« VorigeDoorgaan »
measure, like the Home Rule Bill, or the Bill for the Disestablishment of the Welsh Church. Mr. Speaker rises in his chair, and puts the question: "The ques tion is, that this bill be now read a second time. As many as are of that opinion will say 'Aye.'" A deafening shout of “Aye" arises from the government benches. The contrary, 'No,'' continues Mr. Speaker, and a thunder ous volley of "Noes" comes in response from the Opposition side of the House. "I think the 'Ayes' have it," says Mr. Speaker. The Speaker always decides in favor of the side supported by the government, unless the motion be of a non-party character, when he decides according to the volume of sound from the "Ayes" or the "Noes." But in most cases the decision of the Speaker is not accepted. The Opposition again roar out: "The 'Noes' have it," and thus the division is challenged.
The Speaker then gives the order: "Strangers will withdraw;" and at the same moment the electric bells which are set up in profusion all over the precincts of the Palace of Westminster -in every corridor and in every room -ring out a summons to members to hurry to the Chamber, as the division is about to be taken. The policemen who are on duty in the lobbies and corridors also
shout "Division!" with all the strength of their lungs, and so, amid the tingling and the jingling of the electric bells, cries of "Division" answer other cries of "Division" in every part of the palace.
This ringing and shouting continues for two minutes-marked by a sandglass in front of one of the clerks on the table—which is the time it is supposed a member would take to get to the Chamber from the most distant point of the members' quarters. Into the House the members come rushing breathlessly from dining-rooms, library, and smoking-rooms while the sands in the glass are running their course. At length the Speaker makes a sign to the sergeant at-arms, and the doors of the Chamber are locked. They cannot be opened again until the division is taken. It often happens that a tardy member,
arriving just a moment too late, has the doors slammed right in his face. This is what occurred when the newspapers announce that Mr. Robinson or Mr. Jones was "shut out."
The question is again put in the same form by the Speaker. There is still time for those who have challenged the decision of the Speaker to give way; and occasionally they do give way when the question is not of great party importance. But on this occasion the second declaration of the Speaker, "I think the 'Ayes' have it," is answered again by a shout from the Opposition benches, "The 'Noes' have it." The die is now cast. The division lobbies must decide the issue. The Speaker accordingly adds, "Ayes' to the right and 'Noes' to the left," and names the two chief Government Whips as the tellers for the former and the Whips of the Opposition as the tellers for the latter.
The members then pour out into the division lobbies, which are two long and wide corridors or passages running round the Chamber. The supporters of the "Ayes" come up the House and enter their lobby by the door behind the Speaker's chair; the "Noes" go down the House and file into their lobby by the door under the clock. When the House is cleared the entrance doors of the division lobbies are locked and the exit doors are opened to allow the two streams of members to return to the Chamber again at the end opposite the one by which each left it. In each lobby two clerks sit at a desk, with lists of members alphabetically arranged before them. At one side of the desk there is a large card with the legend "A to M," and on the other side of the desk another card with "N to Z." The members pass this desk in single file-each on the proper side, according to his initial letter-giving their names to the clerks, who tick them off on the printed papers before them. record of the members who take part in each division is taken, and is published as part of the proceedings of the House.
In this way a
It is interesting to note that for some time after this wise and proper system of recording votes was introduced in
1836, as a result of the enormous increase of popular interest in the proceedings of the House brought about by the Reform Act of 1832, the old members regarded it with considerable disfavor, and the tellers who then discharged the task of taking the record often found it difficult to obtain the names of some of the members as they intentionally pushed past them in the division lobbies. The tellers now merely count the members. At the exit door of each lobby stand two of the tellers, one representing the government and the other the Opposition, who count the members as they pass out and go into the House again-one teller checking the other in the counting, and thus obviating any dispute between them as to the result.
The average time a division occupies is ten minutes; but some big divisions, in which most of the members participate, take a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes. At length all the ,members have returned from the division lobbies, and the work of count ing is over. The tellers appear in the Chamber, and give to one of the clerks at the tables their respective numbers. The victors will now be known in a moment. The clerk writes the figures on a slip of paper, which he hands to the principal teller of the side that has won. Immediately a roar of delight, which lasts for a couple of moments, arises from the triumphant majority. They do not wait for the announcement of the exact result. They know now that they have won-by what majority does not for the moment concern themand they rejoice accordingly. Now we shall hear the numbers. The four tellers meet in a row in front of the table-the tellers for the victors to the left, the tellers for the vanquished to the right, and after the four have bowed simultaneously to the Chair, the principal teller for the majority reads out the numbers in a loud voice: "Ayes' to the right, 298; 'Noes' to the left, 290."
What a narrow escape for the govern ment! It is now the turn of the Opposition to shout, and so lift their voices in exultation with all the energy they
can command, whilst the occupants of the ministerial benches answer back with mocking laughter and cries of defiance. "Order! order!" is heard from Mr. Speaker, and silence is once more restored. The result of the division must be announced from the Chair. The paper containing the figures has been passed on by the clerk to the Speaker as the tellers return to their places on the benches. "The 'Ayes' to the right were 298; the 'Noes' to the left, 290," says the Speaker, and he adds, "so the 'Ayes' have it." Once more the cheering and shouting and yelling are renewed - the government, delighted that they have won, the Opposition rejoicing over the narrow escape of their opponents.
The scene which follows a close division after a great debate in the House of Commons is one that can hardly ever be forgotten even by a spectator. The intense passion of the moment is contagious. Every one is swayed by it. Even the most staid and solemn members of our great legislature cheer and shout like schoolboys, and wave their hats over their heads, and slap each other on the back in the turbulence of their emotions. Out int the Lobby they stream, friends and opponents together, laughing and jok. ing, and chaffing each other good. humoredly; for, though they have angrily stormed at each other across the floor at exciting moments of the debate, now that all is over, amity and good fellowship once more reign supreme. In another minute the doorkeeper cries, "Who goes home?" and the extinguishing of the great white light on the clock tower tells London that the House of Commons has adjourned.
Then, from Scamander's banks, my soul to Have they but come to soothe my grief, Tyrrhenian waters from the shores of revival, Fled, and I dreamed-oh sweetly dreamed! Where the lost years abide, and the forms -of my earliest being. of those who have left us?
No more books!-but the room, so hot with So they passed-the dream and my dearly the Julian Solstice, beloved together.
Loud with the roar of wheels on the stony Laura was singing a merry strain in a neighboring chamber,
streets of the city, Opened wide, and the hills of home were Bice above her frame, was peacefully ply
soaring around me,
Dear, wild hills, alive with the delicate
leafage of April.
Over the height a slim cascade, with
Fell, and became a stream, whereby was
Young she seemed, and fresh as a flower,
Proudly he trudged along, and set his
Glad of his mother's love, and glad, in the core of his being,
Over the tuneful joy of Nature's infinite festa.
Then I knew 'twas Ascension eve, for
Bells rang out for the Christ, going back
Peak to level, blent with the whisper of
Rosy the flower of the peach, and white the flower of the apple;
Smiled in blossoms of gold and blue, the turf of the meadow;
ing the needle.
A message breathed of heavenly melody; All the hillsides flaunted in yellow broom, While Rome the eternal shone before, and
and the valleys
Decked themselves for the feast, in mantle of sanguine clover.
Then, while a soft sea wind arose, and the flowers gave odor,
Seaward I looked, and saw four snow
white sails in the offing. Balancing, balancing slow, they passed along, in the sunshine Whereby earth, and sea, and sky, in glory were blended.
Full at the orb she gazed-my happy, maidenly mother
I at her, and upon my brother-wondering, doubting,
Rang o'er the slaughter an airy pæan:
"Mentana spurns the shame of tue centuries:
The foul embrace of priest and of em-
Thou, Garibaldi, in Mentana,
"Oh Aspromonte's rebel magnificent,
So clear a chant of mystical choristers -He who lies afar on a hill overlooking Was heard in all the borders of Italy, the Arno, The day there fell a touch of healing She who sleeps hard by-in the waste of On the poor prey of the tyrant's lashes. the solemn Certosa
Wondering, doubting-are they alive? or, And now, beloved, thee, her new Romulus, in their compassion New Rome salutes with rapturous piety,
Thy star ascends. Oh, far from falling, Stillness of death upon thee, divinest!
Across the abyss of nameless humanity,
Thy star ascends: and Dante amazedly To Virgil saith-"Our heroes of fantasy Were less than he."-But Livy, smiling, "He is of history, oh my poets!"
In him, the bold and patient Ligurian, Lives on the line of Hesperian citizens; With lofty look, he stands for justice Bathed in the beams of a bright ideal.
Oh Lion-heart!-In fiery ebullience
From Alpine heights thou beatest alway
But calmly too in heave of cerulean Seas, or the balmy breath of the flowertime,
When suns of May shed sweet effulgence Over the mighty who sleep in marble.
From The Gentleman's Magazine.
A NORTHUMBRIAN SKETCH OF THIRTY
"My bairn, I feel kind o' troubled like, for the preacher body he kept tellin' us we maun gan' into wor closets to pray, and wors is that small and that full o' taties naebody could manage it ony gait," and Betty Best sighed as she stretched her poor old feet in front of the fire that Sunday afternoon, and looked wistfully towards her gaunt middle-aged daughter, appealing for a little light on her problem.
made from the wild crab, or "scrab" as it is locally called, and proud she was of its garnet-like clearness.
As she pressed down the last cover, however, she spoke: "I dinent ken aught about closets, though maybe's the Lord will hear us; whether or no, I mind I did ask him to send us a good crop when I was plantin' them taties, and sure enough never had we likes on't; but I dee like to see yon man get into the pulpit; he always has that nice an' white shirt breast, and his coat is that fine and black and shiny, it looks gae fittin,' and eh, but he does thump the good book fair wonderful," and with this exposition of her views of preaching Jane returned to her task.
Sunday afternoon though it was, she felt no burden on her conscience by reason of its mundane characterrather, indeed, unconsciously prided herself because it was a "nice tidy job, and she could do it in a clean white apron." The function had almost a sort of sanctity about it and partook of a religious character.
Sunday was principally marked to Jane by the fact that she could wear a white apron all day, instead of the coarse sacking wrapper proper to fieldwork.
Jane wrought the "Bondage" on the farm where her brother was "hind," and worked from 6 A.M. to 6 P.M.. for the handsome sum of fifteen-pence, and when the weather wasn't too rough, Jane was wonderfully contented too, and no more thought of questioning the rightness of it than she did that of the hours of rising and the setting of the sun itself.
Jane could neither read nor write, and was not clever enough to have found out for herself that if everybody left off working twelve hours and only worked eight, poverty would be no more, and the pure streams of national prosperity would forthwith run wherever directed, even uphill if the pipes were laid on proper Socialistic principles!
Ah! well, the world moves and we with it, and if Contentment must needs
die to give birth to Progress, so let it be. Perhaps no human being has a right to be contented with so little as poor Jane possessed.
Her life had known no great joy, not even the blossoming time of youthful love, for "virtue" is too often a very stern and almost sordid thing below a certain level of intellectual cultureeither it means a prudent and too often loveless marriage, or a life of old maidenhood unsoftened and unsweetened by any recollection of the happy pairing time which ought by rights to come to all.
Love in its higher aspects is a plant that needs culture for its development, needs something of leisure, something of freedom from lower cares (if a man or woman hasn't bread and cheese, he or she thinks of bread and cheese first and companionship second)-needs, too, a touch of self-consciousness and a sense of individuality-"I must be I" -before there comes any wish for mental union. In fact, mind must exist before it can unite itself to mind.
"Love" to Jane meant ruin and shame, as she had seen it in some of her girl companions, while her view of marriage was expressed naïvely enough when speaking of that of a comparatively wealthy woman: "What call had she to marry? She'd plenty to keep herself!" and apparently folly could no farther go in Jane's maiden mind.
But though joy had been unborn, her life had held one great passion; a love deep as that of sex, tender and selfdenying as that of motherhood itself.
Ever since the day when, a girl of eight, her baby brother had been given her to hold and to nurse, "Wor Dan" had meant all the world to Jane.
And a bonny child he had beensturdy and strong, and "wilful as a lad bairn should be," and a heavy weight for poor underfed Jane to carry in his petticoat days, when, their mother working in the fields, the little girl had to be nurse and housekeeper and cook, and carry dinners to the field-workers, with the chubby youngster astride her
back, or slung in a shawl so as to leave her hands free for basin and for basket.
How proud she was of him, too, so proud she forgot his weight, forgot even that he hurt her when his hard little fists beat her shoulders or tugged at her hair, as he cried, "Jenny do faster-Dan 'ants to twot," and the tired, willing steed tried to trot forthwith.
Dan was a man now, and a strong, good-looking chap, too; and though he had not been in a hurry about it, he was doing a bit of courting on his own account at last, and Jane had his supper to keep waiting while the milkmaid at the farm took longer to fill her cans in the byre than she was wont to do, and the old mother by the ingle muttered to herself that "Dan should hae more sense than let his hasty-puddin' spoil for all the lasses that ever were made," and that "no good would come o' such a fly-by-thesky as Sally was like to be.
Autumn wore on and winter came, and a terribly severe one it was. Snow fell heavily very early, and lay for weeks on the outlying farms where food grew scarce for man and beast, and it was difficult to get fresh supplies in the blocked condition of the roads.
There was no field work proper, but Jane had to help in foddering the cattle and herding the sheep, and many a weary plunge she had with backloads of hay or aprons full of cut turnips, while her limbs ached and her fingers grew benumbed.
But the worst was yet to come. Dan the stalwart, Dan the beautiful, Dan "the man-body," took cold. How, no one knew, and soon he lay gasping for breath and groaning as the sharp cutting pain of pleurisy darted through his body.
There was much of the baby still in the big, strong man, and he was all unused to suffering, and as night fell the pain grew worse.
The nearest medical man lived seven miles away, and the roads were barely passable, while telegraph-wires were