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tution, and a discharge of the subjects of the realm from their allegiance; and such is the wretched state of the finances of this country, that this worthy Country Member protested he did not know where the forty marks were to come from.
Lastly, let me name to thee a youngster, who hath been mistaken for a wit in foreign parts, by the name of North Douglas.*-He seemeth to belong to no party, and yet willing to belong to all. He is a forward and frequent speaker-remarkable for a graceful inclination of the upper part of his body, in advance of the lower, and speaketh, I suspect, (after the manner of an ancient) with pebbles in his mouth. He hath a strange custom, when speaking, of holding his hat in one hand, and smoothing the felt of it with the other, the which made me at the
* The Honourable Frederick North Douglas, son of Lord Glenbervie, M. P. for Banbury. It would seem that the fourth Melody, p. 126, alludes to this Gentleman, who seems by the parliamentary debates, to have voted with the Administration the first half of the Parliament, and with the Opposition the second.-E.
first entertain a ludicrous notion that he was recom
mending the hat to the Speaker, and exhorting him to purchase it.
I must now bid thee farewell, but I have much more to communicate to thee.
FROM MR. EZEKIAL GRUBB TO MR. TOBIAS
BRANDE OF BIGMUDDY.
5, Bearbinder-lane, 10th day of 5th month.
WORTHY TOBIAS,_-In my last I expounded unto thee, with what skill I could command, the charac
ters of most of the persons in the Parliament House, who go by the name of the Opposition—insomuch that I have little more at this present writing to impart to thee on that head.
It seemeth good that I should now present unto thee some information regarding the nature of the business upon which the said Parliament House and the Members thereof are ordinarily engaged. Upon the table of the House there lieth a sort of ledger or entry book, in the which a Member purposing to propound any matter inscribeth it beforehand, that due notice may be had thereof. By the favour of Martin, I have procured a sight of this valuable register or record ; and shall, for the better edification and induction into the mysteries of the legislation of this people, indulge thee with certain transcripts thereof. And let me first premise unto thee, that in many cases the precise nature of the business is not easily to be comprehended (by a stranger at least) from the entry thereof in the book.
In most cases,
Nor can I well translate unto thee what is signified by such terms as these : “ Scotch Hawkers bill, 2d time;"_“Co. Sugar Mistake bill;"_“Irish Vermin, 3d time;"_“Madder explanation bill, Rep.;"“ British White Herring bill Co.". however, the entry is sufficiently clear to shew to thee the object of the mover, as he is called, because when he riseth to speak he putteth himself into a great deal of motion, and generally also moveth several members to depart; and by frequent' attention to the purport of the notices each man giveth, thou mayest judge of his capacity and public conduct. From this entry-book I surmise that there is not a man who hath more real business to transact than the little Irishman, of whom I spoke in my last, and who is so well respected by both parties that he is commonly called the worthy Baronet; wherein his worthiness above his fellows consists I have not satisfied myself, but suspect it is his great good humour and pleasant temper. He hath at the present
time 33 entries or notices on the book, and of the great moment thereof to the State thou mayest judge for thyself from the following examples :
“ Notice.Tuesday, May 23. “Sir John Newport-Tomove for a Copy of the Commission of Thady Doyle, a supernumerary gauger; and a Copy of all Correspondence between the Excise Board in Ireland and any supernumerary gauger, on the subject of the illicit distillation of aniseed water, since the Union with this country.”
“ Ditto-To refer for the opinion of the twelve Judges the Petition of Michael Kenny, of the city of Waterford, merchant and huckster, complaining of a surcharge of 38. 9fd. Irish currency."
“ Wednesday, May 24. “ Ditto-Bill to abolish the Office of Crier of the Justiciary Court of Scotland, and to carry the net emolument of the said Office to the account of the Commissioners for Draining the Bog of Allen."
“ Thursday, May 25. “ Ditto-To appoint a Commission under the Sign Manual, to enquire whether the Isle of Man is, according to the Articles of Union, a part of Ireland or of Great Britain ; and to move for a return of the duties on wrought plate and jewels, imported from the said Island into the port of London, in the last year."
I shall now proceed with a transcript of divers other motions and notices, likewise of great im