WESTMINSTER PURITY OF ELECTION DINNER.
The twenty-fifth anniversary of Sir Francis Burdett's return for Westminster, was celebrated in the Crown and Anchor Tavern on Wed- nesday. About three hundred gentlemen sat down to dinner ; among whom were Sir Francis Burdett (in the Chair), Sir J. Cam Hobhouse, Sir Samuel Whalley, Colonel Jones, Colonel Evans, Count Czapski, Count Plater, General Rybinski, M. Mosselman, Mr. Blackburn, Mr. Thelwall, Mr. Matthew Hill, and a number of othersof less note. The Lord Mayor, Mr. O'Connell, and Mr. Tennyson, joined the company after dinner. •
The customary toasts " the People," " the King," " the Duke of Sussex," and what may now be called customary, " his Majesty's Ministers," havingheen drunk, old Mr. Stureh gave Sir Francis Burdett.. Sir Francis expressed warmly the gratitude which the nation owed to the King. for his choice of Reforming Ministers, and the Ministers for the Reform they had introduced and carried. Sir Francis touched upon
Ida own conduct during the discussions on the Bill— •
To you, as my constituents. I owe something, though crier indulgence ha.e. never Culled for it. I owe to you. to give you my reasons for the line of conduct which I have Ithoutght it tole my ultity to adopt, during the'recent discussions. It has been my leading priacipie not to embarrass Minister, on any minor cptestion. I have forborne dieturb- sng any part of the proceedings of the Great Measure itselt.even where I felt a desire for its modification, because I conceived it not desirable to risk the whole for a small part—to endanger the great priuciple for the sake of mere vninutice, and, by giving a colourable majority against Ministers, to place not only the Bill but the whole oountry'in a situation of imminent peril. Every Englishman must wish that this plea- sure should be such as to give satisfaction to every part of the kingdom—to Ireland and Scotland as well as to England. I feel much pleasure that the Ministry has con- pented to alter the Irish Bill in a manner calculated to .give great satisfaction to the people of Ireland. I am anxious to conciliate all parties, to attend to all in- terests; and though individuals, p:rhaps myself, may have some ground of complaint, yet, on the whole. I must prououncethe measure of Reform to be-one of the noblest at- tempts ever made on the part of an enlightened government to satisfy theiust and rational expectations of a united people. I trust sincerely that the results will be such as iniiy to satisfy our most sanguine expectations."
• Sir Francis adverted to the fate of Poland--
- It was difficult to speak on the guided of that country-A wrongs from feelings which almost deprived him of the power of expression: or to denounce in language of de- served indignation the odious tyranny and ernefties of Russia, and sail:enmity to ex- press his admiration of the magnanimity and devoted rout-age whieh enabled a handful of -men, comparatively speakitig, so long to resist the combined powers of Russia, Austria, and Prussia. And they would still have maintainest the independence of their eotmtry. had it not been for the shameful abandonment, it' not treachery. of the other European Powers. He trusted the time woulit shortly, arrive, when England might be enabled to do sumething more than deplore the fate of one of the noblest nations in the world.
He concluded— -
..rt only remains for me to congratulate you on our ultimate triumph ; and in so doing. my feelings of joy are not altogether unalloyed with regret, with some kind of reluctance, at an event which renders this the last occasion that we shall meet to celebrate a struggle, the great end of which is now accomplished. In taking my leave. I have only to say, for the present, Let us act with discretion and moderation I let us
. give fair play to the men whom we really have confidence; and be assured, that unless we du so, we shall still run agreat risk of depriving ourselves of gathering the fruits which at present promise so fairly : be assured, that unless we give his Majesty's Ministers our meet decided support, we shall not prevent their being plucked down by the faction over which we have this day triumphed."
Count Plater expressed, in French,. his high sense of the compli- ments paid to his suffering country, and the warmth of feeling with which it had been received.
The healths of Sir John Hobhouse and of the Lord Mayor were afterwards drunk. Colonel Evans then gave the health of Mr. O'Connell.
Mr. O'Connell returned thanks, in a speech of great power and elo- quence. Ile asked, who among the people deserved the first praise for the noble exertions by which the measure of Reform had been finally purchased ?—
The Electors of Westminster; for when the spark of liberty was trampled down even in the very ashes—when there emanated therefrom but little light, and no heat— who watched our sacred fire, and kept it together till it kindled into a mighty blaze to illumine the whole world? The Electors of Westminster! I say this in no flattery. Electors of Westminster, it was you! how often did the base cud sordid press of Blom: days triad you with scorn and indignity ? How often were you taunted, Mid singled out for calumny and abuse? How often were fearful mothers obliged to warn their sons and their husbands, and implore them not to join in this sacred duty, lest they should become the object of scorn—ay. awl of persecution, too, by the dishonest Aristo- erueytaking from them their very bread of life? But in spite of all those years of per- /mention, etill you went onward; and I therefore say, that you deserve this day of triumph; for much of its glory belongs to yon."
. What had been the conduct of the Irish members
There are but 100 Irish members ; but of these, 115 are returned from rotten ho- coughs; so that you must allow Us discount for these, for they have no more to do with Ireland than with Karnschatka. I have, therefore. only to account to you for 75 mem- bers; and of those 75 members, we returned 69 Reformers : 69 men who were content to leave their homes, their families, and their business—not for a week or a month, but I may now say, fur nearly two years. Sordid our labours end there. We have listened with exemplary forbearance to the calculations aud miscalculations and chicanery of Corker; we have listened to the quiddits and quillets of Suellen: and we have been bothered till botheration was itself lxithered by Wetherell. All this we have heard, not only in patience, but, so help me Heaven, we have heard it in silence—which was far worse. The monstrous prepositions that these argutiers thought lit to lay down, we have left unanswered; thongh, I protest, four or five times I thought I should have died of a suppression of speech. During all this contest, we faithfully stood by you; and here, in the name of my country, I thank you for standing by us." • After dwelling -for some time on the subject of Ireland, -he con-
It is not only to England. Scotland, and Ireland that I look for beneficial results taxa ther,ssiag of this measure. - When the erippkd finances of-England, as they will speedily be, are by good management restored to a more wholesome state, then her wage, no longer smothered, wilt belacard in the streets of 'Lisbon; it will resound Lu the cathedrals of Madrid ; it will affright the fell despot in his palace at St. Peters. burg. Yea: that valiant and heroic nation, that in the olden time stood in the mt. guard of Christendom, and was the first to drive back the outset of Turkish barbarism shell again be resuseiteeed. Yes, valiant Poles! I sweat to you, in the name of rege- nerated England, that Poland shall be n nation once more."
The health of the Lord Advocate of Scotland was afterwards drunk; but Mr. Jeffrey was not present. The toasts concluded with the "Press," which all men are so forward to praise, and so few to protect.