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The great question is, what will now be done? Are the present ministry to be allowed to remain in and strengthen themselves ? they have many men of talent already, and will soon secure more. A few weeks of armistice will find them much more strongly entrenched ; and goaded on by the Jesuistical whisperings of O'Connell, whose support they must have, they will retain their places and appointments, be obliged to mortgage more and more the most valuable portions of our Constitution, entrusted to us by our forefathers, and the title deeds of which have been sealed with their blood; or will his Majesty try whether the late wild and visionary speculations have not sufficiently alarmed and roused those who have been so long inert, and have created a reaction favourable to the cause of peace and good order?
We laugh at the idea of collision ; but still we feel that no country can flourish in a state of such anxiety and excitement. We feel that every concession will be but the forerunner of a new demand, and that it is the duty of the House of Lords to resist. We also feel assured that the Whigs will be urged on to extremes by their Catholic dictator, and that agitation will again be the cry at the re-assembling of Parliament. We think, therefore, that any thing which will afford a prospect of relieving ourselves from the present state of affairs, should be resorted to, and every legitimate means taken to insure success. The new ministry must be formed, and every branch of the present one dismissed previous to the dissolution of the Parliament. Let them not have the advantages which must accrue from their holding office, and then let us once more try the feeling of the nation, and see if we cannot get rid of this Popish usurpation.
We should infinitely prefer, if another arrangement could be made, one which would be more creditable to those now in office, and more safe also, for they are in a dreadful dilemma; for if they are thrown out, and can no longer, with the assistance of the agitator, command a majority, how heavy will be their fall, how deep their disgrace! If, on the contrary, they should remain in the ascendant, what will they, what must they do? they must go on. Stop they cannot, for they will not be permitted. Let them pause a while. From habitual opposition they have supported tenets and principles, which in opposition are not dangerous, but salutary, and which were intended only as checks, but not to be acted upon as motive principles. Bound by these principles, they now lie 'at the mercy of one who knows not mercy, who, indeed, knows not what it is he would have, and of a mob, to whom any change or turn in the wheel of fortune must prove a rise. Now, we well know that the majority of the Whigs, from their situation and rank in life, and from the station which they hold in the country, must be Conservatives in their hearts. They are in a false position, and must have courage to get out of it. Let them not start when we propose to them to have a conference with, and ascertain if they cannot, by mutual small concessions, join with the Conservative party. There is, after all, but the name of party between them. Let them do this, and they will have the merit of having tranquillized a suffering country, of having indignantly hurled off the Catholic despotism now riding on their shoulders, of having thrown into insignificance the demagogues who have started up and deluded the people, and of having sacrificed their own feelings from the conviction that it is their duty to rally round the throne, to defend our altars, and uphold the constitution.
As we shall now dismiss politics for a season, we must take leave of our readers, by particularly calling their attention to the present state of parties, and as that state operates upon the empire at large, our call can neither be looked upon as irrelevant or importunate. By a singular anomaly in politics, the weakest faction engrosses all the offices of government, controls the monarchy, beards the aristocracy, and, let the radicals think as they may, tramples upon the democracy. They are a milieu, but any thing but just.
Now this is a condition of things that ought no longer to exist ; for it is extremely hurtful to our domestic interests, and very perilous to our foreign relations. Of course, such a party as the Whigs now are could only keep their places by subserviency to one of the two extremes, and unfortunately for the country, they have kou-toud to the most debasing. The sessions have closed, and they have actually done nothing; for their famous Corporation Bill, which the Lords were kind enough to amend for them into a reasonable shape, and which now is a good bill, they boldly tell the country in the last day of parliament, though it is a municipal corporation bill, is not to be the bill after all. In a word, if they are to remain in office, it is all to do over again. This is sufficient to prove their futility. Their meanness is most manifest by their tenacious clinging to place against the dictum of large majorities, and sneaking for protection, like frighted chickens, under the wing of Sir Robert Peel. They have confessed that they must have gone out had not the Lords compromised some of the amendments which they made. Sir Robert Peel took pity upon them, and brought about the consummation, by them so ardently wished forthe prospect of a few months' more tenure of the profitable keeping of the nation's loaves and fishes. They may yet be disappointed. They have not the spirit to commence a war if the nation be insulted or aggrieved, or the talent to carry one on if it be commenced by any of our neighbours. The political world has the elements of foreign strife actively at work within its bosom, and no one can say how soon the ebullition may take place. The moment it does, farewell to the Whigs. Au reste—this has been a session of no measured length; and yet it has proved to be a nearly measureless session.
O'Connell himself is in a false position, and there is no security in his support. He cannot take, nor indeed can the ministry give, the reward to which he thinks his services entitle him. He can take nothing but his rent; and certainly there is no situation under government which would indemnify him for its loss. He has returned to his estate in Ireland, we presume to agitate, for without agitation there would be no rent. We recollect an eastern tale, in which the the dervishes whirled round, and upon sundry blows applied, turned into aspers. O'Connell must have borrowed the idea; but there was a sequel to the tale which we recommend him to read.
And well thy lines that cause proclaim,
To thee I can award
A truly Christian bard.
A patriot offering send,
Is most a nation's friend.
'Tis true that thou must learn to brook
Cold censure of thy lays,
The slow and measured praise ;
Half strange to thee shall seem, When daring men, with comments rude,
Invade each hallowed theme.
Yet thou shalt view this scene of strife
In quiet peace at last,
Hast on its waters cast;
Scattered o'er England's sod,
To know and serve their God.
JAPHET, IN SEARCH OF A FATHER.1
BY THE AUTHOR OF “PETER SIMPLE," &c.
I was not yet weaned from the world, but I was fast advancing to that state, when a very smart young Quaker came on a visit to Reading. He was introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Cophagus, and was soon, as might be expected, an admirer of Susannah, but he received no encouragement. He was an idle person, and passed much of his time. sitting in my shop, and talking with me, and being much less reserved and unguarded than the generality of the young men of the sect, I gra.. dually became intimate with him. One day when my assistant was out he said to me, “Friend Gnou-land, tell me candidly, hast thou ever seen my face before ?”
“ Not that I can recollect, friend Talbot.”
“ Then my recollection is better than yours, and now having obtained thy friendship as one of the society, I will remind thee of our former acquaintance. When thou wert Mr. N-e-w-land, walking about town with Major Carbonnell, I was Lieutenant Talbot, of the
- Dragoon Guards." I was dumb with astonishment, and I stared him in the face. “ Yes," continued he, bursting into laughter, “such is the fact. You have thought, perhaps, that you were the only man of fashion who had ever been transformed into a Quaker ; now you behold another, so no longer imagine yourself the Phænix of your tribe.”
“ I do certainly recollect that name," replied I; " but although, as you must be acquainted with my history, it is very easy to conceive why I may have joined the society, yet, upon what grounds you can have so done, is to me inexplicable.”
“ Newland, it certainly does require explanation ; it has been, I assert, my misfortune, and not my fault. Not that I am not happy. On the contrary, I feel that I am now in my proper situation. I ought to have been born of Quaker parents--at all events, I was born a Quaker in disposition ; but I will come to-morrow early, and then, if you will give your man something to do out of the way, I will tell you my history. I know that you will keep my secret.”
The next morning he came, and as soon as we were alone he imparted to me what follows.
“I recollect well, Newland, when you were one of the leaders of fashion, I was then in the Dragoon Guards, and although not very intimate with you, had the honour of a recognition when we met at parties. I cannot help laughing, upon my soul, when I look at us both now; but never mind. I was of course a great deal with my regiment, and at the club. My father, as you may not perhaps be aware, was highly connected, and all the family have been brought up to the army; the question of profession has never been mooted by
· Continued from p. 276.