§ Lord Lyndhurst
presented a petition from Rochdale, in favour of the Irish Municipal Corporation Reform Bill, as amended by the House of Lords. Their Lordships would, perhaps, allow him to take the opportunity of saying a few words on a subject personal to himself. There were two descriptions of misrepresentation. The one was of the words used by a speaker; the other of the sense in which they were used, and of their application to his argument. The latter species of misrepresentation was more artful and more mischievous than the former, because it was not so easily detected and exposed. Such misrepresentation, whether of the one kind or of the other—whether it proceeded from a demagogue on the hustings, a hired mercenary, who had not inaptly described himself as speaking daggers, but using none, and as one whose weapons were words, or from a Minister of State, in his place in the Senate, could not but be considered by every fair and honourable mind, he would not say contemptible, but in the highest degree reprehensible and unwarrantable. The time would, however, soon arive, when, having heard all the charges which could be brought against him, he should have an opportunity of answering them, of exposing their author, and of proving their utter futility, whether they had reference to what he might have said at the bar of the House, or what he might have said standing in his place among their Lordships.
§ Viscount Melbourne
hoped the noble and learned Lord would be able to defend or explain the expressions to which he had alluded. Considering all the circumstances of the case—considering the great station which the noble and learned Lord had occupied in the State—considering his high abilities, and his eminent qualifications, he never experienced more surprise, or sorrow, or deeper feelings of regret, with reference both to the interests of their Lordships and to the interests of the country, than at the speech which he conceived he had heard from the noble and learned Lord on the occasion in question.
§ Lord Lyndhurst
replied, that to those noble Lords who had heard him on that occasion, he was quite sure that no explanation whatever was necessary. The noble Viscount must have suspended his attention to what had fallen from him (Lord Lyndhurst) on that occasion, or he would not have said, that it required defence 298 or explanation. The present was not the proper time or opportunity for such an explanation; and he would, therefore, satisfy himself for the present with appealing to the recollection of those of their Lordships who had done him the honour of attending to his words.