which excited some surprise, as the evidence was thought to have warranted a general verdict of “Guilty.” This was, two years after, followed by their being all liberated 杭州龙凤 from 杭州足浴 confinement by Lord Normanby, then Home Secretary.
However, the agitation of the working classes continued; and, when Parliament met in February, 1839, the concluding paragraph of the Speech referred to the disturbances and combinations among the working classes: “I have observed with pain the persevering efforts which have been made in some parts of the country to excite my subjects to disobedience and resistance to the law, and to recommend dangerous and illegal practices. For the counteraction of all such designs I depend upon the efficacy of the law, which it will be my duty to enforce, upon the good sense and right disposition
of my people, upon their attachment to the principles of justice, and their abhorrence of violence and disorder.” In the course of the debate in the Commons Sir Robert Peel adverted to the 杭州品茶 paragraph referring to illegal meetings. Having read several extracts from the speeches of Mr. Stephens, Dr. Wade, and Mr. Feargus O’Connor delivered at Chartist meetings, he quoted, for the purpose of reprehending, a speech delivered by Lord John Russell at Liverpool in the previous month of October, when, alluding to the Chartist meeting, the noble lord said, “There are some perhaps who would put down such meetings, but such was not his opinion, nor that of the Government with which he acted. He thought the people had a right to free discussion which elicited truth. They had a right to meet. If they had no grievances, common sense would speedily come to the rescue, and put an end to these meetings.” These sentiments, remarked Sir Robert Peel, might be just, and even truisms; yet the unseasonable expression of truth in times of public excitement was often dangerous. The Reform Bill, he said, had failed to give permanent satisfaction as he had throughout predicted would be the case, and he well knew that a concession of further reform, in the expectation of producing satisfaction or finality, would be only aggravating the disappointment, and that in a few years they would be encountered by further demands.
It was during the year 1838 that the Chartists became an organised body. The working classes had strenuously supported the middle classes in obtaining their political rights during the agitation for the Reform Bill, and they expected to receive help in their turn to obtain political franchises for themselves, but they found Parliament indifferent or hostile to any further changes in the representation, while the middle class, satisfied with their own acquisitions, were not inclined to exert themselves much for the extension of political rights among the masses. The discontent and disappointment of the latter were aggravated by a succession of bad harvests, setting in about 1835. The hardships of their condition, with scanty employment and dear provisions, the people ascribed to their want of direct influence upon the Government. This gave rise to a vig