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PREFACE.

The Author of the following cursory observations on the Charters granted to the inhabitants of Tiverton, deems it proper to place before the public, some of those circumstances which have induced him to step forward, and enlist himself under the banners of those, who have long maintained the necessity of reform, as connected with the conduct of the corporate concerns of the borough in which he lives.

Scarcely had he resided within the town two years, when, very unexpectedly, he was recommended by as honest, and certainly the most intelligent, of those members of the common council, who resided within the parish, to offer himself a candidate for the office of assistant. His views, however, at this time, being far removed from municipal honors, and the avocations of a very large family employing every hour he had to bestow, added, indeed, to a complete ignorance of the history and constitution of the place, he

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at once declined the pursuit, which a recommendation so flattering might have induced him to have accepted.

Two years had not elapsed when a second time he was urged to offer himself a candidate for a seat in the common council, and by one whose character raised him above the possibility of the charge of insincerity. The Author replied to this suggestion, by referring to the short time he had lived within the borough, and by observing that there being no vacancy, an intimation of an intention of offering himself might, by some, be deemed indelicate. He then adverted to the former recommendation, and parted, under an understanding that he was to see his first adviser on the subject. Soon afterwards, he had this interview, and with every kind assurance, an immediate application was again urged. “There is one thing, (said this worthy man) it will be, perhaps, proper to apprize you of, Mr. and Mr. object to your intimacy with Mr. and Mr.

and I know they notice with suspicion your attendance at the mayor's court on the tuesday: but let not that disturb

you,

their influence is not worth a thought; write without delay to every member thus,

The Author avowed, at this time, his great disgust at the base insinuations of these persons, who, to please a party, and to answer interested purposes, it would appear, expected him to sacrifice, upon the altar of politics, the more amiable gratifications of private friendship.

Once more recommended to make his intentions known, and assured there were not inany

in the common council who were governed by principles.so paltry and contemptible, he signified bis determination to present himself as a candidate on the first vacancy, although many, very many respectable inhabitants predicted he would be made "the cat's paw,” as others before him had been, of a party, whose object it was to keep the corporate offices among their own relatives and connexions.

On the first vacancy, from a conversation he had with

who candidly and plainly asked him, “as a man of the world, DO YOU NOT THINK WE SHOULD DO WRONG TO LET THESE OFFICES GO FROM Us ? ”—from the trifling and evasive replies of some,-from the indirect declarations of others, which were easily enough to be understood the Author was soon convinced of the truth, as to the result he had been told he was to expect.

Struck with the inconsistency of the observation above referred to, (for he wishes to speak of it in the mildest terms) and still urged by his friend, to continue his applications, even though his first request should not succeed, the writer was fortunate enough, in the mean while, to obtain copies of such documents,as afforded him an insight into the constitution of the borough; and being friendly to local jurisdictions, he commenced his inquiries under circumstances, by no means inimical to the real constituted authorities of Tiverton : in the course of which investigation, he has been more than once honored by the thanks of some members of the common council, who possess education and discernment in an eminent degree, for the frank and candid communication of his opinions. The late election of an inmale in a father's family to be an assistant, and of the resident Rector of Broad Hempston, (a place thirty miles distant from Tiverton,) to be one of those inhabitants, “who shall be called capital burgesses," at once determined him to appeal thus publicly to his fellow townsmen, feeling confident the perversions of our chartered rights might very soon, and without great expence, be corrected under the sanction of the law.

Lex Angliæ non patitur absurdum. Equitate gaudet :- Appetit perfectum :-est norma recti.

The Author has pursued these inquiries

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