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                        THE DINNER

The dinner was held in the large hall of the Grapes Hotel, and a very
capital spread was put upon the table, although the waiting was somewhat
indifferent.  The chair was taken by Sir Wilfrid Lawson, Bart., of Brayton
Hall, and W. Paitson, Esq., of Whitehaven, acted as Vice-Chairman.  There
were also present...

Mr. Foster, Kilhow; Mr. H. P. Senhouse, Netherhall;  the Rev. E. Salkeld,
vicar of Aspatria;  the Rev. J. Bone, Westnewton;  Mr. W. Norman, Hall Bank;
Mr. Chirney, London;   Messrs. Todd, Mireside;  Edward Kirkhaugh,  Henry A.
Clarke,  Henry Thompson, V.S., Aspatria;  Lawrence Paitson,   James
Robertson,  and  Jonathan Robinson, Whitehaven;  John Twentyman, Edderside;
Wm. Hind, Oughterside;  Mr. J. W. Johnson,  G. C. Hope,  Wm. Pattinson,
Aspatria;  J. Casson, Burgh;  J. N. Hodgson, Wigton;  J. Todd, Mireside;
Robt. Norman, Carlisle;  J. Hodgson, Aspatria;  the stewards and judges of
the show &c.

The CHAIRMAN proposed the health of the Queen, the Prince and Princess of
Wales, and the rest of the Royal Family.  He could not help, the other day,
when reading the accounts of the health of the Emperor, comparing our happy
position with that of the French nation.  In France great alarm was felt on
account of the Emperor's illness, and he was afraid it was not felt very
much by those whom we might call the Emperor's personal friends.  He feared
the alarm was that if any disaster should happen to the Emperor there would
be an overthrow of his dynasty.  There was no fear of that kind in this
country.  If the Queen were to suffer any illness, we should all grieve, but
we should not fear for the permanence of her dynasty.  The reason of that
was that the Queen knows well she is but the exponent of her country's weal.
She had been the exponent of our country's weal and faithful to the
constitution she desires to observe, and in consequence her throne is
established more securely and permanently than the throne of any other
sovereign in the world (Cheers).

The VICE-CHAIRMAN, who was received with applause, proposed the members of
Parliament for Cumberland.  They were all aware that the members for the
County represented different opinions, but whenever any subject came before
Parliament relating to the agricultural interest every one of the members
had shown  a disposition to do what they could for the benefit of
agriculture.  He was sorry that there were not more of them present upon
that occasion, but those who were absent, were ably represented by the
worthy chairman, Sir Wilfrid Lawson, with whose name he begged to couple the
toast. (Applause).

The CHAIRMAN, who on rising was received with loud cheers, returned thanks.
He said - Mr. Vice-Chairman and Gentlemen, I thank you very heartily for the
honour you have done the House of Commons, in drinking the toast, and kindly
coupling my name with that toast.  I feel a difficulty in replying to it,
because in the first place I am alone.  I am the only member of the House of
Commons, who, unfortunately, happens to be present, and I cannot of course
properly express the sentiments of my colleagues.  I feel the difficulty
also because I see how much the speeches we members of Parliament make at
agricultural meetings of this kind are criticised. (Laughter).  I happened,
Mr. Vice-Chairman, before I came to the show to be reading a Carlisle paper
of this morning, in which there was an account of the Whitehaven
Agricultural dinner, at which I saw you had been one of the attendants; and
it appeared to me that the members of Parliament there spent most of their
time in explaining what they had said on former occasions. (Laughter).
There was one hon. member who had been supposed  by the press on a former
occasion  at Penrith to make a speech in favour of Protection, whereas we
find from his speech yesterday, I am happy to say, that he is an
enthusiastic advocate of Free Trade. (Much laughter).  We find another hon.
member at that dinner who it appears had misunderstood the speech which his
brother member had made upon the subject of free trade; and we find that at
Wigton, a gentleman who was not a member of Parliament had got so much
mystified that he expressed the warm friendship he felt at college for the
Lord Lieutenant of the county,when it really appeared that he had not been
at college until three years after the leaving of the Lord Lieutenant.
(Renewed laughter).

Under these circumstances, you will see, I must be very cautious, for traps
and pitfalls strew the ground on every side.  But I have one advantage over
my honourable colleagues, who have had all these difficulties in explaining
themselves;  because on referring to the dinner at which you were present
yesterday, you will find that the excuse, the explanation, and the
accusation made, was that they were after-dinner speeches.  (Laughter). Now
I am in the situation of being likely to speak exactly in the same strain
before and after dinner.  (A laugh).

I have another advantage -- the period of criticism is nearly over.  We have
so many shows in this county that what is said at one show forms a capital
topic for discussion at another, but now there are no more to come except
Sebergham and Ireby, and though the orators there may fire upon me, I shall
not be subject to such a fire of criticism as the hon gentlemen who spoke
before me were. (Laughter).  I thank you, gentlemen, for the honour which
you have done the House of Commons, and I assure you it will be our desire
to do the best we can for the country, and if we do that, I know that
although we shall obtain the support of those who hold strong political
opinions different from our own, we shall get the credit attaching to every
one who does his best for his country.  (Cheers).

to be continued...................