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we wish to point out in his orations is the High Church notion of the sacredness of property. He censures the Whigs for abstaining from touching the appropriation of land which had been acquired by spoliation and robbery,' and specifies the estates of the Duke of Bedford, which some ages since were alienated from the Church, as an instance. This illustration was received with 'loud cheers,' and three tremendous volleys of groans for the Duke of Bedford.' Very good. The greedy locusts no doubt have swallow enough to gorge Woburn whole, with all its appurtenances. But then the impudence of talking about property in the same breath, declaiming against its violation, and demanding that that of the clergy should be dealt with in the same manner as other property is." The stupidity of these clerical diners must have been equal to their rapacity. When did the Duke of Bedford's estates belong to the Protestant Church of England? If there be any valid ecclesiastical claim to them it is that of the Catholic Church, which would, on the same principle, be valid also for all the possessions of Dr. Etough's Church, his own rectory of Claydon' included. Talk of public robbery, indeed! Not even the abominable plan for despoiling the public creditor had a tithe of the impudence of this clerical projet. When will these men learn that they have no property; that they are the State's hired servants; and that although their wages have been usually paid for life, yet that their neglect of duty, their idle, mischievous, plundering, and insulting propensities, may induce the speedy revision of an arrangement which never has worked well, nor ever will ?
The Principle of the Whig Administration. — Lord John Russell's speech to his constituents, delivered at Totnes, Dec. 2, is a very able and manly effusion. But there is one portion of it which his auditors were somewhat precipitate in applauding. It declares the secret of the weakness of the late Government, of its loss of character, and of the utter want of sympathy with its fall except as that fall involved the appointment of the Duke of Wellington. He says, 'It was the principle of Lord Grey's Government to carry into effect as many reforms as they could with the concurrence of all the branches of the Legislature; that is to say, not unnecessarily to bring before Parliament, and pass through the House of Commons, measures which would only go into the House of Lords to meet with certain defeat.' A more false or fatal principle could not have been adopted. Its obvious tendency was to cut down every measure of Reform to the will, not of a responsible Tory Government, but of an irresponsible Tory Opposition. And for this mutilation, it held up the Ministers themselves as accountable to the nation. No set of men ought to have held office on such a principle; they could only be disgraced thereby. And if it be said that they did much
good thereby, it should be remembered that there must follow, and has followed, an immensely overbalancing amount of evil, in the loss of consistency and public confidence. Suppose they had gone out months ago, on being defeated in some broad and efficient scheme of Church, Law,or Corporation Reform-shouldwe not have been all the better for it now? Would not the experiment, now making, have been tried, failed, and almost forgotten? Would not the ex-Ministers have gained an elevation which is now for ever beyond their reach, and which would not only have gratified an honourable ambition, but conferred a power of serving their country to which all that their accommodation gained was not worth a straw in the balance? Might not, by this time, the House of Lords have been reformed, and the Court itself propelled some inches towards common sense? To look back on this principle with complacency, and to put it forward in vindication of the small doings of the Cabinet to which he belonged, argues ill for Lord John's sagacity. We should have thought better of him had he frankly confessed it as a great blunder. He has only to look into the Tory and rota-tory newspapers, and the speeches and addresses of dishonest candidates; the little done by the Whigs, in the way of Reform, is the burden of them all and if the people should be deceived, this is the topic by which they will be deceived. True, the argument is bad enough, that because the Whigs were prevented by the Tories from doing more, we should, therefore, expect more to be done by those very Tories who prevented them. But this is not the way in which it is put. That the Whigs should have allowed themselves to be prevented even from proposing what they profess to have wished, and what their avowed principles demanded, is alleged against their sincerity; and then the inference follows, with some plausibility, that we may as well have one set of rogues in office as another. For the injustice this may do them they have themselves to thank. They ought to see, and renounce their mistake, before they dream of holding office again.
Cheap Elections.- The Spectator,' of Dec. 6 and 13, has some excellent hints on the mode in which the Economy of Reformers should oppose itself to the Money of Tories, in the ensuing contests. The plan should be printed and distributed all over the country. Amongst the hints are the following: Schoolrooms and other buildings might be used for polling places, instead of erecting booths. Large rooms hired, instead of going to hotels. Canvassing conducted by local committees. No useless placards. Competent and practised persons appointed to superintend printing, &c.; and liberal journals should advertise for the duty. One lawyer at each polling place quite enough; attornies would not lose by volunteering. The pomp of processions a vain show.' Those who have conveyances take their
neighbours to the poll. In counties, district sub-committees might report what conveyances would be wanted. Local election funds should be everywhere subscribed. Coalition wherever there are two liberal candidates. And everywhere, forthwith, a WATCH COMMITTEE to keep a sharp look-out after every act and process of bribery, treating, and coercion; and to record every device and act of the Tories which may hereafter void corrupt returns, or illustrate the virtue of the BALLOT.' Such are some of the modes in which organization may grapple with corruption. The people have not learned how to make use of the strength which they possess; nor will they be taught yet, except very partially; but the time is coming.
Dr. Lushington and the King.-At a meeting of his constituents of the Tower Hamlets, Dec. 11, Dr. Lushington spoke as follows:
You have, in the first place, against you, the King. It is utter folly -it is false delicacy-it is altogether absurd to say, that by discussing these matters we are infringing on the prerogatives of the Crown. The people have also their prerogatives; and be it recollected that the King was made for the people. If he chooses to appoint Ministers whom the people cannot trust, the people can make him change them again. If he pursues such a course as to lead the country into danger, the people must stop him in his career. What is now the state of our country? For ten years we had a monarch who was insane. For ten years more we had, for his successor, a cold-blooded and heartless voluptuary. A change came, and we have now one, who, after exciting the hopes and expectations of the people, is prepared to disappoint them. But are the hopes of the people to be now blasted? I would warn the friends of monarchy, that if such course is to be pursued, monarchy itself is in danger.'
Now this is honest, and therefore it deserves praise; for of the thousands who know and feel its truth, how few there are who have spoken it out so plainly. Even in the speeches of courageous Reformers, we generally find that whenever the King is introduced, cant follows, as if there were a natural and necessary connexion between royalty and insincerity. We do not mean to affirm that there is not: but we demur to such a mode of keeping up the connexion. We object to the worse than mystification which has been generally practised on this matter. Can there ever have been a doubt since May, 1832, of the King's Tory propensities? Did he not first accept the resignation of the Reform Ministry, and after they were forced back, Bill and all, carry that Bill by an extraordinary act of influence, rather than create a sufficient number of popular peers to enable a Reform Government to go on? What was to be expected after this, but what has actually happened, that the Whigs should be disgraced in every possible way, and then dismissed. Was not the speech to the Bishops a plain warning? The King was never
heartily with us: and it was not very wise, though it might be generous, to believe that he was. He thinks and feels on the subject like a King, as he is. What have Kings to do with Reform? It is scarcely possible, unless in the exercise of a superhuman intelligence, to discern, from their position, the good produced in a community by the amelioration of political institutions. Supposing them the most purely disinterested of human beings, how should they appreciate the multitudinous influences upon condition and character, which growing liberty diffuses through the different classes of society? This species of good comes not near them personally; they cannot see, hear, feel, taste, nor therefore conceive it. They are only affected by it inconveniently as are their hangers on, whose power and plunder are abridged. As much of mob-popularity as their eyes and ears may need, when they show themselves, can generally be purchased; and a few dragoons, with a cohort of police, can keep unpleasant symptoms at a convenient distance. Moreover, it is no secret that all political Reform tends towards Republicanism. We do not say that it will arrive there; for as Toryism may stop short of absolute Despotism, so may Reform of Republicanism. But such is the tendency of each; and hence Kings and Tories have a natural antipathy to Reform. It is questionable whether they can ever be made to comprehend that it is really for their own good, until they have actual experience of the fact. With that, therefore, it is the people's duty to provide them, as speedily as they can; and, in the mean while, drop all the common humbug about their goodwill towards Reform. The only safe plan is to reckon upon their hostility. It is quite absurd in us, to resolve that we will have an hereditary King, and yet be astonished that he does not reason like a President of the United States. We must allow him his Toryism. It is a portion of his prerogative; and we should also calculate on his free exercise of that, as occasion serves. It may be difficult to deal straightforwardly with Whigs who are sometimes crooked themselves. Or it may be that he follows the example of his sainted father.' We should like to know, as the King can do no wrong, who is responsible for the late sudden change, which might have plunged the whole country into confusion; which did subject us to the temporary dictatorship of a soldier; and which may still produce a world of evil. We are told that there must always be a responsible adviser. Does Sir Robert Peel become so by taking office in consequence? Or is it the Duke? or who? It should be known, because with that adviser the country has an account to settle.
The Peel Manifesto.-We never remember to have seen any composition so thoroughly characterized as this by shallow hypocrisy. There is, perhaps, no direct lie in it; there is certainly in
it no direct truth. It contains scarcely a single straightforward sentence; and yet it contains not a sentence that can impose on an intellect two removes from idiocy.
The very construction of this document is hypocritical. Sir Robert Peel felt it necessary to address some exposition of his policy to the people of England, and so he took advantage of the incidental circumstance of the vacation of his seat, to write to his Tamworth constituents. Yet he represents the duty of addressing them as his primary feeling, and the more important purpose as incidental. He is not such a fool as to think that cajoling the nation is subordinate to tickling the Tamworthians.
He travelled from Rome to London in obedience to his Majesty's summons; and yet resolved to take office after an anxious review of the position of public affairs' on his arrival, which must have been taken in a few hours.
The King, in a crisis of great difficulty, required my services.' No doubt; the King made the crisis for that very purpose. The great difficulty' was in creating the crisis. Alexander disposed of knots by the sword; William disposes of them by the toe; the one cut, the other kicks.
Sir Robert volunteers a declaration that he will not repeal the Reform Bill. Thank you for nothing.' This goes as far to prove him a Reformer as would a declaration that he will not repeal the monarchy, to prove him a loyal subject. The people's question is, who will amend and extend the Reform Bill?
He will consider of Corporation Reform when the commissioners report. He must have considered some time to find out such a mode of evading a plain declaration.
The Dissenters are graciously told that he supported the abortions of Lord Althorp and Lord John Russell, on the Church Rate and Marriage questions. He will make love to them by offering again the rotten oranges which they threw down, and trampled under foot.
The Dissenters are to continue excluded from the Universities; but may take degrees, if they can get them.
He promises that future pensions shall be good ones; and old ones not touched.
No Church property shall be alienated from 'ecclesiastical purposes.' What are they? In the Christian dictionary, public instruction is the great ecclesiastical purpose. In the Tory lexicon, ecclesiastical purposes are parsons' pockets.
If by an improved distribution of the revenues of the Church, (of Ireland,) its just influence can be extended, and the true interests of the Established Religion promoted, all other considerations should be made subordinate,' i. e., being interpreted, the plunder shall be differently divided, if thereby the possession of the plunder be rendered more secure.
Sir Robert has not yet had opportunity of giving his 'grave