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One of the consequences of the discharge of men from the Dock-yard has been the emigration of several of our artisans to the
United States. The very flattering accounts received from them, it is thought, will shortly have the effect of depriving this country of the services of some of its most valuable hands, many of whom are desirous of following their companions.- Rochester Gazette.
SOMERSETSHIRE. Since the last election for East Somerset, no less than sixty parishes in this division have been virtually disfranchised, through non-publication of the lists of voters.
SUFFOLK. There are in Suffolk five contiguous parishes, the aggregate tithes of which amount to nearly 2500l. per annum, in not one of which is there a resident clergyman; the income destined and adequate to provide for five resident incumbents, at 500l. per annum each, being entirely absorbed by one of the colleges at Cambridge, who employ two non-resident curates at 1001. per annum each to perform divine service!
We have much pleasure in stating, that all the heavy part of the repairs of the bridges of the Chain-pier, which have been carried on under Captain Brown's personal superintendence, is completed in the most substantial manner; the platforms of the bridge, although not entirely laid, will be sufficiently safe and commodious for visitors to proceed to the outer pierhead very shortly. The passage will be enclosed with stanchions and ropes, and these will remain until the pier is completed, which, it is expected, will be in three weeks.-Brighton Gazette.
IRELAND. Importation of Irish Cattle. The fol. lowing is an account of the number of cattle, sheep, pigs, and horses, imported into Bristol from Ireland during the last year, as appears by a register kept at the Mirror Office :
Cattle Sheep Pigs Horses Janury, Feb., March, 171 164 29,478 56 April, May. June 1380 847 20,S65 74 July, August, Sept., 786 1519 18,401 94 October, Nov., Dec., 145 200 28,547 60
Total in 1833 2482 2730 97,291 284
Total in 1832. 5327 3639 67,961 217 It appears by this statement that the increase in the year 1833, in the importation of pigs, was 29,330 ; and in that of horses, 67. The decrease in cattle
amounted to 2845, and in sheep to 909. -Bristol Mirror.
The Report of the Committee of the House of Commons, appointed last Session to consider the general state of parochial registries, the laws relating to them, and the expediency of a general registration of births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials in England and Wales, has at length been printed. The conclusion to which it appears the Committee unanimously came was, that a national civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths should be established,—that it should include all ranks of society, and religionists of every class, -that the register should be kept in duplicate, one to be forwarded to a central office in the Metropolis. The Committee do not at all propose to discontinue the present ecclesiastical registration of baptisms, deaths, and marriages, but simply for civil purposes to cause a perfect account of them to be kept.
A map has been published by the Reformation Society, exhibiting the situations of Roman Catholic chapels, col. leges, and seminaries in the several counties of England, Scotland, and Wales; and also the present stations of the Reformation Society, up to January, 1833. From this, it appears that the total number of Catholic chapels in England and Wales, in 1833, was 423, and in Scotland 74, being an increase in England and Wales since 1824 of 65, and in Scotland since 1829, of 23 Roman Catholic places of worship. The counties in England possessing the greatest number of Catholic chapels are-Lan. cashire, 87; Yorkshire, 52; Stafford. shire, 25; Northumberland and Middlesex, . each 19; Warwickshire and Durham, each 14; Hampshire, 12; and Lincolnshire, 11. There is no Catholic chapel in the counties of Rutland or Huntingdon. In Wales, Catholicism seems to have made but little progresssix out of the eleven counties into which it is divided not having a Catholic chapel in them, and there being only eight chapels in the entire principality. Invernesshire and Banffshire appear to be the most Catholic counties in Scotland, there being 17 chapels in the for. mer, and 12 in the latter county. The Reformation Society has been enabled to establish only 46 stations throughout the whole of England, Wales, and Scotland, to counteract the rapid strides which Catholicism seems to be making.
Reader! I should be exceedingly obliged if you could give me a satisfactory answer to this question,—What is liberty ? I hope I am not ignorant of my own language, nor of its great source the German, nor of its intimate ally the French. I can read “ Don Quixote" in the Spanish, “ Dante” in Italian, and as to the ancients in Greek and Latin, I had them all at my fingers' ends before I was eighteen. Nay, I am possessed with somewhat of Dr. Bowring's fancy for dabbling in the Russian, the high and low Dutch, the Swedish, the Norwegian, and the dialects of the Magyars; but may I perish if I can glean from any of these divers tongues the meaning of that little word-LIBERTY! Thomson
sung of it in five cantos, Glover converted it into an epic poem; I have seen it fall or conquer in fifty tragedies; and I laughed at it most heartily, not long since, at the Comedié Française, in Paris, where it was turned into irresistible ridicule by the wit of M. Scribe. I have read Locke, I have studied Blackstone, I have turned over all the law reports, and almost a hundred volumes of Parliamentary debates; I have searched Johnson's Dictionary, as well as those of Walker and Bailey; I have not even disdained to question Entick; but the result of all my investigation has been, that I am at this moment as much in ignorance of the meaning of the word "liberty,” as I was when I first saw the light of this strange world of ours.
I met, the other day, a friend of mine, a sprightly young fellow fresh from college, who was spending the Christmas with some pretty cousins of his in my neighbourhood. I asked him what he understood by “ liberty." « Faith!” said he, “I can tell you all about it, for my cheek still smarts whenever the word is mentioned.” I shook him warmly by the hand, fearing lest, even by a breath, I might disturb the clear stream of his memory. “You know Beatrice,” he added. “Ah! yes—a sweet girl !” “ Sweet! I have no reason to say so. playing at forfeits on New Year's Eve, and before they came quite round I kissed her, whereupon she gave me a box on the cheek, declaring that I was extremely rude in taking such a liberty.” According to Beatrice, and perhaps a great majority of the sex, liberty, therefore, means rudeness.
Another friend of mine, who was obliged to stipulate on his marriage that he should exchange his gold snuff-box for a splendid guard-chain, very often solicits consolation from me in these terms :
May I take the liberty of asking if you have your box in your pocket ?" To him
March.-VOL. XL. NO. CLIX.
the supreme blessing of liberty is neither more nor less than a pinch of snuff: he would not think Magna Charta worth a farthing without it.
In my rambles through the manufacturing districts I have endeavoured to enlighten my mind on this subject. I never heard the word
liberty” mentioned so often as in those fiery, and pottery, and cotton and wool smelling regions. It is in every body's mouth; it is in every local paper that you read, starting up like a ghost from every second line. All parties seem to be fighting for it, and no party to have won it. The Unionists, who are rapidly organizing all their forces, in order to compel their masters to raise their wages, and at the same time to abridge the ordinary time of labour, told
me that true liberty was high pay and moderate work. But when I conversed with the masters on the point in dispute, they assured me that their resistance to the demands of the operatives sprung from no selfish motives; it was founded solely on a patriotic principle, for if they were to yield in the contest now going on between the employers and the employed, there would be an end to the liberty of every man who had his capital embark im trade! Liberty was here appealed to on both sides, but in acceptations as opposite to each other as the poles.
If I look into the columns of the “ Morning Post," I find that the liberty of the country has been destroyed ever since the Reform Bill was passed into a law. If I read “ The Times," I am informed that it is only since that period that the reign of liberty has commenced. If I take up “The Herald,” I become a convert to the opinion that liberty never can be known in England, until the punishment of death shall cease to be inflicted for every crime short of murder. If I listen to “ The Globe,” I am impressed with quite a contrary doctrine, that punishment of an extreme character is absolutely necessary in a country where every man's house is his castle, and liberty is destroyed at its very source by the atrocious operations of the burglar. If I happen to
“The Crisis” of the Owenites, I am initiated in a species of philosophy which represents crime of every description as either an involuntary act, and therefore perfectly innocent, or as an act of self-defence, and therefore, in every view of it, justifiable. This puts me in mind of a capital speech, which was once delivered at the gallows by a man who was about to suffer for murder and robbery, and which, by the by, places the argument against the inequalities of the criminal law in a striking, though ludicrous point of view:
“ Good people," said the murderer, “ since I am to serve you for a sight, the least you can do is to be civil to the man that entertains you. I ask nothing of you but the justice that is due to me. There are some meddling tongues, which I can hear among the crowd, very busy to incense you. Though it is true I have committed murder, yet I hope I am no murderer. The robbery I really purposed, but my intention had no part in the death I was guilty of. The deceased cried for help, and was so obstinate and clamorous, that I was under the necessity of killing him, or of submitting myself to the loss of my liberty by being taken; and thus I argued in my mind: if I murder him I shall get off; or, at worst, if I am taken, my punishment will be no greater than if I spare him and surrender; I can be but hanged for murder, and must be hanged too for the house-breaking. This thought, good people, prevailed with me to shoot him; so that what you call murder was only
self-preservation. Now, that I should have died in this manner, whether I had shot him or no, witness these two weak brothers here, who look as if they were already at the other end of their voyage, though they have not hoisted sail yet. One of these stole bacon, and the other a wet smock or two. The law must be certainly wiser than you are, and since that has been pleased to set our crimes on a level, be so civil, or compassionate, as to hold your silly tongues, and let me die without slander.”
Verily, LIBERTY might say the same to her followers in almost all parts of the world, -" Hold your silly tongues, and let me die without slander.” If freedom be anything like a synonime for that phrase, assuredly a man may exercise it, who, possessing property in his own right, wishes to do with it just as he pleases. Nevertheless, when a certain noble Duke who, though not a Cicero in the senate, is distinguished for his love of letters, ejected a few of his tenants because they thought fit to reduce to practice their ideas of liberty, by voting for a popular candidate, he was told that he ought not to do with his own as he thought fit, and that his view of liberty was nothing but sheer despotism.
I have two votes, one for the Borough of Marylebone, one for Finsbury; and though I have not yet settled the question, I believe that I am entitled to vote for Middlesex. If any body in England be a liberus homo,--a real freeman,- I am. Well, what is the consequence? Hardly a month goes by that I am not summoned to a grand jury, or a petty jury, or a coroner's inquest. Now juries of all kinds are my abhorrence, more particularly special juries, which I detest with an unconquerable hatred. Mind, I do not say but that they may be very good institutions in themselves, so far as the administration of justice may be concerned : my objection to them only exists whenever I am myself called upon, and compelled, under the penalty of a heavy fine, to be one of the sworn number. I am obliged to bustle off to court before daylight of a cold, raw, rainy, December morning. The cause which stood first on the list, and which I am summoned to try, is postponed, because the counsel are not ready, or a witness has not yet come. Another cause is called on. It is a question of a right of way, or a water-course, or ancient lights, or some equally entertaining affair sent out of the Court of Chancery, which occupies the whole day, though expected to blow up every moment. I come home at night, tired, exhausted, out of humour with the whole world. I am obliged to be off again the next morning. The Chancery cause is not yet over. It terminates about noon. My cause is called on. It turns out to be a tremendous trial, occupying three days, during which I am under the necessity of attending in the box whether I will or no. But that is not all. We are charged by the Judge; we retire to our room, where we are closely guarded by a constable, who is sworn to keep us without fire, food, or candlelight, until we come to an unanimous decision. I have an opinion of my own on the question at issue. I think the verdict ought to be for the plaintiff: three or four of my fellow jurymen agree with me, and we produce our night-caps in order to show our determination to make no concession. The eight against us are equally obstinate. Night comes; morning, such as it is in a December fog, comes : the want of repose convinces us at length that we are wrong, and a verdict is unanimously given for the defendant ! And, after all this,-after losing my whole week in court,-after being shut up a close prisoner for a whole night without fire, food, or candlelight, -after being obliged either to die or to abandon my opinion, however honestly that opinion may have been formed, I am told that I am a free man—that I live in a land of liberty! Was there ever such an abuse of terms as this? A liberus homo forsooth! say rather a galley slave, though even his lot would be preferable to mine, for the chain cannot touch his intellect—his opinion, at least, is free.
I am naturally of retired nabits of life. I like to spend my evenings at home among my books, in the bosom of my family; now a little music,—now a hand at whist,—but nothing to disturb the general air of repose, which I leck upon as the summum bonum of existence. But my daughters are growing up; and, though I say it, very pretty girls. Cards for “at home," " quadrilles," “ conversazione," thicken upon us during the season. I am asked whether I will not go; and, if I even seem to hesitate, a cluster of smiles springs up around me in an instant, infinitely more imperative than an ukase of the Autocrat himself. Go I must;—to look on,—to talk,—to be talked to,- to be talked at ;-losing sleep, and sometimes health ;-and yet the Whigs tell me that I am in the enjoyment of real liberty, such as not one of my ancestors could boast of, though I might count them up to the days of the great Alfred himself.
A man comes to my door and asks me for money, which, as I owe him none, I deem myself at liberty to refuse. He happens, by some accident, to be a relation of mine,—at least, so he says, -and has already exhausted my patience by the frequency of his visits, and the importunity of his demands. He meets me in the street,-mobs me,-perhaps, being a much more powerful man than I am, knocks me down. My obvious course would be to have him brought before a police magistrate at Bow-street or Hatton-garden, where he might be fined and bound over to keep the peace during a term of five years. But if I proceed in this manner, no sooner is his story told, than all the sympathy both of the magistrate and the reporter is kindled for the against the rich. The next morning I am placarded, on every breakfasttable in London, as a little, scrubby fellow, with an antiquated queue, a bob-wig, a very queer hat, an old-fashioned umbrella, a pair of spider legs, and a husky voice, while my assailant is decked out in all the manly charms of a Hercules. I feel no wish to have it said by, all the world that I am encircled by a crowd of poor relations. I dread ridicule, or being “cut,” much more than a common assault. What, then, is my situation in this land of liberty ? I am knocked down with impunity in the streets, and, if I should appeal to the laws as administered at the police office, I am “ damned to everlasting fame” by the caricatures of a free press! Again I ask you, dear reader, can you tell me what is liberty?
I am a literary man, and when I have the requisite materials and leisure for writing a book upon a favourite subject, I sit down to my task without fearing that a sword is hanging over my head by a hair. I write away, as I fondly imagine, in the possession of the most unbounded freedom. Before I can get the paper, however, on which I write, I must give a little douceur to the king, in the shape of what he calls a duty, If I write by day I must pay him for my daylight. If I wish to have a