23 OCTOBER 1841, Page 12


THE Thames is not a critical river ; it cannot bear in mind the admonition of Mr. Puff, " Thames ! Thames! ever while you live, Thames, go between your banks!" The Thames has as little care to go between its banks just now as the Bank of England has to regulate its issues to the satisfaction of Mr. JONES LOYD. It only partakes of the spirit of the age, a general tendency to over- flow. The waters of England's charity overflow into the United States in the shape of Anti-Slavery missionaries, and her troops in the shape of kidnappers; her diplomacy overflows into Tunis, where it meets with the superfluous glory of France, already inundating North-western Africa ; Lours PHILIPPE'S matchmaking benevolence overflows the Pyrennees, under the guise of rebellion and civil war; the disengaged energy of the Anti-Corn-law League runs over in an inquisition into the administration of Sir ROBERT PEEL'S charity ; and Sir ROBERT'S educational zeal gushes out in foundation-schools for electioneering purposes. These last two pbsenomena are the oddest of all : they beat the Thames, with its blowing-up of drains and exposure of rats. An officer of the Anti-Corn-law League, in virtue of his station as a defeated candi- date, is constituted inquisitor and public prosecutor of Tamworth enormities—defeated candidates are such very sharp spies into abuses and then it comes out, that Sir ROBERT PEEL actually maintains a little parish Eton, at his own expense, for the instruc- tion of children in electioneering affairs. To be serious, the Premier stands charged with the grave offence of malversation in the administration of his own charity. The ex- posure of the crime has caused a very painful sensation among all .classes. Sir ROBERT just now presents the humiliating spectacle of a sort of Ananias ; Mr. ACLAND the Anti-Corn-law lecturer being the denouncer, and the Morning Chronicle a weeping spec- tator over the follies of man. The denunciation of ACLAND was conveyed in the following passage of a letter- " There is in Tamworth a grammar-school, founded by Sir Robert's father, for the gratuitous education of the children of the inhabitants so long as a Peel shall represent the borough ; and I am credibly informed, that the master (Savage By name, and, as it should seem, servile by nature) informed the boys, a few days since, that he had received a letter from the Prime Minister, order- ing him to discharge the children of all those who had signed the petition ! The way being thus prepared, the relieving-officer and his colleagues went round to the parents of the children to inquire ' if they had signed that im- portant document. And the public may believe that some disclaimers were the consequence." Mr. SAVAGE came out in his own and his right honourable friend's defence, in the subjoined letter to Sir Roamer PEEL, pub- lished by the Standard— "I have been told that one or more paragraphs, originally in the Sun newspaper, have been copied into the provincial papers, stating that I had dismissed from your school the boys whose parents bad signed the petition lately sent from this town. I trouble you with this, to assure you that there is not the slightest shadow of an excuse for such a falsehood. No boy has been dis- charged from your school, for any cause whatever, for many months; nor have I spoken to any of them on the subject of the petition."

This letter, according to the Chronicle, exhibited any thing but "-salvagesse sans finesse "; but, "showing secret wit,' it left Sir ROBERT'S denouncer unanswered : Mr. ACLAND did not state that any boy had actually been dismissed; and the Chronicle infers that the only reason why Mr. SAVAGE put forth a denial on that head was, that there had been an expulsion. Such is the practical charity to one's neighbour in this most moral and Christian land. The plot thickens : at this juncture steps forth a zealous but in- cautious correspondent of the Morning Post, who admits that some boys have been dismissed, but only within these few days. This person writes on Tuesday, Mr. SAVAGE on the previous Sunday : the boys, assumes the Chronicle, could not have been dismissed in the interval ; therefore they must have been dismissed when Mr. SAVAGE denied it. There is a Mr. Turman employed as a master under Mr. SAVAGE, and he had dismissed the boys; hence Mr. SAVAGE is charged with prevarication, if not falsehood. Now' amid. the world of denials and cross-questions raised, let us see what are the distinct denials and admissions of the accused parties. Mr. SAVAGE denies, on the 17th of October, that any boy has been dis- missed for many months, or that there is the shadow of an excuse for the opposite assertion : the Standard denies, upon the best au- thority, that Sir ROBERT PEEL made any communication whatever, "direct or indirect, to Mr. Savage or any other person in reference to the Tamworth school, and having connexion with person, address from Tamworth "; or that Mr. SAVAGE ever "informed the boys, or any other person, that he bad received any communication to the above effect from Sir Robert Peel; or by his authority " : the anonymous correspondent of the Morning Post, writing on Tues- day, admits that some boys have been dismissed—that there has been much insubordination in the school since ACLAND'S "ha- rangues "—that in all such cases the parents seemed to justify the conduct of their children, by saying that "if Sir Robert turned them out, Acland would take them in "—and that in one particular case Mr. TUFFIELD asked a boy of ten, whether he had signed Mr. ACLAND'S petition ? and the boy said that he had, and at the instigation of his brother, a boy of fourteen. Assuming, what does not constitute a violent assumption, that the editor of the Standard and Mr. SAVAGE are gentlemen whose word is to be taken with ordinary good faith, it is clear that neither Sir Ronmer nor the nominal master of the school knew any thing of these expulsions : it seems to be equally clear that some expulsions did take place, and that they were connected with the petition. Sir ROBERT PEEL, it is said, has instituted an inquiry : so well does he keep the rule not to let his right hand know what his left doth, that he is obliged to institute an investiga- tion into the doings of his left hand, and to make a solemn scrutiny to see whether or not he has been guilty of a sort of self- embezzlement. The nation awaits with anxiety some explanation as to the fate of the martyrs to principle in pinafores. But a sort of secondary charge arises out of the first : the Sun steps forth to throw a light upon the matter, and finds that Sir ROBERT PEEL has supported "a school to bribe the electors of Tamworth to return a Peel, by the gratuitous education of their children,"—complaining that that charge is unnoticed by Mr. SAVAGE. Here is a discovery. Sir ROBERT lately boasted Tam- worth a borough of immaculate purity ; but behold a refinement in corruption ! it is not to be bought, like Nottingham, with gold : no candidate, like him of Shrewsbury, lodges so many thousands in its bank, as the formal preliminary to the chairing: it is a perfect Sybaris of corruption, and nothing can please its pampered palate but foundation-schools for children. What an exalted East Ret- ford ! The trick perhaps would not answer elsewhere : the Whigs tried it wholesale, with 30,0001. for national education ; but that did not tell in the general election. Perhaps Sir ROBERT PEEL spends more in proportion on the Tamworth school than thirty thousand pounds for the United Kingdom—which is, indeed, not a halfpenny a soul. Of course Sir ROBERT does not maintain sixty or seventy children, teach, feed, and clothe them, for a halfpenny a piece— half-a-crown per annum in the gross. Such electioneering, kept up ever since 1820, must have been rather expensive. But it has been successful : a PEEL is returned for Tamworth ; and although an ACLAND'S eloquence may inspire a few political infants, whose wisdom has thriven in the hotbed of the Tarnworth election- school, to discharge their master, yet upon the whole it seems probable, if Sir ROBERT can prove himself not an unjust steward in his own charity, that a PEEL Will Still Sit for the immaculate borough, by the aid of the schoolmaster. Let such bribery, then, be tried more extensively—more boldly than the Whigs tried it : let the Tory Premier see what a majority such schooling as he disburses would purchase him if it were bestowed on every infant in the kingdom. That would be an interesting experiment, if the Corn-law League people will permit it.