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EDINBURGH:

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & SONS, 45 GEORGE STREET,

AND 37 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON;
To whom all communications (post paid) must be addressed.
SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

PRINTED BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH,

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At the eleventh hour, and not on- a Cabinet which had Lord Aberdeen til they were warned by the unani- for its head, and which did not pos. mous voice of the nation that further sess the ordinary elements of cobedelay upon their part would be con- sion. It was felt that under such sidered as tantamount to an admis circumstances our public men should sion that they had failed in the dis be at their post; and there were even charge of their duty, the Coalition higher considerations than these. It Ministry have summoned Parliament was not right nor decent that, when together. Of the propriety of the step our armies were toiling and bleeding there can be no doubt. We urged it on the field, there should be any apupon them two months ago, wbile pearance of apathy at home; it was denouncing the conduct of the war, not wise, in the face of doubtful and upon the issue of which, we then said, protracted negotiations with the nnthe future position of Britain as a na- declared Powers of Europe, that the tion depends. We maintained that great national council of Britain should it was an issue far too great and mo- remain in practical abeyance. Minismentous to admit of delay, and we ters, however, seemed determined to protested against the repetition of such proceed as usual, and not to render dilatory practices as were made avail- an account of their stewardship until able excuses for last year. At that the commencement of another year. time intelligence had been received of Parliament stood prorogued until the the battle of Alma, and the commence- 14th of November, and on the 10th ment of the siege of Sebastopol; there of that month, a further prorogation were rumours, and more than rumours, was made until the 14th of December, of mismanagement and neglect; and without the insertion of the customary many were impressed with a sad fore- words, "then to meet for the despatch boding that the expedition which had of business." This is an evident been sent out to the Crimea was not indication that no meeting was conpamerically strong enough, nor suffi- templated until after the expiry of the ciently well provided to maintain a Christmas holidays. On the 20th protracted contest with Russia upon of November, however, Ministers Russian ground. There prevailed changed their minds, and Parliament throughout the country a general was summoned to meet, and did meet, wish that Parliament should be con- on the 12th of December, . vened; not in order that the repre. No explanation of this change can sentatives of the nation should inter, be given other than that suggested by fere with Ministerial functions, but Lord Derby, that it was the direct because no confidence was reposed in consequence of the position in which the wisdom, forethought, or energy of our army stood after the battle of

VOL. LXXVII.—NO. CCCCLXXI.

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