and the ignorant, the lowest of the rabble.
petition was obtained by a few despicable mechanics, headed by base-born people.’
‘The privileges of the people of this country,’ interposed Serjeant Glynn
, ‘do not depend upon birth and fortune; they hold their rights as Englishmen, and cannot be divested of them but by the subversion of the Constitution
‘Were it not for petition-hunters and incendiaries,’ said Rigby
, ‘the farmers of Yorkshire
could not possibly take an interest in the Middlesex election of representatives in Parliament.
But supposing that a majority of the freeholders had signed these petitions without influence and solicitation; the majority, even of this class, is no better than an ignorant multitude.’
Up rose the representative of the Yorkshire weavers and freeholders, ‘the spotless’ Sir George Saville
. ‘The greatest evil,’ said he, ‘that can befall this nation, is the invasion of the people's rights by the authority of this House.
I do not say that the majority have sold the rights of their constituents; but I do say, I have said, and I shall always say, that they have betrayed them.
The people understand their own rights and know their own interests as well as we do; for a large paternal estate, a pension, and support in the treasury, are greater recommendations to a seat in this Assembly, than either the honesty of the heart or the clearness of the head.’
invited censure on such unprecedented expressions.
excused them as uttered in heat.
‘I am not conscious,’ resumed Saville
, ‘that I have spoken in heat; if I did, I have had time to pool, and I again say, as I said before, that ’