Imágenes de páginas

perchance discover that a gentleman ry; and there, something which, acnamed Goulbourn was a minister of cording to all the book rules, should Great Britain in the year 1829 ? Nor be most excellent, appears in practice is it the Treasury-bench alone that is to work exceedingly ill; and then conspicuous for dulness,-if not for they hold up their hands, and say, something worse ; of the six hundred “ Really the thing appears so difficult and fifty-eight, there are not, besides that we don't know what to do.” the professional members, twelve men Others who seek a place in the House who exhibit abilities such as would of Commons merely as a matter of justify an observer in believing, that, rank, follow their pleasures, and do in the pursuits of any liberal profes- not take any trouble about legislasion, they would have reached to even tion; and others take all the trouble a moderate degree of eminence; and that they are capable of taking about yet it is by such a House of Commons their own immediate interests, which the institutions of our ancestors have limited sphere is all that their public been overset! Dulness lives long ;- virtue or their capacity is able to come there are some in that House who prehend. have sat there with burke, and Pitt, A few there are also, we rejoice to say, and Fox, and yet can bear to sit there honest, eloquent, and true, who restill ; and most of them have voted quire only great occasions, and antaupon questions in which Perceval, and gonists worthy of their rivalship, to Wyndham, and Canning, and Case soar to something which would rescue tlereagh, and Sheridan, and Grate this our time from the reproach of potan, and Ponsonby, and Grey, and litical littleness, which otherwise ihe Plunkett, and Romilly, and White historian will have to cast upon it. bread, have taken a part. They have “ But what are these amongst so seen, even within a few years, such a many ?" Or how shall they infuse a group of men all together within the patriotic spirit, and a genuine love of House; and what do they see now? country, into the cold confined under But we have heard it said, that al- standings of those who follow in the though there be no great men in the wake of the smirking audacity of shalHouse, yet, taking the aggregate of low Liberals ; men who would sacriall the small cleverness which is now fice any thing for the vain glory of to be found among the individual making themselves appear wiser than members, the quantity of ability and those by whose counsels England be discretion in the House is, upon the came the great country which she has whole, greater than ever it was. This been? It is not merely because the is a very pleasant sort of apology, and House of Commons wants oratorical much more amusing than satisface talent that we thus speak of it, ale tory to the country. We have never though we certainly believe that in found that ten small wits made a great any asseinbly where the members wit, more than that ten dull books thought justly and vigorously, they made a spirited one. It is, we be would speak in the same manner; but lieve, quite true, that there are plenty it wants something of a more homely of those in the Lower House who description, which we do not venture possess that kind of average undere to designate by its plain and unfa. standing, which prevents men from shionable name. Even to the House doing what is extravagantly absurd, of Commons which we have, we should and enables them to take care of themá not fear to intrust the cause of the selves, with a minute and almost suffering population, could we but contemptible species of small assidui- persuade ourselves that they would ty; but a wilderness of these will not enter upon the necessary enquiries take care of the country in perilous without affectation, with an honest situations, when the ancient land- desire to ascertain the real causes of marks set up by abler men have been the distress, and a courageous deterabandoned. Many of them, who are mination to apply the necessary remedesirous to be useful, get their brains dy, no matter how it might interfere addled with books, which sorely pers with scientific theories, or individual plex them, and render them incapable interests. If we could be certain that of doing any thing ; for here, that they would zealously, industriously, which seems to be practically benefic and with a kindly feeling towards cial, is opposed to some general theo. their unhappy fellow-creatures, apply


themselves to the duty of enquiring, should look about for men who have we should have no fear for the result, some heart, along with political inforbecause the way is plain, if sought af- mation - who possess strong feelings in ter with simplicity and honesty. It is favour of religion and humanity,-and not any extraordinary ability or acute- who will speak out with freedom and ness that is necessary, buí to throw boldness in favour of that cause, which aside the spurious learning which men, God will not leave without a witness mistaking it for knowledge, have blinds in the hearts of men when it is pleaded themselves with, and, looking faire ed manfully and energetically, even ly and practically at the state of af- before those who have been too long fairs, to do with manly courage that unaccustomed to any thing but the which is needful for the remedy there- tinkling folly of shallow and heartless

innovators. Let some men of probity We own that we hardly expect this and talent, and virtuous enthusiasm, to take place until some change is ef- be brought into the House, to rouse fected in the spirit which animates the spirit of the rest, and all may yet the House of Commons--or, to speak be well ; but we cannot stand on the more strictly, in the sluggishness which rotten foundation of passive obedience, benumbs it ; and we know not how though we take for our support a this can be effected, so well as by an truckling system of submission to misexertion on the part of those who have called “liberal” opinions, for want of the power to place some men in the courage and ability to stand up, and, House, whom nature and education for the sake of the working classes of have qualified to think and speak with our country, vindicate the expediency energy, and to persuade others of that and justice of an opposite system. which they themselves strongly feel. We think it impossible that this The experiment has been tried by the subject can be too earnestly and ve. patron of the borough of Newark, and hemently urged upon those whom it has been attended with such remarke concerns. We have no words suffi able success as should induce others ciently strong to paint to them the exto imitate his example. Surely there tremity of the necessity which exists, needs no argument to shew those who that they should bestir themselves ere have the power to put men in the it be too late, to avert the dreadful House of Commons, the advantage and consequences which must ensue, if the utility of having men there who can miseries of the common people be left think and speak. We might well sup- to accumulate, as they have been for pose that they would discover this of some years past. We would call upon themselves without any prompting; those who have large interests at stake but great men and small have fallen in this country, by all the motives into such a fatal lethargy on matters which can influence men, to awake of domestic policy, that we must shake and look to their country and thema them and shout into their ears, that selves. To those who still think that which their own attention should long love of country is something more ago have discovered. We tell them than an empty sound, and that our that the Legislature, by inattention, venerable institutions are something affectation, short-sightedness, and poé better than the shallow conceits of men sitive error, have lost the confidence of yesterday—to those we would say, of the people, whom they have vitale read, examine, learn the deplorable ly injured by their foolish laws, and state of the labouring classes, and do have incurred their contempt, by the not slumber over your efforts to apply imbecility, perplexity, and dulness of a remedy-do not say, as has been the words which have been offered in said in the House of Commons, we stead of argument, in reply to the re. must wait, and see what time will do. monstrances which the sufferers have Wait!-How long will you wait?made to Parliament. It is high time, Are not crime, misery, starvation, rife then, that they should look about enough already? Wait !-To what them, and provide men who are fit for purpose ? if the state of the lower something better than driving their orders can be bettered, why should cabriolets down to a division, or re you delay? If it cannot, and if in a peating, with flippant and solemn im« country abounding with wealth, and pertinence, a page of the last new the means of acquiring wealth, the lapamphlet on political economy. They bouring population must live in pe«


nury, and die for want of sufficient their scientific terms and obscure gesustenance, stand up before the world neralisations, no good will be effected. and tell us why, that the world may Let the example of the honest Maceat least see that you are not indiffer- donians be followed, who would call ent to a calamity so extensive and so a fig a fig, a boat a boat, and a traitor dreadful.

a traitor. If it appear that many of Even to those who think the come the agricultural population are idle, mon people of the country nothing, while the ground in their neighbourand their own pleasure every thing, hood is not sufficiently worked, and who would not ruffle the luxurious te- that the reason is the want of money nor of their lives by any effort so in the hands of the farmers, of which troublesome as an inquiry concerning again the cause is, that money has bee the state of the labouring population, come much scarcer and dearer, while -to those we would say, by the love the amount of money requisite to pay you bear your pleasures, exert your- taxes, remains the same, it requires selves now,

lest the time come speed- no very extraordinary astuteness to disily, when you shall not have them to cover that one of two remedies is ne. enjoy. We would address them in the cessary,-either to take away the taxwords of the stern and virtuous old es, or to make money as plenty as it Roman, so applicable to many in the was before. But the taxes cannot be present time :~"


deos immor- reduced, as they are necessary to pay tales, vos ego appello, qui semper do- the interest of the debt, which is a mos, villas, signa, tabulas vestras, plu- fixed nominal amount of money that ris quàm rempublicam fecistis ; si must be paid by the people, whether ista, cujuscumque modi sint, quæam. money be scarce or abundant, dear or plexamini, retinere, si voluptatibus cheap. Well, then, if one remedy is vestris otium præbere voltis; exper- impracticable, we must only try the giscimini aliquando, et capessite rem- other, which most certainly is practic publicam."

cable. We can go back to the old If we be asked, “ Can you, who abundant currency, and we can do so preach up to us so strongly the neces. with all the advantage of experience, sity of doing something, tell us what to teach us measures of precaution for we should do?" we answer, That what. its security and proper regulation. ever couclusions we may have come to Here is nothing very obscure or diffi. upon the subject, we should recommend cult, though no doubt it might very nothing with confidence without pre- easily be made so, by mixing with it vious enquiry. Let the legislature asa half a chapter of any of the five hun. semble early, and immediately coin- dred pamphlets, and more ponderous mence a serious and vigilant enquiry books, which have been published into the state of the country. Let the about currency. Let men only look people be invited to state fully and simply at the relation between cause fairly what their condition is, and and effect, and have the courage to what have been the immediate and ap- treat as it deserves Mr Peel’s darling parent causes which have brought them folly of a metallic currency, and one from prosperity to adversity, and then, most fruitful source of the people's when the root of the evil is arrived at, penury will be removed. let such remedy be applied as will re- If it appear that whole districts em. lieve the distresses of the poor, even ployed in the silk trade, and whole though it should be apparently ad- towns employed in the glove trade, are verse to the interests of the rich. It in a state of ruinous idleness, and that may be hard for selfish men to make the reason is, that the rich who use this sacrifice; but even their own prin. silk and gloves choose rather to emciples, if consulted with common pru. ploy the artizans of France than the dence, might teach them that it is artizans of England, the obvious rebetter to part with a little than to put medy is to put such a duty on French the whole in jeopardy: When the silks and gloves, as will cause it to be true state of the people is fairly before the interest of the rich here, to emthe legislature, let such measures be ploy their own countrymen and countaken as are simple and intelligible, trywomen. It is true that all the and come obviously home to the mate gloves, and some of the silks, made at ter in band; for if the theorists be alhome, will be of less elegant works lowed to perplex and overlay it with manship than those obtained from


France; it is also true that the ex- port all the people in comfort and port merchants will lose so much of abundance, and that therefore all who iheir business as consists in the ex- are ready and willing to labour, have port of goods against the import of a natural right to full subsistence. If silks and gloves, and that the foreign it be wilfully and designedly withheld market for manufactures will take off from them, it is a tyranny which they so much less of them, as is equivalent ought not, and will not, continue to to the amount of the French goods endure ; if it be a defect of the poliimported; but the first two disadvan- tical arrangements of the country, tages will fall upon the comparatively which does not allow the labour and rich, for the benefit of the poor ; and the raw material-in which we infor the last, we hold that the home- clude the land- to come together, so market would be improved, in propor- that production and abundance may tion as the foreign market was dete- follow, the common people have a riorated.

right to expect that those who govern It were easy to go through the same them will remove this defect. It is sort of arguinent with respect to fo. impossible that the legislature can reign shipping, foreign wool, foreign justify itself from the complaints of lead, and the various other branches the people, until it can shew either in which the working people of ourown that the country does not afford the country are interested, and in which means of their subsistence, or that they they are suffering inisery unparallel- are unwilling to do the work which is led, through the operation of Mr Huse necessary to take advantage of those kisson's ruinous and detestable system. If this system have any advan- To conclude: the state of the countages, it is easy to shew that they are try at present is dangerous, and, as readvantages only to the capitalist, to spects the common people, deplorable. the rich, purchased at the expense of We have endeavoured to shew how,and the poor. The wretched, unhappy, why. The prospects of the country are starving artizan, is to suffer, in order gloomy or cheerful, according as we that the rich may have silks some contemplate the course which may be what cheaper, gloves of more delicate taken by those who have the power to workmanship, lead for their sumptu- guide its policy. There is nothing ous houses at rather a more moderate physically or politically impossible in rate, and coats for their backs of a making the domestic condition of this finer texture, and a scarcely perceptible country as prosperous as it ever was, reduction of price.

but there is need of a virtuous and If then, enquiry should produce re- vigorous exertion. Of what nature sults as to facts and their cauzes, such this exertion should be, we have also as we have anticipated, we really see ventured to speak; and, unwilling as no insuperable difficulty in the reme- we are to speak presumptuously, we dies to be applied. We see that we may yet express our confidence, that must retrace the steps which we have with such an exertion, made in the of late been treading ; but however spirit we have described, all our diffi. ashamed the legislature may feel to culties would be triumphed over, and do this, it should with much more ream in the very commencement this great son feel ashamed to persevere in what good would be achieved, that the peois palpably ruinous to the prosperity ple would see that those who governa of the common people.

ed them sympathized with their disLet it be again and again impressed tress, and were sincerely desirous of upon the legislature, that the country its alleviation. has within it abundant means to sup



“Me O'Brien," said the College he had never discovered any trace Bursar to a distinguished young man, whatever of father or other connexion. you are rich in premiums this year No second supply of money had been -you can furnish out a tolerable li- sent; but, long before thesum deposited brary, if you are not curious in the was expended, young O'Brien had so binding of your books.” But O'Brien endeared himself to Dr —, the mashad no intention to furnish forth a li- ter of the school, and to all his family, brary, moderate or extensive. He had that he was regarded through the endestined his premiums to a far differe tire house with the greatest tenderness ent purpose, and was now waiting on and affection; and the benevolent Docthe Bursar to receive, in money, the tor felt almost as lively an anxiety amount of the prizes which he had about his future welfare, as he felt for won, at different periods of the past the interests of his own children. year. “Fifty-four pounds," said he, In due time, O'Brien entered col. as he looked at the order on the bank, lege; and on the day when he was when he bad left the Bursar's aparte leaving school, his kind friend forced ments,-“Fifty-four pounds! the man upon his acceptance a fifty-pound note, is not poor who has so much to com- and insisted that he should be his mand; and I think I may bid care banker for some time to come. “When defiance for three months to come, as your scholarship examination comes far, at least, as the care about this round," said he, “ you will be able to mammon might be troublesome.-Any make your own way; but until then, messages, John, while I was away po you must consider me as having a store to his servant, whom he found waiting for your uses, on which you are to in his chambers. “Yes, sir; this draw as freely as if it were placed for note from Mr Alker; and Mr Young you in a banker's hands.” “O'Brien, sent his compliments, and said you however, did not find it necessary to should hear from him in the evening.” trespass on his generous friend's kind“I daresay-hear from him-I dare- His pride, which he possessed say-give me the note : Sorry to abundantly, was not an unworthy say-cannot be ready-indispensable pride ; and having very early, and in business—a week or fortnight longer.' various modes, distinguished himself Not a day-not a day. I shall have in the college course, he was enabled, just such another note from Young by giving instruction to the wealthier this evening-wait for them? Have students, not only to provide for all I not put it off twice to suit their con- necessary expenses, but also to repay venience ?-and now again !-John, the sum which Dr had so bene have you packed up the things I am volently bestowed upon him, and which to take ?"

he could with great difficulty be pre“Every thing is ready, sir." vailed on, by O'Brien, to accept. It Well, go and take two seats in the was just at the period when this nare

coach, and be ready to set off rative commences that he had obtainwith me at six to-morrow morning; ed a scholarship; and the money reand-do you

hear ?-no answer to Mr ceived, in lieu of the prizes which he Alker."

had won, in the past year, he destined O'Brien was a young man who, from to the object of defraying his expenses the time when he was seven years old, in a pedestrian tour which he purposed had never seen the face of a relative. to make through that part of Ireland He had been left so early by a person where he was born, and which he calling himself his father, at a very intended to continue as long, during respectable school. A sum of money, the summer vacation, as he found it equal to the pension for three years, agreeable. had been deposited in the master's On the evening before he left Dube hands; the name of the child and his lin he drank his coffee with me, and birthplace had been communicated; told me that Alker and Young had and from that day, when the carriage disappointed him, and broke their enwhich conveyed him was out of sight, gagements ; but that he was still de


« AnteriorContinuar »