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alighted from the worn horse, whilst my poor Cire gazed stupidly on, utterly unable to comprehend what parley was going on between his master and these strangers.
"I was yet inwardly marvelling from what cause the knight's trouble could have arisen, and how this odd meeting would end, when I beheld the horseman, after a word from the knight, quietly throw aside the ample cloak which hung from his neck down to his heels, and deliver into the hands of his master a fair boy, that lay packed carefully in a long basket, strapped on a pad before him. Judge my wonder when, placing this strange burthen before me on the ground, the knight hurriedly said, as well as at this slistant time I may remember--and no word of that hour but has often since been recalled to my memory:
««• Master Borgia,' he said, ' look on this poor wearied boy; all night have we ridden with him from near Nottingham hither, and a sore journey hath it proved to the child, as well as a heavy impediment to us who fly for very life; here is no time to tell all that hath passed; too soon will it reach thy hearing-but only this—I well know thee for an honest man; I judge thee by nature a kind one: take thou this boy to thy care awhile, for very pity, and say no word of aught that has passed here this morning.
16. Of the child hereafter,' he added, thou shalt know all that is needful; for the present, take this ring; it was given me by his noble father; if I live and thrive, I will, in due time, claim thy charge by this token--if we meet not again, give it to his keeping, when he shall have reached the years of manhood: and now, farewell!"*:—The King's Secret. -vol. iii. pp. 273-278.
The dedication of Lucius Carey' to Mr. O'Connell, leads us at once into the secret that this is an Irish story, written by a son of
Erin. Though extravagant beyond all bounds in some things, it really indicates a prolific fount of genius in the author. Truly
indeed, has Mr. William Child Green entitled his Alibeg the Tempter,' a tale Wild and Wonderful.' It possesses both these characteristics in a pre-eminent degree. The scene is in the East, and the action is a continued series of adventures of the most extraordinary nature. We recommend it, by all means, as well as
Lucius Carey,' to those readers who can allow their imaginations to be wafted to the very ends of the world of invention. Of the
seventh candidate for fame upon our list, Crotchet Castle,' we Tegret that we cannot speak in as favourable terms as we could desire. It is a satire upon the London citizens, and their mode of
life, both in their country, and their counting-houses. The style e in which it is written is polished, but the wit is not at all remark
able for pointedness or elegance.
Art. IX.-A Speech delivered in the House of Commons on Lord John
Russell's Motion for leave to bring in a Bill to amend the representation of the people of England and Wales. By Thomas Bab
ington Macaulay, M.P. 8vo. pp. 31. London: Ridgway. 1831. Before the ministerial plan of reform was promulgated by Lord John Russell in the House of Commons, we conceived that we
were going a reasonable and sufficient length of way towards the attainment of that object, by proposing that the principle of universal suffrage should be discarded; that the franchise should be limited by property, indicated by assessments in towns and boroughs, and by freehold, copyhold, and beneficial leasehold in counties ;that the decayed boroughs should be abolished, where the franchise could not be extended to neighbouring hundreds, producing, at least, five hundred voters, and that where they could not produce double that number, the representation should be reduced to one member. In the same proportion that four thousand bears to one thousand in the latter case, and two thousand to five hundred in the former, did the plan of the ministers exceed our most sanguine expectations. We could not have conceived that they would have had the courage to attempt so bold, so manly, so decisive a measure of reform, as that which they laid before Parliament. We venture to say that our notions on the subject were in harmony with those of a very considerable portion of the public, and we bave no doubt that they have been as much gratified, as we have been, in finding those notions exceeded, beyond all probable previous calculation, by the provisions of the Bill.
Indeed we do not believe that there was, at any period of our history, a proposition made by the Government, which has carried with it so great a share of the approbation of the people as the bill of which we speak. Upon its first appearance it was hailed with an unanimous shout of applause, which was heard throughout the three kingdoms. A reaction against it was subsequently attempted to be concerted, by the boroughmongering party on the one hand, and by some low mischievous radicals on the other, but it altogether failed. The exertions of the former are not to be wondered at, for their strength as a party, their existence as political characters, depend so much upon the principle of nomination, that they would naturally do every thing in their power in order to preserve it from annihilation. The virtues of such men as the Dukes of Norfolk, Bedford, and Devonshire, and of John Smith, are too rarely distributed amongst the mass of mankind, to allow us to hope that more than a few sacrifices of self-interest would be made upon the altar of the country. We looked for nothing of the kind, and have not been at all surprised by the fierce opposition which the bill encountered from the Tories. But we have been indeed amazed by the efforts which some of the radicals have made to inflame the multitude against the measure, by representing that it was not calculated to cheapen the necessaries of life, or to give a great majority of them a voice in the election of their represen tatives. Nothing could be more malicious and unjust than this species of invective ad captandum. It altogether passes over the probable consequences of such a reform, if it were carried into a law; for no man can doubt that if the taxes can be reduced, and if the necessaries of life can be rendered accessible at a more moderate price
to the poorer orders of the population, these objects would be accomplished more speedily and more effectually by a reformed Parliament, than by a Parliament which has the power and the disposition to resist any effectual improvement in its constitution. It is very true that the bill did not propose universal suffrage, and, consequently, that a very great number of the inhabitants of these kingdoms would still be without the elective franchise. But the radical auxiliaries of the boroughmongers, in putting forth this argument, wholly left out of their view the fact, that the qualifications of electors were so much lowered by the bill, that it was competent to any man of ordinary industry to become possessed of the right of voting.
But with all the arts and intrigues and malignity which selfinterest can give birth to, neither the boroughmongers nor the ultra radicals have succeeded to any extent in rendering the bill unpopular, although both in the house and out of it, they formed a inost unnatural coalition for the attainment of that purpose. The people have had the sagacity to see at once through the designs of both these odious parties, and we trust that they will every where successfully resist their machinations. Now is the time and now the hour for the people of England to exhibit to the world the possession of that good sense, and the inflexibility of that attachmeut to liberty, for which the civilized nations in general give them credit. Now is the season in which they may gather the fruits of their long and unwearied labour in the cause of reform ; in which they may show their affection to the monarchy, by destroying the oligarchy, which has hitherto oppressed and enslaved it, as well as their zeal for rational and practical freedom, by discountenancing those extreme doctrines, which would place their property and their political institutions at the feet of a tumultuous mob.
Of the real character of the ultra-radicals we need hardly say one word. They are easily discovered by their hypocrisy, which veils as much of selfish interest as is to be found in the breast of the most selfish of the boroughmongers. But, perhaps, the true and essential qualities of the oligarchy, have never appeared more conspicuously than during the late debates, especially those which were in full and violent progress at the moment, when they were silenced by the arrival of His Majesty for the purpose of dissolving the Parliament. The scenes that occurred on that occasion in both houses were manifestly preconcerted. They were, perhaps, the most extraordinary that ever took place in the neighbourhood of Westminster-hall, and may be looked. upon as the precursors of other scenes of a still more serious description. The dignity of the legislature was never before so indecently violated, as it was on that day by certain Peers and Commoners. It was known that the Parliament was about to be dissolved, and a bare intimation of the approach of such an event has usually been sufficient to assemble a number of Peers, who, dressed in their robes of state, appear each in the place which belongs to him, according to his rank.
On this occasion, however, not only did most of the Peers
opposed to reform appear without their robes, but they took their seats without any regard to rank, thereby intimating, in a daring manner, their utter disregard for the presence of their sovereign. On common occasions the refusal to wear a piece of ermine, and sit on a lower or a higher bench, is a matter of so little consequence, that it would be mere folly to notice it. But in state ceremony small things signify a great deal. Those ceremonies have been framed with a view to distinguish the links by which the sovereign is connected with his peers and his people, the scale of dignity ascending from the latter by various gradations, until it terminates in his
person, in which the majesty of the whole is reflected. But on this occasion the opposition peers confounded those links, and refused to be considered as a portion of them. They withdrew themselves from the body politic, and openly insulted the 'majesty of the Sovereign, at the moment when he was about to exercise the most indisputable and the most valuable of his prerogatives.
But this was not all. While the House of Lords was waiting for the entrance of the King, his Majesty being engaged in robing, and the Lord Chancellor having left the woolsack for the purpose of attending the sovereign, Lord Shaftesbury was moved into the chair, in order to enable the opposition peers to vent their indignation. This proceeding was a pointed insult against the Chancellor, and altogether unprecedented under the circumstances. Although Lord Shaftesbury is the deputy-chairman of the House, he has never presided on the woolsack, when discussions of importance were going on; and in substituting him for the Chancellor on this occasion, the peers, who voted him to the chair, marked their disposition, as strongly as they could, to snatch the seals from the hands of the noble and learned lord to whom they were entrusted by the King
The manoeuvre was the commencement, not only of violent proceedings, but of proceedings truly alarming for their revolutionary tendency. For if a certain number of peers think, that if they do not approve of the exercise of the royal prerogative upon a particular exigency, they are therefore authorized to insult the King and his Chancellor, and to divest then of their dignity and office as far as circumstances enable them to do, may not a similar line of conduct be adopted towards those lordly mutineers by the people ?
May not such a scene as that which disgraced the House of Lords on the 22nd of April, in which one peer called another the hero of a coup d'etat, and accompanied his sarcasm with a violence of tone and language that bordered on personal conflict; in which another peer, deviating from his usual line of moderation, to the path of madness that ruled the hour, dared to read, almost in the hearing of the King, a protest against his Majesty's presence, and an address, declaring to him that his Majesty's conduct would be attended with the most disastrous consequences;-may not such a
scene as this, we ask, give rise in the public mind to serious questions as to the utility of the peerage itself? If an institution, which was formed for the protection of the people and the support of the Crown, be made an instrument for inflicting injury and insult upon both, would it not be better that it should be altogether abolished ? These are questions which the violence of the Londonderries, the Wharncliffes, and the Mansfields, will undoubtedly raise, as if there were not sufficient ingredients of agitation and disturbance already mingled in the cauldron of national discontent; and whatever solution those questions may finally receive, no man can doubt that the bare discussion of them will have in it all the elements of a most sanguinary revolution.
The associates of these peers, the Vyvyans and the Peels in the other House, did every thing that wasin their power to get up a similar scene. They talked freely, indeed, like men to whom the ideas had long been familiar, though they never ventured to give expression to them before of the dissolution of the union with Ireland, of tampering with the public funds, of the abolition of tithes, of the subversion of the House of Lords, and even of the destruction of the monarchy! Sir R. Vyvyan said, amongst other things, that "it was quite useless to conceal from themselves the evident fact, that this country was on the eve of a revolution.” (Cheers.) “ The present ministers were the most incapable, the most inconsistent, body of men, that ever attempted to govern a great country.” (Animated cheering.) “ They had been tried, and were found wanting.” “ Mr. O'Connell was the real governor of Ireland.” “ Did the fund-holders think that if there were a reformed Parliament, their property would remain unvisited ?" (Cheers.) “A stronger excitement than that which was now felt, had never prevailed since Walpole's adıninistration went out of office, and he would tell ministers, that in the country the general feeling was, that the tithes would be repealed, in consequence of the projected reform of Parliament." (Cheers.) “ This measure would destroy funded property-it might destroy tithesmit might overthrow the House of Lords, and might, perchance, even shake the King's crown on his head.” (Cheers.) Sir R. Peel went a little further, and exclaimed, “ Alas ! he already perceived that the power of the Crown had ceased. (Cheers.) He felt that it had ceased to be an object of fair ambition with any man of equal and consistent mind, to enter into the service of the Crown." (Cheering.) If this language be not revolutionary language, we know not what style of diction can be entitled to that epithet.
Combining, therefore, the proceedings of the oppositionists in both houses of the legislature, we have no hesitation in imputing to them a pre-concerted design to spread alarm in the public mindand for what purpose ? Is it for the purpose of making the people more vigilant with respect to their liberties, more anxious to extend and secure them? No such thing. These hollow-hearted declaimers