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ing its enemies abound. No sooner had Bondstreet escaped his lips than up comes a Petition to your Lordships from nearly all its shopkeepers, affirming that their sentiments have been misrepresented, for they are all champions of the Bill. My Noble Friend then says, “Oh, “ I did not mean the shopkeepers of Bond“street in particular; I might have said any “ other street, as St. James's, equally.” No sooner does that unfortunate declaration get abroad, than the shopkeepers of St. James'sstreet are up in arms, and forth comes a Petition similar to that from Bond-street. My Noble Friend is descried moving through Regent-street, and away scamper all the inhabitants, fancying that he is in quest of Anti-Reformers—sign a requisition to the churchwardens and the householders, one and all, declare themselves friendly to the Bill. Whither shall he go—what street shall he enter-in what alley shall he take refuge—since the inhabitants of every street, and lane, and alley, feel it necessary, in self-defence, to become signers and petitioners as soon as he makes his appearance among them? If, harrassed by Reformers on land, my Noble Friend goes down to the water, the thousand Reformers greet him, whose Petition (Lambeth) I this day presented to your Lordships. If he were to get into a hackney

coach, the very coachmen and their attendants would feel it their duty to assemble and petition. Wherever there is a street, an alley, a passage, nay, a river, a wherry, or a hackneycoach, these, because inhabited, become forbidden and tabooed to my Noble Friend. I may meet him, not on “ the accustomed hill,” for Hay-bill, though short, has some houses on its slope, but on the south side of Berkeleysquare, wandering “ remote, unfriended, me' lancholy, slow,"—for there he finds a street without a single inhabitant, and, therefore, without a single friend of the Bill. If, in despair, he shall fee from the town to seek the solitude of the country, still will he be pursued by cries of “ Petition, petition ! The Bill, the Bill!" His flight will be through villages placarded with “ The Bill”-his repose at inns holden by landlords, who will present him with the Bill; he will be served by Reformers in the guise of waiters—pay tribute at gates where Petitions lay for signing—and plunge into his own domains to be overwhelmed with the Sheffield Petition, signed by 10,400 friends of the Bill.

“ Me miserable! whither shall I fly
“ Infinite wrath and infinite despair ?
“ Which way I fy Reform – myself Reform!”

for this is the most serious part of the whole,

my Noble Friend is himself, after all, a Reformer. I mention this to show that he is not more a safe guide on matters of opinion than on matters of fact. He is a Reformer-he is not even a bit-by-bit Reformer—not even a gradual Reformer-but that which at any other time than the present would be called a wholesale and even a radical Reformer. He deems that no shadowy unsubstantial Reform—that nothing but an effectual remedy of acknowledged abuses, will satisfy the people of England and Scotland; and this is a fact to which I entreat the earnest and unremitting attention of every man who wishes to know what guides are safe to follow on this subject. Many now follow men who say that Reform is that Reform is necessary,

and ject to this Bill as being too large; that is, too efficient. This may be very incorrect; but it is worse ; it is mixed

it is mixed up with a gross delusion, which can never deceive the country; for I will now say, once for all, that every one argument which has been urged by those leaders is as good against moderate Reform as it is against this Bill. Not a single reason they give, not a topic they handle, not an illustration they resort to, not a figure of speech they use, not even à flower they fling about, that does not prove or illustrate the position of “ No Reform. All their speeches, from beginning to end, are rail

yet ob


ing against the smallest as against the greatest change, and yet all the while they call themselves Reformers ! Are they then safe guides for any man who is prepared to allow any Reform, however moderate, of any abuse, however glaring?

I am challenged to prove that the present system, as regards the elective franchise, is not the ancient Parliamentary Constitution of the country-upon pain, says my Noble and Learned Friend,* of judgment going against me if I remain silent. My Lords, I will not keep silence, neither will I answer in my own person, but I will refer you to a higher authority, the highest known in the law, and in its best days, when the greatest lawyers were the greatest patriots. Here is the memorable report of the Committee of the Commons, in 1623-4, of which Committee Mr. Sergeant Glanville was the Chairman, of which Report he was the author. Among its Members were the most celebrated names in the law-Coke, and Selden, and Finch, and Noy, afterwards Attorney-General, and of known monarchical principles. The first Resolution is this:

· There being no certain custom, nor pre

* Lord Wynford

scription, who should be electors, and who “ not, we must have recourse to common right,

which, to this purpose, was held to be, that

more than the freeholders only ought to have “ voices in the election ; namely, all men, inha

bitants, householders, rasiants within the “ borough.”

What then becomes of the doctrine that our Bill is a mere innovation—that by the old law of England, inhabitant householders had no right to vote--that owners of burgage tenements, and freemen of corporations, have in all times exclusively had the franchise? Burgage tenants, it is true, of old had the right, but in the

, way I have already described—not as now, the nominal and fictitious holders for an hour merely for election purposes, but the owners of each-the real and actual proprietors of the tenement. Freemen never had it at all, till they usurped upon the inhabitants, and thrust them out. But every bouseholder voted in the towns without regard to value, as before the 8th of Henry VI. every freeholder voted without regard to value in the counties not merely £10. householders, as we propose to restrict the right, but the holder of a house worth a shilling, as much as he whose house was worth a thousand pounds. But I have been appealed to; and I will take

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