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“Look,” he exclaimed, “ look at the 101. voter who has had the misfortune to pass through the registration court, and who receives from his landlord a summons to attend the hustings, and in a contest between a Liberal and a Tory candidate to give his vote. On one side all his feelings (feelings like your own), all his national predilections, all his religious emotions, all his personal affections are enlisted. Perhaps on one side he sees a man whom he has long been accustomed to regard as the deliverer of his country-whom he looks upon as the champion of his creed and of his priesthood—of the land in which he was born, and for which if there were need he would be prompt to die-his eye fills and his heart grows big, and prayers break from his lips as he beholds him; and on the other side—the side on which he is called

upon to vote-he beholds some champion of that stern ascendency by which his country has long been trodden under foot, by whom his religion has long been vilified, its ministers have long been covered with opprobrium, and the class to which he belongs has long been treated with contumely and disdainfor such a man he is called upon, under a penalty the most fear. ful, that of inpending ruin, to give his false and miserable suffrage. Trembling, shrinking, cowering, afraid to look his friends and kinsmen in the face, he ascends the hustings as if it were the scaffold of his conscience, and with a voice almost inarticulate with emotion, stammers ont, when asked for whom he votesnot the name of him whom he loves and prizes and honours -but that of the man whom he detests, loathes, abhors; for him it is, it is in his favour, that he exercises the great trust, the sanctity of which requires that it should be exercised in the face of the world; for him it is, it is in his favour, that he gives utterance to that which to all intents and purposes is a rank and odious falsehood. But perhaps he resists; perhaps, under the influence of some sentiment, half-religious, half-heroic, looking martyrdom in the face, he revolts against the horrible tyranny that you would rivet on him, and he votes, wretch that he is, in conformity with the dictates of his conscience and what he believes to be the

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ordinance of his religion. Alas for him! a month or two go by, and all that he has in the world is seized; the beast that gives him milk, the horse that drags his plough, the table of his scanty meal, the bed where anguish and poverty and oppression were sometimes forgotten-all, all are taken from him ; and with Providence for his guide, but with God I hope for his avenger, he goes forth with his wife and children upon the world. And this, this is the system which you and you, but I hope not you, (turning to Lord John Russell), are prepared to maintain! This is the system under which what is called a great trust is performed in the eyes of the country; this is the system under which, by the exercise of the great prerogative of freemen, open and undisguised, every British citizen invested with the franchise should feel himself exalted! Oh, fie upon this mockery! And if I cannot say fie upon them, what shall I say of the men who, with these things of a constant and perpetual occurrence staring them in the face, talk to us of the immorality of the ballot, and tell us forsooth that it is an un-English proceeding! UnEnglish? I know the value of that expressive and powerful word. I know the great attributes by which the people of this country are distinguished, and of the phrase which expresses the reverse of these habits I can appreciate the full and potent signification. Fraud is indeed un-English, and dissimulation and deception and duplicity and double-dealing and promise-breaking, all, every vice akin to these vile things, are indeed un-English ; but tyranny, base abominable tyranny, is un-English; hard-hearted persecution of poor fanatic wretches is un-English ; crouching fear on one side and ferocious menace and relentless savageness upon the other, are un-English! Of your existing system of voting these are the consequences ; and for these evils, monstrous as they are, you owe it to your national character, to truth, to justice, to every consideration, political, social, religious, moral, at once to provide the cure. What shall it be? Public opinion ? Public opinion! We have been hearing of it this long timethis many a day we have been hearing of public opinion. In the

last ten years and upwards, whenever the ballot has been brought forward, we have been told that for corruption, for intimidation, for every evil, public opinion would supply the cure

-that marvellous and wonder-working principle, that sedative of the passions, that minister to the diseases of the mind, that alterative of the heart, was to extinguish cupidity, was to coerce ambition, allay the fears of the slave, mitigate the ferocity of the tyrant, and over all the imperfections of our nature to extend its soft and salutary sway. Well, how has it worked ? Public opinion, so far as bribery is concerned, is given up. Few except the members for the University of Oxford and the University of Dublin, those amiable gentlemen among whose virtues a peculiar indulgence for Parliamentary frailties is conspicuous, would recommend that Southampton and Belfast, and the rest of the delinquent boroughs, should be consigned to public opinion. But if for bribery public opinion has lost all its sanative operation, is it, in the name of common consistency, for intimidation that this specific is to be reserved? Upon bribery, of the two, public opinion would have the greater influence. To bribery there is attached some sort of discredit; but intimidation is not only openly practised but ostentatiously avowed. Men do not deny, but take pride in it; they applaud themselves, too, for the wholesome severity which they have exercised and the salutary examples they have made. So far indeed is the principle of intimidation carried, that a regular theory of coercion has been established, and the great patricians of the land compress their notions of their privileges into a phrase to lay down the dogmas of despotism in some trite saying, and in some familiar sentence to propound the aphorisms of domination. When these doctrines are unrecanted in language, and in conduct are unrecalled—when such doctrines are defended, vindicated and applauded-when they are acted upon to an extent so vast that it is almost diffi. cult to suggest where they have not been applied-how long, how much longer, are we to look to public opinion as the corrective of those evils which, without the application of some more

potent remedy, it is almost an imposture to deplore? Show me a remedy beside the ballot, and I will at once accede to it. Show me any other means by which the tenants of your estates and the retailers of your commerce, and all those whose dependence is so multifariously diversified, can be protected,-show me any other means by which a few men of property, confederated in the segment of a divided county, shall be frustrated in conspiring to return your fractional county members-show me any other means by which this new scheme of nomination shall be baffled and defeated-show me any other means by which a few leading gentlemen in the vicinage of almost every agricultural borough shall be foiled in their dictation to those small tradesmen whose vote and interest are demanded in all the forms of peremptory solicitation. Show me this, and I give up the ballot. But if you cannot show me this—for the sake of your country, for the sake of your high fame; upon every motive personal and public; from every consideration national and individual—pause before you repudiate the means, the only means, by which the spirit of coercion now carried into a system shall be restrained, by which the enjoyment of the franchise shall be associated with the will, by which the country shall be saved from all the suffering, the affliction and the debasement with which a general election is now attended; and without which, to a state of things most calamitous and most degrading, there is not a glimpse of hope, not a chance the most remote, that the slightest palliative will be applied.”

CHAPTER XX.

1843–1846.

Irish State trials-France and Morocco—Provincial Colleges

New Zealand—Voyage to Madeira-Death of his sonRepeal of the Corn Laws-Return to England

-Review of Peel's policy to Ireland-Change of Ministry.

DURING the summer of 1843, the memorable assemblies designated monster meetings took place in different parts of Ireland. Hundreds of thousands peaceably met to pronounce in favour of a Repeal of the Union, and as peaceably dispersed. Their avowed object was by the demonstration of popular numbers, acting together in perfect subordination to one guiding will, to overawe resistance on the part of the Legislature to the concession of their demand. By O'Connell this was termed “moral force;" by those

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