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drunkenness, from any liquor ex- performing his duty, would fail to cept claret or champagne. If mo- punish him, Mr. Brougham anrality was to be enforced by act of swered, that he had not the good Parliament, let the law be impar- fortune to be cducated at the unitial, and not punish the poor or versity which was so worthily reilliterate for a crime less pardon- presented by the hon. baronet. It able in the rich and educated, whom was, indeed, well replied by Dr. it spared. Why should a man be Johnson to a lady who inquired of fined for getting drunk from gin or him to which university she should spirits, and not from claret or cham- send her son—"Why, madam, I pagne ? He should like to see,
can only say
that there is an equal however the law might say that quantity of port drunk at each.” He there was to be no distinction of was perfectly aware that a higher persons in those cases, the justice authority than the act of James 1st of peace or magistrate who would denounced drunkenness, but the diffine a knight of the shire, or in- ference was, that that high audependent member of an indepen- thority made no distinction of perdent borough, who, in the morning, sons, whereas the act of James did. might possibly be brought before He put it to the hon. baronet to him in a state presenting a good say, whether he could point out one imitation of the odious and ungodly instance of a member of either crime of drunkenness, which called House of Parliament having been down the wrath of the moral legisla- punished for tippling? Sir Robert tors of the enlightened times of repeated, that, if Mr. Brougham James 1st. Sir Robert Inglis have would only go into the street drunk, ing remarked, that it was a higher he would soon find that he was authority than that of James 1st, liable to punishment. Then, said which had denounced drunkenness, Mr. Brougham, it would be grossly and that even if Mr. Brougham unfair ; for there are thousands of himself were found in the street in gentlemen, in the same situation, a state of inebriety, no magistrate, who are never noticed.
CH AP. IV.
Plan of Reform introduced by the Marquis of Blandford-Proposal
to transfer to Birmingham the Franchise of East Retford, rejected, and the Franchise extended to the adjoining Hundred--Petition against the Duke of Newcastle for interfering in an election-Lord John Russell's Bill for giving Members to Leeds, Manchester, and Birmingham--Mr. O'Connell's Bill for Reform by Universal Suffrage, and Vote by Ballot --Speech of Mr. Brougham on the BallotResolutions on Reform moved by Lord John Russell, Bill brought in to repeal the Civil Disabilities affecting Jews-It is thrown out on the Second Reading.
state of the Representation took up the common ground, that, was brought before the House of in progress of time, the House of Commons in various forms. It has Commons had ceased to be framed already been mentioned that reso as the essential principles and earlier lutions, pledging the House forth- practice of the constitution required with to employ themselves in the that it should be framed. This work of reform, had been moved as had arisen from represented places an amendment to the address by falling into decay on the one hand, the marquis of Blandford. The while, on the other, wealthy and marquis had been a violent opponent populous towns, which had sprung of the Catholic bill; he had seen up in the mean time, remained unthat bill carried in defiance of represented. He professed that his public opinion, by a parliament object was, to restore the fundawhich changed its sentiments at mental principles of Representation, the nod of the minister, and from as they had been established in the that moment he had become a days of Henry III., and the three fiery and reckless reformer, fre. Edwards. He proposed that a quently forcing forward the ques committee should be chosen by tion, against the wishes and advice ballot, to take a review of all boof its longer tried and more expe- roughs and cities in the kingilom, rienced patrons, and never distin- and report to the Secretary for the guished by moderation in his Homc Department those among schemes. The amendment which them which had fallen into decay, he had moved on the address, and or had, in any manner, forseited which he had pressed to a hopeless their right to representation, on the division, contrary to the entreaties principles of the English constituof the leading reformers, only ex tion, as anciently recognized by pressed generally the necessity of national and parliamentary usage. reform: but shortly afterwards (on The Home Secretary was to be the 18th of Februany,) he brought bound to act immediately on this
report, and relieve all such places statute-book. Some would be disfrom the burthen of sending mem covered in Magna Charta, some in bers to parliament in future ; and the act for fixing the qualifications the fact of their having thus ceased of burgesses, and the rest in various to elect representatives being an- other parts of the parliamentary nounced in the Gazette, the va records of the kingdom, which it cancies should be filled up by towns would not be difficult to specify which had hitherto been unrepre- seriatim, if such minuteness were sented. All elections should be required. But there was an agby persons paying scot and lot. gregate of constitutional authority Another part of his plan was, to re in abundance. He therefore moved vive what he deemed a wholesome for leave to bring in a bill, to reexpedient in itself, and conformable store the constitutional influence to ancient practice, when the con of the House of Commons. stitution was in its vigour, viz. the In the short debate which folcustom of paying wages to members lowed, all the speaking, withi the for their attendance in parliament. exception of what fell from Mr. This was a provision which, he Twiss and Mr. Secretary Peel, thought, would be a material pre- was among the reformers, and they ventive of abuses. He proposed could by no means agree among to extend the right of voting to themselves how to receive the all copyholders and leaseholders, noble marquis's most crude and unand place the representation of intelligible proposal. The safest Scotland on the same footing with plan seemed to them to be, to that of England. The members, repeat the common-places on the too, should be chosen from among general question, and allow the bill the inhabitants of the places for to be brought in, whatever might which they were returned. He be done with it afterwards. Thus had, of course, no intention of pro Mr. Pendarvis announced his conposing that any compensation should viction of the necessity of reform, be given to the proprietors of bo- but declared that he was not preroughs, because it was a species of pared to go all the lengths of the property which the constitution did measure now before the House. not recognize. In being deprived Mr. Benett could not promise the of it, they would merely be deprived marquis his unconditional support, of what they ought never to have but hoped the bill would be allowed possessed. Nevertheless, if this to be introduced, and then it might avowal should interfere with the be moulded or opposed as seemed success of his bill, and originate a expedient. Mr. Hobhouse said, factious and interested opposition, that he would support the bill on he acknowledged it would be better this plain ground, that nothing to concede a compensation, rather could possibly be so bad but it than the measure should be impeded must be better than the existing or delayed for a single year. As system. The scheme was said to be for those original and fundamental unintelligible ; but he understood principles of the constitution to it to be, a measure to reform the which his lordship wished to bring House," and that was enough for it back, they would be found, he him. It occurred to sir Robert said, interspersed throughout the Wilson that the measure was parearlier pages of our history and tially objectionable, as it gave too
despotic a power to the committee, try, I did not grudge the sacrifice who were to select what boroughs I made for that commanding conthey thought fit to be represented; sideration. If I had abused the but he would support the introduc- right I thus purchased, and passed tion of the bill, for he could not through corruption to the honours bring himself to resist what came of the peerage, I should not enjoy accompanied with so pleasant a re the satisfaction I now feel.” He commendation as to pay wages to had tried, too, he said, the county members of parliament. Sir Francis system. He stood for a county, Burdett said, he was bound to though he would not have given state that he could not comprehend twopence for the representation of at once all the details; but he un that county, his object having been derstood it to be a great measure to expose the abominable system, of reform, which was supported by and the oppressive tyranny of solivery considerable ability; and that tary confinement in England. To its object was, to endeavour to re expose those abuses it was, that he store to the people of England a stood upon the hustings at Brentshare of the constitution of the ford, though he really would not country, to which they had as great have given twopence for the reprea right as a peer had to his title, sentation of the county. He could or the king to his seat upon the have got returned for East Retford throne. He would, therefore, sup- at a much cheaper rate, and have port it, as a new effort in the only been a more independent man. struggle which now was really He had also gone through the reworth making, that of reform. He medial operation, as it was called, admitted that the House was com of the Grenville act; so that, as posed of men of as enlightened he had sounded all the shoals and understandings, and as addicted to shallows of the system, it was not the English principles of freedom, wonderful he should be a great adas could be found collected in any vocate for an alteration. The part of the world; but they were plain question was this—ought the returned to the House under an in- House to be an assembly of retainers fluence which rendered them in- of the Crown, or of representatives capable of exerting the faculties of of the people of England ? Mr. their minds, and injurious to the Maberly declared, that though a country. “ Look at myself,” ex- reformer, he could not support such claimed sir Francis, “I have gone a bill as this, and Mr. Stanley said through the whole process under he would not give his vote to bring the present system of represent- in a bill which he saw he should ation, and a most ruinous one it have to oppose as soon as it had has been. Early in life, I came been brought in. into this House in order to defend In opposition to the motion, Mr. the constitution of England. I Twiss, who rose on Mr. Hobhouse purchased my seat of a borough- expressing something like indigmonger, He was no patron of nant astonishment that no minismine; he took my money, and by terial member stepped forth to the purchase I obtained a right to speak combat, said, that truly the opposiin the most public place in Eng- tion members were stating so many land. With my views, and with objections to the bill, one after my love of the liberty of my coun“ another, as to leave the members
on his side of the House almost no was objectionable could afterwards
paid to 658 members termined in what particular manwould amount to a little more than ner the borough should be dealt 250,0001.
with. Two opinions divided the Mr. Brougham said, that al. House,-one that the franchise though he was ready to vote for should be transferred to some pothe bill, because much of what it pulous town which was unrepreproposed to do was good, and what sented; the other, that the remedy