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during the interval between 1741 and 1807, during which time the representation was uncontested. When, however, the contest did come, the electors made up for the laches of their predecessors.

When Stafford's heir and Baron Harewood's son
Their length of patriotism and purses run,

And each to win his country's favours told
A hundred thousand virtues set in gold.

Great fights, such as this, or the memorable contest in Northumberland, crippled the candidates for years, and many a mortgage dates its origin from election rivalries. When Mr. Marshall came forward for Yorkshire in 1826, the preparations for a contest which did not take place cost him no less than 17,000l. There is one interesting feature in the election literature of the beginning of the century which we miss to-day, viz., the evident value set upon the possession of scholarly attainments and classical knowledge. In the little biographies drawn up in some of the parliamentary guides, some five or ten elegiacs are given, as an indication of the cultivated taste and acquirements of the member alluded to.

The House of Commons was then a better club than it is now. No one spoke who had not something to say. Lord Lowther and Lord Apthorpe paired for the hunting season on one occasion, and no lists were issued of the numbers of divisions in which members had taken part. Great men, or the greater barbarians as the Spectator pleasantly called them, were greater than they are now. Curates are obsequious in the presence of a patron of twenty livings, and candidates for Parliament must have looked with awe upon the possessor of eight or eleven seats. The country belonged to the Duke of Rutland, the Duke of Newcastle, and Lord Lonsdale, as Sydney Smith said. One hundred and eighty men nominated 370 votes in the House of Commons in 1821-267 men returned 471 members; the Treasury 16, making 487 out of 658. 300 members were returned by places with less than 5,000 inhabitants. The head of the Lowthers or the Manners or the Grenvilles could introduce his friends at any time into public life, and the safety of a ministry might depend upon one man's support. The nominee kept his patron constantly informed of

every political wind that blew in the capital, of every intrigue in the Cabinet. The patron was anxious to secure his dukedom or to be sent out to finish the Burmese war, and he expected his follower, whatever his duties of office might be, to devote all his energies to compass this end.

Men possessed of high rank and large fortunes have, and no doubt always will have, deference paid to them, but the deference of those days was not that of to-day. Sir Walter Scott was the first man of letters in 1819, a personal friend of the Prince Regent, caressed by all the wit and fashion and beauty of England and Scotland, yet

we find him writing to Lord Montagu on the death of the Duke of Buccleuch, I never thought it possible that a man could have loved another so much where the distance of rank was so very great.' Crabbe drew a painful picture of the courtier's position, the bitterness of which he felt himself: Upon thy Lord with decent care attend.'

The great nobles desired to retain their influence, and did so by living in the country; they imposed upon the public by their state, and by lavish and magnificent hospitality such as that shown by Lord Egremont at Petworth, Lord Buckingham at Stowe, the Duke of Beaufort at Badminton, Mr. Coke at Holkham, and Lord Fitzwilliam at Wentworth; they furnished the provinces with a court which might well compare in display with the royal one, and far exceeded it in decency. The law was inclined and was strained to respect the prerogatives of peers. A suggestion that Lord Lonsdale's face might fitly be taken to represent that of the devil, was made the subject of a criminal prosecution. This same Lord Lonsdale, on being stopped when driving in Mount Street by the officer of the Guards on duty, exclaimed, 'You rascal, do you know I am a peer of the realm ?' Captain Cuthbert replied, 'I don't know you are a peer, but I know you are a scoundrel.' A duel followed, but unattended by fatal results. In one of Miss Edgeworth's stories the Duke of Greenwich is represented as estranged from Lord Aldborough because his correspondent had not sealed a letter to him, and I have no doubt that the trait is drawn from real life, because in a correspondence with Lord Buckingham Lord Sydney alludes to offence having been taken on account of his addressing Lord Buckingham in the same strain as that in which Lord Buckingham had addressed him-probably without his title.

No preacher would in these days speak in his funeral sermon of a woman who was lately a great and good duchess on earth, and is now a great and good duchess in heaven.' Civility, decent civility, in a peer, seems to entitle him, in the eyes of his admirers, to special eulogy. I have known Lord Sandwich apologise to a lieutenant in the navy for not being able to be exact to his appointment,' writes a friend of his lordship. Bishop Warburton is spoken of as beyond measure condescending and courteous, having even graciously handed some biscuits and wine on a salver to a curate who was to read prayers. The position of a peer is no doubt less imposing now, but it is probably more comfortable; state is avoided because it brings no corresponding advantage. Lord Abercorn, travelling in 1813 between Carlisle and Longtown, was preceded by the ladies of his family and his household in five carriages, while he brought up the rear mounted on a small pony, and decorated over his riding-dress with the ribbon and star of the Garter. In this guise he would now be taken for the advance guard of a travelling menagerie. Whitaker speaks of the Earl of Cumberland travelling in 1525, with thirty

three servants and horses, and says that now, viz. 1805, a nobleman of the same rank going alone from Skipton to London would be content with six horses, two postilions, and two outriders. 'Modern habits,' he adds, have certainly gained in elegance what they have lost in cumbrous parade.' The change between 1805 and 1885 has been even greater than that between 1525 and 1805, and it is difficult to conceive how travelling could be rendered more simple and free from parade. From the days of Haroun Alraschid, the wearers of rank have found it among their chief pleasures to lay it aside, and to observe the manners of their time unnoticed themselves. The facilities for this enjoyment now are far greater. The age, too, is in a hurry; one horse goes quicker than four; life is short, and the actors want to get as much as possible out of it. They want to enjoy the advantages of wealth, of leisure, and of educated taste, as much as ever, but they have less veneration for form. We give the title of esquire to a costermonger or a chimney-sweep, and should much prefer giving the latter the title of marquis, if he desired it, sooner than have our chimneys unswept. A peer in these days may be defined as a country gentleman with an embarrassed income, incapable of taking a part personally in contested elections, and who, cæteris paribus, has the first refusal of an heiress and of a Court appointment. It is very seldom that he possesses even the moiety of a borough, and if he does, it is only owing to legitimate means, and in no way the result of his peerage.

With the Reform Bill the power of the House of Lords fell, and it is in the possession of other advantages that its members have now to solace themselves. Any oligarchy enjoys a coveted pre-eminence. The Upper House may increase its numbers, but it cannot increase them in direct ratio with the increase of the population. The eagerness to belong to it does not appear to diminish, and all resigning ministers could tell of a goodly list of applicants for admission to the honour. It is the same with the House of Commons. Its character has changed, its ranks are filled from all classes and trades, men criticise it unfavourably, point to its loss of oratorical power, of decent feeling, of self-respect and good breeding, but there is never any lack of candidates to supply a vacancy. O drug,' said Robinson Crusoe, on finding some gold in the hold of the wreck, what art thou good for? I have no manner of use for thee. Ever remain where thou art and go to the bottom as a creature whose life is not worth saving.' He adds, 'However, upon second thoughts I took it away.' Criticisms have very little influence on the subsequent conduct of those who make them.

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Never was there such wealth of invective at the command of man as was owned by Cobbett. Out of the innermost recesses of the English language he drew epithets and utterances that had slept for centuries. We have forgotten these words, if indeed we know their meanings.

We are mealy-mouthed and cast about for a periphrasis. When, indeed, we wish to use strong language we are reduced to plagiarisms.

Lord Tennyson, in one of his last poems, speaks of one of his characters as being 'that outdacious at home not thaw you went fur to raäke out hell with a small-tooth comb!' a sentiment which you will find applied by a Bristol mechanic during the election of 1812 to his political opponents. The simple Saxon words of reproach used by our ancestors, by Fielding, by Sterne, by Smollett, by Johnson, have fallen into disuse; and, though the moralist has to condemn precisely the same frailties or foibles, he has to do so in different language. But in the beginning of the century plain-speaking held its own, and Cobbett could find in the language of those who were socially his superiors justification for the nervous terseness of his vituperative pen.

No one swore harder than ex-Chancellor Lord Thurlow, or spoke out his thoughts with more clearness; no one, to put it plainly, used more hideous language. (He died cursing his servants.) Sir, your father,' he said to George the Fourth,' will continue to be a popular king as long as he continues to go to church every Sunday, and to be faithful to that ugly woman your mother; but you, sir, will never be popular.' We have one delightful story at a later period about the King's language. He was very angry with Lord Mansfield on account of a speech he had made on the Catholic question. He lied,' said the King; 'had I been an individual, I would have told him so and fought him. As it was, I put the Archbishop of Canterbury in a fright by sending him as my second to Mansfield to tell him he lied. The Archbishop came down bustling here to know what he was to do. Go, said I, "Go and do my bidding-tell him he lies, and kick his behind in my name!"' History does not record whether the Archbishop carried out his royal master's orders or not. Cobbett understood the value of repetition as well as that of abuse; he hammered at the borough-monger whatever his subject might be that monster to be moved by nothing but his own pecuniary sufferings.' His English Grammar, which deserves a permanent place among the best class-books, is made the vehicle of open and covert satire. Sometimes the hyphen is used to connect many words together, as 'the never-to-be-forgotten cruelty of the borough tyrants.' 'Nouns of number such as mob, parliament, rabble, House of Commons, regiment, Court of King's Bench, den of thieves,' is a sentence which defies a criminal information and yet conveys Cobbett's meaning as well as a detailed denunciation.

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When a company, consisting of men who have been enabled, by the favour of the late William Pitt, to plunder and insult the people, meet under the name of a Pitt Club to celebrate the birthday of that corrupt and cruel minister, those who publish accounts of their festivities always tell us that such and such toasts were drank, instead of drunk.

More than 100,000 copies of this Grammar were sold, and it should be treated as its author treated Lowth's grammar. It was by practising what he preached that Cobbett made his own style so excellent and so simple. You will find no sentences in which you have to search for the nominative, no intricate constructions, no fine and half-intelligible words. Mr. Dickens was so charmed with the style of one of his literary staff that he asked him one day how he had acquired so admirable a manner. The fact is, Mr. Dickens,' the contributor replied, there are a great many words I don't understand, and a great many I can't spell, so that I am forced to use a simple set of words.'

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Cobbett's hand was against every man. He hated the Prince Regent and the Ministers, but the Whigs he hated still more. The Edinburgh Reviewers were a tribe of coxcombs, a set of the meanest politicians that ever touched pen and paper. He fell foul of one Liberal leader after another. He attacked Romilly and Brougham as he did Castlereagh and Liverpool, Sidmouth and Canning. He had no sympathy with the modern school of political economy, and was as keen against forestalling and regrating as Lord Kenyon. His motto was Cobbett's reform by or through Cobbett only: Follow me, read my books, and you will be happy and successful through life." He had many of the qualities of a great prophet, and when the forces that were arrayed against him are considered, his courage and pertinacity will appear of no mean order.

In wading through the political life of the first quarter of this century, tired of the plots and counterplots, the jealousies and animosities, of which the Prince was the centre, it is exhilarating to look at them from an outside standpoint connected with neither of the political factions. The Tories were in power from 1783 to 1830, with the exception of a few months. The Whigs wanted their places, wanted the patronage, but they had no desire to lose their political influence in the country by the loss of the seats they owned. Had they come into office in 1812 no real change in the representation would have occurred. They had no object in common. Lord Grey had declared that reform ought only to be undertaken when it was seriously and affectionately demanded by the people. The Radicals made no difference between Whigs and Tories. In Bentham's eyes they acted under the same corrupt influence and possessed the same separate and sinister interest. Whigs and Tories alike were indebted to proprietorship and terrorism for their seats. Against Lord Grey and a Whig aristocracy, against Henry Brougham and the Edinburgh Review, Major Cartwright inveighed as bitterly as against the Tories. The Edinburgh Review retorted and attacked 'the worst. enemies of all reform, who will listen to no dictates of moderation, a class of impostors who showed a disregard of truth and contempt of decency.' The country was to be saved by Whig royalists and a

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