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their way into a court of justice. How. | towards the brute creation. He next ever, he trusted the House would not said, that after the testimony of so illusthink the time wasted which they bad trious a person as sir M. Hale, he could employed in considering those claims, adduce no higher human authority, and when they were told that his Royal High should therefore finish his quotations with ness's petition of right during the time of a short word from a source the purity of the late lord chancellor had lain in the which, he trusted, would never be disputed office six years and a half, without re- in that great assembly of professing ceiving an answer. If the learned judge, Christians, whatever it might be in a who now held the seals, should be against French convention. He who was at once the claims of his Royal Highness, they the wisest of men, and the greatest of must rest for ever. But, he trusted that kings, had declared that “the merciful the able and honourable men, whose legal man regarded the life of his beast, but assistance the prince of Wales had, would that the tender mercies of the wicked were find their opinion confirmed by that of cruel.” There was wanted no comment the chancellor. In that case, he should to prove that, in this saying, Solomon deem it his duty to lay the result before contrasted the difference between the good the House. He took that opportunity man and the wicked man, in one particular of stating, that since the year 1795, instance, which related to the conduct of 525,0001. had been paid of his Royal High each towards dumb creatures. He said, Aess's debts, not from the public purse, he had in his pocket many letters from but from a portion of his income set the most respectable characters in the apart for that purpose. He hoped that kingdom, setting forth the dreadful cruelthe sum it would be fouod his Royal High- ties, as well as shocking accidents, which ness was entitled to would enable him to had accrued from the abominable pracpay what still remained ; for it would give tice. He also mentioned a letter which him the liveliest satisfaction to be able to he had received from a worthy clerical pay his own debts with his own means. friend and brother magistrate, in the dis

trict wherein he himself acted, in which Debate in the Commons on the Bull- the respectable name of the chairman of baiting Bill.] May 24. Mr. Dent having the quarter-sessions was added, as joining moved, that the bill to prevent Bull-bait- in the general wish of the county of Salop, ing and Bull-running, be read a second for the abolition of a custom which had time,

been pregnant with such horrid barbarities. Sir Richard Hill said:-Sir, I rise in Sir Richard added, that he had several behalf of a race of poor friendless beings more petitions, besides those already on who certainly cannot/speak for themselves. the table, but he was ashamed to take I shall, however, be brief, being well up the time of the House by reciting assured that if the voice of common them. In Ireland an act had passed for the sense, common humanity, and uncommon abolition of bull-baiting; and as the Irish distress and misery cannot be heard, all I gentlemen had been so favourable to their can say will be of no avail. Instead, own bulls, he was sure they would not be therefore, of multiplying words, I shall less indulgent to ours. Sir Richard then bring forward some facts, which I hope requested that the petition from Norwich will prove the means of setting forth the (the place which Mr. Windham reprebarbarous custom of bull-baiting in its sents) might be read; but there being no true light. Sir Richard then read some such petition from thence against the bill, passages which he had selected, mention- sir Richard said he might reasonably have ing the shocking cruelties which had been supposed that all the cathedral church, inflicted on a poor animal, in order to together with the mayor and corporation, make him furious enough to afford diver- had sent up such a petition.' It had been sion to his brutal tormentors; but the objected, that this bill was only the betortured creature soon becoming outrage- ginning of a system; but what system ?. ous, he was entangled with ropes, his a system of humanity! a system of peace! hoofs cut off, and baited again, whilst he and was this system so grating to the ears. feebly sustained and defended himself on of some gentlemen, that they could not his stumps. He then brought a striking even bear to hear of a definitive treaty citation from sir Matthew Hale, where, between a dog and a bull ? The amiable În an address to the Deity, that great man sex, in general, were advocates for the expresses his sentiments concerning cruelty bill. There might, indeed, be some exceptions, but where should we find them into effect without vesting in those who Perhaps, staggering out of a gin-shop in were to enforce its provisions a consideraSt. Giles's; perhaps sitting over an oyster ble degree of discretion. If such a law tub, or riding in a cinder-cart, but it were to be passed, it could not act by a could not strictly be said of any one of silent operation. On the contrary, it these ladies, “ Grace is in all her steps, would be enforced by those who princiHeaven in her eye; in all her gestures pally exerted themselves for the observance dignity and love." Though he had ob- of the game laws, and who, in enforcing served, at the beginning of his speech, its provisions, could not possibly escape a that he was an advocate for poor beings large share of public odium. Such was who could not speak for themselves, there the subject now before the House, which came into his mind a fact, wherein even contained nothing of public or general a dunıb animal, through the immediate interest. To procure the discussion of power of the Almighty, rebuked the such subjects, it was necessary to resort to cruelty of his owner. He then mentioned canvass and intrigue. Members, whose the case of Balaam's ass; and added, that attendance was induced by local considerif an angel interposed on the occasion, ations in most cases of this description, surely it was not a circumstance improper were present; the discussion if any took to be adduced in a Christian assembly. place, was managed by the friends of the

Mr. Windham said, that the evil com- measure; and the decision of the House plained of by the supporters of this bill was perhaps ultimately a matter of mere was not such as justified the interference chance. The present bill, was precisely of the legislature. It was not an evil one of a similar description, and but from that had grown with our growth, and the circumstance of the subject having strengthened with our strength: but, on excited some attention in a former session the contrary, it had declined as they had it might have been considered by chance, increased. An allusion had been made to and agreed to without discussion. On a petition from Norwich on the subject; this general principle, then, he was inand an insinuation had been thrown out, clined to oppose the discussion of the that it was a practice generally prevalent in subject, as totally unworthy of the dignity that neighbourhood. The fact, however, of the House. But he had, in the next was, that within the last twenty years only place, to object to the manner in which two instances were remembered of a buil the subject of bull-baiting had been conbait in Norwich or its vicinity. Decreasing sidered, not from a general view of the as the practice was all over the country, subject, but from a few insulated examhe could not but think that the discussion ples. The friends of the bill took a view of such paltry local complaints was wholly of the practice complained of, merely as unworthy of the legislature of a great exhibited on a minute scale, and from nation. It was part of a system of intro- them consequences were drawn. They ducing subjects of a similar kind into put the bull and the dog as exhibited in a parliament, which he could not but repro. few instances, into the eye of their microbate in the strongest terms. The subject scope, and through this confined medium was, in all points of view degrading; but desired the House to contemplate the it appeared more especially unworthy of general practice. The cruelties of the being entertained by the imperial parlia- practice were the only circumstances held ment, at a time when so many other sub- up to observation, and every thing else jects of great national importance were was kept out of view. But if this mode of calling for the attention of the House. viewing the subject were to be adopted, he Such a sort of public interference with saw no reason why all other sports should matters unworthy of the consideration of not be contemplated in a similar manner. the legislature could be productive of no If the cruelty of bull-baiting was thus to consequences but such as were mischie- be held up to the attention of the House

No law could be desirable which in such glaring colours, why was not would be attended with no national ad hunting, shooting, fishing, and all other vantage, and this advantage ought to be amusements of a similar description, to be well weighed before a legislative enact- judged of by similar principles? If the ment was required. A law in all cases effects of the one were to be viewed, necessarily involved a certain degree of through the medium of a microscope, why restraint; and it was also to be taken into were not the consequences of the other to the account, that it could not be carried be scrutinized with equal severity? By

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viewing objects in this way, not only people were the best fitted to resist the would false conclusions be drawn, but the schemes of innovation ; and it was among objects themselves would appear inverted, the labouring and illiterate part of the and in a way never intended by nature, people that Jacobinical doctrines had Things would not only not appear the made the smallest progress. In this respect same, but their whole aspect would be indeed, it was otherwise with Methodist reversed. Nothing could be more pleas- doctrines. They throve best on a stubborn ing to the eye than the sight of female soil; but they had the effect of preparingit beauty; but even if the fairest complexion for the reception of the doctrines of Jacowere contemplated through a microscope, binism. In this work, indeed, the two deformities would appear, and hairs unob- parties mutually over-reached each other. servable to the naked eye would present The party of Methodists invited the peothemselves as the bristles on the back of ple to read, and in the first instance they a boar. Such attacks as the present on might peruse a few Jacobinical producthe amusements of the people struck him tions, that they might read with greater in no other light than as the first step to a advantage their fanatical productions at a reform of the manners of the lower orders. future period. In the same way, the JaThose who, when young men, had formed cobins wished to divert the people from projects for the reformation of parliament, every social pursuit; reading they strefinding themselves disappointed in those nuously recommended; and, though a projects now formed the design of reform- few Methodistical books were, in the first ing the manners of the people. In their instance, not wholly proscribed, they were desires to accomplish this object there allowed only to fit the mind for the rewere two great parties united, the Jaco. ception of their poisonous tenets. The bins and the Methodists, though the ob- effect of their exertions was the same, jects they had in view by this change were though thus differently pursued. It was essentially different. By the former every equally directed to the destruction of the rural amusement was condemned with a old English character, by the abolition of rigour only to be equalled by the se- all rural sports. So much convinced was verity of the puritanical decisions. They he that this was the object of such a bill were described as a part of the lewd sports as the present, that he almost felt dispose and Antichristian pastimes which in times ed to rest his opposition to it on this of puritanism, had been totally proscribed. footing. Out of the whole number of the Every thing joyous was to be prohibited, disaffected, he questioned if a single bullto prepare the people for the reception of baiter could be found, or if a single their fanatical doctrines. By the Jacobins sportsman had distinguished himself in on the other hand, it was an object of the Corresponding Society: the hunting important consideration to give to the for which they reserved themselves was of disposition of the lower orders a character a noble kind; they disdained the low purof greater seriousness and gravity, as the suits of ordinary sportsmen; the game means of facilitating the reception of their against which their efforts were directed tenets; and to aid this design, it was ne. were of no less a quality than kings. When cessary to discourage the practice of what he spoke of this union of the Methodists were termed idle sports and useless amuse- and Jacobins, he did not mean to deny ments. This was a design which he that, in their political principles, as well should ever think it his duty strenuously as their ultimate objects, they essentially to oppose. For, though he wished that differed. Religion was an ingredient in the people might become more virtuous, the character of the Methodists, which more attentive to the duties of religion, was directly hostile to the views of Jaco. better fathers, better husbands, better binism ; for in the composition of modern children, he could never agree that for Jacobinism religion formed no part. But this purpose their social habits should be they were not, on serious consideration, changed; that they should prove more so very far removed from each other as austere, more unsociable, and more self- might at first sight appear. As a general conceited than they now were. Whenever assertion, it would be admitted, that hot he saw any steps taken to produce this water was farther removed from congelaeffect, he could not consider them in any tion than what was cold; but when the other light than as so many steps of a de- hot water was exposed to the air, it was parture from the old English character. more speedily frozen. In a similar manThe habits long established among the ner, though in the abstract Methodism [VOL. XXXVI.]

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and Jacobinism seemed to be the farthest in antient or modern times, from Xenoremoved from each other, yet facts show phon to Virgil and Milton, were loud in ed that the tenets of the one prepared the the praises of many of those sports which, mind for the adoption of the doctrines of with equal justice, might be called cruel, the other. In confirmation of this mutual as that which had been so loudly condesign of these parties, the right hon. demned. What was the inference he member took occasion to quote a passage drew from all this, but that cruelty was from the memoirs of a rural poet of con- not at all the object of those sports though siderable celebrity (Bloomfield, author of in certain instances it might be the result ? the Farmer's Boy, &c. by Mr. Capel Lofft) If he were asked what was the object of in which it is mentioned that the poet was bull-baiting? he should be better able to in the habit of spending his time in read give an intelligible answer, than if he were ing in his garret, or attending a debating asked a similar question with regard to society, which the editor recommends as hunting, or other amusements of a similar a much more worthy mode of employing description. That a certain degree of himself, than if he had been occupied in gratification might be received from the gambling, drinking, or fighting. Mr. W. spectacle of the combats of animals, the paid some very handsome compliments to history of all ages sufficiently proved. the originality of many of the thoughts of Even the philosophy of the present age this poet, to his natural simplicity, and took part in a practice which had prevailed unaffected elegance of language. Hewish- in this country for centuries. In the time ed what he now said to be considered as of queen Elizabeth, that which was non an unexaggerated declaration of his opi- despised and reprobated as the amusenion of the merits of the poem. But with ment only of the lowest of the people, was this high opinion of the merits of the an amusement courted by all ranks. Since poet, he had doubts how far it was proper that period, bull-baiting had declined, and to encourage ideas of literary profit or hunting had usurped its room. The one had renown in those who had been bred to a become the favourite amusement of the useful trade. In particular instances it great and the other had sunk in dignity till might not be prejudicial; but to inculcate it was, in a great measure, annihilated. such notions as those contained in the And yet it was at such a moment as this passage of the memoirs to which he had that the House were called upon to put it referred, could tend only to a mischievous down by a legislative enactment. Was purpose. He regretted the minuteness this, he asked, a time to abridge the with which he was obliged to enter into amusements of the common people, when the consideration of the subject, but we were meditating the extension of the threw the blame on those by whom such a game laws to Ireland ?-But the riots subject was introduced. An examination and confusion which the practice of bullof the bill was pot less necessary than if it baiting occasioned were urged as another had referred to a subject of the highest reason for the necessity of the interference national importance. To examine the of the legislature. This was a favourite character of a daub of Teniers was often argument on a former occasion when the a work of more difficulty than to describe subject was before the House, with an the beauties of the Madona of Raphael. hon. friend of his (Mr. Wilberforce) the

- He next proceeded to read an extract member for Yorkshire. In this instance, from a sermon, which he declared he the conduct of his right hon. friend put him should in all probability never have read, in mind of the story of the butcher who but from the circumstances of its having ran about seeking for his knife while it was been sent to him by the author, in which in his teeth ; for he was searching every the cruelty of bull-baiting was described quarter in quest of objects of reform, in very strong terms; and the man who while those in his own neighbourhood would encourage the practice was repre- were totally overlooked. When he consented as a person who would not hesitate demned the excesses to which bull-baiting to sheath a blade in the bowels of his fel. gave rise, had he forgotten all the confulow creatures. That the practice of sports sion and riot which horse-racing produced? even when they were of a cruel kind, He himself did not object to the practice tended to render mankind cruel, he de- of horse-racing, since there were so many nied, and he founded his assertion on the individuals to whom it was a source of history of all ages and countries. The pleasure. But he might be allowed to most elegant scholars, and the finest poets remind the House of the observation of Dr. Johnson, who had expressed his sur. To the pleasures of intellect, that source prise at the paucity of human pleasures, of the purest delight, their situation dewhen horse-racing constituted one of nied them access. To the accommodatheir number. Perhaps the anxiety dis- tions of social life, so far as change of siplayed by many persons in the pursuit of tuation and place was concerned, they this pleasure, might be considered as were strangers. The rich had their feasts, approximating to the efforts of the dege their assemblies, their parties of pleasure, nerate emperors of Rome, to gratify a pa- their pic nics, every thing, in short, which late which luxury bad rendered insensible could afford them gratification. From to the ordinary materials of food. To amusements of this kind the lower orders horse-racing he was himself personally no were excluded by their poverty. But more an enemy than he was to boxingthere was another class of 'pleasure though in making this observation he was from which they were, in a great meafar from meaning to disparage boxing so sure, excluded by the rigour of the far, as to put them on an equal footing, law. The authority of the magistrate or to insinuate that so poor, mean, and was often interposed to counteract wretched an amusement as the one, was even their harmless pleasures. To at all to vie in importance with the other, dance at all out of season, was to draw which was connected with ideas of per- on their heads the rigor of unrelenting sonal merit, and individual dignity. But justice. The great might gratify themhe was confident, that, in point of effect selves by a thousand different ways, and on the morals of the people, the influence the magistrate did not conceive it within of horse-racing was infinitely more perni- his sphere to interrupt their amusements. cious than any which bull-baiting could But it was known that an organ did not produce. What did a horse-race consist sound more harshly in the ears of a puri. of? What was the description of persons tan, than did the notes of a fiddle in those whom it encouraged to assemble? They of a magistrate, when he himself was not consisted of all the riff-raff from every part to be of the party. He made an allusion of the country. There were to be seen to a beautiful passage of Scerne, in which collected all the black-legs of the metro he describes the condition of the lower polis, the markers at billiard-tables, ap- orders at the close of the day, when prentices who had embezzled the property labour was finished, when families met of their masters, and who were afterwards together to join in social pleasures, when obliged to resort to knavery to cover their the old encouraged the sports of the fraud, gingerbread venders, strolling gam- young, and rejoiced in the amusements of blers, in a word, infamous characters of their children. But what was all this every description. Such was the descrip- when translated into plain English? It tion of individuals whom horse-racing conveyed to us merely the idea of a hop. assembled. Now, what was the object In confirmation of his ideas about the rewhich such an amusement had in view ? straints to which the amusements of the He confessed himself unable to view it in lower orders were subjected, he referred any other light than as a species of gam- to certain transactions which took place bling. It did not seem to him to give in a square at the West end of the town exercise for one generous feeling. His (Berkeley-square) a few years ago. The hon. friend had, however, taken à cum- whole neighbourhood had been alarmed; brous leap over no less than nine racing- the most serious apprehensions were ex, grounds in the county which he repre- cited; the aid of the military was judged sented, and had never descended till he necessary; and after all this idle pomp of bad alighted at a bull-bait. He had to authority, it was discovered that the fortally neglected the duty of destroying midable disturbers of the public peace abuses at home, but had spent all his were a few domestics dancing to the mu. labour, and exerted all his zeal, in poach- sic of a blind sailor's fiddle. "It was to be ing on foreign manors. So much for the regretted, that many gentlemen should be argument, that bull-baiting was produce anxious to deprive the lower orders of tive of riot and confusion. He next re- their amusements, from a seeming apprecurred to the inexpediency of abridging hension, that if they were suffered to enjoy the amusements of the lower orders at those recreations they would not labour the présent moment. There was a very sufficiently, and might become, from their numerous class of pleasures from which improvidence, a burthen to the poor-rates, their circumstances in life excluded them to which the rich must contribute. This

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