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discussed was the conduct of the though in respect to this part of its
government of Ireland in the crisis business, happily it had not proved
of 1797 and 1798. Was this so a land of performance)-how did it
slight a question that it might be happen that he omitted that which
treated collaterally? Would the mo- principally marked the session ? He
tion before the house, which, with really wondered that some of the
all its alterations and additions, and honourable and learned gentle.
blots and un-erased pencil marks man's friends did not insist upon
-among all the many topics which inserting a paragraph upon this sub-
it touched, said not one word about ject. How could they have con-
this would the motion reconcile sented to acknowledge this as a true
the house to the conduct of the Irish picture of the session, which omit-
government ?-But in the motion, ted the most characteristic feature?
with all its complicated alterations, How could they acknowledge this
one thing had escaped the various portrait, in which the nose was left
heads which had been concerned in out?- It might be said of this mo-
framing it. No allusion was made tion, what the poet had said
in it to that which occupied no “ Authors lose half the praise they would
small portion of the attention of the
house, and of which the house had Did readers know but half of what they

blot."
in his opinion most properly dis-
posed ;-namely, the numerous pe-. No man who had seen the ma-
titions for parliamentary reform. nuscript of this unfortunate motion
When the unfortunate historian so could miss observing, that it was
often alluded to, who in future even more remarkable by what it.
times undertakes the task of record- left out, than by what it contained.
ing the events of these days, should, but it was easy to guess why no-
for an account of the business of the thing was said about parliamentary
session now closing, refer to the volu- reform. There were many grada.
minous epitome of the honourable tions among the reformers. There
and learned gentleman, how would was first the honourable baronet
he be disappointed! Not one word (sir Francis Burdett), who stood
about those numerous petitions for forward for annual parliaments and
reform, of the contents of which it - universal suffrage, as established by
might be said,

Hugo the Great, first conqueror of Facies non omnibus una,

the Picts—who, while he built the Nec diversa tamen," &c.

wall with one hand, established unithese petitions framed after one pat. versal suffrage and annual parliatern, which all bore the stamp and ments with the other. But the Humark of that hand which was so gonists had more recent antagobusy in the metropolis, touching nists, who formed the second class the springs and wires which gave and the third class, among whom motion to the sentient puppets in

was the honourable and learned the distant quarters of the kingdom. gentleman, who scouted the doce How did it happen that the ho. trines of the Hugonists and others, nourable and learned gentleman, with more ridicule and contempt when from the Pisgah of the last than he (Mr. C.) could venture to day of the session he took a retro- use towards such respectable au.' spect of that land of promise (for thorities. When all these differ60 he had termed the late sessions, ences were considered, it would be:

less

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less surprising that nothing was said At two o'clock the lord chancel. in the motion about parliamentary lor took his seat on the woolsack, reform. But there was a graver and in half an hour the discharge objection to the motion—that it con- of 21 guns announced the arrival of tained not one word about the deci- his soyal highness the prince resion of the house to return the con- gent, who, after the usual formalie stitution form and unimpaired. This ties in the robing chamber, entered was the proudest feature in the sesa the house, and took his seat near the sion. Not one word was said as to throne. what the house had done towards Shortly afterwards the speaker of retrenchment. The total abolition the house of commons, very nume. of sinecures, against which the cry rously attended by the members of of the people was so distinctly that house, entered the house, and adheard, and so implicitly attended vanced to the bar; the usher of the to by the legislature, was also en- black rod being on his right, and tirely omitted in the motion. The the sergeant at arms on his left. honourable and learned gentleman The speaker then addressed his thought the exhilarating prospects royal highness in a short speech, in of the country at this time were which he look a review of the busifallacious, and therefore they were ness of the session; and, in concluunnoticed. What was the state of sion, presented to his royal highthe country in January last ?- Was ness a bill, entitled “an act for apit not that then

plying certain moneys therein men. u Good men look sad, but ruffians dance tioned for the service of the year and sing?"

1817; and for further appropriating But now how has the prospect the supplies granted in this session altered? The words of the poet of parliament." were now reversed. The ruffian At the conclusion of this speech was now abashed, and good men the lord chancellor received the bill, danced and sung. In this state of to which the royal assent was given. things the house was to separate, His royal highness the prince reand they might go boldly forth to gent then read his speech, of which meet their constituents, satisfied that the following is a copy:they had done their duty, and “My lords and gentlemen, justified in telling them that this 6 1 cannot close this session of happy change, the proceedings of parliament, without renewing my the house in the late session bad expressions of deep regret at the mainly under Providence contri. continuance of his majesty's lament. buted to effect.

ed indisposition. The diligence

, Mr. Brougham replied.

with which you have applied your. After a few explanatory words selves to the consideration of the from Mr. Canning and Mr. Hus- different objects which I recom kisson, the motion was negatived mended to your attention at the without a division.

commencement of the session, dea July 12.- This being the day ap- mands my warmest acknowledge pointed for the prorogation of pare ments; and I have no doubt that liament, this house, as is usual on the favourable change which is hapsuch occasions, was crowded to ex, pily taking place in our internal sia cess at an early hour, both within iuation, is to be mainly ascribed to and without the bar,

the salutary measures which you

have adopted for preserving the in a degree, to be ascribed to the public tranquillity, and to your unfavourable state of the last sea. ready adherence to those principles son, and I look forward with sanby which the constitution, resources, guine expectations to its gradual imand credit of the country have been provement. hitherto preserved and maintained. “My lords and gentlemen,-The Notwithstanding the arts and indus- measures which were in progress at try which have been too successfully the commencement of the session, exerted in some parts of the country for the issue of a new silver cointo alienate the affections of his ma. age, have been carried into execujesty's subjects, and to stimulate tion in a manner which has given them to acts of violence and insur- universal satisfaction; and, to comrection, I have had the satisfaction plete the system which has been ef receiving the most decisive proofs sanctioned by parliament, a gold of the loyalty and public spirit of coinage of a new denomination has the great body of the people; and been provided for the convenience the patience with which they have of the public. I continue to receive sustained the most severe temporary from foreign powers the strongest distress, cannot be too highly com- assurances of their friendly dispomended. I am fully sensible of the sition towards this countıy, and of confidence which you have mani. their desire to preserve the general fested towards me, by the extraor. tranquillity. The prospect of an dinary powers which you have abundant harvest throughout a conplaced in my hands: the necessity siderable part of the continent, is which has called for them, is to me in the highest degree satisfactory. matter of deep regret; and you may This happy dispensation of Provin rely on my making a temperate bucdence cannot fail to mitigate, if not efféctual use of them, for the pro- wholly to remove, that pressure unrection and security of his majes. der which so many of the nations of ty's loyal subjects.

Europe have been suffering in the « Gentlemen of the house of com- course of last year; and I trust that mons, I thank you for the supplies we may look forward, in conses which you have granted to me; and quence, to an improvement in the for the laborious investigation which, commercial relations of this and of at my recommendation, you have all other countries. I cannot allow made into the state of the income you to separate without recom. and expenditure of the country. It mending to you, that upon your rehas given me sincere pleasure, to turn to your several counties, you find that you have been enabled to should use your utmost endeavours provide for every branch of the to defeat all attempts to corrupt and public service without any addition mislead the lower classes of the to the burthens of the people. The comnunity; and that you should state of public credit affords a deci. lose no opportunity of inculcating sive proof of the wisdom and expe- amongst them that spirit of concord diency, under all the present cir- and obedience to the laws, which is cumstances, of those financial ar. not less essential to their happiness rangements which you have adopt- as individuals, than it is indispensa. ed. I have every reason to believe, ble to the general welfare and prothat the deficiency in the revenue is, 'sperity of the kingdom.”

The

The lord chancellor then read His royal highness now withthe commission for proroguing the drew, and the commons retired parliament till the 25th of August from the bar. next,

CHAPTER VI.

State of Agriculture, Manufactures and Commerce, during the Year 1817

-Distress of the labouring Classes-Plans for their Relief-Poor Laws -Emigration, internal state and circum- sand millions,-a sum almost be

of stances of a country present more yond the grasp of the imagination, ample and interesting materials for or the power of numbers; an ex. the annalist and historian, than any penditure of nearly sixty millions thing connected with or resulting annually; many of the sources of refrom its foreign relations : This venue dried up, --some of them cerremark is most strictly applicable tainly for ever; and others, though to Great Britain. If, indeed, we ad. they may partially recover, yet canvert to the short time which has not flow as abundantly and regular. elapsed since France was under the ly as they formerly did; want of empower of Bonaparte ;-since his ployment, and consequent misery, ambition and talents, aided by the the lot of a very large proportion military ardour and success of the of the agricultural and manufacturFrench nation, had reduced nearly ing classes; the poor-rates, though the whole of the continent of Eu- raised within forty years from about rope, directly or indirectly, under one million to nearly eight millions, his sway,—we might be disposed to totally inadequate to the support of think that our attention would still those who claim them; disaffection be most anxiously and deeply fixed spreading among those who are on the probabilities of the continued thus distressed, and too many ready repose of France, and consequent- to take advantage of their distresses ly of Europe. This, undoubtedly, to rouse them into open acts of re. is: an interesting, and momentous sistance to the government. Such question; and it is one which are the features in the state of our would probably fill our thoughts country at the conclusion of the and anticipations, almost to the ex. second French revolutionary war, clusion of every other, were it not that must catch the eye and occupy that our own country's situation was the thoughts of the most careless ob so critical, or rather so unparalleled server. either in its own history or in the Such being the internal state of history of any other nation. The the country, it will easily be per. state in which it has been left at the ceived that a more full and detailed termination of a most arduous, obs- development of it is the para

a tinate, protracted, but successful mount duty of the annalist and bis. warfare, may be cold in a few torian. He will of course not neg. lect to pourtray the relations which that has taken place during the last his own country bears to other coun- two years. It was supposed, if the tries, especially when he reflects price of the necessaries of life fell that on their continuing to be ami- mif corn and cattle were reduced cable or of an opposite character, to what were called their peace must depend the amelioration, or prices—that the country would be the increase of the evils under which nefit much ; that the great mass of it labours.

lect unable

the people would be the gainers With these impressions we have that our manufacturers would be entered into a pretty detailed ac- enabled to sell their goods cheaper, count of the state of the agricul. the price of labour falling with the ture, manufactures, and commerce price of provisions—and that the of Britain, ever since she has ceased only drawback to all this good, to be at war; and in this volume we would be the temporary and very shall pursue the same plan. limited distress of the farmer. This

We shall begin with the state of opinion, though plausible, has been agriculture, or rather of the agri- put to the proof, and found utterly cultural interests, during the cur- erroneous :-- All kinds of agrirency of the year 1817. Till within cultural produce fell rapidly and the last half century, when Britain greatly in price; but the beneficial began to be distinguished for the consequences did not take place : extent and improvements of her on the contrary, woeful experience. manufactures, and the consequent convinced many, who had eagerly importance of her commerce, it was looked forward for peace prices, a favourite position with her politic that it was better for them to have cians and political æconomists, that full employment at good wages, agriculture was of much more im- even though bread and other kinds portance to a state, than manufac. of provisions were dear, than to see tures or commerce; the reverse po- the necess

essaries of life cheap, while, sition was afterwards maintained; from want of employment, they but we are much mistaken, if the were unable to purchase them. In circumstances in which the country fact, this conviction was wrought in has been placed during the last their minds: That cheapness and two years, have not had a tendency dearness depend as much on the to reconvert her politicans and po- ability of a person to purchase, as litical economists to their former on the price demanded for any ardoctrine. This at least is certain ; ticle ; and that bread may in reality during the two revolutionary wars be very dear in France, or any other in which Britain has been engaged, country, at one penny a pound, if her manufactures and commerce the earnings of the labourer are rehave sustained at least three or four duced in a greater ratio. very severe shocks, and from them

The distress arising from the dehave proceeded great pecuniary dif- pression of the agricultural interests, ficulties, as well as much misery was first felt in those villages, the among the labouring classes : but shopkeepers, &c. of which entirely these difficulties and this misery or mainly depended for their trade were light, and of small extent or on the demands of the farmers duration, compared with those and their labourers: but those shopwhich desolated the land in con- keepers, no longer receiving so sequence of the agricultural distress much from their customers, were

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