THE BIRMINGHAM MET...us:G.—This great and interesting display of
the Reforming spirit of the manufacturing districts, took place, as was intended, en Monday. In point of numbers, the meeting was perhaps the largest ever congregated in England; in point of object, no meeting was ever held for purposes of higher importance. The people of Bir- mingham and its neighbourhood assembled on Monday—" For the pnrpose of contradicting and refutins. the Use and unfounded represen- tations of the enemies of Reform, arid of the peace and order of society, respecting the alleged apathy and indifference of the public mind to the great cause of Rethrm; and in order to assist in enabling our most ex- cellent King, and his patriotic Ministers, to accomplish their great measure of Reform forthwith, and to carry it into a law uninjured and unimpaired in all its great parts and provisions." The ground chosen was the foot of Newhall Bill, where the gradual slope, not less than the extent of the area, is peculiarly favourable for a meeting of such vast magnitude. The space immediately occupied by the meeting measured about 17,000 yards ; and it is calculated, front the manner in which they stood, was amply sufficient for at least 100,000; but the entire number that attended was not less than 150,000, including in this number those that crowded the heights in the imme- diate neighbourhood, as well as the roofs of the surrounding houses,. and every point from which even a bird's eye view of the exhilarating spectacle could be obtained. The hustings were pitched at the lower part of the field, so that they were not only in view of the entire meeting, but the voices of the speakers were audible to much the greater portion of it. Every- arrangement that the utmost sagacity of the Council-could devise, had been employed to give regularity and order to the numerous hands that continued for several hours to pour in from the surrounding country. The following hits been given as an authentic statement of the names and numbers, of the vinious parties that entered Birmingham on this eventful occasion- " Grand Northern Division, headed by Mr. Fryer. the hanker, including Waiver--
hampton, Bilston, Wednesbury, Sedgley, Willenhall. Darlastou. West Brom- wich, and Handsworth. The procession extended over four miles ; there wereupwarths of 150 banners and 1l bands of music.-Grand Western Division-including Stome- bAdge, Dudley, Harbourn, Cradles, 1,yewater, Oldbury, Rowley, and Haleionen. The procession extended two miles, and was accompanied by 9 bands of music and 70 ban- ners. Grand Eastern Division-including Coventry, Warwick, liedworth, Kenilworth, LeamIngton, olihml, tkc., with 8 bands and 30 banners. Grand Southern Division- incluaiug Worcester, Bromsgiove, Hedditeh, Studley, Droitwich, and Alcester, with 6 band. of musicand 18 banners. The preceding eat irate is exclusive of the inhabitants. of Birmingham and its immediate vicinity. Upwards of 200 bands of music were irs attendance, and from 700 to 1,000 banners was ed over the assembled throng."
The various Unions halted for a space as they came up, at the Bir- mingham Union Rooms ; when their various positions had been as- signed them, they moved forward to the place of meeting. From a quarter before to twenty minutes past twelve o'clock, they continued to descend the bill in one unbroken stream. This, it is to be observed, was the processional part of the meeting only. Thousands and tens of thousands had occupied the field long before the foremost of the pro- cessions arrived. These came without order or regularity, and of course. their assembling was accomplished much more speedily. At half-past twelve, silence was proclaimed throughout the mighty host by the sounding of a bugle ; and Mr. Attwood, on the motion or Mr. Edmonds, assumed the Chair. He was surrounded by Napoleon Czapski, a Polish nobleman ; Count Rechberg, Secretary to the Aus- trian Embassy ; H. Acland, Esq., James West, Esq., Arthur Gre- gory, Esq., H. Boultbee, Esq., W. Allsop, Esq., of Derbyshire, Stubbs Whitick, Esq., R. Fryer, Esq., the Hon. Godolphin Osborne, William Collins, Esq., and a great many other gentlemen from the town and neighbourhood.
Mr. Attwood opened the business of the day, in a speech of great ability and eloquence ; of which, however, as well as of the other speeches, we can give but a few isolated extracts-
" The enemies of the people have told their Lordships that the country is indifferent in this great cause. If we hold no meetings, they say that we are indifferent-if we bola small meetings, they say that we are insignificant,-and if we hold large meetings, they say that we are rebellions. Do what we will, we cannot do right. Now, God forbid that I should wish to intimidate them! I only wish to speak the plain and simple truth, which my duty compels me to speak, and which is this,-1 would rather die than see the great Bill of Reform rejected or mutilated in any of its great parts or provisions-. (Immense dwering, which lasted Answer a considerable time.) I see that you are all of one
mind upon this great subject. nswer me, then. had not you all rather die than live the slaves of the Boroughmongers?" (' all!') " The House of Lords are, in my opinion, taken as a body, kind-hearted and humane- men ; but I am sorry to say that they are excessively ignorant of the state of this un- fortunate country. Not many days ago a noble lord, of the highest character, asstireit Inc that there were not ten individuals inthat right honourablo House who knew that the country was in a state of distress. Amazing as this ignorance is, it is the natural result of their position in society. They come into no contact with you and your wants and interests; they are surrounded by a few lawyers and clergymen, by bands of flat- terers and sycophants, whose interest it is to prophesy 'smooth things,' to the very last and the Ant out their patrons from all accurate knowledge of the state of Um- country." "I told you, my friends, three years ago, at a great meeting at Mr. Beardsworth's Repository, that the Duke of Wellington had taught us how to command Reform ; and under the great lesson which his Grace has taught us. we have gone on in England step by step, under the sanction of the law, until at last we have made the earth too hot for the soles of the feet of our enemies. See, now, the prodigious power which this association has obtained. Under the sanction of the law, we have here produced, probably, 200,000 human beings in one great assembly, not half of whom, I am afraid, can come within the hearing of my voice. hitherto our exertions have been confined in direct operation to this town and neighbourhood. Suppose we should erect the standard of the Birmingluun Union in London,—that glorious atandard which :Lets so terrifically upon the mind of his Grace the Duke of Buckingham,—I can tell you, and I can tell his Grace, that if we should so act, nine-tenths of the whole population of that immense city would instantly rally round the sacred emblem of their country's freedom. The sante would be the case in Newcastle, Manchester, Glasgow, and Dublin. The whole of the British people would! answer to the call, wherever the standard of the Birmingham Union should be unfinied, under 11n, sanction of the King and of thelaw."
In the midst of Mr. Attwood's speech, a Union—the Bromsgrovc- which had been late in arriving, was seen approaching in a distant point • of the field. Mr. Attwood immediately proposed that they should greet their friends, who had travelled so far to visit them, with the Union Hymn; and in an instant a hundred thousand voices pealed out the following words ; the whole of the bands in the different parts of the field accompanying the singers-
" ! we answer! see we come,
Quick at Freedom's holy call, We come! we come! we come! we come!
To do the glorious work of all ; And hark! we raise from sea to sea The sacred watchword Liberty.
" God is our guide! from field, from wave, From plough, from anvil. awl front loom, We come, our country's rights to save, And speak a tyrant faction's doom; And hark! we raise front sea to sea The sacred watchword Liberty.
" God is our guide ! no swords we draw, We kindle not war's battle fires ; By union, justice, reason, law, NVe claim the birthright of our sires, We raise the watchword Liberty, We will, we will, we will be free."
Mr. Attwood resumed his address ; which he ended amidst the loudest cheers of the surrounding multitude.
Mr. J. Scholefield, who moved the first resolution, said— '"One of their newspapers tells its readers, that ' if the Duke of Wellington's artillery- waggon-drivers even were put in motion, they would drive the people before them with their stirrup-leathers.' (Three tremendous groans.) A most able newspaper on the people's side, answers the threat to which I have alluded, by saying, ' if the Duke of Wellington were insane enough to put rout in stirrup against tits, people of Lug land, he would tind it the toughest piece of work that Is, has hillIMO cut out for himself. Ile and his partisans might boast whilst putting on their harness, but, truly, we believe their bong would be small when they came to take it oil' again: (Loud cheers.) "Lot our enemies say what they will, the People of Ezigland can never slumber, as long as the heavy hand of oppression crushes them to the earth. We will never cease urgently to demand our rights, but ever continue to Le ' agitab Ts' until1 we aavi• re- covered those rights, in spite of the menaces of the Dukes of Buckingham and of Wel- lington, whom the Spectator so aptly calls the ' hig• Duke, and the • dear' Duke, the Oog and Magog of the Boroughtnongers. We will never be satisfied until we have obtained full possession of 'the Bill,- the IL lode Bill, awl notbiug but the (Loud chars.) I am confident that you Will give your entire approbation to the reso- lution which I am now about to move, which is—' lhat this meeting feel it to be im- peratively their duty once more to come forward at this mottentmts crisis, for the pur- pose of testifying their unabated enthusiasm and solemn determination in support of the great Bill of Reform, in order to strengthen the howls of our most excellent King, and to assist in enabling his Majesty and his patri,tMinisters to accomplish their great designs for the happiness of the people, and to carry the Bill of Refrirm forthwith Into a law, uninjured and unimpaired in any of it; great ports and provisions: "
The Reverend Dr. Wade asked what ought to be the conduct of the people under the mutilation of the Bill?-
" Why, stout it—throw it aside—tread it niftier tint, as a rotten, putrid weeds—de- mand scot and lot—demand a more complete and effectual restorati.m doll the rights of the people, than the present Bill of Reform is calculated to give. The Times has called Birmingham 'thee barometer of the Reform feeling throughout England' I would say that, under such an injury, it would become a thertmeacter, and rise to blood- heat with rage, indignation, and vengeance. Mr. Hume has said, • that the Peers never will remove the yoke from the 'movie till they edills7c their determival hat no longer to submit to it.' Then let us now declare that we will have the entire Bill, or never rest till we legally obtain more than tho Bill —a complete restorat ion of the rights of the people. I wish not to use the language of intimidation. bat of conciliation. Should, however, the Bill be mutilated, I would be ready, ata donb: less many more of the clergy of all denominations would be ready, to oecompany the Birmioghow people to Loudon to petition the noose of Commons tin what the Council should deem most proper and spirited, and necessary the all life best int,rests of the people. As the Ca- tholic clergy of Poland, with (nosier, in their bands. went before the tirades of l he brave Poles to meet the hordes or aus,,inii barbarians lid by Russian despots, I would go to petition the Conunotts to subdue the refraetor; Lords."
Mr. Joseph Parkes said— "If the great national measure of 'Reform is ultimately rejected, and Lord Grey driven from office, or if it be mutilated or rendered inoperative, the Unions will be trebled and quadrupled in numbers. I speak front personal knowledge. and I know that the majority' of young men of :111 flosses in this town and neighbourhood, not now members, are rest dyed to enrol themselves in your ranks, and to stick by you iu the I treaell. Friends and fellow-countrymen tfo.t forbid that I should mite Volt to the derider resort of a civil and physical aittention for your liberties as Englishmen, or that I should seek to influence 1S rid ish noblemen by any unworthy or false terror of re, t,la- Bun." I am one of those who foresee that a violent revolution in this country, which might destroy public credit, might depose the Boroughmongers and utterly destroy their wicked donduation. lint, my countrymen. the mass of the People might he plunged into the most maul want alai personal strife. can think of the chommis of industry choked up in this vast ocean of manulat7turing labour,—who can cputear plate a complete cessation of the demand for labour, without discerning that this gene- ration would make a tremendous sacrifice for the liberties of posterity ? But I do solemnly warn,—I implore, the House of Lords, not to force the Reformers to a civil contest. I call upon the Peers to open their closed eyes to the Revolution which for six months, since their fatal rejection of the Bill in October, has tilled the public mind on the subject of hereditary legislators and spiritual lords. I ask them, whether an insane indisposition to this great renovation of the British Constitution will not produce a certain and ultimate disaffection to and dissolution of our boasted form of Government ? Let them read the histories of the St tracts and of France, and may they take warning by those memorable times, which show that there is a time when resistance becomes a sacred duty, and when an Aristocracy, however powerful, dissolves in a moment in the power of the people, for whose happiness its existence can alone be justified. The apprehension of new Peers is a ghost which haunts the Boroughmongers, but which they must face or fare a arse ; for if the Lords cast out the Reform Bill, one of two events will follow,—more Lords or none. (1.o:dela:era.) I do not touch on the chances of a refusal to pay taxes ; I would not now hold out to the Lords unnecessary threats or terror ; but I warn them that John Hampden dwells in the breasts of three- fourths of the inhabitants of these islands, and will inspire them with patriotism and self-sacrifice. The image of .lohn Hamplen, with his deeds inscribed, will be the wor- ship of the People of England, Scotland, and Ireland, if occasion require. (Loud and repeated cheers.) By every legal means, we will solemnly pledge ourselves to obtain Reform. 'If we have not this Bill, we must have a larger. We will not have the Duke of Wellington and his 'perfect representation,'—we will have no Polignac, without Polignac's Me. The talisman of Reform has touched the corruption of the Borough. mongers, and their doom is sealed." The resolution was seconded by Mr. Collins of Warwick. Me other resolutions ran thus—
Mr. Salt described restoration of peace and plenty as the ultimate purpose of the Reformers-
" What was it that they proposed? To smooth the deep furrow acme, to heal the broken heart, to fill up the cheek sunk from famine, and to introduce abundance into every cottage. This attempt of theirs was treated by the Tories with scorn; but they knew they could perform it and would perform it; • and here; said the speaker, ' I call upon you to repeat, with head uncovered; and in the face of heaven, and the God of jug. tic° and mercy, the following words after me.' " The speaker then slowly gave out the following words, which were repeated in a loud voice by the assembled multitude—" 11.-tru ON-
BROKEN FAITH, THROUGH EVERY PERIL AND PRIVATION, WE HERE DEVOTE OURSELVES AND OUR CHILDREN TO OUR COUNTRY'S CAUSE."
Mr. Boultbee concluded with a piece of important advice to the assembled multitudes, which they may soon be called on to practise-
" Let me beg of von to take the advice or a friend, grown old and gray in the cause of liberty and-Reform. When tIMlitile shall come for a general election. what- ever you do, keep yourselves sober ; should any paltry bribe be offered. of whaimme description, or from whatever quarter, spurn it with disdain. Elect honest, indepen- dent, and intelligent men to represent you in Patliament ; do credit to your miter ; let union be your watchword, and depend upon it no power on earth will much longer be able to withhold front you your just and natural rights."
The meeting broke up about five o'clock. We do not think it ne- cessary to give the resolutions and petition, as they are in a great mea- sure superseded by the events that have since occurred.
There was a second meeting at Birmingham on Thursday—a sport-, taneous assemblage of the people—consequent on the intelligence of the Ministers having resigned. It is calculated that not much less than 100,000 people mustered on this emergency. The meeting was ad- dressed by Mr. Attwood, Mr. Edmonds, Mr. Scholefield, Aar. Joseph Parkes, and Mr. Muntz. The following petition to the House of Commons, hastily drawn up, was instantly agreed to ; and three gentle- men—Mr. Seholefield; Mr. Parkes, and Mr. J. Green—appointed as a deputation to convey it to London, where they arrived on Friday
" First, That your petitioners have been struck with surprise and alarm at the awful intelligence which has this day reached us, respecting the dissolution of his Majesty's Government at this anxious and perilous crisis, on account of their persevering in supporting the Bill of Reform as twice passed by- your Honourable House. " Secondly, That under these extraordinary and unexpected circumstances, your Petitioners are of opinion, that the life and property of no man in England are safe, and that the only possible way of giving safety to all is instantly to pass the Bill of Regain, 'mime Hated, into a law.
"Thirdly, That your petitioners must now look upon your Honourable House as the last remaining stay which binds together the existing Constitution and the country ; and in the awful situation in which they find. themselves and their country they appeal to Your Honourable House, and they earnestly implore your Ilithourable Douse not to shrink from the great duties before you, but manfully and feallessly to support the rights of the people, and to adopt whatever measures may be necessary l'or the safety- and the liberty of the country. " Fourthly, That it is only by the manly and patriotic exercise of the great (Intim which the Constitution Las imposed upon your Honourable House, that your Petition- ers can now see any hope that the just and sacred rights of Englishmen can be reco- vered in any Way, except by means which will break up the Fabric of sueiely, and en- danger the fortunes and lives of roillitels. "Fifthly-, That your petitioners filet it declared in the Bill of Rights, that the People of England "may have arms for their defence suitable to their condition and allowed by law ;" and your Petitioners apprehend 'that this great right will be put in lince gene- rally, and that the whole of the people of England will think it necessary to have arms in their defence, in order that they may be prepared for any circumstances wide!' may arise.
"Sixthly, That your petitioners do, therefore, most humbly pray that your Honour- able house will forthwith present an Address to his Majesty, beseeching his Majesty not to allow the resignation of his Ministers, but instantly to create a sufficient num- ber anew Peers to insure the carrying of the Bill of Reform uninjured into a law ; and that your Honourable House will instantly withhold all Supplies, and adopt allo a guy other measures whatever which may be necessary to carry the Bill of Reform, and
the safety and the liberty of the country.
The Birmingham Union has received a large accession to its nuin hers within the last few days. Among these converts to the necessity of union—peaceful union—seventy gentlemen of the honoured Society of Friends have joined; with many others, who had hitherto held back.