is but too much of a piece with all the rest of his conduct for some time past. His grand object appears to have been to obtain a seat in Parliament for himself; an object not only justifiable, but laudable, because a seat in Parliament would have given him a greater degree of power of doing good. Mr. Waithman is not only a bold and resolute man, but a man who is possessed of far greater talents than nineteen-twentieths of the Members of the two Houses. Therefore, few things would give me greater pleasure than to see Mr. Waithman in Parliament, particularly at this time. But, the misfortune is, that Mr. Waithman has sought to accomplish this objeet by means injurious to the cause of Reform. What could be more in. jurious to that cause, as far as he was able to do injury to it, than to cause to be negatived in the Common Hall of London, a proposition for Annual Parliaments and Universal Suffrage, at a time when the whole of the Reformers were petitioning for a Reform upon those very principles ? And what rendered this proceeding the more flagrantly odious, was, that he affected to believe, that this was the way to produce Union against the Boroughmongers ; when it was manifest to every man in the kingdom, that this was throwing the apple of discord amongst them. Nay, this gentleman, not content with using his influence, and exerting his talents for this baleful purpose, did not restrain himself from going into that species of criticism upon our plans and our conduct, which had been first introduced by Mr. BROUGHAM, and which criticism met with a
chastisement from your pen, which, one would have thought, would have been a sufficient warning for Mr. Waithman, who was less excusable than Mr. Brougham, because the former had, only a few days before, in a speech made to the Common Council, most amply and most ably proved both the justice and the reasonableness of all our claims.
This defection, or, rather, this perverseness, of Mr. Waithman, was very injurious to our cause. It put an argument into the mouths of our enemies. Even Mr. Waithman called us wild,” visionary,” and “ violent” men! This was doing as much as he was able to do ; and he owes it to your forbearance, Sir, that his conduct was not long ago held up to universal detestation. He wrote a letter to you and Sir Francis Burdett, jointly. You answered that letter in your own name; and you gave me authority publicly to say, that he had your permission to publish the correspondence. This I did say in print many months ago. Yet, he has never availed himself of this permission. Why he has not, the reason is but too manifest.
I do not forget the great and powerful efforts of Mr. Waithman, when he stood almost alone in the City for twenty long years. I am willing to see him rewarded by any honour that his countrymen can bestow upon him, and which is consistent with the good of the commonwealth ; but, if he cannot have his reward, that sort of reward which will satisfy him, without sacrificing the interests of the country to the gratification of his ambition, I most sincerely hope that he will go uprewarded to the end of his life. You, Sir, have rendered some services to your country! The heart of every one of us tells us that there is no honour that we could bestow on you adequate to those services. But, if you were to become the instrument of a Whig faction; if you were, at a moment the most critical, and when so much depended upon Union, to call for a Triennial Parliament, when all the rest of the Reformers were calling for Annual Parliaments, would you expect at our hands any thing short of reproach ? And if this would justly be the case, with respect to you, in the name of justice and reason I ask, what is to restrain us from complaining of the conduct of Mr. Waithman?
Let Mr. Waithman be a Member of Parliament; but let him become such upon the principles of real, and not of sham Parliamentary Reform ; let him become such, as the instrument in the hands of the people, and not as the instrument of the Boroughmongering faction.
Mr. Waithman is one of those men, whose greedy ambition leads him to do that which his honesty and his real love of liberty would naturally make him flee from, “as from the pestilence that walketh by night." He is so extremely desirous of standing upon the same floor with “ Noble Lords” and “Honourable Gentlemen,” that he really foregoes the means of accomplishing his object. He wishes, I verily believe, to do that which is right, when he has obtained his object ; but, he unfortunately has taken it into his head that he is able to conciliate both parties; and, he is verifying, in a most conspicuous manner, the old adage of the two stools. As to the Whigs, those famous champions, those disinterested and sincere heroes of Triennial Parliaments, and of the principle of Properly and not Taxation giving a right to vote; as to these noble combatants for a sham Reform, nothing is farther from their hearts than the wish to support Mr. Waithman upon any other ground than that of his being a marplot ; than that of his being an instrument in the work of producing disunion amongst us. And, as to the real Reformers, angels of
light can no more unite with the inhabitants of the infernal regions, than they can unite with the greedy and perfidious Whigs, who have their full share of all the sinecures, all the Pensions, all the Grants, and of all the Boroughs; and, what never ought to be forgotten, who had their full share in the adoption, as well as in the recommending, of all those dreadful measures which characterize the present times. What! will Mr. Waithman pretend, that those men, who voted for Mr. WYNNE being Speaker, are the friends of Parliamentary Reform ? Mr. Wynne, along with the whole family of GRENVILLE, had not only voted for, and defended every one of the measures, to their utmost extent ; but, like LORD GRENVILLE, and the MARQUIS of BUCKINGHAM, and like Lord Milton, Mr. LAMB and Mr. WILLIAM Elliott, he had volunteered his recommendation of such measures; and, vet, the MORNING CHRONICLB congratulates bis readers upon the proof of the steadiness of the whole party, which proof, ise says was furnished in the contest for Mr. WYNNE! And this is that " Opposition," to which Mr. Waithman bids us look for success in the cause of Parliamentary Reform! Long, indeed, will it be before Reform comes from such a source. Indeed, how contemptible is such an expectation ! Look into the Sinecure List; the Pension List; the Grant List; the Staff List; the List of Governors of Castles and Provinces ; look at the immense suins which the Whig families now receive, and look at the greater sums which all their broods are gaping for, when the heads of them shall get into power; look at all this, Sir, or, rather, let Mr. Waithman look at it, and then tell us, if he can, that he believes, that the Whig families will ever join in any attempt to procure a real reform of the Parliament, which, as those families well know, would instantly strip them ci all these emoluments, and leave them nothing but their just privileges and rights. No, Sir; it is impossible that any sensible man can believe, that the people will ever meet with any portion of support from this faction, while it is thus gorged with the public money. We want no speeches and declarations from them. We want a surrender of their Boroughs. We want a House of Commons elected by the people, and not by them. Some of them told the people at the late Westminster Dinner, that they were really in love with Liberty ; but, not a word did they say about those same Boroughs, which are the sole object of contention. If a man has got my horse and I ask him to give it to me ; “ Softly, Cobbett,” says he ; “ don't be in such a rage, my friend. You must know, that I and all my “ family, for ages back, have been distinguished for our extraordinary re. "" spect for the maxims of mine and thine. You must know, my good fel. " low, that I have an hereditary abhorrence of oppression of every sort; " and, I protest and declare, I vow and I swear, that there is not a man “ upon the face of God's earth that is more sincerely your well-wisher " than I am."-" Thank you," says I, “but, still, you say nothing about " my horse !"_"O! your horse, did you say? As to the horse, Cob“ bett; the horse, you know, Cobbett; as to the horse, I have had the “ horse, you know, for a long time ; and, you know, Cobbett, that the " horse might really be of no service to you ; you have been doing very “ well without him; besides, being rather high-mettled, and you not being "a very skilful rider, he might break your neck; and then, Cobbett, only " think of the confusion, the desolation and misery that would be produced “ in your affairs and your family!” –You will anticipate, Sir, that, during this speech, I should be clenching my fist, and you will not find it difficult to guess what I should do at the close of it. Yet, the seedling
Boroughmongers at the Westminster Dinner, said not one single word about surrendering the Boroughs, though they avowed and declared, that every drop of blood in their veins was ready to start forth in the cause of the people, and, though (which surprised me a great deal more than their declarations), Sir Francis Burdett, in the report that I have read, is made to congratulate himself upon being surrounded by such company, who, he is made to say, had always been the friends of the people!
Far be it from me to say, that if any of these persons would actually surrender their Boroughs, they ought not to be pardoned for what they have done. I am for conciliation to the very last; that is to say, to the very last moment when conciliation can take place without baseness on the part of the people. All might have been amicably arranged at the opening of the last Parliament. All might have been settled so as to restore the nation to happiness, without the destruction of anything which is warränted by the Constitution of our country. But our enemies chose to throw away the scabbard, and to hang the naked sword suspended over our heads. Whether reconciliation can now take place is more than I ain able to say; but, still, my anxious wish is, that our country may be restored to freedom without retaliation and vengeance. But, at any rate, let come what will come, my wish is that our country may be restored to freedom, and in pursuing my incessant endeavours to see that wish accomplished, one of the motives certainly will be that, of having the honour to follow, as far as I am able, your great and immortal example.
I desire to be remembered, in the kindest terms, to our old and honest friends of Westminster, whose exertions in the cause of Reform I always remember with great satisfaction, and whose happiness will always be an object of deep solicitude with their and your faithful friend, And most obedient servant,
TO EARL FITZWILLIAM,
ON WHAT THE “MORNING CHRONICLE” CALLS YOUR “MUNI.
FICENT DONATION” TO SOME OF THE DISTRESSED PEOPLE OF IRELAND.
(Political Register, November, 1817.)
North Hampstead, Long Island, September 13th, 1817. My LORD,
I have now lying before me the Morning Chronicle of the 19th of July, in which Mr. Perry, the basest of all the base tools of corruption, because to the enmity which all the rest of these tools bear to the cause of freedom, he adds greater hypocrisy than any of the rest ; in this paper I find an account of what he calls the munificent donation of your Lordship to a portion of the people of Ireland ; and upon this subject, after inserting the paragraph to which I allude, it is my intention to address your Lordship.
“ MUNIFICENT DOxation.-We are glad to have an opportunity of recording the almost singular liberality of one of the great landed proprietors of this country; and we therefore state the facts connected with it, as promptly as so very 'laudable a circumstance merits.- Earl Fitzwilliam, after having had considerable sums distributed amongst his tenants, wrote very lately to his agent, Mr. Haigh, to say, that from the general impression he had of the state of the country, he was apprehensive that the distress on his estates and in their vicinage must be very great, and that he had therefore ordered a vessel, with 50 tons of American flour, from Liverpool to Wicklow, to be distributed among the poor at any such reduced prices as the agent might conceive to be necessary, according to the poverty of the people. Mr. Haigh, however (although the shipment was actually made, and the vessel on its way, at an expense to his Lordship of more than three thousand pounds), wrote, to represent to his Lordship that a different description of provisions would better suit the situation and circumstances of the objects of his bounty, than flour of the quality shipped; and that he would take upon himself to send the cargo, when it arrived, round to Dublin, make sale of it there, and, with the produce, purchase rice, oatmeal, &c. to be distributed in its stead, according to his Lordship's benevolent intentions. Earl Fitzwilliam immediately sanctioned this judicious arrangement of Mr. Haigh. The fifty tons of flour shortly after arrived in Wicklow, and were immediately sent round to this port, where they were disposed of, and a consirable quantity of rice purchased, which is now shipping for Wicklow, where large purchases are making of oatmeal, &c. &c. (of which there is a vast quantity in the country, but held back partly for want of means in the people to buy at the high price demanded)-and thus that district of the country will instantly receive the great relief which must arise from such an act of munificence and benevolence as that of Lord Fitzwilliam. The distribution of the produce of so large a sum as 30007, must be of the greatest importance to the many suffering objects for whom it is destined, and the act will place the noble Eari conspicuously among those who have embarked in the cause of humanity in this period of general distress and embarrassinent."
Pope says, that he who erects an altar to God and not to fame, will take care not to commemorate his own name along with the deed. In other words, he would say, that the merit of the act is wholly lost by blazoning it forth to the world. And Jesus Christ had said, long before him, that in matters of charity the left hand ought not to know what the right hand did, which is one of the most simple, and at the same time, most beautiful and most forcible expressions that ever was made use of to describe the caution which men ought to use in keeping their acts of charity a secret from the world. I broadly assert that it is impossible that this account of your Lordship's donation should have found its way into print without your approbation. The circumstances stated in the publication could have been known to nobody but yourself and Mr. Haigh. From one of you, therefore, it must have proceeded to the press; and, it appears to me that no reasonable man will believe, that Mr. Haigh would have caused the publication to be made, unless with the approbation of your Lordship. What sums may have been distributed to those men who sell the columns of their papers for such purposes, and who measure out praise and slander by the inch or by the foot, I kmow not; but, I am fully of opinion, that if the sums expended to blazon forth this donation, had been added to the donation itself, it would have made thereunto a considerable addition, and would have been much better bestowed on the miserable families of the men whom your Lordship has assisted to cram into dungeons, than on the pampered and debauched minions of a press devoted to the Boroughmongers.
It is not, however, as an act of a private nature that I am to consider this donation. I am to consider it in connection with your Lordship's