BRITISH SYMPATHY WITH FRENCH FREEDOM.
THE EDINBURGH MEETING.—We have mentioned the requisitionfor this meeting, and marked as it deserved the conduct of the Lord Provost,
so contrasted to that of our Lord Mayor, in readily acceding to the wishes of his respectable townsmen.. The meeting was held in the Waterloo
Rooms. The number assembled was upwards of a thousand, the great room being crammed to suffocation. It is not, however, in its num- bers that the meeting stands out from all that have been,,held on the same subject, but in the high character of those by whom it was called, coun- tenanced, and conducted. The most distinguished and respectable names in Edinburgh appeared in the requisition. Well might the Lord Provost say that he could not perceive in the honourable list any symptoms of party. These things are commonly best got up in a small town and in
no town in Europe better than in the Modern Athens. In London, meetings are called by two classes,--the ordinary jog-trot Corporation men, the gentlemen of the long purse, "Mr. Deputy Goose and Mr. Deputy Gander," Councillor Higgins and Councillor Figgins, and so forth, to whom the routine of public business is quietly surrendered ; or they are called by jobbing politicians—men who trade on the capital of a long tongue, an empty head, and an imperturbable front,—who make the affairs of a parish, of a city, or of a kingdom, an instrument of puffing into notice the beef and ham shop of Joseph Jenkins, or the nice Ha- vannah cigars of Charles Simpkins : by these, the ordinary and extraor- dinary requisitionists, the men of place and the men of puff, almost all the meetings in the capital are convened. The really respectable part of the community, the really independent men, may appear at the meeting ; but they have neither part nor lot in the preparation of the proceedings. This arises partly from the impossibility in London of anyman knowing his neighbour, unless he happen to belong to one of the two classes we have just adverted to—partly from the disinclination that men of talent and character feel, unless their interests powerfully impel them to it, to mix themselves up with men' without brains or without reputation. The necessary consequence of all this is, that when meetings are required, by so great an emergency as that which has just occurred, there is no proper machinery by which they can be got up. Now they manage all this much better in Edinburgh. There, from the size of the town, every man of reputation and talent is known ; there are a host of men of reputation and talent ; and they band together. They have no drysalters or cheesemongers to ask deference to their stupidity because of the plums in their pocket ; nor have they any loud. tongued and impudent quacks to intrude themselves wherever honest men are congregated, to mar unanimity with their peculiar dogmas, or, where the current of their opinions happen to set the same way, to bring what is judicious and respectable into dispute by the contamination of their approbation. All these the smallness of the trade and the smallness of the town wholly exclude. The persons who assume the lead of their fellow-citizens are really qualified for leaders on account of their intellec- tual attainments ; and having no petty offices to which to aspire, no guzzling constituents to flatter into kindliness, they are placed in the proudest station of independence—an independence which the City dig- nitaries never know—they are not only independent of those above them, but of those below them. The approbation of such a meeting is what even a nation may be proud to receive, for it is what the wealth of a nation could not purchase. We have dwelt on these distinctions, because, had the Edinburgh meeting been an ordinary one, we should have scrupled to devote to it
so large a portion of our columns. We need not praise the eloquence of the speeches, for that will speak for itself. We must, however, acknow- ledge the source whence our extracts are derived—theEdinburgh Weekly Journal—because the report of some of the other papers give a less per.
fect.idea of what was said, though all of them mention with due praise what was done.
The meeting was called for one o'clock ; but, as if to shame our Lon- don-practice in every particular, the room was filled a few minutes after twelve.. At one o'clock precisely, the Lord Provost, (Mr. Allan) accom- panied by a number of gentlemen, armared on the temporary hustings. The Lord Provost, as a proper tribute to his conduct, was called to the chair by acclamation.
" Had I considered the meeting," said his Lordship on taking the chair, " called for any factious or improper purpose, I would have been the last man to preside in or to convene such a meeting. But on looking over the list of requisitionists, I could discover no party feelings ex- isting among them. This meeting was called simply to make a public disclosure of feelings which have been expressed very generally from the one end of this empire to the other. They have been universal—among the rich and the poor, the young and the old, and all who could think for themselves."
The first resolution was moved by Mr. Jeffery, who holds thehigh office of Dean of Faculty, or President of the Scotch barristers; an office without emolument, but ofrnore honour than any other thht the Scotch bar affords. His forensic eloquence has been the repeated theme of his countrymen's praise, and his literary talents are known and appreciated wherever the English language is known. Ilis argument for calling the meeting is worked out with much humour and much force. " It may be asked why have we signed the requisition that has called us together on this occa- siOn ? and for what purpose do we take our fellow-citizens from their various occupations, or from their amusements, during a hot day, to a crowded meeting, to hear that repeated aloud and awkwardly in public, which they have all concurred in feeling at home ? This is one of the questions which it is a little easier to ask than to answer ; and, -upon say honour, the best answer on the part of myself and the other requisitionists is, that we really could not help it !—that the feelings with which we were possessed were too big to find utterance around firesides ; and the spectacle which called them forth too majestic and imposing to be viewed on a narrow scene, or hailed only by the acclamations of private indivi- duals. It is a great public event, unprecedented in the annals of nations —in the annals of the world ;—an event which is unsurpassed and un- equalled—not only for the flattering views which it holds out of human nature, but especially as an example of those generous and severer virtues to which the brave nation, which has achieved this glorious triumph over despotism, have hitherto been supposed to have had but slender pretensions. This public triumph seems to require that public vent should be given to our feelings: that many who have exhausted themselves in their private circles in words of congratu- lation,. should have the opportunity of meeting face to face with other groups of their fellow-citizens, and assuring themselves that one common- joy reigns among them all—one common hope—one common principle.; by which all ranks, orders, and distinctions should have this opnortunity of expressing thernselveacon this happy andinilprecedented
occasion. This, I believe in my bear; is the leading and first; reon ' that has induced us to call you together, and the 'only and bestapology that can be given, to those to whom any apology may be thought neces.: sary.' But there is another motive, of a graver and a higher descrip- tion, Which may plead our apology to those to whom the other might be
addressed in vain. I do not think I arrogate too much to what is due to the sentiments of a foreign country, in the expression of generous and Public sympathy, when I say, that I cannot persuade myself that the tribute of admiration and gratitude which we are this day to offer to the noble burghers and the heroic populace of Paris, can be viewed by them as altogether without value, or be regarded by ourselves without benefit. Every one must feel that they have shed around them a glory which is unequalled in the world ; and I cannot believe that persons capable of such heroic efforts can be insensible to that praise from kindred spirits, .which is their best and most proper reward. Convened in orderly assembly; under the lawful authority of our chief magistrate such a tribute we fondly hope, will appear to them peculiarly dear, and be felt as it ought, coming from those who, from ancient times, had been too frequently their enemies, among whom certain feelings of rivalry and emulation had pro- duced a certain degree of alienation or jealousy, and towards whom some remains of grudging and ill blood may still continuo amongst us. A warm tribute of unmingleil applause must come with encouragement to those who have done well ; anti with accumulated force to others, whose deeds, not exceeded by anything in history, had called forth such a storm of popular indignation. It does appear to us that there is now a third reason to justify our assembling together—that our request has been duly and liberally patronised by the learned and distinguished person beside me. The event upon which we are called to express our feelings holds out a great' prospect of good to us and all mankind ; as terminating at length those lamentable and painful struggles, that for a time have subsisted all over the World ;—I mean those struggles between obsolete prejudice and degrading pretensions on the one hand, and a tendency to insubordination, and revel; and disobedience on the other. The reconciliation between these two principles that has taken place in so short a time, does give us hope and assurance that the minds of men, even in the most irritable nation that ever existed, and who have formerly gone the greatest lengths in their irritation, have learned that lesson of moderation and humknity Which can alone render all classes of a nation happy, and by which the dignity of the throne and the privileges of the people may be reconciled, and serve as a guarantee to the, rights of the- people, to whieb it has hitherto been too generally • op_posed."—The eulo- gium .brf. Louis Philip, and the reflections on the fight of the Three' Days hat led to *his present elevation.,, are characterized by sound sense and -sAnd :feeling, set out by all that appropriateness of phrase for wlikh`Mf. Jeffrey's eloquence is so conspicuous., ."It s-imposstblo to look'Nkifffotit 'gratiltide to that overruling Providence, by Which, in this unexpected emergency, France was directed to, and found at once, a Prince of the condition, character, habits, and principles of the Mo- narch who now sways the sceptre in that country ;—a Prince of the blood so near as to satisfy all natural and reasonable claims of legiti- macy ; connected with the Revolution, nearly connected by blood with one of its most misguided leaders—aware, therefore, alike of the abuses by which it had been produced, and the crimes and excesses to which it Lad led—schooled for a long period in adversity, and who bore the resto- ration to his fortunes with moderation ; who had led such an unambi- tious life, as proved beyond a doubt that he had not taken any part in plots or cabals which would have elevated him to the throne—that there was no dissimulation in the political principles he had lately avowed ; a Prince, In short, whose age, situation, and habits, which were direct, plain, and simple, gave assurance that he was qualified'in an eminent and conspicuous manner to be the first legitimate Sovereign under a free and limited monarchy. In the last and highest place of those provi. dential circumstances and singular felicities which attended this revolu- tion, must be placed the extraordinary and noble magnanimity—the mo- deration' firmness, and courage, by which the people of Paris had first achieved, and afterwards enjoyed and confirmed, their victory. It is impossible to look upon the story of those four eventful days without feelings of exultation and pride at the capacity of human nature, which is seldom tobe seen to advantage in large masses of mankind, though here was displayed, in the haunts of a dissolute and corrupt capital, the most sig- nal triumph of the severer and nobler virtues. Here was the spectacle of a great people totally unprepared, driven by unfortunate events to assume a formidable attitude, scattered and disunited, without head or leader, without notice or expectation of the blow which was aimed at them ; and yet, with invincible aml magnificent resolution, each brooding for one night over the part be had to play on the morrow—consulting only with his own heroic breast on the means of rallying in the morning— and then, with calm, fixed, and magnanimous resolution, calculating upon nothing but the sympathy and unity of sentiments among his fellow- citizens—with slow, deliberate, and majestic movements, which could not have been surpassed by the most consummate masters of the art of war, they assumed those means of defence by which they were most likely to gain their object. In that situation they were overwhelmed in the first shock,—mowed down by the cannon, which the incomparable atrocity of their opponents actually levelled at the crowded streets and lofty buildings of that proud capital ; they were ridden down by cavalry —assailed by men cased in armour ; but they soon rallied ; they tore up the streets for bulwarks—they covered every roof—filled every win- dow and every terrace, and fought at every corner, till, by the heroic and persevering resistance of that eventful night, the discipline and valour of the finest troops in Europe were baffled and discomfited. This assemblage presented a noble spectacle—of men and children—of women animated by heroic valour, and rising above the feelings of their sex. Theirs indeed was not a mere Military conquest—it was a moral and nobler victory. The soldiers, actuated by feelings of military duty, and most of them ignorant of the cause, were at last rather shamed than forced out of resistance—they gloomily refused to act against the people— threw down their arms and entirely subdued by the proud and touching spectacle before them, and giving way to their nobler feelings, fell with sobs and tears into the embraces, and received and returned 'the.congratulations of friends and fellow-citizens. This is a sceix on Which I feel that even repetition and idle words May be borne with indul- "gence.!7—This is very finely expressed. 'The discription of the different „treatment of Charles and of Louis is iqually good. " Theconsummatiort r of all was, to look at the exits of Charles the Tenth and Louis the Six-. teenth—to contrast the total forbearance, not only from personal vio- lence, but from insult ; the respectful gravity, -and majestic composure; with which that infatuated, and I will say; guilty tyrant, has been ushered out of the dominions so justly forfeited—attended by guards of honour, travelling with his suite and family in splendid carriages, with the proudest and most luxurious appendages, and attended by the repre- sentatives of the people ; received in every town with a mixture of mourn- ful, dignified, but unoffending silence, which shed even a higher glory on the people than all their great achievements ; compare this truly noble and moderate exercise of the rights of a free people, that magnanimous compassion, that humane sparing of a fallen victim, with the atrocious cruelty with which the fathers of the same men, and probably some of themselves, in the frenzy of that day, had persecuted and brought to the scaffold a benevolent, virtuous, and intelligent Prince, whose whole reign had been a series of concessions to his people. This was admirable, and worthy of all commemoration, even if the fact only were before us ; but we have the theory as well as the fact to explain the phenomenon. The excesses of 1790 were the excesses of slaves broken loose—of Men unaccus- tomed to liberty—unfit for liberty—and, I may say, unworthy of liberty. The proceedings of 1830 were the proceedings of men trained to rational liberty ; warned by the example and miscarriage of their ancestors, of the necessity of patience caution, long-suffering, and of powerful and.
unshrinking abstinence patience, all unnecessary innovation. What a lesson does this hold out to those who affect to dread the effects of liberty on a people !—to those who imagine that there can be no safety but in bonds; and that from the people being intrusted with rights, and even asserting those with violence, no other result can follow but disorder, violence, and bloodshed !"
The resolution with which Mr. Jeffrey concluded was as follows: it is, as the Americans say, lengthy :—
"That the people of France having, with unexampled efforts of courage, and under every disadvantage of preparation, baffled the profligate attempt of their late Monarch to violate the sacred compact by which he held his crown, and to support that aggression by the most atrocious abuse of his military authority ; and having, in the very moment of their sudden triumph, and while yet excited by the sangui- nary struggle through whtch it had been obtained, made no other use of the power with which it invested them, than to exclude from the throne the tyrant and hia descendants, and to make such alterations only in the charter of their liberties as, were calculated to prevent the recurrence of similar calamities, and give security and permanence to their free • institutions ; have, by thus uniting wisdom with heroism, and moderation with victory, not only vindicated their own rights in a manner the most glorious, but done' all that in Oita lay to maintain the peace of Europe, and have consequently entitled themselves to the high admiration and grati- tude of all the frieads of good order, and especially of the people of 43,itain, who Wroughtbut and established their men freedom hy_kindred measures, and have, of ail nations; most cause to -rejoice in the liberty aurthappiness of France." ' •
Mis-Cocktilirit Moved a 'reselftion that' sio'subscription was called for: We doubt the necessity of such a formal announcement of a fact, which after all is a very disputed one. We believe, in France, the subscript. tions have been received in the most grateful spirit. Dr. Mackintosh moved that the resolutions of the meeting be commit. nicated to the Mayor and Municipality of Paris. We must find room for a sentence or two from the speech of Mr.Siropson, the chronicler of
Waterloo, in seconding Dr. Mackintosh's resolution There is some- thing exciting," said Mr. Simpson, "something intensely novel, in the very mode and medium by which this tribute of our sympathy is to be sent to our neighbours, who are so well deserving of it. It is through
thapeaceful civil authorities, recognized and respected, and quietly per forming their functions, as if a revolution had not been. Never before
did we approach the French nation but as a hostile campfsiarounded
by merciless legions, and their ferocious leaders. Look at the history of our mutual relations. Never have we known the French people, but with the jealousy of rivals in peace, or the ferocity of enemies in war. In vain we look for a point of friendly, confiding contact. The Agincourts and the Cressys threw between us, for centuries, a cloud tinged with blood; and the Blenheims and the Waterloos only deepened its dye—gild it as you will with the poetry of romantic gallantry, with all that sparkles in chivalry, and all that dazzles in glory. One topic remains, splendidly treated by my learned friend the Dean of Faculty, but too tempting to resist, even at the risk of weakening the impression which he made. We hail our brethren of France, because of the community—the similarity—I had almost said the identity—of our political history. We hail them as
brethren in the community of a glorious, because a rational and high- souled revolution !—in the moderation—ay, up to our highest pitch—
with which the triumph has been used ;—in the generous tenderness which has been shown to the grey hairs of their misguided and dethroned King—let us still hope, notwithstanding much that has been said, " more sinned against than sinning." In the heroism—the electrical brilliancy of the blow which, in a few hours, made France free, and raised her to the pinnacle of moral exaltation ; if to that we have, in our proudest annals, no parallel to offer, let us strive to rival them, in the only rivalry which can now remain between us—which shall most heartily repudiate war—which shall most freely unfetter corn. merce—which shall most frankly communicate philosophical lights and scientific triumphs, but above all, which shell most unreservedly con- s;gn to oblivion all the paltry jealousies, all the vulgar animosities, all the grosser prejudices, which have so long put asunder two great families of the human race whom God bath joined—joined not less by his eternal laws thari by his revealed word, and whose perverse hostility he has so long and so signally visited. A committee having been appointed, and a vote of thanks passed to the worthy Lord Provost, a loud call was made for Mr. Hume. The
member for Middlesex at length stood forward to answer it. He said— in the parish to which he belonged (Marylebone), he had already deli- vered his sentiments on the events they had met to consider, and expres- sed a hope that they would serve as a lesson to our own Government, who, he trusted, would take thern as a-hint not to neglect the only des- potism that his learned friend (Mr. Corkburm) said he would wish to live under, namely the despotism of public opinion. He hoped Govern- ment would take it as a kindly lesson, and so regulate their efforts as to effect those reforms, which all acknowledge are wanted in every depart- ment of the state. The Revolution of 1638 had been alluded to, and he -Wished that the abuses, which had since crept in, might be reformed. The learned gentleman had said, that there were some dead or inert bodies in other constitutions; butt he was sorry to see so many dead or inert bodies in our own country, because they affected and detracted from the welfare of the whole. Ile hailed the proceedings in a neigh- tmuring country ; and he felt assured that the changes that had been Made would be not only for the good of Prance, but fur the good which this country will decidedly obtain. He really did hope that persons in rwer would yield to the despotism of public opinion, which was pretty evidently manifeited during last year, a ad give way, and timely and mo- derately accede to those changes which force might take from them, but which might he obtained from their own hands with much better grace.' - Before the meeting broke up, three cheers were given for the King, in testimony of the hearty affection that every one present bore him. From Ihtattm collected at the door of tile room for defraying the expenses of die meeting, (one shilling being exacted from each person), it was ascer- tained that there were eleven hundred persons present.
Mtrrisro AT Nomxottax.—A meeting of the same regular and gratifying character as that of Edinburgh, called by the Mayor, and presided over by the same gentleman, was held at Nottingham on Monday. Letters of excuse for not attending were sent by Lord Ran- ciiffe, (brother-in-law to the ex-Premier of France) and Mr. W. F. Norton, or.. the plea of indispensable engagements : both of them expressed the high approbation of the writers of the object of the meet- ing. A letter from Sir R. C. Ferguson was received on Tuesday, in which an excuse of a less questionable character is made: Sir Ronald re- ceived the invitation at his brother's house, at Archertield, fourteen miles from Edinburgh, only on Sunday. The resolutions of the Nottingham Meetingwere in their spirit similar to those passed at the London Tavern Meeting, and the meeting in Marylebone : an address of the same tenour sis that moved by Mr. Fox was also agreed to. We take the following Passage in the speech of Mr. Sergeant Denman, from the Nottingham Review, which contains along and spirited account of a meeting of which Nottingham may well be proud. " When France reluctantly submitted to the Bourbon dynasty, they received the Charter, and submitted with * good grace to the restoration of the exiled family. But when, without es-en pretending anything like a cause for its infraction, the late bigoted /Monarch at one swoop proceeded to break through the contract, he pro- perly became an outcast from the throne which he had forfeited. Mr. Denman hoped that hewas not cast on our shores to become an inmate ; 'but there was a feeling of delicacy towards any unfortunate imploring protection. France had pardoned his crimes ; he thought forgiveness the duty of every man, whatever his station; • and God forbid that those fa-niggles which with others he himself had made to get rid of the
4hen Act' ') y g y
should be perverted to den En land as an as lum But if he comes under the protection of the English laws, it is foray as an English subject, which they all enjoyed. He confessed that he was at a loss to conceive why the Customhouse officers should be held offthe fourteen waggon loads of baggage which the despot had bought With him. 'Charles Capet could not in any way be distinguished from the meanest of his subjects, or the most lowly alien that sought England at a refuge from the bonds of the most iron despotism. He hoped that the ex-King would be told he came here for protection,- and protection alone; that his ill-gotten treasure was not to enable him to be displaying at Magnificence ill-becoining one who -had forfeited an exalted Station by his &met. Excuses were offered for him, that he was imbecile, an old Man, and that he was led by bad Ministers. None of theSeWonldjitstify him. On the part of a King who violates his most sacred obligationa told forfeits his state, contempt for his imbecility and compassion for his
age, can be a shield only for his escape. He himself joined in thenpiniott already expressed ; he prayed and desired that there might now be atit end to violence and bloodshed. The glorious triumph was consummated, and there must be no more mourning and tears. Charles Capet had received his people's mercy and charity,—there was nothing in him 0 admire, nothing to love ; he had only to hide his head, having his mind polluted with the blood of those whom he was bound and sworn to defend."