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      my grandmother? Sallie has one and Julia and Leonora each two,When the rumours of Mr. Drummond having been mistaken for Sir Robert Peel were spread abroad, it was impossible for zealous Conservatives to forget these things. If the assassin M'Naughten was mad, he was certainly mad about politics; one of the first utterances of his insane ravings when captured having been directed against the Tories of Glasgow. One witness, indeed, swore that on his being asked if he knew the gentleman shot at, M'Naughten replied, "It is Sir Robert Peel, is it not?" The Minister's life was not considered safe, and for some time two policemen in plain clothes followed him about in the street wherever he went. On the 17th of February, the fifth night of a debate in the Commons on the distress of the country, Mr. Cobden rose to speak, and in the course of his address alluded to an attempt made to identify the members of the Anti-Corn-Law League with a most odious, a most horrible transaction which had lately occurred; but in the conclusion of his speech, he said, "I tell the right honourable gentleman [Sir Robert Peel] that I, for one, care nothing for Whigs or Tories. I have said that I never will help to bring back the Whigs, but I tell him that the whole responsibility of the lamentable and dangerous state of the country rests with him." No outcry at these words, even among the Ministerial party, evinced that the House regarded them as overstepping the proper limits of debate. Loud cries for Mr. Bankes, the Dorsetshire landowner, who had been attacked in Mr. Cobden's speech, were the only party sounds uttered, but the Prime Minister was immediately seen to rise. It has been stated that he was "ill and harassed with public anxieties." He was certainly deeply moved by the loss of his valued and confidential friend, Mr. Drummond. His countenance, it is said, indicated extreme agitation, while by gesticulating, and violently striking an empty box before him, he succeeded[507] in obtaining the ear of the House. It was then that his audience perceived that the Minister regarded Mr. Cobden as pointing him out for the hand of the assassin.


      [80] La Jonquire au Ministre, 9 Oct. 1749. See Appendix B.[262] Penhallow. Temple and Sheldon, History of Northfield, 195.

      At length, on the 22nd of September, Lord John Russell, attended by Lord Althorp, and a great body of the most distinguished Reformers, appeared at the bar of the House of Lords, and handed the English Reform Bill to the Lord Chancellor, praying the concurrence of their Lordships. This scene has been made the subject of a great historical painting. The Bill, without any opposition or remark from any Conservative peer, was read a first time on the motion of Earl Grey, and ordered to be read a second time on Monday week. The debate on the second reading commenced on the 3rd of October, with a speech from Lord Greygrave, elaborate, earnest, and impressive; simple, yet dignified. He described his own efforts in regard to Parliamentary Reform, spoke of the changes which had of necessity attended his opinions on the subject, and of the circumstances which, at the close of his long career, when the conservative spirit is naturally strongest in every man, had led him to endeavour to put in practice the theories and speculations of his youth and manhood. Lord Eldon described the progress of the debate from day to day in letters to members of his family. Lord Dudley and Lord Haddington quite surprised and delighted the zealous old manthey spoke so admirably against the Bill. Lord Carnarvon delivered a most excellent speech; but Lord Plunket's speaking[339] disappointed him. The fifth night of the debate was occupied by the lawyers. Lord Eldonfollowing Lord Wynford and Lord Plunketsolemnly delivered his conscience on this momentous occasion. He was ill and weak, and being an octogenarian, he might be said to be speaking on the edge of the grave. He expressed his horror of the new doctrines which had been laid down with respect to the law of the country and its institutions. He could not consent to have all rights arising out of Charters, and all the rights of close boroughs, swept away. Boroughs, he contended, were both property and trust. Close corporations had as good a right to hold their charters under the Great Seal as any of their lordships had to their titles and their peerages. He said that he was a freeman of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; he had received his education in the corporation school of that town on cheap terms, as the son of a freeman; he had a right to it; and he had hoped that, when his ashes were laid in the grave, he might have given some memorandum that the boys there, situated as he was, might rise to be Lord Chancellors of England, if, having the advantage of that education, they were honest, faithful, and industrious. The closing night of the debate brought out the two most illustrious law lords in the House, who had long been rivals and competitors in the arenas of professional and political lifeLord Brougham and Lord Lyndhurst. Each was holding back in order to have the opportunity of replying to the other; but Lord Lyndhurst managed to have the last word, the more excitable Lord Chancellor having lost patience, and flung himself into the debate. He implored the House on his knees to pass the Bill. But the coup de thatre miscarried, owing to the obvious anxiety of his friends lest he should be thought to be suffering from too much mulled port.of humour.


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      [195] Apology for the Life of George Anne Bellamy, written by herself, II. 204 (London, 1786).Another way of preventing crimes is to interest the magistrates who carry out the laws in seeking rather to preserve than to corrupt them. The greater the number of men who compose the magistracy, the less danger will there be of their exercising any undue power over the laws; for venality is more difficult among men who are under the close observation of one another, and their inducement to increase their individual authority diminishes in proportion to the smallness of the share of it that can fall to each of them, especially when they compare it with the risk of the attempt. If the sovereign accustoms his subjects, by formalities and pomp, by severe edicts, and by refusal to hear the grievances, whether just or unjust, of the man who thinks himself oppressed, to fear rather the magistrates than the[250] laws, it will be more to the profit of the magistrates than to the gain of private and public security.

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      [305] "Que si M. de Lamothe-Cadillac lui portoit tant d'animositi, c'toit cause du refus qu'il avoit fait d'pouser sa fille."Bienville in Gayarr, i. 116.[8] Mmoire prsent M. de Ponchartrain par M. de Meneval, 6 Avril, 1691.


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