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alone could purchase, gradually falls, by reason of its easy attainment, (still flourishing in vigour and excellence, like a flower that is not the less lovely because it is common,) into a homely necessary of civilized existence.
In an age like this, where art and science march (all things intellectual now-a-days march) hand in hand with commerce, it was sure enough to occur to some long-headed man of trade, that the beautiful might as well expend its treasures on the useful, as waste them upon the trashy effusions of hired nonsense writers; and, instead of adorning some tale, “ spun by a Countess and by folly weaved,”—some “ Poem” of half-a-dozen couplets long, or some nothing so somethingized, that the talent of the skilful might be profitably devoted to a tangible good, and do the state of literature somo service. The fund was inexhaustible, and standard modern productions were fertile in scenery, events, incidents, forms and faces, all of which might be « illustrated" with benefit alike to the author, the reader, the artist, and the publisher! Thus cities and countries became, one after another, « illustrated;" Great Britain was illustrated ; France was illustrated ; Italy, that land of loveliness, laziness, - ziness, languor, and lazzaroni: Germany, Switzerland, every spot of European earth that had a charm for the eye, or a claim upon the heart, became severally illustrated. Dry, pictureless Itineraries had had their day; prosy description was a drug in the market, and the type ceased to typify what the vision yearned to behold. Then, up started at once, and of course, the works of Scott and of Byron, and put in their claim for illustration. Both depicters of real, as well as of ideal, life, their writings abounding in glorious imagery ; the things, the scenes, and the personages they immortalized, were to the popular reader an “unreal mockery,” existing at best but in the deformity of a confused, impoverished, and untutored conception, crude in proportion as thought was circumscribed by limited vision, (For say what one will, the mind of man is made up from the objects of the material world by which he is surrounded, and which are made manifest to him by the aid of his five simple senses, of which sight is, without question, the field-marshal and commander-in-chief; and where these prime quintupal organs have been little exercised, fertility of mind is not apt to be over conspicuous : he who has been domiciled all his days in beastly Barbican, can, we modestly presume, form but an imperfect notion of the Lago Maggiori, or the Highlands of braid an' honest Scotland.)
Thus has the natural craving, to test all things by the perception of the senses, begun to be abundantly gratified ; and an “ enlightened pub. lic” is at length made wise in matters, whereof they were in a state of most villanous ignorance. If the eye of the book-read man have not glanced discursively upon the actual scenes, with which words did their best to make him familiar, it is now the fault of his own indolence; and he may be no longer sore wroth, for he is at liberty, if so it chooseth him, to luxuriate upon their protraiture, secure in the faith of its exceeding truth, for the mere gazing upon sundry slips of manufactured rags stitched in a cover. Of no localities need he be longer unacquainted ; the proclamation of his ignorance in such particular were the proclamation of his own exceeding shame. There is scarcely a region famous in history, a spot remarkable from past or present circumstances, a town, a moun. tain, a lake, a palace, rivers, tombs, castles, cottages, Alps, valleys, roads, monuments, all, every thing en masse, or in detail, of which the sem. NO. X.-VOL. II.
blance is not cut on copper for his use. Left no longer in the darkness of his bewildered wonder, the images of memorable things as they are, or have been, are presented to him with a fidelity which the wand of a fairy could scarcely make more clear. No more need he deplore the ob. stacles of space which intervene betwixt them and his own curiosity; no more need he sigh to behold scenes from which wastes of waters or countless leagues of land divide him; no more need he screw his courage to the sticking place, and be prepared to brave untold dangers, to explore Nature's wildest horrors or break-neck extravagancies ; the impos. sibilities have been achieved, the inaccessible attained for him. No longer need he peril his sacred person, or hazard his health or his pocket in search of the picturesque ; dozens of dashing dogs, pencil in hand, and eager for the sketch, are scouring the world for his behoof, and taking note of all that is wonderful on its surface, for his especial gratification. That which was wont to cost months of labour and exhaustion, and many, very many, respectable pounds sterling, gone for life, ere it could be en. compassed, may now, for a few shillings, be comfortably and fatiguelessly had over the counter of the first printseller's shop he passes Or, if he be foggy in mind, or of conception dim, and so unable to figure forth the goodly personages, whose deeds, real or imaginary, have been sung or said, in these or in other days, here again may he be made easy ; for, if they have lived in the actual flesh, their heads, like King Charles', shall be neatly executed, from portraits in the possession of somebody; and if they have lived but in the imagination of the tale-teller, the imagina tion of the artist shall embody them out for him, and they shall be subdititiously engraven upon steel, or scratched upon stone, for the edification of his stultified comprehension.
To such a pitch has this branch of the Fine Arts come! and if it proceed as it has begun, if it be fostered and encouraged and patronized as it ought to be, the - ; but we abominate predictions.
We are free! It is true that one or two constituencies have betrayed their trust, and that the result of a few elections shew the necessity of adding some more boroughs to the list in schedule A, to say nothing at present of an extension of the franchise and the ballot; but, on the whole, the results of the general election are glorious. The Tories are crushed, and party, of all kinds and denominations, lies on its death-bed.
ENGLAND.—The first blow was struck in the metropolis. In the cities of London and Westminster, and in the districts enfranchised by the Reform Act, the electors gave a plumper for reform. Not one antireformer has been able to poke his nose in. The most triumphant return was that of Mr. Grote, whose unblenching liberalism, splendid talents, and extensive knowledge of business, entitle us to expect much from his pawliamentary career. Mr. Tennyson was supported in a manner that must have been gratifying to his feelings, and was merited by his principles, by the electors of Lambeth. Sir Stephen Lushington has been sent by the men of the Tower Hamlets; and his knowledge of in. ternational law renders him an important acquisition to any Parliament, Sir John Cam Hobhouse, though not defeated, has been shrewdly shaken in Westminster, and will not offend again with impunity. The counties in the immediate vicinity of the metropolis have likewise done their duty. Lord Henley, shamed with the crime of bearing false witness against his neighbour, and galled by the consciousness that he has sin. ned without his guerdon, has ignominiously retreated from Middlesex, leaving the field free for Mr. Hume. Turning to our great manufacturing and commercial marts, the returns are likewise satisfactory on the whole. Birmingham has returned the ostensible leader of its Union, and one of his most unflinching co-adjutors. Manchester has not made quite so satisfactory a choice. Mr. Poulett Thomson is no bad selection, but why the conformer Lloyd ? To make amends, Leeds has carried Marshall and Macaulay high over the head of poor canting Saddler Worcester has returned two bill men. Coventry is true to her reformere. And although underhand means have gained Sandon the tarnished honour of a re-election for Liverpool, Ewart headed him, and Thornely run him hard. Bristol has acted equivocally ; but Hull, Newcastle, and most parts of consequence, have stood true to their faith. Brighton and Windsor, illustrative of the feelings entertained towards a Court and irresponsible Aristocracy, by those who see them most nearly, return Radicals. And Bath, in despite of the undue influence of the least worthy part of the present Ministry, has rejected the Secretary at War's Tory brother, and accepted the able and fearless services of Mr. Roebuck, It is in vain to dream of recapitulating every triumph. The result of the first two hundred returns, was one hundred and sixty tried friends of reform, in opposition to forty enemies, or hollow allies. The partial triumphs, too, of the Conservatives, are of a nature to ensure their final damnation. Bribery, of the most unblushing kind, has secured them a victory in Norwich, and brute violence another at Stamford. But all in vain ; these reckless and unprincipled efforts but precipitate the triumph of ballot, and then the Tories are extinguished for ever. Two or three of their minor lights have already gone out,prophetic harbingers of their approaching darkness. Sugden and Wetherell have been rejected at Oxford and Cambridge cities. Mister Praed has sighed his last at St. Ives, and John Wilson Croker is reported “ missing." On the whole, we do not look upon the new English members as a body of Catos and Lycurguses ; nevertheless, they are a set of sturdy honest fellows, representing at times the stupidity fully as much as the intelligence of John Bull. Where, however, there is a will, there is a way. Time will enlighten both the representatives and constituents, giving them a clear. ness and precision of vision, of which they have at present no idea. Both have yet to learn that aimless bartering differs from deliberate progres. sion, and that there is at times more danger in timorous hesitation, than even in undue precipitancy.
SCOTLAND.-It is no reformed representation that has been achieved in Scotland : it is the grant of a representation where nothing of the kind had ever before existed. The more curious and interesting is it to observe the working of this new constitution. The first decided electoral triumph was obtained in Edinburgh. Mr. Aytoun had withdrawn, and not only an immense majority of the reformers rallied round the other two liberal candidates, but the affections of every grade of the populace were conciliated by the feeling that they were the only representatives of the people, as opposed to the old dominant faction. The conservatives still continued to put a bold face on the matter, although their increasing spite showed a growing sense of their own weakness. On the first day of the election, the High Street was densely crowded, from the Tron Church to far above the Royal Exchange, long before the hour fixed for the ceremony of nomination. Every window was thronged with spectators. A short time before twelve, the Lord Advocate and Mr. Abercromby, preceded by a band of music and two banners, and accompanied by their committee, threw themselves, without any previous arrangement with any class of spectators, among the crowding multitude, and proceeded, amid loud huzzas, to the hustings. The measures of the Conservatives were more guarded. It was with the utmost reluctance that they acquiesced in the erection of hustings, or agreed to exhibit themselves or their candidate upon them. Early in the morning a stout guard of hired porters, commanded by the most young and able-bodied of their party, had been stationed in front of that por. tion of the hustings they proposed to occupy. The special constables, to a man Tory factionaries, were assembled in the body, and on the roof of St. Giles's church. The Lord Provost had assembled a numerous body of Tory claqueurs on the leads of the low range of buildings which con. stitute the front of the Royal Exchange. All these arrangements having been made, Mr. Blair, accompanied by a very few gentlemen, and some of the most courageous of the workers of the party's dirty work, marched, without beat of drum, from the Royal Exchange, and glided, with the silent and stealthy pace of spectres, to the hustings. Their appearance was greeted by cheers from their hirelings, which called forth a rushing sound of groans and hisses from the surrounding multitude. The citizens of Edinburgh had at last, after two long years of labour and excitement, succeeded in unkennelling the foxes of the Council Chamber. The hunt was up; the view hollo was given in a tone of determined hostility, unmingled with violence or ferocity. The nomination of the liberal can. didates was received with exultant jubilee ; that of the gentleman thrust forward by the Tories, with yells of scorn. The laugh of unmitigated contempt with which the efforts of the Conservatives to affect a tone of liberality and independence, was received, stirred up the venom within them till they looked purple. At the demand of the Sheriff, whether the Lord Advocate and Mr Abercromby should be declared Members for the city, a huge dense forest of hands sprung up from the Townmarket to the Netherbow. To the name of Mr. Blair no such response was 'made, except on the part of his body guard. A poll was accordingly demanded on the part of the Tories, which commenced the next morning. So determined were the citizens, that out of a con stituency consisting of more than 6000 electors, upwards of two-thirds had voted before the close of the first day's poll, and the return of the liberal candidates had by that time been placed beyond a doubt. The final result at the close of the second day's poll was :
For the Lord Advocate 4058
Mr Blair : 1519 and this triumphant, this annihilating majority was achieved in despite of the most unprincipled threats, and the most barefaced addresses to the selfish interests of every individual of the poorer classes. The victory, too, has been achieved without the occurrence of one scene of violence, or even extraordinary noise. A few police-officers, under the guidance of their commissioners, were more than was required. The people of Edinburgh, in the exultation of victory, have exercised their new
franchise with enthusiasm, but with an order and decency, which never could be preserved even by the small assemblages of their ex-masters. The Tories have been beaten from their strongest citadel. The spiders have been crushed in the inmost web of their machinations. The party has not been defeated but annihilated. Before the termination of the Edinburgh Election, Mr J. A. Murray was returned for Leith, his antagonist's heart dying within him at the sight of the assembled electors. In Glasgow the utmost efforts of the Tories, joined to the silly dissensions of the Reformers, were yet able to do no more than return a Reformer, who, for old acquaintance sake, was less unpalatable to the oppressors than men who had through life been opposed to them. In Dundee, Mr Kinloch of Kinloch received the reward of his long and fearless services. The St. Andrews, Kirkaldy, Stirling, Ayr, Kilmarnock, and Dumfries districts, have all returned Reforming Members. Mid-Lothian, at the period at which we write, is all but secure; although Haddingtonshire is likely to remain in the hands of the Tories. Sad mismanagement renders the result of the Linlithgowshire Election more than doubtful. But elsewhere, the Tories are
“ Drooping as the leaves do,
To die in December." The result of the Irish Elections remains uncertain, up to the time of our going to press. From what is already known, the Ministry will have a tremendous hold on the new House of Commons; and it cannot be de. nied, that that House will represent most accurately, the sentiments of the middle classes throughout the country. We see the promotion of several eldest sons of Peers to the Upper House announced ; which looks as if Ministers were about to bestir themselves. The fate of the country is in their hands, or more properly speaking, in the hands of that Parliament which is to hold them up. Our only ground of fear, is their want of boldness. If they unhesitatingly carry through such trenchant measures of Reform, as are enough to convince the labouring, and, in a great measure, unenfranchised classes, that they are in earnest, all will be well; if not, we are still at sea. We invite the attention of our new Legislature to the following important questions :- The Ballot, Trien. nial Parliaments, paid Members of Parliament, and partial extension of the Suffrage.-Equalization of all Christian communities in the eye of the law, and diminution of Church Burdens.--Abolition of Corporations in England, and the Old Burgh System in Scotland.-Commutation of Tithes, Abolition of Hop and Malt Tax, and of the Corn Laws,- Abolition of the Entails, and the Law of Primogeniture.-Abolition of all Restrictions upon Trade.-Introduction of a graduated Property-Tax.