Page images


[Price 10d.

"The foolishest of all hopes (to say nothing of the wickedness of it) is, that Napoleon will be beaten, and "that then, the Spaniards will quietly return to submission to their former government. There are, L

"am afraid, people enough, who entertain such hopes; but, if they reflect for one moment, they must "be convinced, that it can never be accomplished; for, to resist Buonaparté will require, such language, "such sentiments, such active measures as to rank and property, as well as to warlike preparations, as "will so completely annihilate the old government, that it can never be restored."-POL. RESISTER, Vol. XIV. page, 105,


SUMMARY OF POLITICS. MR. HERBERT.This gentleman's address to the electors of Hampshire, a copy of which will be found immediately below contains matter worthy of the notice, not of the people of Hampshire only, but of the whole nation. For the purpose of saving time, I have numbered the paragraphs. The FIRST Contains nothing of general interest. Not so the SECOND and THIRD, which may be looked upon, and evidently was intended as an answer to the pledge demanded by me, and which pledge will be found in the last volume of the Political Register at page 841.It is something, at any rate, to hear a candidate declare, that he never will accept of a pension or sinecure, and this declaration Mr. Herbert has distinctly made, in a manner the most likely to be remembered. I, therefore, conclude, that he means, un

* Mr. Herbert's Address to the Gentlemen, Clergy, and Freeholders of the County of Southampton, dated, Highclere, Dec. 21,


I-I SHOULD have thought myself very deficient in respect to those, whom I once had the honour of calling my constituents, if upon a vacancy, when no candidate appeared in the field against me, I had not renewed the humble offer of my services. It is most pleasant to my feelings, that some, who were formerly hostile to my pretensions, should have spontaneously tendered their support; and I shall ever remember with gratitude and pride, that at a premature and surreptitious nomination, which the sheriff was persuaded to call without due notice, (though an active personal canvass had been undertaken by my opponent, with all the advantage of ministerial influence, though the greater part of my friends knew not of the meeting till the day was passed), the shew of hands in my favour should have been so numerous and respectable, that the sheriff


der all possible circumstances, to adhere to this promise, and in that conclusion I have, I must confess, great pleasure. It is one step, at least, in the right path; and it is a step, which, with the sole exception of Lord Cochrane, no one, of late times, has, as far as I have observed, thought proper to take.But, from place Mr. Herbert will not debar himself by any pledge. This he calls foregoing the prospects of fair ambition, and binding himself to take no share in the administration of public affairs.- -The pledge, which I demanded, as the only terms, upon which I would give my vote, had no such object in view. As will be seen by reference to it, all that I wished to accomplish was this, that persons, once chosen to be the guardians of the people's money, never should, during their whole lives, pocket, either by themselves or their relations and depen

should have paused for a time, and not without hesitation have pronounced his judgment. I must express my thanks for the profound attention with which the whole meeting, with which both parties heard my refutation, of a most unjust and unfounded misrepresentation, of my conduct in parliament, and for the universal expression of approbation at the part I had acted on that occasion.II. Called upon at that meeting to declare that I would accept no office or pension, I pledged myself to reject every offer of a pension or sinecure, and to exert myself in parliament to dry the sources of corrup tion; and I applaud the motives that prompted the request. But further urged to debar myself from the prospects of fair and honourable ambition, and bind myself, at no future period to take any share in the administration of public affairs, I felt it my duty, not to myself only, but to the body of electors, but to the nation at large, to refuse a pledge, which if universally extorted from candidates would


dents, any part of that money. I said nothing about prohibiting any one from becoming a minister, or filling any office, upon any future occasion; but, then, I clearly meant, that, supposing him to fill any office, he should do it without pay, which, in many cases, at least, a man qualified to be a member of parliament, may very well do.-But, I confess, that my wish would be, that men who are chosen members of parliament, should never become servants of the king. A man cannot serve two masters; and, it matters very little, whether he be nominally the servant of both at one and the same time; or whether he be the nominal servant of one of them, while he is paving his way for being taken into the service of the other. But in his THIRD paragraph, Mr. Herbert lets us see, that he thinks it right, and even necessary for the public good, that members of parliament should, at the same time, be servants of the king; that they should, in one and the same hour, ask for money in the latter capacity, and vote it in the former. This opinion being so directly at variance with plain common sense, it is worth while to examine into the reasons, upon which it is founded. He says, that, if members were to-lose the right of questioning the ministers face to face, the debates would become unimportant; that the censures of the House would be little worth, and passed with-law was, and is, really what it professes to

out a hearing; that evil counsellors, who must tremble at the awful moment when they are publickly called to account, would lull themselves in security, without the necessity and even without the means of justifying themselves to the nation; and, that the dread of meeting an able minority front to front, is, in these days, almost the only check upon the actions of ministers.- "In these days" is an important phrase; for, it is precisely because the "days" are what they are, that I wish for a change. Mr. Herbert's doctrine is in direct opposition to the Act of Settlement, which declares persons holding places of profit under the Crown to be incapable of serving as members of parliament. This act, till base and corrupt ministers found it troublesome, remained in force, and no inconvenience was experienced from it. Nay, when the act, as far as related to this important point, was repealed, the repealers, though most profligate men, had not the impudence to do it without an appearance of preserving the principle; and, there fore, they enacted, that, if a member accepted of a place of emolument after his election, his seat should, in consequence thereof, be vacated, in order to give the people who elected him when he had no place, an opportunity of rejecting him on account of his having a place.--Now, will Mr. Herbert say, that the object of this

be subversive of the constitution, and fatal to the liberties of the country.-III If the ministers of the crown are to be excluded from parliament; if members are to lose that which is the best privilege of the representatives of the people, the right of questioning those ministers face to face before the public assembly; their debates would be frivolous, uninteresting, and unimportant; their censures would be little worth, and passed without a hearing; the advisers of the king, who, if they have erred through guilt or incapacity, must tremble at the awful moment when they are called upon publickly to account for their misconduct, would lull themselves in silent security, without the necessity, without even the means of justifying themselves to the nation. The dread of meeting an able minority front to front in parliament, is in these days almost the only check upon the actions of ministers.- -IV. With sentiments most hostile to the corruption that preys upon the vitals of the kingdom, most eager for satisfactory investigation of public misconduct, I offered myself to

your notice; but ministers cannot tolerate such freedom, and all the influence of government was armed against me, in favour of a gentleman not eligible to represent the county. With a majority, even under those circumstances, of independent electors in my favour, as the nomination on the 23rd appeared to witness, I was advised not to harass the county by the prolongation of a poll, which was deemed superfluous, when the only eligible opponent felt himself unable to cope with me, and declined the contest. I am grateful for the free and zealous friendship I have experienced, and that strong support which has deterred any eligible candidate from persevering at the poll. I trust that I shall be seated as your representative in parliament; and I hail the dawn of better days in this county, from the unsolicited assurances of support, in the present and any future contest, which I have received from freeholders connected with the dock-yard, who, would not resign their mental independence, though harassed and persecuted by the agents of government.

be? Will he say, that the electors do really hereby obtain the opportunity stated above? I think, he will not; for it is impossible for him to produce me a single instance of a member of parliament having been prevented from again entering the walls of the House after having accepted of a place of profit under the Crown. It is notorious, that the vacating of the seat, upon such an occasion, is a mere matter of form. The Secretaries of State, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the rest of them, are appointed without any one entertaining the smallest doubt of their being again returned. Nay, when a change of ministry takes place, during a session of parliament, is it not notorious, that "the Opposition," as it is called, the regular body, upon the opposite benches, abstain from all warfare, till the enemies arrive; and do we not always hear it said, that such an one cannot come into the engagement till such a day, because, until that day his return cannot arrive? That this is the fact no one can deny. But, whether it be so, or not, Mr. Herbert is left in a dilemma, if he approve of the law as it now stands; for, suppose the people to obtain an opportunity of rejecting the member that becomes a placeman, and suppose them to reject him, of which the letter of the law implies the probability and even the propriety; suppose the electors of all the members, composing a new ministry, to reject them upon the score of place, and supposing there to be no good-natured, modest gentlemen, to give up their seats and their constituents to them; in that case, we should lose the amazing benefit, which Mr. Herbert perceives in the having of the ministers in the House; and, on the other hand, if this be impossible, or, if there be not the smallest chance of this, the law with respect to re-election is ; and, those, who affect to see a security for the people in it, are . . . . . what I need not describe, and what I will not describe in terms other than those, which they so richly deserve. I will not wrong my thoughts by the using of words, which would be an inadequate expression of them. But, the debates, Mr. Herbert says, would become frivolous and unimportant, if the king's counsellors and servants were not in the House. The debates! All is debate. Why, there is a standing order of the House against publishing any debate; and, moreover, any member may, whenever he pleases, cause the galleries to be cleared, and the doors


to be locked against all spectators and hearers. It is, to be sure, a very valuable thing that we possess; a mighty thing for our liberties, that any one member, either of those for Old Sarum, without even a seconder, may, at any time, totally deprive us of.- -But, Sir, why should the Debates become of no importance; of no interest at all to us, if the ministers and other placemen were kept out of the House? They might, indeed, be of little interest to those, who are now seeking for place through the means of debates; but, to the people: is it possible, that you can think, that the discussions of men, who were the real representatives of the people; who could scarcely have any views towards gain of any sort; who would be under no temptation to vote this way or that way to serve themselves, or to serve a party: is it possible, that you can think, that the discussions of such men would be less interesting to the people, than the wranglings of two parties, always opposed to each other, taking opposite positions in the House as naturally as two hostile armies, and well known to be contending for the places and emoluments which the Crown has to bestow? No, it is not possible; I assert, that it is not possible for you to believe, that the discussions of an assembly where, upon all great occasions, it is known before hand of which side each member will speak and vote; where it is known before hand what the result will be: I assert it to be impossible for you to believe, that the Debates of such an assembly, can be so interesting as the debates of an assembly, where there is no such foreknowledge, and where there is known to exist, generally speaking, nothing to bias the judgment of the members. You must have observed, Sir, the difference, which, in point of interest, is excited by the speeches of Barristers and that of the Judge. The cause of this is, not the superior ability of the Judge, for such is not always the case; not the novelty of the matter, for that has been already amply detailed; but solely the persuasion, that what is said by the Judge proceeds from an unbiassed mind. And, Sir, for this same reason, the debates of an assembly, not divided into regular parties, would, in the same degree, excite an interest greater than that which is excited by the debates of the House of Commons, as that House is now filled.- -As to the advantage of questioning the ministers face to face," they were so questioned, when they were excluded from parliament. They were

[ocr errors]

sent to the House by the king, to bear his | it not evident, that, if a man be compelled Messages; to ask for Money in his name; to give his mind up to debate and the preand to give such explanations, as the re-paration for debate, the duties of his office presentatives of the people required at must be left to underlings, or be wholly their hands. There is, surely, nothing dif- neglected? Nay, is it not evident, that, if ficult in this. It is the regular and natu- the possession of the place is to depend ral course of proceeding; but, can any upon Debates in the House of Commons, one pretend, that it is natural; can any he will fashion his measures and especially one pretend, that it is not a monstrous ab- his appointments and other favours to that surdity, that ministers, that the servants mould which is likely to insure him the of the king, or, indeed, that any body else greatest number of friends in that House; in this world, should be called to account which fashioning would be useless for his by themselves; that they should sit in judg- purpose, were the members and the relament, and vote, and assist in the deciding, tions of the members incapable of receiving upon the merits, or demerits, of their own emoluments from the public purse? conduct; and especially when it is known The king, too, would, if this were the case, beforehand, when it is acknowledged to be be left free in his choice of servants. He essential to the very system, that they have, would not be compelled to take into his and must have, a majority in their favour, council a whole pack together. He would it being, according to that system, impos- not be compelled to consider who could sible for them to hold their places any make the best, or, rather, the longest, longer than they have that majority? speeches, and who could carry with them "Tremble at the awful moment of meet- the greatest number of votes. He would ing an able minority!" You surprize me, be free to select whomsoever he thought Sir. What have they, as long as they can most able and most trust-worthy; while preserve their majority, to tremble at the Commons, on their side, could have no When did you see a ministry tremble, ex- reason for undue bias or partiality, in this cept for the loss of their places? And why respect, at the same time, that, if the king should they? But, if there were a House had counsellors, whom they disapproved of Commons, without placemen or pen- of, they would, at all times, have the power sioners; consisting of men not capable of of censuring them, of impeaching them, or being placed or pensioned; if the race of causing their removal by following the could not be for power and emolument; old constitutional course of refusing money; if the members could not, in the future, which is now, all the world knows, a discover any motive for indulgence, and power that is never exercised, nor is it lenity with respect to the past; then, in- ever thought of being exercised.- -Is deed, wicked or foolish counsellors would there an evil we complain of, or feel, have good cause to "tremble at the awful which cannot be traced to this source? moment of meeting," not an "able mi- Let Mr. Herbert review all the circumnority," but an honest majority, in parlia- stances, which led to, and which have folment, who would not waste their time in lowed, the Cintra Convention; and, I am making long lawyer-like speeches, in or- persuaded, that, whether in the appointder to shew their fitness for conducting ments, the progress of the thing itself, or wars and negotiations; but, who, having only the proceedings consequent upon it, he will their own good, as connected with that of clearly discover the prime cause to be the public, in view, would busy themselves that very system of things, of which he in doing that which belonged to their of professes himself to be an advocate. If fice, as guardians of the public treasure the war-minister, or all the ministers toand the public liberty.If the House of gether, had had no debatings and dividings Commons contained no placemen; if it to look to; if they had had nobody but were unmixed with the servants of the their master to obey; no families or parking; if it were composed of men who ticular individuals to conciliate or gratify; never could touch the public money, can they would have acted upon the evidence it be believed, that the public money of their senses; and being men of com would not be better taken care of? Be- mon discernment at least, they could not sides the incompatibility of the two situa- have greatly erred. But, hampered, pertions, in this respect, is it not evident, that plexed, divided in their feelings, as they a nan, who has, for one half of the year, constantly are, with duty on one side, and to fight daily battles in the House of Com- powerful importunity, not to say menace, mons for the preservation of his place, on the other, is it any wonder that they must neglect the duties of that place? Is so frequently yield to the latter, and that,

ts, 1

of that yielding, we have so frequently to suffer and to blush for the consequences? -Such are the reasons, which induced me to propose the pledge, at Winchester; and, with me, at least, these reasons will continue to operate, until I hear something more forcible opposed to them, than what I have yet met with in any writing, ancient or modern.

for us or for Spain any thing but disap-
pointment, loss, and disgrace, though they
themselves had an army of two hundred
thousand men, capable of being sent to
Spain, with more than a sufficiency of
ships to transport it thither, and safely to
land it, at a time when a Frenchman dared
not show his head upon the Peninsula.-
Now, when our armies are retreating for
their lives; when they are hard pressed
for their very existence; when, according
to the dispatch of Sir John Moore, they
are daily and hourly harrassed in their
rear, and when the enemy's swiftest troops
almost surround them; now, forsooth, the
impudent hireling writers dare bid us look
for hope to the South. Just as if any resist-
ance would be made to an army that will,
in all probability, not have left a British
soldier in the whole of Spain and Portugal.
Just as if the spirit of the people of Spain
would rise after that. But, there is no
measure to the deception, the falsehoods,
the lies, the frauds, that are practised upon
this cullible nation.-
‚——“ Extracts”! Why
extracts? Why did you not give us the
whole of Sir John Moore's dispatches?

Careful of our money, ah? Useless to
waste it upon paper and print, when we
want it for so many other purposes? Cry
your mercy, my lord, I was not before
aware of your economical turn. The
whole must come at last. We must have
it; and if you give it us not, Buonaparté,
in his neighbourly malignity, certainly
will give us something that will answer
the same purpose.-
-Sentiments, resem-

SPANISH REVOLUTION.-Sir John Moore's dispatches," extracts" from which were published in last Tuesday's Gazette, after having been kept close from Sunday noon, show most clearly, I think, that our army was in a perilous situation, at the close of the last month, and prepare us for hearing of a very calamitous result of the campaign. I have heard of a letter from the Marquis de la Romana to Sir John Moore, speaking of the disposition of the people of Spain; but, of that letter it would, I suppose, be unwise to give us a sight, until, at least, the course of our preparation is somewhat further advanced. The proclamations, however, of ROMANA and PALAFOX do enable those amongst us, who attend a little to authentic documents, to form a pretty accurate judgment of that disposi-You were afraid of the cost, perchance? tion, which, according to evidence now referred to, is far from being what it has been described by our ministers and our news-papers. -The "loyal," indeed, are vomiting forth flames of furious abuse against those, who venture to express doubts as to the goodness of the disposition of the people of Spain; but, that abuse will not alter the fact; and, moreover, it may become difficult, by-and-by, to reconcile it with any defence of the move-bling those expressed in my motto, have ments of our army, and, what is more with been repeated by me so often, since the these abusers, of the conduct of the minis-resistance to Napoleon began, in Spain, ters, whose sole ground of defence, if I am that I am almost ashamed to repeat them; not very greatly deceived, must be, that but if our worst enemies repeat their lies the people of Spain were, after all, found daily, I see no reason why I may not not to be much disposed to resist Buona-weekly repeat truths. Spain has been parté. This will, after the manifold as- lost from the dread of liberty," said a corsertions made respecting the unanimous respondent, the other day; and, really, I zeal of the Spaniards in the cause of their am much afraid, that this will prove but "beloved Ferdinand VII," be a most hu- too true. What Napoleon has promised miliating confession; it will be a fearful in his decrees, which will be found in anoconfession to make to the people of Eng-ther part of this sheet, the Junta should land, Ireland, and Scotland; but, the ministers have a choice of evils: they must make this confession; and they must also confess that they have, in this respect, been grossly deceived; or, they must confess, that they have had so little skill and energy, that, with a whole nation of eleven millions on their side, and with the complete command of all the sea-coast of the country, they have been unable to obtain

[ocr errors]

have promised before, and why they did not,
will, perhaps, hereafter come to light. Are
we told, that the people of Spain did not
wish it? That they did not desire to see
the Council of Castile, the Inquisition, and
the Monks, put down ?
Besides the utter
improbability, of this being, under any
circumstances, true, we have the evidence,
in the negative furnished by Napoleon's
Decrees; for, we may be sure, and espe-

« PreviousContinue »