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have was the non-interference of Government with trade, and the removal of all remaining impediments to
the free exercise of industry; and politely deposed the protectionist chairman.

It is to be regretted that this example of politeness, however, has not as yet told generally on the great
body of the farmers. At Stafford, for instance, they enforced their differences of opinion with the loaded
ends of heavy riding-whips on the skulls of a party of radical shoemakers, who had mustered somewhat
strongly in the Town Hall. Indeed that sort of argument would appear, upon the whole, to have been the
most powerful reasoning employed by the farmers as a body, during the late meetings. The consequence of
its partial success at Stafford was its subsequent adoption, with various fortune, at Hinckley in Leicestershire,
and at Reading, Croydon, and Worcester; for though both at Hinckley and in the latter city the top-boots and
leathers underwent decisive rout, and at Croydon it was a drawn battle, at Reading they as clearly got uppermost,
and indeed came off with quite a triumphant victory. Their newspapers complacently record it. To
the spectators not engaged nothing whatever was audible, and nothing visible but a sea of hats bobbing up
and down like chopping waves in a tide-way, fists whirling in the air, and incidental glimpses of hand to hand
encounters in which bulky gentlemen in white top-coats "appeared to great advantage." To much more
advantage, be it at least admitted, than the Lord Stanhopes, Mr. Newdegates, Lord Henry Bentincks, and
others, supposed to be their betters, who, instead of gallantly whirling fists in the air, have been basely
levelling vulgar imputations against Sir Robert Peel; accusing him of having taken up free trade for no
higher motive than his own benefit, and reminding him that liars should have good memories. For the
latter saying Lord Stanhope more particularly is responsible.

The apophthegm, vulgar, false, and misplaced in that case, is not without point and application to another
incident of the month. Restless in his exile, the ex-railway monarch has made an attempt to emerge into
the world once again; but a too manifestly indiscreet one. His memory seems painfully short. He should
have waited quietly, used advantageously what he has not been obliged to regorge (and what could a
hundred thousand pounds matter out of such ill-gotten heaps as his), kept his kitchen warm, and sunk all further
allusions to reputation or character. With such props and supports he may still recommend himself as by
far too useful an instrument to a large class of "society" to be left to rust quite out of fashion. But foolishly
rejecting them, he now, forsooth, petitions the public for all sorts of consideration, on the ground of the
excited period in which the equivocal transactions occurred, the multiplicity of concerns he had to superintend
and direct, the brief opportunities he had for reflection, and the impossibility of giving sufficient attention
to public duties and private mattersas if the public memory were as convenient as his own, or the world
could have forgotten that the attention he had given out of his public duties to his private matters had been
only too sufficient! Such pleas ad misericordiam might have been somewhat less ridiculous, if the result had
been less exclusively in Mr. Hudson's own favour; but when a man, in the extreme of excitement, with
horribly brief opportunities for reflection, and with concerns to superintend and direct which occupy all
his energies, is nevertheless proved to have been continually filling his own pockets while he was emptying
those of others, "the impossibility of his giving sufficient attention to public duties" can hardly be admitted
to excuse his having somewhat over-attended to private ones. Mr. Hudson takes nothing by his motion. It
was a blunder.

So proved, most unexpectedly (to return to the theme of the month which has been oftenest renewed
and harped upon), the appeal of the protectionists to Ireland. One would have expected the Irish to cleave
to the fortunes of protection, as in former days the country stood by James the Second, and other exploded
things; but the genius of blundering itself could not discover any possible supply of its wants in the certain
creation of a scarcity, and the attempted reaction has been generally a failure. Truly, the virtues of
protection are so written on the face of Ireland that he who runs may read; and if success might have been
counted upon anywhere for unreasonable opinions, certainly that was the place for itthat generous but unhappy
land of delusions, that second enchanted island, so long under the spell of selfish enchanters. Yet, strange to say,
we have to repeat that even here, where the cap and bells belong to reason, and wisdom is the national Tom
o' Bedlam, our protectionist friends make little or no advance. They succeeded in Kilmainham and Dublin
only by carefully shutting out the public. At Dunmanway, and in Cork, Cavan, and Donegal, free-trade
resolutions were carried at the protectionist mettings; in the very pattern county of Down the protectionists
were beaten on their own ground, at the meeting they had themselves summoned; and one of the speakers,
an ardent repealer, sensibly explained in what way free-trade had benefited Ireland, by stimulating English
manufactures and so giving English employment to numbers of starving Irish, wthout the least apparent
notion that the argument told quite as forcibly against repeal as against protection. Thus, even while in a
rational and sensible course, the country still keeps up its character; and when things go right, they go, as
Gonzalo says, by contraries. At Wexford and Longford, as in Down, there were meetings to which
protectionists were summoned, and free-traders came; and at Galway there suddenly rose such a storm of
contending motions and resolutions, that the leader of the protectionists forgot to make any motion at all!

However, if common sense is arrived at thus nonsensically in Ireland, it is surprising, on the other hand,
with what sensible and passionate earnestness nonsense is at the same time pursued. The movement
against rent, for example, becomes daily more and more formidable, and threatens to assume the worst
character of socialism. Being impracticable in its objects, its organisation is proportionately powerful. If it
had been limited to the better guardianship and security of the tenant, in all to which his labour and sacrifices
might justly entitle him, it would have been a practicable, obtainable, common-place thing, and nobody would
have lifted up his finger for it. As it is, it will doubtless attract and occupy all the disengaged enthusiasm of
the country, turn it into every kind of dangerous channel, and obstruct statesman-like exertion in every other
sound or beneficial direction.

But as little in England as in Ireland is there lack of matter for either censure or scorn. We have  heard
too much lately of those disastrous cases which are so bitter a reproach to our civilization, where neglect and
actual starvation are left to murder the wretched, while officers, appointed by law to arrest such instruments
of murder, stare indifferently on. A miserable single woman, with her unborn child, dies of hunger and cold
at Southampton; a married woman, poor and industrious but most unhappy, dies of absolute want and
neglect in Manchester; while the parish authorities, in both populous civilized cities, are no less than actual
parties, it may be said, to these horrible calamities. More horrible still is the certainty, however, that such
cases, unseen, unheard of, silently suffered and undergone, are, in London, of even common occurrence. It

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