26 MARCH 1831, Page 15

MEETING. OF TUE LONDON ME1i CHANTS.—All open, meeting of the

bankers and merchants of London to address the King and petition Parliament ill favour of the Reform Bill, took place yester- day. It was as much in contrast in number and heartiness as in soundness of spirit to the hole-and-corner affair of the City of Lon- don Tavern. The Lord Mayor was in the Chair ; and the various re- solutions were moved by 11r. John Smith, Sir William Lu' b irks Mr. Alderman Thompson, Mr. Thompson, Deputy-Governor of the Bank, Mr. Grote, Mr. Norman, and other well-known, wealthy:and respectable individuals. The Egyptian Hall was crowded to excess, and hundreds of gentlemen were compelled to remain away from the meeting from want of room. Mr. O'Connell was present, and was called on by some officious people to speak ; which, however, his not being either a merchant or banker of London prevented him from doing. The only person who spoke against the resolutions, was a Captain Bitten, who wrote a foolish book the other day on Naval Discipline : the audience treated him worse than even. the critics. By a mistake in the course of the proceedings, Mr. Ward's name was mentioned, which was received with tremendous hootings. That gentleman did not, however, make his appearance.

THIS KENT MEETING.—Many circumstances combine to give a strong interest to the meetings in Kent. It was the leader in the Anti-Catho- lic cause ; its yeomen are numerous, wealthy, and independent ; it is close to the metropolis, which it may be supposed in consequence consi- derably to influence ; it is at least half Tory, and therefore a fair witness in a cause against which so much Tory interest is embarked. The re- quisition to the High Sheriff was most respectable; and notwithstanding a day of frost, snow, and sleet, the muster at the meeting was numerous. It was held in the high street of Maidstone, instead of the Heath, as at first proposed, where the pelting of the storm would have rendered it impossible. A letter was read to the meeting from Sir Edward Knatch- hull, excusing his absence by reason of indisposition. Sir Edward said his conscience would not permit him to support the bill. The letter was received with hisses. Earl Radnor, apologizing for the brevity of his address by reason of the terrible state of the weather, moved an address to the King, thanking him for calling to his councils a Ministry who stood pledged to Reform. Mr. E. Darrell seconded the address. Lord

Winchilsea addressed the freeholders in his usual bold and honest style.

They were assembled to ask themselves these questions—" Had the lapse of years

which had passed away since the formation of the constitution, made no impression upon it to its injury ? Had no defects risen in it which it was no less their interest than their duty to amend/ Had no new interests sprung up, to which new privi- leges ought to be extended, and to which such privileges would have been extended. had the interests existed when the constitution of Parliament was formed ?" (Cheers.) They were assembled to ask themselves also, whether any undue influ- ence now controlled the representation of the people, and whether the House of Commons was, as it professed to be, a just, and honest, and conscientious repre- sentation of the people 1 (Loud cries of "No, it is not.")

Lord Winchilsea was followed by Lord Mahon. Lord Mahon was heard with great impatience, notwithstanding the repeated interposition of more acceptahle speakers in his behalf: he spoke of course against the bill. The remarkable accompaniment of his Lordship's address was the sort of running fire which was kept up with singular tact and shrewd- ness by the crowd of listeners. lie rang the changes of all the common. place arguments against Reform in general, and the Bill in particular ; but for every blow that he aimed at either, there was a parry and a re- ply. Mr. Larkins answered Lord Mahon very cleverly, and quizzed him about a bad borough speculation which his Lordship had made at Wootton Bassett. He advised the people to prepare for a general election, as the Reform Bill could hardly be carried through in the present Parliament. The meeting was afterwards addressed by Mr. Watson, Sir William Cosway, Sir J. Tylden, and Mr. Hodges. Petitions were agreed to to the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and thanks were voted to the High Sheriff.

OTHER Rirawast MEEITNGS.--A hare enumeration of the names of the meetings in favour of the Bill would be an arduous labour. Kent we have noticed ; Gloucester, Worcester, Middlesex, Northumberland, York, Flint, and several other English counties, have expressed their unanimous approbation of the Ministers and their plan. Scotland has not been behind ; some of the largest and mast important counties have petitioned in favour of the measure ; in Dumfries a petition against it was carried only by a single vote. Captain Wemyss, it seems, said last night, that most of the Scotch petitioners would not be entitled to a vote unless on the principle of universal suffrage. 1Ve be. lieve that there is not in Edinburgh one house of live hawked that rents for less than la, and the Edinburgh petition is signed by nearly every householder in the city. In addition, half the close corporations of Scotland have petitioned for the Bills.

CAMBRIDGE PET! TION.—A petition against the Reform Bill has

been got up by the Cambridge doctors, which promises to effect nothing but to raise a laugh against themselves. There is no reason in the world why all men should be agreed on the subject of Reform, inure than on any other ; nor why those who dislike it should not say so. But manhood cries shame on those who employ underhand, sneaking methods of testifying dislike. Why don't the Cambridge people give opinion fair play ? If the young men be for Reform, by what flimsy devices would they seek to keep them from expressing their wishes ? They bring forward a petition against Reform, which is of weight only as it issues from the University in a regular and fair way ; it is a petition on which every Master of Arts has a right to vote ; and it is announced in such a way and at such an hour as to prevent a Master of Arts at forty or fifty miles distance from knowing any thing about it I The cream of the jest is, the grave opinion entertained by men not unwise, as far as books go, that the Bill must be either mended or marred by such a document. They fancy, because it furnishes Sir Charles with a text on which to talk nonsense, that they have done a mighty affair. We tell these wise men, that the friends of the Bill care little for the opinions of all the black hoods and white hoods in England—that the Bill will pass, whether they like it or not, and not a whit the less speedily and certainly for their left-handed opposition.