Mr. Lawson, author of the Permissive Bill, will have to
be put down as a public nuisance, condemned to drink Thames water, or Mr. Gladstone's claret, or some dreadful thing. Not to mention the use to which his tyrannical proposal will be put at the hustings, being forced down the throats of candidates who know quite well it will never be passed, he fills the columns of the Times with the dreariest rubbish. In a long speech at Leeds he descanted on all the evils of drunkenness, admitted that he meant to abolish the 140,000 sellers of liquor, and never once touched the real question, which is the right of the individual to do as he likes, whether judi- cious or not, provided the act is not forbidden by the moral law. Mr. Lawson has exactly the same right to prevent Smith from drinking a glass of ale as he has to prevent him from eating pastry- cooks' buns or any other deleterious edible. The bun is sure to make him bilious, and we are bound to say the Lancet could prove to a demonstration that half the murders in England are committed by bilious people. Mr. Lawson asked Leeds whether the old spirit was dead in the old county, whether "their hearts would fail in the encounter," whether they were ready to "do and dare," and altogether showed that it was quite possible for a man to be very intoxicated on water and weak tea.