« PreviousContinue »
was frequently repeated by Mr. Cobbett, but Mr. Sheridan declined giving any other reply. Mr. Cobbett's own account of what passed will be given in a subsequent page. At the close of the Poll the numbers were, For Sir Sainuel Hood ..
4547 Mr. Paull . .
3799 Mr. Sheridan .
3791 Mr. WHITBREAD then announced that Mr. Paull was, upon the whole poll, only 8 a-head of his illustrious friend Mr. Sheridan. He therefore wished the friends of Mr. Sheridan joy, and begged his enemies to keep themselves in temper. [4p* plauses and hisses.]
Mr. SHERIDAN repeated the words of Mr. Whitbread, exhorting the people to preserve their tenper; and he was the more induced to press this exhortation, because he felt the best wishes towards every one of them. He knew their disposition, and was certain that not one among them was his enemy; but, on the contrary, that they 110.1 felt ashamed of having been so long made the dupes of the vilc misrepresentations and falsehoods which had beca propagated respecting his conduct and character. The contest would not, he was suite, terminate until the public would be fully convinced of the turpitude of his accusers, and that he had never declined, in any instance, to do all that was in his power to discharge every obligation to which man was bound to attend, cither by the precepts of justice or the feelings of generosity. To loose and general calumnies, how
ever, it was impossible for him to answer, and with those who could be imposed upon by such calumnies, it would perhaps be absurd to argue. Against the suggestions of the prejudiced, and the clamours of the ignorant, no man could protect his reputation; but to precise specific accusation, for which he had looked, in vain, in the course of this contest, it was the duty of a man to make a defence. None such having offered, he must leave it to the candid, the just, the reflecting part of the coinmunity to refute the malignity of his opponents. Returning to the state of the poll, he dwelt upon the omen which it afforded of ultimate victory. This victory would, he trusted, be borne by his opponents with the same temper as that which he declared he should feel were it his lot to be defeated. [Applauses and hisses.]-He regretted the absence of his broad-faced friend, for he was sure that, although rather harsh in his attacks upon him, he would still have the good-nature and good temper to procure a hearing from him in reply. The interruption he had met with augured ill of the cause it was meant to sustain. His cause required not the aid, but would be injured by the interposition of irregularity; and, therefore, he deprecated every thing of this kind on the part of his friends. Here he adverted to the dinner which was fixed for this day, at the Crown and Anchor, where, he assured the gentlemen in front of the Hustings, he should drink all their good healths, and be should not trespass longer on their attention here. As the days were shorter, he felt that so should
his speaking be shorter; for he did not like to pro-
Sir. S. Hoop, in returning thanks to the meeting, repeated the concluding exhortation of Mr. Sheridan, and his contempt for the disposition and power of his calumniators.
Mr. Paull expressed his satisfaction at the present state of the poll, and his confident expectation as to the final result. He exulted in the progress lie had made, notwithstanding the resistance he had to encounter. He animadverted upon the conduct of certain persons among his opponents, particularly colonel Britten and his son. The former knew well what he was after. He was candidate for a baronetcy, and the misconduct of the son was such, that he had ordered him to be prosecuted for perjury in the vote he had given.-(Captain Britten, who was present, exclaimed, “Upon the part of myself and my father, fellow, I tell you you are a liar."]-Mr. Paull continued, and animadverted
in terms of marked severity upon the outrageous behaviour of several bravoes of the aristocracy in the course of the Election ; many of whom were to be seen among the leaders of hired ruffians, committing every description of violence. Of those leaders the hon. gentleman particularly mentioned, lord Petersham, and Mr. Berkeley Craven. But the endeavours used by such persons suited the cause they came forward to support. They could not, however, succeed in upholding the unfortunate, degraded Treasurer of the Navy; although their anxiety to save him from sinking into a jail, to die there, must naturally urge them to great and extraordinary exertions to secure his return to Parliament. Then the hon. gentleman, in alluding to the declaration reported by the newspapers to have been made by Mr. Sheridan, at Willis's Rooms, that he had tendered that right hon. gentleman his second votes, if he would coalesce with him, but that that right hon. gentleman treated the proposition with disdain, assured the meeting that this statement of the Treasurer of the Navy was utterly unfounded; but that, on the contrary, to a proposition of a similar nature which was macie to his Committee, upon the third day of the poll, by a letter from a Mr. Rodwell, one of Mr. Sheridan's Committee, a direct and immediate denial was given ; and that denial was given with his advice; for he could never reconcile it to his mind to form any connection with this degraded apostate. The only communication his friends had had with the Trea surer of the Navy, was by a letter from Mr. Cob, bett to him, on the Sunday before the publication of his first address; and the only object of this letter was to provide that the Election should be conducted with temper and quietness. The hon. . gentleman stated, that he had the assurance of 700 honest tradesmen that they would come up tomorrow, and each of them declared to him on his canvass, that they were surprised any honest man could vote for the Treasurer of the Navy. The hon. gentleman asserted, that the whole expence of the Election of Mr. Sheridan was defrayed by money taken from the pockets of the people. He assured the meeting, that he was very little known to those who supposed that he was to be appalled by any reverse of fortune or menace of faction; and in this contest he was resolved to persevere to the utmost. Of success he could not allow himself to doubt, until the High Bailiff should actually declare the return against him. But even after he had no doubt that a scrutiny would, by shewing the number of fictitious and fraudulent votes polled for bis opponents, serve to place bim in Parliament as the Representative for Westininster, and condemn the unhappy Treasurer of the Navy to sink, --never to rise again.