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character as a patriot, the member rious mob, for the purpose of protectfor Westminster absented himself ing the lives and property of the fafrom the House during the discussion mily,)-nothing less than military of this obnoxious measure. At the murders; and he thought there were meeting he gilded over this desertion symptoms, on the part of government, of his post, by a jest worthy of his to supersede the civil authorities conduct. “ He did not chuse," he which were the constitutional guardisaid, “ to join in the mockery of de- ans of the public peace, and to erect bate—he might have many reasons in their room a military despotism !!!" for staying at home-he should say To such sophistry, mixed with such generally, that he did not like to go to truckling subservience to the humours any house that was filled with bad of the rabble, did this honourablememcompany, and where they kept late ber stoop in his misdirected ambition, hours." This fool-born jest was thought forgetting that the true patriot equalworthy of the applause of the meet- ly despises the bended brow of tyraning; and Sir Francis Bardett, though ny, and the shouts and menaces of a he insinuated that his sentiments were misguided multitude. Mr Robinson, in favour of the measure so clamorous against whom this speech was princily condemned, and made the subject pally directed, and who surely had of such execration by his constituents, already suffered enough, both in prowas dragged home in triumph, be- perty and feeling, rose to reply under cause he had not had the manliness to the greatest emotion. He stated "the discharge his duty as a legislator, in as- ravages committed by the mob upon serting his own sentiments in opposi. his house on the Monday; their outtion to theirs. Apparently, however, he rageous return the next day, with thought, upon reflection, that somede. threats of murder against him and his claration of sentiments more decidedly domestics ; and made it plain that accommodated to the populartastewas the soldiers posted within the house necessary to maintain his post as the were at length, and after long forfavourite of the tabble. The incident bearance and repeated warning, comwhich happened at Mr Robinson's pelled to fire in their own defence." house on the 7th seemed to furnish Mr Robinson's speech was interrupta favourable opportunity to regained by tears, which testified the grief what ground Sir Francis might have which he felt, as a man of huma. lost in the opinion of the good people nity, at a fatality to which he was of Westminster. When he rose in his no way accessory, and for which the place on the 10th to present the peti- immediate agents were justifiable in tion against the corn bill, he spoke of the eyes of God and man. He con. the question as one of little real im- cluded, by entreating the honourable portance, and avoided either granting baronet, if he was really moved by er denying it. But, while he slightly that regard for the people which his touched on the irregularities of the language expressed, to desist from mob," he deprecated the fatalities misrepresentations calculated to prowhich had occurred, and the placing duce the most unhappy effects, both soldiers in ambuscade, for the purpose towards the peace of the country and of attacking and destroying the lives the safety of his fellow-subjects. All of unwary multitudes. He called felt the force of this appeal; and Sir such fatalities, (the placing of armed Francis Burdett himself endeavoured men, namely, within a house which to escape from the charge of point. had been twice broken into by a fu- ing out an innocent individual as
the object of popular revenge, by yard, the honest, consideration of al pleading that he had no allusion in most the whole House of Commons, particular to what had happened at and of all thinking persons without Mr Robinson's, (although it was only doors, stigmatized his conduct on this upon that occasion, during the whole as a home-attempt made to buy or riots, that the soldiers had made ef- redeem his fading popularity, by fective use of their arms;) but to heating the popular odium against an the general system adopted by the individual, of whom it was hard to say ministers, of protecting the city by whether he had been most injured in soldiers in place of peace-officers, property or distressed in feelings; and and this at a time when the joint ef- to encourage the violence of the rabforts of the civil and military had ble, by representing as tyrannical and proved totally inadequate to protect illegal, the means which were necessathe property of individuals, offending rily employed in repressing it. only by discharging their duty as le The violent agitation occasioned by gislators on a question where their the corn bill was suddenly and effect opinions were corroborated by those tually silenced by the arrival of the of Sir Francis Burdett himself. With news that Buonaparte had again land such obliquity of intellect will party- ed in France ; a stupendous piece of spirit, or rather a feverish appetite for intelligence, before which all topics the garbage of popularity, endow such of domestic interest at once supkinas prize the shout of a mob beyond the to annibilation. These extraordinary dignity of moral independence. Sir tidings reached London on the even Francis on this occasion received from ing of the 10th March; and there Lord Castlereagh a severe and merit was no more heard of the corn bil, ed reprehension. “ It was a little too than if the subject had never agitated much," his lordship observed, “ con- the popular mind. sidering how many lives had been It was perhaps owing to the aplost on a preceding occasion to pre- pearance made in the House of Comserve the honourable baronet from
mons by Sir Francis Burdett, that the being attached by an order of the grand jury of Middlesex found a true House of Commons, that he should bill against the corporal and two solpresume to question an Englishman's diers stationed in the house of Mr right to defend his castle and his fa- Robinson, as also against his butler mily from the violence of an ungo. James Ripley, for the murder of Jane vernable and furious rabble. As the Watsoo. However absurd the con. honourable baronet, departing entire- duct of the grand jury, it was fortuly from the question before the nate, as giving an opportunity of a soHouse, neither supported nor opposed lemn trial of the most important questhe corn bill, he could conceive no tion, how far a person acting like Rippurpose for which he came down, ex. ley under a sense of duty to his mascepting in order to subvert the con- ter, and in defence of his property, or stitution.” From this strong charge like the soldiers defending a post to Sir Francis Burdett could only escape which they had been called by the by such intemperance of personal re- civil authority, are entitled to use crimination as drew down the censure arms in protection of that which is of the Speaker. But, however the entrusted to their charge. The spirit “ throng of words” which came from of democracy, always at work on such him with such effrontery might serve occasions, failed pot, by the manufac his cause with his friends in Palace. ture of false reports and malicious in
sinuations, industriously circulated in ly endeavoured to shew that they harpamphlets, to keep up the popular vio« boured no malice from recollection of lence, and prepossess, if possible, the a transaction, which, in its first aspect, minds of the jurors against the pri- operated so powerfully upon their feel soners. But the law, a law of infinite ings. There is a generosity in this conconsequence to the protection of good duct peculiarly characteristic of a free order, property, and tranquillity, was people, whose sober moments are aldistinctly laid down by the prisoner's ways marked by a love of justice and counsel, on the authority of Lord a deference to the law, and who seek Hale, Lord Mansfield, and other rather a fair and impartial investigalearned judges, was recognized by the tion of such grievances as they supjudges, (Lord Ellenborough and Mr pose themselves to have sustained, Justice Chamber) as indisputable, and than the gratification of vindictive received as such by a jury assembled feelings towards those whom they in the ordinary manner for transacting consider as the authors of them. And the business of the sessions; who with while we think it right that every atout hesitation pronounced a verdict lempt at systematic riot and violence of Not Guilty. Upon this solemn oc- should be checked early, and at a pecasion, it was acknowledged as law riod when it may be possible to select that the peaceable master of a family, the ringleaders as the objects of the with his inmates, friends, and neigh- resistance which they have provoked, bours, as well as the peace-officers we are as far as Sir Francis Burdett and military who are called in to his himself
from desiring that every ebul. assistance, is justified in resisting lition of popular feeling, though tu. whatever violence may be offered to multuously and riotously expressed, person, house, or property ; while, on should be made an excuse for em. the other hand, those assembled for ploying deadly retaliation. The minds purposes of mischief and destruction, of the English common people cannot led away by their own passions or the retain that energy of feeling which instigation of others, as well as they makes each regard the prosperity and who in idle curiosity augment their fame of his country as matters of his numbers, must in future be aware of own special concern, without the risk the risk in which they stand, since if of its being expressed with occasional their death ensues in such circum- violence. We do not therefore think stances, the law will justify those em- either the huzzas or hootings of a ployed in protecting at once private mob, accompanied with some insoproperty and the public peace. lence to their betters, and probably
It must not beforgotten that the good. the demolition of some panes of glass, nature and candour of the English as fit subjects either of serious apprepopulace, qualities which they always hension or severe repression. We shew when neither led away by their would rather now and then endure own prejudices, or the misrepresenta- the fever-fit of licence, than sleep tions of their demagogues, were re- the death-sleep of military despotism. markably displayed on this occasion. But every thing has its bounds; and Satisfied with the fairness of the inves- when the property and lives of the tigation, and satisfied that the conduct lieges are daringly assailed, they must of the soldiers had been entirely blame- be boldly defended, or the supine goless, they greeted them on their ac. vernment which stoops to endure such quittal with three cheers, sought to scenes of outrage, must be contented shake hands with them, and anxious to witness the streets of Londongleam. ing with conflagration, and at length upon the landing of Buonaparte, was flooded with the gore of her citizens; in the act of being carried into execuas in the memorable year 1780, when tion, a grenadier of the Coldstream only the firmness of the sovereign, in was observed taking a friendly farecommanding his troops to act in de well of a cobler with whom he had fence of the peace, saved the capital been quartered. They had exhaust. from total destruction,
ed their parting draught, and were We will close this chapter with an shaking hands cordially. “God bless anecdote, trifling in itself, but impor. you, my good fellow," said the soltant as it serves to shew the deep in. dier ; “ do you look after the corn bill terest which the very lowest ranks of at home, and leave me to manage the British public take in the concerns Buonaparte.” The first impulse of of the state; a circumstance arising the reader may be to laugh; but as solely out of the freedom with which both men were perfectly serious in public measures are submitted to their the division of their public duty, we discussion, and to which the wisest may estimate, from this trifling cirand best-informed foreigners are dis- cumstance, the quantity of patriotism posed to ascribe the peculiar energy in state where the meanest indivi. of our national character. When the dual considers her safety and fame as order for embarking the Guards for intrusted to his charge, and dependent Flanders, which followed immediately on his efforts.
Internal State of France.-- Defects of the Administration.- Count de Blacas.
State of Parties.-Royalists, comprehending the Nobles, and Clergy, and Vendeans.— Tumult at the Funeral of Mademoiselle de Raucour.Sepulchral Honours paid to Louis XVI, and his Queen.-Jealous Fears of the Possessors of National Domains.-Republicans.-Buonapartists.-Discontents of the Army.—Constilutionalists.— Purchasers of National Domains.-Resemblance between the State of France and of England after the Restoration.
FRANCE, so long the centre of those quicksilver from the grasp of arbitrary 'successive revolutions which had dis- power, and re-uniting and re-appearturbed the tranquillity of Europe, ap- ing when the prospect of profit and of peared now to be in the situation of security call it forth to action, began an exhausted volcano. The thunders again to put in motion commercial of the eruption seemed over, but its speculations. Marseilles, Nantes, and former ravages were still visible, and Havre, resumed the appearance of trait was manifest to every reflecting ding cities, and again sent merchant mind, that many years must pass away vessels to sea. The cellars of Bour. ere their traces could be obliterated. deaux were once more emptied of her The very extravagance of those hopes, wines and brandies, and her warewhich were naturally entertained upon houses replenished in lieu of them the restoration of the royal family, with colonial produce. Nor was it a like too early and too luxuriant a show matter of indifference to Paris at least, of blossom, diminished the chance of that crowds of foreigners, and particutheir ripening into the expected fruit, Jarly of English, rushed thither to and exasperated the disappointment spend large sums of money, and of the over-sanguine expectants. ment in no small proportion the revi
Yet symptoms of recovering pro- ving circulation of wealth. But this sperity began to appear in this rich hopeful commencement was checked country. The manufactures of Rouen, and counterbalanced by many circumLyons, and other French towns, were stances of discontent and disappointresumed with a zeal and readiness ment, some arising out of the nature which alarmed their competitors in of things, and totally uncontroulable Great Britain. Capital, which has such by human wisdom, and others out of a wonderful capacity of escaping like the errors of the government, and the