30 JUNE 1866, Page 3

Political feeling appears to be rather acrimonious at Derby. At

a Reform meeting held last week in the market-place, the Mayor, Mr. F. Longdon, presiding, a certain Wesleyan reformer, Mr. Griffith,—appears to have tailed the aristocracy "whores and murderers," which is clearly inflammatory-, not teeny highly Mac- onrate language, applied to a large class. The Mayor, however, did not interfere, considering, as he says, that "lie ought not to have interfered while the meeting was orderly, because it would have stopped the freedom of expression which Englishmen enjoy so freely." The enjoyment, we may observe parenthetically, of calling the aristocracy "whores and murderers," is itself rather a fierce and sensual one. But the Mayor was not allowed to " enjoy " his own opinion as to the duties of a chairman. The next day he was attacked fiercely on the bench by his brother magistrates for his conduct. Mt. Gisborne, a brother magistrate, who evidently likes to "enjoy" the same sort of freedom of speech as Mr. Griffith, said "the speech came from a traitor, and was of a dis- gusting and demoralizing character," and that the Mayor's silence was calculated to compromise the dignity of the Bench. A Mr. Pegg took up the Mayor's defence, and a very curious dramatic -dialogue ensued :—" Dr. Ileygate (to Mr. Pegg) : Have you read the papers?—Mr. Pegg : res.—Dr. Ileygate : Then don't you think it was wrong ?—Mr. Pegg : Well, I don't.—Dr. Heygate : Good God ! (To the Mayor)—You were an official, and fulfilled an official capacity in a. manner which is censurable,—Mr. Pegg: I wish no other magistrate on this bench had acted more improperly.—Mr. Gisborne : What do you mean?—Mr.. Pegg : I do not wish to enter into personalities.—Mr. Gisborne : Ah ! I hate a coward, who throws out an insinuation and is afraid to speak out face to face." Clearly Mr. Griffith is not the only man who "enjoys freedom of expression" in Derby. The Tory magistrates on the bench enjoy nearly as much, and a very animal enjoyment it must be.