페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

THE OPPOSITION.

April 14, 1815. WE have been favoured with the following original, though we think rather favourable and partial observations, on the Opposition Members of the House of Commons, by a very respectable native of the United States, a Quaker, of Pensylvania. They are contained in a letter, very recently written, to a friend in America, a leading Member of the Government, a copy of which we are permitted to publish for the amusement of our readers.

TO MR. TOBIAS BRANDE, of bigmuddy, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES.

"No. 5, Bearbinder-lane, the 3d day of the 4th month.

FRIEND TOBIAS,-Thou hast oftentimes enjoined me to send thee some particulars concerning the persons who are called the Opposition in this

country, and whom thou rightly considerest as better friends to the States than any federalist between Blowing-Fly-Creek and Passamaquoddy Bay. That I may be the better enabled to comply with thy injunctions, I have posted myself from day to day in the gallery of the Parliament House, and have collected by inquiries from others, and my own observation, much curious information, of which I will now, God willing, impart to thee a portion.

Thou first inquirest what are the numbers of the Opposition of this matter I cannot tell thee more, than that I have seen their numbers vary from three to twenty-three or thereabouts. On the very last night I was there, their muster-roll was the strongest amounting to twenty-one in a lump or compact body, and some two or three stragglers at the bar.

As for their persons and appearance, which thou requirest me to describe, it may suffice that I tell thee that they very much resemble an equal number of Members of Congress. Thou wouldst

40

THE CHOICE OF A LEADER.

say that I spoke from prejudice and partial affection, if I were to affirm what doth nevertheless appear to me—that on the whole they were not quite so well favoured.

They call a short and squattish gentleman of the name of Ponsonby, their Leader-but my mind misgives me if there be not more than one half who are loth to follow him. The leader is, as verily he ought to be, a very cautious guide, and rarely propoundeth he any thing which can be contradicted or objected to. There is so much sameness and discretion in his style, that I can enable thee to judge of any quantity of it by a small sample. Discoursing of a treaty of peace, quoth the Leader- I cannot pronounce an opinion upon this treaty, Mr. Speaker, until I have read it. No one has a right, Mr. Speaker, to call on me for an opinion upon this treaty until I have read it. This treaty cannot be printed, and in the hands of members before Tuesday next at noon-and then, and not until then, Mr.

1

[ocr errors]

Speaker, will I, for one, form my opinion-upon this treaty. I am not such a fool as I am generally supposed to be.' Here he pauseth, and raising his spectacles with his hand, and poising them dexterously on his forehead, he looketh stedfastly at the Speaker for some moments.

Whitbread (not Whitebread, as thou callest him) hath more weight, I think, than the Leader. He is a very boisterous and lengthy speaker, and strongly remindeth me of Bully Pycroft, of Kentucky, whom thou knowest, though he is inferior to Pycroft in taste and elegance.

There is a man of the name of Tierney, one not of many words, but who appeareth to me mighty shrewd and sensible. 'I will wager a dollar that that is an honest man,' said I, one evening, to my neighbours in the gallery; upon which they all cried done,' and laughed very heartily: I know not why. These three, together with a small Baronet from Ireland, of a most cantanckerous turn; and a

6

Member* from Scotland chiefly remarkable for his silken small-clothes and hose, call they the great guns.'

I will now speak to thee of some of the smaller fry, who, nevertheless, consider themselves just as big as their betters, and walk up to their seats in the Parliament House with huge bundles of papers under their arms, with great solemnity.

I must first tell thee of my friend, Mr. Will † Martin, with whom I have formed an acquaintance, and in whose company I take great delight. I dined with him at the chophouse last Wednesday, and, to the truth, found him a man after my own kidney. As a public speaker, he is chiefly noticed for a strange

say

* Probably Sir J. Mackintosh, whose costume is sometimes singular.-E.

+ This gentleman, though he is all through these papers called Will Martin, seems to be Henry Martin, Esq. M. P. for Kinsale: the reason of the nickname of Will does not appear. Mr. Martin is a Barrister at Law, and it seems, from the article of Sporting Intelligence, (p. 59.) to be a professional allusion.-E.

« 이전계속 »