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John Russell will undertake, Lord John Russell has
been praised for his courage and his sagacity. I will not
dispute his possession of these virtues; but the question
isHas he courage and sagacity for the time in which he
lives? I hope that Lord John Russell may rise to the
great work that is before him. He has an opportunity
of doing more for this country than almost any other
minister in our time. He might, I believe, add the
industry and the affections of millions to the wealth and
strength of this great empire. But if he should fail
if he should prove himself to be the agent of a timid and a
selfish oligarchy, rather than the prime minister of the
crown and of the peopleif he should not dare to do
these things, which in my conscience I believe he knows
to be necessary, even then we will not despair; for there
is growing up in England, and I hope in Ireland, a party
so strong and so numerous, that by and by it will leave
out only the pauperism at one end of the scale, and it
may be the titled and the privileged at the otherit will
include almost the whole people."

A number of Protectionist Meetings have been held
this month; and at many of them, the object for which
they were called, has been entirely defeated. The
following have been most remarkable:—

The Salisbury meeting, on the 4th, was interrupted
by the endeavours of a strong Free-trade party to
prevent the passing of the resolutions. Lord Nelson, the
chairman, being much interrupted by exclamations of
"Lower your rents!" threatened to have the
interrupters ejected. Much fighting and rioting ensued, in
the midst of which, Lord Nelson ventured to assume that
the resolutions were carried.

The Protectionists met an unexpected defeat at a public
meeting of the working classes, convened at Stepney, on
the 7th, in favour of Protection, and "against the present
unfair and ruinous system of competition." The meeting
was got up by the National Association for the
Organisation of Trades. Mr. George Frederick Young
presided; and was supported by Mr. Oastler, Mr. Paul
Foskett, and other members of the great Central
Protection Society. Mr. Samuel Kydd and Mr. Alexander
Campbell represented the Protectionist Chartists; and
Mr. Clarke, a working man, represented the Chartists
who approve the political economy of the Free Traders.
Mr. Campbell, after stating that the meeting originated
entirely with the delegates of the London trades, a body
which had for its object the social and political improvement
of the working classes, moved a resolution
importing that it was the first duty of the government
and legislature to adopt measures for employing and
protecting the industrious population; and supported it
by a Protectionist speech. Mr. Clarke moved a direct
amendment to the resolution, which, he said, with all
its talk about protection said nothing about the greatest
of all protectionthe protection of the vote: his amendment
embraced greater freedom of trade, reduction of
taxation, and parliamentary reform. A stormy debate
ensued, the violence of which was heightened by the
appearance of Mr. Richard Oastler, who tried in vain to
obtain a hearing. Mr. Clarke moved that the chairman
do leave the chair, as having lost the confidence of the
meeting; and the motion was carried. A Mr. Hackman
was voted into the chair; but Mr. Young refused to quit
his place. A taproom chair was supplied, and was
"taken" by the new functionary; Mr. Clarke's resolution
was triumphantly carried; the meeting was dissolved,
and the mass of it departed. When they were gone,
Mr. Young and some few faithful adherents attempted to
carry on the proceedings in the Protectionist sense.
Nothing more, however, was done than the passing of
votes of thanks to Mr. Oastler and Mr. Young; who,
with their few supporters, finally dispersed, amidst the
hootings of the workmen that remained.

The Buckinghamshire Protectionists had a meeting
at Great Marlow on the 8th. The main resolution
denounced the local taxation of real property as a serious
hardship. One of the speakers suggested, in preference,
the repeal of the malt-tax; but he was not listened to,
and the resolution was carried. The lead in the proceedings
was taken by Mr. Disraeli.

A Protectionist Meeting at Stafford on the 10th,
became the scene of a Violent Disturbance. The farmers
mustered 400 strong, the townspeople more numerous.
Lord St. Vincent moved that Lord Talbot take the
chair; and in the course of a speech said something
which raised shouts of disapprobation from the townsmen;
the farmers cheered; and a contest of shouts led to a
contest of blows and missiles. Before long, weapons
were in use on both sides, blood was shed, and the
townsmen were ejected from the hall. Exasperated by
this defeat, they attacked the windows, and scoured the
streets for increased numbers to burst open the hall-doors.
While Lord Talbot was speaking, a whole window-frame
was driven in by an immense stone cast against it.
Large stones flew about the room; and one which passed
close to Lord Talbot's head wounded a reporter on the
forehead, so seriously that he was removed to the Judges'
room for surgical aid. The crowd outside seemed about
to succeed in forcing open the hall-doors, and as it was
evident that the County Constabulary would be too weak
to resist them, a message was conveyed to the Mayor for
the aid of the town force. The Mayor is said to have
sent a refusal of the aid. As his message was delivered
the door was finally burst open and fighting was renewed
on the hall-floor. Mr. Adderley, the member, addressed
the disturbers on their dastardly conduct, telling them
with indignation that it convinced him of their unfitness
to be trusted with the suffrage they claimed. He hastily
moved an address to the Queen, praying for the dissolution
of parliament, and the motion was seconded, but
the tumult becoming more and more dangerous, Lord
Talbot dissolved the meeting, and headed a body of+
gentlemen and farmers in retreat to a neighbouring inn.
On the way, Lord Talbot received a heavy blow on the
chest from a brick; he coolly told the mob they were
acting very unlike Englishmen. Fighting was kept up
for an hour or more all over the town-square; numbers
were severely hurt, and the farmers were ultimately
fain to seek refuge in the hotels and railway station.

A Protection Meeting at Reading, on the 19th, was
attended with Another Scene of Riot. The
business, from its commencement, was interrupted by
hostile cries, which soon led to a general battle between
the contending parties. In a short interval of comparative
quiet, the proceedings were resumed, but the riot
immediately recommenced. The Marquis of Downshire,
who appeared among the Protectionists, tried persuasion,
but in a rather questionable way. "I am an Irishman,"
said the Marquis, "and ask only fair play for all parties.
I attended a meeting the other day in the county of
Down, where arguments and common sense were put
down by a mob, and where, I am sorry to say, wethe
respectabilitycould not get a hearing. I am sorry to
say we were entirely beaten; but don't let yourselves
be beaten now. I am the last man in the room to
appeal to physical force; but I declare to you, if there
is any more row I'll head some eight or ten farmers and
turn them out." The cheering that followed baffled
description. Mr. Weedon (a Free-trader) rose to order;
expostulated with the Sheriff for allowing such language,
unbecoming a magistrate, to issue from the platform;
and, as the farmers took the hypothetical case of the
Marquis positively, and proceeded to undoubted physical
force, his Lordship again rose, and said—"Don't
mistake me; I am no advocate for violence. I would only
expel those who disturb the meeting, and will not allow
fair play." The fight then raged more furiously than
ever. Several were hurled off the seats at the end with
violence, and kicked en passant to the door, while their
hats formed temporary footballs; and, as the
Protectionists wore stout boots generally, the effect must have
been most unpleasant. Some Free-traders showed fight;
but were no match for the burly farmers, who knocked
them down right and left. A large gentleman in top-
boots and a white coat having danced up and down the
benches at the end of the hall, and pushed off some half-
dozen men, who were immediately forced to run the
gauntlet till they escaped at the door, shouted out,
"We 've beat them all!" whereupon there was a great
stamping of feet and hurraing. Lord Radnor attempted
to recal the meeting to its business, but he was not
allowed to utter half-a-dozen connected sentences. He
coolly said that "if they liked to decide without hearing,
they might;" and proceeded to read his free-trade
amendment. Mr Philip Pusey, member for the county,
found audience only to state that the repeal of the corn-

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