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bers to the House of Commons, to Commoners—the general adoption be chosen by the most opulent and of means to maintain it, which must populous of the communities which always be revolting and unpopular, are at present without representa- and which could not fail to weaken tion.”—(Edinburgh Review, Novem- the Aristocracy far more than any ber 1820.)-Nor think, he said, that power so acquired could strengthen though, in point of mere numbers, this them, by exciting against them fierce is but an inconsiderable addition and permanent feelings of hostility that there are not other circumstances among the lower orders of the peoin these cases more important than ple. numbers. For he adds well,“twenty But what will be the tendency members of popular talents and cha- of the additions to the county reracter, representing the most popu- presentation, or the divisions of lous districts in England, and depend- the counties into districts ? Surely ing for their seats on popular favour, those features are sufficiently aristowould greatly strengthen the demo- cratical. Sir John Walsh acknowcratical principles in the House of ledges they are--but then too arisCommons," and yet his Lordship tells tocratical to win his admiration. The us-not with a grave, but a bright divisions of the counties into districts face--that 'tis an aristocratical Bill! will, he thinks, add to the local inSo much for the present for the de- Auence of great estates. Do they mocratical features of this Bill-now need it? No. The large and remote for the aristocratical—as painted by counties are, it is well known, the the unexaggerating pencil of Sir John strongholds of the great landed proWalsh.
prietors. Whereas, in the small First, on the line of disfranchise- counties, estates are more divided, ment which it has adopted with refe- and overpowering influence less rence to the population and size of known. “I acknowledge then," says towns, there may, perhaps, be said he, “ that it is an aristocratic, and a to be rather a reservation of some highly aristocratic measure. All that portion of the existing influence of it does not give to pure Democracy, the Aristocracy, than any addition to it disposes of in favour of the highest it. It can only, he remarks, add to and richest of the Peerage and landit, in a few cases, where a numerous ed proprietors. The intermediate body of non-resident freemen are ground is entirely swept away.” exchanged for a smaller and more ma- These are large views-and no nageable set of L.10 householders. doubt they require illustration and Now, a large number of the boroughs confirmation, which Sir John Walsh will consist of towns containing has not been able to give them within say—three hundred L.10 household- the limits of a pamphlet. We hope ers—or made up to that number by that the evil will not prove so wide the neighbouring parishes. For the as he fears; for then, what will be a character of such boroughs, see pass Reformed Parliament? The most sim Articles on Reform in the Edin- independent, and perhaps the most burgh Review. They are--as all the enlightened portion of the British world knows-open to all sorts of people—the less distinguished gentry illegitimate influence ; and, we may —will seldom sit there; for the old assert, throughout them all a vast in- straight avenues will be shut upcrease of bribery and corruption. In and felled “ their old contemporary them, would not the Aristocracy seek trees.” To get seats, men must canto establish or confirm their influence? vass large provincial towns, a pretty And are Whig-reformers enamoured and pleasant pastime indeed-not (we are not) of such disputes and cheap but nasty-and in which will disturbances as those of Newark, best succeed the rabble-rousing DeShaftesbury, and Stamford ? But by magogue with a long red tongue, fiery what influence would such boroughs face, and inflamed liver, or the rabbe swayed ? That of wealth and high ble-buying Nabob with a long yellow hereditary station. What would be purse, sallow face, and no liver at all, the consequence ? Nay-you do not so much for the large provincial ask — for you know – Precarious towns—and who will rule the coun. power in the hands of the richest and ties? Sir John Walsh thinks—those highest of the Peerage, or the greatest who are “strong in the possession of the highest rank, of great and he- ferocious giant. They are for taking reditary landed estates, advantages things into their own hands. They in short, to which men must be born, must have their own House of Comand which the exertions of a life, mons; and as for the House of Lords, however meritorious, however suc- why the Times, who alternately cessful, could never attain.” Such, threatens and truckles to the monwhen the new system has settled, ster, lately told us, that if the Peers will, he thinks, be the inevitable is- shewed any hesitation about passing sues; and so do we—but, we add, the Bill, it would be rescued from subject still to confusion, disturb- their delay by a process as summary ance, and occasional reversal.
as irresistible. Why mince the matter? Between the democratical and the —the populace would put a period aristocratic powers to be created by to the peerage. Do you doubt? Then the Bill, what shall maintain the ba- think of the Press. One of that lance? The private gentry of Eng- power--the Spectator-smiles at us land are extinguished. They have not for saying that the Press will return a been weighed in the balance and vast number of members to a “ Refound wanting—for centuries have formed Parliament.” We understand they been a race of patriots—but his smile-it is one of the most inthey are excluded from the grand tense internal satisfaction. Were national council. And lo! smiling there more Magas—more Standards graciously or loftily on the one side, -more spirit-union-resolution the Patricians--and on the other, among the Tories—we had almost scornfully and grimly, the Plebeians. said more plague, pestilence, and faThe one what-do-ye-call-it full of mine, battle, murder, and sudden Dukes, Earls, and Lords, kicks the death, to scatter amongst the Whigs beam—the contents fly first up, heads and Radicals—we might yet save the over heels, in the face of heaven, and constitution. then fall down, in one convulsive Oh! hood-winked the great gogglesprawl, on the bosom of earth. The eyes that will not see what is in preother what-do-we-call-it
, “heaped up paration with the populace for the full measure, and running over" with people! and with the people for the Plebeians, sits like a stone on a rock king. -the Democracy yells ça ira-and But we conclude with asking the there is—a Republic. And a very Ministry one single question. What good form of government, too, it is to if their' Bill prove indeed to be an those who like it, but sadly addict- Aristocratical Bill? Why a Wild ed to sudden change into a military Beast will tear them into pieces. And and murderous despotism ?
in tearing them into pieces, that But it has been most truly said Wild Beast will not only be obeying that now “ the fanaticism of demo the instincts of his nature, but in that cracy is in its full tide of life and obedience be likewise acting in strict vigour.” The lower classes in this accordance with the dictates of reacountry—and too many of the mid- son and justice. For the mob believes dle-are more than dissatisfied and is allowed-has been taught to bediscontented with the existing order lieve the Bill to be, in its principles of things, both in government and in and its details, democratic;-and who society—they hate them with a per- will deny that nature, education, fect hatred. Never at any other time, and opportunity, all unite to time-spite of all the pretended im- make bim of principles and details provement of the people in know- the best of all judges ?—Democratic ledge—were they so ignorant of the it is to his heart's no longer insatiable real sources of the permanent bless- desires—and see ye not how he hobings they, as Britons, enjoy, and of bles-hear ye not how he howls-in the real causes of those not unfre- long privation impatient of provenquent hardships under which they der, and proving that the Mostodonsuffer. Let us not scruple to say
ton is neither a fabled nor an obsothat they have shewn themselves too lete monster ? often, within these two or three The Ministry will have something years, as blind as brutal, as deaf as else to carry-by and by--besides dangerous; and that their power the Bill. But the nation-we susnow is the power of an irrational and pect - has no great trust in the strength of its back and shoulders. he had believed the Bill to be arisIn the midst of all this democratical tocratical, he would have torn it into delirium, they are not popular. No- shreds and patches. But he sees in body shouts their names-the very it-not an end—but a beginning; mobs seem ignorant of their exist. and his eyes are piercers. Till now ence. The cry is still-the King— he never hesitated to scatter his the Bill! But the men of the Three scorn over the Whigs. Even now patriotic Pledges and the one blun- he is but barely civil; nor will his dering Budget are with the popu- courtesies continue one · moment lace“ strictly anonymous ;” and the longer after they begin to shew a foolish Ministers are merged in their returning anxiety for their “ Order.” wicked measure. Soon will they By an entire abandonment of the inhave to stand a terrible trial. For a terests of their own class—that is, in strong and stern party, determined the light in which they have conon the most radical changes in all sidered them all their lives long, up institutions, though now, for the fur- to the period of this blessed Billtherance of their own schemes, they can they hope to possess the favour are with the Ministers, will, by and of that formidable section, of which by, be against them with a republican his talents—and we scruple not to and implacable enmity; while the add-in our rooted enmity to his Conservative Party, still strong in principles-his political integritynumbers, in a common creed, and in for though pernicious, he is honest their devotion to the cause of free -have made him-as far as the dom and their country, will fall upon Press is at work for revolution-the them flying in discomfiture from the Leader ? demagogues. Mercenaries at best- By way, then, of L'Envoy, let us the Mercenaries of a Faction--they say or sing-that if the Mob smells will fly-or fall between two fires, deceit and delusion in this Bill of poured upon them from the foes as yours, and finds that he has been well as friends of the Constitution. cheated, we would not stand in your That will be a Final Settlement-but shoes-0 Ministers !—for a trifle; the Bill is not one-if you think so, for the shoes will be all that is left go read the Examiner. You will of you—and your rumps will be in find no shilly-shallying in his straight- a worse predicament than ever a forward and vigorous columns. If Rump-Parliament.
THE LATE ELECTIONS IN ENGLAND.
love of their wives and children. Tae decree has gone forth, and
Shall it be said that all this is in conbeen executed-that advice which sequence of the conviction of their a peer of the realm, in his place in understanding, that the changes proParliament, told the King's Ministers posed to be effected by the Reform could only be given to the Sovereign Bill ought to be effected ? Ridicuby men with the heads of fools, or lous! The yeomanry, who have come the hearts of traitors, has been given, forward with such vivacity in favour and acted upon; and the people, of the Reform Bill, know no more of under the influence of universal and its provisions than they do of the frantic excitement, have rushed for- Koran. I have myself been among ward to undo themselves. Unwill- them, and talked with them as they ing as I am to give way to forebod- flocked from village and hamlet to ings of gloom and disaster, knowing range themselves under the banner that cheerful exertion better becomes which they and their fathers before a man who is anxious to do effectual them had, up to this time, always opservice in a good cause ; yet, when posed; and when I spoke of certain I reflect upon the events of the last changes proposed to be made by the four weeks-when I see how all the Reform Bill, without mentioning that ties of sense and feeling, which bound they formed a part of the measure men to one another in relation to for which they were so clamorous, public affairs, and which have so long the mention of such changes was regiven strength, and dignity, and soli- ceived with indignation, and they dity to the British empire, have been were ready to have signed a petition torn asunder in order that that may against them. That every weaver be done, which when done, must for occupying a house for which he paid, ever prevent these ties from being or promised, a rent of ten pounds areunited-when I reflect upon these year, with no more property in the things, I am oppressed with no dis- country than his loom and the clothes honourable melancholy, and, with a upon his back, should have as much heart struggling with its own heavi- privilege in returning representatives ness, sit down to communicate my as they whose families, for generathoughts upon what has so recently tions past, had dwelt upon their own taken place before our eyes.
land, seemed to them monstrous; yet And first—there is a mystery in still they would go forward and vote the matter which has not yet been for “the King and Reform.” That fathomed, and we have yet to disco- a contracted view of the duty impover the hidden source of the general sed upon them by their personal and active revolt which has taken loyalty to the sovereign, has greatly place against all the principles and influenced the English yeomanry in feelings which have heretofore ap- the late election, admits of no doubt; peared to actuate the great body of and that it was cunningly taken adthe English yeomanry. The English vantage of by the revolutionary leadelections are now over, all but one- ers, was from the first apparent; but the great and valiant struggle in even this, powerfully influential as it Northampton—and from one end was-and none but those who saw of the kingdom to the other, from some of the election scenes in EngCornwall to Cumberland, and in no land, can well imagine the force and places more conspicuously than in enthusiasm derived from the notion, these extremes themselves, a simul- that the will of the King and the Retaneous burst of disloyalty has taken form Bill were identical-even this place to old friends, old feelings, and is hardly sufficient to account for the hereditary attachments; while rea- headlong infatuation which bore sonable gratitude for long services, down every consideration that might both in public and in private, both have been expected to affect the general and local, seems to be utter- hearts and minds of Englishmen. ly erased from the hearts of men, Shall we believe, according to the where one would have thought it was mean and disgusting flattery of the fixed as safely and as certainly as the popular candidates upon the hust
VOL. XXIX. NO. CLXXXI.
ings, that the “ diffusion of intelli- stability of every institution, unless gence” has wrought this great change, it be expected to revolutionize huand made men cast aside the old man nature as well as the British mooring chains of hereditary feeling constitution, and to make the breath and affection, as the antiquated and of popular feeling as regular and rusty bonds of prejudice ? Intelli- steady as the trade winds. gence ! alas ! for such pitiable vanity Ignorance has been, I maintain, at -such gross delusion-such wretch- the root of all the revolutionary hubed folly,“ pranked in reason's garb." bub, under the influence of which a Intelligence! who that has ever heard Parliament has been elected, which the empty prate the noisy nothings it is frightful to behold, for it has not ---the worst ideas stolen from the been elected to deliberate for the worst newspapers, repeated in the people, but to do their will—a will barrenest commonplace of language, which some will repent of, and alwhich these talkers about “ intelli- most all will change before six months gence" constantly put forth, without are gone. By what various channels, feeling at his stomach a something in what way, and to what extent, extremely resembling sea-sickness, this ignorance has been wrought at the bare recollection of a thing so upon, so as to produce so violent nauseous ? Well might the bard who and so universal an impression upon sung of the spleen, be reminded of the people, is, as I have said, a diffithat disgusting class of creatures, culty which has yet to be cleared up; whose paltry smatterings of know- but added to all other grounds of ledge, foating upon an enormous alarm upon the present occasion, tide of vanity and impertinence, there is this, that a power is at work leads them to chatter about intelli- producing tremendous effects, the gence, the proper spirit of which they operation of which is probably not have no capacity for feeling, guarded against, only because it is
not seen nor understood. It would • Witlings-brisk fools, curst with half be needless and foolish to deny, that
at this moment a democratical frenzy That stimulates their impotence." pervades and possesses the nation, No-the part which the electors of from whatever source it may have England have taken with regard to sprung:--The seas which divide us the Reform Bill, is the result of ig. from the continent, and have prenorance-ignorance of the Bill itself served us from the dreadful ‘en--ignorance of the effects which it croachment of foreign enemies, have is calculated to produce upon the
not been sufficient to guard us from frame of society, both social and po
the contagion of that political fever litical—and above all
, ignorance of which rages there, laying, prostrate the real character of the men who national welfare and social happihave advised the measure, and of the
ness, amid a wild uproar of sensecircumstances under which
less hollow vapouring about liberty advised.
and the tricolor. By whatever means
the infection has been communi“ How piteous, then, that there should cated, we certainly have caught be such dearth
it :-the poison rushes through the Of knowledge; that whole myriads should
veins of the country, producing like unite To work against themselves such fell and it is only in the providence of
effects of vast and intemperate folly; despiteShould come in frenzy, and in drunken end, and what shall bring back the
God to say where it shall have an inirth, Impatient to put out the only light
hearts and minds of this people to a Of liberty that yet remains on earth !"
healthful state, if, indeed, that can
be hoped at all, without a fearful Never, indeed, was the real liberty interval of scourging and suffering. of England in more jeopardy, for Although there is so much diffireal civil liberty is to be found in the culty in assigning a cause adequate permanent and protecting power of to the effect which has been produced law, and the change which the mad- upon the yeomanry of England in ness of the time rages after, is one warping their better feelings, and which must, of necessity, destroy the imbuing them with a taste for revo