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longer, not so wide. There is but one desk under the speaker's chair, in which three wigged gentlemen sit scribbling. The speaker is gowned and wigged. He is a large, red-faced, thicktongued, old Saxon, full of verbosity and consequence. He is the only member who has his hat off. It strikes an American strangely, to see the deliberative gravity of the greatest power in Christendom, sitting ranged in seats, with their hats on. This custom will, perhaps, account for the number of bald heads among the English. You cannot see their eyes or faces except when they arise to speak. At first blush one is apt to condemn the assembly, as a convention of stupidity and carelessness. Yet there is an agreeable surprise, in finding so much ease, and compared to my previous fancy, so very little formality in the arrangement and conduct of the House.
The preliminary business being over, a Quakerly dressed man (you might know that it is BRIGHT, Cobden's free-trade, right-hand man!) rises to complain of a trick of the Secretary of the Treasury, and is responded to by the Speaker. By his gestures you may discern where and how parties are arranged. On the left, upon the lowest bench, sits Lord John Russell, his hat down over his head, as Punch caricatures him. Upon the left-hand side and near, are the supporters of the Government. Opposite you may see an intelligent-looking, black and curlyhaired, neatly dressed gentleman. That is D'ISRAELI, the author of 66 Tancred," and the conservative leader. Just above him is Mr. WALPOLE, a rising man, who (as I was informed by a noble Lord) would be the conservative Attorney General in case of a change. This is the Tory, Protection, or Conservative wing. At this end, near where I sit, are the Irish members most of them in opposition just now to the Government, on account of the "ecclesiastical titles' bill," which is the theme for to-night's debate. Still, the Irish members do not act together against the Government, as is indicated by the position of John O'Connell, that red-faced, good-natured, stumpy man just facing the Speaker, on neither side. He is on the fence. You may
tell the Irish members by their faces, without hearing a word of brogue.
My impression, when first looking upon this scene, was one of deep disappointment. It is cruel to have one's anticipations crushed so suddenly, when there is crushed with them so much of greatness, splendor, and ability, which have ever been associated in the mind with the English Parliament. I said to myself almost bitterly, "Is this the famous Parliament wherein SIR EDWARD COKE, SELDEN, PRYNNE, HARRY VANE, PYM, HAMPDEN, and 'OLD NOLL," battled the kingly prerogative of the Tudor and the Stuart; declaring by charters and bills of right, ' Apologies' and remonstrances, that there was no other source of legislation or revenue, than this their own Commons, one of the estates of the realm, whose laws could brook no 'dispensing' from kingcraft? Is this stupid-looking, hat-wearing, vociferating body, the same ordeal through which ST. JOHN, by the persuasion of his eloquence, and the force of his invective, and through which the young cornet PITT, by the command of his eloquence entered the portals of power, to lose it by becoming respectively Bolingbroke and Chatham-lords yet more than peers of the upper house? Is this the forum where EDMUND BURKE displayed the riches of his lore and the glory of his imagination where SHERIDAN electrified the house with his wit? where NORTH, the Palinurus of the State, slept through the assaults of the best genius of England, leaving his haughty solicitor and attorney to pilot his sleeping course and defend his waking course? Is this the theatre where GEORGE CANNING, whose statue I just passed in the twilight, starred his short season of ministerial power-where the younger PITT, by severe and never-failing logic, held so long the rule of British politics during its severest storms-where Fox "graced the fervor" of the hour, by winged words which bore the spirit of great deeds Can it be that in this assemblage there still lives a single breath of the old vitality, which made, to my mind, the English House of Commons the finest arena for intellectual tilting the
world has witnessed, since Athens boasted her Agora with her Pericles and Demosthenes; or Rome her forum with her Tully and Hortensius? Is this the scene of WILKES and his agitation? Was it here that the proud shade of JUNIUS hovered, to collect the rays of that reason and indignation wherewith to illumine the English constitution and consume its enemies? It was here that my throbbing heart expected to find fulfilled Burke's graceful idea of sovereignty, " modest splendor, unas suming state, mild majesty, and sober pomp."
Scarcely had the debate on the Popery bill began, before all these reflections were put to rout by a movement of the parliamentary appetite. There was a rush after-supper. An Irish member, Mr. REYNOLDS, formerly Lord Mayor of Dublin, hit the incident off very happily. He arose, as Ireland generally does, amid groans of "Oh!" He perceived that some Hon. members were anxious to dine. A celebrated English poet had said that "wretches hang that jurymen may dine."-Now he would not assert that some Hon. gentlemen would hang the Pope "rather than eat their mutton cold," but he believed they would not hesitate to make short work in passing a bill of pains and penalties rather than incur that misfortune. (A laugh.)
I was however doomed to be disappointed. My first impressions proved erroneous. It was my good fortune to hear what my informants denominated their "cleverest" men.
The motion pending was that of TOM DUNCOMBE, as he is familiarly known-a Radical, and a genuine trump, besides being a handsome, black-eyed, black-haired, graceful personage. Mr. Duncombe had moved that the first clause of the bill, punishing those who take titles under the Pope, be postponed until the House should be in possession of the brief, rescript, or letters apostolical, upon which the enacting clause was founded; and he proceeded to make what was called a decided hit, between wind and water.
He poured hot shot right over the heads and into the eyes of the ministers charging them with deserting the principles of
the Emancipation Act of 1829, and denouncing the Preamble to the present bill compared with that of 1829, as miserable, wretched, narrow-minded and pettifogging. The speech was directed to the subject of the motion. He contended that mere public notoriety, or common clamor" (to use the Saxon) was not the evidence for grave legislation. This speech called out the legal advisers of the government, who played the game of stave-off nicely. The Solicitor General is a tall, white-headed, goodnatured man, of imperfect enunciation. Indeed, I noticed that very few of the speakers failed to stutter a good deal.-D'ISRAELI was a perfect stammerer throughout. What he said was pointed, but his manner was very indifferent. The most graceful elocution was that of Mr. WALPOLE, whose finely woven words trilled musically upon the ear, as he tendered the conservative force to the government, by which they are enabled to pass their bill. But ROEBUCK is the Slasher of the Parliament. He does not mince matters quite so much.-Every other member has his "right honorable and learned friend from so-and-so," over twenty times in a ten minutes' speech. Roebuck cuts to the marrow every thrust. His under lip curls over in scorn; but he met more than his match in the tall, gray-whiskered, courtly, precise and business-like Home Secretary, SIR GEORGE GREY. He looked to me the ablest man in the Cabinet. Lord John Russell made a short and very pointed speech, displaying both tact and good nature. He always comes in to the help of his adjutants when they are pushed to the wall, and leads them off. The Premier of England, whom I had a good opportunity to see, is a little man with a high forehead, bright eyes, and hair somewhat minus, but straggling over his face. He sits perfectly quiet, with his countenance under deep shadow, so that it is impossible to tell whether the arrows strike home or not.
Let me not fail to commend the brevity and pith of the English speakers. Up they start in a twinkling, the hat coming off simultaneously. They preamble little, but shoot right at the white; reserve their antithetic brilliance for the conclusion,
which is hardly uttered, before the hat is on and they drop! If you should put a pistol ball through the heart, you could not bring them down quicker. There is no loud bawling in speaking, save among the Irish. But the cheers, cries of "hear," and at times the perfect Babelism of the House, is as comical as it is novel to an American. Tittlebat Titmouse, when he imitated a menagerie, was accounted, for that purpose, an efficient M. P. I can now understand the eloquence of Tittlebat's zoologi cal demonstration. When his untimely groan caused a ministry, in the full tide of power, to resign, he reached an eminence of parliamentary celebrity wholly unprecedented; because no one but Tittlebat could ever have had the insensibility necessary to the occasion. But the clamor is soon over. The member either takes advantage of the cheers and interjections, or never heeds them.
The Irish members seemed anxious to find out if government intended to put the Popery bill in force in Ireland. The bill is general, and includes Ireland. They could get no direct response; although Mr. KEOGH, a witty and able speaker, pressed them closely.
During the debate I was startled by a cry from one of the wigs, of "strangers, withdraw!" Then, just as we were about to leave, the cry was "order," and the first command withdrawn. Directly on finishing the debate on Duncombe's motion, the command was repeated. We all went into a lobby, while a division of the House was called. It was a novel procedure. As it was explained to me, the members all march out, then march in; while at two points their vote is registered. This process lasted about a half an hour, the bell in the mean time ringing in absentees. I undertook to commend our plan of taking the ayes and noes; but I believe that even our plan has been improved by a Yankee.
During the discussion an odd procedure took place. A wig and gown appeared at the door of the House, accompanied by a lawyer. His queue trembled with conscious importance, as it