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THE EDINBURGH GATHERING.
If we did not agree with Lord Brougham in henceforth complain that Lord Brougham has considering the recent Gathering in this city as deceived him. Some of his reasons for doing less "a great national meeting,” we would scarce at appear to himself so pointed and conclusive this date look back upon it. The primary ob that he has repeated them verbatim at every ject of the meeting was to aid the good cause of public meeting he has since attended. That Whiggery ; the ostensible one to do honour to the China trade cannot be opened this year Earl Grey ; but a third, and higher purpose has because that was done in the last, may be an been evolved. In an unsought occasion, the Li- exceedingly witty turn of speech, which will beral Reformers throughout all Scotland have delight on the twentieth repetition ; but it is a found an opportunity of quietly demonstrating very bad argument indeed, for refusing or detheir intelligence, their union, and strength, laying to open the Corn trade. That the slaves their opinion that too little has been done, and were meancipated last year,—that with our gold that the people of Scotland will not be contented and the fruits of our industry, we bought their with “ less.
freedom from their masters,-is a wretched argu. Though there were differences of opinion among ment for not in the present freeing the English Liberal men, there was, we believe, but one feel Dissenters from their bonds. ing of the propriety of joining with the Whigs To ourselves, we confess, that the northern in testifying personal respect and affection to progress of the Lord Chancellor is more imporEarl Grey, at the abrupt close of his career. tant than the gratifying public testimonial to This was more, however, from admiration of his the integrity, and public and private worth of manly sincerity, and the consistency of his ster Earl Grey. That well-graced actor has quitted ling character, than from any excessive estimate the stage, upon which the other, without succeed. of the value of his late public services, though ing to his characters, has obtained the more we are far indeed from underrating them. With scope to play his own extraordinary part. For the originating and ostensible cause of this meet this « chartered libertine” his flatterers claim ing, we have no immediate concern. It is enough immunity from common rules. They plead the that it was not to approve of the Juste-milieu dispensing power of genius, for his contradictions system of Whig placemen, nor to uphold the and inconsistencies; but we must remark, that for Whigs in power, that they might do less, that
once, Lord Brougham has stuck for a full fortGlasgow, and Dundee, and the most public-spi- night to his text. If the tone was softened in rited and intelligent communities in Scotland, Edinburgh, he played the same air and in the sent forth a number of the most enlightened of self-same key which he first struck boldly up at their citizens ; no, nor yet was it to sanction Inverness, to the confusion and horror of those the Inverness declaration of Lord Brougham. of his sincere admirers who will receive their Among the numerous addresses presented at this impression of him from no lips but his own. His time, and the endless complimentary speeches, Scotch speeches are so much alike, that the we find not one approving the spirit of that never fertile and eloquent Chancellor has on his tour to-be-forgotten declaration, that deliberate opin. resembled an itinerating parson who sets out ion of the Lord Chancellor, that “ TOO Much had
with a single sermon, and merely varies the been done in the past Session, and that less would text, and adds a few tags to suit his different be accomplished in the next." Neither in the audiences. Lord Brougham's discourse is divided festal glow of the dinner-table, nor in the cool into three heads : First, we have clumsy, malmorning hour of reflection, have the warmest of adroit flattery of his gracious master, which must his Lordship's northern adulators shewn even in throw the maids of honour and pages of the words that they participated in his apprehensions backstairs into convulsions of laughter. The of going either too fast or too far. In England, Chancellor has treated his single-minded patriotic the Ministerial papers have gracefully slurred Sovereign as the Inn-keepers of the country he over those ominous expressions, which have been has been traversing do the moorfowl of their mouneagerly caught at by the Tories, and construed tains-served him up upon a Toast smothered and praised as they merit. We wish to look with with melted butter, and in a fashion to turn the indulgence upon the verbal aberrations of so stomach of the most loyal of hungry hunters. erratic a wit, and so mercurial an orator as the This First head of discourse is neither judicious Chancellor, and in him to call that caprice or nor in the best taste : apart from other qualities, versatility, which in a more firmly-poized cha it overshoots the mark. The Second great head racter must be named inconsistency; but no rea is the expression of a determination not to move sonable degree of indulgence, no cloak of charity, with the people in the line of useful reforms; and however wide its skirts, can cover those delibe the Third, vituperation of that portion of the press rate well-considered expressions :-"My own which has ventured to question his late very opinion is, that we have done too much rather than questionable conduct. From the Town Hall of too little ; if we have done little in the last Ses Inverness to the platform at the Grey dinner, sion, I fear we shall do Less in the next.”
Lord Brougham has, however, maintained his This is sufficiently explicit. No one need,
No one need, I consistency ; nor has he uttered one sentence VOL. I.NO. IX.
which a Tory may not approve, nor a single one to march in order and display their banners; but to which a Liberal Reformer may attach a solid yet they received Earl Grey admirably well. He hope. Popularity with the multitude he has neither
was the man to honour, and he was honoured sought nor found, at this time. He passed almost though intelligent curiosity was far more power. unheeded through the mute, sullen towns of Eng- fully excited about the Chancellor. At the parting land. His aims are not popular applause; he likes meeting of the scientific men, upon the 13th, in “the men of power," and the juste milieu. At the Library Hall of the University, he made his Inverness, in expressing contempt and defiance first appearance. The meeting was numerously for priests and printers, he coupled his scorn with attended by strangers and ladies, and in every a boast that his friends were persons possessed way an imposing assemblage ; and if it be so that of power. In addressing the people for a minute
the Chancellor loves flummery, he had it in suffi. out of a window at Aberdeen, he took care to cient quantity there, though the press has had inform them that he was no Radical, and that
the good sense to suppress much of that sort of they, accordingly, had better take care of their trash. Upon Monday, though not the hero of the legs than gape at him. At the same place, he was night, he was certainly well received, -respect. hurried into an almost frantic attack upon a por- fully, kindly, proudly. He had not been seen in tion of the press; forgetting that Lord Brougham Scotland for nine years; and there are ten thouis the only real enemy of Lord Brougham's re sand natural reasons, apart altogether from poputation—that it is he who furnishes his ene litical causes, which have rooted Henry Brougham mies with weapons against himself. We are un too deeply in the hearts of his countrymen ever willing to recall those idle menaces, which only to be displaced by any power save his own suiciprove how the man is secretly chafed who affects
dal hands. The speech of Earl Grey, when the so much scornful indifference of the printer; and hour of exhibition came, was felt to be full of how exactly he is informed of every paragraph dignity and propriety,—that of Brougham was relating to himself that is published, though he an amplification, in a softer tone, of many of the never reads a newspaper. At Aberdeen we may
dubious passages of his flying orations. The notice that Lord Brougham made the defence of
part which was by far the best received was a special pleader, for his late indefensible conduct
that in which he adroitly followed Earl Grey in in the case of the Warwick Bribery Bill ; that
denouncing the spirit of the Dublin meeting. case which, regard it as we may, is the founda
Strange to tell—he had not heard or thought of tion stone of a new system of Parliamentary cor it before! The denunciation of the Ultra-Tories, ruption—the first vital stab at the purity of
the personages for ever lost to power, and who Parliamentary representation. But we have
cannot by any possibility form part, even in a cowandered too far from the Edinburgh banquet. alition cabinet ; and whom Lord Brougham is Lord Grey was received in Scotland, and in the therefore quite free to make mince-meat of, withimmediate scene of his triumph, with even deeper out offence to any one useful man, or damage to expressions of respect, gratitude, and affection, his own prospects,—was a felicitous turn, bor. than the newspapers convey. The many obstacles rowed in the idea from Lord Grey, on the spur of which at first came in the way of the Trades
the moment. This denunciation of the Beresfords joining the other classes, arose from no personal and Winchelseas was also necessary, upon that feeling against him, but solely from the appre- night, to neutralize the effect of the premature and hension that respect shown to the late Premier, invidious compliments paid by the Standard* to might be construed into approbation of all the the Conservativism of Lords Brougham and Melacts of his Government, and of a similar line of
bourne. The Conservative party, the most rapolicy to be followed by his successors.
tional among them, are flinging back the door to our main object, in noticing this dinner, to keep its full swing, to make way for the Chancellor. the public right on this one essential point. The
They will never despair of him. If they give him people, the many, the host, who, in Edinburgh,
up for one month, he lures them back the next; rose at once and spontaneously in the Reform and this was inconvenient, and only to be councause, and for the Annuity processions of last teracted on the evening of the 15th, by a desyear, were reluctant and tardy to move at this
perate attack upon the Ultra-Tories, which was time,-not from disesteem of Earl Grey, but for received with great unction and enthusiastic apvery substantial reasons. “ We have obtained | plause. It was imperatively necessary, both to no franchise,” was their natural feeling.
follow the lead of Earl Grey, and to efface the privilege we have helped to achieve for others, has impression made on the public mind by the Tory in no shape benefited us. We remain, as before, a praise of the vacillating Chancellor. degraded caste, grinded by the same system of tax
That Lord Brougham' underrates the intelli. ation. The Reform Bill held out to us the hope of gence of the public mind, is apparent in many of cheap bread, cheap education, cheap knowledge, his recent harangues. In an assembly of twentycheap justice, free religion ; and it has failed in five hundred Scotsmen, feeding their minds every one of these points. If even the enfran
from the same source which has nourished his, chised class resent the declaration that to much there were hundreds that have got beyond the has been done, and that less will be the future measure,-how must we feel ?" These were the
The Standard states, for good, though secret reasons, ideas at busy work in the minds of the many,
that its hostility to Lord Brougham “ had ceased before
the Inverness speech, though that doubtless is confirme. even when they had yielded upon great entreaty i tory of our more recent views."
new figure of rhetoric, named humbug, what is so now ? - for those “hasty spirits” only ceased ever he may think of it. The men of Liberal to exercise sound judgment, when Lord Brougham opinions and honest purposes would, no more discovered that too much had been done, and than the wise, cautious, deliberate Chancellor, that less would be done next session,” and thus who so singularly unites the qualities of the delighted the Tories. eagle and the snail-who would at once creep and We must notice another of his Lordship’s pounce,—the liberal men would, no more than he, Aights, or clap-traps, which, however admirable set off without fastening the linch-pin, nor put to in the manner it was uttered, we take leave to sea in a rotten hull, nor yet build a house with think pure rant :-we mean his truly absurd inout plummet and square ; and the rate of speed, vocation of the sole responsibility upon his own and the length of time needed to apply square head of all the mischiefs that may arise from and plummet, would be a slight matter of diffe- emancipating the slaves in the West India Islands. rence between them, had his Lordship conde. That is all past, my Lord Brougham; and no scended to state that he was minded to travel, one grumbles about it. Take the responsibility, or to build at all, and where and how he meant if you will, of some useful reform yet to be car. to begin. The great measures carried, valuable ried. There will be sense in that. As to the as they are to the people, have also been most other, as well might some hardy laverock flutter useful, as a clearing of the ground, and erection his wings on a dewy morning, and offer to take of the scaffolding, for that moderately Conser the whole burden of the lifts upon his feathered vative Government, that do-less ministry, which shoulders, if, peradventure, the sky should fall, Lord Brougham now loves, and, for which affec because he had chirruped his matins. tion, the Tories are singing his praises. In his It is worthy of remark that in all the speeches opinion, TOO MUCH had been done ;" but no made at this national meeting by four or five thing, save the Reform Bill, has been carried, members of the Government, though all save the that will not minister to the convenience, and Chancellor were liberal in tone, not one specified tend to ensure the existence of a moderate any distinct measure of reform as desirable, or Tory Government, should the Tories get in. The as in contemplation. All were alike vague and · Slave Emancipation they could not have opposed; general. Their verb Reform, like that of the and so are happily rid of it. The opening of Tories, seems an imperfect one. It, too, has no the China Trade was an object of their own, present tense. We hear of no object to comFor reform in the Irish Church, the Duke of mence with, none of the measures to which the Wellington would certainly have been thankful. Chancellor is deliberately applying “plummet The change in the Poor-Law, about which Lord and square," and which are to be “safely and Brougham hollows long before he is out of the surely carried, regardless of our thoughtless clawood, was a favourite and necessary measure
mours.” with the moderate Conservatives ; and was only In his calmer moods, Lord Brougham can carried at last by the Tories uniting in numbers fuently read the characters of a great political with the Ministerialists. Lord Brougham will meeting ; nor could he have failed to note the not proceed without linch-pins, but he will leave cordiality and enthusiasm with which the Earl public affairs in good train, to be made over of Durham's dissent from his views were reto Tory rule :—the people, bound hand and ceived by the many “thoughtless,” “regardfoot by the Sıx Acts, by the Irish Coercion Bill, less," " over-zealous," “ hasty spirits,” by the Libel Law, the Fetters on Knowledge, by some honesty, but no reflection at all,” who the Corn Laws, by an enormous taxation, pressing formed the bulk of that assembly ; who formed, upon industry and the means of the labourer, in fact, the great majority of a meeting which while property and privilege escape as hereto. we are entitled to call a fair representation of fore. We will again affirm that, save the single the intelligence, talent, respectability, and poliact of passing the Reform Bill, not a measure tical enlightenment of the middle class in this has been obtained that does not help to clear kingdom. If any liberal sentiment was more the ground, and erect a scaffolding for the enthusiastically applauded than another, where Tories to accomplish their devices. This does all were eagerly caught at, it was this, in which not vitiate the measures themselves : but it Lord Durham fairly pitted himself and the resurely gives us no warrant for doing less. The formers against the over-cautious Chancellor, Chancellor justly denies reaction, while he de who fears to move a step lest he wrench his clares for inaction; for a progress towards we
ankle. know not what, at a rate with which the people “ My noble and learned friend," said Lord Durham, "has are dissatisfied, because, forsooth, they are no been pleased to give some sound advice, which, I have just judges of what is best for them; and Lord no doubt, he deems very sound, to some classes of persons Brougham, like every Tory ruler ever heard of,
-I know none such—who evince too strong a desire to loving the people dearly, will do them good in
get rid of ancient abuses, and fretful impatience in await.
ing the remedies of them. Now, I frankly confess that spite of themselves, indifferent all the while to
I am one of those persons who see with regret every their opinion. Their own judgment, Protestant hour which passes over the existence of recngnised and reformers as they are, must be no guide to them.
unreformed abuses. (Immense cheering.) I am, how. The men in whom they have confidence,
ever, perfectly willing to accept the correction of them sufficient guides, no just judges, no fair critics
as deliberately as our rulers, and my noble friend among
them, can wish, but on one condition, and on one condition of the measures of any British statesman," Who alone that every measure should be proposed in copfor,
mity with those principles for which we all contend. Lord Brougham could not miss to observe the (Cheers.) I object to the compromise of opinions, not
warmth with which the speeches of Lord Dur. to the deliberation of what they should be. (Cheers.) I object to the clippings and parings, and mutilating, which
ham, Sir John Hobhouse, and Mr. Ellice, were must inevitably follow any attempt to conciliate enemies
received, and the true tone and complexion of who are not to be conciliated, (cheers) and who thus ob the meeting, brought ont at last by the manly tain an advantage, by pointing out the inconsistencies of avowal of liberal opinions, coupled with the dewhich you are guilty in abandoning your friends and
clarations for unflinching, unclipped, straightyour principles, and attribute the discontent felt on this score to the decay or dearth of liberal principles. (Cheers.) forward, and immediate reforms. The ChancelAgainst zuch policy, I, for one, enter my protest, as preg- lor would appear to be in daily communication nant with mischief--as creating discontent where enthus with the King; and he has often, of late, volunsiasm would otherwise existas exciting vague hopes in teered to acquaint his colleagues with complithe bosoms of our adversaries which can never be realiz. ed, and as placing weapons in the hands of those who
ments paid to them, and other matters which use them to the destruction of our best interests. (Cheers.) they require to know. Will he inform his MaWith this candid explanation, with this free exposition | jesty and the absent Ministers, that, wherever of my principles, which I have never concealed in any he went, truly liberal sentiments, the desire of position in which I have been placed, I am ready to grant substantial and not illusory reforms, were prethe utmost extent of deliberation to my noble and learned friend which he has called for this night, and which,
valent—and that, at the great meeting in when given under such conditions, will calm the discon- Edinburgh, though his fellow-citizens received tent which has recently prevailed.
him with kindness, (which we trust will never In this passage, the feebleness of the past po fail him in this town, it was with the Earl of licy of Ministers is as fairly shown, as the neces Durham and Sir John Hobhouse, and Mr. Aber. sity for an increased momentum and firmer ac cromby and Mr. Ellice, that they sympathized in tion now,
But Lord Durham is not a present feeling and conviction :that in himself they member of the Government, and we look chiefly watched and admired the finished actor and emito the sentiments of Lord Brougham's colleagues. nent man, while they gave to the others their Mr. Ellice, so far from admiring the determina confidence and approbation. tion to do less, said, “ it would be the duty of the Let the Chancellor, by all means, tell his people to enforce upon their representatives such | Majesty, that the sentiment of the night the efficient measures as they had a right to expect most warmly greeted, was the deprecation, by as the result of reform,-and that he would not Lord Durham, of the learned Chancellor's love be found one of those who clipped and pared of delay; and the noble Earl's expression of measures of reform." Sir John Hobhouse, who
regret for every hour that passes over the exappears to understand that the uses of a great istence of acknowledged, but unreformed abuses, political meeting go beyond an exchange of com There was no possibility of mistaking the spirit pliments, made a strong impression upon the as in which this rebuke of the Chancellor's sosembly.
phistry was received in Edinburgh. He may truly “ Such meetings,” he said, “ as the present, formed a tell his gracious master, as he did the meeting great lesson to public mon, in as far as it taught them their there, that he had travelled from London to duty. If there were any thing wanting to tell his Ma. jesty's Ministers what was expected from them by the
near John o'Groats, and had seen no sign of repeople of the United Empire, it might be learned from the pentance or regret for reform being carried address of his noble friend, the Earl of Durham; and as a and he may add, with equal truth,—nor yet of member of that administration he was most willing to
approbation of his uncalled for, extraordinary, and accept that address in good part. He believed the intentions of his Majesty's Ministers were to carry into full
offensive declaration at Inverness,-a declaraeffect all those benefits which the people had a right to
tion which he durst not have ventured to make, expect- else why did he belong to that administration ? save in some small, distant northern town, and (Cheers.) It was upon that ground that he joined it; which he has never ventured to repeat before for he was one of the people-he belonged to the people
any other Scottish audience. in every sense of the word. Without indulging in any idle declamation, he might confidently say, that there was
It is not worth while to criticise the fallacies no member of his Majesty's Government who would not,
which the Chancellor did hazard in Edinburgh, at any time, be happy to meet an assembly of their fel- | They were calculated for the meridian of such low-countrymen, and throw open to them their public
a meeting as the Whig Clique of Edinburgh conduct—to abide by their judgment, and from them to
might have been expected to organize. They are receive their reward. (Cheers.) In contrast to the Chancellor's explanation at
such stuff as finds a place in the hack ministerial Aberdeen, Sir John Hobhouse distinctly avowed journals in Scotland,—which prints, however, himself a Radical Reformer, though this does not
can now scarcely be spoken of in the plural appear in the reports of his speech.
number; but they were ill-adapted to the intel.
ligent assembly which took place. The Chancel. * In the Glasgow Argus, it is mentioned by a corres lor, if he take sufficient time to know any one pondent who, we have occasion to know, was a close and near observer, that, during the delivery of Lord Dur-thing, must be well aware that “ the long and ham's speech, “ the Chancellor threw himself back in his loud applause" which followed his assertion, chair, and applying the tips of the fingers of his hands to either side of bis nose, glanced over his palms at the
all the newspapers.
He was the last speaker of the audience. For the rest of the evening he sedulously night, and the reporters were probably exhausted, or the avoided the eye of Durham-looking another way, and journals wanted space. Sir John Campbell made a very Interposing his hand to shade the side of his face next to liberal speech, which, if it was not much to the point, ag that Lord,
least adverted to specific law reforms; but we find ng . Sir John's speech is very inadequately reported i
trace of this in the proceedings of the night.
that the twentieth part of one of the nothings, and what the offices of the people's representadone that session, would have made the fortunes tives; and where the power of originating and of
any former Ministry, came from the pocket, carrying useful reforms really lies, and not from the heart, where it came at all. The end of Lord Brougham's speech reiterThe fortunes of no Ministry,—not even of that ates, as strongly as possible, the determination of of which it is alleged he looks forward to be the his Majesty's Government not to quicken their head, will be so easily made. A hit at the Tories pace, nor to take any new course, whatever may is always acceptable; in his abuse of them the be the clamours, the ignorant impatience of Edinburgh audience went with the Chancellor, the reformers; and the Tories, accordingly, exand no where else,
ult in his declaration, and have hope of him still. In all these progresses, processions and meet. Again, on the same night, within the same walls, ings from Dan to Beersheba, we hear, and the we find other members of the Government earnest fact is remarkable, not one word of a Parliament to move onwards. Which are we to believe ? of a body of national representatives. From The Ministry sometimes remind us of the firm the many addresses and speeches of Lord of Edinburgh agents who among them ruined Brougham, save one puff of the Commons, a Walter Scott's Sir Arthur Wardour ; and who foreigner could not gather that there was appeared alternately, as cajolery or threatening such a body in existence as a reformed House was to be used with their unfortunate client. of Commons, chosen by the people, repre Now it was Mr. Bubble who appeared, in smiles senting their interests, sympathising in their and sunshine ; while, in threatening weather, wishes, watchful for their advantage, demanding out frowningly came Mr. Squeak. We forget their rights. Parliament would appear a nullity. their names in the story, but Bubble and Squeak Every idea and every measure is presumed to is a good enough firm to represent his Majesty's emanate from the Chancellor and his colleagues. Ministers upon their tours—to image, at least,— It is WE, the Cabinet, will grant this or that boon Lord Althorp declaring in one county that he is on your pleading, or we will withhold it as in. for no more reform-while, in an opposite one, jurious, and demanded by the ignorant clamours Lord John Russell feels the urgent necessity of of the people. The pace at which improvement ballot. Whether at Edinburgh we should beis to move, the objects, the time, and the season, lieve Lord Brougham or his colleagues to be the must be fixed by us; and the representatives you true expounders of the line of policy that is to have chosen may dutifully and submissively be pursued, who can tell? Have we then been register our acts, and supply us, his Majesty's over-sanguine in our recent anticipations of good Ministers, with money. It is become full time from the partial change in the Ministry? to inquire what are the functions of Ministers,
SCENES IN EDINBURGH.-NO. III.
1.THE PRY BUREAU. II.-THE FIDDLERS' GALLERY, AT THE GREY DINNER.
Scene I.-The Pry Bureau. Time the evening of Monday the 15th September. JOHN OF THE GIANEL, solus, resting his arms upon a table, crooning to himself, and wetting his whistle occasionally from a tall glass of Younger's molten amber. He soliloquizes:
I'x no' just sure of a' thae great doings the day, though I did step out the length of Libberton Dams this morning to gie the auld Yerl the richt hand o’ fellow. ship, as a staunch, consistent, forty-year Reformer, just like mysel'; though, unlike me, gien to reist near the end o' the race Where's the good o' banging, and brattling, and peching, and burstin'ane's wind, to get within a deck or twa o' the winning post, and to break down then ? However, he is a worthy excellent Whig nobleman; and I have done my duty by him,—and so has Scotland and Embro' this same day. (Rises and goes to the window.) Sic a sight! Auld Reikie has busket her, and put on her bigonets. I miss but one thing,~Mons Meg should have let fly a salvo, when the Yerl first shook hands, and kissed the cup with our immortal Provost Spittal. I wish the President, or the Lay Elder, and the young chaps that trysted me here, would appear bow, I should na wonder if they leave me to cule my cutes for another hour or twa. And read the Chancellor's speech in that admirable second-sight prent the Spectawtor. Faith I could re-baptize it the Penetrautor. (Sings from The Spectator," Carle, now Lord Harry's Come,"
and then soliloquises.) Na, na, Mr. Tait-ye maun let the Head slumber;-this is scarce the season to mount it again :- and what's this next?_“ The Gathering, an excellent New Song,” by one of our ain folks. (Sings.)
Little wat ye wha's comin',
Durham, Cam, and a's comin'
Chorus-Lille wat ye, &c.
Streamers, banners, a' comin';
Little wat ye, &c.
Paisley, Dundee, and a's comin',
Little wat ye, &c.
Kettles singing, kail-pats humming,
Little wat ye, &c