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CORN, &c.










MERIONETHSHIRE ELECTION. DEAR SIR,âTsow that your columns will be ringing with the last victorious "March of the Men of Harlech," it seems a fitting time to protest in the name of morality and decency against the fact of such a contest as that which has just taken place in Merionethshire. Everyone who knows anything of that county is perfectly well aware that it is throughout Nonconformist and Radical, and that if the simple, unbiassed opinion of the people were ex- pressed a liberal would be elected with practical unanimity. This just as patent and notorious a fact as Bala Lake or Sir Watkin. The really strange phenomenon, therefore, in Saturday's proceedings is, not that Mr Holland should be elected by a majority of 647, but that 960 electors should be found to vote for an opponent of everything which most of them think important. The explanation of the anomaly is, unfortunately, just as notorious and incontrovertible as the fact already mentioned, and is simply that they swal- low their eonvictions to please their landlords. Like St. Paul's wretched man"â"what they would that they do not, but what they hate that they do." The hope of a tory candidate is simply and solely in the amount of unfaithfulness to conviction that can be pro- duced by the fear of consequences, and I submit that a contest based upon such conditions is an insult to reason and a grave offence against morality. Where a genuine difference of opinion may exist, by all means test its strength in a fight; but where the opinion. is perfectly well known, and the only screwable element is the voting, a contest simply means coercion on the one side and cowardice on the other. Much as we may regret the treatment accorded to Sir Watkin at Bala, what is much more to be regretted is, that the leading conservatives should have initiated a contest under such conditions, and waged it with such oppressive zeal I trust that the vanquished Colonel and his friends returned home on Saturday ni^ht "wiser" even if "sadder" men, and that the "uses of adversity" maybe "sweet." By the way, Mr Whalley's vagaries seem to attract considerably more notice than they deserve. What dc you expect from such a quarter? 'It's only Whalley, and does not Whalley' rhyme to folly.' I am, dear Sir, Yours with much congratulation, Jan. 18th, 1870. OWEN GLYNDWK. SrR,-Merionetbhire has done itself immortal honour, having abandoned, apparently for ev-er, time-honoured toryism. More even than this-it has vindicated gallantly freedom of election, and set a noble example to the whole country. Rents are due to landlords, and they are very welcome to them but they have no more right to their tenants' votes than they have to their wives, or to the flitches of bacon that hang over their kitchens. This is the letter and the spirit of the law, and thus they who coerce and intimidate, belong to what party they may, are the real revolutionists. Mr Price, of Rhiwlas, it appears from your account, had the good sense to recognize the true position of himself and his tenants, for he told them without reserve before the election that they might vote as they pleased without any fear of ulterior consequences from him, nor did he so much as seek to influence them by the ving of his own vote, which was not recorded till very late in the day. The straightforward ness and good faith of conduct such as this are some- thing very different to the wretched sham so often witnessed at elections. A landlord gives out-perhaps proclaims in an addressâthat he has no wish to apply the screw to his tenants, yet it is only right they shoula know that his sympathies are strongly with Mr Tory, and utterly against that dangerous leveller, Mr Liberal. Quite enough-a lot of office scouts, and officious canvassers, paid or unpaid, scour the country, dropping nods and winks at every house as they go along; or they notice the rather dilapidated state of the buildings, the want of gates or draining tiles; or they ask carelessly how many years they and their ancestors have been in that farm, and whether they do not consider the rent extremely moderate, &c., &c. Now, in cases of this kind there is an anxious desire on the part of the landlord to parade himself in the eyes of the undiscriminating public as a man of wide views and breat liberality, while all the tie there is an underhand com- plicated cog-wheel machinery at work of the heaviest pres- sure and the direst tyranny. The management is supposed to be wonderfully clever -thebamboozlement perfect-and the happy landlord, chuckling at the idea, tells his friends and enemies that every one of his tenants voted on his side, though they all knew quite well that they were at liberty to do exactly as they pleased No wonder that the Ballot should have risen so rapidly into public favour. There's a good time coming, boys, wait a little longer." Yours, &c., Thursday night. SPECTATOB.


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