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his hand, covered with figures. My friend informed me it was Mr. Hume. He realized the portrait my mind's eye had drawn of the man who, by dint of tireless ciphering, had convinced the masses of England that they were the mere working animals of the privileged orders. His brief, plain speech was aimed at some measure supported by Stanley, by which the people were to be cheated out of a few thousand pounds, to pamper some titled feeder at the public crib. Stanley was racy and flowery. Hume's speech resembled his lordship’s as little as Euclid's problems do Milton's Paradise Lost. He explained the figures on his paper, and drove the digits into Stanley by a few well-directed blows at "treasury leeches," and sat down. Mr. Hume is a walking bundle of political statistics. No other man will so patiently pursue a falsehood or a false estimate or account, through a wide waste of Parliamentary documents, till he drives it into the sunlight of open exposure, as he. But as to eloquence, he knows no more about it than a table of logarithms. He rarely makes a speech that does not contain a good deal of bad rhetoric, and an equal amount of arithmetical calculations.

Entering Parliament thirty years ago, he immediately placed himself at the door of the national treasury, which he has ever since watched with the dogged vigilance of a Cerberus. He has been the evil genius of Chancellors of the Exchequer, worrying them more than the national debt or the public creditors; whilst sinecurists, pensioners, and fat bishops, have received an annual Parliamentary roasting at his hands. Delving among the corruptions of Church and State, he has laid bare the slimy creatures that fatten on the roots of those institutions, and suck out their healthful nourishment. Bringing every proposed expenditure of money to the test of utility and the multiplication table, he has opened his budget of statistics, night after night, and measured off columns of damning figures by the yard and the hour, contesting the sum totals and the details of the appropriation bills, backed sometimes by the whole force of the liberal party, often sustained by only a few radical followers, and not infrequently left wholly alone. Of course, he is occasionally felt to be a bore. But nothing deters him from pursuing the line he has marked out. Sarcasm is lost upon him. Wit he despises. Threats have no terrors for him. Abuse only rebounds in the face of his assailant. The House may try to scrape or cough him down-Lord John Russell's reproaches may salute his ears-Sibthorpe's clumsy abuse may fall on his head-Stanley's fiery shafts may quiver in his flesh -Peel may shower contempt upon him—but there stands clear-headed, honest-hearted, unawed Joseph Hume, entrenched behind a pile of Parliamentary papers, gathering up the fragments of his last night's speech, and displaying fresh columns of figures, for a renewed attack on some civil or ecclesiastical abuse, which has been hidden from everybody's sight but his, by the accumulated dust of a century. Under any other Government than one scandalously extravagant, and whose people are taxed to the last point of human endurance, such obstinacy as he has sometimes displayed, in obstructing the passage of financial measures, would be wholly inexcusable. But every expedient which the wit or pertinacity of man can devise, to defeat or diminish such plundering of the masses as he witnesses every session of Parliament, is not only tolerable, but a sacred duty. The objects of his guardian vigilance gratefully appreciate his services, knowing that no other man has done so much to expose monetary abuses, and pull gorged leeches from the national treasury, and turn them out to get their living from their native earth.

Let it not be supposed that Mr. Hume has devoted himself exclusively to exchequer budgets and appropriation bills. He has taken a leading share in all liberal measures, advocating Catholic emancipation, Parliamentary reform, West India abolition, and has long been an able champion of Free Trade. Nor do I mean it to be inferred from the “ free and easy" style in which I have spoken of him, that he is not highly re

spectable, both as to talents and character. He is one of the best "working-members" of Parliament, and by constant practice and perseverance he has obtained a position amongst its able debaters. He was chosen Chairman of the Reform League, which was organized by Cobden and others, in the present House of Commons, to obtain equal representation and an enlarged suffrage, and he is the nominal if not the real leader of the present movement for Parliamentary reform. *

Intimately associated with the subject of this chapter, is the recent unsuccessful, but by no means abandoned movement of Mr. Cobden, to reduce the government expenditures £10,000,000 per annum. His speech on that occasion was worthy of the anti-corn-law leader. Those who know him will need no assurance, that he will not give over till he has carried a far more radical measure of retrenchment. He bides his time.


Defects of the Reform Bill-Origin of Chartism-The “ People's Char

ter” Promulgated in 1838-The Riots of 1839 and 1842-The Vengeance of the Government falls on O'Connor, Lovett, Collins, Vincent, J. B. O'Brien, and Cooper—The Nonconformist Newspaper Established by Mr. Miall-Mr. Sturge-Organization of the Complete Suffrage Union--Character of the Chartists.

The old-fashioned Tories declare that the Reform Bill inscribed “Ichabod” on the British Constitution. Though it ushered in a better era, an experience of seventeen years has proved that power has not yet departed from the privileged few.

A few examples of its defects are given. For instance, Glasgow, with a population of 270,000, Manchester of 200000, Birmingham of 160,000, Leeds of 130,000, were allowed two members of Parliament each ; while Cricklade, with a population of 1,600, Shoreham of 1,500, Retford of 2,400, Wenlock of 2,400, were also allowed two members each. Finsbury, Lambeth, Mary-le-bone, and Tower Hamlets, with an aggregate population of 1,100,000, had two members each, W eight votes were balanced by the members from Huntingdon, Marlborough, Dorchester, and Truro, with an aggregate population of 12,500. The entire metropolis, with more than 2,000,000 of inhabitants, received sixteen members, whose power in the House was nullified by the sixteen members of eight boroughs, with a total population of less than 24,000. Fifteen of the principal cities and towns in the


kingdom, containing 3,500,000 people and 160,000 electors, were allowed thirty-two representatives, while the same number was assigned to twenty-seven boroughs, containing 170,000 inhabitants and 6,900 electors.

The inequalities in the distribution of the suffrage are not less striking. The number of males in the United Kingdom, of the age of twenty-one years and upward, is about 7,000,000. The number of registered electors is a little over 1,000,000. Thus, but about one-seventh of the adult males is entitled to

The suffrage is most unequally distributed amongst this one-seventh.

The House of Commons consists of 658 members, which gives an average of full 1,500 electors to each member.

But, 15 members are returned by less than 200 electors each—50 by less than 300 each—100 by less than 500 each—and so on, till careful calculations make it apparent that a clear majority of the House is returned by 200,000 electors, or one-fifth of the entire body, which body consists of only one-seventh of the adult male population.

In the distribution of members, reference was had to the supremacy of the landlord interest. Thus, South Lancashire, which swarms with a manufacturing population of more than 1,000,000, and has 25,000 electors, was balanced by aristocratic Lymington, with 3,300 inhabitants, and 150 electors, whom any lord can buy. West Yorkshire, the seat of the woolen interest, with 1,200,000 people and 40,000 electors, was given the same weight in the House as any two of numerous boroughs, with a joint population of 6,000, whose 400 or 500 electors were the cowering vassals of some great landed proprietor. In Lancashire and Yorkshire, whose skies are blackened with the smoke of their manufactories, there is one member for every 55,000 inhabitants, while rural Rutland has one for every 9,000, and corn-growing Dorset one for every 13,000. Manchester and Salford, the center of the cotton interest, with 300,000 people, send three members, and agri

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