The Register. ADELAIDE: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 1859.
NUGGETS AND VOTES.
Positively Mr. Uobden ought to be ashamed of himself. We knew that gentlemen of the Manchester school nre apt to tako an exceed ingly commercial view of tho relations subsist
ing between Untain and her colonies, but we did not expect to find a man in Air. Cobdon's position usiug Australians as tho Spartans used their helots — for the purpose of making vices contemptible. Yet so it is, and Mr. Cobden's best hope for the abandonment of political corruption by gentlemen is that Aut traliam practise it. The naughty boys of tho aristocracy who bribe electors and corrupt con stituencies are to be induced to give up those questionable practices— not by dint of punish ment, not by conviction of their iniquity — but because those low Australian fellows hare adopted those vices which pertain hereditarily to the titled classes. Seriously and actually this is tho argument of that ' ican of the people' who regarded the oiler of a seat in Lord Palincrston'a Ministry 'peculiarly in viting, because the probability is, it would have been tho first instance iu which a man literally springing immediately from among the people, and a man of business, had been offered a seat in the Cabinet.' He it is who, by using, endorses tho notion that an act is different in its moral cha racter according as it is performed by an aristocrat or a self-mado man. Or if this should bo regarded as straining Mr. Cobdeu's argument beyond its proper implications, it must still bo allowed that he announces essentially that a deed which is rcspectablo when done by perhaps a beggarly Englishman becomes vulgar when done by a wealthy Australian. Arid worse than this even, by fair implication — he discriiniuatea between wealth derived from manufacturing in Lan cashire and wealth derived from sheepfarmiug in Australia, and he argues as if the accumu lator of the former was necessarily a gentle man, and the accumulator of the latter neces sarily a snob. For drawing this distinction, we repeat, Mr. Cobden ought to bo ashamed of himself, as a man of both sense and courage. As a man of sense ho ought to have seen that there is no essential difference in point of respectability between growing wool in Australia and converting that wool into cloth in a Yorkshire factory. Aud as a man of courage ho ought to have pointed his moral by the selection of some nearer offender, and not have insulted distant colonies by singling out men of their making. In a word, he had no right to assume, coolly and without a syllable of proof, that the extreme of vulgarity is manifested by wealthy Australians. Wo will proceed to show when, where, and how Mr. Cobden committed the offence we have alleged against him. In his absence in America he was electod as tho member for Rochdale, and ho met his constituents for the first time on tho evening of the 17th August. His speech on that occasion was transmitted by electric telegraph to London, and reported in the Times of the next morning to the extent of nearly four columns. Tho first topic to which Mr. Cobden alluded in that speech was the subject of corrupt practices at elections ; and, after a number of statements irrelevant to our present purpose, he referred aa follows to tho parties whom ho seem3 to regard as pri vileged to exercise tho power of bribery and corruption : — ' Farmerly the a jstcra of corruption and undue in fluence in our canstituencies was confined very much to a privileged class in this country. One noble family contested a county against another noble family, and they spent £100,000 a-piece. And all the world knew that it was agreed that they should resort to the same habit ef expenditure ; and it was considered, in fact, a legitimate exercise of their wealth and their power. In the same way, if a contest took place in a borough, it wa3 some leading landed proprietor or some influential family of the neighbourhood who contested with another individual having the same pretensions as himself, and they fought the election of some borough amid fourteen or twenty days ef saturnalia, extravagance, and corrup tion. There, again, it was considered so much a matter of course, and was so ennobled in men's minds bj seeing it patronised by the titled and the great, that these things were passed over. We read of them in history, and very little notice was taken of them.' And the meeting cheered, but whether to signify approval of the domg3 of ' the titled and the great,' or of the tacit concurrence of the untitled many, does not appear. How ever, they cheered, and Mr. Cobden proceeded to describe the degeneracy of modern times, as follows : — 'But now, gentlemen, we have another class of aspirants for Parliament altogether. During the last general election, for instance, I have seen a new element in our system of electoral corruption; we have had a number of gentlemen who have come over from Australia, where, I suppose, they have been successful at the diggings, for they have brought over their nuggets, and administered them in the shape of £50 notes; they bave gone to some little bsrough and fought their battles and bribed just as their betters did fifty years ago.' We should like to have an opportunity of asking Mr. Cobden, as a man of ' plain, un adorned speech,' in what sense he can fairly use the word 'bettera' in this connection. Why are men who inherited fortunes ' better' than men who made them? Why are men who bribed fifty years ago ' better' than men who bribed at the last general election t Why does Mr. Cobden, who knows better, pander to s false and vicious estimate of men and things ? As it would be inconvenient to ' pause for a reply' from Mr, Gobden. w* proceed, nt onto
o show the use he makes of tho fact he has itated in tho last extract we have made from us speech. Ho says : — ' Now, I have groat hopes when this system is resorted o by parties who have nono of the prestige of the no jility, that very likely it will bo treated very differently -y the people and by Parliament, and that some plan Till ba rcsoitcd to to put itdowu, I remember when luelling in this country was so regularly a mode of seeling a certain description of insults that if a man lolding a certain position in society received an affront it the hands of his equal, he was obliged to meet him in Icadly combat as a consequence, or ho would have boon janisbed from tho social life of bis equals. Well, I ra neraber that some liuondrapera' assistants took it into :bcir heads to go down one Sunday morning to Worm wood Scrubs, or some place where tho nobility usod to sarry on that pastime, and they began to fight duels but as sooh as lineudr.ipers' assistants took to duelling it became very infamous in the eyes of the upper classes. The consequence was that sonw of those gentry wcro sent to Newgate, and now nothing would bo so ridi culous as to resent au insult by going out and fighting a duel about it. I am very much in hopes that, sineo this system of bribery and corruptiou has fallen into tho oandi of such ss I Iuvj described, tnoso gentlemen coming home from the Australian digging*, or from their broad acres and herds, and rushing into local mar. kets, and offering by the expeudituro of i,'4,000 or £5,000 to buy the seat of s^ms little dirty borough in tho west of Englaud— I have very strong hopes thit such a sjstcm will not be so fashionable as it has been, and very likely we shall succeed iu having those parties pro secuted crimtnallj— 1 say criminally. Let thorn be in dicted criminally, and let the consequences of their conviction bo a few mouths at Newgate, or iu tho House of Correction, and if an ci-M.P. bo sent there, aud mado to wear the prison urea*, and have \\u hair shared, I bavo no doubt iu the world it would do very much to put on end to this bribery and corruption.' At this, of course, the meeting laughed up roariously. Tho idea of a member of Parlia ment with his bend shaved was too ludicrous to be received with gravity. But why mako tho iirst examples of 'those pnrties' — those vulgar Australian magnates — who may plead that they are only imitating the raunplo of their ' bettera' in scattering a few thousands of pounds for the inhabitants of n ' dirty littlo borough' to pick up ? Why not begin with tho older offenders — the exemplars in crime — who have long practised these ' fushionablo1 » vice3 with impunity ? Surely u fnir apportion ment of the penalty would bo to leave the new culprits to Mr. Cobden's sarcasms, and/ to award tho brief retirement in Newgate to tffujo criminals whose ' pre6tigo of nobility' en hances the guilt of their offence. Hut Mr. Cobden would make the Australian offenders serve the double purpose of making the vico contemptible and of bearing its penalty for tho warning of the aristocracy. Herein the Lace demonians were more just than he. They joined their children in ridiculing and despis ing tho drunken slaves, but thoy did not flog them afterwards for (heir inebriation. Wo will suggest a better political use to
which Mr. Cobdcu might put the colonies and their people. He should refer rather to what Australians do for themselves in Australia, as s whole, than to wlmt individuals corrupted by the bad examplo of their 'betters' do in England, lie should show that by the adop tion of tho ballot Australians have practically rendered bribery impossible, and hold up their example to their fellow-countrymen at homo for imitation there. Strango to say, though Mr. Cobden speaks of tho ballot as the best safeguard against corruption, ho ignores Aus tralia as a country in which tho ballot ia adopted. Not strange, either, is this omis sion ; for, as we haro already intimated, tho Manchester school cherish anything but a friendly feeling towards tho colonies. They regard them as burdens upon the mother country, mere fields for tho exercise of Govern ment patronage, communities whose custom wosld be more valuable wcro they sepa rated entirely from the parent state. And their views of the political nction of the colo nists are tinged by a prejudice which ib derived , possibly justly enough, from sources over which tho colonies have no control. Wo cannot suppose Mr. Cobden ignorant of tho fact that the ballot is in u?e in pnrliairentary elections in the Australian colonies. And yet he quotes America, Switzerland, Franco, and Spain as countries illustrating tho beneficial influence of ths ballot over tho conduct of elections, while he refers to Australia only so as to bring her pcoplo into rid icule. Mb. Tolmku's Expedition. — A gentleman of Adelaide has received u letter from Mr. Tolmer, duted ' Wurukhnbo, October It. The postmark is ' Port Augusta, October 30.' Wo extract tho following passago : — ' I regret to state that I have met witli serious losses sinco I quitted tho Buttled districts, in eonsequenco of tho present season being unfavourable for exploration. Tho whole country in the north is a barren wasto ; (hero is hardly a bludo of grass to bo found, unil the water also is exceed ingly scarce, not a drop of rain having fallen for months. Notwithstanding thesis disastrous reverses and diflicullies, however, I expect to surmount them ull, and to resume my iourncv shortly.' ____ Tim Volunteers.— Major Freeling hns been appointed Captain of tho Volunteer Rille Corps No. 1, m lieu of the lion. Captain 13ugot, who is about to leave tho colony upon a visit to Europe. Echcnsa Gold Diaaixos.— From tho Commissioner of Crown Lands we have received the subjoined extracts from a report, dated November 2, of the officer in charge of the Eehunga Uold Diggings : — 'Since my last communication thcro has been another patch struck by Menirs. Pnrteou* A Cooper (bath old diggers), at a depth or 30 feet. As they only bottorrcd yesterday they caunot say jut what it will yield, but they are natistletlth.it It will pay. I will bo able to give the average quantity next week. 'Messrs. Farrow &. Huberts have worked out their claim ; the total quantity of gold taken from it was ISozs. They have commenced sinking afresh. K, Loveland'ft claim is b ill paving, as aUo those of LllW white, Willis, nnd others. 'Tho diggers have named tho new discovery ? Penny weight Hill.' They anticipate that, should tho deep sinking fall off, good surfacing ground can be got in Iho neighbourhood. There are, however, many complaining of a want of success, aud a few days moro will add considerably to oar number or drive many away. 'The number of licences issued for October was 10-1.' Gawler Prize Music.—The Judges who had undertaken to decide upon the music set to the "Song of Australia" met yesterday, and, after due examination, agreed to the following report : — "The Judges appointed to award the prize for the best musical composition set to the words of the prize song, entitled 'The Song of Australia,' met on Friday, the 4th November— present, Messrs. Dutton, Ewing, Chinner, and Holden. Twenty-three compositions were examined, and the prize was unanimously awarded to the composition bearing the motto 'One of the Quan- tity.' Those bearing the mottoes 'Long Live our Gracious Queen,' 'Garibaldi,' and 'Con Amore' so nearly equalled the prize composition in merit that the Judges had great difficulty in coming to a decision. "Francis S. Dutton. "A. Ewing. "Geo. W.Chinner. "Wm. Holden." Immediately upon receiving this report we telegraphed to the Secretary of the Gawler In- stitute to ascertain the name of the successful competitor, and we find from his reply that the composer who has thus distinguished himself is Mr. Carl Linger. Signor Cutolo's Concert.— Signor Cutolo announces a grand concert for next Tuesday evening, at White's Room, when he will be assisted by Mrs. Perry, man. Miss Rowe, aad Miss Bryan (the young lady whose first appearance at a former concert given by the Signor was signalized by very distinguished success), as also by Messrs. Daniel, Christen, and Hermann Oelmann. The concert is in some degree complimentary to the Volun- teers of South Australia, his sympathy with whose patriotic movement the Signor has evinced by setting to music an appropriate song written by Mr. H. E. Smith. The words appeared in Friday's Register, and we have heard the music, which is of a stirring military character. The Signor mentioned to us that he had communicated with the commanding officers of most of the Volunteer corps on the subject, including Major Freeling, Captains Younghusband, Finniss, Torrens, Blyth, Bagot, Mayo, Hardy, and E. S. Smith. It is probable, therefore, that the attendance of our gallant artillery and riflemen will be very large. The effect of Mr. Smith's song will be increased by the assistance of several amateurs, who have volunteered their services in the chorus— "Australia's sons, arise ! awake ! Be men, dismiss all craven fears ; For country, home, for altar's sake, Enrol amongst our Volunteers." The programme generally is most brilliant, oomprising several beautiful songs and pieces, among the latter of which is a fantasia composed by Signor Cutolo, and never before performed by him in public. Victoeia School, Mobphbtt VAiB.—-The i?,U?win|fib*8 b!en forwa«led by a correspondent:— 'The first annual examination or this school, under the last, the 28th ult.. in the presence of a few parents and friendf. After the singiugf of a hymn and prayer, tho Eev. Mr. Benny examined the pupils in English reading and recitation, spelling, etymological parsing, Scripture history, mental arithmetic and writnir. At the close of the examination, which lasted four hours, Mr. Benny addressed the pupils on the imporUuco of knowledge when made subservient to their- highest Interest*, and expressed tq_ the matter his satisfaction with tho day's proceedingsT Mr. Foggo having replied, priae* were distributed, a hymn sung, pr»y« oSwed, tab UM Kb9*l I diuniiwd.