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the spirit of vulgar pride, which the veil of courtesy commonly covered, and which was fed upon the offal that flattery offers to fortune, started like a scorpion from its ambush, kindling the indignant glances of her eyes, and adding hauteur to her air.
This is quite too much,' she exclaimed, rising. “But this is not the first time when my habits of condescension have produced their own punishment. I had intended to offer you an asylum here till you had suited yourself with another situation ; you will now do me the favour to leave Vernon House immediately.'
Mrs. Vernon walked out of the room; before Miss Paget had recovered herself sufficiently to follow her example, another door opened and Montague appeared. She startled and coloured, from the ideas associated with him in the recent interview with his mother. This was the first time he had seen Florence evince emotion at his presence; he was as quick to misinterpret, as to discern it.
· Miss Paget!' he exclaimed with delight, and darting his eyes about the room, perceived she was alone. It was a moment not to be lost, but his feelings were too real to allow him to speak. Gallantry has its rhetoric; love, its eloquence; but it is not always, nor often, the eloquence of words. Besides, Montague's brief contained clauses not easy to plead in a court of equity; he therefore filled the interstices of a few broken words with the luminous language of his eyes, and the expressive gesture (from time immemorial the lover's form for “filing a declaration') of falling on his knee.
Florence had been no sentimental novel-reader; she had never been at a boarding-school; she had experienced none of the arti, ficial training of general female education : nothing, therefore, could be more unlike the rules made and provided for accepting or rejecting a lover than hers. She was possessed by a holy honesty and sweet benevolence. She did not say no when she meant yes; and when she said no, she meant it; yet she said it with a kind reluctance, flowing from her unwillingness to give pain. Judging from her own truth, she was too apt to give implicit faith to profession; hence, with her, as with most others acting upon the same principle, the false estimates she made. She could not believe herself loved, and incapable of making a return, without pain and regret, which touched her expression with softness, if not with tenderness. Her reply to Montague fell in a voice soft as snow upon a river, yet not as cold; because, judging from the tactics of the sex as they are trained, he believed her refusal a feint, and that she retreated, from the dictates of the refined art which he imagined to be inherent in woman.
While Florence was yet speaking, Mrs. Vernon returned into the room, accompanied by Miss Allen. Montague sprung to his feet, and Florence, released from his hold, flew from the room. He looked the proud rage he felt, as he glanced from the furious face of his mother, to the cunning visage of her companion. The latter, feeling herself de trop, retired; and then Mrs. Vernon was disposed for the display of a little parental authority; but the deer might as easily attempt to defy the panther, as she her son; and thence she disingenuously turned all her rage against Florence, loading her with opprobrium. From this mood she made a transit to tears, but they fell on Montague as ineffectively as * dewdrops' on the lion's mane.'
The interview closed by leaving Mrs. Vernon to the conflict of the most violent feelings: the luxury around her mocked her with the show of pleasure, while she palpitated with pain; with a show of power, when she was utterly incapable of control over herself or others.
Ten years after, what was the caput mortuum of the fashionable Mrs. Vernon's existence ? disappointment, mortification, neglect, and distress. A widow with a small income and expensive habits; with children ashamed of her fortune and without affection for her person; and she in turn alienated from them. Montague was a roué and a gambler; the others had all, in various ways, disappointed or outwitted her; while Emma, regardless of the blood of the Mactabs,' had run away with her father's footman.
Yet Emma, when the probation of misery and misfortune was past, realized some share of happiness and usefulness. Her illassorted union closed with the death of her husband, the victim of intoxication; and the barrow of calamity had fitted her heart to receive the seeds of real righteousness, when she again met Florence Paget. She was devoting herself to the conduct of a school, the humble emoluments of which supplied her frugal wants; and the hopes it inspired, and the sympathies it awakened, animated her heart, and kept up the energies of her elastic mind. She received Emma as her friend, her coadjutor, and they gave proof that it is not alone as wives and mothers that women may be useful to the world, and happy and honourable in themselves.
M. L. G.
THE RATIONALE OF POLITICAL REPRESENTATION.* The author of the Essays on the Formation and Publication of Opinions,' of those on the Pursuit of Truth,' &c., and of the admirable pamphlet entitled a · Discussion of Parliamentary Reform,' has few equals amongst the writers of the day, as a political philosopher and moralist ; and few superiors, in that character, amongst the writers of any other period. The general clearness of his conceptions and of his language; the mastery which he displays of what he has himself described as the Art of
• The Rationale of Political Representation,' by the Author of • Essays on the Formation of Opinions,' &c. &c, London: Hunter, 1835.
Exposition ; the comprehensiveness of his views; the calmness and dignity of his manner; the fairness of his statements, and the importance and benignity of his purposes, are a felicitous combination which makes us receive the announcement of a new work from his pen, as a most dependible promise of gratification and instruction. There is but one way in which we can review such a writer, viz. by description and analysis, preserving in the task that fidelity to our own minds which demands the expression of doubt or dissent, whenever they occur. To this, therefore, we shall apply ourselves; passing over the introductory chapters, as of less moment, and coming at once to the main body of the work.
The first chapter treats of the proper object and province of government; the former is defined to be the good of the community, and the latter, 'to promote the happiness of the community associated under it, by such measures as cannot be undertaken by individuals or subordinate associations for themselves, or cannot be undertaken with equal advantage.'
Subordinate associations are introduced into the definition, because there are a nuniber of advantages attained by combinations of men forming only a part of the political community, which the members so uniting could not attain by their solitary efforts; such combinations, for instance, as benefit societies, philosophical and literary clubs, and mechanics' institutes. The purposes of these institutions are evidently not of a nature to be accomplished by persons acting singly, and yet they are for the most part attained without the care or control of the supreme authority of the state.'
On the foregoing definition our author proceeds to argue, that the functions of government are chiefly of a supplementary and negative character, and that great mischief has arisen from regarding it in the light of an all-pervading, all-directing power, the source of all the arrangements which administer to the order and happiness of society.' The definition, however, is not very restrictive. It leaves aniple scope and verge enough' for the interposition of government. The real question, on our author's view, and on that which he censures, will be the same. It is supposed on the one hand that there are comparatively few cases, and on the other that there are comparatively many, in which individual effort, or partial and voluntary social effort, is not attended with equal advantage to government interference. But whether there be many or few, the condition of such interference is the same,-its proved advantage.
The number of such cases must continually increase with the progress of governments towards perfection. The mischief of interference has commonly been, that it was ignorant or selfish interference. In proportion as the representative system is successful in constituting governments of the most enlightened members of a community, and by means of responsibility, in divesting them of any sinister interest, the sphere must enlarge which it is desirable for the influence of government to fill; nor is it easy to say where its expansion should be stayed. When our author adverts to the fact that governments
· have the means in their hands of instituting a system of universal instruction,' he makes a gigantic exception to his own theory, an exception large enough to swallow the rule. Nor can we allow to him, although backed by the authority of Bentham, that the care of his enjoyments ought to be left almost entirely to the individual.' 'Ï'here are vast stores of pleasure of which government keeps the key. A wise government would open a thousand sources of enjoyment,—works of art, national galleries, public promenades and gardens,—which can never be equally realized by individual efforts or subordinate associations. The social union is surely destined to do soniething more than just prevent our breaking one another's heads, and picking one another's pockets. It does more, even in the worst hands, and when it is controlled by the few, with no other regard to the many than what may be suggested by occasional personal apprehension. But when the power of government shall cease to be the object of constant jealousy, and be viewed with confidence, there seems no reason why it should not be directed to the creation of positive good, and produce it to an incalculable extent. Laissez-nous faire is very proper language to such rulers as nations have been plagued with hitherto; but why should we employ it to a body in which we recognise the concentrated intelligence of a people, as well as the suprenie authority? The more they do, the better.
The second chapter assigns the grounds of preference for a representative government. These are resolvable into the fact of its tending to secure legislators who shall be identified in interest with the community, and yet superior to it in intelligence. The author seems to us to have overrated the force of, or rather, perhaps, to have misplaced, the objection, that the electors may not be determined in their choice by their interest in the proceedings of the legislative body. So far as that is the case, the government is not representative. An appointment purchased by a bribe, or extorted by intimidation, only shows the imperfection of the machinery, its incapacity for producing representation, and applies not at all to that mode of government when it is realized.
The third chapter treats of the representative body, in the following sections 1. Its province; 2. The process of legislation; 3. The relation of representative and constituent; 4. Publicity; 5. The number of members ; 6. Their qualifications; and, 7. The duration of the trust.
The first section argues very conclusively for the establishment of subordinate and local legislatures to conduct merely local affairs, leaving only matters of general interest for the attention of the supreme legislature. The second shows both the advantages
and evils of oral discussion in the legislative assembly, and the tendency of the latter to self-correction. The third section distinguishes the representative from the delegate, and contends that for his constituents to fetter him with specific pledges is inconsistent with the relation in which he stands to the entire community, and destroys the peculiar advantages of representation over siniple democracy. The logic of this chapter is decisive as to ordinary times and circumstances. Its application to those which now exist is much more questionable. At present our parliaments are not so much chosen for legislation as for conflict. We have yet to win the secure and permanent power of legislation for the real representatives of the people. More organic reform is required for the attainment of this object. By many who call themselves reformers, such further organic reform is directly opposed. By others, who profess themselves favourable to it, it has been postponed to various other considerations, and especially to their desire to keep the Whig administration in office. Îhe consequence was the reverse of what they intended. Had the vote by ballot, triennial parliaments, and an extension of the suffrage, been granted by the late parliament, no return of the Tories, no dissolution, would have taken place. The first of these measures might have sufficed alone. Neither on that, nor on the second, can there be much occasion for any man of common intelligence to wait for further information. Both questions are quite ripe for decision; and the postponement of decision only serves to endanger all the power which the people have attained by the Reform Act. These, then, are fitting points for delegation. Until they be obtained, we shall not have representative government. The Reform Act only bestowed an approximation towards it. What it did give has been already impaired by corruption. The mischief will proceed rapidly as the constituencies decrease in number, which is their tendency. There is no time to be lost. Mr. Bailey shows that there is no real difference between a declaration of opinion and a pledge. But there is a wide practical difference, inasmuch as the one is open to subterfuges, while the other is not. Many will deviate from the former under the influence of a variety of considerations, who will feel bound in honour to act up to the latter. Nor can we expect any body of persons to increase their own responsibility, which is the tendency of these changes, without a little gentle moral constraining from those who sit in judgment upon them. The bearings of their circumstances are all in the opposite direction. We have seen that old and tried friends of the people have shown themselves not quite trusty on these vital questions. The error of the people has been quite on the side of confidence. But these are no subjects for confidence. There will be a time for that hereafter. When elections are free, and representation is entire, and responsibility is complete, then let confidence be exercised