Page images
PDF
EPUB

For your worthy Chairman, who has equally done honour to himself, and to the Livery of which he is a member, I see an example well deserving my imitation, and while I adhere to the generous principles by which his conduct has been guided, I shall never want perseverance in your cause.

Mr. Wardle concluded by proposing Mr. Waitbman with three times three.

[ocr errors]

bman with the

THE WHIG CLUB.

On Tuesday, April 10, a most numerous meeting was held at the Freemason's Tavern, Samuel Whitbread, Esq. in the chair; where the regular constitutional toasts of the day being gone through, Gwillym Lloyd Wardle, Esq. was proposed as id Candidate for admission to the Club, by Mr. Maddox, which was seconded by Mr. Whitbread. This motion, though carried, was afterwards declined by Mr. Wardle; as it appeared to have been made by his friend without his consent, and further, it appeared to be Mr. Wardle's determine ation to act independently of all parties whatever.

In the course of this ineeting, Mr. Whitbread gave a very appropriate toast – Mr. WARDLE, a gentleman who was uppermost in every man's mind.”

Mr. Denison, who made a most luminous speech, after asserting that every department of the state was corrapt; that the East India Company had tainted and debased every branch of our administration, observed, that Mr. Wardle deserved, in his mind, a statue of gold, for hav. ing brought to light the dangerous and disgraceful vice.

He knew that Reform was branded with the epithet of Jacobinism ; but genuine Jacobinism was only to be found in these haunts of dissipation where rank debased itself by the most vulgar ex. cesses, and where Ministers betrayed their trust by lowering the character of the magistracies, and the orders they were appointed to uphold. He called these lawyers the worst of Jacobins who degraded the character and lowered the dignity of the jurisprudence of the country, by exerting their talents rather to brow-beat innocence, than to demonstrate the truth; and who, by their sycophancy and time-serving, shewed that the laws in their hands were cobwebs only to catch the feeble, but through which the powerful could easily escape. It was the proftigate race of courtiers that were Jacobins, who, at the very time when they assisted Ministers to deprive mediocrity of its comforts, and poverty itself of its necessaries, did not scruple to quarter upon the country all the relatives and dependants, and to put their hands into the national purse for the payment of their personal debts. An awful lesson had been given to Sovereigns of the value of such Courtiers and Ministers in the late revolution in Spain, where the very Nobles and Grandees, who had been the first to advise the King to resist reformation, bad been the first to swear allegiance to his enemy!

Mr. Denison concluded a most animated speech, by saying, that, fearless of the unjust imputations that might be thrown upon them by those who supported the corruptions of the State, that they might participate in them and, careless of the opinion of that cautious, calculating host, who kept aloof from exertion, that they might put themselves in the way to fayour, he should propose a series of resolutions, in which he hoped for the concurrence of every gentleman present.

Mr. Whitbread gave the health of Mr. Denison, and regretted that he had not a seat in Parli. ament; for which he returned thanks in an elegant speech, concluding, that he hoped to see the wish of the departed patriot, Mr. Fox, fulfilled, “ A jealous Parliament and responsible Ministry."

The Resolutions agreed to on this occasion, besides thanking Mr. Wardle and his Colleagues, concluded by expressing the decided opinion of the Whig Club, that no substantial and perma

nent good can be derived by the country from any change of Ministers, unless accompanied by an entire change of system-a Reform of all existing abuses in every department of the State, and an abolition of all unnecessary Places and Pensions, which recent events have clearly proved can only be effectually accomplished by a Reform of the Representation of the People in Parliament.

THE MIDDLESEX MEETING, AT THE

MERMAID, HACKNEY.

On Tuesday, April 11, at one o'clock, the two sheriffs, Messrs. Smith and Hunter, took the chair, and read the requisition, signed by several respectable freeholders :-Colonel Tuffuel, Mr. Clarkson, Mr. Byng, Mr. Waithman, Major Cartwright, Mr. Griffiths, and Mr. Bentley of Highbury Grove, were the principal speakers : The latter said, that he wished, as shortly as possible, to call the attention of the Meeting to one circumstance relative to the late Inquiry, which appeared to him of prime importance ; he meant the pains which had been taken by Ministers, from the very beginning, to crush all inquiries into the abuses which had taken place in the army. He believed that, some time ago,

not fewer than twenty prosecutions for libels had been instituted against different individuals, for the purpose of putting down all inquiry, and preventing the corruptions which liad been now detected from coming to light. But Mr. Wardle had broke the spell, and these abuses had become matter of universal knowledge, and of equally universal reprobation. This alone was a merit of no small value; and if these prosecutions were not abandoned, he trusted that the spirit of the people would brand them with their true name of persecutions, not prosecutions. Ile could not abstain from paying this small tribute to the conduct of Mr. Wardle, who, even on this score alonc, was entitled to the thanks of his countrythat men could now speak and write of these abuses without being liable to the appellation of libellers.

Major Cartwright, alluding to Mr. Wardle, compared him to the Leader of the People of Israel in the Desert, who had touched the barren rock, and out gushed streams of water. In the same way, by the conduct of Mr. Wardle, a spirit of patriotism had gushed out even in the House of Commons: be called upon them to recollect, that out of the eighty-three members of a majority who voted for Ministers on the last division, there were seventy-eight placemen and pensioners, besides a number of military officers,

« PreviousContinue »