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so much the strength of the democracy, as to endanger the other orders of the State; and so they charge its authors with promoting anarchy and rapine. Why, my Lords, have its authors nothing to fear from democratic spoliation? The fact is, that there are Members of the present Cabinet, who possess, one or two of them alone, far more property than any two administrations within my recollection; and all of them have ample wealth. I need hardly say, I include not myself, who have little or none. But even of myself I will say, that whatever I have depends on the stability of existing institutions; and it is as dear to me as the princely possessions of any amongst you. Permit me to say, that, in becoming a Member of your House, I staked my all on the aristocratic institutions of the State. I abandoned certain wealth, a large income, and much real power in the State, for an office of great trouble, heavy responsibility, and very uncertain duration. I
say, I gave up substantial
power for the shadow of it, and for distinction depending upon accident. I quitted the elevated station of Representative for Yorkshire, and a leading Member of the Commons. I descended from a position quite lofty enough to gratify any man's ambition; and my lot became bound
up in the stability of this House. Then, have I not a right to throw myself on your
justice, and to desire that you will not put in jeopardy all I have now left?
But the populace only, the rabble, the ignoble vulgar, are for the Bill? Then what is the Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal of England ? What the Duke of Devonshire? What the Duke of Bedford ? (Cries of Order from the Opposition.) I am aware it is irregular in any Noble Lord that is a friend to the measure; its adversaries are patiently suffered to call Peers even by their christian and surnames. Then I shall be as regular as they were, and ask, does my friend John Russell, my friend William Cavendish, my friend Harry Vane, belong to the mob, or to the Aristocracy? Have they no possessions ? Are they modern names ? Are they wanting in Norman blood, or whatever else you pride yourselves on? The idea is too ludicrous to be seriously refuted ;—that the Bill is only a favourite with the democracy, is a delusion so wild as to point a man's destiny towards St. Luke's. Yet many, both here and elsewhere, by dint of constantly repeating the same cry, or hearing it repeated, have almost made themselves believe that none of the nobility are for the measure. A Noble Friend of mine has had the curiosity to examine the List of Peers, opposing and supporting it, with re
spect to the dates of their creation, and the result is somewhat remarkable. A large majority of the Peers, created before Mr. Pitt's time, are for the Bill; the bulk of those against it are of recent creation; and if you divide the whole into two classes, those ennobled before the reign of George III. and those since, of the former, fiftysix are friends, and only twenty-one enemies, of the Reform. So much for the vain and saucy boast, that the real nobility of the country are against Reform. I have dwelt upon this matter more than its intrinsic importance deserves, only through my desire to set right the fact, and to vindicate the ancient Aristocracy from a most groundless imputation.
My Lords, I do not disguise the intense solicitude which I feel for the event of this Debate, because I know full well that the peace of the country is involved in the issue. I cannot look without dismay at the rejection of the measure. But grievous as may be the consequences temporary defeat-temporary it can only be; for its ultimate, and even speedy, success is certain. Nothing can now stop it.
Do not suffer yourselves to be persuaded, that even if the present Ministers were driven from the helm, any one could steer you through the troubles that surround you, without Reform. But our suc
cessors would take up the task in circumstances far less auspicious. Under them, you would be fain to grant a Bill, compared with which, the one we now proffer you is moderate indeed. Hear the parable of the Sybil ; for it conveys a wise and wholesome moral. She now appears at your gate, and offers you mildly the volumes -the precious volumes of wisdom and peace. The price she asks is reasonable; to restore the franchise, which, without any bargain, you ought voluntarily to give: you refuse her terms-her moderate terms—she darkens the porch no longer. But soon, for
you cannot do without her wares, you call her back; again she comes, but with diminished treasures; the leaves of the book are in part torn away by lawless handsin part defaced with characters of blood. But the prophetic maid has risen in her demands it is Parliament by the year—it is Vote by the Ballot—it is Suffrage by the Million! From this you turn away indignant, and for the second time she departs. Beware of her third coming; for the treasure you must have; and what price she may next demand, who shall tell? It may even be the mace which rests upon that Woolsack. What may follow your course of obstinacy, if persisted in, I cannot take upon me to predict, nor do I wish to conjecture. But this I know full well, that as sure as man is mortal,
and to err is human, justice deferred, enhances the price at which you must purchase safety and peace;—nor can you expect to gather in another crop, than they did, who went before you,
you persevere in their utterly abominable husbandry of sowing injustice and reaping rebellion.
But among the awful considerations that now bow down my mind, there is one which stands pre-eminent above the rest. You are the highest judicature in the realm; you sit here as judges, and decide all causes, civil and criminal, without appeal. It is a judge's first duty never to pronounce sentence, in the most trifling case, without hearing. Will you make this the exception? Are you really prepared to determine, but not to hear, the mighty cause upon which a nation's hopes and fears hang? You are. Then beware of your decision! Rouse not, I beseech you, a peace-loving, but a resolute people; alienate not from your body the affections of a whole empire. As your friend, as the friend of my order, as the friend of my country, as the faithful servant of my Sovereign, I counsel you to assist with your uttermost efforts in preserving the peace, and upholding and perpetuating the Constitution. Therefore, I pray and I exhort you not to reject