During the whole of 1839 the Chartist movement waxed greatly in strength, and the alarmed authorities began to concoct means to check it. Finding that they did not succeed very well they soon resorted to their old discreditable weapon, paid spies. This led to the capture of scores of the local leaders of chartism throughout the country, many of them being imprisoned on the very doubtful testimony of the hired informers who joined the organisations for the express purpose of hounding men on to violence so that they might land them in prison and then draw the wages for their villainous work. The abortive attempt at Newport, and the heavy punishment that had been meted out to those who had been captured in arms against the authorities so far from stopping the agitation seemed to increase and strengthen it, and as fast as one batch of” martyrs,” as they were always called, were immured in prison there was another eagerly contending for the privilege of suffering for the people’s cause. As great demonstrations celebrated the liberation of every prisoner, at which some of the most fervent apostles of the new political faith defended its methods and enforced its claims, the whole country rang with their eloquence and working men 322joined its standard in large numbers, especially in Yorkshire and Lancashire. The operative classes grew more and more bitter against the Whigs whom they denounced at one time as being worse than the Tories, and wliose defeat afterwards was doubtless contributed to by the angry fire of Chartist denunciation knd criticism. With a contemptuous hatred of the upper classes, who were ridiculed unsparingly in all the Chartist publications, there was conjoined a profound distrust of the middle classes and their leaders. One would have thought that the movement for the repeal of the Corn Laws was one which would have secured at once the enthusiastic support of the artizans of. all the large towns who had suffered so much from them, but so strong was their distrust of the middle classes and the commercial men who took the lead in that movement that they met the agitation for cheap bread with coldness or downright hostility. “When we get the charter,” said one of their chief speakers, “we will repeal the Corn Laws and also all other bad laws, but don’t be deceived by the middle classes again. You helped them to get the Reform Bill and what fine promises they made you then! Don’t be humbugged by them again. Stick to your oharter—without votes you are slaves 1”