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POLITICAL inconsistency is a theme so boundless in itself, and has been, of late, so abundantly supplied by contradictions to common sense, that this Paper would be little else than a chronological table of memorialized absurdities, if it were not that the subject must necessarily lead to some pertinent observations. Of these political eccentricities I shall mention but a few; as some of them at least are, I dare say (without offence to my printer) typographical errors, or mis-steaks, such as in my last Number. I shall chiefly observe upon the system of rancorous abuse, servile adulation, defamatory hand-bills, contemptuous squibs, &c. with which the scene-shifters, and property-men of the state, have thought proper to entertain the public. The first of these, rancorous abuse, being a war drug, and calculated for the common stomach of the people, is generally administered in large doses; and though it may act as an emetic upon delicate organs, is admirably contrived to assist the digestion of the vulgar for war.
however, another treatment was thought necessary,
ed by injustice, and every good and just man will sally forth in its defence; the misfortune is, that truth, all-powerful as it is from its nature, is often mistrusted, and thought unequal to our designs. Thus politicians consider deception allowable; and thus corruption too, creeps through the members of the commonweal, because it is thought that it must be so, and that we must go with the stream. I shall endeavour, however, to show the odiousness of venality.
It happens, sometimes, that we are obliged to give credit to the illiterate for fine sallies of wit and genuine humour. I remember that at the last general election for Westminster, a gentleman who was desirous to get upon the hustings at Covent-garden, thought he would indulge his vein for satire by an appropriate address to the constable who guarded the entrance; “ I believe (cried he, putting a shilling in his hand) that there is a little corruption here." Yes, sir, (answered the man with a significant look at the shilling) but this is too little."
I cannot pass over a remarkable fact, which actually took place only a few years since :-A poor man, who had for a length of time solicited from his county member the place of an extra tidesman in town, at last obtained a letter to Mr. Jn. Nothing elates one more than the prospect of a place; the poor countryman came to town with the letter in his hand, and thought his business done; he soon found his way to the office, þut whether it was not office hours, or from what other cause, I will leave the reader to judge, the poor fellow could get no access to the great man, nor even admittance for his letter, although it was a general delivery day for a number of people like himself; but the porter shoved him on the one side, and the messengers on the other, and the office. keeper, in the bustle and importance of business, almost knocked the letter out of his hand. In short, the poor place hunter was at a fault, and having made repeated trials, with the same ill success, retreated one day, after similar disappointments, into a little public house, and seating himself in a corner box, by the fire side, called for a pint of ale, and vented the cause of his grief to the landlord, of whom he made many enquiries, and expressed his apprehensions that the gentleman he had been to was involved in debt; for that he was denied to every liv- . ing creature, and that he could not even get in a letter, for fear (he supposed) that it might be a summons, The good landlord smiled at his simplicity, and informed him of another way to get in; for which information the countryman stood a treat of a glass of brandy and water. Jahn returned to the great house, when he thought that he might, with propriety, halve the recommendation the landlord thought so necessary:
Whether this recipe was an alkali or not, I will leave the reader to determine; certain it is, that it neutralized the acid so predominant in the physical character of the porter; he looked askance at the letter, and at the postage, nodded his head, and told Jahn
to call the next day. Jahn went again to his friend, the landlord, to acquaint him with his success, and thought that he had now overcome all his difficulties. The next day the poor countryman returned, and gave a knock of some better assurance at the door ; but the gentleman porter, who was troubled with the disease of his master, a defect of recollection, had to-tally forgot the face of the applicant. Jahn had good sense to recollect the refreshers for counsel which the lawyer once had charged him in his bill, for conducting a cause at the assizes, and parted with the other half of the recommendation. In short, he had only stopped two hours, when the same gentleman desired him to follow him to an anti-chamber, where Mr, Jn was seated, reading official dispatches. Jahn stood at an awful distance, at last Mr. J-n recollected the letter, and half perusing it, as a reviewer does a new work, understood its merits just as well. “ I am very sorry, (cried Mr. J-n that Mr. Borough has made this application just now, for there is no vacancy
“ No vacancy, Sir!" (cried Jahn, staring and trembling for his place at the same time:) “Not a single vacancy,” (replied the statesman). Jahn gaped, and began considering, when, after scratching his head, and snapping the finger and thumb of his right hand, as if something lucky had struck him, he edged by degrees to the side of Mr. Jn, and as softly as he could, laid down by his right elbow a guinea, but which guinea was unnoticed by Mr, J-n, until Jahn, who was determined not to part so, gave the Minister a gentle jog. Mr. Jn startled, but still without noticing the