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OBSERVATIONS ON THE FIRST DIVISION IN THE HOUSE OF IGNOBLES, ON THE BILL OF PAINS AND PENALTIES, AGAINST THE QUEEN.
Sooner than was expected, by a day or two, the first division took place upon the reading of this Bill. It was hurried on, on Monday last, no doubt, to evade the presence of her Majesty on Tuesday. The Ministers with their own votes, and all their minions, have mustered a majority of twentyeight!-among these are the Dukes of York and Clarence!— and eleven bishops! One Bishop only, the Archbishop of York, voted against the Bill! Here we see the practical part of Christianity and Priestcraft! The Archbishop of York has no higher to creep, so he is careless about pleasing or displeasing the Ministers, and we understand that he is a much better sportsman in the field than in the pulpit. The Duke of Newcastle, the Earl of Sheffield, and the Earl of Hume, voted for the second reading, without having heard a word in defence of her Majesty! Here are pure judges! Here is a high and august assembly for you, John Bull! Here, Mr. Brougham, are your ornaments of society! Take care of them, and do not let them be tarnished by the rudé breath of republicanism! Look well after them, that they do not commit suicide! Nor let the rabble lay violent hands upon this venerable and splendid institution.
We felt sure that the House of Lords was but as a Packed Jury, and that a defence would be altogether unnecessary to them: they could decide as well without a defence as with one! What a folly to waste so much time to no purpose! Would it not be better to let the King make his own laws, without all this fuss and nonsense? Now we suppose this business is to stupify and demoralize the most moral and chaste nation on the face of the earth, for two or three months longer, by passing through those other ornaments of society, which compose, what is nicknamed, a House of Commons. Far better to let Mr. George Guelph, do what he likes with his wife. The ill-usage of their wives is but a family disorder, and one cannot help one's inclinations! Mrs. Guelph is certainly a very unruly woman to give Mr. Guelph and his servants so much trouble. Mr. Justice Best will say that this is one of the ill-effects of the Christian Religion, and that he is astonished to see a woman stand forward, and assert
her rights and innocence, in the face of her husband, when he and the Archbishop of Canterbury, and all the other Bishops, say, that she is in the wrong. It is a pity but the Judges were allowed to vote as well as the Bishops; why should they not?-they are but Monks of another order. There would then have been a majority of forty instead of twenty-eight. There is a very great majority of unbiassed votes in the behalf of the Queen; and if Castlereagh does not manage the other House better than Liverpool has done this, the division will have but an awkward appearance, because we know, who is who, there. We know who represents the Ministers, and who represents any portion of the people.
There was an evident coalition between the Whigs and Tories in the House of Lords, as to attempting to fix a stain upon her Majesty. The Whigs know well, that the present King never will be on terms with his wife, so as to share the throne with her, so they brand an innocent woman with adultery, when there is not the slightest proof of the kind in all the evidence that has been brought forward, because, forsooth, they have no other chance of getting into office. But let them beware. It is not a Whig administration that can allay the storm which is gathering in this country. It must be something very different from what ever Charles Fox has talked about, much less whatever a Whig administration has done. There was not a Whig Lord that manfully asserted the Queen's innocence, or said a word about the charge being altogether the fruit of a conspiracy and perjured agents. Some slight allusions were made, just as if it had been some indifferent and humble person accused, which these Lords cared nothing about, whether she was innocent or not, or whether she was punished or not.
We will venture a wager, that this Bill of Pains and Penalties annihilates the House of Lords, in this country, within three years. It is as certain as cause and effect. The country is in a very different state now to what it was in the time of Harry the Eighth. And Harry was an amiable character and a genuine Englishman, when compared with George. We must travel to Rome for a parallel for George. The country is much indebted to Mr. Denman for speaking his mind so manfully on that occasion. We could wish he had recriminated a little further: there was ample room. But Mr. Brougham has promised to do much in this line, in the House of Commons, and we are to have the whole of her Majesty's defence when the Bill travels down there. Mr. B. is a per
fect lawyer: he has no notion of getting rid of a case, whilst any thing in the shape of profit can be drawn from it. Delay is the glorious attribute of the law, and its uncertainty the glory of lawyers. But the new code must sweep away all these vermin. Equal laws might be reduced to a simplicity, so as to make every man a lawyer. The present laws of England are a scandal to all legislation.
The Bishops, eleven to one against the Queen, must not be forgotten. This is the blessed fruit of an established church, and a legalised religion! These are the Right Reverend Fathers in God, and the representatives of God upon earth! These are Lords spiritual. It is the Treasury Ghost which makes them spiritual:-they are gross and earthly in every other case. We have a practical proof of this in the letter which the Earl of Liverpool mis-directed to the Bishop of Norwich instead of the Bishop of Chester, in which the Treasury Lord tells the Bishop, that he has many claims upon administration, and that the administration have been rather negligent of his services!—and in which, a gentle hint is given as to what is expected on the Queen's business. This is the pure, unadulterated, and practical, Christianity. This is the religion established by law, and which is a part and parcel of the law of the land. This Bishop of Chester sent his blessing to Magennis, who was lately executed at Chester! But the Bishop would be like the Priest, we were wont to read of in Fenning's Spelling Book, if his blessing had been worth a farthing, Magennis might have gone to heaven without it, or to hell for want of it, for what the Bishop had cared.
Lord Liverpool too: this man of candour, honesty, and integrity: ask Lord Calthorpe else: this man whose private character has acquired renown for the manner in which he has conducted the Bill of Pains and Penalties in the House of Lords! he too can attempt to bribe a bishop as well as an Italian witness. Who will longer say that the lower class of Italians are the scum of the earth? Our English bishops and priests are not a jot before them. The one will lie! and swear to a lie for money: but will not the bishop and priest do the same?
We shall expect to hear Brougham, Tierney, and others, of the Whig members in the other House of Parliament, lauding the private character of Castlereagh, and his becoming conduct with respect to the Green Bag. Who knows but both Houses will vote their. thanks to Colonel Brown, the Milan Commissioner, and all the Italian witnesses, for ridding them
of so obstreperous a woman as the Queen, who will neither head the Whig nor Tory faction. We need not be surprized if they do, for they have done stranger things before now. We are anxious to see this Bill get into the other House, as it is essential to the interests of the nation, that it should pass both Houses, and receive the Royal Assent. Even then it will be no law for the people, because they may individually receive it or reject it, just as they like. But it will convince the more stupid part of the community of the necessity of Parliamentary Reform. It will shew them that there is no connection between the present legislature and the people. It will open their eyes more than all the taxation that can be imposed upon them. To see the Queen treated in such a manner; they will begin to gape and ask how comes this about?
This is certainly a glorious measure taking it all in all. It is just the very thing which this country stood in need of; petitioning for reform would have availed nothing, and nothing short of physical force, or the breaking up of the funding system, could have reformed the parliament. We shall see it done in quick time after the passing of this Bill. We should read of the failure of the Bill with deep regret, although, we would wish the Queen all the happiness that could befal her. We are of opinion that it will be much to her advantage and honour, to see her husband put his stamp upon it. Any compromise of this business will degrade her Majesty, and leave her destitute in a few months of a single friend.
Tierney has been quite silent upon this business. We know, that he had a closet audience with the King in the spring of the year at Brighton. We should not be surprized to find him a second Lauderdale by and by. Or a second Calthorpe or Ellenborough: proclaim the Queen guilty, but vote against the Bill, as a matter of political expediency. Those fellows must be all recollected. The man who can pronounce her guilty and then wish to preserve her in the station of Queen of England must be her most bitter enemy. Nothing short of a perfect conviction of her innocence should have produced a vote against the Bill. The whole drift of the conduct of Whig and Tory is to get her Majesty out of this country. They dreadfully fear her influence if she remains, and we should not be surprized to find a clause of banishment added in the last stage of the Bill. These factions cannot bear exposure and contempt. They comprise the whole of the aristocracy of the
country, whilst the body of industrious people feel an utter aversion towards, and a contempt for both.
Castlereagh's adjournment of the Common's House, was extended too far by a fortnight. We shall have a void again in this business, and we are more anxious to see it in the other house than the one it has gone through. It has been rumoured, that Castlereagh means to get rid of the re-examination of the Italian witnesses, and to call upon the House to legislate upon the minutes taken before the House of Lords. This will be a neat job, if he can do this, and we shall find the Bill finished on the anniversary of the six acts of last year, or the commencement of the present. It will make good the assertion of Sir Francis Burdett, that the present parliament is as bad or worse than the last at which the honourable Grey Bennet felt so much horror and confusion.
The Queen has nothing to fear if she adheres to the spirit of the answers to her addressers, but if she shrinks from the people, and is any way drawn into a compromise, she is a losť woman in future. Let her recollect the Roman idea of royalty that a throne is an honourable sepulchre. If she has not the courage to act upon this maxim, it is but a misfortune that she has gone so far. But we will not doubt her courage without a sufficient cause. She has acted nobly so far, and has promised that she will go further, and use all the means she possesses to resist the unjust and cruel oppression which has been practised upon her, and which now attempts finally to crush her. We would rather see her perish on the scaffold or combat her enemies at the head of her friends, like Boadicea of old, than see her yield an iota of that which is her due, whilst her husband fills the throne of these realms. She has our wishes for her success.