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He who chooses me
golden casket surmounted by the ducats. will gratify his soul's desire.' The baron could not resist the ducats, and when he opened the casket he found therein a prettymounted little English file.
'What!' exclaimed he, in a great passion, 'what am I to do with this file?'
You ought to be very satisfied,' answered the goldsmith, and indubitably will be, when you learn the inestimable value of this instrument. Do you happen to have a new-coined ducat in your pocket?'
'I dare say I have,' replied Benjamin, with a sneer; ‹ what do you want with it?'
Use this file on the ducat.'
Benjamin did as he was told, with a dexterity resulting from long practice; but, wonderful to relate, the edge of the gold-piece wasted not, though the gold-dust kept falling.
At the sight of this, old Manasseh was quite unable to contain himself; he flew upon his nephew, shrieking out, God of my fathers, what a miracle! Give me the file; it is mine; it shall be mine.'
Benjamin defended himself vigorously. The row betwixt the two Israelites lasted for some moments; but, at last, Manasseh, the weaker party, was obliged to succumb, and the dutiful nephew, giving his uncle a parting floorer, flew to a little table in a corner, opposite to the secretary; throwing upon it a handful of ducats, he set himself to work, gold-dust making, with praiseworthy ardour.
Edmund chose the ivory casket, and found in it the miniature of his loved Albertine. They flew into each others' arms. But their happiness was short; for, after a few days, Leonard obliged Edmund to keep a promise he had made to go, before his marriage, to study for a year in Italy. So the lovers parted, promising to correspond unceasingly.
Edmund is still in the land of the fine arts. Some folks whisper that a tall young lawyer has been seen lately visiting very often at the councillor's house. Let us hope that Albertine may be faithful.
Che sara, sara.
TO AN INVALID, WITH SOME VIOLETS.
A fancied breeze of sweetness fan him into rest.
Go! tell him pleasant tales of home, your home,
And Spring boughs, the same tale some wandering thrush
By fancy charmed he hear that thrilling gush
Of hurried sweetness, and awhile his sufferings hush!
Speed to your brother! for, like you, he lives
AFTER all the excitement of the elections, we of the 'people' cannot yet claim the House of Commons as our representatives. Individuals there are amongst them straightforward, rightminded, uncompromising, and wise; but it were useless to deny that, as a body, the House of Commons is still a body of temporizers― waiters on Providence, prone to side with the most powerful, and only possessed of the average intellect, capable of distinguishing present and apparent power, without duly appreciating that which is coming, and which only can be durable, viz. the power of the people, of the great mass of the community. But it is, perhaps, as well; sudden changes are rarely durable ones, and the system of gradual progression is of better wear. Meanwhile, Providence has conferred an undoubted blessing on us in the person of the fifth Guelph, who, if Reform should at any time slacken in its zeal, will not fail to stimulate it by some of the many modes to which the Tories are ever ready to prompt him. When a miller finds that the stream is too scanty to yield sufficient power, he builds a dam across its course, and thus hoards his power till it accumulates sufficiently for his purposes. The Tories, dissatisfied with the gradual progression of Reform, build a dam across its channels, in the vain hope of altogether stopping it. They possess not the power of looking into futurity, and while they deem, in their ignor
* Sketch of the Political Career of the Earl of Durham, by John Reid.' Glasgow, Reid and Co. London, Whittaker.
'Speeches of the Earl of Durham on Reform of Parliament.' London, Ridgway. 'Speeches of the Earl of Durham delivered at Public Meetings in Scotland and Newcastle in 1834. London, Ridgway.
ance, that they have stopped the current, fail to mark how it gradually rises above the tops of their petty dikes till it washes over them, and, at length, sweeps them away altogether amidst a heap of other impediments.
The Tories were quite right in their assertions that the principles (!!) of His Majesty' were not reforming but conservative. That His Majesty' likes popularity is true enough. Even the Duke of Wellington, the drowner of men,' likes popularity, and so does almost every human being. But to like popularity is one thing, and to like popular freedom is another. A West Indian planter likes to have merry labourers about him, but he would rather have sullen ones than pay the price of their freedom for their mirth. There is an absurd axiom in England that the King can do no wrong.' The meaning of this is, that his Ministers are responsible for his acts; but what does the responsibility amount to? That, after continuing in office an indefinite time, and perpetrating an indefinite amount of mischief, they may be turned out of their places by the excited clamour of the people, and the King may appoint another set to tread, as nearly as possible, in the footsteps of their predecessors. Any rational objection to this mode of proceeding is met by the temporizers with the reply, It is the King's prerogative to choose his Ministers; and that of the House of Commons to object to them.' The evil of this is plain. The King, in half an hour, in a fit of ill temper, or folly, or fear, or venality, may do a mischief which it will take a House of Commons six months to undo. The only effective process for stopping a mischievous and obstinate Ministry is to stop the supplies,' and this act is synonymous with throwing a whole country into confusion; and, moreover, when the mischievous Ministry has been put out of office, there is no security that the King will appoint a better. The King wields an irresponsible authority, and this is one of the crying evils of our so much lauded Constitution.'
The Duke of Clarence, like most of his relatives, was ever famous for a strong money-spending capacity, which constantly led him to outrun his income. His tastes were far from refined, and his excitements were somewhat of the coarsest. To gratify them, he was at one time anxious to marry the fortune of Miss Tilney Long, who, however, preferred to endow the spendthrift Wellesley Pole. He afterwards married a German princess, in the hope of increasing his rental by a Parliamentary grant of £6,000 per annum. During the reign of the fourth George, he was made Lord High Admiral, and in that capacity he gratified his tastes for noise and show at a considerable expense of gunpowder. This did not suit the Tory Minister, who wanted the money for other purposes. The Lord High Admiral, according to Court scandal, owed them a grudge for this, and threatened to go it' with them at the first opportunity, when his power might equal his will.
When William the Fourth ascended the throne his feelings
against the Tories were somewhat in unison with the people, as regarded the individual Tories in power; and, by the generous, open-hearted mob, dislike of their enemies was considered synonymous with liking for themselves, and they, therefore, dubbed His Majesty' William the Reformer. The natural train of events, therefore, led to the appointment of the Grey Ministry, and the Reform Bill. But when His Majesty,' and those about him, began to find that this course would lead to a revision of the Civil List, and the curtailment of Court Pensions and Court Interest, 'His Majesty' would willingly have retraced his steps, which His Majesty's' loving subjects were not inclined to permit; whereby we of the people had our English three days,' and His Majesty' lost his popularity.
The wise course would have been to throw himself on the people; but instead of that, he seized on the first opportunity of turning out the people's advocates from the Ministry, and substituting the Tories for them. By so doing, he has given strength to the popular cause, and though the House of Commons is not yet all we could wish, the pressure from without' will doubtless improve it and increase its energies. The present Ministry are doomed, and after suffering much annoyance they must depart from office sorely against their wills. It will then be with His Majesty' to appoint another Ministry, who will be chosen of as little Reform tendency as possible. The probability is, that Lord Stanley will be the next Premier, and that Robert Peel, so well named by the Examiner' Joseph Surface, will be under-devil to do the dirty work. Lord Stanley is an Aristocrat, haughty and tyrannical; but he cannot hold office a week, if that office be contingent on the exercise of personal hypocrisy. By the aid of Robert Peel, he may contrive to put off his dismissal from office for a considerable period; but that dismissal must come at last, for on the rock of the Church he will wreck his political bark, if not on other things. His aristocratic insolence will have no tendency to lessen the number of his opponents. The Ministry which comes after him will be more Radical in its tendency, and it is not impossible that Robert Peel may suffer his principles to be swayed by circumstances, as he has often done before, for the sake of keeping place; I should not altogether despair of his ultimately professing Radical principles. But, sooner or later, the office of Premier must be wielded by Lord Durham, who, in the present state of public feeling,—which requires the adventitious influence of circumstances in a leader, as well as or even more than mental power and integrity,-is the mark and type of Reform progression,-is the leader whose name will be used as the rallying cry of the Movement party, either so long as he shall live, or till he shall set himself up as an obstacle to further progress in defence of his order;' when the waves of public opinion will roll over him, as they did over his relative Lord Grey.
Many disputes have existed, and still exist, respecting the character of Lord Durham; some affirming him to be a thoroughgoing sound individual, while others assert that he is merely an ambitious Aristocrat, seeking popularity as a stepping-stone to power. Neither the one nor the other is true, if he may be fairly judged by a volume of printed speeches, just put forth by his friends.*
In looking through this volume, I have been struck with the remarkable consistency of the public career of Lord Durham, from the time he first entered Parliament, as John George Lambton, up to the present time. There is a tone of high, noble, chivalrous enthusiasm throughout,-a constant, unswerving upholding of the oppressed against the oppressor, in all times and seasons,-a proud consciousness of unimpeachable honour, and undeviating rectitude of purpose which carries conviction to the mind. Whether defending the freedom of a people or of an individual, whether Norway or Genoa, or a foreigner oppressed under the atrocious Alien Act, we find him ever the same. We find him denouncing the abettors and perpetrators of the Manchester massacre, and defending the oppressed aid-de-camp of Napoleon, Gourgaud. We find him defending the oppressed Queen Caroline, and avenging by the force of energetic words the tyranny exercised on Robert Wilson, whom men had not then looked through, and somewhat prematurely deemed a patriot. At a later period we find him defending Mr. Buckingham, whom Tory oppression had hallowed with an importance nature never intended him to attain. Still later, after becoming a Lord, we find him to be the author of the Reform Bill, which gave so much peaceable power to the nation, and which he would have made still more effective, had he not been under the control of others, who were less fast friends to the people than he himself was. In his subsequent speeches, after His Majesty' had restored the hated Tories to power, we find bold defiance hurled forth by him in his speeches in the cause of the people. At Glasgow he declared unequivocally his views as to the amount of power it was desirable to put into the hands of the people:
In your address, there are three essential points on which you have taken your ground, viz. Household Suffrage, Vote by Ballot, and Triennial Parliaments. (Cheers.) On these points I will not conceal my views. I have already in Parliament proposed Household Suffrage, and Triennial Parliaments, and my opinions are still the same. But, at the same time, I am not prepared to press them obstinately against those of other Reformers: for, though I will not yield, under any circumstances whatever, to our enemies, yet, I am not ashamed to say, that when true and real Reformers differ from me, I give way to their particular views. As to Vote by Ballot, you are all aware, gentlemen, that considerable difference of opinion prevails upon this question. Some think it not advis
*Sketch of the Political Career of the Earl of Durham.' John Reid and Co., Glasgow.