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storm, plague, tide,
Nic Ward was unfortunately smoor'd in a draw-well in his father's own backside d."
Deem not devoid of elegance the wight, Who wastes o'er toils like these his taper's light,
And, distant from the noisy haunts of mirth,
Now dries bis musty folios on the hearth;
And sifts the sand, to gain the golden ore:
Till the rich metal yield to the design.
Nor small the joy with eager eye to catch Some clinching date, or prove some dubious match;
To solve each doubt, make stubborn facts
Untwist the linked bouts of pedigree;
Quote-fearless quote, the Parish Register!
To some sequester'd grot, some long lost
Calypso's f Isle, by silver seas embrac'd,
The place of execution near Durham.
See St. Nicholas's Register, Durham.
e How pleasing wears the wintry night,
The name of this retired nymph "not obvious, not obtrusive, she" is derived from *«λʊтw to conceal, to hide; and she evidently means nothing more than the veiled Goddess of Antiqeity personified. She is also termed δια θεάων δ' ποτνια, to siguify the refined and elevated nature of the studies over which she presides.
See with what appropriate feeling the antiquary recommends rust as the panacea for every disorder.
h Parish Registers were first introduced by an order of Thomas Lord Cromwell, 1538; but they did not come generally into use until the reign of Queen Elizabeth, who issued injunctions concerning them, in the 1st, 7th, and 39th years of her reign. Oliver Cromwell was particularly careful of Parish Registers; and a person was elected in each parish for the express purpose of keeping them; which makes a writer in the Elwick Register with great feeling exclaim, "Maryinge by justices, election of registers by parishioners, and the use of ruling elders, first came into fashion in the time of rebellion, under that monster of nature, and bludy tyrant, Oliver Cromwell ! !" i A thin pedigree, in antiquarian language, is thus denominated.
The Coles of Gateshead, originally blacksmiths, afterwards baronets and owners of Branspeth Castle.
1 Baron Ravensworth. This family, like many others of the greatest respectability in the county, were originally merchants at Newcastle.
SPEECH OF THE RIGHT HON. GEORGE CANNING.
The following is an abstract of the Speech delivered by the Right Hon. George Canning, on Saturday the 18th ult. at the Music Hall, in Boldstreet, Liverpool; where nearly 200 gentlemen had met, for the purpose of celebrating the re-election of their distinguished Representative. The sentiments adduced are so congenial to our own, that it is with cousiderable satisfaction we record them:
"GENTLEMEN,-Short as the interval is since I last met you in this place on a similar occasion, the events which have filled up that interval have not been unimportant. The great moral disease which we then talked of as gaining ground on the community, has, since that period, arrived at its most extravagant height; and, since that period also, remedies have been applied to it, if not of permanent cure, at least of temporary mitigation.
"Gentlemen, it has been one advantage of the transactions of the last Session of Parliament, that while they were addressed to meet the evils which had grown out of charges heaped upon the House of Commons, they have also, in a great measure, falsified the charges themselves. I would appeal to the recollection of every man who now hears me, of any the most careless estimator of public sentiment, or the most indifferent spectator of public events, whether any country, in any two epochs, however distant, of its history, ever presented such a contrast with itself as this country in November 1819, and this country in January 1820 ?
"What was the situation of the country in November 1819? Do I exaggerate when I say, that there was not a man of property who did not tremble for his possessions? that there was not a man of retired and peaceable habits who did not tremble for the tranquillity and security of his home?
"Well, Gentlemen, and what has intervened between the two periods? A calling of that degraded Parliament, a meeting of that scoffed-at and derided House of Commons, a concurrence of those three branches of an imperfect constitution, not one of which, if we are to believe the Radical Reformers, lived in the hearts, or swayed the feelings, or commanded the respect of the Nation; but which, despised as they were when they were in a state of separation and inaction, did, by a cooperation of four short weeks, restore order, confidence, a reverence for the laws, and a just sense of their own legitimate authority.
"Another event, indeed, has intervened,
in itself of a most painful nature, but
Sovereign, with whose person all that is
"Every effort has been industriously employed to persuade the Country, that their liberties have been essentially abridged by the regulation of popular meetings. Against that one of the measures passed by Parliament it is that the attacks of the Radical Reformers have been particularly directed. Gentlemen, the first answer to this averment is, that the Act leaves untouched all the constitutional modes of assembly which have been known to the Nation since it became free. We are fond of dating our freedom from the Revolution. I should be glad to know, in what period since the Revolution (up to a very late period indeed, which I will specify), in what period of those reigns growing out of the Revolution-I mean, of the first reigns of the House of Brunswick-did it enter into the head of man, that such meetings could be holden, or that the Legislature would tolerate the holding of such meetings, as disgraced the country for six months previous to the last Session of Parliament? When, therefore, it is asserted, that such meetings were never before suppressed, the simple answer is, they were never before attempted.
"I verily believe, the first meeting of the kind that was ever called (I know of noue anterior to it) was that called by Lord George Gordon, in St.George's-fields, in the year 1780, which ended in the demolition of chapels and dwelling-houses, the breaking of prisons, and the conflagration of London. Was England never free till 1780? Did British Liberty spring to light from the ashes of the Metropolis ? What was there no Freedom in the reign George of George the Second? None in that of
George the First? None in the reign of Queen Aone or of King William? Beyond the Revolution I will not go; but 1 have always heard, that British Liberty was established long before the commencement of the late reign; nay, that in the late reign (according to popular politicians) it rather sunk and retrograded; and yet, never till that reign was such an abuse of popular meetings dreamt of, much less erected into a right not to be questioned by Magistrates, and not to be controlled by Parliament.
"Do I deny, then, the general right of the people to meet, to petition, or to deliberate upon their grievances? God forbid! But right is not a simple, abstract, positive, unqualified term. Rights are in the same individual to be compared with his duties; and rights in one person are to be balanced with the rights of others. Now let us take the right to meet in its most extended construction. The persons who called the meeting at Manchester tell you, that they had a right to collect together countless multitudes to discuss the question of Parliamentary Reform: to collect them when they would, and where they would, without consent of Magistrates, or concurrence of inhabitants, or reference to the comfort and convenience of the neighbourhood. Now may not the peaceable, the industrious inhabitant of Manchester say, "I have a right to quiet in my house; I have a right to carry on my manufactory, on which not my existence only and that of my children, but that of my workmen and their numerous families depends. I have a right to be protected in the exercise of this my lawful calling. I have a right to be protected, not against violence and plunder only, against fire and sword, but against the terror of these calamities, and against the risk of those inflictions; against the intimidation or seduction of my workmeu; against the distraction of that attention and the disturbance of that industry, without which neither they nor 1 can gain our livelihood. I call upon the laws to afford me that protection and if the laws in this country cannot afford it, ́depend upon it, I and my manufactures must migrate to some country where they can.' Here is a couflict of rights, between which, what is the decision? Which of the two claims is to give way? Can any reasonable being doubt? Can any honest man hesitate? Let private justice or public expediency decide, and can the decision by possibility be other than that the peaceable and industrious shall be protected, the turbulent and mischievous put down?
"It is not in consonance, but in contradiction to the spirit of the law, that such
meetings have been holden. The Law prescribes a corporate character. The callers of these meetings have always studiously avoided it. No summons of freeholders-none of freemen-none of the inhabitants of particular places or parishes-no acknowledgment of local or political classification. Just so at the beginning of the French Revolution: the first work of the Reformers was to loosen every established political relation, every legal holding of man to man, to destroy every corporation, to disperse every settled class of society, and to reduce the nation into individuals, in order, afterwards, to congregate them into mobs. How monstrous it is to confound such meetings with the genuine and recognized modes of collecting the sense of the English people! Was it by meetings such as these that the Revolution was brought about, the great event to which our antagonists are so fond of referring? Was it by a meeting in St. George's-fields? in Spa-fields? in Smithfield? Was it by untold multitudes collected in a village in the North? No; it was by meetings of corporations in their corporate capacity; by the assembly of recognized bodies of the State; by the interchange of opinions among portions of the community known to each other, and capable of estimating each other's views and characters. we want a more striking mode of remedying grievances than this? Do we require a more animating example? And did it remain for the Reformers of the present day to strike out the course by which alone Great Britain could make and keep herself free?
"Gentlemen, all power is, or ought to be, accompanied by responsibility. Tyranny is irresponsible power. This definition is equally true, whether the power be lodged in one or many; whether in a despot, exempted by the form of government from the controul of law; or in a mob, whose numbers put them beyond the reach of law. Idle, therefore, and absurd to talk of freedom where a mob do. mineers! Idle, therefore, and absurd to talk of liberty, when you hold your property, perhaps your life, not indeed at the nod of a despot, but at the will of an in. flamed, an infuriated populace! If, therefore, during the reign of terror at Manchester or at Spa-fields, there were persons in this country who had a right to complain of tyranny, it was they who loved the Constitution, who loved the Monarchy, but who dared not utter their opinions or their wishes until their houses were barricadoed, and their children sent to a place of safety. That was tyranny! and, so far as the mobs were under the controul of a leader, that was despotism!
"The House of Commons may, for the purpose of this argument, be considered in two views: first, with respect to its agency as a third part in the Constitution; secondly, with respect to its composition, in relation to its constituents. As to its agency as a part of the Constitution, I venture to say, without hazard, as I believe, of contradiction, that there is no period in the history of this country in which the House of Commons will be found to have occupied so large a share of the functions of Government, as at present. Whatever else may be said of the House of Commons, this one point, at least, is indisputable, that from the earliest infancy of the Constitution, the power of the House of Commons has been growing till it has almost, like the rod of Aaron, absorbed its fellows. I am not saying whether this is or is not as it ought to be. I merely mean to say why I think that it cannot be intended to complain of the want of power, and of a due share in the Government in the House of Commons.
"I admit, however, very willingly, that the greater share of power it exercises, the more jealous we ought to be of its composition; and I presume, therefore, that it is in this respect, and in relation to its constituents, that the state of the House of Commons is contended to want revision. Well, then, at what period of our history was the composition of the House of Commons materially different from what it is at present? Is there any period of our history in which the rights of election were not as various, and in which the influence of property was not as direct, in which recommendations of candidates were not as efficient, and some boroughs as close, as they are now? I ask for information: but that information, plain and simple as it is, and necessary, one should think, to a clear understanding, much more, to a grave decision of the point at issue, I never, though soliciting it with all humility, have ever yet been able to obtain from any Reformer, Radical or Whig.
"The Radical Reformer, indeed, to do him justice, is not bound to furnish me with an answer to this question, because, with his view of the matter, precedents (except one which I shall mention pre
sently) have nothing to do. The Radical Reformer would probably give to my first question an answer very different from that which I have supposed his moderate brother to give. He will tell me fairly, not that he means to bring the House of Commons back either to the share of power which it formerly enjoyed, or to the modes of election by which it was formerly returned, but to make it what, according to him, it ought to be, a direct, effectual representative of the people; representing them not as a delegate commissioned to take care of their interests, but as a deputy appointed to speak their will. Now, to this view of the matter I bave no other objection than this-that the British Constitution is a limited Monarchy; that a limited Monarchy is, in the nature of things, a mixed Government; but that such a House of Commons as the Radical Reformer requires, would, in effect, constitute a pure democracy, with which I am at a loss to understand how any Monarchy, or any limitation could co-exist. I may have great respect for the person who theoretically prefers a Republick to a Monarchy.
If Government be a matter of will, all we have to do is to collect the will of the Nation, and, having collected it by an adequate organ, that will is paramount and supreme. By what shadow of argu ment could the House of Lords be main. tained in equal authority and jurisdiction with the House of Commons, when once that House of Commons should become a mere deputation, speaking the people's will, and that will the rule of the Government? In one way or other the House of Lords must act, if it be to remain a concurrent branch of the Legislature. Either it must uniformly affirm the measures which come from the Commons, or it must occasion. ally take the liberty to reject them. If it uniformly affirm, it is without the pretence of authority. But to presume to reject an act of the deputies of the whole Nation !-by what assumption of right could three or four hundred great proprietors set themselves against the National will? Grant the Reformers, then, what they ask, on the principles on which they ask it, and it is utterly impossible that, after such a Reform, the Constitution should long consist of more than one body, and that one body a popular assembly.
"Why, Gentlemen, is this theory? or is it a theory of mine? If there be among those who hear me (as any man in the generous enthusiasm of youth may blamelessly have been) auy man who has been bitten by the doctrines of Reform, I implore him, before he goes forward in his progress to embrace those doctrines in their radical extent, to turn to the history of the transactions in this country in the
year 1648, and to examine the bearings of those transactions on this very question of Radical Reform. He will find, Gentle. men, that the House of Commons of that day passed the following Resolution:
Resolved, That the people are, under God, the original of all just power!'
"Well, can any sentiment be more just and reasonable? Is it not the foundation of all the liberties of mankind? Be it so. Let us proceed. The House of Commons followed up this Resolution by a second, which runs in something like these terms:
"Resolved, That the Commons of England assembled in Parliament, being chosen by and representing the people, have the supreme authority of this Nation.'
"In this Resolution a leap is taken from the premises of the Radical Reform ers to a conclusion which I know not how they are to deny, especially with such a precedent before them. But the inference did not stop there. The House of Commons proceeded to resolve (and I wish I could see the logical discrepancy between the premises and the conclusion), "That whatsoever is enacted and declared law by the Commons of England assembled in Parliament, hath the force of law, and binds the people of England, without the consent and concurrence of the Lords or of the Crown.'
"Such was the theoretical inference of the House of Commons in 1648, the logical dependance of which upon the pres mises laid down by them, I say, I should be glad to see logically disproved. The practical inferences were not tardy in their arrival, after the theory. In a few weeks the House of Lords was voted useless; and in a few more we all know what became of the Crown.
"Such, I say, were the radical doc trines of 1648, and such the consequences to which they naturally led. If we are induced to admit the same premises now, who is it, I should be glad to know, that is to guarantee us against similar conclusions?
"I have no sort of objection to doing, as Parliament has often done (supposing always the case to be proved), to disfranchising a borough, and rendering it incapable of abusing its franchise in future. I will take away a franchise, because it has been practically abused, not because I am at all prepared to inquire into the origin, or to discuss the utility of all such franchises, any more than I mean to inquire, Gentlemen, into your titles to your estates. Disfranchising Grampound (if that is to be so), I mean to save Old Sarum.
"I am for the House of Commons as a part and not as the whole of the Government. And, as a part of the Government,
I hold it to be frantic to suppose that, from the election of Members of Parliament, you can altogether exclude, by any contrivance, even if it were desirable to do so, the influence of property, rank, talents, family connexion, and whatever else, in the radical language of the day, is considered as intimidation or corruption. I believe, that if a Reform to the extent of that demanded by the Radical Reformers were granted, you would, before an annual election came round, find that there were new connexions grown up which you must again destroy, new influence acquired which you must dispossess of its authority, and that in these fruitless attempts at unattainable purity you were working against the natural current of human nature.
"I would have by choice-if the choice were yet to be made—I would have in the House of Commons great variety of interests, and I would have them find their way by a great variety of rights of election; satisfied that uniformity of election would produce any thing but a just representation of various interests. As to the close boroughs, I know that through them have found their way into the House of Commons men whose talents have been an honour to their kind, and whose names are interwoven with the history of their country. I cannot think that system altogether vicious which has produced such fruits. I cannot think that there should be but one road into that assembly, or that no man should be presumed fit for the deliberation of a Senate, who has not bad the nerves previously to face the storms of the bustings.
"But, Gentlemen, though the question of Reform is made the pretext of those persons who have vexed the country for some months, I verily believe that there are very few even of them who either give credit to their own exaggerations, or care much about the improvements which they recommend. Why, do we not see that the most violent of the Reformers of the day are aiming at seats in that Assembly which, according to their own theories, they should have left to wallow in its own pollution, discountenanced and unredeemed? It is true, that if they had found their way there, they might have endeavoured to bring us to a sense of our misdeeds, and to urge us to redeem our character by some self-condemning ordinance: but would not the authority of their names, as our associates, have more than counterbalanced the force of their eloquence as our Reformers?
"But, Gentlemen, I am for the whole Constitution. The Liberty of the Subject as much depends on the maintenance of the Constitutional Prerogatives of the Crown, on the acknowledgment of the