11 JANUARY 1873, Page 2

The right of meeting, even under cover, appears to be

coming to an end in England. On Tuesday, Sir C. Dllke was announced to speak at Derby, on the Land Laws, in the Temperance Hall, but it was rumoured that the meeting would be attacked. Sure enough, the moment the hall was opened bands of roughs, paid by the gentry, entered, and a regular rush was made upon the platform. The workmen and labourers had, however, been forewarned, and armed with sticks thrashed the roughs fairly out of the hall, breaking a good many heads in the process. The resort to physical violence is to be regretted, but the democratic leaders plead in excuse that they acted in self-defence, that their opponents are paid, and that the magis- trates from political sympathy will do nothing, a charge which at other places than Derby has repeatedly seemed true. The Tories will do well to remember in good time that even if all wisdom and truth is on their side, physical force is not ; that it is their interest and only their opponents' desire that law should not be supplanted by the bludgeon.